pit bull myths

Myths-Pit Bulls have locking jaws- This is a false statement as any veterinarian can testify that it is impossible. Some studies have been conducted on the structure of the skull and Pit Bull’s jaw structure is not different than that of any breed of dog. There is absolutely no evidence of a locking mechanism unique to the Pit Bull.

Myth-Pit Bulls are born mean. This again is not a true statement. Like any other breed Pit Bulls are not born mean or bad. People can train dogs to be mean and this is especially true for Pit bulls as they are willing to do anything for their owners. They are a very loyal breed. Any breed will become mean through training or lack of training, neglect, abuse or irresponsible ownership. Temperament tests have been conducted that suggest Pit bulls pass at a rate of 82 percent, which is five percent better than the general do population.

Myth-Pit Bulls do not feel pain. Pit Bulls have the same nervous system as any other breed of dog. They can and do feel pain. Breeders did encourage dogs that could tolerate or ignore discomfort or pain allowing them to finish a task. As a result care should be taken to avoid serious injuries since Pit Bulls will continue to perform despite injuries as severe as a broken leg.

Myth-Pit Bulls are the only breed that does not respond to pepper spray. The fact is that many other dog breeds display a resistance to pepper spray when they are attacking. It is not unusual for pepper spray to not work on all dogs just as it does not work on all humans.

Myth-Animal aggression turns into human aggression. Not true, animal aggression and human aggression are two separate behaviors and are not linked. Many breeds show a prey drive when it comes to other animals. Foxhounds will not hesitate to tear after a fox, greyhounds live to chase and maul rabbits and even a beagle will slaughter a rabbit given the chance. These are some of the friendliest breeds of dog when it comes to their interactions with people. This is the same with a Pit Bull; his work through the years has been to control other animals, never humans. Even in dogs that are breed to fight, human aggression is not desired and not encouraged. A Pit Bull that snaps lunges or growls at non-threatening humans in not typical of the breed.

Myth-Pit Bulls turn on their owners. Healthy Pit Bulls with stable temperaments are doing well in homes around the country. There are dogs in every breed that bite and they have been damaged by abuse, neglect, improper handling, or damaged genetics. These personalities show warning signs well before biting although some people choose to ignore or misinterpret their dog’s bad behaviors.

Myth-Pit Bulls are unpredictable around children. Pit bulls have a long history of being children’s companions and family pets. A well-balanced Pit Bull can be the perfect breed to tolerate their rough and tumble play of children. Children should be taught how to properly interact with dogs of any breed and should never be left alone with a dog unsupervised. In England the breed is referred to as the “nanny” dog because of their predisposition to love people, especially children.

Myth-It is unsafe to get a Pit Bull from a rescue or shelter because their past is unknown. Sure it is helpful to know the history of a dog but not necessary. It is important to know the general behavior of the dog and if you are dealing with a good shelter or rescue they will have this information available. Most shelters/rescues do behavioral testing and spend a lot of time getting to know how the dog behaves in a variety of settings. Their goal is to make sure they assess the best possible family for the dog so the adoption is a success. They also do not want to add to the bad publicity of Pit Bulls by putting a dangerous dog in a family home. If a dog has shown human aggression in anyway most shelters/rescues will not adopt the dog out. If it has shown any dog aggression it will only be placed in a home where it is the only pet. It is suggested to have the entire family meet the dog and even have a home visit before making a long-term commitment. Most Pit Bull adoptions are a success, as the adopter you are not only getting a great pet but also saving a life.

Myth-It is best to get a puppy so you can train it how you want. Many people believe that by getting a puppy you can guarantee to eliminate undesirable behaviors. Puppy cans be a lot of fun but there is no way of knowing how they puppy will behave as an adult. One benefit of adopting a young adult or full-grown Pit Bull is the ability to avoid the puppy stage. Many puppies have a ton of energy and chew on everything in sight. They also will need to be house broken. Biting, whining and barking for attention at night are also training issues for young dogs. Another benefit of adopting an older dog is you can already determine how he/she gets along with other dogs, cats, kids, car rides and other issues.

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