Pitbulls are one of the most misunderstood breed of dogs in America. They get a bad rap and are often mistreated in many ways. PETA even states that they are the most abused breed of dogs they come across. The abuse ranges from being left outside year round as a guard dog, no interaction and no warmth during the harsh months, to being used to fight other dogs for money. It is truly disgusting what some people do to these poor creatures.
When it comes to a typical American family with children who want a new puppy, parents will turn their noses up at offers of pitbull breeds. They are viewed as “vicious” and out of control. My own neighbor actually threatened to kill my Staffordshire if he ever comes after her dog (mind you he is as quiet as a mouse and just stares as her dog growls and snarls at him from the other side of the fence, a border collie at that). When the opportunity arises to defend the name of pitbull breeds I always advocate for them, and I stand my ground about it. Because of their unpopularity due to the many myths and misconceptions, thousands of pits are left to shelters that have no choice but to euthanize. Not everyone wants to adopt a pit because of these misconceptions. Years of misinformation and bad press have given pit breeds their bad reputation.
The truth about pits is that they are among the most sweet and lovable dogs in the world. Their loyalty goes beyond any other pet I have had in my past and the bond is strong. They are by far one of the most intelligent breeds I have ever had the pleasure in training and their history is amazing.
Did you know that pitbulls were American heroes? During World War I, pit breeds represented American forces in the field and on propaganda fliers. The loyalty and fearless attitudes they displayed made them the perfect mascot for our troops. Sergeant Stubby was the most decorated dog to have served in the United States military, and this brave soldier served with human soldiers in France during WWI. He received the purple heart and gained the title of sergeant. Pretty cool, huh?
A common myth about pit breeds is that they have a “locking jaw.” This is very untrue. They may be stubborn when it comes to tug of war [I’ve lost to my Staffordshire many a time] but their jaws are just like any other canines. They just get super serious about their chew toys, and ropes. Anything they can tug on and fling around.
Another common, and probably most popular, misconception about pits is that they have a natural aggression towards people. This is completely false. Temperament studies show that pits rank high among the least aggressive and most affectionate. In an annual testing conducted by the ATTS, pits passed at a rating of 86.4 percent higher than breeds such as corgis, beagles, and golden retrievers. I honestly believe the behavior of the animal is very dependent on the people who raise them.
Now a pit is like any other dog. They may not always like other animals. It is always very important to know your pits temperament towards other animals. Some pits are fine around cats and other dogs, some are completely not. That’s just how it is with any breed.
If you are thinking of adopting I highly recommend going down to your local shelter and giving a pit breed a fighting chance. The chances of you opening your home to a loving, loyal, and adorable friend is 100 percent likely.