A google search of this phrase brings up 31,100 hits, virtually all of which refer to the pit bull.  The first result bring up a page on Best Friends Animal Society’s page asking for donations to their “Saving America’s Dog campaign.” Best Friends, in a marketing ploy, are attempting to  “re-brand” a fighting dog as “America’s dog” to get donations.

Though Paige Burris of “The Positive Pit Bull,” says that pit bulls were once “called ‘America’s Dog’ because of their loyalty and devotion to the family,” a google timeline search turns up no references to the pit bull as “America’s dog” before a 2008 LA times story that quoted Donna Reynolds discussing BAD RAP taking some Vick dogs and the court ordered money that came with the dogs.

Pit bull advocates often claim that by World War I, the pit bull had become the “most popular dog in America.” A source is never cited with this claim. In 2006, the publication Animal People tested this claim. By searching the classified dogs-for-sale ads between 1900-1950 on NewspaperArchive.com, the group discovered that huskies and St. Bernards were the most popular dogs of that period followed by the setter family. Of the 34 breeds searched, pit bulls ranked 25th. – dogsbite.org

Some pit bull advocates seem to assume that since the pit bull was used on WWI propaganda posters, pit bulls must have been popular house pets.  However, there were 3 choices of truly American dog breeds to represent the US in WWI posters: the Chesapeake Bay retreiver, the Boston terrier, and the American bull terrier.  The average person doesn’t have to like pit bulls in order to know that  the pit bull is by far the best choice for propaganda posters.  However, the use of a tough animal to represent one’s fierceness, while common,  has never had a correlation to the popularity of the animal as a house pet.  There are zero bears living in UCLA dorm rooms, and though Detroit has a huge problem with pit bull attacks, no one in Detroit owns a tiger as a house pet.

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