Out of all the breeds we commonly encounter, pit bull dogs are probably the most misunderstood ones. Despite their gentle and caring nature towards people, mostly children, they have been judged by those who do not understand that pit bulls can be lovable as house pets.
As a pit bull terrier owner, you must be aware that you may be met with anger and hostility by people who are misinformed about your dog. This is not a breed for everyone, especially those who aren’t willing to invest time in training and socialization and can’t or won’t provide consistent firm guidance.
If you’re a new pit bull owner and are looking for some guidance, here’s the lowdown on these misunderstood dog breeds:
- The pit bull terrier is one of the so-called bully breeds often labeled pit bull. In fact, “pit bull” isn’t a breed, but a term used to describe the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
- The ancient Greek Molossian war dogs gave rise to several tough strains of dogs, including dogs that specialized as gladiators.
- A pit bull owner formed the United Kennel Club (UKC). The UKC remains to this day a strong registry for the American Pit Bull Terrier. Similarly, the American Dog Breeder’s Association was formed in 1909 just to register pit bulls.
- They were originally bred to be a “bait” to bulls, eventually, they became farm dogs, nanny dogs, and even service dogs. They’re highly versatile and well-rounded dogs, but the dog community either really loves them or has a fierce dislike towards them.
Every dog owner or potential dog owner needs to remember that getting a dog that is fit for your way of living is important. Each dog has a certain set of needs that you need to be able to provide for them to live their best lives. The proper care for pit bulls isn’t too far off from how you would deal with any other dogs. As mentioned, you just need to be aware of how to properly cater to them.
Living with them means giving them a healthy diet that will give them enough nutrition to sustain their energy. Because of their size and highly active nature, you will need a high-quality diet with a balance of protein and carbs.
It’s also vital for you to train and give your pittie ample time to exercise. While pit bulls can be amazing house pets and great with humans, they still need to be trained — as all dogs. Aside from obedience training, you can also look into agility training or other dog sports. You can incorporate that as an alternative for the usual walk in the part or other preferred physical activities. Allowing them to socialize is also a great way to also keep their brains stimulated and healthy.
If you live in a cooler area, the pit bull dogs should not be left outside for long because they can’t tolerate the cold well. And regardless of the climate, these dogs do best as house dogs. They form strong attachments to their families and will suffer if left alone for long periods.
Pitties are also pretty low maintenance and don’t require much from their owners, so you need not worry about your wallet with this one.
While we’re here, let’s also talk about the common misconceptions and myths about these lovable house pets:
They are inherently vicious and have a bad temperament
Because of their strong and stocky build, as well as being packed with more muscles per pound than any other breed, people tend to view them as scary or intimidating. According to studies by the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS), they scored higher than the general dog population – making them one of the most tolerant dog breeds.
Aside from the ATTS, there have been multiple peer-reviewed studies that have concluded that pit bulls are not “more” dangerous.
While it’s true that pit bulls can be aggressive, it’s not because of their breed. Dogs, as we all know, have behavioral or temperament issues because of the environment they are raised in or are exposed to. They can become violent and aggressive if they have been mistreated, abused, and have been left untrained.
Most incidents with dogs involve pit bulls
Often, when this happens, it’s a case of misidentification.
Pitbullinfo.org noted the conclusion of a peer-reviewed study published by the Journal of the American Veterinary Association that said “media reports on bite-related incidents are prone to significant breed identification error rates of over 40 percent and that valid breed determination was possible in only 17 percent of all incidents.”
Pit bulls were bred to fight
Dogs aren’t born and immediately have the instinct to attack or fight another dog or a human being, they are trained to do so. Like what was mentioned above, pit bulls have a stocky and strong build that allows them to be more capable for fighting.
They are trained to fight by people who are interested in making a profit and providing “entertainment” in the form of a dog fight.
While they might not start a fight, they’ll never back down from one, and they fight to the finish.
They have a different way of biting and have locking jaws
Dr. Lehr Brisbin of the University of Georgia states, “To the best of our knowledge, there are no published scientific studies that would allow any meaningful comparison to be made of the biting power of various breeds of dogs.”
Some believe American pit bull terriers have a jaw pressure as high as around 1,600 P.S.I. (pounds per square inch), but dog bite statistics are hard to establish in a meaningful way due to the lack of studies available.
At the end of the day, all dogs deserve to be viewed as wonderful creatures that need to be nurtured – no matter what the size or the preconceived notion about them. We’re not claiming that all dogs are gentle and are incapable of harming others, we are just simply saying that we should give all dogs a chance.