Myths About Pit Bulls in CT

by Amy Hazelton.


Although Pit Bulls are an all-American breed, they are probably the most misconceived breed of dog, especially in the U.S. & Connecticut. Every year, people are attacked by dogs, yet the U.S. media tends to strictly focus on attacks caused by Pit Bulls. With that said, the purpose of this blog post is to educate others about the blatant myths regarding Pit Bulls.

Myth # 1: “Pit Bulls” are a breed recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Truth: The term “Pit Bull” is more of an umbrella term used to categorize certain breeds of dogs including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Pit Bull mixes, and other bully breeds. Often times, people mistake Boxers, Mastiffs, Bull Terriers, and Dogo Argentinos. As a result of this categorization, owners and lovers of Pit Bulls often refer to their Pitties as “Pibbles”, which strays away from the negative association that comes with the term “Pit Bull”.

I even found this online quiz to see how well you can identify the Pittie. Check it out and see how well you can do.

Myth # 2: Pit Bulls have a locking jaw.

Truth: The jaw of a Pit Bull is not anatomically different from that of a Poodle, Lab, or even Chihuahua. While the shape of a Pit Bull’s head and jaw may be a different shape, there is no specific mechanism in a Pittie’s jaw that makes it lock. Historically, Pit Bulls have been used for bull baiting and dog fighting. Through specific breeding as well as a Pit Bull’s loyalty and eagerness to please it’s owner, Pit Bulls may be hesitant to let go of whatever they have a hold on, but there is no distinctive part of a Pittie’s jaw that causes it to lock. Pit Bull’s are also part of the terrier family and have been bred to have the Terrier style of fighting, which is to bite and shake. However, due to the Pit Bull’s size as well as stigma, what’s scarier to see fight? A Rat Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, or Wheaten Terrier. Regardless of size or specific breed, all terriers will bite and shake anything they deem as prey, whether it be a toy or another animal.

punish deed

Myth # 3: Pit Bulls have the most powerful bite in the dog world.

Truth: Bite force is a scientific term used to measure the amount of pressure a dog’s bite can exert. While a dog’s bite cannot be measure accurately each time, bite force is meant to be discussed in general terms. However, National Geographic set out to examine the differing bite forces between several breed of dogs, including dogs that have been deemed “most dangerous”. For reference sake, a human’s bite force averages at about 120 pounds. The wolf’s bite was the highest averaging at 406 pounds of pressure. While Pit Bull’s are often labeled as the most dangerous breed of dog, the bite force of a Pit was averaged at 235 pounds of pressure, coming in 4th place with the wolf is 1st place, the Rottweiler in 2nd place, and the German Shepherd in 3rd place.

temperment test scores

Statistics from the American Temperament Society even show Pit Bull’s rank very high in temperament, concluding that not all Pit Bulls are innate, killing machines.

When I was in first grade, my parents got us a family dog, partly because my sister and I were fearful of dogs. The purpose of this blog post was to do the same. While I’m not recommending that everyone go out and adopt a Pit Bull, there’s no reason to be afraid of a dog based on these myths. If you’re interested in adopting a Pittie, I recommend doing your own research as well as visiting your local shelter to gain some experience with the breed. While this strong and energetic breed is not for everyone, there’s no need to be fearful based on these media perpetuated stereotypes.


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