There are quite a few dog breeds that have a bad reputation. Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and Rottweilers for example.
I’d like focus on one particular breed from this list, Pit Bulls.
These dogs have been paraded in the media for their use in dog fights. One public case, concerning football player Michael Vick in 2007. Or recent legislation that is trying to ban Pit Bulls in certain areas. The qualities that make pit bulls desirable for fights also makes them great pets. They are loyal, trainable and extremely athletic.
Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover
Dogs that get labeled as Pit Bulls often encompass the same type of appearance. Common traits are blocky and large heads, with muscular bodies. Many other breeds like Cane Corsos, American bulldogs, and Staffordshire terriers get mislabeled as Pit Bulls based on their looks.
The general public may not know exactly what dog they encountered and may label it as a “Pit Bull”. This can increase the number of reported dog bites from pit bulls when in fact it was another breed.
Just based on Pit Bulls’ looks alone they appear intimidating; muscular, with large heads. But with any dog you have to look further.
Large tongues lolling out of their expressive faces, which often looks like they are smiling. The whole body waggle at their excitement for treats. The bounding up and down for playtime. This is not the image of a vicious dog but of an energetic, lovable companion.
A large part of any dog’s demeanor comes down to owner and training. It is important to do your research on any breed you are interested in owning.
“Pit Bulls, just like other breeds of dog, can be great loyal, friendly, goofy, lovable family pets. Proper socialization is important for all dogs, regardless of breed. It helps the growth of the human and dog bond.” stated Dr. Cory Arnold from All About Pets veterinarian clinic.
Pit Bulls are energetic active dogs that require daily exercise and an active household. These dogs are trainable and loyal which allows an owner to teach the basic commands with ease. You won’t see a happier dog like a Pit Bull returning a thrown ball back to their owner.
Good Temperament vs. Other Breeds
There has been information recently that has shown about how Pit Bulls compare to other breeds. In temperament studies, Pit Bulls pass with a tolerant rate of about 87% which is fourth overall of 122 breeds. They outranked “friendlier” breeds like Golden Retrievers, Beagles, and Collies.
Pit Bulls are generally a healthy breed. Like with all breeds, there are some health concerns. Due to their body type Pit Bulls do experience some joint issues, like hip dysplasia.
However, proper exercise, diet, and weight management can prevent many of them. Cataracts, heart disease, and allergies occur but are less frequent. On average Pit Bulls live from 11 to 13 years.
The Sad Reality
There are an estimated 35,000 Pit Bull type dogs in shelters across America. The sad truth is that many of these dogs will not be adopted. Over half a million Pit Bulls are euthanized every year, which makes up about 40% of all shelter dogs. I feel like this shows that Pit Bulls are still such a misunderstood breed.
Why Not A Pittie?
If you are considering adoption learn as much as you can about the particular dog you want to take home. Take the time to know their personality.
Observe them by taking him for a walk outside the noise and chaos of the shelter. Introduce your current dog in a neutral environment before adopting. Ask if they have been around cats and small animals or children. I hope in the future you’ll strongly consider adopting a misunderstood dog like the Pit Bull.