Trick Questions

I love trick questions. Adore them. They keep people on their toes.

Here's a good one: AM I A PIT BULL????

The answer = yes and no.

(Still there?)

Yes, I was labeled as a pit bull by the shelter because of the way I look. Let's face it, I'm not a Pug or a Shih Tzu. I have short fur, a big (ish) head, I'm larger-than-most-lap-dogs-but-not-quite-a-Great-Dane, and Michael Phelps envies my broad shoulders. Oh, and I found myself in an urban animal shelter. And I was seized from an animal cruelty case.

So I'm a pit bull, right? Well, I AM one of the many, many, many.....many..... shelter dogs who don't come with pedigrees and don't have AKC (or UKC or any KC....) paperwork. When the kennel worker greeted me upon arrival (along with ~30 other dogs who arrived that afternoon), I had to be categorized in the shelter's database. That database does not like ambiguity, so that person had to pick a primary breed. Just saying I'm a "brown male 60-pound dog" was NOT an option. I had to be labeled.

I was labeled as a pit bull. No surprise there. Haven't we all heard that 50%....or maybe 65%....or was it, it was 90% (??)....of shelter dogs are pit bulls?

But I REALLY a pit bull?

Not if you mean that I have AKC papers proving I'm a purebred American Staffordshire Terrier, or UKC papers saying I'm a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier. [Confused? You're not alone.....but that's another blog post!]

I'm just a d-o-g. A mutt. A mixed breed dog. A dog of unknown origins.


That means:

* I am NOT a "breed ambassador."
* I do NOT act in a way that's "typical for my breed" or "conforms to my breed standard."
* There are NO "breed traits" or "breed characteristics" that apply to me.

But am I proud to be called a pit bull? HECK YES! Dogs labeled as "pit bulls" or "pit bull mixes" constitute such a wide range of dogs, each with his/her individual personalities and strengths. Pit bull ain't a dirty word! In fact, I quite like it!


Does the fact that I was labeled as a "pit bull" tell you anything about me as an individual dog?


All that label tells you is how-the-shelter-worker-who-was-working-when-I-came-into-the-shelter-thought-I-looked-when-she-was-forced-to-select-a-breed-from-the-drop-down-menu.

And that's about it. Really. Don't believe me? Read up:

So, now that we know my physical appearance tells you nothing about me as an individual dog........

Should shelters or rescues make special adoption policies for me?


Should I be considered inherently "vicious" or "dangerous" in certain parts of the country?


Should my family (and I) be denied rental houses?


Should I automatically be rejected from doggie day care?


Should only "experienced owners" be allowed to adopt me?


Should households with small dogs or cats automatically be denied the opportunity to adopt me?


Should everything I do be interpreted a "pit bull behavior"?


You get the picture.

I am Sarge. I am a pit bull and I am a dog. And it's very nice to meet you! Now, I must go snuggle with my girlfriend.