The Truth About Pit Bulls

July 21, 2011  

The following is a series brought to StubbyDog from Our Pack, Inc. and Marthina McClay on Responsible Dog Ownership.

This article was originally posted on Our Pack, Inc.’s website along with other great information on raising a pit bull.

By Marthina McClay, CPDT

(Photos by Melissa Lipani)

Over the decades there have been myths told about many breeds including pit bulls. Below are some facts that dispel some of these myths.

Pit bulls feel pain just like any other dog. The people who fight dogs have promoted the idea that their dogs donโ€™t feel pain to excuse their abusive and criminal actions. We must stop buying into to the insidious claims of criminals. All dogs are individuals and will respond differently to pain, but every dog feels pain.

Pit bulls are not predisposed to human aggression. Human aggression is not a breed trait attributed to American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers (also called “pit bulls”) by the UKC or the AKC. While human aggression does occur in all kinds of dogs, it should never be considered to be expected or acceptable behavior in these breeds. All cases of human aggression should be evaluated on an individual case by case basis and not judged by breed. Please consult a trainer for human aggression in any dog of any kind.

Pit bulls have varying degrees of dog-dog tolerance. Dog directed aggression and human directed aggression are entirely unrelated. They are completely separate behaviors and do not cross over. As all dogs are individuals, some dogs may always be social with other dogs throughout their lives while others will have minor to severe levels of dog-to-dog issues, even if they have been well socialized. Those that show leash reactivity can be trained to be calm around other dogs while on leash. Each individual dog should be evaluated based on his own level of reactions to dogs and not because heโ€™s this breed or that. Over-the-top or extreme dog-to-dog aggression is not expected or acceptable in pit bulls.

Pit bulls with scars were not necessarily used for dog fighting. Dogs get scars from all kinds of injuries, not just dog fighting. It is not helpful to speculate about how a dog received scars. Instead, spend time getting to know the dog to determine if previous experiences or injuries have affected the dogโ€™s behavior or physical abilities. Scars do not predict behavior.

Pit bulls are just as likely to be good with children as any other kind of dog. American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers (also called “pit bulls”) are expected to be very safe around children. Well socialized dogs of all kinds do well around children generally. Supervision between dogs and children is always a must in any setting. Sometimes children may not know how to interact with dogs. It’s also key to teach children how to treat animals appropriately.

Pit bulls do not have locking jaws. All dogs are mammals and no mammals have locking jaws.

Pit bulls are not guard dogs. Pit bulls are not known or expected to be guard dogs. Better get a guard dog for your pit bull!

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10 Responses to “The Truth About Pit Bulls”
  1. Great post. Will be passing on to any people I know who have doubts about pit bulls!

  2. StubbyDog says:

    @annedreshfield Thanks Anne for helping get the good word out there!

  3. Sequoia's dad says:

    I had to post this to my FB wall so my friends/family could read it. A few friends have PB’s and they are all well behaved and good around kids. It’s sad to hear when people take myths as fact and don’t give the time to either interact with the dog or meet PB’s owned by responsible owners and not what is seen normally via the evening news. Keep up the good work

  4. StubbyDog says:

    @Sequoia’s dad Thanks Sequoia’s dad for sharing the post and for the compliment, we will always bring positive press to as many as possible.

  5. mellonz says:

    Great article! I have shared this on my facebook! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. StubbyDog says:

    @mellonz Thanks for spreading the word!

  7. ImeldaSuriato says:

    Thank you for the article. I’d love to reblog this at Let me know if it’s OK. Thanks in advance.

  8. StubbyDog says:

    @ImeldaSuriato Sure, just give credit to Our Pack and StubbyDog please ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. ImeldaSuriato says:

    @StubbyDog I did and thanks again!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. mellonz says:

    @StubbyDog My pleasure!! I adopted my first Pittie 6 months ago, she is amazing, so happy & loves everything & everyone, it makes me so mad when people judge dogs from negative media hype, I feel it my duty as a new owner & “Pittie fan” to spread the word on these fabulous dogs!! :))