Pit Bulls Get a Bad Rap

January 21, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Lifestyle News
(Nutley, NJ)-Historically, pit bulls have been considered one of the most aggressive and dangerous breeds.

However, according to the American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS), pit bulls are no more vicious than golden retrievers, beagles or other popular dogs.

"I believe owners of pit bulls are responsible for their pets' bad reputations," says Joe Dwyer, dog trainer, owner of four pit bulls and author of the new book "Shelby's Grace." "Dogs usually become aggressive or violent and misbehave because they are improperly raised, badly treated or abused."

In his book, Mr. Dwyer describes his remarkable odyssey with an abused pit bull named Shelby, who he saved from a shelter. In return, she saved him from terrible depression and anxiety, and together they recovered their senses of purpose. Now Shelby is a certified therapy dog who helps people in difficult times.

In recent years there have been some bad examples of people who have poorly raised and mistreated pit bulls. One of the most famous examples is NFL superstar Michael Vick, who trained pit bulls for his dog-fighting operations.

Mr. Dwyer believes that the key factors in raising a healthy and happy pit bull are:
- Steady leadership and responsible ownership
- Organizational rules
- No abuse
- No isolation
- Attention and love
- Exercise

"As a dog trainer I interacted with pit bulls for years and know the tension they sometimes evoke in our society," says Mr. Dwyer. "Hopefully, one day, the stereotypes the breed has suffered from will be broken."

About the Author
Joe Dwyer is a motivational speaker, a life coach and a member of the National Speakers Association. He is also a dog trainer and a martial artist. Previously he worked as a chemical engineer and an executive for Verizon and the Archdiocese of Newark. Joe is a man of faith and spirituality, and he supports rescue groups and therapy dog training. He lives in Nutley, NJ, with his family and four dogs.