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Living with the "vicious" Pit Bull

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Pit Bull is a term generally used to describe various breeds of dog that descend from bulldogs and terriers. Often clustered under the "Pit Bull" umbrella are the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog and a variety of mixed breeds that share certain physical characteristics of these breeds.

Of all the dog breeds, Pit Bulls are by far the most controversial as they are completely misunderstood. Due to their history of being used in dog fighting and several high-profile

attacks highlighted by the media, Pit Bulls are wrongfully assumed to be a vicious breed by

those who don't know better. This is an absolutely false stereotype as dogs, much like humans, need to be evaluated on an individual basis and not lumped into a group based on the merit of a few bad apples.

The truth is, Pit Bulls are a larger breed that IS capable of causing some serious damage. Statistics show that they are the breed with the most dog bites and causing the most human fatalities. But those statistics don't tell the whole story. Raw statistics fail to explain that Pit Bulls are the dog most bred for fighting and raised to be aggressive. This is entirely a case of vicious humans that has nothing to do with the natural temperament of the dog. In fact, according to, Pit Bulls have an 86.7% temperament passing rate, which makes them less likely to attack than Chihuahuas, Border Collies, or Beagles!

Pit Bulls have an 86.7% temperament passing rate, which makes them less likely to attack than Chihuahuas, Border Collies, or Beagles!

As a devoted dog dad to two Pit Bull mixes, I am a strong advocate for spreading some truth about this breed. For starters, anyone who has ever lived with a Pit Bull knows that they are not vicious killers with an aggressive temperament and bad disposition. In reality, they are one of the most loyal, loving, and goofy breed of dogs you will ever encounter. They will lick you, cuddle you, and are more likely to sit in your lap than to attack someone unprovoked. They slobber, fart, and play like they are still puppies even when full grown. They are the embodiment of all things that true dog lovers covet. They give unconditional love and that is all they are seeking in return.


So why do Pit Bulls have such a bad reputation?

Well, that's because their reputation is based on myths that have all been debunked. Here are some of the most common myths about Pit Bulls according to

Myth #1: Pit Bulls have locking jaws.

Fact: Pit Bulls do not have any special physical mechanism or enzyme that allows them to “lock” their jaws. If you compare a Pit Bull skull to a skull of any other dog breed, you can see with the naked eye that both skulls share the same characteristics and general bone structure.

Myth #2: Pit Bulls are all inherently vicious.

Fact: This is a stereotype that is biased toward generalizing and condemning an entire breed based on the actions of a few bad people. The truth is that each dog should be evaluated by his own merits and not by his breed.

Myth #3: A Pit Bull that is aggressive toward other dogs will be aggressive toward humans.

Fact: Dog-aggression and people-aggression are two distinctive traits and should not be confused. Unless a Pit Bull has been poorly bred or purposefully trained to attack humans, they generally love people. They are, in fact, one of the most loving, loyal, friendly and dedicated companions you can have.

Myth #4: It is dangerous to adopt a Pit Bull from a rescue or shelter.

Fact: Remember that each dog is an individual and should be judged by his current personality and behavior. Responsible rescues and shelters evaluate dog behavior prior to adoption, and then adopt out only those Pit Bulls that display the proper temperament toward humans.


Ultimately, the decision to bring a Pit Bull into your home is your own. Only you can decide whether or not you think that you can provide the right environment for the dog to live it's best and happiest life. But at least make that decision based on facts and not on preconceived assumptions that have been proven to be false. In my personal experience, I have never found a more loving and loyal breed. My beautiful Pit Bull babies, Mia and Nogi, have brought so much joy to my family and we certainly couldn't imagine a life without them!

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Mike Casten
Mike Casten
Oct 17, 2020

October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month, so please share this article!

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