Shattering the Myth about Pit Bulls
Over the past decade, the media has perpetuated the myth that Pit Bulls are aggressive killers that can turn on you at any given moment. Scores of people everywhere have fed into this fear and my very own province of Ontario has pass a bill on BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) in 2005 that bans certain breeds based on appearance and not on deeds that may or may not have been committed. The breeds that are banned are:
- A pit bull terrier
- A Staffordshire bull terrier
- An American Staffordshire terrier
- An American pit bull terrier
- A dog that has an appearance and physical characteristics substantially similar to any of those dogs.
After the bill became law, thousands of innocent Pit Bulls across Ontario were killed just for looking a certain way. Most of these dogs have done nothing to warrant their murder other than to be a Pit Bull. The overturn of the ban is on the table in Ontario.
The truth is any breed of dog can be aggressive if the conditions are right. So what could those conditions be? Neglect and abuse primarily. Aggression is nothing more than fear magnified. No dog looks at a human or other dog and thinks “I want to kill this person”. What they are thinking is “This person is going to hurt me and I’m going to protect myself”. People have been fatally attacked by German Shepherds, Huskies, Weimaraner and even Labrador Retrievers. Some breeds have a strong prey drive, such as dogs bred to hunt. If you ever wondered why a dog killed a chicken or squirrel, their prey drive is why. Not because they are mean, vicious and aggressive.
Pit Bull’s jaws do not lock. This is a much hyped myth. All dogs have a bite, hold and shake style. Look at any dog playing with their toys and you will see this. The difference between a Chihuahua and a Pit Bull is strength. The Pit Bull is a very strong and powerful dog but so are many other large breeds. If any large breed wanted to inflict damage, they could.
On temperament tests evaluated by the American Temperament Society, Pit Bulls score at or below average for aggression when compared to other dogs. The tests gave the American Pit Bull Terriers a very high passing rate of 82.6 percent. The average passing grade for 121 breeds of dogs in the tests was 77 percent.
What’s tragically been lost in all the media hype are the positive qualities and heart warming stories about Pit Bulls to shatter this myth once and for all.
Pit Bulls (short for American Pit Bull Terrier) are very intelligent, loyal and feisty dogs. All terrier dogs tend to be energetic and fearless. With the right owner, they can be amazing pets and completely safe to have around your children. In fact, by 1900, the breed was affectionately called “The Nanny Dog” due to their loyal and protective nature. These same qualities can be overwhelming for people who are not familiar with the breed and are having a hard time handling them. Luckily, the Pit Bull responds very quickly to obedience training and continued reinforcement. This dog is very eager to please!
The Pit Bull is a suitable companion dog in any environment whether you have an apartment or a home with a huge yard; provided they get their exercise. Lazy or busy people would not find the Pit Bull a suitable dog.
For more information on this amazing breed, click the picture of Ekko the Amstaff below to download a PDF courtesy of the amazing website StubbyDog.org.