Are Pit Bulls Harmful? Stereotypes About Pit Bull-Kind Canine


By Courtney Elliott

woman kissing white pit bull with pink harness
Rushay / Shutterstock
Regardless of their wiggly tails, cuddly nature, and irresistible pet eyes, Pit Bulls have been traditionally labeled as harmful canines. However guess what? That stereotype doesn’t maintain water. Research have truly confirmed that these pups ace temperament assessments extra typically than the common for all canine breeds. Fairly spectacular, proper?

After all, that’s to not say that issues like correct coachingsocialization, supervision, and all the opposite bits that go together with accountable pet parenting aren’t very important in making certain your pittie is secure to be round different people and animals. However that goes for all canines, not simply Pit Bulls.

Let’s unpack the historical past behind this stereotype and be taught extra in regards to the true nature of those treasured pups. Should you’re keen to open your eyes and coronary heart, you’ll have the dignity of discovering the pure pleasure that’s having a pittie in your loved ones.

What are the sorts of Pit Bull breeds?

Apparently sufficient, a Pit Bull isn’t truly a breed. Usually, 5 totally different breeds get bunched into the Pit Bull class. These embody:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier: These fun-loving canines are all about appeal and vitality. They often tip the scales at round 30 to 65 kilos, making them a vigorous addition to any family. Their love for human affection is matched solely by their boundless zest for play.
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Staffy): These people-pleasing, personality-packed companions weigh in at about 24 to 38 kilos. They love affection from their people however might desire to be the one pup in the home.
  • American Staffordshire Terrier (AmStaff): Should you’re into canines that carry each energy and a coronary heart of gold to the desk, AmStaffs are the best way to go. Usually weighing between 40 and 70 kilos, they adore being round folks and thrive on social interplay.
  • American Bully: With a sturdy physique and a coronary heart as huge as their head, American Bullies are outgoing, blissful, and assured. These pups can vary from 65 to 85 kilos, and so they’re all in regards to the snuggles, making them excellent sofa companions.
  • American Bulldog: American Bulldogs are just like the mild giants of the doggy world. These athletic, warm-hearted friends tip the scales between 60 to 120 kilos. With their stocky construct, they’ve acquired a captivating, rugged look. Identified for his or her loyalty and protecting nature, American Bulldogs make devoted members of the family.

Along with these breeds, folks have a tendency to make use of Pit Bull as a catch-all time period for mutts who’ve any of those breeds of their make-up — or any Pit Bull-like options, for that matter. However whereas they might all be categorized as a “Pit Bull,” they every include their very own distinctive quirks, personalities, and care necessities.

Why do some folks suppose Pit Bulls are harmful?

Pit Bull mother and father know that these big-hearted bundles of pleasure are simply blissful to like on their people, so why did they get labeled as being harmful? To grasp the stereotype, it’s essential to know the historical past of Pit Bulls.

Pit Bulls’ historical past

Pit Bulls have been initially bred for bull baiting, a observe the place canines have been set to assault and harass bulls and different giant animals. When that was ultimately outlawed within the mid-1800s, folks started to pit their canines towards one another. Massive bull-baiting canines have been bred with smaller terriers to create a extra agile, athletic breed that might excel in canine combating. And though canine combating is illegitimate, it sadly nonetheless happens at the moment. The aggressive and combative traits that have been as soon as inspired in these canines for combating functions ended up fueling the concept they’re harmful.

Deceptive chunk statistics

One more reason Pit Bulls have been stereotyped as harmful is due to beforehand revealed reviews about chunk statistics by canine breed. A number of research have instructed that the chunk charge for Pit Bull breeds is way greater than for different breeds, however a number of biases in these research make these conclusions unreliable. For one, there’s probably huge overreporting of bites attributed to the breed as a result of any canine with Pit Bull-like options is so typically grouped into the identical class or due to the harmful label that’s been unfairly hooked up to the breed. Two, there could also be vital underreporting with regards to bites from different breeds. And three, folks are likely to affiliate Pit Bulls with irresponsible pet mother and father due to highly-publicized chunk circumstances.

Breed-Particular Laws

These stereotypes have all led to Breed-Particular Laws (BSL) that targets Pit Bulls and different so-called “harmful” breeds, in the end discriminating towards Pit Bull mother and father and their pups. Unsurprisingly, research by the Facilities for Illness Management (CDC) and the American Veterinary Medical Affiliation (AVMA) doc that BSL has had no impression on decreasing the variety of canine bites amongst communities, and that animal temperament is especially influenced by age, intercourse, coaching, early socialization, early vitamin, well being, and genetics. BSL solely takes one in all these elements into consideration and alienates complete breeds of canines.

Different dangerous Pit Bull stereotypes

Along with being harmful, different Pit Bull stereotypes nonetheless linger at the moment. For one, some folks suppose that Pit Bulls can’t peacefully coexist with different pets, like cats and smaller canines. However the reality is that many Pit Bulls, like all canines, make improbable companions for animals each huge and small once they’ve been correctly socialized and launched. The identical goes for coaching. Pit Bulls have gotten a rap for being tough to coach and having a predisposition for disobedience, however with their eager-to-please nature, pitties are fairly trainable when correct optimistic reinforcement methods are used constantly.

Lastly, Pit Bulls are typically related to felony exercise or used as standing symbols in criminality. This additional stigmatizes the breed and unfairly hyperlinks these canines to felony habits. And it doesn’t assist that sensationalized media protection proliferates these inequitable stereotypes with well-publicized circumstances of mistreatment and aggression. Whereas any canine can probably pose a risk when not correctly cared for or skilled, focusing solely on Pit Bull-related incidents perpetuates concern and misunderstanding.

Decreasing Pit Bulls to stereotypes doesn’t do justice to the numerous loving and mild pittie friends who’re cherished members of the family at the moment. Accountable Pit Bull breeders carry out their candy nature and reduce the aggressive traits, specializing in that pleasant, lovable temperament all of us admire a lot. And there are lots of candy natured pitties within the shelters that simply want a loving pet guardian to assist information them. With correct coaching, socialization, and accountable pet parenting, Pit Bulls may be simply as affectionate and dependable as another breed.

Are Pit Bulls naturally aggressive?

Whereas it’s true that Pit Bulls have been initially bred for combating, they don’t seem to be inherently aggressive canines. In the event that they’re correctly socialized, skilled, and cared for, they’ve the identical probability of being aggressive as another canine. Whereas our pittie mates have a muscular, sturdy construct that individuals typically affiliate with hazard and aggression, they’re truly extraordinarily candy and loving companions with a great temperament.

The truth is, Pit Bulls are typically even referred to as “nanny canines” due to their fantastic temperament round youngsters. And within the outcomes of the most important and outlined uniform temperament take a look at carried out on canines, the Pit Bull group was the second highest performing group subsequent to the sporting group. The Facilities for Illness Management (CDC) even signifies that main duty for a canine’s habits ought to be positioned on the pet guardian, not on the breed.

How you can practice a Pit Bull

Coaching a Pit Bull breed is much like coaching another canine. The key sauce? Constructive reinforcement. Bathe your Pit Bull with reward, treats, and stomach rubs once they nail a command – it’s like a high-five for them. And bear in mind, observe makes excellent, so hold the coaching classes constant and frequent and begin as younger as attainable. It’s additionally by no means a foul thought to name within the execs. A licensed canine coach or veterinary behaviorist can work wonders with regards to correctly coaching our canines.

Generally Requested Questions

Can Pit Bulls be good household pets?

Sure, Pit Bulls could make nice household pets. These pups are all about love and loyalty. After they obtain the fitting care, coaching, and socialization, Pit Bulls may be the proper playmates for different animals and youngsters alike. Their huge hearts and affectionate nature make them fantastic companions to share your own home and your coronary heart with.

What ought to I think about earlier than adopting a Pit Bull?

Should you’re adopting a Pit Bull, you’ll first need to make sure you’ve acquired the time and sources to decide to coaching, socializing, common vet visits, and offering them with top-notch vitamin. Should you’re adopting, chat with the rescue to get the lowdown on their historical past so you have got context for any character traits or potential behavioral points. On the finish of the day, you’re welcoming a brand new member of the family into your own home, so that you need to be set as much as give them the love and care they deserve.

References:

Evaluation of Canine Temperament in Relation to Breed Teams

Are “Pit Bulls” Totally different? An Evaluation of the Pit Bull Terrier Controversy

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