So sorry to hear about this! But, it sounds as if the decision to get the dog wasn’t a family decision. Getting a dog needs to be a decision agreed upon by all. If your wife feels this way about the dog now, she may begin to resent the dog later on. Resentment is not the kind of energy that you want in the house. The dog will sense this. They read us better than we can ever read them. But, that is a family issue and not about the breed of dog. I may be really off kilter here, but your post just sounds like that is what happened.
Trying to “convince” people that pits are great dogs can get to be a challenge at times. The media bias has totally impacted their thoughts in their minds, and there isn’t much out there that can dissuade them from their ideas about the breed. There are the die hard supporters and the die hard haters. You cannot change the minds of either. You cannot boast about how wonderful your dog is. You need to be able to spit out cold hard facts about the breed, its history, and its future. That is the only way to begin to change minds.
If your wife is willing, she needs to spend a lot of time with the dog. The family should take the dog to puppy classes (should do it anyway) to work on socializing and to also get positive feedback about pits from people who work with them all the time. Puppies are always adorable, and you never hear about puppies in the news. So, you need to start now with your dog and continue on the rest of that dog’s life with training, socialization, and so much else.
Get involved in a pit bull club or organization and show her how the breed really is. There is nothing better then getting together with many others who share the same passion about a breed of dog, and not to mention being surrounded by these wonderful dogs!
Research, research, research. That is what my life consists of, so I thrive on it. But, your wife will learn a lot about the breed if she just sits down and looks at some of the positive pit websites out there. Pit Bull Rescue Central, BAD RAP, and Hello Bully are to name a few of the top ones out there. There is so much to learn and so much to love. Even if you have had pit bulls before, you can still learn even more. BAD RAP took in many of the Vick dogs, and there are bios and follow-ups on them. That will help your wife understand that even the worst treated fighting dogs can be just like any other dog. There will be anit-pit bull websites too, but the positive outweighs the negative.
It isn’t the breed of dog…it is the animal at the other end of the leash. Us. As humans, we are the ones that are screwing up the dogs, and that goes for ANY breed of dog. Not to stereotype, but many with toy dogs and small dogs tend to baby their dogs and think everything that they do is cute, when in reality is is FAR from cute. If those of us with bigger dogs let them get away with what little dogs get away with, our dogs would be confiscated and destroyed at the blink of an eye. It is all about us.
Yes, there are some dogs out there of any breed that have neurological issues, pain, and other issues that could be causing the aggression. But 99.999% of the time, it isn’t the dog. It is their humans. The humans failed the dog. The human doesn’t care for the dog as one should. The human doesn’t learn to read dog body language to prevent incidents from occuring. The human leaves the dog outside for hours on end. The human doesn’t exercise and stimulate the dog mentally. The human pyhsically punishes the dog. It all comes back to us if we don’t do our “job”.
I wish the best for you and the family!