In honor of Pit Bull Awareness Month, we here at PetCareRx would like to help remove some of the social stigma from these loving, loyal, and smart dogs. While they catch a bad rap, the real truth of the matter is that there are millions of Pit Bulls in shelters nationwide, patiently waiting for a home. Some are homeless all thanks to unfounded myths like…
Myth #1. Pit Bulls are more dangerous than other dogs
Fact: Since Pit Bulls were first bred to fight, people quickly began to see this breed as inherently dangerous. The truth is, while these dogs are exceptionally athletic and resilient, they are no more disposed to aggressive behavior than any other breed. In fact, a study done by the American Temperament Testing Society has shown that Pit Bulls belong among the most well-behaved and trustworthy breeds on Earth.
Myth #2. Pit Bulls have locking jaws
Fact: Pit Bull jaws operate in exactly the same way as every other breed’s. There is nothing about a Pit Bull’s jaw that locks in any way. In fact, when compared to Rottweilers and German Shepherds, Pit Bulls had the weakest bite of the bunch.
Myth #3. Pit Bulls eventually turn on their owners
Fact: Not even close! Pit Bulls are one of the most unflappably loyal breeds around. Because of their fighting background, part of their selective breeding was to cull (or remove) any Pit Bulls that exhibited signs of aggression towards people, meaning that the Pit Bulls we have today are the product of a long line of dogs specifically selected for their loyalty towards people.
Myth #4. Pit Bulls cannot be trusted with children
Fact: Kids are tiny and Pit Bulls aren’t. It makes sense that parents might be worried, but the truth is there is no more cause for concern than with a Golden Retriever. While Pit Bulls are strong, excitable dogs, they make perfectly safe companions for even the youngest children. This is not to say that you should leave your young kids alone with a Pit Bull, but rather, you should take the time to teach your children how to properly interact with any dog. After a while, these two are sure to become fast friends.
Myth #5. It’s not safe to adopt an adult Pit Bull
Fact: This is a positively ridiculous notion. Just because you see an older Pit Bull at a shelter does not mean that they have some sort of unsavory past. Almost every dog that is up for adoption went through a screening process to make sure that they are suitable for home life. In fact, adopting an adult dog is generally easier than getting a puppy, as they have already undergone some training, and by the time you adopt them their personality is more apparent. It can be hard to tell what kind of dog you are getting (i.e., energetic, mellow) if you get them as a puppy.
Myth #6. Pit Bulls are responsible for the most dog attack related deaths
Fact: A skewed view of the truth. While Pit Bulls are the cause of the most dog attack related deaths, it is entirely due to the fact that there are millions more Pit Bulls than other breeds. It would be like saying that since more people die of a heart attack than a gunshot wound, french fries are more lethal than automatic weapons. Myths like these are a gross misuse of statistical information.
Myth #7. Banning Pit Bulls lowers the risk of dog attacks
Fact: Banning Pit Bulls only lowers the population of Pit Bulls, but has zero effect on the amount of dog-related attacks in a given area. For example, Denver banned Pit Bulls in 1989, and still has four times the number of dog related hospitalizations than their neighboring city, Boulder, which has no such ban. In reality, one correlation found in dog attacks is lack of neutering. The American Humane Association reports that “un-neutered dogs are more than 2.6 times more likely to bite than neutered dogs.”
To help support the dispelling of these damaging myths, check out the Pit Bull Awareness Coalition
Click here for our complete coverage on Pit Bull Awareness Month!
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