Vintage Pit Bull Photos Prove What?

The tide is turning once again. The pit bull apologia recently went on a large scale cut n' paste spree, asking dull minded and lazy journalists to pop a pre-fab nanny dog blog into their columns. That spree has been sending several thousand people to the Nanny Dog Myth post in this blog. Thanks guys for putting the Truth About Pit Bulls blog on the first page of google results. It's so much easier to find now! And lo and behold, In the comments sections of those articles, we read with astonishment that the pit bull apologia is actually backing away from the nanny dog myth:
And previously, from the KC dog blog:
Ah, look at that. Now the pit bull apologists are backing away from the nanny dog myth and pulling out old photographs as "proof" that pit bulls were always regarded as house pets who were safe and loving companions to children.
As blogger Digger astutely argued, they're "moving the goal post."
Supposedly, the existence of these old photographs with no provenance and no accompanying explanation proves several things:
1. The parents who let their children pose with an animal always have good judgment and would not put their children in a dangerous situation.
2. The dogs we see in those old photographs of pit bulls with the children were simply family pets and weren't used for dogfighting.
3. The dogs pictured were cherished and valued solely as devoted companions of the children they're pictured with, and the owners weren't dog fighters making brag photos of their most prized possession next to a child that was being used solely as a prop.
4. Capturing that one moment in time proves that a pit bull is safe.
First Point
Parents who let their children pose with an animal always have good judgment and would not put their children in a dangerous situation.
Nanny alligators and crocodiles:
Nanny bermese pythons:
Nanny lions and tigers:
Nanny Rhinocerous:
Nanny dog: Alfas Ch Brick Rom 5xw 1xl

Click at your own risk to see some extremely disturbing photos that demonstrate the above photographs lie if presented as proof of safety and good judgment.
Second Point
The dogs we see in those old photographs of pit bulls with the children were simply family pets and weren't used for dogfighting.
The following photos look like the many vintage family photos on pit bull apologist websites purporting to show pit bulls as simply family pets.

There is provenance and a written record of these photos, however. They are from the family scrapbooks of Gary Wilkes, an acclaimed animal behaviorist, trainer and author with over 30 years experience studying and training dogs. His grandfather was a dogfighter and the dogs seen above with the family fought in the pit. One of them attacked a man and caused the man to lose his leg. After that, the family got rid of the dogs. He wrote an insightful and instructive article about about pit bulls and why regulation is necessary.
Third Point
The dogs pictured were valued and cherished solely as devoted companions of the children they're pictured with, and the owners weren't dog fighters making brag photos of their most prized possession next to a child that was being used solely as a prop.

Do any of these children look like they're with their devoted and beloved companion? All three children look somewhat worried and afraid. The dogs aren't attentive to the children either and seem to be attentive to someone off camera. Could the children be afraid of taking a picture? Sure. Could they be scared of a dog they don't know? Sure. Is there anything to indicate more than a dog that is sitting on command next to a child that does not look comfortable or relaxed for a very short period of time? No. Supposing anything more would just be guessing and spinning tales.

"This is little Mudd & our fine dog Jack"
--from inscription on third photo
Are these photos of a child with their dog, or photos of a valuable asset with a child being used as a prop? These photos show the dogs front and center literally and figuratively. Can we know the the motives and priorities that prompted these portraits? No.
Fourth Point
Capturing that one moment in time proves that a pit bull is safe.
A few portraits really do seem to convey affection between a child and a pit bull.
This boy really seems to like his pit bull.

This boy really seems to like his pit bulls, too. However, these pit bulls killed a 10 year old boy after this photograph was taken.

And these photos seem to show a boy with his well-loved and cared for pits, as well.  But a couple years after these photos were taken, one of his pit bulls  viciously killed him:

These old photographs can't prove that the pit bulls in the photos were safe or that it was good judgment to let those children pose with the dog. These old photographs can't prove that the photos are of family pets and companions of the child. We can't tell by looking at many of these brag photos if the owner was showing off a child and their pet or showing off a valuable and prestigious fighting dog with a child. No one can know how many pet pit bulls later "turned on" and attacked after their portrait was taken.
These old photographs prove exactly nothing. And often when we know the story that surrounds the photos, we find the photo, if used as proof of a cherished, loyal, safe family dog, is an outright lie.

After this photo was taken in South Africa, this boy's pit bull jumped over its fence and killed an elderly man with no provocation on the man's own property:

This small child was killed by his pit bull very soon after this photograph was taken.  The mother judged this pit bull as an individual and believed this individual pit bull was a nurturer:

These young men are showing us a photo of one of their pit bulls with one of their babies.  The photo was taken before their dogs killed a woman.  They are inadvertently proving that even if you raise a pit bull to be a family pet, it still might go on to launch an off property, unprovoked fatal attack.
June, 2013  - After this photo was taken, this boy was killed by his pit bull.  His mother said, "It was like one best friend turning on the other,” said Tilema Selu. “He had no signs of being hostile. In fact, we felt confident that it was a protector of our children.”  Selu said her son, Nephi Selu adored the pit bull mix that killed him at his grandparents’ home in Union City on Monday.

UPDATE:November, 2013 Photo of Lexi Branson hugging her pet dog that was later to kill her.  "Neighbours said the family had the dog, named Mulan, for only around two months after picking it up from a local rescue centre...Family friends said Ms Hudson had been told the dog was safe around children. The animal apparently attacked Lexi without provocation."

Accessed: 2014-03-28. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6OPiWuEjk)

UPDATE: March, 2014 Photo of 4 year old Mia DeRouen with the 130 pound pit bull that later killed her.  Both the dam and the sire of this massive pit bull were UKC registered American Pit Bull Terriers.

Accessed: 2014-03-28. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6OPne9Hlz)


scurrilous amateur blogger said...

the pit bull apologia is exhibiting what is known as the backfire effect.

citizens are more likely to generate counter- arguments against new information that contradicts their beliefs than information that is consistent with their preexisting views. As such, they are less likely to accept contradictory information than information that reinforces their existing beliefs.
However, individuals who receive unwelcome information may not simply resist challenges to their views. Instead, they may come to support their original opinion even more strongly – what we call a “backfire effect.”

Small Survivors said...

Wow, that is a fascinating, yet disturbing study that seems to explain all of pit nutterdom and the current state of political discussion.

But, from the same study, a conclusion that gives back a little hope:

"It’s important to note that the account provided above does not imply that
individuals simply believe what they want to believe under all circumstances and never
accept counter-attitudinal information. Per Ditto and Lopez (1992: 570), preferenceinconsistent information is likely to be subjected to greater skepticism than preferenceconsistent information, but individuals who are “confronted with information of
sufficient quantity or clarity… should eventually acquiesce to a preference-inconsistent
conclusion.” The effectiveness of corrective information is therefore likely to vary
depending on the extent to which the individual has been exposed to similar messages

Also, this illustrates why its always good to not think of pit nutters as your audience, but rather enquiring minds who can't swallow the pit bull propaganda whole.

* said...

Your last paragraph was cut off.

Great post SSD!

Anonymous said...

Nice companion piece to the Nanny Dog Myth Revealed blog.

I like how some pit nutters are claiming they knew all a long that the pit bull as nanny dog was just a myth. HA!

And I especially like this little slice of history.

DIg in your heels nutters, it's going to be a bumpy ride!

Small Survivors said...

Thank you Digger

Thank you Bagheera.

That postcard certainly shows pit bulls as beloved family pets, doesn't it? HA!

* said...

Notice how there seems to be a debate on which breed was considered a nanny dog?

"SBT's were the breed that was referred to as the 'nanny dog' for their gentleness with children."

A lot of people keep claiming that it was ALL pit bulls (APBT, SBT, ESBT, and ASBT) that were nanny dogs; most sited did not care to correct people taht the only dog it was originally applied to was the ESBT. But now that they're being called out I think they're trying to pull back on something that's a bit more feasible to swallow now; even if they can't prove that myth either.

I would not be hard pressed to say that if the nanny dog myth blog were never done, then they would still be concluding the title was for ALL pit type dogs and breeds.

* said...

This is a bit off topic but where is this one commenter getting his information?

"EmilyS, I'm with you on the 'dogfighting' thing. Even when it was legal only about, what, 2% of the dogs were matched? That's why today's pedigrees all go back to the same dogs. It's the same for Border Collies, Labs, and any other working breed. A very small percentage of them were actually used for their original purpose and an even smaller percentage excelled at their job, and those were the ones that were bred. A friend of mine herds and he said if you take 100 BCs there might be one that's worth its salt for herding.

the pit bull a "nanny dog"? Wow, hadn't heard that!"

Although I love that last quote! You're right SSD, I'm sure the smarter nutters realize that they can no longer use the nanny dog myth so some of them seem to be accusing the journalists (like you) who did research as coming up with some sort of fabricated mythos.

Emily S believes that the nanny dog myth started out a year ago. Although you have nut-headed youtubers shouting quite loudly that pit bulls (doesn't matter the breed apparently) were nanny dogs. Either she's a new nutter or she's a liar.

* said...

This is a bit off topic but where is this one commenter getting his information?

[Ellen Weinstock]
"The "nanny dogs" thing I'm not so concerned about, in that somebody somewhere probably did call them that - there ARE tons of photos of pits as beloved family pets. It's the use of a specific number that gives the imprimatur of fact & is therefore so harmful."

One would think that due toe the credible amount of evidence showing the opinion of pit bulls to only be favorable with the game dog breeders, there would be some kind of commentary of the pit bull type being a nanny dog. That seems to be the very think the nutters are ignoring and are in great denial about.
And now they're doing as you've pointed out in my commentary, moving the goal post. "Well if we can't have any pit type dog being known as a nanny dog based on factual evidence (which we lack); we sure as hell will no promote that at the very least these pit bulls were cherished family dogs."

That's like saying any vintage image of a race horse proved that they were family pets and not race horses. Although many race horses who later became lame or infertile weren't retried but were commonly sold for slaughter. But those images PROVE it was a nanny horse and was good with children! It's main purpose wasn't racing, trotting, jumping, or any other reason a sporting horse would be bred for in that time period.

* said...

This is a bit off topic but where is this one commenter getting his information?

[Emily @]
"Now, the SBT allegedly IS called the "nanny dog" in England but none of the SBT experts I have asked has ever found an historical reference to support the use of that term.. they speculate that it is was someone's promotional gimmick. And they hate the term for its implication that it's ok to leave your dog alone with the kids..."

"that's just a website with some great pictures of dogs with kids, that's become viral right now. It shows some pit bulls as family dogs. It is not evidence that the pit bull was CALLED a "nanny dog" or even thought of as a babysitter. I have challenged many people to find me an historical reference to the use of this term, and no one has come up with anything. To be historical, you'd have to find it in a source from say, 1900-1930, the period of these wonderful photographs."

Now if only more pit bull advocates would smart up and realize that lying does no good.

Small Survivors said...

The question of where these pit bull apologists get their information is a mystery. They have no problem making all kinds of assertions and don't bother to substantiate their claims.

Just a few years ago, before dogsbite.org appeared, they made so much up and were not called on anything they said.

Now they think old photographs are going to do it for them. Can't wait to read them lay some absolutely arbitrary percentages on them!

* said...

@ snack sized dog

Nanny dog, America's dog... there's no proof of their existence.

They claim the dogs were also praised for the companionship, family status, and other such normal dog attributes outside of fighting but I've found very few cases of such; very few.

A lot of the posts which can be seen here show the pit type dog as an unpopular household pet; and when they are possibly considered pets, they maul a child or adult.

The America's dog myth should be researched by the way, although they use the same proof of assertion on images alone to found their claims.

Need I mention that other breeds out-market the pit bull by 5x if not more? When it comes to positive animal mascots, Saint Bernards and small terrier (not pit) type dogs are shown to be the most prevalent. The only pit bull type dog that has a somewhat common representation in the media is the Boston Terrier; not surprisingly seeing how they were actually considered family pets and their use for fighting stopped almost immediately.

Almost any mascot of the pit bull was used because they fancied their brute mentality, not their purposed propensity to be wiggle butts first and foremost.

DubV said...

I'm sure this has been gone over and obvious to non-nutters, but even if they were called "nanny dogs" by some people, it doesn't mean they were good with kids.

"When did you get that Buick?"

"I don't call it a Buick. I call it my love chariot."


Small Survivors said...


"Okie Dokie" is my favorite dismissive equivocation!

What you say is absolutely true, and totally hilarious! Its very 70s for some reason in my mind, too. :)

But, as has been said before, it is an absolute certainty that in the literally millions of words written since 1900, the words "nanny" and "dog" can be found next to each other somewhere. Finding those instances won't prove that the "nanny dog" was a common appellation for any dog, but nutters haven't even succeeded in finding those few instances where the words have occurred next to each other.

Tegenpitjes said...

IMO these pictures contain a hidden message to potential buyers. The message is: these dogs are dangerous like hell but not to you and your family. They will only kill other people's children and other people's dogs because they love their owners when in fact most victims of dogs are the owners and their family.

Small Survivors said...

I see the hidden message there too, now that you mention it. And it is also a lie!

* said...

@ snack sized dog , Tegenpitjes

I see it now that you mention it.

They reminds me of those infomercials where people try and show how their knife can cut through rock but has a perfect safety release that children can't get through.

I've also noticed that a lot of vintage pit bull photos show the wrong breeds...

Pit bull advocates often only work for the APBT, but not the Boston Terriers, Boxer, or Bull Terrier. They're technically pit bulls by type category, but aren't related. However, a lot of photos show early boxers, Bull Terriers and Boston Terriers!

I'd also like to point out that early Bull Terriers looked a lot like pit bulls and it wouldn't be far fetched to presume a lot of them were crossbred.

Either way you look at it it's a loose loose for the pit bull advocates. I'm sure several of those dogs weren't SBTS or APBTS, and that several of those photos are bluffs.

Dogs will be dogs said...

All of you people are truly mental. All dogs bite, all breeds have bad seeds. In the 1930's the evil dog portrayed by the media was the bloodhound. In the 80's it was the Doberman Pincher and the German Shepard. Now the shock Media has moved on to the Rottweilers and the Pit Bull. One thing all of these dogs have in common is that they are large powerful breeds that when put in the hands of ignorant people have the ability to do lots of damage. Like all breeds if not properly trained, socialized, and disciplined you have a problem waiting to happen. Multiply that factor when you have a powerful breed. The bottom line is that the people need to be held responsible for the actions of their animals. Not to mention that most of all people need to remember that they are just that, animals. I am a firm believer in punish the deed and not the breed.

Small Survivors said...

What is truly mental is believing Karen Delise's outright lies. Her research appears at first appears to be merely extremely shoddy, but in doing just a bit of research, it is easy to see that she could not have made the mistakes she made just by stupidity. She purposely exploited breed confusion to conflate the histories of "cuban bloodhounds" with "english bloodhounds."

Read about it here and educate yourself:

Show any proof you have that the doberman and german shepherd were once responsible for similar body counts as pit bulls. Show proof that they were ever banned in hundreds of municipalities across the country.

* said...

@ Dogs will be dogs

What's truly mental is that you've obviously ignored everything in this post and proceed to comment with out any proof that makes the argument in the article null and void. Why is it that the only people who can rarely stay on topic here are the pit bull advocates? I hope you know what hyperlinks because I will be linking you to worthwhile articles in the quotes.

"All dogs bite, all breeds have bad seeds."

Also, why do pit bulls have the highest number of attacking individuals leading at more than a 170 and other major breeds I've documented only average at around 4? Why is the Dachshund not mauling and killing people like the pit bull despite being the most "vicious dog?" And that goes for any breed really...

"I am a firm believer in punish the deed and not the breed."

Then you should be a firm believer of preventing the deed and regulating the breed. But I guess unregulated breeders selling pit bulls to these so called ignorant, abusive, and apathetic homes is a more sound plan than actually doing something about the problems pit bulls face.

I also guess regulation in terms of what appliances should be required for pit bulls such as stronger leashes and in some cases muzzles is against "dog rights" of some sort. God forbid mandatory spay and neuter as well as breeding programs be enlisted because that would actually force people to be more responsible and penalize people who aren't.

What you're saying is that we should punish a deed AFTER a pit bull maims or kills someone and causes unknown physical and emotional pain and that this process of action is more logical for both the human and animal?

Sheesh, and i thought we were the mental ones.

Also, if these are just dogs why are you concerned of how they're viewed? Why so resilient to the truth if they're "just dogs?"

Dogs will be dogs said...

I never mentioned Karen Delise nor did i ever mention anything about body counts. Just the fact that the hype media is always using scare tactics to drum up ratings. All of these breeds mention are wonderful animals that were once considered vicious animals. Bsl laws do nothing but ensure that a piece of mother nature will get destroyed yet again by the most dangerous animal in existence, the human being. Pitbulls are a magnificent, loving, loyal breed of dogs that when given a loving, disciplined regimented home excel at whatever task is handed to them. Ignorant people like yourself that want to put all the blame on the dogs and not the people responsible for them is just one of the many problems in modern day society. Problems such as a lowlife like Michael Vick being presented as a role model to the youth by Greedy corporations that care about nothing more then lining their pockets. People that except this mans apologies, the only thing that Vick is sorry for is the fact that he got caught. Problems like people like you that have nothing better to do then bash a breed as the people that have exploited them get no credit to this ongoing problem. The media and the ignorant have turned this into an epidemic. And yes i will agree with you that the numbers are high but consider this, there are almost 10 breeds lumped into the term "pitbull". You have the number one exploited dog of every ghetto across America.(not to say that they aren't exploited outside of the ghetto) And you have a dog that again in the hands of the ignorant has been inbred for fighting,and exploited for profit, and whenever you have such close inbreeding you are bound to have a higher percentage of mental defect to which some of these "body counts" can surely be attributed to.
so again ask yourself this is getting rid of a breed the solution to this problem, or should the lowlifes exploiting them being looked into a little closer? Because what happens when you get rid of them and then there is a new breed being mistreated and used for their natural abilities. then what, i suppose we should get rid of that breed too. Or maybe we should seek stricter punishment for the inhumane, educate people more on the difficulties and the responsibilities of owning any animal, and start to realize that the true underlying problem is what it always is, humans

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

this blog post is not about BSL, it is about propaganda.

and the american pit bull terrier along with every other MAN MADE breed of dog is NOT a piece if mother nature.

Small Survivors said...

You never mentioned Karen Delise and you also seem completely unaware that Karen Delise is the sole source for the bloohound lie (although you got the date wrong). Why would you mention body counts? That would not work well for you. However, the fact remains that the body count on the pit bull's head far exceeds that of any other dog in modern history. That is why hundreds of US cities have BSL. The lack of body counts for all other breeds also explains why it is a complete fiction that there were calls for other breeds to be banned before pits and rotts started upping the body counts.

TheMaskedWaffle said...

I've never used old photos in any argument I can think of. However, I do wonder when personal responsibility and accountability factor into the equation concerning anti-ownership laws as a whole

Unknown said...

Your post is a demonstration of your lack of intelligence and I find it INCREDIBLY disturbing that you have the gall to speak on this amazing breed as if you speak the truth. I suppose you think the Little Rascals dog was a monkey dressed up as a pit bull too ?? Comparing a python to a pit bull? What's wrong with you? UGH - I suppose you think the holocaust was a lie too?

Your first point is moot and bears no relevance to anything. Your second and third points are the same point. And your third point is pure speculation - I, for one, do not think those three girls look scared OR happy - but I'd say they are just awkward being posed in a photo.

You have some nerve. I am an educated, family-oriented, tax-paying, home-owning AMERICAN. I am also bi-lingual and have traveled the world over. I have owned 7 pit bulls and not a one has EVER shown one iota of aggression toward a human being. You should be ashamed of yourself. Karma will get you in the end. (and now you'll probably censor my post)

Small Survivors said...

I find it INCREDIBLY disturbing that you can't sort out the every clear points I've made, especially since I used PICTURES for you.

What I believe about the holocaust is completely irrelevant to this post. However, I will tell you the holocaust was an abomination. You're supposed to cut and paste the holocaust point when talking about BSL, any nutter knows that, silly! Maybe you need to consult the Maul Talk Manual

The first point does not compare a python with a pit bull. For one thing, pythons have killed far fewer children in the US than your amazing pit bulls.

The first point demonstrates that because you see a child photographed with an animal such as a pit bull, it doesn't mean that pit is safe as is made abundantly clear by the last photo of the first point. That is not only germane, I proved it is true. Even you can see the danger in wrapping baby in a python.

The difference between the second and third points is subtle, I admit.

The second point shows that what look like family photos with pits are actually photos of fighting dogs with the family. (see the first point)

The third point demonstrates that a child photographed with dog does not necessarily mean the child and the dog are pals or that the photgrapher cares about the child. They might not have any kind of relationship whatsoever, the child may be posed with a dog they don't even know, and that dog may be a fighting dog. The photographer may not even care about the child as much as they care about their valuable fightng dog. In the case of little Mudd, I don't think the child was related to the photographer. I don't know. You say its all supposition. Yes. That's what I'm saying, sweetheart. We don't and can't know = the point! You got it!

You can say you are anything you want, sweetheart. I don't believe you. Whether you want to believe what I stated doesn't matter. It is demonstrably true.

JS JOHNSON said...

I love pitbulls they are so loyal and sweet! AND GREEDY MEN TRAIN THEM TO FIGHT!!!! SICK

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

julianna, psychopaths BREED and conditions them to fight.

xtina said...

>>You can say you are anything you want, sweetheart. I don't believe you. <<

Right back atcha, sugar lips. You, too, can continue to rant in generalizations about pit bulls, and you *still* won't be right. It's a blue wonder that this discussion never progresses onto anything productive, isn't it? I mean who wouldn't want to be referred to as "nutters," "silly" with inappropriately-sarcastic terms of endearment, or by my personal favorite, "apologists." (As if we have anything to apologize *for.)

If you really want to talk about insanity, how about using your own argument to negate whatever tenuous point you were attempting to make? You seem to be saying we can determine that all pits are bad based on the fact that two of them, for example, took a lovely picture with a young boy and then promptly went out and killed another kid. Why isn't the reverse as true, then? Why can't we look at a picture of a perfectly normal and sane pit bull who is part of a family and behaves absolutely perfectly, and extrapolate *that* out to mean most pits are just like any other dog?

Frankly, *I'm* more likely to bite you than either of my two pit bulls. And this begs a question: what, exactly, do you propose to do about this problem? Are you going to swoop in and take my dogs by force (and you'd best bring a lot of it, if that's your plan)? Are you going to ask pit owners to relinquish their pets out of what *you* see as the greater good? Do you imagine breeders are going to relinquish their animals and livelihoods without some pushback? Do you intend to simply ignore the fact that thousands and thousands of pit bulls live as part of society just like their snack sized dog-approved canine counterparts, never so much as raising a hackle toward anyone, far less attacking or biting them? And how *do* you explain my pit bulls -- dogs that spend an inordinate amount of time in public (one of them is a service dog), around strangers both adult and children, interacting with other animals, without so much as looking at any of them in the wrong way?

Small Survivors said...

"You seem to be saying we can determine that all pits are bad based on the fact that two of them, for example, took a lovely picture with a young boy and then promptly went out and killed another kid."

No, that is not the argument of this post. The argument of this post is simply that old photographs by themselves can't prove anything. And I proved that, dumpling.

xtina said...

You seemed to go to an awful lot of trouble to prove what you claim you're proving, cupcake. One would think it would be eminently obvious, even to you and your acolytes, that photos can't prove anything. Okay, I'll give you that one. But you don't get to ride on both sides of the fence. If the photos of well-behaved, well-socialized pit bulls don't "prove" their behavior is universal, then the activities of the few don't get to "prove" that many are dangerous. You worked hard to show the very thing most pit advocates keep trying to tell you -- you cannot condemn the breed(s) by the actions of a few dogs, just as you can't extrapolate an assumption of safety based on a few pictures.

And it's interesting that you refuse to address any of the questions posed. What is it you propose to do about pit bulls and their owners, none of whom are too likely to kowtow to your desire to rid the Earth of pits? I mean, you *do* have a plan, right? You're not here just spitting into the wind, wishing you weren't impotent to effect the change you desire while knowing that I'm going to wake up every single morning with my pit bulls, just like thousands and thousands and thousands of others all over the country...?

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

the purpose of this blog is to expose the lies about pit bulls, hence the name THE TRUTH ABOUT PIT BULLS and not PIT BULLS: A GROWING MENACE.

try to pay attention.

Small Survivors said...

Well, it looks like I didn't go to enough trouble because you STILL don't get it.

Look at the photos again; where are the proven well-socialized pits? I showed one that killed a boy, some that were known fighting dogs, some of which removed a man's leg. I posited that all of the pits shown could have been fighting dogs kept in a yard, ie, not well-socialized. We just can't know. So the push by pit bull apologists to spread old photos of pits next to a person as proof they were typical family pets doesn't prove anything about the safety of the pit bull or even how pit bulls were regarded 100 years ago.

What I showed, puddin', is that just because a pit bull is not lethal for a moment, you can't know it won't "go pit" at some point. And there is an abundance of evidence that shows that pits that are non-lethal for weeks, months and years, having been loved and trained, can still "go pit." See Darla Napora's story. Whether you choose to accept the evidence is beside the point.

By "actions of a few dogs," I assume you mean the "few" killings and the "few" maulings and the carnage inflicted on our pets. They are not "few" compared to any and even all other kinds of dogs. Whether you choose to accept the evidence of that is beside the point.

"At length the truth will out"

snobographer said...

Regarding the old photographs of uncomfortable-looking prop children with trophy pitbulls, those children look about as uncomfortable as children do in practically all photographs from that period. Back then you had to sit still for an extended period to take a photo, which is something little kids are very bad at. I have no idea how they got the dogs to stay still. They must have nailed their paws to the floor.
Anyway, you make a lot of compelling points. I don't even know who to believe anymore regarding pitbulls. All I know for sure is they scare the crap out of me. I'll just keep on the safe side and continue steering clear of them.

hmch said...

as a pit bull advocate, I think the importance of the antique photos of pit bulls serves more as proof that they've existed a lot longer than most people might imagine...that they didn't just pop up in the early 90s, but instead have existed for over 100 years. Over the past decade the media hysteria over pit bull-type dogs began due to ridiculous overpopulation.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

hmch, i don't disagree. researching vintage archives seems to indicate that they have always been popular and they have always been a problem.
america's dog

what this blog addresses is the crazy deduction that old photos of pits and kids is proof that they were nanny dogs.

Jeto said...

Always been a problem huh? Then explain this old article from the 70's that I found through google.


Not a single mention of pitbull dogs. Hmm, wonder why?

Small Survivors said...


OK, we have to get really specific - pit bulls have always been a problem whenever they've been popular. It is true that there was a period from the 40's to the 70's when pit bulls became invisible to the general public and only known to dogfighters and their neighbors. The article you found comes from smack dab in the middle of the "leakage period" when pit bulls began to become popular again.

You can tell the article is from the era when the general public wasn't aware of pit bulls because the article gives the "old" advice on how to address an aggressive dog at large.

"Hold your ground, point at the dog and say in an authoritative voice, 'Go home.'"

That's the advice I grew up with, and used, and it worked. Before pit bulls. Now they sell you the make like a tree or a rock BS which won't work with a pit that's decided to attack anyway.

Where ever pit bulls became popular, they became a problem, and BSL was championed and enacted. Look here and here for evidence.