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Dog Files Viewpoint: Common Pit Bull Myths. Uncovering the Real Pit Bull.

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Common Pit Bull Myths – Uncovering the Real Pit Bull

By Hannah Powell For The Dog Files

When you hear “pit bull” 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 “Our Gang” was a pit bull. They are considered “nanny dogs” 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 PowellHannah 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.


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lindadavenport
lindadavenport
11 years ago

Yes, they do so well with children. They kill them for sport. I do not trust them. PERIOD! Or Chows. I have read and researched these breeds and I am tired of hearing about how sweet they are. It is all baloney.

pitdad
pitdad
11 years ago

Linda what is your research. You seem too close-minded on the subject to listen to something that doesn't agree with your views.

sherbear7729
sherbear7729
11 years ago

Breed typing is a dangerous thing, just as dangerous as dog bites themselves. Often people are to blame for the dog bite in the first place.. ie. Not supervising children properly, improper training of dog, not having knowledge of dog body language. It is NOT breed specific and if we go on this theory that certain types of dogs are more aggressive, than we are missing the point entirely. Stifer punishments for dog abusers, and people with aggressive dogs would be a better route than to ban a breed. Here is a website that provides a lot of information on this subject. And the quote that is at the top of the page:
“Breed specific laws are not based in science. [Laws] banning breeds will not make you safer, and the illusion that they will do so is dangerous to humans and unfair to dogs.”
Dr. Karen Overall
____________
http://dogbitesinformationandstatistics.blogspo

fpiccarello
fpiccarello
11 years ago

Linda where do you get your information from? It's people like you who have never been in contact with a pit bull that keep these ignorant myths going. Do some research and you will find that American Pit bulls where once a trusted family dog. Yes they did fight but that was their job, but when finished they would go home and live in the house with the family and on some occasions they would be used to watch over the children.

This information is well documented and can be found by just doing a search on APBT. I doubt you did any research on these dogs

Oh and by the way I doubt you will ever find anything where a APBT was used to kill children for sport

Suzanne
Suzanne
11 years ago

Of course you would say that as you have absolutely NO idea of what you speak. There are more children bitten by Cocker Spaniels and Chihuahuas than most any other breed of dog. It just so happens when a German Shepard, Golden Retriever, Cocker Spaniel or Chihuahua bites someone, it just does not have the same media impact as when the words Pit Bull are uttered on TV.

maggie9930
maggie9930
11 years ago

I also think they should have harsher laws for animal abusers they get off way to easily..My neighbor has a pitbull and she's a really great dog

Elena
11 years ago

This is a lovely post. It’s a shame that there is such a stigma to these animals. I’ve never owned a pitbull but during my dogwalking days, I bonded with one named Buster. The owner had adopted him the day before he was to be put down. He was either used as a bait dog or a fighting dog. You could see the scars on his precious face. Needless to say, every time I stopped by the house to see him, I was met with glee and enthusiasm. I had to be careful and avoid dogs on the walk as much as possible, but Buster’s joy on his walk and around me was unbeatable.

Now that I’ve digressed, I totally agree that it’s how they’re raised not the breed itself. It’s unfair to the dogs, and to the responsible owners. Great post!

Ciaron Lewis
11 years ago

You should see the disgusting thisngs they are doing in Ontario Canada under the BSL. Here is a prime example of why Breed Specific Laws do not work. http://www.saveontariodogs.com

Amanda
Amanda
11 years ago

Linda, I’m sorry that you are content to remain ignorant. That’s a shame.

Hannah
Hannah
11 years ago

Linda, I believe focus should be on punishing irresponsible dog ownership instead of being negative about an entire breed. Pit bulls were bred to fight other dogs; human aggression was chosen against. If a pit bull were aggressive to humans then the pit bull was not allowed to breed and pass on its genes. Yes, pit bull attacks on humans occur…this is a sad fact. BUT, other breeds do attack humans as well. I have worked with MANY pit bulls, and I have never had an issue with human aggression. I have seen human aggression in many other breeds. However, I love all dogs and do not discriminate against any of them.

Irresponsible dog ownership includes knowing your dog, knowing how your dog is with kids, dogs, other animals, people, etc. Keeping your dog controlled at all time. NOT allowing a child to be unsupervised with your dog ever….I don’t care if your dog is the most loving little poodle puppy…dogs should ALWAYS be supervised when around children.

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