These are the four types of Staffordshire Pit Bull ownership.
1. Dogmen. These are people who raise them to fight. They breed them to fight, use treadmills, jennies, and other equipment to insure good muscle tone, feed them special diets, and train them to fight. Their methods may be cruel, both to the dog and the “bait” animals they use as the dog’s prey, but they by and large, keep the animal under lock and key, do not keep them in domestic situations, and the best of them train their dogs to obey their owner. Besides, you don't let $35 thousand dollars worth of Grand Champion breeding stock run loose in the neighborhood.. So, despite the legal and moral problems these owners create, their dogs generally do not generate problems on their own.
Unfortunately, this is, without saying, really rough on dogs. Not only does the dog have to endure the danger of other fighting dogs, but they’re also often drugged, forced into breeding, and simply killed outright when their usefulness is over. They can’t be socialized, often see every other adult dog as potential prey, and live out short but violent lives. That said, again, #1’s methods are cruel, at least they’re fed, given such veterinary care as is available, and kept in a yard with a dog house. “Cajun rules” mean that the dog should at least be tractable enough to be washed in public, handled in the ring, and pulled apart while fighting, and it’s not to be disputed that successful dogmen get where they are by knowing at least something about dogs. Considering that being a shepherd involves blood, rape, and an 85% chance of death in your stock before old age, this is just about average.
2. “Bad-boy dog" fans.
This covers everything from Aryan Pride gangsters seeking a weapon with plausible deniability to urban fashionistas who want a dog to go with their outfits to scared single mothers who figure that a dog would be “good protection”. They come in various ethnicities, but are overwhelmingly urban, very often poor, and very often lack time, resources, and knowledge as to how to deal with a dog in their lives. They want a pit because of their association with toughness and danger, and see whatever aggressive behavior the dog exhibits as being desirable territoriality. Often these people will simply chain the dog in a yard, without a dog house and/or adequate water and food, and “discipline” the dog with choke chains, yelling and even beatings when the barking gets annoying. They also tend to be vague as who they want their pet to “protect” them from: intruders, of course, but they’d also like to have friends over, that dicey woman from upstairs, but they don’t want to deal with the authorities should the dog bite, their ex-spouse, but not during visiting day with their kids. They’d like to be free from drug addicts, except they might want to have a blunt or even a rock themselves, now and then. (Of course, you wouldn't want to do this in a house where there are children. Or at least anyone I would like to know. )
The result can be easily seen on any of the “Animal Cops” shows. The dog is not only aggressive, but frightened, hurt, hungry and confused. These dogs are the most likely to end up as a newspaper story, seized by authorities, and/or "humanely euthanized". It's true that in many ways, this isn't anyone's fault, it's just that you can't be working 2 jobs, living in an apartment on food stamps, and take care of a high-maintenance pet unless you really know what you're doing.
3. Animal “fluffs”.
Their attitude can be summed up in two words: Pity Bulls. More likely to be white, and more affluent than #2’s, but are very often just as urban. They’re convinced that they’re ideal Pitty owners, since all their dog needs to be a perfect pet is to love him as a cute little guy in a fur suit. That, vegan dog chow and whatever alternative medicine and/or lefty politics and Green philosophy they espouse for themselves. Forget about such things as collars, leashes, and muzzles, vaccines, neutering, going walks, or teaching obedience, since those are probably modern Western speciesist attitudes (“it’s so, I dunno, like he was my slave, and I wouldn’t like to project racist ideas on him”). The dog probably knows best, anyway, and if it means you have a few problems adjusting, that’s OK. He just needs a little more love and space (“I dunno, he just looks at me like that, and I just have to give him what I’m eating.”) Older female fluffs like dressing them up with flower crowns and tutus, calling them "furbabies", and pointing out that their mouths are shaped in a permanent smile, much like a dolphin or some lizards.
Meanwhile, the dog is a nervous wreck. He doesn’t see any reason to respect his pack buddies, and is trying hard to run the household, to no avail. Yes, you might be a pacifistic egalitarian vegan, but far from being cute and cuddly, you’ve taken in a small Stalinist in your home, and you are his Commissar. Without giving him strict, easily understood orders, the neighbor’s pedigreed Abyssinian or overly affectionate toddler might end up on the prey list, your dinner table might get mistaken for a feeding trough or your bed the latrine. In short, it’s not your kid, a stuffed animal, or a lovebot, you have a dog.
4. Responsible owners.
Yes, they do exist. While #2’s and #3’s have probably had to endure a six-session obedience course at the local pet supply store, #4’s are the ones that are probably teaching it. These people generally have large yards, are older, and generally affluent, who think nothing of spending hours every day playing and caring for their dog, feeding them with kibble from reputable manufacturers (i.e. not designed according to someone’s idea of puppy steroids or a “vision” of the Peaceful Kingdom), getting them their shots, keeping them groomed, and in general, giving them appropriate love and care. They give them proper training and discipline with humane collars, leashes, and muzzles, and always eat first. These dogs are calm, happy, and will gladly pose for the local TV station’s “Meet my Pet” segment peacefully playing with the grandkiddies next to the prize-winning blue lace hydrangeas. Watching these animals, you could easily believe everything a Fluff might say about them: "naturally friendly", "very playful, and trusting of humans", "ideal companions of children"....though the fighting dog in the baby's pram appears to be, like the idea of them as "Nanny's dogs", an urban legend.
If you could give a pit bull the life they love, it would be out in the country, perhaps sleeping in a barn, patrolling a farm or other open area in a pack with a strong leader who would tell them where, when, how and what to hunt, fight, eat, play, sleep and mark territory, in short, how to be a dog.HIs bitch chose him, the tie was long, and satisfying, and he looks forward to guiding young pups the way he was raised. With large country estates hard to find these days, this is the closest thing.
Of the four, #1 and #4 are likely not to have problems with the dogs, and #4 with the law. Number 3 has some chance that they’ll succeed, if only because they can afford to throw money at the problem, and #2’s are a recipe for disaster. The only problem is the comparative lack of #4’s and the number of #3’s, #2’s and even #1’s that will swear up and down that they’re doing it right. Number 2’s get conflated with #1’s (and cry “prejudice” and “animal racism” when it happens) , #3’s cry incessantly that “it’s not the dog, it’s the owner” despite the fact that basic attitudes are just as much a question of hardware as programming. Unfortunatly, #2’s and #3’s comprise the majority of Pit owners nowadays, because they’’re incredibly hot in fashion right now, whether as a sign of toughness or of compassion. Number Ones just keep on cranking out puppies, that sometimes end up in shelters and pet stores. And #4's just confuse everything!
Such is my analysis. Take it for what it is.