The only thing this "bully breed" is guilty of is bullying their way into our hearts.

For my money, the best kind of feel-good stories are the ones that come from unexpected places. Senior citizen helped across the street by biker gang? Yes please. Cheetah gets a therapy dog? That's the stuff.

With all that in mind, of course it stands to reason that some of my very favorite feel-good pet stories from the past year are pit-bull related. Ask any pittie owner or enthusiast and they'll tell you that these doggos have a much maligned reputation that doesn't do their sweet dispositions justice. But on top of that, they're such well-built, stocky little dogs, seeing them at their absolute sweetest and most gentle just sets my little heart a flutter.

maisy the pit bull with best of 2021 logo
Credit: Courtesy of sarahlawther / TikTok

Let's get into our favorite pit bull stories of 2021 (and heads up: make sure the tissues are nearby).



The reputation of breeds who were originally bred for fighting has haunted them for the better part of a century, leading to long-standing bans in various cities and communities against people even owning them. Denver was one of those cities until earlier this year, and 3-year-old Gumdrop (now renamed Odin by his new family) got to become the first pittie to be adopted after the ban was lifted. How cool is that??


Although not technically a pit bull, we would be remiss to talk about our favorite bully breed stories of the year without mentioning sweet Honey the AmStaff. Her reaction when her mom calls her beautiful is downright the most adorable and heart-melting thing we've seen on TikTok this year.

Lady Shortcake

Her name is Lady Shortcake. You shouldn't need any more than that to make you want to hug this velvet hippo until the sun explodes. But once you see that big, soft, grinning face as she's brought home from the shelter for the first time—how can you even stand it? This happy pup is just the best.


10-month-old pit bull and husky mix Ava knows what's up. She's going home from the shelter and she couldn't be happier about it. But she also wants to say an enthusiastic "thank you" to the people who helped make it happen!


Mako is large boi. Mako not realize how large Mako is. Mako fren with cats. Cat frens climb on counters, so Mako climb counters, too. Maybe Mako is cat?


Pirate has heard your stereotypes about pit bulls and, frankly, finds them outmoded and hurtful. Pirate wants the world to know that he's good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people love him! 


Goose the pit bull loves his family. He loves to cuddle and be around his humans more than anything. But when the Malouf family was waiting to welcome baby Ivy into the world, Goose got to feel her kick for the first time, and his reaction made the whole internet weep tears of joy.


dog and cat lying together on a blanket
Credit: Courtesy of ASPCA

Daisy is a loving, 8-year-old pittie who suffers from severe separation anxiety. To help her cope with it, her human adopted a pair of kittens named Tulip and Sparkles who give her the companionship she needs. Even though she's three times the size of the small kitties, gentle Daisy loves her kittens more than anything.