Pitbull myths

Nanny dogs

The dog that kills the greatest number of children is referred to as the “nanny dog” by pitbull apologists. Nanny dog? Nah!

This Orwellian moniker for the pitbull was created by a blind man, Clarence Hawkes, in a 1922 book of fiction, “Pep: the Story of a Brave Dog.” In plain terms, Mr. Hawkes was spinning a yarn. In those days, pitbulls were every bit as deadly as they are today. The creator of the modern pitbull was John P. Colby, and one of his dogs killed his 2-year-old nephew, Bert Colby Leadbetter, in 1909. Another of his dogs was killed by police after it mauled a little boy in 1906.

For more detail, see Merritt Clifton, Über Source of Pit Bull Myths: Pep, the Story of a Brave Dog, December 2015.