Just the Facts
Just the Facts
Today, being able to differentiate between fact and fiction has become an almost impossible task. Many times, sensationalism outweighs truth and hysteria takes place over reason. There isn’t much in society that does not fall under the hysteria realm these days, and pit bulls are no exception. So, to dispel some of the common myths, we will discuss just the facts.
“Those dogs are inherently aggressive towards humans and other animals”.
Pit Bulls are often very loving towards other animals. However, as with any animal, they have individual temperaments and should be trained.
According to the American Temperament Test Society Pit Bull type dogs scored an average of 90.1% (American Pit Bull 87.4%, American Staffordshire Terrier 85.2%, American Bulldog 86.7%, Staffordshire Bull Terrier 91.2%, English Bull Terrier 100%- April 2016). These breeds scored higher than the Golden Retriever, German Shepard, and were on par with the number one breed in America, the Labrador Retriever. A dog’s DNA does not determine how the dog will behave. Proper training can help correct any behavior.
“Pit bulls are able to lock their jaw and have more bite power than any other breed.”
The fact of the matter is that pit bulls do not have any special mechanism in their jaw or bite power that is different from any other breed with similar skull size. Their jaw shape, head, and skull are structurally no different to make them have more biting or gripping ability.
“I also heard though it is not safe to leave them alone with your children?”.
Any dog can become dangerous when left alone with children. Pit Bulls are no more a threat than any other breed. In fact, these dogs were considered great companion dogs for their owners. They are very devoted to their people and want nothing more than to please them
“Well maybe if you get a puppy, and not one of those damaged ones from the shelter that was used for fighting.”
Just because you get a dog from when they are a puppy does not necessarily mean they will be safer. All dogs need the proper training and obedience to become a well-mannered dog. Furthermore, pit bulls used for fighting or the shelter dogs can be rehabilitated to become the most well-behaved family pet.
Take for instance the infamous dogs of Michael Vick. 22 of his dogs, known as Vicktory Dogs, were saved and rehabilitated by Best Friend’s Animal Society. Horrific atrocities were committed on these animals but with proper training, they became someone’s life long companion. Even the organization The Love Pit has rescued several abused and neglected pit bulls and bought out their true nature because of proper care and training. It really goes to show how resilient this breed can be.
“I also know that only bad people own pit bulls and that is why they have such a bad rap.”
The media has made us believe that these animals are inherently dangerous, so it must be true that only inherently dangerous people own them. The fact is that several activists, politicians, and celebrities have owned pit bulls. All walks of life from Helen Keller, Theodore Roosevelt, and General George Patton to Brad Pitt, Rachel Ray, Torrey Smith and Jon Stewart have owned these dogs.
“If we ban the breed, it will make our cities safer.”
Breed banning, and breed restrictions of pit bulls do not make any city safer than it was before. More than 700 cities nationwide have some sort of regulation on the bully breed. According to the ASPCA, “Breed specific laws have a tendency to compromise rather than enhance public safety.” They further state that because law enforcement now must put in effort towards regulating a certain breed less focus is put on proper and responsible dog ownership.
When there is a banned area, pit bull owners are less likely to take their dog to park, walk them, or even take their pet to the veterinarian’s office. This leads to poor social skills for the dog, no regular checkups for rabies which can lead to outbreaks and virtual destruction of the breed since they are unable to be adopted out from shelters and humane societies. There is no study that shows that this breed has caused mass havoc on any city. In fact, states with no BSL has more time and energy to enforce violations against leash laws, dog fighting, spay/neutering laws, and tethering laws; which shows to be far more effective than BSLs.
Every dog has the potential to bite and BSL is not an effective tool in reducing the number of bites in a community. Again, proper pet training and responsible ownership go further to reducing dog bites than any legislation ever could.
It’s hard not to get lost in the mountain of fabrication of information out there in modern society. Everyone has an opinion on everything and can share it with the click of a button. Who to listen to and who not to listen to becomes an intricate web. While writing this blog I could find information supporting all the myths about the breed including BSL laws. I found just as many which spoke against it.
All the information that I could obtain came from either the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) or American Temperament Test Society (ATTS.) These organizations are impartial and unbiased towards the breed. They have no agenda to push or promote.
I decided to just stick to the facts.