If you share your life with a Pit Bull, you know there are an unbelievable number of rumors and myths surrounding the breed. If you’ve never actually spent any time with a Pit Bull, you probably believe the rumors and myths.
Before a Pit Bull came into my life, I, too, believed many of the myths. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I was afraid of Pit Bulls, but I certainly didn’t feel comfortable around them. They made me a little bit nervous.
But then I did some research, and I learned from my own experience living with and loving a Pit Bull mix. I also volunteered at an animal shelter and a Pit Bull rescue where I had a chance to spend quite a bit of time with many different Pit Bulls and Pit mixes. Did you know that:
- In temperament testing, different variations of “Pit Bull Breeds” actually test better than common “family dog” breeds like Dachshunds, Collies, Golden Retrievers, and Cocker Spaniels.
- Pit Bulls do not have “locking jaws”. There’s no proof of any kind of “locking mechanism” of the jaw and/or teeth that is different from any other dog.
- Pit Bulls are gentle, loving dogs who are so eager to please their human counterparts. Hugging like you see in the picture below? Happens to me every single day.
- In the early 20th century, Pit Bulls were one of the most popular family pets.
- Many Pit Bulls are very good with children, and in fact, some people used to call them “Nanny Dogs”. Of course, no responsible parent would leave their child unattended with any breed of dog. But it’s a fact that the Pit Bull was once considered a wonderful pet for kids.
- Many Pit Bulls get along wonderfully with other animals. Not all do. But then again, not all Poodles get along with other animals. Not all Labrador Retrievers get along with other animals. You get my point. Every animal has its own unique personality. Just as all humans are different, so are all animals.
- Pit Bulls are not naturally aggressive. Like any dog, however, they may react aggressively under stressful circumstances. Any animal’s behavior is going to be impacted by abuse, neglect, and other negative situations.
- No single neutered household pet Pit Bull has ever killed anyone.
- Some people actually believe Pit Bulls don’t feel pain. Seriously? This has to be the most ridiculous of all the Pit Bull rumors. They are living, breathing beings – of course they feel pain!
- The term “Pit Bull” does not define a single breed. Many dog breeds fall into the category of Pit Bull, including Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Cane Corso, and American Pit Bull Terrier.
- Dogs that are not Pit Bulls are often mistaken for the breed. Think you know what a Pit Bull looks like? Test your skills. I bet you’ll be amazed at how much you don’t know.
- Pit Bulls are the most euthanized dog in the US. This is in part because there are so many myths surrounding them, which makes some people believe they’re not suitable for adoption. THIS IS NOT TRUE. A rescued Pit Bull can make a wonderful companion. Again, you have to judge each dog individually. You cannot make an intelligent, well-informed decision about a dog based on hearsay, myths, or stereotyping – just as you can’t lump all people into a single category.
Negative Pit Bulls stories are often in the news, but have you ever wondered why? When my neighbor’s Cocker Spaniel bit a neighborhood kid, it took 13 stitches to close the wound but unless you were there when it happened, you wouldn’t know about it because it didn’t make the evening news. No one is interested in a story about a Cocker Spaniel who attacked the kid who was pestering him relentlessly.
And again, because Pit Bulls are so often misidentified, it’s not unusual for the news to report on a Pit Bull attack, only to have it come to light later that the dog was not, in fact, a Pit Bull at all. Of course, that kind of news will never make the headlines, so the average person never hears the truth.