Undertake-a-Pet.com Weblog Why Are Pit Bulls Known as Nanny Canine?


As you’ll see, from the richest to the poorest and every little thing in between, in America the Pit Bull was the canine for youths.
African American girl with Pit Bull nanny dog
SeventyFour / iStock
Regardless of their (unfair) fame for being harmful, Pit Bulls have been as soon as thought of a few of the most beloved dogs in the USA and England. Through the first a part of the twentieth century, households looking for canine to maintain them protected most popular Pit Bulls as a result of they have been thought of extremely reliable, protecting, and dependable.

However whereas Pit Bulls have been known as “nanny canine,” they weren’t originally bred to care for kids or ever formally categorized as such. Like many working canine, Pit Bulls have been initially bred and skilled for hunting. So, the place did the nanny canine nickname come from?

What’s a Nanny Canine?

A nanny canine is a canine that’s nice with youngsters — light, forgiving, affectionate, and watchful. Though there isn’t a official “nanny canine” designation, sure canine breeds are sometimes called such due to their temperament round youngsters. When properly trained and socialized from a younger age, Pit Bulls make wonderful “nanny canine” or “babysitter canine.” Pit Bulls love their individuals, irrespective of their age, and have a zest for all times and play that youngsters particularly can recognize.

In fact, no canine (of any breed) ought to really be left fully alone to care for a kid. Youngsters underneath 5 are the top victim of dog bites, often not out of aggression however because of canine exhibiting their boundaries (canine mothers chunk their puppies to right their habits).

Pit Bulls’ Historical past

Pit Bulls weren’t initially bred for nanny canine. Many Pit Bull breeds have been bred for hunting in nineteenth century England, Scotland, and Eire or, within the case of American Pit Bull Terriers within the late nineteenth century, for fighting (which, although nonetheless abusive, wasn’t almost as brutal on the time as it’s now).

What does “Pit Bull” really imply?

It’s vital to make clear what the time period “Pit Bull” actually means. A “Pit Bull” isn’t really a definite breed however moderately an umbrella time period that refers to quite a few completely different breeds, together with the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bully Canine, and plenty of different blended breeds.

Pit Bulls as Nanny Canine

All through the nineteenth century, Pit Bulls have been more and more bred as pets — predominately for households within the working class. This was the time round which Pit Bulls started to be acknowledged for his or her “nanny canine” qualities which made them superb in properties with youngsters. Within the first a part of the twentieth century, Pit Bulls have been so common that they have been typically featured within the media, together with within the “Our Gang/Little Rascals” movies and the Buster Brown comedian strips. Famous figures — together with Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, and Fred Astaire — have been Pit Bull house owners and supporters throughout that point. Throughout WWI and WWII, Pit Bulls have been even utilized in commercials as patriotic symbols. And within the 70s, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier Membership described the breed’s love of youngsters referring to them as ‘nursemaid canine.’

Vilifying Canine Breeds

However Pit Bulls started to be vilified within the second half of the twentieth century in no small half because of their unlucky surge in dog fighting rings, which led irresponsible breeders to mistreat them to induce vicious qualities.

The media typically additionally has an extended historical past of vilifying sure canine breeds to foment concern and promote sensationalized tales. It’s a phenomenon hardly restricted to Pit Bulls; earlier than Pit Bulls, Rottweilers have been demonized, and earlier than Rottweilers, Dobermans have been focused. Earlier than Dobermans, German Shepherds have been villainized. Sure breeds — breeds that we now rightfully contemplate protected — have lengthy been deemed too vicious and unpredictable to be round individuals.

Are Pit Bulls protected round youngsters?

Like every other breed, Pit Bulls are protected round youngsters so long as an grownup is observing them. Pit Bulls could behave aggressively when burdened — once more, like every other canine — particularly in the event that they haven’t had the proper of coaching or care. Young children ought to by no means be left alone and unsupervised with any canine. Correct coaching and socialization are vital for any breed.

What made Pit Bulls appropriate for the function of babysitters?

Whereas there may be no evidence that youngsters have been ever left fully alone within the care of Pit Bulls,  what made them appropriate in properties with youngsters is due to their adaptable nature. Pit Bulls have an extremely protecting intuition, which makes them good for taking care of youngsters of their households. These breeds are additionally referred to as “velcro canine” as a result of they at all times wish to be round their individuals. They’re additionally empathetic and in a position to detect misery and supply consolation — an excellent trait in any babysitter — within the type of snuggling or licking their people.

What are the myths surrounding Pit Bulls as nanny canine?

Maybe the largest fantasy surrounding Pit Bulls is that they incessantly assault people. In actuality, Pit Bull attacks on humans are rare. In keeping with the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, out of the roughly 4.5 million canine bites that happen in the USA annually, Pit Bulls trigger solely a small proportion.

Although Pit Bulls will not be naturally human or animal aggressive, there are myths on the market that they’re. In reality, in 2012, 86.8% of American Pit Bull Terriers passed tests that measured their stability, aggressiveness, friendliness, and protectiveness. As a degree of comparability, 85.2% of Golden Retrievers and 80.1% of Collies — two breeds largely thought of extremely pleasant — handed these assessments.

Some individuals even imagine that Pit Bulls have dangerously locking jaws, however in actuality, Pit Bulls’ jaws don’t lock, and they don’t even have probably the most highly effective chunk amongst canine (German Shepherds have that honor). There are additionally myths that Pit Bulls don’t really feel ache, however, in fact, Pit Bulls really feel as a lot ache as every other breed.

It’s ironic that one of the tolerant, affected person, light sorts of canine is now portrayed as probably the most harmful. And but, an estimated one million Pit Bulls are euthanized annually; they account for 40 % of all canine euthanized by shelters yearly.

 Pit Bulls as “Babysitters” with Photos

Though these classic pictures of youngsters with their Pit Bull canine are cute, it’s vital to notice that there isn’t a proof that Pit Bulls have been ever used as babysitters. Nevertheless, there may be loads of proof that Pit Bulls adore their individuals and will be nice with children — information to nobody who’s ever met one. These pictures function a useful reminder that these pups have been (and nonetheless will be) trusted household pets.

This assortment of fantastic historic pictures of Pit Bulls as “nanny canine” with youngsters was created by Yonah Ward Grossman. Posted with permission.

Pit Bull Nanny Canine FAQ

Had been Pit Bulls bred to babysit?

Although good with youngsters, Pit Bulls have been bred to hunt, to not babysit youngsters. All canine must be supervised with youngsters, no matter breed.

The place can I be taught extra concerning the historical past of Pit Bulls as babysitters?

Pit Bulls have been referred to as “babysitters” as a result of they’re light round youngsters. To learn extra concerning the historical past of Pit Bulls, it’s best to learn Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon by Bronwen Dickey.

What made Pit Bulls appropriate for the function of babysitters?

Pit Bulls are extremely loyal and can go to any size to defend their people, which makes them appropriate round youngsters.

Are Pit Bulls baby pleasant?

Sure, Pit Bulls are pleasant with youngsters.  Like every other breed, Pit Bulls are protected round youngsters so long as an adult is observing them.

Why are Pit Bulls referred to as nanny canine?

Pit Bulls have been referred to as “nanny canine” as a result of they’re light round youngsters and will be very protecting of them.

What’s the fantasy of a Pit Bull as a nanny canine?

Pit Bulls have been by no means bred to be “nanny canine” and no baby ought to ever be left fully alone and unsupervised with a canine of any breed.

Why do individuals say Pit Bulls are imply?

The media has unfold this false impression and Pit Bulls have additionally been mistreated by people and compelled into unlawful canine combating, which has perpetuated this stereotype.

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