For whatever reason, pit bulls seem to have gotten a bad rap over the past couple of decades, with stereotypes abounding that they can are unpredictable and even dangerous dogs. Unfortunately, some communities have taken things so far as to pass BSL, or Breed Specific Legislation, that bans the ownership of pit bulls entirely, regardless of their individual temperament.
Thankfully there are still many people in the rescue community who realize that pit bulls are actually incredibly sweet, intelligent dogs, who can be trained to do almost anything for their human owners. This of course, begs the possibility that it’s not the breed but irresponsible dog owners who may be responsible for the aggression that some pits have been trained to show.
Recently however, pit bull stereotyping has begun to be dispelled by a surprising new community- the police force. Recently a collaboration has been formed through Animal Farm Foundation, Austin Pets alive! and Universal K9 which is aimed at rescuing pit bulls from city shelters and training them to become Police K9s.
Not only are many recent pittie graduations already proving that pit bulls can be just as hardworking and dependable as the pure bred dogs usually used on the force, they come with the added advantage of being much cheaper to acquire.
“Police Departments are finally getting it,” explained Protect Pit Bulls from BSL online. “Instead of spending $10,000 to $15,000 for a trained Belgian or GSD, they are now taking pit bulls from shelters and training them, and they are proving themselves to be amazing police and military K9′s.”
Not only are most of the most of the pit bulls being trained to enter the force taking names and changing thoughts about their breed, they are also being rescued from shelters where they might otherwise have been put down.
After being taken in, they are trained in everything from narcotics, explosives, cadaver, and arson detection to the art of criminal apprehension when their human owners need help taking down the bad guys.
“Any dog that has the drive, confidence, and desire to work can do it! Breed does not dictate a dog’s ability to work,” explained Universal K9 founder Brad Croft.
As more pit bulls are proving themselves to be than competent partners, forces all over the country are starting to introduce them into their ranks. Police departments such as the Washougal Police Department, the Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia Police Department, and the Poughkeepsie Police Department in New York all currently enjoy having proud pit bull officers serving on their forces.
“AFF stresses treating each dog as an individual — we can’t base their behavior on their appearance or their past. The dogs don’t either. Let them be dogs,” explains K9 police dog trainer Bernice Clifford. In fact, various K9 trainers have revealed that their biggest difficulty in the course of training the pit bull officers to be has been convincing them that it’s okay to be aggressive towards people under the right circumstances.
Be sure to spread the happy news of these pit bull heroes to all your pittie loving friends!
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