When it comes to the breed known as pitbulls, there are many different points of view. People in general tend to form an opinion on any given subject, and when that subject happens to be controversial, like being a pitbull parent, those opinions can get formed quickly and be hard as granite. And while people are certainly entitled to their opinions, I feel that it’s important for those opinions to be based on facts, not myths, no matter how often they may be repeated.
I once was a person who believed some popular myths about pitbulls. Really, it’s true! Before I educated myself on the breed, I believed that pitbulls:
- had locking jaws
- would more often than not turn on their owners no matter what their upbringing was
- were in general a vicious, dangerous dog
Now, of course, I know better. But the sad reality is that there are many, many people who believe those same myths. So let’s take a look at some of those myths and the reality behind them.
- This is a myth that is somewhat surprising in it's popularity.
- Reality: There is absolutely no way a pitbull can "lock" their jaws. Their skulls, including the jaw bone, are identical to all canines. If pitbulls really did have locking jaws, they would have to be classified as an entirely different animal!
- One of the reasons for this myth is that the pitbull has a tendency to grab hold of an object and hold on with determination. The ASPCA website does a good job of describing this.
- Myth #2: Pitbulls “turn” on their owners.
- As the website Bad Rap reports, healthy, happy pitbulls do not become aggressive towards their owners. The dogs that do, no matter what the breed, are usually the result of bad owners, not bad dogs.
- Myth #3: Pitbulls are aggressive and dangerous dogs.
- Reality: As I’ve reported in earlier posts, the American Temperament Test Society, or ATTS, puts about 240 different dog breeds through temperament testing each year. The American Pitbull Terrier scored an 86.8% and the Staffordshire Terrier scored an amazing 90.7%. Now, compare that to the:
- Chihuahua at 69.8%
- Dalmatian at 82.7%
- Golden Retriever at 85.2%
- Border Collie at 81.5%
Surprised? Many people are when they read those statistics, but it’s a good example of myth vs. reality!
- Myth #4: Pitbulls have a bite pressure of 2000 pounds.
- Reality: The pitbulls bite pressure has been tested extensively, and as Hello Bully reported, they were found to have an average bite pressure of 320 pounds.
- This is less than the average bite pressure of the German Shepherd and the Rottweiler.
- Myth #5: If a pitbull attacks another dog, it’s only a matter of time before it will attack a human.
- The best way to avoid human aggression in your pitbull is to socialize them extensively while they are still young. The bottom line is a properly trained, well socialized dog from a loving, responsible home should never become aggressive towards humans.
I hope that the facts provided here will result in more people being educated regarding the truth about pitbulls. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the better an advocate you can become!
The next time you hear someone spouting ridiculous information about pitbulls, hit them with the facts, and only the facts!
Let’s keep spreading the word about what great pets pitbull terriers make!