Pit Bull Attacks Child or Unprovoked Pit Bull Seriously Injures Chihuahua are probably two of the most common headlines you’ll see when reading about pit bulls. The media portrays these puppies as erratic, combative, and nasty. But this stereotype is full with falsehoods, just like most of others.
People who work at dog shelters, pit bull shelters, and animal shelters have very different experiences to share than you would be accustomed to hearing. These dogs, it is claimed, are misunderstood and have unfairly acquired an unjustified bad reputation. Several employees and volunteers who frequently interact with Pit Bull Terriers share their perspectives and experiences. You might wish to adopt a Pit Bull after understanding the facts about them.
- 1 1. Pit Bulls Are Not an Official Breed
- 2 2. Pit Bulls Are Frequently Irregularly Classified
- 3 3. Pit Bulls Are People (Not a Stereotype)
- 4 4. Breed-Specific Laws Don’t Increase Community Safety
- 5 5. Pit Bull Dogs Are Among the Most Dangerous Animals in Shelters
- 6 6. Media narratives are frequently deceptive
- 7 8. Pit bull attack epidemics are not widespread.
1. Pit Bulls Are Not an Official Breed
According to Rena Lafaille, director of administration and promotions for the ASPCA Adoption Center in New York City, this group of canines includes the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and English Bull Terrier breeds.
The majority of dogs that people may refer to as pit bulls that we meet at the ASPCA Adoption Center are actually some kind of combination of another breed, making them a distinct breed of their own with a range of personality traits, according to Lafaille.
According to Samantha Nelson, a policy specialist for companion animals at the Humane Society of the United States, the term “Pit Bull” has varied connotations for various groups (HSUS). “Animal welfare professionals disagree on what constitutes a Pit Bull. Law enforcement officials and even dog owners disagree on the precise definition of a Pit Bull dog. The term “Pit Bull” has no established legal definition. The phrase is frequently applied indiscriminately and subjectively by people.
2. Pit Bulls Are Frequently Irregularly Classified
According to Haylee Heisel, Dogtown behavior specialist at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, a sizable portion of puppies falling under the category of Pit Bull dogs are actually mixed breeds. And she claims that humans are infamously bad at distinguishing between mixed breeds. “Many studies have demonstrated this; some suggest we are mistaken up to 90% of the time.”
According to Nelson, this means that dogs who are labeled as Pit Bulls may not even be genetically related to breeds like the American Pit Bull Terrier or the American Staffordshire Terrier. Even those who work in fields related to animals are unable to correctly identify the breeds in a mixed-breed dog’s ancestry through visual inspection, according to studies on canine genetic testing, says Nelson.
3. Pit Bulls Are People (Not a Stereotype)
All dogs are unique, and it is one of the first things we want people to understand. Regardless of how they look on the outside, each dog should have their mentality and behavior evaluated separately, advises Lafaille.
You can find differences in temperament, personality, and physical ability among individual dogs of any given breed. The same is true for pit bull dogs. Like many dog breeds, some Pit Bull-type canines are lively while others are laid back. Some people are social; others are reserved. Some dogs adore other dogs, while others do not,” adds Heisel.
According to Nelson, the HSUS encourages prospective dog owners to enquire about each dog. Is he friendly toward other dogs? He wants to play and run about all day, or is he more of a couch potato? By treating each dog as an individual, you will have the best chance of finding your ideal match.
4. Breed-Specific Laws Don’t Increase Community Safety
Breed-specific legislation (BSL) detractors claim that it is misguided and fosters a false sense of security. By reducing dog attacks, it seeks to improve public safety, but instead of focusing on hazardous animals as a whole, it incorrectly singles out specific breeds, frequently Pit Bulls, as the most deadly. These restrictions discriminate against both the animal and those who care for it and feed into negative preconceptions. Every dog has the potential to bite, according to Bretta Nelson, public relations manager for the Arizona Humane Society in Phoenix.
According to Nelson, BSL adds to an already overburdened animal services system and is expensive and challenging to enforce. “These restrictions drive dogs into shelters and out of people’s homes, consuming kennel space and resources needed by legitimately homeless animals.”
According to Kelly Dalton, co-founder and president of Bombshell Bullies Pit Bull Rescue, Inc. in Vernon Hills, Illinois, BSL cities continue to have serious bite-related events. In reality, since Toronto’s BSL went into place in 2005, the number of dog bite incidences there has grown by more than 50%.
5. Pit Bull Dogs Are Among the Most Dangerous Animals in Shelters
According to Lafaille, the population of Pit Bull dogs in shelters today is the most at-risk because to the unfavorable stereotype.
According to Nelson, cats, Chihuahuas, and dogs of the Pit Bull breed are the three most common types of animals that enter Arizona shelters. The Arizona Humane Society, Arizona Animal Welfare League, Altered Tails, Animal Defense League of Arizona, HALO Animal Rescue, and PACC 911 are just a few of the animal welfare organizations that make up the Alliance for Companion Animals, a coalition that focuses on finding solutions. Initiative “Adopt.Save” for these breeds.
According to Heisel, there are several reasons for the large number of Pit Bulls in shelters, but the primary ones deserve special attention since they affect families’ ability to obtain insurance, as well as housing restrictions and, of course, breed-specific laws.
6. Media narratives are frequently deceptive
Facts about pit bulls are being disregarded. “Unfortunately, erroneous assumptions about dogs of the Pit Bull breed can do serious harm. Rarely do the thousands of happy Pit Bull-type dog adoption success stories make up for negative media attention. According to Lafaille, the majority of adopted Pit Bull-type dogs are contentedly residing with their families and have historically been well-liked family pets, renowned for their affection and fidelity.
Instead, Lafaille says, news reports frequently highlight unfortunate incidents, which contributes to the ferocious dog reputation. “Pit Bull aggressiveness in the media receives significantly more coverage than successful adoption placements, leaving people with the false impression that this is representative of the bulk of the breed.”
Pit bull dogs are often incredibly loving and loyal.
According to Heisel, ongoing study demonstrates that dogs in the Pit Bull class signal similarly to other dogs. And their temperament test results are approximately average. Dogs utilize signals to express their feelings and thoughts. As an illustration, a fearful dog would crouch, and a hostile dog might bar the teeth and snarl.
Pit bull dogs are among the most devoted and resilient canines Nelson has encountered in her eight years of working in the animal welfare industry. In no particular sequence, “they are great family dogs who are equally affectionate and lively, perfect for both family outings and family cuddles.”
Nelson has also seen firsthand how capable they are of unconditional love. “I have witnessed a Pit Bull puppy squirm his way to kiss everyone he encounters despite having both of his rear legs broken (presumably by a person), and was thrown in a dumpster to die.” “Yet the dogs involved all have the same thing in common: No ill intent toward people at all,” she claims, adding that these tales are widespread.
8. Pit bull attack epidemics are not widespread.
In the US, attacks by pit bull dogs are uncommon. The majority of dogs don’t bite, and because to rules that target negligent owners, dog bites are actually at an all-time low. Many Pit Bull dogs enjoy peaceful, happy lives with their families, according to Nelson.
According to Dalton, there are over 18 million Pit Bull-type canines in the US (or approximately 20 percent of all dogs). In contrast to the few attacks reported each year, millions more attacks would be reported if the breed were innately aggressive.
Although Pit Bulls are powerful and can hurt people when they bite, according to Dalton, this does not necessarily suggest that they will act more destructively. “That’s like stating that simply because someone is large and muscular, a 250-pound body builder will beat them up.”
When you’re prepared to adopt a dog, those who work to rescue Pit Bulls advise that you visit the animal shelter with an open mind. You’ll save lives and contribute to changing the stigma if you take in a Pit Bull dog, and you might even find yourself with a devoted friend who goes above and beyond your expectations.