Truths about Pit bulls

In honor of Pit Bull Awareness month, I wanted to do something to shed a little light on this “breed.” I put that in quotes because pit bull is NOT actually a breed. It is a group of breeds, used to describe a dog who looks a certain way. A “pit bull” can be anything from an American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, even an American Bulldog. They are generally on the shorter side, stocky, long tail, cropped ears (I HATE the cropped ears!). A “pit bull” can weigh anywhere from 40lbs to over 100lbs….Now, if a pit bull can be a mix of any of those breeds, and weigh anywhere within that range…why do we automatically judge them based on what a previous “pit bull” has done? Why don’t we judge all dogs based on the individual being? They can obviously look different, so wouldn’t it be better to assume that they can act differently. It isn’t right to say, for example, every single mom is a loser on welfare, taking advantage of the system. And yes, I personally have heard those words before…it was quite a shock, since I am a single mom, and yep my son has Medicaid as insurance. Then I heard “oh…well…you’re the exception.” How about just don’t judge until you know the facts?!

Pit bulls are not for everyone. Dogs in general, are not for everyone. Some people prefer small dogs; some prefer large dogs. And that’s perfectly ok. But comments like “well how many Chihuahuas do you know that have killed someone” is just judging and sticking with that mentality that got them their bad rap in the first place. Let’s look at some common myths about pitties…

#1-“Pit bulls are vicious and mean killers.” What the what?! Ok, YES they are larger dogs, so YES their bite hurts MORE than say a Chihuahua. (Just picking a little dog, no offense to Chihuahuas!) If John Smith got bit by a Chihuahua, is he going to have to go to the hospital? Probably not. If he got bit by ANY large dog, is he going to have to go to the hospital? Most likely, the answer would be yes. Big dog = big bite. That has absolutely nothing to do with the breed. It is a size and strength factor. So really, if you are going to judge based on the potential damage of a bite, then you should hate ALL large dogs, right??

#2-Pit bulls have locking jaws. This is one of the biggest myths about these dogs. They do NOT have locking jaws. It is 100% false.

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#3-Pit bulls are dog and human aggressive and therefore should be banned. This would be like saying every person that has blonde hair and green eyes is a thief and should have their hands cut off.  Ridiculous right? So why are we allowed to treat an entire group of dogs like that? As a child, our family dog was a pure bred chocolate Labrador. He was sweet and loving. He also was dog aggressive. He literally pulled me across an entire field, and over a paved street, to get to a dog that he didn’t like, and he did this multiple times. (I was too young, or too stupid, to let go of the leash!) Does that mean he was a bad dog? Does it mean he should have been put to sleep because of this? Absolutely not. My parents dealt with this issue, and loved him for all of his good traits. Are there some pit bulls that are mean? Yes, there are. There are also Golden Retrievers, Dachshunds, and Dalmatians that are mean. Next you’ll hear “Well I’ve NEVER met a Golden Retriever that was mean.” And my (albeit smart ass) answer will be “have you met every single dog in the world? Oh also, have you met my pit bull? Did he rip your face off? No? Ok then.” I personally have been bit by a German Shepherd before. He was a grumpy old dog, and he apparently didn’t appreciate a child incessantly clapping her hands and yelling for him, so he jumped on me and bit me. (Actually I don’t know that he actually sunk teeth into me, but the intent was there.) This obviously didn’t make me hate dogs, and never once have I thought that Shepherds were mean vicious dogs that shouldn’t be allowed around children. I have always understood that the incident was that particular dog. Moral of the story…Judge the dog based on it’s individual traits and behaviors…NOT on what another dog did, who happened to look like him. PS-One more short story, I actually have recently met TWO LABS that were child aggressive. It was only because they had not been socialized around kids. Does that make you leery of labs now?? I’m betting the answer is no.

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#4-Pit bulls will kill small animals, dogs and cats included. Now I can’t speak for every pit bull, but I can certainly tell you about mine. He is not always nice to other dogs, but he is made of sweetness when it comes to my parent’s two small dogs (a cocker & a Chihuahua). Neither of them like him, and often growl at him. (They are actually very sweet dogs, just not fans of other dogs in their space.) Oscar just wags his tail and ignores them, or hops around trying to get them to play. He has NEVER bared his teeth, or even attempted to give either of them attitude. He has also met a very tiny kitten, and was just happy to meet a new friend. He was curious, and wanted to play, but there was no malice or aggression whatsoever. Lucy…a boxer…on the other hand, was never allowed to see the kitten face to face because she was so aggressive.

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#5-Pit bulls that are in shelters have been abused, neglected, fought, and therefore can’t make good family pets. Well first, let’s be clear that this could be true about ANY dogs in shelters, no matter the age, breed, or size. MANY of the dogs that end up in shelters have been neglected in some way. SOME have been treated so badly that they are fear reactive, and therefore putting them to sleep ends up being the most humane thing you can do for them. THIS is the exception though. Usually, with proper training, patience, and lots of love, most DOGS can be adopted from a shelter, and integrated into family life, living out their lives happy and cherished as they should be!

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I am not saying that ALL pit bulls are sweet, loving family pets. I also can’t say that about Chihuahuas, Labs, or Boxers. Dogs are different, just as people are different. People react differently to life situations. Past experiences, beliefs, morals, genetics…they all mold us into who we are. The same goes for dogs. So, all I am asking is that you judge a dog based on it’s individual personality. Don’t believe everything you read or have heard. Surely by now we’ve all learned that the media embellishes stories and sometimes even flat out lies. I mean, how many times have you read that Jennifer Aniston is pregnant? If every time it were true, she’d have like 15 kids by now! Just do your research. If you are going to judge, at least have a true, real reason behind what you are saying. I don’t expect everyone to love pit bulls. And I don’t expect every pit bull to love every person. Life would be boring if everyone was the same. But for me, for my pit bull, for pit bulls and pit bull lovers everywhere….please, stop repeating these silly, untrue, ridiculous myths. Meet a pit bull, face to face, and then speak of your experiences with that dog only. You might be surprised about the positive things you find yourself saying!

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If you have a POSITIVE story about a bully breed, please share it on my Facebook page HERE! I’d love to hear about the bully in your life!

Check out THIS great website for more truths about pit bulls!

Click HERE to read The Real Story of Snow White! (Hint, it is really cute & it just might have a pit bull in it!)

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9 Responses to Truths about Pit bulls

  1. Kym says:

    I woke up this morning to a butterscotch and chocolate yin yang of pit bull — Lola and Yagé cuddled up together in one giant pit ball. They are two different breeds, but both considered pit bulls. They are the first dogs I’ve owned who I can trust completely and utterly with children. (My German Shephard-Basenji mix had to be locked away when kids came to play.) I can’t imagine life without either one of these girls. When we first decided to keep Yagé and took her to the vet and told him how sweet and wonderful she was, and how surprised we were that this member of a supposedly vicious breed was such a good dog, he told us that she was the rule, not the exception. Vicious dogs are so badly abused and neglected that ANY dog who was treated that way would be vicious. The breed is wonderful, he said, I never have problems examining them. Never been bit by a pit bull.

    Another fact that most people overlook is that there is a much more consistent factor when dogs are aggressive towards people — most of the bad dog bites and all of the human fatalities are from UN-NEUTERED male dogs.

    We have to keep getting the word out. Thank you for helping!

  2. I love every thing that you said! ❤

  3. furever says:

    Herman, a pit bull, helped a neighbor overcome a lifelong fear of dogs that resulted from a dog bite (NOT a pit bull)! Her child was so bonded with Herman that she brought her child over to my house to play.

      • furever says:

        Thank you for supporting pit bulls! The child’s mother told me that shortly after my angel, Herman, crossed the rainbow bridge, her child asked about him. When she explained that he was in heaven now, with one of their family members, the child asked if that family member would take care of Herman. When the mother said yes, the child thought for a moment, then asked, “do you think Herman will wag his tail and slobber all over him?” (the family member) as Herman had done so many times here on earth when joyfully kissing the child.

  4. Pingback: Lucky Enough. | Temporary Home, Permanent Love

  5. Love this post! Have you heard of Animal Farm Foundation? They are an amazing organization that strives for the treatment of ALL dogs as individuals… I think you would really love what they are all about! They also offer free seminars and internships in advocacy and training.

    Also… did you know that while the dog genome consists of approximately 20,000 genes, only 50 genes determine physical appearance that lead to breed distinctions.That’s less than .25% of their entire genome! The genes that determine physical appearance are entirely separate from the hundreds to thousands of genes that contribute to brain development and function (behavior). So scientifically and very clearly, there is no way that looks=behavior!

    • furever says:

      Animal Farm Foundation rocks! Love their work! They have an iPad app also.

    • Is that the place that you went to for a conference recently? I’ll have to look them up. Thanks! Did NOT know that about the genes. It is crazy that it’s not ok to judge people by their looks, but it is ok to judge dogs that way. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we lived in a place with NO judging! 🙂

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