The Pit of Despair



  Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to.    - Alfred Montapert   

I am a member of many different services (such as Angie’s List, Thumbtack, etc.) whereby potential clients can send me messages and request more information. Typically they fill out a brief questionnaire about their dog and the behavior issues they are having.

I received a request the other day from a gentleman who requested “puppy training/guard obedience” training for his “Ukc purple ribbon blue nose pit bull”.  Mind you, I am most definitely not against breeders: I find them invaluable keepers of breeds. I would die if Borzois ceased to exist. I love my little Cairn Terriers too much exile their breeders. Breeders are necessary, so long as they are respecting the animals they are breeding, and breeding only to maintain breed standards (read: not for profit out of their backyard).

That being said,  I can not possibly understand why any person would choose to buy a purebred “pit bull”. First of all, there is no such thing.  The term “pit bull” is actually used to describe group of dog breeds, or a mix thereof, but is typically used to describe the American Pit Bull Terrier, or the American Staffordshire Terrier.  (Some people include Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs when referring to “pit bulls”).  For the sake of simplicity, I will use the term pit bull to encompass these specific breeds.  That being said, my open letter to this individual:

Dear Sir:

I’m sorry, but I must refuse your request for training based upon a myriad of factors.  First of which, my inability to comprehend why any individual would purchase a “pit bull” from a breeder.  Only 1 in 600 pit bulls will ever make it out of a shelter alive.  Let me repeat that:  599 pitties died for every single pittie who gets a home.   I wouldn’t go bragging about your brand new ”Ukc purple ribbon blue nose pit bull” in an animal shelter – the volunteers would be apt to euthanize you.  Although I’m sure that’s not much of a concern for you; I’m sure you’ve never seen the inside of an animal shelter. 

I have no problem with anyone wanting a purebred dog (I personally have a mutt and a purebred).  I suppose you could be excused from realizing that some shelters are comprised of more than 50% purebred pitties, since you’ve never seen the inside of one.  So maybe the $2300 you spent on your purebred pittie was more a tax that is levied on the empathy-challenged individuals.

Finally, your request for me to train your pittie puppy to be a guard dog is rather interesting, especially since the breed you chose is more apt to let a burglar into your house and kill them with kindness.  I could easily train a pittie to guard your heart against being lonely.  Definitely train a pittie to keep your couch safe and warm.  Perhaps even train a pittie how to threaten a particularly menacing squeaky toy.  Anything beyond that is truly stretching it.  And frankly, I’d rather teach the Menendez brothers home ec.

Enjoy your purebred guard dog, although, odds are once you figure out that a ”Ukc purple ribbon blue nose pit bull” really doesn’t compensate for much of anything, I’ll probably be seeing him at the local animal shelter, with a 1 in 600 chance of making it out alive.


Kerry Stack


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Kerry Stack
Darwin Dogs
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio

One thought on “The Pit of Despair

  1. Pingback: Why Dogs Should Be Thought of as Food | Darwin Dogs

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