Perhaps the most accurate description of the pit bull's character was penned in 1859. They had Darla Napora's wigglebutt pegged a century and a half before she received her fatal mauling from her beloved Gunner:
...An able recent writer on the dog considers the bull-dog as a sort of abnormal canine monster, a dog idiot, yielding to uncontrollable physical impulses, now of blind ferocity, now of equally blind and undiscriminating maudlin tenderness, which renders him more addicted to licking, slobbering, and mumbling the hand, the boot, or any other part of any person to whom he takes a sudden and causeless liking, and whom he is just as likely to assault the next moment, than any other of his species.
That is not to say that the dog idiot can't be appealing, or even inspirational, to the like-minded owner. Take this 1911 football team and their bull terrier mascot, Bill, for example:
"One of Bill's favorite pass times was to tug and wrestle with a stick when some one would hold the other end of it.It was cold in the dressing room and one of the trainers shook the ashes from the grate of the stove using the poker until the end which had been in the fire became red hot. When he finally laid it down it had lost its color but was still very warm. Bill, not knowing that the poker was not a stick for him to play with, caught the end in his maw. The soft flesh of his lips, seared and burned black, but he shook the metal stick and refused to let go. Two or three of the men grabbed him and tried to force him to open his mouth. They had to choke him to remove the poker from between his teeth and all the time he held grimly to it he was shaking it."
Wait, have they been saying Nanny dog or Ninny dog?