So yes, my new book has a pit bull in it. The research has come pretty naturally - I'm a pro with petfinder - but I keep finding dogs I want. Like this one.
She knows how to sit, shake, high five, and bark "I Love You!" It's not her fault she's a stray - her owner is in jail and she's got no home. I mean, I'm only human...
A friend of mine who works in a shelter kept posting about pit bulls on Facebook and I was like, yeah, yeah... aren't they kind of scary? Why are you so obsessed with pit bulls.
Then she posted a link to the American Temperament Testing Society's page.
They run thousands of dogs through a challenging temperament test every year. If a dog fails the test, it's because they showed unprovoked aggression, panic without recovery, or strong avoidance. It's a much more difficult test to pass than the Canine Good Citizenship test that so many dogs take to prove that they're reliable. Pit bulls passed at about 86% - so for every hundred dog about 14 didn't pass, and they tested around 700. Golden Retrievers passed at a rate of 84%.
And then *I* became obsessed with pit bulls. Why have they been so maligned? Why do people fear them? Why do we read about so many pit bull attacks. Why not Golden Retriever attacks? Or Schnauzer's that only passed at 66%.
It's been a fun journey. I'm almost done with this book. But it's really only used such a small part of all that I've learned. Fortunately, I have a blog. :)