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National Pit Bull Awareness Day 2023: When & What It Is

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By Nicole Cosgrove

woman brushing her pitbull dog

National Pit Bull Awareness Day (NBAD) is observed on the last Saturday of October. The day honors people who own Pit Bulls or purebred American Pit Bull Terriers and educates potential owners about the endearing canines. It is a day to celebrate how wonderfully loving, empathetic, and gentle the dogs are and finally dispel the awful myths about them.

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What and When is National Pit Bull Day?

National Pit Bull Awareness Day is observed each year on the final Saturday in October. The Pit Bull rescue and education organization Bless The Bullys, based in Tennessee, and its founder, Jodi Preis, launched the yearly event in 2007.

It was created to debunk stereotypes about Pit Bulls and aims to spread the truth about the breed through activism, education, and positive media coverage. Additionally, National Pit Bull Day was created to foster better relationships and open lines of communication in the neighborhoods where these dogs and their owners live.

gotti pitbull standing on lawn
Image Credit: HIRAN NANCHIANG, Shutterstock

History of Pit Bull Awareness Day

National Pit Bull Awareness Day(NBAD) is a celebration and educational day intended to dispel myths and misconceptions regarding bully breed dogs, also known as “Pit Bulls.” The term “Pit Bull” has two distinct meanings. It is a shortened term for the American Pit Bull Terrier in most English-speaking nations other than the United States.

It is also an umbrella term for a diverse group of bully breeds descended from bulldogs and terriers, including the American Bully, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and mixed dogs that exhibit some characteristics of these breeds.

Pit Bull Origins

The Bulldog and Terrier hybrid that gave rise to the Pit Bull breed initially appeared in England in the 1800s. Pit Bulls were bred during this period to assist in controlling the rodent infestation that developed during the Industrial Revolution. Unfortunately, because fighting was a callous sort of amusement in the 18th century, they were also bred for their use in the awful sport.

Unjustified Reputation

Pit Bulls have a dubious reputation as pets because of their background in dog fighting, which has been made worse by unfavorable media coverage. Many people think Pit Bulls are vicious, mean, dangerous, aggressive, and almost impossible to train.

The goal of NBAD events is to dissuade people from making generalizations about an entire group of dogs and their owners based on negative media coverage by educating, advocating for, and promoting Pit Bulls. National Pit Bull Awareness Day is primarily for anyone who hasn’t taken the time to discover that Pit Bulls are loving, devoted companions.

a merle pitbull lying on the ground
Image Credit: PPstudio, Shutterstock

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Why is National Pit Bull Awareness Day Important?

Unfortunately, because of how Pit Bulls have been depicted, many people avoid being around, seeing, or adopting one. This causes Pit Bulls to frequently be the last breed people would consider adopting, which causes many shelters to euthanize the lovely canines.

Crowded Shelters

In the United States, there are around 18 million Pit Bull-type dogs and hybrids. Additionally, around 6% of the 3.1 million dogs that enter shelters annually are Pit Bulls.1 Due to congestion, a lack of adopters, and severe breed regulations, Pit Bull-type dogs are frequently the first to be put down in shelters. According to estimates, 1 million Pit Bulls are euthanized annually in the United States.  They are, nevertheless, some of the most overbred canines.

Breed Bans

National Pit Bull Awareness Day gives Pit Bull supporters a platform to voice their admiration for and knowledge of the misunderstood dogs, opens dialogue, and sparks discussions about their true disposition. It helps reduce media bias and promote awareness of Pit Bulls while increasing education and advocacy.

Additionally, it aims to do away with prompt governmental responses like breed bans. It is anticipated that by doing this, fewer individuals will surrender their Pit Bulls for adoption, and more people will adopt Pit Bulls. National Pit Bull Awareness Day might be a terrific way to meet other admirers and owners of this charming breed if you have moved to a new area or feel isolated.

pitbull dog standing outdoor
Image Credit: Sophia Tr, Shutterstock

How Can You Observe National Pit Bull Awareness Day?

Hopefully, you feel inspired to take a stand for the dogs by participating in National Pit Bull Awareness Day. Here are some ways you can be a part of the wave of change for Pit Bulls.

  • Show off your Pit Bull! If you own a Pit Bull or a Pit Bull Mix, show your pride by posting pictures on your social media platforms and using hashtags such as #Pit Bull, #nationalPit, and #Bullawareness day.
  • On this National Pit Bull Awareness Day, spend some time showing your Pit Bull extra affection. Or perhaps spend some learning more about Pit Bulls and how you can assist in your community.
  • Share your inspirational stories about Pit Bulls. Most people only learn about the dogs when something bad happens to them. You can change that by sharing your inspiring Pit Bull tales and knowledge.
  • If you don’t know a Pit Bull, getting to know one is the best way to shift your opinion. Ask to meet a Pit Bull at your neighborhood animal shelter, or ask a friend with a Pit Bull if you can bring a dog treat.
  • Adopt a Pit Bull-type dog that needs a home. Shelters are overflowing with Pit Bulls that are looking for devoted, forever homes.
  • Write to local and state authorities to urge them to repeal breed-specific laws (BSL). Use National Pit Bull Awareness Day to write to your mayor or city council members and request that they work to amend the law.

Tips for Responsible Pit Bull Ownership

If you have decided to adopt a Pit Bull for National Pit Bull Awareness Day or are a new parent to one of these breeds, here are some tips for being a responsible owner.

  • To better understand your dog’s behavior, learn about the breed’s history and original purpose. Your greatest help in having excellent success with your dog will be understanding the ins and outs of canine behavior. Inform other Pit Bull owners and set a good example for others by being responsible.
  • Commit to daily and consistent training. Ask a professional for help if you are unsure how to get started.
  • Socialize your Pit Bull early and often. Make sure your dog receives appropriate socialization with other dogs. Your dog should be introduced gently and carefully, and you should keep an eye on them to ensure that any play is appropriate and friendly.
  • Regular exercise will help your dog burn off some of that notorious Bulldog energy. Pit Bull puppies require at least 2 two hours of your time every day because they are skilled athletes.
  • Introduce your Pit Bull to as many people as possible, including children, elders, individuals with disabilities, and people from all different racial backgrounds.
  • Learn how to read your dog’s body language so you can predict and avoid potential confrontations or conflicts.
  • Encourage others to spay or neuter their dogs.
  • Recognize that any display of hostility towards people is extremely concerning and needs to be handled right away. Consult a licensed trainer or behaviorist for assistance.
pitbull puppy sitting on grass
Image Credit: McCann Michelle, Shutterstock

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Pit Bulls have been portrayed in modern culture as being vicious, aggressive, and a threat. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. National Pit Bull Awareness Day has done a lot to improve the unfairly damaged reputation of Pit Bulls, who are frequently the target of the public’s misconceptions.

To show people that Pit Bulls aren’t inherently bad, post pictures and encouraging stories about your companion on social media on National Pit Bull Awareness Day. It is also the perfect time to adopt a Pit Bull if you’ve been considering it.

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Featured Image Credit: javitrapero.com, Shutterstock

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