Top seven myths about Pit Bulls
Are you guilty of beleiving any of these myths? Here are the most common ones that bully breed owners hear.
[B]MYTH#1:[/B] All pit bulls (read: any dog that even halfway resembles a pit bull) are vicious, unpredictable and aggressive.
Reality: For more than a century, these fighting breeds have been bred for companionship, and now they are noted for their rock-solid temperaments. Many are active in animal-assisted therapy, drug detection, police dog work and search-and-rescue, to name a few activities that involve constant interaction with the public. However, within the last 10 to 20 years, a segment, of the pit bull-type breeds has fallen into the hands of criminal types who breed for aggressivness toward humans - this is not the norm. Inexperienced breeders may also accidentally breed poor temperaments, as is true with any breed.
MYTH#2: If you raise one of these breeds (e.g. APBT, AmStaff, Stafford) as if it were a Labrador Retriever, you'll have a dog that acts like a Lab.
Reality: Each breed has generations of selective breeding that bring with it a unique set of characteristics. In particular dog aggression will be present and should be watched for by the owner.
MYTH#3: These breeds have locking jaws.
Reality: These breeds were originally bred for gameness, which means that the dog will persevere (or not let go) despite grievous injury. In other words, the dog just doesn't want to let go. (Sometimes a tool is used to open the dog's jaw.)
MYTH#4: They're all pits.
Reality: APBTs, AmStaffs, Staffords, Bull Terriers and American Bulldogs are all commonly called pitbulls; however, each breed has its own unique characteristics.
MYTH#5: These dogs can't tell the difference between animals and children.
Reality: These breeds can have a high prey drive and may kill pocket pets, cats and even small dogs - but this is not the same behavior as human aggression or predation. The fighting breeds traditionally have been known for their kindness to childern.
MYTH#6: These breeds must be kept as only dogs.
Reality: Not necessarily, although it may be tough to have a multi-dog household. Experts recommend spaying and neutering all canine family members and suggest pairing of male and females to increase the chances of a peaceful family. Some dogs can live in a multi-dog household; however, this depends heavily on the individual temperaments and the owner's role in maintaining peace.
MYTH#7: All pit owners are drug dealers and gangsters or are invloved in dog fighting.
Reality: Owners range from physicians and accountants, to teachers, authors and laborers. Prehapst the most visable segment is the disreputable one, but reputable owners are working hard to dispel this myth.
--Joan Hustace Walker (out of the popular dog series Bully Breeds.)
* APBT= American Pit Bull Terrier; AmStaff= American Staffordshire Terrier; Stafford= Stafford Shire Terrier *