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Old 06-12-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
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Default Truth or fiction?

This isn't meant to be a discussion about pit bulls in general. That subject has been done to death a hundred times over!

I came across this article while researching Monkeys thread on the lab that was shot for biting a child and after reading it, I was left with what I feel is a legitimate specific question. The site is anti pit bull but IMO the article truly does provide legitimate food for thought.

After reading the entire article, one question remains; is there really enough factual information here to refute the claims that the pit bull was actually known as the "nanny dog" in the late 19th and early 20th centuries?

"The pit bull apologia would have you believe that their fighting bred dogs are just like any other dog in many ways, but so superior in their unparalleled love and devotion for children they were commonly known as "The Nanny Dog" throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries. If pit bulls are held in low esteem today, it is only due to ignorance and the gullible acceptance of biased news reporting because, once upon a time, pit bulls were the most beloved dog in England and the United States.


A google search brings up 77,100 results for the term "nanny dog." While some sites bestow the Nanny Dog mantle on the American Pit Bull Terrier or the American Staffordshire Terrier and some lead you to productions of Peter Pan, most of the results lead you to 21st century blogs and news articles about the Staffordshire Bull Terrier."

Link to the entire article. The TRUTH About Pit Bulls: The Nanny Dog Myth Revealed

BTW My google search brought up over 2 1/2 million results.

PS It's a tough article to read but please remember the original question is about the history of the term Nanny Dog; not about pit bulls in general. Thanks!
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Old 06-13-2012, 01:36 AM   #2
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It is hard to find old texts... so we can only take his word for it or go and read the articles ourselves in papers etc or talk to older people. Now I have friends in the UK from the older generation, and they had a staff bullterrier which is the Nanny dog. Pitbull is direct decedent from there hence they have adopted the term. However they are not the original nanny dog..

However, I feel they deserve it, the only reason it was 53 pitbulls that killed kids and not 53 (insert big powerful breed here) is cause pitbulls is the fav breed of choice for hoodlums, that and now poor breeding is not making it better.

But I do feel that pitties in general is much better for children then a lot of other breeds, they are have a much more people loving and patient manners with kids and humans naturally than a lot of other breeds. So I feel they still deserve to have the term Nanny dog even though they cheat and is borrowing the name a little bit.. They are cousins after all...

Oh and I think people will enjoy these pictures
FOR OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS AMERICANS KNEW PIT BULLS FOR WHAT THEY DID BEST. BABYSITTING. Part I. | Yonah Ward Grossman
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Monkey View Post
It is hard to find old texts... so we can only take his word for it or go and read the articles ourselves in papers etc or talk to older people. Now I have friends in the UK from the older generation, and they had a staff bullterrier which is the Nanny dog. Pitbull is direct decedent from there hence they have adopted the term. However they are not the original nanny dog..

However, I feel they deserve it, the only reason it was 53 pitbulls that killed kids and not 53 (insert big powerful breed here) is cause pitbulls is the fav breed of choice for hoodlums, that and now poor breeding is not making it better.

But I do feel that pitties in general is much better for children then a lot of other breeds, they are have a much more people loving and patient manners with kids and humans naturally than a lot of other breeds. So I feel they still deserve to have the term Nanny dog even though they cheat and is borrowing the name a little bit.. They are cousins after all...

Oh and I think people will enjoy these pictures
FOR OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS AMERICANS KNEW PIT BULLS FOR WHAT THEY DID BEST. BABYSITTING. Part I. | Yonah Ward Grossman
I did enjoy the pictures, thanks for posting them. But what I got from the article is that the reference to pits as nanny dogs, didn't actually occur until the 1970's when advocates for the breed began referring to it as such. In other words it has been repeated so many times since then that it has now become believed as gospel that the reference dates back to as early as the late 19th century. I'm curious and I'd really like to know if that is a myth or not. So did your older friends refer to pits as nanny dogs when they were much younger or did they only start that after the 70's when the pit advocates started making those claims? As for myself I never ever heard those references until AFTER the 70's and I now hear them constantly whenever the subject of pits comes up..
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Old 06-13-2012, 02:26 AM   #4
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They were referring to staffs..To me it has always been the English Staffordshire bullterrier that IS the nanny dog. I am raised in europe as you know and that is the breed there. Exactly when it started in the US I am not sure of on the other hand IF there has been references previously we would have to go through all local papers etc books from the past 200 years or so. and I doubt the poster of the blog did. All he can do and likely do is an online search, due to the fact that the people who moved brought english staff's with them, oddses are they have still been nanny dogs to them. The pits and Am staffs are straight down breeds from the English staff, they say that the reason am staff is bigger than english staff is cause they took the bigger english staffs to make sure they'd survive the trip. Thats the rumor mill but I can see that being true.
American Staffordshire Terrier Information and Pictures

But as breed trait high patience with kids and humans IS supposed to be there. I can vouch for there lack of aggression when redirect which is why i am a tad surprised there has been so many human attacks as there has.

But due to the close blood line or what there was and that all three breeds are expected through breeding to maintain their high friendliness with children and people I would assume that the term Nanny dog has still been valid even though maybe not as much used and again, we would have to go through a lot of old texts to see if that is accurate or not. But I would assume it is accurate due to close relations.
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey View Post
It is hard to find old texts... so we can only take his word for it or go and read the articles ourselves in papers etc or talk to older people. Now I have friends in the UK from the older generation, and they had a staff bullterrier which is the Nanny dog. Pitbull is direct decedent from there hence they have adopted the term. However they are not the original nanny dog..

However, I feel they deserve it, the only reason it was 53 pitbulls that killed kids and not 53 (insert big powerful breed here) is cause pitbulls is the fav breed of choice for hoodlums, that and now poor breeding is not making it better.

But I do feel that pitties in general is much better for children then a lot of other breeds, they are have a much more people loving and patient manners with kids and humans naturally than a lot of other breeds. So I feel they still deserve to have the term Nanny dog even though they cheat and is borrowing the name a little bit.. They are cousins after all...

Oh and I think people will enjoy these pictures
FOR OVER ONE HUNDRED YEARS AMERICANS KNEW PIT BULLS FOR WHAT THEY DID BEST. BABYSITTING. Part I. | Yonah Ward Grossman

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Old 06-13-2012, 07:28 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applesmom View Post
I did enjoy the pictures, thanks for posting them. But what I got from the article is that the reference to pits as nanny dogs, didn't actually occur until the 1970's when advocates for the breed began referring to it as such. In other words it has been repeated so many times since then that it has now become believed as gospel that the reference dates back to as early as the late 19th century. I'm curious and I'd really like to know if that is a myth or not. So did your older friends refer to pits as nanny dogs when they were much younger or did they only start that after the 70's when the pit advocates started making those claims? As for myself I never ever heard those references until AFTER the 70's and I now hear them constantly whenever the subject of pits comes up..
the site you are quoting as a source spends all of it's time trying to destroy the reputation of pit bulls...they are not after the truth

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Old 06-13-2012, 07:29 AM   #7
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:14 AM   #8
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I personaly think the English SBT is a great dog wants to make friends with everyone they meet it's bred in to them And very loving this I know from personal experience But i still would not leave a child ever alone for even a few seconds with Nipper even though I do trust her.
After all it is a dog at the end of the day! And why they are very tolerant that's no reason to put them to the test that would be stupid and unfair to both the dog and the child.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:55 AM   #9
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I think it is how they are raised and socialized. ANY dog will bite to defend itself.
Matter of fact Lucy bit at me when I stepped on her.
She was laying in the middle of the doorway I was trying to get out.
And she is not a mean dog!
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:13 AM   #10
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the site you are quoting as a source spends all of it's time trying to destroy the reputation of pit bulls...they are not after the truth
I am completely aware and clearly stated in my original post that the site I listed is anti pit bull. However I do feel that the author provided a considerable amount of information to lead me to question the valadity of the claims that pits were referred to as the nanny dog so many years ago.

Perhaps I'm more inclined to believe him since, when I was a kid in the early 20th century, most dogs had never seen a leash much less been walked on one. It seemed like every family had a dog and the dogs were out the doors with the kids to play as soon as breakfast was over. Wherever you saw kids you saw dogs. Common sense says even in those much more relaxed days of child rearing, parents surely wouldn't have risked turning their kids and dogs loose to play together knowing full well that some of those dogs were bred for their extreme fighting abilities.

BTW the dogs I was familiar with were mostly mixed breeds and the occasional cocker spaniel, irish setter, collie, beagle etc. Never saw a pit bull running loose with the kids. but did see a few chained up in back yards. Even back then we were warned to stay away from any dog that was chained up.
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