It’s no secret that pit bulls have a bad rap, no thanks to Hollywood movies and TV programs that depict pit bulls as savage and vicious dogs. But for those who have a fascination for this interesting breed, the pit bull is one of the most loyal and people-loving dogs that you can find.
I personally believe there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. Any dog is capable of being vicious and brutal if not properly trained or socialized.
Whether you’re a current pit bull owner or if you are thinking about buying or adopting one, here are 7 cool facts that you need to know about pit bulls. I hope this list will serve to enlighten all the myths on what is probably the most misunderstood dog breed in the world.
Fact 1: The term ‘pit bull’ does not refer to the breed of dog.
The name ‘pit bull’ refers to a type of dog rather than a specific breed. In fact, the American pit bull terrier is not recognized as a dog breed by the AKC or American Kennel Club. However, the club recognizes the Staffordshire terrier as a qualified dog breed, which is a breed that looks eerily similar to the American pit bull that you have come to love.
Why is this so? Maybe it’s an effort to leave the bad reputation in the past by changing the name of the breed. Whatever the case, the ‘pit bull’ moniker includes the American bulldog, Staffordshire bull terrier, and the American Staffordshire terrier. You can also call the Dogo Argentino and the Japanese Tosa as a proper pit bull for all intents and purposes.
While the pit bull name connotes many separate breeds, it is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. There are approximately 2 million pit bulls in the United States alone.
Fact 2: Pit bulls are NOT reliable guard dogs.
Are you thinking about getting a dog that will fearlessly guard your home? You are better off with a Rottweiler or German shepherd. It is easy to assume pit bulls will make good guard dogs considering their fearsome appearance and heavy build, but the truth is the exact opposite.
Sure, you can personally train a pit bull to guard the premises of your home, but they trust strangers too easily. Pit bulls even have a tendency to greet strangers as if they are friends. Pit bulls are not known to attack humans in a whim unless they are severely threatened. Pit bulls are even known to allow strangers to pet them even without the owner’s approval!
But the same can’t be said for the pit bulls’ temperament against other animals or dogs. Pit bulls have a tendency to be aggressive towards other dogs unless you train them early on.
Fact 3: Pit bulls love being around people.
This is the primary reason why they are not ideal guard dogs. Pit bulls love being around people, period.
I’m sure pit bull owners will agree with me when I say this dog loves to snuggle more than any other breed. I remember my friend who had a pit bull named Bruno. He had a muscular, terrifying physique. But underneath the muscle is a heart of gold. Bruno might look like the toughest dog in the block, but that dog loved to snuggle, and he particularly liked belly rubs.
Even the American Temperament Test Society seems to agree with this fact. They ranked the pit bull as one of the most affectionate and least aggressive dogs, scoring higher than beagles and golden retrievers. Surprising, right?
But as previously stated above, pit bulls are not exactly affectionate towards other animals or dogs. I guess this has something to do with the next fact below.
Fact 4: Pit bulls were originally bred to fight other dogs and animals.
Contrary to popular belief, pit bulls can trace their ancestry to England, dating as far back as the 1200s. The pit bull was a result of cross-breeding the English bulldog with a white English or black terrier.
Back in the day, the English bulldog was renowned for its strength, while the terrier was better known for its fearless and courageous persona. This enabled the pit bull to be used in the blood sport ‘bear-baiting’, which was a popular sport in 19th century England, India, Pakistan, and even in North America.
In fact, the word ‘pit’ in ‘pit bull’ might have something to do with the arena or pit, which consists of a high-fenced circular area with raised seating to house the spectators of the sport. The goal is to use English bulldogs or pit bulls to torment the bear to the crowd’s content.
When bear-baiting became illegal in the 1800s, the dogs were trained to battle with each other instead of using bears or other animals. This is presumed to be the start of what is now known as dog fighting, which is highly illegal and considered a felony in all 50 US states including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Fact 5: Pit bulls can climb fences like it’s nobody’s business.
The muscular and athletic builds of pit bulls make them one of the best fence climbers in the dog industry. Their strength enables them to climb or scale a 12-foot fence with little or no effort. This is a cool fact that potential pit bull owners will need to consider, especially if you are thinking about leaving your doggie inside a fenced yard.
Fact 6: Pit bulls have strong jaws, but they don’t bite quite as hard.
Dr. Brady Barr of National Geographic conducted a study to test the biting force of three specific breeds of dogs back in 2008. The test includes an American pit bull terrier, a Rottweiler, and a German shepherd.
The results were conclusive. The American pit bull ranked last and had the least amount of bite pressure compared to the Rottweiler and German shepherd.
It is also important to point out the myth about the locking jaw mechanism of the pit bull is not exactly true. Utilizing the proper techniques, one can easily escape the jaws of the pit bull compared to the severe bite of a Rottweiler or German shepherd.
Fact 7: Pit bulls are banned in some parts of the USA and the rest of the world.
Due to the menacing reputation of this dog breed, pit bulls are banned in England and Wales since 1991. Pit bulls are also banned in certain US states or cities like Kansas, Arkansas, Florida, Colorado, and Michigan.
If you are currently renting your home, did you know that keeping a pit bull as a pet might raise the insurance premiums of your landlord? Before considering to adopt or buy a pit bull, you should check with local authorities to determine if you are allowed to keep a pit bull as your pet dog.
Think this is unfair to pitbull owners? https://stopbsl.org/bsloverview/
There are a lot of misconceptions about the temperament and social behavior of pit bulls, but they remain to be one of the most adorable and loyal dog breeds you can own. What other cool facts do you know about pit bulls?