There are many websites whose sole purpose is to perpetuate Pit Bull myths. They spread lies and feed off the fear they are creating. I thought I’d take a few minutes to disprove some of them.
Do Pit Bulls have lock jaw?
Do Pit Bulls have stronger jaws?
Yes, however they are not the strongest. Pit bulls bite at a pressure of 235 pounds. Rottweilers come in with 328 pounds of pressure and German Sheperds 238.
Do Pit Bulls attack?
Pit Bulls can be dog aggressive, they are NOT human aggressive. If you have multiple dogs, pay close attention as you would with any other large breed dog. If you see any dominance issues occurring, be proactive. This is NOT an un-fixable situation.
Why are Pit Bulls always in the news?
Because when a Pit Bull bites, it is called an attack.
The fact is, a Labrador biting doesn’t make a popular news story, a Pit Bull attack does.
Pit Bulls are not one breed. If a dog has a blocky head, a short coat and weighs between 35-80 lbs, people “assume” it’s a Pit Bull.
And there’s your headline.
If there are more Pit Bull bites reported, that is because there are about 30 different breeds that can fall into the “Pit Bull” category. You can identify a German Shepherd. You can identify a Husky. Identifying a Pit Bull is far trickier because there are so many mixed dogs out there.
Keep in mind that dog bite “statistics” come from the media, who, as previously stated, love a headline story. Who cares if the dog is a lab mix with a big head? If he looks close enough to a Pit Bull, that’s all they need.
Areas with Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) see less dog bites
- The Netherlands- in 2008, they repealed their 15 year long ban. Dog bites continued to rise, even with the ban.
- The United Kingdom- have a ban enacted on American Pit Bull Terriers and three other similar breeds. Dog bites have gone up 41% in ten years.
- Prince George’s County, Maine- instituted a ban in 1996. In 2003 a task force did research to find out if it was in fact, working. After researching, they concluded the ban was having the opposite affect on public safety as animal control officers were being called to too many “Pit Bull” sightings, which in turn limited their availability to help in other situations. The Task force recommended the county rescind the ban.
- Denver, Colorado- ban in place since 1989 and considered “successful” by some. No fatal attacks by a Pit Bull but a fatal attack by a Chow. There are fewer Pit Bull complaints however it is believed the Pit Bull population has not decreased, even with the ban. Thousands of dogs that “resemble” Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes have been killed by animal control. Bites by other types of dogs now exceed Pit Bull bites.
- Hazel Park, Michigan- this is near me and one of many bans in the state of Michigan. A woman was protected by her Pit Bull when her boyfriend attacked her. After saving his owner, the city attempted to remove the dog due to the ban. Thankfully the citizens of the city stood up and asked for a revision. There are still strict laws in place for Pit Bulls and their owners however the actual ban has been lifted.
If you’re considering adopting a Pit Bull or just curious about what they are really like, here is an article I wrote about their common traits.
I will be working to debunk more and more Pit Bull myths in the coming weeks so stay tuned!