Friday Review: I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet by Ken Foster

 I'm a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America's Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) PetI’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful (and Misunderstood) Pet by Ken Foster
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will admit to being prejudiced toward liking this book from the start. I love pit bulls. I own a pit mix. Every pittie I’ve known has been a sweet, lovable clown. I expected this book to be a fun read.

I was not disappointed. Foster obviously loves the pit breeds as much as many other people do. He’s owned several and has founded a foundation to help support the rescue and placement of pit breeds. The book is a testament to the knowledge that pit bulls are just dogs, no more, no less.

Foster begins by asking “What is a pit bull?” As it turns out, there is no easy answer to that question. The breed seems to have shown up first in the UK, a mix of bulldogs and various terriers, aimed at producing a hunting dog with the bulldog’s tenacity and the terrier’s energy. They were used for bull baiting and boar hunting. The current breeds considered pit types include bull mastiffs and boxers, as well as the American pit bull, the Staffordshire terrier, and the bull terrier. To most people, a medium-sized dog with a blocky head and broad chest is a “pit bull”, whether or not it has any amount of those recognized breeds in its genetics.

He also goes on to list what a pit bull is not, shooting down some popular myths about the breed. For example, pit bulls do not have “locking jaws” nor do their jaws exert more pressure than any other breed of dog. They were a staple in American households at the turn of the century, as many family photos prove. They are the companions of children, famous stars, and ordinary people.

The book is full of anecdotes and stories of pit bulls and their owners, some famous, some not. All are loved and considered a perfect pet. There are also many pictures of pits and their owners, living and loving life.

Yes, the book is slanted in favor of pits as pets and companion dogs, but it also gives a good picture of these dogs and I think it will make anyone reconsider their opinion of this mix of breeds and types that is goofy, energetic, wiggly, loyal, loving, and most of all, just a dog.

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