Most Pit Bull parents will tell you - Pit Bulls are often just loyal, gentle babies. Despite this, pitties are one of the most misunderstood and stigmatized dog breeds.
The fear of pitties is so strong that just seeing or hearing the word "Pit Bull" is enough to bring to mind those awful myths and misconceptions and send someone running in the opposite direction.
The top three most common myths are:
Viciousness: This is one of the most widespread misconceptions when it comes to Pit Bulls. In reality, a dog's behavior is influenced by various factors such as genetics, socialization, training, and environment. Any dog, regardless of breed, has the potential to display aggressive behavior if not properly brought up and socialized.
Locking Jaws: It is a common myth that a Pit Bull's jaws lock when they bite down or that they have a stronger bite than other breeds. In reality, Pit Bulls have the same anatomy and jaw structure as other dogs. There is no unique function that enables them or any other breed to lock their jaws.
Natural Tendency to Attack: Another myth is that Pit Bulls have a natural inclination to attack or be violent. This misconception could be due to the fact that they are often bred to be fighting dogs. However, this is just not true. A dog's temperament has a lot to do with responsible upbringing. In reality, Pit Bulls can be loving, loyal, and gentle companions when properly trained, socialized, and raised in a nurturing environment.
(Vicious Pit Bull ready to attack)
It's because of these misconceptions that pitties spend three times longer in shelters waiting for their forever homes compared to other dogs. A study by the organization Animal People reports that 93% of pitties are euthanized in the shelter and only 1 in 600 pits ever find their forever homes. They're not euthanized based on their breed alone, but euthanized because of lack of interest due to fear of their breed.
Dangerous Pit Bulls exist, but it is not the norm. They can also be affectionate, loyal, playful, energetic, social, intelligent, and courageous dogs. They are amazing companions who don't deserve all the negative stigma or being banned from entire communities, rental properties, and being unnecessarily feared.
Bottom Line: Individual dogs all have different temperaments and behaviors, regardless of breed. Proper socialization, training, and responsible ownership play a significant factor in developing and nurturing the loyalty and positive traits of any dog, including Pit Bulls. Dogs like our handsome pittie, Blue, who has been waiting for a home for over a year, deserve better.