The term Pit Bull does not refer to a single breed — that’s a dog myth. It is the general term for the cross-breed between Bulldogs and Terriers. Their physical strength, agility, and obedience make them perfect companions. In fact, they were dubbed as “America’s Dog” not too long ago, starring in mainstream media as the perfect family dog. Then, why do people have the wrong notion about them?
In the 1800s, these dogs were used as a source of entertainment in a sport called “Bull Baiting” where they were set to agitate a bull until exhaustion. They were also pitted against other animals like rats and fellow dogs, and it was not until later when the British Parliament Cruelty to Animals Act 1835 prohibited the use of dogs in cruel sports for entertainment.
Well, it’s safe to say that the common misconception about this dog is that they are inherently dangerous, but this can be attributed to their unfortunate history and biased portrayal in the media. Below are three myths about pit bulls:
Pit Bulls are a Breed
As mentioned above, the pit bull doesn’t refer to just one breed. There are numerous pit bull dog breeds with varying physical attributes and characteristics. Among the types are American pit bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the American Bully. Regardless of the type, a muscular built and almond-shaped eyes are common traits they all share.
Pit Bulls are Aggressive and Dangerous
Pit bulls in the 1800s were indeed deemed to be aggressive, but it’s because these dogs were conditioned to be so. They were subject to intense punishment like electrocution, starvation, and beating if they disobey their owners. These methods were also used to “toughen them up” and make them ruthless. Unfortunately, even after laws have been passed, pit bulls are still one of the most abused dogs in the world only because of common dog behavior myths surrounding them.
Therefore, the owners are to be blamed for their aggressive behavior, and not the dogs. We must remember that any breed will follow by example, and they will copy what they see, so we must be responsible dog owners if they want them to be gentle and caring.
Pit Bulls’ Ears Must be Cropped
One common misconception about pit bulls is that they should undergo ear cropping surgery to avoid developing ear infections and other hearing problems. These fallacies have been repeatedly disputed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and currently, there are more and more veterinarians that refuse to perform ear cropping procedures on pit bulls. For a more extensive explanation of ear cropping fallacies, you may check out this article.
Pit bulls may look tough and hard-headed on the outside, but they are soft and sweet pets that are loyal to their owners forever. These common dog myths about pit bulls will undoubtedly continue for the next few years, but we should raise awareness and collectively remove these misconceptions in the future.