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13 Aug, 2022
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Lucknow Incident: Is The Dog Breed Pitbull Really Aggressive?

The recent Lucknow incident where a Pitbull dog maltreated his elderly female owner to death has created waves across the country. The dog breed has already been negated for being involved in many identical incidents. Let’s dive deeper into the Pitbull breed’s aggression problems.  

The term ‘Pitbull’ was first used in 1927 in the United States of America for breeds of dogs descended from Bulldogs and Terriers. The breed is further divided into four sub-breeds—American Pitbull Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bullterrier, and American Staffordshire Terrier— identified by the American Kennel Club.

The breed’s imprints can be found in the United Kingdom in the early 19th century, where British bulls and Terriers were bred for blood sports, dog fighting, and bull baiting. 

Pitbulls are considered people-oriented and affectionate, with levels of high energy. Pitbulls are being bred in India unmonitored, mainly for hunting and dog fighting in some states, making it arguably the most misunderstood dog breed. 

The Illegal Breeding of Pitbulls 

Abhinav Sirhan, a known animal rights activist and an animal rescuer from Delhi, has complained to Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu, Kashmir, and other state governments about the illegal breeding of Pitbulls and related dog breeds for dog fighting. Once Pitbulls are bred for fighting, their bloodline carries the same aggression and fighting strategies. 

“There are over a thousand pieces of evidence of illegal dog fights in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, and I have repeatedly complained to the respective government agencies but no avail. The illegal dog fighting business is flourishing, leading to unfortunate incidents,” said Sirhan. 

“Such dogs, used for fighting and hunting, lead to a bloodline of aggressive dogs. Bred anywhere, the bloodline will carry the fighting and aggression genes, and it can be triggered by any action, either by humans or other animals. This is leading to unexpected behaviour of the dog breed,” he said.

“We have been demanding a complete ban on dog fighting and hunting using dogs. If it remains unchecked, such incidents will occur again. People buy dogs without checking bloodlines from illegal breeders, and then when the dog shows aggression, they dump them in shelters,” said Sirhan. 

Experts say that before adopting a dog, the human must match its temperament apart from a background check of the bloodline. “Like Pitbulls, all pedigrees are bred for a specific purpose. Different categories of dogs have been bred for a specific job. Pitbulls and other high-energy dogs are from the guard/working dog category. People need to understand the dog before bringing it home. People need to end up buying dogs from illegal breeders. Almost the entire breeding business in India is unchecked and illegal. The government needs to act fast to prevent such incidents,” said Sanjay Mohapatra, an animal rights activist and rescuer from Noida.

“People should adopt the Indian breed of dogs and strays instead of buying fancy pedigrees,” added Mohapatra.

The chances of any Pitbull, Rottweiler or guard dogs attacking humans are very slim. The cases are rising due to the unchecked breeding that leads the bloodline of fighting dogs into homes where they don’t belong. Additionally, experts say that a tired dog is a good dog, so dog parents must ensure that their furry friends are adequately walked to keep their energy level in control. Adopting them early and training them makes them great companions, which is why they are called humans’ best friend. 

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