Pitbull myths are not hard find.  Practically every person has heard derogatory antidotes and statements that have very little factual evidence.  Below we have listed some of the most common myths and how they’ve been debunked.

Pitbull Myth 1: Pitbulls are mean, vicious creatures

It is proven that a Pit Bull is no more vicious than other popular breeds like Golden Retrievers!  Research completed yearly by the American Temperament Testing Society gives the breed a passing score; contrarily, the passing scores they receive are higher than those of the most popular breeds.  Following is a chart that shows the top 5 popular breeds in 2015, plus Pitbulls, according to the American Kennel Club along with the percentage of tested dogs that passed the temperament test from the ATTS.

Breed ATTS Score
Labrador Retrievers 92.0%
German Shepherds 84.8%
Golden Retriever 85.2%
Bulldogs 85.9%
Beagles 80.0%
Pitbulls 90.7%

As you can see, the Pitbull ranked higher than all the other breeds with the exception of the Labrador Retriever.

Pitbull Myth 2: Pitbulls turn on their owners

Any dog, regardless of breed, that bites humans is a result of an irresponsible owner ignoring the warning signs that indicate a dog is going to bite.  The factors that cause dogs to bite are universal: improper handling, abuse or bad genetics.  As you can see, these three factors are human caused.  If your dog is prone to biting, there are bite prevention resources available rather than just giving in to the ineffective paranoia that comes from targeting select breeds as a biter.

Pitbull Myth 3: Pitbulls have locking jaws

A Pitbull is a dog, not an alligator.  They do not have a special mechanism that allows them to lock their jaws.  The jaw of a Pitbull will be the same structure as any other breed.

Pitbull Myth 4: Pitbulls must be trained to fight

A Pitbull is a terrier: terriers, by nature, have a tendency to be feisty.  It is the owner who determines the attitude of the dog.  If the owners train their dogs and do not leave them unsocialized, the breed has no more tendency to fight than any other terrier breed.

Pitbull Myth 5: Pitbulls that Show Aggression towards other animals will show aggression towards humans

Aggression towards animals is a different category of behavior than aggression towards humans.  Similar to a hunting dog, knowledgeable dog owners realize that while their dog may be aggressive towards a coon or other prey, they will not turn on the human.  A Pitbull that is properly trained and socialized should never be aggressive towards humans.

Pitbull Myth 6: Indicators of a dog that fights include scars or cropped ears

As Pitbulls are daring and active dogs, they can acquire scars from a variety of sources.  There is no reason to assume that they were received during a fight.  That would be analogous to assuming any human scars are due to fighting.  More likely reasons for scarring would include being a stray in the past that had to get in scrapes for food or from a hike in dense words with burs and brambles in the path.  The possibilities of events that caused scarring are endless; fighting for entertainment is just a small percentage of that.  Just as you can’t make assumptions about scars, cropped ears are often the cause of a misguided owner trying to mimic a professional crop without paying a professional to do it.

Pitbull Myth 7: Adopters should only adopt Pitbull puppies

If an older dog fits into your lifestyle better, there is absolutely no reason to compromise and get a puppy.  It is always best that before choosing your new dog that you judge their current personality.  That is more an indicator of their future behavior rather than dwelling on an unknown past.  Furthermore, most adoption programs evaluate any dogs they put up for adoption so that aggressive, problem causing dogs are not sent out to unsuspecting owners.  A puppy is a lot more work and time than adopting an older dog; successful adoptions come from a compatibility of the dog and owner’s personalities along with the owner’s lifestyle and expectations.

Pitbull Myth 8: Pitbulls are unpredictable around Children

Historically, prior to the bad press received in the 1980’s, Pitbulls were often used as a “nanny” of sorts with young children.  They have the perfect temperament to tolerate the rough nature of kids; additionally, they tend to draw on the happiness that kids broadcast.  It is not uncommon to see a Pitbull around children with a smile on their face and their tail wagging in contentment. This has also led to them being quite successful as family pets.  The only problems that sometime arise is when the dog gets too exuberant and accidently knocks down the child.  With common sense, this issue can be avoided however.  Make sure your child knows how to properly interact with a dog and never leave them unsupervised with the dog.

 

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