I have been watching the pit bull advocacy and rescue world for a few years now, and I have got to say that I am really impressed with what the BadRap.org organization is doing and teaching now.
I first wrote about my impressions almost exactly 4 years ago on this blog in October 2004 when I said there were 2 types of pit bull owners and 2 types of websites - the type that said you should never ever socialize your dog with other dogs, and then the type that said pit bulls were like every other dog and shouldn't be treated any differently. I have always said that pit bull type dogs were no different than any other dog - no different than lab, poodles, rottweillers - or any other breed - any breed of dog can be dog aggressive - it just depends on how they're socialized, what their life experience is, what their breeding has been - and really - what their mood is on that certain day.
Other "pit bull experts" though - beg to differ - and that has always driven me crazy.
Bad Rap is really teaching now that pit bull type dogs are just normal dogs - and we shouldn't stereo type the breed - and they're doing it in really smart ways. They have got really great people writing their website and blog - and are doing super stuff with dogs. They've got so much educational material - they've got a great page on socializing dogs at http://www.badrap.org/rescue/socializing_new.pdf , and they've got another page called "understanding dog tolerance levels" that talks about demystifying the common trait of dog aggression - which happens in ALL breeds of dogs - not just pit bull types.
One of the neatest things I noticed when I was on their blog tonight was this concept I've never heard of before - it's called a "compassion hold" - and it's bringing a senior dog into your home so that their last weeks on earth are on your lap being held by you. Can you imagine anything more loving? That concept just blew me away when I read it on the BadRap blog today - especially when it's for a dog who's life would've been nothing but torture and pain his whole life.
I really wish though that they'd take out the information about possibly needing a break stick in their pages like when they talk about multi-dog homes. I think its unnecessary and gives anti-pit bull people ammunition to target negative pit bull hysteria. I know for a fact that the crazy lady at dogsbite.org has used Pit Bull Rescue Centre as a resource on one of her web pages - and I for one would never want to have her use one of my web pages as a resource for any of her sick ideas.
And they've got two pages for dog parks and socializing - one good and one not so good - this one's good, and this one's not so good. I guess it's probably hard to keep everything completely up to date.