American Pit Bull Terriers, and so-called Bully Breeds all around are perhaps the most misunderstood of all dogs. They have been vilified in the media, glorified by those who dare to defend their honor, and are the subjects of tall tales and urban legends. Well, we want to dispel the myths and cut through the “bull” with our list of lies and damn lies about Pit Bulls…Keep watching if you can handle the truth! Let’s bust these Pit Bull Myths and Misconceptions.
Pit Bulls are mean and aggressive – Why are Pit Bulls So Aggressive?
That’s a lie. Any dog can have aggressive tendencies, just as any human can—especially if they are mistreated. But as a whole, Pit Bulls are no more vicious than any other breed.
Overall, Pits are affectionate, loyal, and maintain a playful, puppy-like demeanor well into adulthood.
That said, they are extremely devoted to their humans, and will do everything in their power to defend them. Pit Bull Myths and Misconceptions Busted!
Pit Bulls have jaws that lock
That’s a damned lie…and we need to find out who told it, like seriously. Now look. No living creature is born with a jaw that locks. Well, not one that actually lives more than a few days. Yes, Pit Bulls have really strong jaws, but they aren’t as strong as some other breeds, like the Rottweiler and German Shepherd.
The “locking jaw” is a myth born in the seedy world of dogfighting that has been perpetuated by the media and given credence by those who claim to have witnessed it.
Hash tag fake news.
Pit Bulls don’t get along with other pets
That’s a lie. There may be some exceptions, but it has little to do with breed. In fact, most Pitties love to hang out with their animal brethren, big and small, including cats. But it all depends on their personality and if they’ve been properly socialized.
Like humans, some Pits like to party—and others are wallflowers. Early socialization (the younger the better), and exposure to different environments is the key to bringing up a pup that is comfortable around other animals in any situation.
Aggression, in any dog, is almost always born from fear. A confident, well-socialized dog will be trust-worthy around others of its own species.
Did your pets hit it off immediately? Or did it take time for them to “warm up” to each other?
Pit Bulls don’t like being indoors
Wait, what? That’s a damn lie. Truth is, Pit Bulls are content being inside as long as they get sufficient time outdoors, like any dog. They can be an energetic breed, so moderate to intense activities like hiking, running, swimming, digging, and playing Frisbee or fetch, are great ways to curb restlessness.
Daily walks lasting a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes are also a simple way for both the Pit (and its human) to burn off excess energy and calories.
But, your Pit Bull will also very content to snuggle up on the couch with ya for some quality lap dog time.
A Pit Bull’s behavior can’t be changed
Yet another damn lie. Contrary to popular belief, the behavior of a Pit Bull that has been rescued from an abusive home or fighting ring can be changed. What many people fail to realize is that dogs that have had to live in horrendous conditions do whatever is necessary to survive.
So, an inherently mild mannered dog that is forced to fight may have had to become vicious to defend him or herself. That doesn’t mean that the temperament they were born with is lost forever. With a hearty helping of love and lots of patience, most dogs of any breed can become less fearful and thus, less anxious and aggressive. It doesn’t matter if the dog is a Pit Bull or a Yorkie.
Ofcourse, the help of a confident dog behaviorist may be necessary.
Pit Bulls are great watchdogs
In a sense, this is actually true, but not in the way you might think. A Pit Bull will watch someone open your gate, stroll up the walkway, jimmy the front door and look around the house for goodies—then they’ll watch the thief walk away with your stuff while trying to show them a little love for visiting.
Yes, Pit Bulls are so affectionate that the excitement of making a new friend might alert you when someone is approaching your property, and just knowing that you have a Pit may be enough to intimidate would-be intruders.
But if you expect your Pit Bull to attack trespassers at will, forget it—that’s another damn lie.
Which type of dog would make you more comfortable in your home? A watchdog or guard dog?
It’s all in how they’re raised – Pit Bull Myths and Misconceptions
There’s actually a little truth to this lie. “duh duh DUUUH….” The natural temperament of the Pit Bull is gentle, friendly and affectionate, but how they ultimately turn out depends on their nature and how they are treated, trained, and what they’re exposed to.
Like children, dogs are influenced by their environments and their families. A dog that is mentally and/or physically abused will likely have behavioral issues, as do many children who come from dysfunctional families.
But remember, as previously mentioned, a dog’s behavior can be changed, so an aggressive Pit Bull that is born a sweetheart will always be a sweetheart—they just need to be loved, so they remember how to love.
A Pit Bull will turn on its owner – Pit Bull Myths and Misconceptions
That’s a damn lie that probably came from someone who’s never owned a Pit Bull. Pit Bulls are playful, so it is inevitable that they will occasionally nip their humans. All dogs nip, but they usually do so in the spirit of play and is rarely a mean spirited nibble.
Simply owning a Pit does not put you at risk of being attacked, but mistreating one just might. Remember, a Pit Bull Terrier is an animal and when animals are forced to defend themselves…they will.
In a 2014 literature review of dog bite studies, the American Veterinary Medical Association states that breed is a poor predictor of dog bites. And furthermore, controlled studies have not identified pit bulls as disproportionately dangerous to anyone. Except for maybe the credibility of the media.
A Pit Bull with cropped ears is a fighting dog – Pit Bull Myths and Misconceptions
One of the hugest Pit Bull Myths and Misconceptions, by those who are for and against it. Yep, that too, is a lie. This is a lie that has not only affected the way people view Pit Bulls, but other breeds as well, especially Doberman Pinschers.
Some owners crop their dog’s ears to make them look more intimidating, but for the most part it is simply a grooming choice. One that I’m not particularly fond of.
Cropping a dog’s ear effectively cripples its ability to communicate with other dogs. A huge part of a dog’s communication with other dogs is how it’s holding its ears, called ear carriage – dog communication is a whole body ordeal. Dogs with cropped ears may end up in fights, simply because other dogs can’t understand what your Pittie is trying to say. But this doesn’t make him or her a fighter.
The pup’s ears may look different, but its personality —be it friendly or aloof—will remain unchanged.
Pit Bulls are not good with children – Pit Bull Myths and Misconceptions
Kids and Pits are a natural fit. Like cookies and milk, mac and cheese, peanut butter and…well you get the picture. Pit Bulls are particularly gentle with little ones, and are not above putting themselves in harm’s way to protect their human siblings. In fact, Pitties have oft been called nanny dogs.
Both children and Pits love to play, so it’s only natural that they would get along well. And Pit Bulls are a sturdy, breed with a high pain threshold. If a child gets a little rough, they can tolerate it better than most dog types…another damn lie down the drain.
What’s the takeaway? Simple. Pit Bulls are not the snarling, vicious, sociopaths that some would seemingly want you to believe. The average Pit is not a dog to make headlines. Despite its history, the modern Pit is a well-rounded and stable breed.
All dogs are individuals. And as individuals, we should all be judged by our actions, not by our DNA or our appearance. This is the best way to ensure that people and our dogs continue to share safe and happy lives together.
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