10 Common Misconceptions About Pit Bulls

10 Common Misconceptions About Pit Bulls

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Freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#1 Nov 8, 2012
No other dog has had so much media coverage in the last 15 years as the Pit Bull. It's tough not to be emotional one way or the other about these canines, especially if you've owned one or two or three, or if you or a loved one has been involved in a bad incident involving a Pit Bull. One side says Pits are dangerous and should be banned. The other side says they are loving, safe dogs and it's the owners who are to blame for any "bad" Pits. What is the truth? Somewhere in between.

"Pit Bull" can refer to either the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) breed or a type of dog who has Pit Bull traits. It's all muddled at this point with Breed Specific Legislation, which bans or restricts some breeds, lumping Boxers and Dalmatians in with pits and other bully breeds (such as the American Staffordshire Terrier. Most Pit Bulls on the street are mixes though there is still breeding of the APBT. Responsible breeding produces a stable, talented dog while breeding for dog fighting must, of course, be stopped.

It gets more confusing when trying to identify just how many Pit Bulls are responsible for dog or human attacks. When you see the term "Pit Bull" in the press, it can refer to any type of dog. More often than you'd think, a dog who attacked someone and is labeled Pit Bull, is actually a mutt or a different breed altogether. Even if a picture is attached and it looks like a Pitbull, it could be any number of mixes which produce similar characteristics. Really, when you think about it, condemning a dog based on his physical traits is declaring his guilt based purely on his appearance - this is what BSL is about.

But there are the sensible people who honestly feel that Pitbulls, and any dog that resembles one, are a danger to society. Often, these folks don't know much about dogs and certainly not much about Pits. But they are being bombarded with almost all bad press about these dogs. It is evident that the media fuels misconceptions about Pits and stirs up the public. And the statistics behind the fury are less than accurate. Even the Center for Disease Control, which puts out many of the stats, states that dog bite and dog attack data cannot be gathered accurately. But, still, the section of society that does not feel safe with Pit Bulls has a right to be heard. And, considering the bull they are fed about Pits, it's no wonder they don't believe the Pit Bull supporters.

Below are 10 common misconceptions about Pit Bulls which both support and contradict the general views of either "Pit Bulls are dangerous" or "Pit Bulls are just like Golden Retrievers." Just as it's tough to be unemotional about these dogs, it's also tough to be unbiased (especially when the author of this article owns three of them) but a valiant effort has been made.
Freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#2 Nov 8, 2012
1. All Pit Bulls Are Bad - Dogs do not have a conscience; they cannot be "bad." Pit Bulls react to their world based on their breeding and training. You can't breed a dog to fight other dogs for almost 200 years and expect those instincts to vanish.

2. All Pit Bulls Are Good - No dog is not innately "good." They simply act as their instincts and owners tell them to. To try to sell the Pit Bull to the public as a fluffy bunny does a disservice to the public, to potential Pit Bull owners and to Pits themselves.

3. Pit Bulls Are Human Aggressive - Since Pits were bred to fight dogs in a ring, the owners had to make certain they would not turn on them when they went in to stop the fight. Imagine a dog, so riled up from fighting and very aggressive, who was able to then turn it off when his human appeared in the pit. When a Pit Bull attacks a person, there are always other factors involved, such as protection of food. Any dog may bite if provoked.

4. Pit Bulls Can Cause More Damage Than Other Dogs - Sorry, Pit Bull lovers but this is sometimes sadly true. Myths such as the locked jaw have been disproved but a Pit Bull's traits make him naturally more driven. Consider these: tenacity (they often fought til death in rings), gameness, prey drive, a compact, strong, muscular body (pits can pull up to 7,000 pounds) and centuries of fighting instinct. But, there are too many factors involved in dog bites, such as the size of the animal and where the bite occurred, to make a blanket statement. In their favor, a Pit Bull will likely listen and obey better than other dogs if properly trained.

5. An Aggressive Pit Bull Cannot Be Rehabilitated - This was disproved by the Michael Vick case where some 50 pit bulls were rescued from a fighting ring. Of those, 49 dogs were rehabilitated. Some went to shelters such as Best Friends and many are well-loved family members today. The testing used to determine these dogs' ability to fit into society was exhaustive and excellent and successful.

6. Anyone Can Own a Pit Bull - Pit Bulls are different from other dogs and their owners need to be told the facts before rescuing or purchasing one. A dog lover who has had Bichons all her life will be sorely surprised unless she does her homework and understands the bully breeds. Pits need a lot of structure, a very pronounced human alpha, training, exercise and lots of attention. The owner needs consistency, time, energy and maybe some muscle.

7. Pit Bulls Will Always Fight Other Dogs - Some Pits are so dog aggressive that they should be the only dog in the house. They also should not go to dog parks or areas where dogs run off-leash. Any Pit Bull could get into a fight with another dog. Any dog could. But breaking up a Pit Bull fight is much harder than a tiff between a Shiba Inu and a Sharpei Inu. If you have a Pit Bull, learn about his body language and the signs that he is getting ready to fight. This will prevent many incidents.

8. Pit Bulls Are Lovers Not Fighters - Since it's been established that they can be fighters, what about lovers? Absolutely! Pit Bulls give more kisses than any other type of dog (it's proven!). They love humans and human interactions. They feed off positive attention. These dogs are loving, friendly creatures. And they are the kings of clowning.

9. Pit Bulls Are Badly Behaved - Any dog who has this much energy and motivation coded into his DNA can cause problems if he doesn't get enough attention and exercise. Pit Bulls put their whole hearts into destruction - of couches, beds, pillows, or your $200 boots. But all they need is to have that energy redirected. Pit Bulls are highly trainable but they do need to be trained. Their intelligence, focus, gameness, loyalty and desire to please makes them one of the most teachable dogs.
Freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#3 Nov 8, 2012
10. Compromise is Unthinkable - Unfortunately, both sides of the Pit Bull debate are often stubborn about their views and solutions. For those who think BSL is wrong, they need to be realistic about how to end it. For those that think Pit Bulls are dangerous, they need to recognize that banning Pits tears loved pets away from their families and what they propose will not stop all dangerous dogs. Giving in a bit on both sides, such as allowing muzzling of Pit Bulls in public places in exchange for no BSL, may prove the only hope.

Pitbulls are like other dogs yet they're also unique. Their gameness, focus, desire to please and boundless energy can be seen as either productive or unproductive traits. The trick is to utilize these characteristics in focused play and work, such as agility, weight pulling, rescue work or nose work.
http://www.dogster.com/breeds/pitbulls
freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#5 Nov 9, 2012
Exactly, and do I know it lol. My staffie/boston terrier mix isnt even a year old and she is just this ball of pure energy. Thankfully with a vegan diet I have plenty of energy to take her out and walk and run and play. She is also good with our guinea pigs and rats. But, even if you do get them plenty of excercise, they will still be destructive in some way if you dont watch them. No matter how much time you devote to them, they love to chew and if you dont watch them closely, they will most likely shred something you would rather them not to. I found this out first hand when she somehow got ahold of one of my favorite sandles. My favorite thing to keep her busy are empty plastic bottles with treats inside and rawhide bones. She will spend hours with those things.
freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#7 Nov 9, 2012
Awww the herding chickens thing has got to be so cute to watch lol. But yea, we are waiting till shes like 3 or 4 to start getting into service/therapy dog training. So, not only can she really help if something happens to one of us, she will be extremely well behaved. We would probably volunteer at a local hospital or nursing home.
freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#9 Nov 9, 2012
No shes around 50 pounds now, but we dont think shes getting any bigger. Shes about the right size for a staffie. Your thinking of the staffordshire bull terrier, which is the smallest pitbull type.
freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#13 Nov 10, 2012
"With the high level of aggression that some pit bulls show toward other dogs, it may seem a contradiction that they also are described as loyal and gentle companion animals. However, these seemingly conflicting characteristics are hallmarks of a well-bred fighting dog. Before each fight, the dogs are washed, usually by the other dog's handler, to ensure that no foreign substances have been placed on the animal to inhibit an opponent from biting and holding. During fights, dogs are in the pit with handlers and the referee, and they are handled during fighting, training and breeding. Consequently, professional breeders of fighting dogs are very intolerant of “people mean” dogs. Dogs that display aggression toward people are certainly not bred and are almost always culled. Unfortunately, an increased level of human-directed aggression is being documented as individuals outside the traditional dogfighting culture acquire and breed pit bulls for protection or as status symbols. Poor training and poor breeding are, in part, responsible for the increasing numbers of pit bulls and pit bull mixes involved in attacks against people."
http://www.aspca.org/fight-animal-cruelty/dog...

I did a search on bing and the only website that said that "human aggressive pits were culled" is false was dogsbite.org . Also, apparently the only proof of this is some story from the new york times.

This is what dogsbite.org says:
"Myth #3: Human-aggressive pit bulls were "culled"

Historically, it is believed that dogfighters removed human-aggressive pit bulls from the gene pool. "Man biters," as dogmen referred them, were "culled" to prevent dog handlers from suffering vicious bites. However, dogmen themselves and pedigrees show a different story. As far back as 1909, George Armitage shares a story in, "Thirty Years with Fighting Dogs." He describes Caire's Rowdy as not a mere man-biter, but as a "man-eater," the most dangerous biter of all.6

In more modern years, a substantial number of champion (CH), grand champion (GR CH) and register of merit (ROM) fighting dogs carry the title of a man-biter or a man-eater. These pit bulls were championship-breeding stock, whose famed owners never for a moment considered culling the dogs. Some of the most well known dogs include: Adams' GR CH Zebo, Indian Bolio ROM, Garner's CH Chinaman ROM, Gambler's GR CH Virgil and West's CH Spade (man-eater).7

In 1974, after a series of high profile news articles written by Wayne King and published by the New York Times, the image of the ferocious fighting pit bull moved from the shadowy world of dogmen into the mainstream. This period, between 1975 and 1979, is known as the "leakage period" when the breeding of pit bulls drastically increased through gang members and drug dealers, who wanted the "toughest dog" on the block, as well as by pet pit bull breeders.8

While some dogmen of the past may have culled human-aggressive dogs to keep their stock free of man-biters, once the leakage period began, there is no evidence that similar selective pressures were maintained.9 As early as 1980, pit bull attacks begin headlining newspapers, "Another Pit Bull Attack Reported; Boy, 8 Slashed," as well as reports about pit bull owners trying to bolster the breed's "deteriorating" public image, "Pit Bull Attacks As Owners Fight Image."

As you can see, colleen states all these so called "facts" without one scap of eveidence from a reliable source. Some random article from the new york times cant be your only source, because then you would have to ask: where did the newspaper get their info from? Either way, the fact that these fighters fought dogs and not humans, should tell you something. Maybe some chose not to cull their dogs but the majority would probably want dogs that were obedient to humans. It would make no sense to want human aggressive dogs for DOG-fighting.
freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#14 Nov 10, 2012
Also(and I dont normally bring this up because my husband is definately not proud of it), my husband grew up in a poor area in guatemala and knew people who participated in dogfighting. Thankfully he never particpated in it himself, but he never did anything about it which is what hes not proud of. He says that most of the pits used by these people were family pets, and that human aggression wasnt tolerated by those people for that reason. Obviously, its very hard for me to get proof of this other than my husbands word, but hes not a liar and wouldnt tell me this if it wasnt true. Either way, I bleive my husband who actually grew up around people who did this awefull thing than some woman whose only reason for starting that website is because she got bit. Its obvious that her only goal is to scare people into hating pits insead of trying to understand them and help educate people.
freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#29 Nov 10, 2012
1. You may have not used dogsbite(for once), but you still didnt site your sources.

2. I posted what I posted and thats it. Im not going to bother trying to argue with someone who just disregards anything he doesnt agree with.

3. You can say whatever you want, post whatever, copy and paste whatever, from wherever, but I have had alot more experience with the breed than you ever have, so you dont convince me of anything other than your someone who isnt willing take any new information into account, except for what backs up what you think you already know.

4. Im a pitnutter, deal with it. Maybe some people see me as stupid for liking pits and other dont. Thats the beauty of this country. We can have a difference of opinions and theres nothing wrong with that.

5. You think pits are such a problem? Get some legislation passed and let us know. If you are so well known in washington with your bullshit, why would you have such a problem with the senate or house giving credit to whoever helped convinve them to pass it in the first place? So, Im waiting to find out if you are so famous.
freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#33 Nov 10, 2012
Just keep telling yourself that. Your attempts to convince people are futile.
Oh Please

United States

#36 Nov 10, 2012
cant deny wrote:
<quoted text>AND PROVE THAT THEY HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFULLY REHABILITATED
Prove that they haven't been would you?

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/11...
Reality

Syracuse, NY

#38 Nov 10, 2012
cant deny wrote:
<quoted text>POST EXACTLY WHERE ALL OF MICHAEL VICK'S PITS HAVE BEEN REHOMED AND DON'T THINK I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIS
5. An Aggressive Pit Bull Cannot Be Rehabilitated - This was disproved by the Michael Vick case where some 50 pit bulls were rescued from a fighting ring. Of those, 49 dogs were rehabilitated. Some went to shelters such as Best Friends and many are well-loved family members today. The testing used to determine these dogs' ability to fit into society was exhaustive and excellent and successful.
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/magazin...

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500199_162-688409...

http://www.pawnation.com/2010/09/17/what-happ...
reality

Syracuse, NY

#43 Nov 10, 2012
cant deny wrote:
<quoted text> THERE'S YOUR PROOF - THIS ONE ISN'T REHABILITATED AND ANOTHER VICK DOG DECAPITATED ANOTHER DOG AT ONE OF THE SANCTUARIES - THAT'S HARDLY REHABILITATED

One of Michael Vick's Dogs Finds a Safe, Loving Home. In Dallas.
By Richie Whitt Wed., Jun. 23 2010 at 8:54 AM 145 Comments
&#8203;Richard Hunter has a new member of his household. That's him, quivering in the corner. Shaking uncontrollably. Convulsing. The 4-year-old is scared shitless.
"He lives in fear," Hunter says of his new best friend, Mel. "You would too if you'd been beating and traumatized your whole life."
Michael Vick is out of prison and back in the NFL. But the dogs he tortured - the ones he didn't kill, that is - will never escape his dark shadow.
"Mel's come a long way. We can pet him. He sleeps in bed with us," Hunter says. "But he's scarred for life. He's never barked. Never made a noise. There are times when he's just terrified."
Hunter, who for years hosted a talk show on various Dallas radio stations and these days produces a daily podcast at www.richardhuntershow.com , was outraged by the gruesome details of Vick's dog-fighting ring. He ranted about how Vick should never be allowed to play in the NFL again.
"Prison or not, I didn't think this guy would play another down," Hunter says. "I never thought the American public would stand for this. In our small way, we wanted to make our statement."
Hunter and his wife, who live in Dallas, have a 13-year-old Terrier named Pumpkin. But after reading the details of Vick's own trial testimony about how the dogs were treated - hooked up to a car battery and electrocuted, teeth yanked out so they couldn't bite handlers during sessions on a rape stand, hanging, drowning, thrown for sport - the couple decided to adopt one of the battered and beleagured Pit Bulls.
That 18-month journey started when they contacted Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah .
Initially told no dog was adoption-ready, nine months later the couple underwent a federal background check. That was followed by a home visit from a case worker, then a visit - via car, on their own dime - to Utah where they lived in a cabin for a week and introduced themselves and Pumpkin to Mel.
Finally approved by the society and the judge who sent Vick to jail, Hunter had Mel hand-delivered by a case worker and a trainer in September. The trainer stayed in a Dallas hotel and visited Mel in his new home every day for a week before leaving.
"Shy is an understatement," Hunter says of Mel. "Remember, he was used as a 'bait' dog."
That means, essentially, that Mel was a canine piñata, beaten daily by Vick and his cronies to kill his fighting spirit. Once "de-fanged" of his will, Mel was thrown into a pit with prized fighting dogs who practiced their aggression on the hapless, defenseless - and, even worse, muzzled - bait dog.
"To consider what he went through, his resiliency is amazing," Hunter says. "For the first couple years of this dog's life every time he saw a human being [he thought] something terrible was about to happen to him."
Give the assist to Pumpkin. The two dogs hit it off, with the elder sensing the fear in his new introvert friend.
When a stranger enters Hunter's house, Mel freaks out. He grabs his monkey security blanket, slowly backs up into the corner and quivers. In front of him, standing as guard, is Pumpkin. And since Mel can't - or won't - use vocal communication, it's Pumpkin who barks for him, often waking Hunter late at night to find Mel at the back door needing a bathroom break.

"At the same time, Mel has enriched our lives beyond our wildest dreams."
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/magazin...
http://www.pawnation.com/2010/09/17/what-happ...
http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500199_162-688409...
Oh Please

United States

#44 Nov 10, 2012
Oh so the several dogs there have been rehab'd,(which several have) have been rehab'd means it's possible and that you are wrong, the proof is right in front of you. Those dogs where treated badly, and if even one can prove it's possible, you can't say it's not possible any more! Sorry, proof is right there!
freakyfrog

Lincoln, RI

#47 Nov 10, 2012
cant deny wrote:
<quoted text>freakyfrogs info said 49 out of 50 were rehomed or rehabilitated that is a lie
Well in the news articles it says 47 out of 51 got rehomed, either to a sancuary or adopted. Either way, it was only off by 3 dogs. Obviously, I didnt write that(or did you actually think I did?), I put the link to the website at the bottem. You're welcome to assume its all lies(you always do), everyone has the right to think whatever they want about the article.
reality

Syracuse, NY

#49 Nov 10, 2012
Or we could just say it was a "misstatement" Sound familiar?
Reality

Syracuse, NY

#52 Nov 10, 2012
Every time he makes a mistake, he class it a misstatement or oversight, but makes a big deal when someone else's stats are a little off and his claim that 24 dogs were noti adoptable was disproved.
cant deny

Auburn, NY

#54 Nov 11, 2012
Annie wrote:
<quoted text>
Where did they come from? Once again you have given no citations, plagiarizing (stealing) someone else's work, whether true or not. We have no way of verifying these facts by checking the source, so you have proven nothing.
it's easy enough to find out where info comes from just copy and paste a portion of it into the search box you already know this and i don't see you getting on pitnutters for doing the exact same thing WHY NOT because you are a HYPOCRITE that's why
cant deny

Auburn, NY

#55 Nov 11, 2012
freakyfrog wrote:
<quoted text>
Well in the news articles it says 47 out of 51 got rehomed, either to a sancuary or adopted. Either way, it was only off by 3 dogs. Obviously, I didnt write that(or did you actually think I did?), I put the link to the website at the bottem. You're welcome to assume its all lies(you always do), everyone has the right to think whatever they want about the article.
your earlier info said 49 out of 50 so which is it pick a figure and stick with it
cant deny

Auburn, NY

#56 Nov 11, 2012
Annie wrote:
<quoted text>
Name a perfect breed,one which can be abused and trained to fight, that is going to have a perfect recovery as a whole. Do you think all addicts or alcoholics that attend rehab come out fully recovered, with no problems? Do all cancer victims recover with treatment? Grow up! Back up your challenge with documented information that a researcher would accept, from an unbiased source.
most of you pitnutters info comes from biased sources - HYPOCRITE and i have posted tons of info from internationally acclaimed experts already you know all of this already

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