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Common Pit Bull Myths â€“ Uncovering the Real Pit Bull
By Hannah Powell For The Dog Files
When you hear â€œpit bullâ€ what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Many people are fearful of pit bulls. I believe that people fear what they do not understand, and my goal in writing this is to uncover a few myths concerning the misunderstood pit bull.
Myth #1: Pit Bulls are aggressive to humans. This myth strikes up fear in many people. They think that because pit bulls were bred to fight other dogs that they must be aggressive towards people also. This is false. In fact, pit bull breeders and dog fighters selected against human aggression; it was bred out of the breed. Dog fighters were often in the ring with the dogs, and they needed to be able to pull two fighting dogs apart without getting injured.
Pit bulls are common in American history. Petey from â€œOur Gangâ€ was a pit bull. They are considered â€œnanny dogsâ€ because they do so well with children. Many pit bulls were decorated war dogs, such as Sergeant Stubby who was the most decorated war dog in World War I.
Today, pit bulls serve as therapy dogs and service dogs. They are trained for search and rescue and bomb sniffing; some are trained to be police dogs. Their loyalty and eagerness to please has attracted many to this breed.
Myth #2: Pit Bulls can lock their jaw. Simply stated, the jaws of the pit bull have the same functionally of any other dog breed. There is no locking mechanism.
Myth #3: Banning Pit Bulls will decrease the incidents of dog bites. Banning one breed or a group of breeds considered dangerous is not the answer. Many places that have enforced breed bans have not had a decrease in dog bites. Breed bans do not work for many reasons, but the main reason they do not work is because breed bans DO NOT punish dog fighters and irresponsible dog owners. Dog fighters will continue to do what they do illegally. Irresponsible dog owners will continue to be irresponsible, despite what dog breed they own.
I believe there are better alternatives to breed bans. Firstly, stricter punishments and higher fines for dog fighting and animal abuse should be enforced. At the moment, dog fighters and animal abusers get off fairly easy. They serve a little jail time and/or pay a small fine, depending on which state they are in.
Secondly, irresponsible dog ownership needs to be punished. Owners need to follow leash laws and be in control of their dog(s) at all times. Any dog can be aggressive.
Hannah lives in Issaquah, WA with her husband, two dogs, and a parrot. She runs a dog walking/pet sitting business and volunteers her time to local dog rescue groups. In her spare time she enjoys skiing, hiking with her dogs, and camping. The experience of pit bull ownership has been her motivation for writing about this wonderful and misunderstood dog breed. Please check out Busybark for more about Hannah and her love of dogs.