The Truth About Pit-bulls

Many People think that a pit bull is a specific breed of dog but actually the term "pit-bull" encompasses a variety of different breeds like; the American bulldog, the Pit-bull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier.

Unfortunately pit-bull type dogs seem to fall victim to negative stereotypes, arguably more than any other type of dog out there. I've had the privilege of working with hundreds of these dogs over the years, and honestly the truth about pit-bulls is that overall they are wonderful dogs. 

One of the many reasons for the perpetuation of the myth that pit-bulls are generally aggressive dogs, is that often times when someone does experience a dog bite, they go to the emergency room and either report that a dog bit them or a pit-bull bit them. This causes emergency room medical records to be very biased against pit-bull type dogs. Sketchy data like this have led to local and even national governments attempting to ban pit-bull type dogs almost entirely. This is what's known as breed specific legislation. A study in the journal of the "American Veterinary Medical Association," examined dog-bite related fatalities and found that breed was not a factor. Many organizations have publicly apposed breed specific legislation, as it doesn't reduce dog bite incidents and deaths. In light of these studies, many countries such as Italy and the Netherlands have reversed their breed specific legislation. 

Pit-bulls were originally created by breeding terrier dogs with bull dogs in order to combine the agility of the terrier with the strength of the bulldog. These dogs were used in sports such as bull baiting and bear bating. When those sports were outlawed many people turned to underground dog fighting competitions, because they were easier to conceal from law enforcement. That certainly is a violent history but it is important to remember that just because a dog can be trained to be violent, does not mean that a dog is inherently violent by nature. 

As far as we can tell pit-bulls are no more likely to be born with the same amount of instinctive desire to fight than a Maltese or a Labrador is. More accurately pit-bulls are very trainable, athletic dogs, making them prime candidates to be exploited for various activities. Today pit-bulls are used for so many positive things; they help law enforcement, they can make great therapy dogs, and of course they make wonderful pets. 

So if the violent image that people think of when they think of pit-bulls isn't due to their natural temperament, then why does this image persist? Well, a study in the journal of "Interpersonal Violence," found that people who have high risk breeds like; Pit-bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Dobermans, have on average, ten times as many criminal convictions as those with "lower risk breeds." A more accurate correlation would be that those who are more likely to participate in criminal activity are also attracted to the negative stereotype of pit-bull type dogs. It turns out that people are the problem, not the dogs. 

The fact is that some people are going to exploit pit-bulls, either to be attack dogs or to have them as a status symbol, but a loving person like you, isn't going to do that. 

Pit-Bulls are often very strong, hyper, powerful dogs, and in many cases that can be very over whelming, even frightening for some. It can be easy to misunderstand this exuberance for potentially dangerous behavior and it is true that pent up energy can sometimes lead to aggressive outbursts with some dogs, but this is true for all dogs regardless of their breed. 

For these type of dogs, regular exercise especially in the morning, can make an enormous difference in their overall quality of life, happiness, and teachability. 

I can not get this important message out to everyone without you, so please if you found this post to be useful or of importance to you, then please do share it because this really is the truth about pit-bulls. Help spread basic knowledge of our furry friend to help preserve their beautiful breed.