Over the past 60 years, the Pitbull type dog has gone from ultimate family dog to ultimate bad dog with a reputation for aggression due to factors beyond their control. The bully breeds are not wired for aggression, but are a direct product of their environment. In this article, with the myths published by Best Friends Animal Society, we explore the truth behind this loving, care-free group of dogs that yearn to be accepted and protected from constant persecution.
MYTH: Pit bull terriers are more aggressive than other dogs.
THE TRUTH: Aggression is not a breed characteristic or personality trait, and is not specific to any one breed of dog. The American Temperament Test Society, which provides a uniform national program of temperament testing for dogs, has found that pit-bull-terrier-like dogs passed the test at a higher rate than many other dog breeds, including golden retrievers and border collies. While Pitbulls rank the highest in medical costs associated with dog bites due to their muscular body and strong jaws, they are not inherently aggressive without external influences of their environment.
MYTH: Dogs of certain breeds are more dangerous or likely to bite than others.
THE TRUTH: Breed has nothing to do with it. A peer-reviewed study found that nearly 85 percent of dog bite fatalities were from unaltered dogs. Other factors that contributed to bites were abuse or neglect, tethering for long periods of time, and lack of socialization with people and other animals.
MYTH: Pit bull terriers have locking jaws.
THE TRUTH: There is no such thing as a dog with a locking jaw. Pit bull terriers and pit bull mixes are no different physiologically from other dogs.
MYTH: Pit bull terriers are not good family dogs and that’s why you see so many in shelters.
THE TRUTH: Pit-bull-like dogs are actually some of the most popular types of dogs in America. According to Vetstreet.com, the American pit bull terrier is one of the top three favorite breeds in 28 states. Because pit bull terriers are so popular with unlicensed breeders and criminals, they are being overbred for profit, under socialized, and thrown away when they no longer serve a purpose. These factors, along with lack of breed education, have led to an influx of pit-bull-like dogs in shelters.
The key to keeping the bully breeds safe and out of harms way are mandatory spay/neuter regulations, education, and stronger penalties for backyard breeding. Without proper socialization, training, and treatment, the bully breeds can not be the ultimate family dog that they so long to be once again.
Join us in the crusade to protect and provide justice and understanding for dogs that are bully breeds.