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All About Pit Bulls: 8 Things You Didn’t Know

Pit Bulls are all over media, in two extreme lights: on the one hand, we hear stories of an aggressive and vicious breed (misconception number one: “Pit Bull” is not a breed), and on the other hand, hardcore Pittie lovers can’t imagine loving any other kind of dog quite as much.

No matter what side of the spectrum you fall, it’s always super important to do your research before making judgements about any kind of dog, whether you’re just petting them in the dog park or adopting one into your home. Note that there are stories of Labrador Retriever attacks, of life-saving Pit Bull heroes, and vice versa and everything in between. While dogs inherit some of their personality traits, much of their temperament depends on the environment of which they live, how they are trained, and how they are treated. Here at iHeartDogs, we believe that all dogs matter; we just love ’em so much!

Here’s a few tidbits about Pits for you to munch on:

1.”Pit Bull” is not a breed. It’s an umbrella term that refers to multiple different breeds including American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, French Mastiffs, and Bulldogs.

2. Pit Bulls were brought to America by the first settlers from England. They were bred to fight other animals for sports like “Bear Baiting,” which involved tormenting a bear for the sake of entertainment. Eventually, such cruelty became outlawed. In the 1900’s, Pitties were the All-American dog and were even used to symbolize patriotism.

army strong

3. Aggressiveness toward humans was never a trait that they were meant to possess. In fact, quite the opposite: they are said to be one of the most loyal, people-pleasing types of dogs out there. Pit lovers know them for their gentle temperament around people, including small children…and even around other animals.

4. Pittie’s jaws don’t physically “lock.” In fact, Rottweiler and German Shepherd jaws are stronger. When Pits bite something without letting go, it’s because of their unshakable determination.  This trait is one that owners can train to be used for bad (like dog fighting) or good (like doing tricks!). These dogs are great achievers, whether they’re trying to win a competition or crawl into their owners’ lap.

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5. In fact, they’re not the best guard dogs. Most would rather make friends with strangers than enemies.

6. Do you know of any famous on-screen Pit Bulls? Some include Petey from The Little Rascals, Grunt from Flashdance, and three-legged Champion from Parks and Rec. Also, the world-famous dog whisperer Cesar Millan loves his good-tempered Pittie named Junior!

7. And four of the Pit Bulls rescued from Michael Vick’s dog-fighting hell went on to become therapy dogs. What a happy ending!

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8. Pit Bulls aren’t the perfect pets for everyone. The site for the Villalobos Rescue Center (remember Mouse, the Katrina Pit-mix who got adopted?!) states that humans who are aggressive, insecure, or in need of a “guard dog” would not make good Pittie owners. These dogs need strong leadership, love, attention, and activity! They mature late and need to stay mentally and physically active (although, many Pit Bull owners will tell you that theirs loves lazing around the house sometimes, too!).

As with any breed, dogs need to be evaluated on an individual basis–not on breed stereotypes–in order to find the perfect companion match for both pups and people!

pit bull


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Written by Karen Tietjen
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