Pit bulls are inheritantly dangerous and may attack at any time: According to the American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS), the pit bull is no more vicious than the golden retriever or the beagle. The ATTS test puts various breeds through a series of tests dealing with unexpected situations and strangers. Dogs that possess any signs of unprovoked fear or aggression automatically fail the test. The pit bull passed with a high 83.9%, compared to the average 77% scored by other breeds.
Like any other dog, a pit bull that is properly raised and socialized in a loving environment will remain friendly and faithful. Unfortunately, as the pit bull still remains one of the most highly abused and exploited breeds in the world, there also remain sad examples of poorly bred and mistreated pit bulls that are the byproduct of irresponsible breeders and dogfighters or “dog men” as they like to call themselves. These unfortunate animals that are improperly raised and unsocialized may show temperaments that are far from those of the authentic and well cared for pit bull.
Pit bulls have lock jaws: One of my all time favorite myths. It seems that the media is obsessed with portraying the pit bull as some sort of superhuman monster with immortal capabilities. However, our good friend, “science,” has yet again proven this rumor to be nothing more than a jaw dropping lie. These are dogs, with a bone anatomy just like that of any other dog, except they possess a lot more strength and will power. However, they are not carnivorous dinosaurs.
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.”
A pit bull that attacks other animals will go after people next: Animal aggression and human aggression are two completely different things. Pit bulls were once trained to fight and bring down large animals, hence the possession of animal aggression in some pit bulls (or any other breed for that matter!) is not unnatural, and definitely NOT a reason to euthanize the dog. It deserves to be given a chance to live in a loving home just like any other dog. However, with that being said, while pit bulls were once bred to fight other animals, they were at the same time, bred never to possess any signs of human aggression. This is what enabled a “dog man” to grab his dog by the collar, or even the scruff of the neck, and pull it out of a fight without ever getting bitten. Hence, any pit bull that shows signs of aggression towards people is not at all typical of the breed, and should therefore be evaluated by a professional animal behaviorist and a veterinarian (in case there are medical issues at hand), or be humanely euthanized. These dogs should NEVER be bred, as they possess an unfit temperament.
Adult pit bulls should not be adopted, because their background is unknown: This one really gets under my nails. I believe that every dog deserves a chance. Papers and certificates don’t mean much these days, considering the intolerable amount of backyard breeders that use them to blind their customers. Furthermore, when putting up dogs for adoption, responsible shelter and rescues always ensure that the dogs are properly temperament tested, and look at the animal’s temperament as a way to judge whether the dog will be able to be adopted out into a new home.
Pit bulls and children do not belong together: Pit bulls are known for their ability to handle a lot of rough and tumble play that children can dish out. They make wonderful companions for kids, and are great family pets when properly trained and socialized. However, children should be taught how to properly interact with dogs and when to respect quiet time. Children and dogs (no matter what breed), should never be left alone without adult supervision.