There’s a huge stigma surrounding the infamous pit bull, a dog that is usually associated with human attacks and aggressive dog fighting rings. But what if we told you that everything you thought you knew about these incredible dogs were nothing but misconceptions and myths? And yes, we may go as far as to say that pit bulls can be just as gentle as a poodle!
1. PIT BULLS ARE EVIL
Let’s begin with the most common misconception about pit bulls! Over the years, people have grown used to fearing certain dog breeds associated with aggressive tendencies and bad behavior. Some may even claim those breeds are “just evil”. But dogs don’t have a conscience, so biologically speaking, they cannot be inherently “bad” or “good”. Their actions are a result of their breeding and training. Each dog should be evaluated by their own merits and not by their breed.
2. IF A DOG FIGHTS ANOTHER DOG, THEN IT’LL BE AGGRESSIVE TOWARDS PEOPLE TOO
Actually, these dogs are one of the friendliest and most loyal companions and they’re pretty much easy going dogs who love to play around just like any other dog would. Unless they have been poorly bred or purposefully trained to attack humans, they generally love people and behave like a regular dog.
3. YOU CAN’T HAVE A PIT BULL IN THE SAME HOUSE AS YOUR KIDS
Teaching your kids how to interact with dogs from an early age is one of the best ways to prevent a dog bite, while also helping them form a strong bond with their beloved pets. Teach your children how to respect a dog’s boundaries, and how to properly pet them. They need to know what to do, when to do it, and when to leave their pets alone, for instance. And if you think that pit bulls are not the type of dogs you want interacting with your kids, think again! For over 120 years, pit bulls used to be considered the best “nanny dogs” until the media started portraying them as bloodthirsty monsters.
4. THEY’RE MORE AGGRESSIVE THAN OTHER DOGS
Pit bulls aren’t more likely to attack people or other animals. They’re the same as any other dog breed! In fact, there are studies out there that say other dog breeds are more likely to be aggressive towards humans.
5. AN AGGRESSIVE PIT BULL CAN’T BE REHABILITATED
Some time ago, in the Michael Vick case, 50 pit bulls were rescued from a horrible dog fighting ring. And even though many of us imagined there wasn’t much anyone could do for those pups, specially after what they’ve been through, their caretakers managed to rehabilitate 49 of them and send some of them to shelters, while others were placed in lovely homes.
6. “PIT BULL” REFERS TO A BREED OF DOG
As a matter of fact, the term “Pit bull” refers to a type of dog and not a breed. Some of the dogs that fall into this category are the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Because most of them are mixed breeds, you can find all sorts of “pit bulls” in your local shelter.
7. THEY ARE EASILY RECOGNIZABLE
Experts can’t really tell if mixed-breed dogs have some pit bull in them just by looking at them. Most of the dogs we call “pit bulls” aren’t pure-bred and are not even pit bull mixes. So if you’re the type that believes every “pit bull” dog is dangerous, think about this: you’ve been surrounded by potentially dozens of dogs that were mixed with pit bulls and you never noticed the difference.
8. IF A PIT BULL BITES YOU, IT’S ALL HIS FAULT
The dog is a result of his upbringing. Reckless owners should be held accountable for their pet’s actions! That way we can reduce the number of attacks perpetuated each year. Enforcing leash laws, encouraging spay/neutering dogs, and training these canines are one of the many options we have available, but since it isn’t mandatory to go through with any of them, it’s up to us to become more responsible and start breeding and raising our dogs responsibly.
9. THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES BANNED
Although pit bulls were banned due to the Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL), they are not the only ones banned. The Spitz was banned in 1878 and so were the Bloodhounds just a couple of years later.
10. BREED LEGISLATION PREVENTS DOG INCIDENTS
Bite statistics taken after the BSL laws were in place showed that dog incidents stayed roughly the same. Some countries have decided to focus in owner accountability instead. Owners are expected to train and manage their pets to create a safer environment.