You’ve probably heard “dogs are man’s best friend” a million times before and with good reason. As most people with a dog will tell you, there is real and mutual love between them and their pets. Still, despite our fondness for them, dogs can be dangerous animals.
That’s why when a dog is on the loose with no owner around, it can cause quite the commotion, especially if it’s one of the “scarier” breeds. When one dog on the loose in a Texas community was confronted, it would show it’s true nature…
No matter how you feel about dogs, it’s undeniable that there are major differences between the breeds, especially when it comes to safety. A 150 lb Mastiff is just flat out more dangerous than a 10 lb Shih Tzu.
‘Good’ and ‘Bad’ Breeds
Aside from the differences in size that come with different breeds, some kinds of dogs have reputations about their behavior. While breeds like Labradors and Beagles are known for being friendly, some breeds have a reputation for aggressive behavior…
Probably the most notorious of those “dangerous” breeds is the pitbull. People will say that they’re mean and vicious, naturally aggressive towards people and other animals, they have a tendency to suddenly “snap,” and have an abnormally strong bite and once they bite down, they can “lock their jaw” in place.
The problem with these “attributes” of the pitbull is they just aren’t based on facts. Pitbulls’ bite strength is the same as other breeds of a similar size and they have no special “locking” mechanism. According to the American Temperament Test Society, pitbulls have a slightly better than average temperament compared to other breeds…
In fact, pitbulls used to have the opposite sort of reputation. At one point, they were considered friendly, sweet, family dogs like Petey from the Little Rascals if you’re old enough to remember that show. Their vicious reputation only really started in the 70s when folks living in cities started using pittys as guard dogs because of their reputation for strength and loyalty.
Spike of Fear
Regardless, pitbulls’ bad rep persists and when someone sees one out on its own, it’s almost certain to cause a spike of fear. So when someone spotted a hulking pitbull walking around Texarkana all by himself on a Sunday in April, they didn’t hesitate to call 911…
Responding to the Scene
The dispatcher taking the call appropriately informed both police and animal control. Officer Travis Frost was the policemen sent out to check out the scene. As he slowly drove through the area where the dog was spotted, it didn’t take long for him to find him.
Officer Frost saw the pitty laying on someone’s front porch and, as reported, the dog was massive. Still, it’s a police officer’s duty to risk putting themselves in harms way to protect the rest of us, so Officer Frost got out of his car…
But he wasn’t going to get out without taking precautions. In order to protect himself in case the dog tried to attack, Officer Frost left the door to his patrol car open so he could jump back inside to safety if necessary.
Moment of Truth
With one hand on the door, Officer Frost whistled to the dog to see how he would react. The pitbull quickly perked up his ears and swung his massive head in the cop’s direction, then came the moment of truth as he got to his feet…
What happened next may come as a surprise to many. The big fella trotted over to Officer Frost with his tongue hanging out and his tail wagging. Far from vicious, the dog was just as pleasant and friendly as can be.
Like Old Pals
After Officer Frost let the pooch sniff his hand, he had no quarrel at all with getting petted by his new uniformed friend. Then “after Travis pet the dog for a minute, he went right up to the patrol unit, jumped in the front seat, and just made himself at home,” the Texarkana Police Department would later say in a Facebook post…
While 911 calls about stray dogs are not uncommon, this one was special. “The unique thing about this one was the dog was so darn friendly,” said one police spokesman. With the big pup sitting shotgun, there was nothing left for Officer Frost to do but hang out with him until animal control arrived. He simply sat there, petting the big boy — who was cool as a cucumber — and snapping selfies.
When an animal control officer arrived, he similarly had no troubles with the gentle giant. It turned out the dog, whose name was Gold, had an implanted chip but the owner’s contact information had not been updated in the system. That meant despite his congenial nature, Gold would have to spend a night in “the slammer.”…
Thankfully, the Animal Care & Adoption Center was able to track down Gold’s owners and he was quickly reunited with them the next day. In the meantime, the pictures and story Officer Frost had posted to Facebook had begun to go viral.
As of this writing, the post had been liked nearly 100,000 times and shared nearly 50,000, and has gotten nearly 10,000 comments. While most people were simply glad to hear a nice story that contradicted the negative stereotypes about pitbulls, some people took issue with the story…
Specifically, a number of commenters pointed out that Gold “didn’t look like a pitbull.’ In truth, pitbull isn’t actually a dog breed but actually an umbrella term for several different breeds, including the American Bully, which is what Gold was.
The confusion about what a pitbull actually is is one of the problems with the negative stereotypes that surround them. Quite often, any old dog with a blocky head gets labelled as a pitbull, meaning those that just have the “pitbull look” share in the undeserved stigma for no reason at all…
The dogs getting a bad rep for no reason has real world consequences for them as well as for their owners. Not only are pitbulls flat out illegal in some places, dogs with pitbull like appearances make up the overwhelming majority of the 1.2 million dogs euthanized in shelters in the US each year.
Making a Difference
And even in places where pitbulls are legal, finding rental housing without a breed restriction can be a near-impossible task. Thankfully, every time a story like this one comes out that demonstrates the true nature of these sweet dogs, it chips away at the negative stereotypes.