Top 5 Pit Bull Myths Get Busted

The pit bull breed has become shrouded in myth and misinformation in recent years. Highly publicized media reports and misleading statistics have portrayed them as violent, dangerous bullies instead of animals that deserve love and respect. For years, legislators and concerned pet owners have debated pit bulls’ reputation and temperament, bringing a cloud of negativity to over the breed.

We’ve decided to clear away the confusion by busting the top 5 pit bull myths. Read on — the results may surprise you!


Myth #1: Pit bulls are more aggressive than other breeds.

Not true. Although pit bulls have a reputation for being aggressors, interdog aggression is a common behavior and plenty of other breeds are known for it as well. In fact, in the American Temperament Test Society’s annual tests of over 240 breeds, pit bulls consistently achieve a passing rate that’s as good as or better than other popular breeds. As of December 2007, American pit bull terriers had a pass rate of 84.3 percent compared to the 81.6 percent pass rate for all breeds tested. (How did your favorite breed do? Find out here.)


Myth #2: Pit bulls are a “bully breed,” which means they’re more dangerous than other dogs.

There are several breeds of dogs often referred to as bully breeds, including pit bulls, bulldogs, mastiffs, Staffordshire bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, boxers and bull terriers. The term does not refer to their behavior – it means they have bulldog origins and are descendants of English baiting dogs. Just like any other animal, “bully breed” dogs are shaped by their environment, and if not provided proper socialization and training, can be encouraged to show hostility.


Myth #3: Pit bulls have locking jaws.

Nope. There are no unique locking mechanisms it pit bulls’ jaws – they are functionally identical to the jaws of any other breed. In fact, no breed has ever been found to possess a mechanism that would allow them to “lock” their top and bottom teeth together.


Myth #4: Pit bulls have stronger biting power than other dogs.

False. In fact, a recent National Geographic test comparing the bite pressure PSI (per square inch) between a pit bull, a Rottweiler, and a German shepherd revealed that the pit bull had the lowest PSI of the three!


Myth #5: Pit bulls are known to attack without warning.

Pit bulls are no more or less unpredictable than any other type of dog, and no dog is likely to transform from a docile companion to a violent aggressor without warning. There are always red flags when dogs become aroused, upset or afraid. The issue is not that pit bulls attack without warning; it’s that humans often fail to recognize the warning signs.


While media stories of pit bull aggression may spark controversy, like any breed of dog, pit bulls can run the gamut from very aggressive to exceptionally friendly. Pit bulls are not ferocious beasts to be feared and reviled, but they aren’t perfectly behaved angels either. Breed can have some influence over behavior, but ultimately it’s a dog’s upbringing and training that will determine how well behaved the dog will be.


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