|For Shelters &
|FAQs Myth Busting|
|Labels & Language|
|For Dog Owners|
1. PIT BULLS DON'T HAVE LOCKING JAWS BUT THEY DO BITE DIFFERENTLY, RIGHT?
2. DO PIT BULLS HAVE A HIGHER TOLERANCE FOR PAIN THAN OTHER DOGS?
3. ARE PIT BULLS MORE LIKELY TO CAUSE SERIOUS ATTACKS THAN OTHER BREEDS?
4. IF SO MANY DOGS ARE INVOLVED IN DOG BITES, HOW COME WE ONLY HEAR ABOUT PIT BULLS?
5. IF PIT BULLS ARE SUCH GOOD DOGS, WHY ARE THEY FILLING UP THE SHELTERS?
6. WEREN'T PIT BULLS BRED TO FIGHT DOGS?
Further, when we consider the history of “pit bull” dogs we need to look at the history of dogs in general. If we use “historically bred for” as an indicator of future behavior, for any kind of dog, we are showing an unsophisticated understanding of dog breeding, dog genetics and dog behavior. Breeding, conditioning, and training a dog for a specific purpose, no matter what that task may be, is a complex process.
It gets more confusing when we discuss “historically bred for” in regard to “pit bull” dogs because it misleads us into thinking that this is relevant to a group of dogs as diverse as the dogs called “pit bull” today, that have no agreed upon pedigree or even phenotype. Many dogs that are labeled as “pit bulls” are actually mixed breed dogs of unknown pedigree or other pure bred dogs. We cannot assume to know how a dog will behave based on guesses at their ancestry, nor can we know what specific role or task (if any) that the breeds present in their genetic make-up might have been purposely bred for or if they will present themselves in an individual dog’s behavior.
Rather than rely on “historically bred for” to make determinations about an individual dog, look at the dog in front of you.
7. ARE PIT BULLS BRED TO FIGHT DIFFERENTLY?
8. WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH "BAIT DOGS"?