Weekly Medium Entry 6

Sophia Schultz
Summer Capstone 2021 — Section 2
3 min readJun 18, 2021


My strongest four secondary sources so far have come in the form of online articles, but I have found a couple of documentaries on pit bulls. I just haven’t had the chance to watch them in full yet. The documentaries I’ve found so far are Off the Chain (2005), Pit Bull (2018), The Champions (2016) and Beyond the Myth: A Film about Pit Bulls and Breed Discrimination (2010). Three of the four seem to primarily give a look at the history of the pit bull and how they eventually became the public enemy no. 1 of dog breeds. The Champions is the odd one out in that it takes a look at a more specific case, that being the lives of pit bulls freed from NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s dog fighting ring. Beyond the Myth actually takes a look at the conflict existing among advocates and opponents of breed-discriminatory laws in three cities including Cincinnati! Again, I have not watched these films yet, but I’m sure at least one will be a great well of information and perspective.

Crookes, Del. “A Short History of the ‘Dangerous Dog’ and Why Certain Breeds Are Banned.” BBC News, BBC, 13 Apr. 2016, www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-36033778.

My first source is an article published by the BBC and written by Del Crookes, which gives a short history of the concept of “dangerous dogs” throughout history and why some specific breeds are vilified. It even goes as far back as the Roman Empire and demonstrates how there have been different periods of “dangerous reputation” for all types of dogs. For the U.S in the 19th century it was bloodhounds for their association with slave-catchers, then after WWII it was the Doberman’s turn as they became associated with Nazis thanks to photographs of them being handled by Nazi officers in concentration camps. And the list just goes on and on.

Jenna Stregowski, Jenna. “Why Are Certain Dog Breeds Considered Dangerous?” The Spruce Pets, 26 June 2019, www.thesprucepets.com/why-certain-dog-breeds-dangerous-1117272.

My second source is an article is written by Jenna Stregowski, RVT and published by the Spruce Pets. The Spruce Pets is an organization that offers practical dog car tips and training advice with a review board of trainers and registered vet technicians and veterinary doctors. Like the first article it primarily details why certain dog breeds are considered dangerous, with a primary focus on pit bulls. The organizations’ entire website has a lot of other articles and information pertaining all kinds of species and dog breeds so I may search around it for some more articles pertaining to pit bulls/the American Pit Terrier.

Worrall, Simon. “The Most Feared Dogs May Also Be the Most Misunderstood.” Adventure, National Geographic, 4 May 2021, www.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/article/pit-bull-ban-aggressive-dog-breed-bronwen-dickey.

The third article I found is actually a national geographic interview with Bronwen Dickey, a journalist and author of Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon. Dickey has a much different take than most sides of the pit bull debate, in that she criticizes both the demonizing and the anglicizing of the pit bull in contemporary culture. The article gives a stripped down dive into the views espoused in her book, so I would really like to find her book and read it myself. I think that once I obtain it, it will be a valuable and detailed resource.

“Dog Bite Risk and Prevention: The Role of Breed.” American Veterinary Medical Association, 15 May 2014, www.avma.org/resources-tools/literature-reviews/dog-bite-risk-and-prevention-role-breed.

“Why Breed-Specific Legislation Is Not the Answer.” American Veterinary Medical Association, www.avma.org/resources/pet-owners/why-breed-specific-legislation-not-answer.

The fourth source I would say is actually a combination of two web-pages from the American Veterinary Medical Association’s website. One page is titled Dog Bite Risk and Prevention: The Role of the Breed and it is a review of various studies on role of “breed” in incidents of dog bites and attacks. The second page is under their public resources tab and is all about why breed-specific legislation is not the answer, with a demonstration of statistics on how certain policies do or don’t aid in dog bite prevention.

As for primary resources, I have yet to gather any but I think I’m in a fine place currently since I still need to tighten up my problem statement before I draft questions and find people to interview. I’m hoping to find current or past pit bull owners that I can talk to, perhaps a member of ASPCA, or a knowledgeable member of a shelter, animal rescue, or other animal welfare organization.