Something to Think About

"I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Monday, July 8, 2013

5 Myths About Pit Bulls

Many of you may be aware that I am the proud owner of a pit bull mix named Brooke.  Her full name was Brooke Lynn as she was rescued in Brooklyn, New York.  That's Brooke in the picture to the left and below, modelling a hat.

We adopted her from a pit bull rescue organization that does a terrific job with these often misunderstood dogs. They train them well and teach them to be social with people and other dogs.  I often think that if a burglar broke into our house, Brooke would greet him at the door and expect to be petted. Of course, I might be wrong about this as our dogs may behave more protectively if their people are not around.

As a pit bull owner, I've often encountered people who think that they are a dangerous dog breed.  I find this somewhat humorous because when I was growing up, it was the doberman pinschers and rottweilers that were supposed to be the "dangerous" dogs.

There are many misconceptions about pit bulls so I thought I'd take the time to clear up some of them today.

1. It is dangerous to have a pit bull if you have children.  The fact is that pit bulls are no more dangerous around children than any other breed.  Unless mistreated, most pit bulls are "people pleasers". Some dogs do better around children that others and you need to find out how your dog interacts with others before you allow him or her around young children.  In addition, children need to be taught how to act around animals - not to pull their tails or ears, for example - and should never be unsupervised around any dog regardless of that dog's breed.

2. Pit bulls will attack without warning.  No dog generally attacks without any warning or for no reason.  There is generally a reason.  If a stranger enters a dog's yard, for example, the dog might act aggressively toward that person.  The dog is simply defending his territory!  If a dog is stressed out by too much unfamiliar noise or a lot of people visiting, he or she may need to be taken to a quiet area of the house for a while to calm down. We have to pay attention to our dogs.  There will generally be signs that they are getting upset before they lash out at anyone.

3. Pit bulls do not get along with cats or other dogs.  This depends on the animal!  Some dogs, regardless of breed, will get along just fine with other dogs and some will not.  Some will tolerate cats, others won't.  There is no set rule here.  Our first pit bull got along just fine with our cats.  If anything, the cats were the aggressors but she just ignored their antics.

4. Pit bulls have locking jaws.  I'm not sure how this came to be believed but no dog has any such mechanism.  This is a total myth.

5. Pit bulls have a higher bite power than other dogs.  In a comparison between a German Shepard, Rottweiler, and an American Pit Bull Terrier, the pit bull had the least amount of pressure.  This is another example of a misconception.

For more information about pit bulls, visit these sites!
Cesar's Way
Parade Magazine
Bad Rap

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