Are pit bull owners crazy – studies suggest they have some clear issues that many will not address
Studies show that pit bull owners employ strategies to disguise the true nature of the breed by engaging in distortions, denial, overcompensation and projecting blame after biting incidents.
Not normal dog owners
To understand the experience of owning a negatively perceived dog, Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy did a case study on pit bull owners that was published in 2000. Researchers found that with “outlaw” breeds, such as pit bulls, the human-dog relationship is sociologically more complex than previously known. Owners of pit bulls, they discovered, directly feel the stigma targeted at their breed and resort to various tactics to mitigate it. These strategies included:
“passing their dogs as breeds other than pit bulls, denying that their behavior is biologically determined, debunking adverse media coverage, using humor, emphasizing counter-stereotypical behavior, avoiding stereotypical equipment or accessories, taking preventive measures, or becoming breed ambassadors.”1
The study is sympathetic to pit bull owners and makes unsourced claims, but does show the basis of pro-pit bull propaganda. Strategies identified by the researchers are the same strategies employed by pro-pit bull groups to stop a municipality from enacting a pit bull law. For instance, pit bull advocates will claim that a pit bull cannot be identified, that there is a “media conspiracy” against pit bulls and that pit bulls are in fact “wiggle butts” who only want to “lick you to death.”