Pitty Myths!

Some of the myths below are just hilarious, but the scary fact remains that a lot of the people who have not had any meaningful contact with the breed will believe that least one of them. Thanks to the media hype and general sensationalism, Pit Bulls have been the most persecuted dogs in the last century.

Here are some of the common myths that you will come across, if you haven’t already;


Pit Bulls are inherently vicious

Talk about generalization. The dogs that you see in the media that have reportedly attacked someone are the result of bad breeding and socialization. A well-bred and well-adjusted Pit Bulls is a wonderful addition to any family, but a dog that is a result of a backyard breeder, a dog that has been mistreated and neglected, cannot be considered to be a true representation of the breed. The sad thing is that the general public is willing to believe and accept the worst based on the actions of a few. A Pit Bull that bites is an exception to the rule rather than the norm. The 2006 statistics from the American Temperament Test Association show that 84.1% of American Pit Bull Terriers passed the temperament test. This is higher than the Golden Retriever (83.8%), Border Collie (79.6%) and the Beagle (78.2%). The temperament test consists of putting the dog through a series of confrontational situations – if the dog reacts aggressively or fearfully, it fails.

A dog that attacks an animal will go on to attack a human

Completely not true. Animal aggression and human aggression are two completely different things, and dogs have the ability to differentiate between the two. While it is true that Pit Bulls do tend to have a genetic predisposition towards animal aggression, it is also a fact that they were bred NOT to be human aggressive. Human aggression was stringently bred out of them, and a Pit Bull that bites a human is an anomaly within an exceptionally human-loving breed. Any dog that bites should be taken to a behaviorist to see if they can be rehabilitated.

Pit Bulls have 1600 psi jaw pressure, and they can lock their jaws

This is one of my favorites! Not only is there no device in existence which could measure the strength of a dog’s jaw, but if they had the ability to lock their jaws, they would have to be classified as another species. Pit Bulls are known to be extremely tenacious, and will not easily relinquish something that they see as rightfully theirs. However, their jaws have nothing unique about them to distinguish them from any other breed of dog.

Pit Bulls make great guard dogs

Now this one is a whopper! Pit Bulls actually make completely useless guard dogs - because of their love of all things human, they will consider strangers as friends as much as they consider family as friends.

The only way in which the Pit Bull makes a good guard dog is through its appearance and its much maligned reputation, which is not a good reason to get one. Though, in the past, they have been linked with disreputable people, such as drug dealers, this should not reflect on the dog. If a Pit Bull has a natural love of people, consider what these grotesques of human beings had to do to these dogs to make them aggressive.

A Pit Bull can be happy one minute and turn on you the next

I have personally come across this myth more than once. What you have to remember is that what most people are doing is regurgitating what they have seen on the television or read in the newspaper. Very few of them have actually been in contact with one of these dogs, so you have to forgive them for not being educated about the breed.

This particular gem is also completely untrue. A happy, well-loved and well-adjusted Pit Bull will no more turn on his owner for no reason than the average teenager will hack up his family with a meat cleaver. Strong image, I know, but effective!

A dog has to be watched for any physical or psychological changes. Dogs cannot talk to us, so we have to make sure that we keep an eye on them to evaluate them for any potential illness.

Pit Bulls bite more than any other breed

Again, untrue. Bite statistics are notoriously unreliable, firstly because most dog bites go unreported. Secondly, because there are over 10 other breeds of dog that the general public confuse with Pit Bulls. There have been stories on the news about Pit Bull attacks where the picture on the screen is definitely not a Pit Bull.

Thanks to the media and general sensationalism, the Pit Bull is a newsworthy dog. In this country, bad news makes the national papers and sells more than good news, which just tends to make the local papers. The media has transformed the Pit Bull from what it used to be – America’s favorite dog – into the devil dog that it is today. No-one wants to see a story with the title ‘Man bitten by Labrador’ or ‘Man bitten by Jack Russell’. Stories involving Pit Bulls are much more newsworthy, and unfortunately their popularity does not seem to be waning.

15 Responses to “Pitty Myths!”

  • Stacey:

    This is ridiculous. In Ontario, we are banned from owning pit bulls. The fear that people have created for themselves is so unnecessary. Any dog that is aggressive or unfriendly is a direct result of its owner and its training, not its breed. There are no bad dogs- just bad people.

  • Linda Uber-Martin:

    One of my Jack Russells incidently, bit me in the hand requiring a trip to the ER and X-Rays… When the Idiot x-ray technician asked what had happened, I said.. Dog bite. He asked…. “Oh… A pitbull?” (man, did I bristle at that) I said, “What makes you think a pitbull did this?” He got a little embarrassed and said… “Oh, well, most of dog bites are done by pitbulls”. I said to him, that is TOTALLY untrue… and most dog bites go unreported, This was done by a 21lb Jack Russell terrier. I have been bitten 8 times in my life…. 5 from JRT’s, 3 from a dobie/shep mix and ZERO from pitbulls. And the dogs are not the problem…..its the people who have abused them..
    My husband said he bets that guy will never assume a dog bite is from a pitbull again….at least not out loud….

  • Dave Yoho:

    Hell ya!! Glad you said something,Most don’t, Keep walking the walk…..

  • Nicole:

    I’m a dog groomer and I’ve been in the industry now for 5years and have been bit by shepards, shihtzus, chihuahuas, rotties ect and honestly never have I ever came across an aggressive pitty. I fell in love with the breed and stand by them 110percent. I now own one and the shop I work in now absolutely are against them. I brought my 3month old puppy in to work and instantly was banned because of the way she looked. She has never even shown teeth to anyone. She won’t even play growl.

  • cutts babydoll:

    Oh. Please. I have a bull head blue brindled baby.my deseased husband bought him for me. Jaxson is a wonderful dog. When he was pup my sister didnt want him around baby. My brother chi bit gneiss baby and my big horrible (lol) pitt loved her and made it better.my baby stayed w my husband when he died. So in my husbands words dont worry bout the pitt worry bout his. Mommy! Lol

  • Donna Walker:

    Wow I owned 2 pits and had bought into some of the myths. I keep waiting for my 2 babies to turn into something evil.
    My baby girl 2.5yo Angel was resued at four months by my neighbor she was being used as bait to train other dogs.What scares me about her is I don’t think she remembers and still acts like everyone is her friend and would go with anyone.So I have to be protective of her for that reason.She is high energy and needed someone to burn it up with thus:Sheldon. Sheldon is my big ole baby boy he is 3 months younger than Angel. He came from the CT humane society he had been there 5 months and no one wanted him. He may have some boxer in him but he is one laid back cool kinda guy. Except when he is doing his job wearing Angel down in the backyard.Sheldon unfortunately still shows signs of abuse if someone talks loud or moves quickly he will cower down.
    Both these dogs are like having 2 children again and most my methods as a parent come in handy.They are the most affectionate dogs I have ever had Sheldon wants to be held like a babv all the time and Angel wants to be the center of attention. From the first moment they met they bonded and are inseparable.I live in fear however my homeowners insurance will find out. I will live in a cardboard box before I will live without these 2 babies.

  • [...] Angel Capone Pitbull Rescue Director Racquel Trapp has worked with more than 800 pitbulls in the past 2 years and says there are many myths about pit bulls. [...]

  • [...] Angel Capone Pitbull Rescue Director Racquel Trapp has worked with more than 800 pitbulls in the past 2 years and says there are many myths about pit bulls. [...]

  • [...] Angel Capone Pitbull Rescue Director Racquel Trapp has worked with more than 800 pitbulls in the past 2 years and says there are many myths about pit bulls. [...]

  • [...] Angel Capone Pitbull Rescue Director Racquel Trapp has worked with more than 800 pitbulls in the past 2 years and says there are many myths about pit bulls. [...]

  • Stacey I can’t agree more to your statement. I also live in Ontario (moved in a few months ago) and could not believe this stup** bylaw. I don’t have a pitt but did owned one a few years back and would of love to get another one but I can’t. What a shame.

    Maybe we should start to educate people a little bit more but when you have the government that as also misinformed, how can you really win this battle?


    Take care.

    Becky and Brico

  • Judy Wright:

    My nephew and his wife have rescued quite a few pits and I have never seen any of them be anything but very sweet!

  • Shawna:

    I was foolish and fell for the media hype- was very worried about bringing her into our home. It took no time at all for me to realize that there are NO bad dogs just BAD owners!! A person can only be beat for so long before they snap- same with dogs! So it is not that the dogs bite, it’s that the abuse finally got to them to make them snap at a person!
    I have a pit from our local pound, not knowing anything about her history we adopted her, and never ever regretted it! Spaghetti is our baby, she is as goofy as can be, very protective of my grandson-keeping him out of trouble! She does not have an aggressive bone in her body- cannot imagine a life without her!! Her goofy grin, sorry I know it is a smile but to me it is just goofy! And Her silly ways make me want to hug her all the time!
    We should just ban stupid people-not dogs!!

  • Connie Kelch:

    Thank-you for speaking up!!! I have an Old English Bulldog and I have had more than one person ask me if I am worried about my Pit Bull biting someone. I just usually respond with “If I had a pit bull no I would not be worried” People are so misinformed about this breed. A Pit did attack my brother’s dog also an Old English Bull, but this was due to the owners treatment of the dog. How any dog interacts with people and other animals is usually a direct result of how it is raised and cared for.

  • Kaitlyn:

    What a wonderful page to promote advocacy for the breed to the world. Above and beyond may other rescue websites! I attempted to share the link on my facebook page and was unable to due to privacy settings on this page. Is there a reason for this? I’d love to help get this info out there! Easy to read and full of great facts.

Adopt-a-bull dog of the moment

Please say a prayer for Ice.
On 3-3-12 he was killed tragically, in a case of mistaken identity. We will never forget him. RIP beautiful boy.