Debunking the Pit Bull Myths

Narrated from: Choosing a dog

There are many myths and untruths about the pit bull breeds. People who have had the pleasure of owning a pit bull that has been properly trained and socialized already know that they are the most loyal and lovable dogs you can own. Unfortunately the media has made non pit bull advocates wary of the breed. Irresponsible owners create dogs who misbehave and who develop bad habits. It is simply imperative that pit bulls and pit bull mixes must be properly socialized and trained.

Now about those myths: there are three main myths that even some pit bull owners do not know about. The first is that pit bulls have locking jaws. Terriers in general have a tendency to grab things with their teeth and shake them. Their jaws do not lock in any way. There is absolutely nothing anatomically that can prove otherwise. Many terriers have an instinct to kill prey from Jack Russell terriers to Boston terriers. They were bred to hunt and they do not have a problem with finishing off a kill in a wounded animal. The shaking motion will generally snap a smaller animal’s neck. The pit bull terrier is no different. Just because they grab and shake their prey it in no way means that they are somehow locking their jaws. All dog owners need to know how to break up a dog fight safely so that no one gets hurt.

Another myth about pit bulls is that they can tolerate a large amount of pain. In fact pit bulls do not like rain or colder temperatures or anything else that causes discomfort. They are finicky about the temperature of their bath water and the temperature of their food. In addition to being sensitive about temperatures, pit bulls appreciate being gently patted or scratched behind their ears. The nerve endings in their bodies are no different than that of other breeds. While the nerve endings of all dogs are farther apart than those of humans meaning that they feel less, it does not prevent pit bulls or any other breed of dog from feeling pain. This myth was probably started because all dogs are less responsive to pain when they are agitated or excited.

The third most popular myth about pit bulls is that they are unpredictable and here again this is not true. Many people have heard stories of pit bulls which have been just fine all of their lives and then they suddenly turn on their owner. Experts have proven that this does not happen with dogs that have been properly socialized and trained and it is not likely to happen more with pit bulls than other breeds.

The most important thing about owning a pit bull is that they are properly socialized with people and other animals from a very young age. You may be very surprised to see how gentle they are with smaller animals and how they are very likely to nurture other animals than they are to harm them. The only time you will encounter a pit bull that does not like people and other animals is when they have never been exposed to them. They are a very social breed and they enjoy the company of all kinds of animals and people. They are also very athletic and will sometimes play too rough so watch your puppy carefully and be ready to calm him if this happens.

Pit bulls are very sociable, loving, naturally protective, gentle and intelligent animals. The ASPCA compares them to the golden retriever!

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