October is National Pit bull Awareness Month

National

MENANDS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Five-year-old Marty is up for adoption at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society. He likes to sit for treats, lay by your feet, and lick your hands. He is considered a “pit bull.”

5-year-old Marty is classified as a “Terrier, Pit Bull/Boxer.” 

“A pit bull is what we like to say, ‘pit bull-type dog,'” explained Nancy Haynes, Director of Behavior and Enrichment at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, “because a pit bull is a number of breeds together, and we don’t necessarily know what [Marty] is. We’re saying he’s a pit bull mix, but he could be any type of breed.”

Haynes says Marty’s classification doesn’t define him. Pit bulls have a bad reputation, with some people making the assumption that all of them are aggressive or violent. However, Haynes says that’s not true. 

“They were originally bred to be nanny dogs, and to protect the family, and to hang out with the children. They’re very, very social dogs,” Haynes said. “They always want to have human companionship.”

Some places have taken steps to restrict people from owning pit-bull like dogs, but Haynes says just because it looks like one, there’s no way to tell exactly what kind of dog it is.

“Lots of places that have, in the past, had breed-specific legislation, just go by their looks. They might be a stocky build, they might have a square bulky head,” Haynes described.

According to Haynes, they require training just like any other breed does. Each dog has its own personality, and she encourages families to look for a dog whose own traits fit in your household. Pit bull types are often energetic and will require frequent walks and playtime.

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