Responsible pit bull ownership...





Promoting responsible dog ownership from the heart


In a perfect world, Responsible Dog Ownership begins BEFORE you get a dog.  It means that you've researched the breed you've chosen, and learned about all the little quirks inherent to that breed.  It means you understand that some breeds are more prone than others to particular physical, medical or behavioral issues, and are committed to deal with those issues should they arise. It is an understanding that there is no perfect dog, and that dogs do not teach themselves house manners or not to jump on people or how to walk on a leash.  


Responsible pit bull owners, however, are held to a higher standard.  In addition to all the above, a responsible bully breed owner must understand that his actions can impact the ability of others to own pit bull-type dogs.  Because the media and the public thrive on sensationalized pit bull narratives, its imperative that pit bull owners become breed advocates and model responsible ownership practices in their communities.  Bully breed owners must be responsible owners in order to help overcome the public's negative views of the breed brought about by the irresponsible and careless owners, as well as the hype-driven media.


There is no such thing as being too responsible when it comes to your pit bull, but its also important to understand that the following rules apply to basic dog ownership, regardless of breed: NEVER allow your pit bull to roam freely, ALWAYS walk your pit bull on a leash, ALWAYS supervise your pit bull with other animals, NEVER keep your pit bull chained or tethered for extended periods of time or without your supervision (an unattended pit bull is a prime target for theft), and as with any dog, ALWAYS supervise children with dogs.



Taking a bite out of irresponsible ownership


No longer are responsible pit bull owners willing to compromise their ability to own a breed of dog that has fallen victim to a growing number of irresponsible owners.  Responsible pit bull owners must take a defensive stand against breed-specific legislation (BSL) and make their voices heard.  It is not the responsible owners that will be the downfall of this incredible breed... it is the very visible minority of irresponsible pit bull.  The negligent and careless owners must take responsibility for their actions and the actions of their dogs.  We, the responsible pit bull owners, are the majority, and we must be the driving force that encourages the prosecution and punishment of irresponsible dog owners.  


I have wondered many times what can one person do to make a difference.  The answer is always the same... EDUCATE.   Bless the Bullys stries to be a voice for responsible pit bull owners in Tennessee and across the country. 


The facts are crystal clear:  if we are ever going to stop dog attacks, we must address the root cause of such attacks - irresponsible owners.  Education is the key to making a difference in the safety of our communities and maintaining the right to own our dogs.





When we talk about the difference that one person can make in improving the image of the breed, we must ultimately think about how much damage one person can do in the destruction of the breed.  In many cases where pit bull bans and/or breed regulations have been passed, oftentimes, one person can be found at the root of the problem. 


There are many reasons why we must address irresponsible ownership - but there is none greater than taking an active role in changing the stereotype associated with "pit bulls", as well as their owners.  Need a more personal reason?  How about the possibility of losing the ability to own your breed of choice?  It's up to you - make a difference today or live with the consequences tomorrow.  


Top 10 Reasons To Leash Your Pit Bull


Virtually every community throughout Tennessee has a leash law. State law requires that dogs be kept on a leash at all times when on public property. While on private property, dogs must be under the control of their owners. The intent of this law is to protect the health and safety of the public and to protect your pet. The use of a leash will benefit you, your neighborhood, and your pet. There are many good reasons to keep your dog on a leash.


If that is not enough to convince you to leash your pit bull and not let him roam freely, please continue reading...

  1. It's a great good neighbor policy, preventing your dog from trespassing on neighbor's property during your walk. It also keeps your dog from jumping on people you encounter, ensuring that your dog has the chance of being properly introduced.

  2. Improved companionship. A well trained and leash-obedient dog is a pleasure to walk with.

  3. Walking your pet on a leash will prevent the spread of disease. It is less likely that your dog will be exposed to Parvo or Distemper. A leashed dog can be restrained from sniffing the droppings of other animals.

  4. A leash is commonly referred to as "Your Pet's Lifeline," protecting your pet from traffic and unrestrained animals. Accidents or animal bites are greatly reduced when responsible pet owners obey the leash law.

  5. An obedient and well-behaved dog is a positive reflection of its owner.

  6. Re-locating your dog into another household is 100% easier if your dog is obedient and leash trained.

  7. It's a great way to reward your dog. Your dog will immediately respond with a wagging tail the moment he or she sees you holding the leash.

  8. It's a great identification tool, symbolizing that the dog has an owner, and enabling someone who sees the leash and identification tag attached to the dog's collar to find you if you and your pet should become separated.

  9. It's a great relief to wildlife, keeping your dog from chasing squirrels, deer and other wildlife.

  10. It's the law! The law is in place to protect other members of the public and your pet from injury.

Be a good neighbor. Be a good friend. Use a leash.



What is Responsible Dog Ownership?


Regardless of whether you are a pit bull owner or you've chosen another breed as your companion, there are some universal steps in being a responsible dog owner.  Following the below steps will help dogs become model canine citizens and also result in safer communities, thus resulting in a reduction of the proposal of adverse legislation that targets bull breed owners and pet ownership in general.  


• Realizing that a pet is for LIFE, and dedicating yourself to the life of your dog

• Learning all you can about your breed of choice

• Investing in proper health care throughout your dog's life and making healthy choices for him or her

• Training your dog through gentle means to be a good canine citizen and helping him achieve that goal

• Teaching your children to respect animals and not abuse them through play
(this is also Responsible Parenting)


• Teaching other humans how to interact with your dog


• Obeying the laws set for your protection and the protection of others, even when your dog "doesn't need a leash".  By not obeying the laws, you are only ruining it for everyone else

• Coming to terms with the fact that not everybody likes dogs, and asking yourself, what can you do to ensure that your dog is likable, even to them?

• Doing your part to help the pet overpopulation problem and keeping your intact dog at home and away from other intact animals, or neutering him or her to prevent future health issues.   

Bless the Bullys urges pit bull owners to spay and neuter their dogs.  Pit bulls are going through a booming popularity trend which is resulting in an overflow in shelters.  There are more than enough wonderful pit bulls in shelters that have been "thrown away" by irresponsible owners.  Please do your part to ensure that thousands of pit bulls don't die in shelters - PLEASE spay or neuter your pit bull. 


Understanding that if you do choose to breed your dog, you (1) only breed dogs with excellent tempermants and (2) you ask questions of and be picky about the puppies new homes (i.e., DO NOT breed for a particular color only and DO NOT sell puppies in the WalMart parking lot to the first person who comes along with cash in hand).

• Holding yourself, as the dog owner, liable for whatever damage your dog does, and taking steps to rectify it