The Truth about Pit Bulls

Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 4:00pm

“Pit Bull.” There is no other breed of dog—or arguably, any other animal at all—whose mere mention can elicit such strong opinions. Try a word-associate game with your friends: Ask them what they think of when you say “Pit Bull.” Chances are that by the numbers, their responses will be more negative than positive. And it’s no wonder: No other type of dog is as widely banned from housing, legislated against, or incorrectly vilified by the media.

How did we get here?
Pit Bulls were once widely considered ideal family pets—affectionate, loyal and gentle with children. But in recent years, these dogs have suffered tremendously from a combination of overbreeding, bad publicity and irresponsible owners. In reality, the overwhelming majority of Pits and Pit mixes are sweet goofballs who have gotten a very bad rap.

Learn the truth.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day, on October 27, is a day of appreciation and education designed to change perceptions and stereotypes about Pit Bulls and their responsible owners. Please take a moment to learn the truth about these wonderful dogs and consider rescuing one of them from a shelter.

Are you a proud Pit Bull parent? Please participate in National Pit Bull Awareness Day, and help us dispel the myths about these dogs by leaving a comment below about your wonderful pooch.

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My pit was rescued during a fight bust, then kept in a substandard shelter for months as evidence with 36 other dogs. Most of the other dogs in the shelter died because of the inhumane conditions (no medical care, inadequate water, no A/ Florida!). Rescuers reported dogs were literally dying at their feet. Only three dogs came out of that situation--one was mine. She spent almost two years in foster before she joined our family. Now, at four years or so, she's utterly adorable. She's the sweetest, most loving little thing and a total goofball. She's a teeny pocket pit--only 40 pounds--and solid muscle. Little kids are magnets to her; she adores them. She's smart as a whip (CGC certified) and, true to her bully nature, stubborn until properly motivated by something yummy. Which is just about everything--she ate an entire acorn squash fresh from the garden this fall.

She has lingering issues: she's a resource guarder, and while she loves loves LOVES other dogs, play sessions can sometimes turn into arguments. I won't take her to the dog park because of this and because of the fact that even if another dog started a fight with her, she would be blamed. She'd probably also inflict more damage. She did live peacefully with another dog while in foster, so we may try to find a good match someday. But even if we don't, I have absolutely no regrets adopting her. I love her more every day, am thankful every day that she's here. Thinking about her past makes her all the more precious.


Love my pit. She's actually more gentle with my young children than my lab mix or my cocker spaniel! Loves kids and is so concerned when they cry. Fierce bark but loving heart!

Regina Weiner

Our Georgie is a pit-Lab mix. The pit improved the Lab, which, of course is wonderful. Everyone comments on how "chill" he is...never gets upset, utterly charming. He was a street dog who picked up a job at the bank as guard dog at the ATM machine. He was sick when I took him home with me. He is the best do ever.


i have a sweet male pit.he is love by everone that know him. he is 5years old. his mom was a very sweet pit too but she passed away. we love are pitbull and other pit.we love that breed of dogs


I have a 2 yr old pitt/boxer mix named Tate, Tater, Tater Tot, Tater Bug( we use them all)and a 9 year old english Bulldog named Chumley. Tate is a shelter dog, we have had him since he was 6 months old. He had a limp and kennel cough,my husband worked at the shelter as a dog walker and just couldn't leave him there. He looked so pathetic! We brought him home,only to get him well and find him a home, but with in a month he bacame a permenant resident. He is a great dog, lots of energy and to help with that we had a great trainer come and teach him how to run on the treadmill, he runs 3-4 miles a day and is pure muscle. He loves to "nibble" his mom,dad and Chumley. We have a cat that he learned not to chase, but like other dogs all unkown cats are considered squirels! It has been very strange haveing a pitt - Tate is my first, our other dog was a golden retriver/lab mix and could practically talk she was so smart. Tate is just a fly by the seat of his pants kind of guy, always looking for adventure and a playmate. I think he could run and play forever. It was so odd to have a dog so determined to play - there is nothing else in his life if someone is playing Kong with him it is like he is possessed. But at night after he has finally worn himself out he is very calm and affectionate. He loves to be loved on and sleep on your lap. He is brindle with yellow/brown eyes so he gets lots of looks and stares and I am sure makes people think twice about walking on same side of the street as us, but he is a good boy. He has been through 4 levels of obedience classes and 2 levels of agility training. Would love for him to get certified but it will take more work his energy level is so high he still has days that it takes all he can do to contain it, but we are working on it. He is a joy to have, boundless energy and love for all who meet him and had definetely added a whole other demension to our family. We definetely have both ends of the spectrum a docile lumbering bulldog who is loved by all and our wild child who keeps everything new and exciting! I would not have it any other way.


In Houston, TX an older couple had 3 pit bulls: a mom, a dad and their pup. He came home one afternoon and found that she was dead on the floor with bite marks that had killed her. The guess was that she had tripped over or stepped on the puppy, it had yelped and the parents had attacked her. at least 2 of my daughters have had pit bull mixes -- 3 in all -- who were and are just lovely. Lee Loe, Houston, TX


My granddog is a sweet loving goofy pittie. She loves to go to the pet store an heads straight for the check out cause she knows they have cookies and automaticaly sit's for a treat. Everybody she meets is her friend and like the other's she rolls over for a belly rub. She is wonderful and sooo happy and nobody can tell my any different about pit bulls,

Devin Young

A little background info if you will. I grew up in The Detroit area.I saw Pit Bulls and was taught to avoid them at all costs,sadly I bought into this because I never saw anything to the contrary . Fast Forward years later when I met my now wife's Pit Bull "Taz". I was very apprehensive at first, but it proved to be in vain. He was goofy, loving, intelligent, animated and full of love and personality. May 10th 2008 my wife and I adopted Moose...My boy. My son. No disrespect to anyone else, but he's one of the greatest beings i've ever had the pleasure of knowing. When we first brought him home we didn't know what to expect, and to a certain degree neither did he, but he always knew he was home. The only thing that bothers me about our journey together is that I can probably never love him like he loves me. His soul is so beautiful and pure it is inconcievable how anyone could portray him in any negative light. I never knew how great it feels to walk in the door after a crappy day at work and be greeted by the "Wiggle butt" (The wiggle is very strong with this one.). I never knew how great it feels to leave only for a second and be greeted like you were gone for an eternity. I never knew how great it feels to have him use my legs as his pillow. I do now, and my life is so much better because of it. This vile dangerous creature has influenced me in ways that he'll never be able to comprehend. My wife Jokes that we are lovers because we spoon, and kiss and hug, but I'm Daddy. Sorry for rambling... The mind can't always comprehend what the heart feels.


My baby grrl Paint (RIP) was a pitty husky mix. I told people that she was a terrier husky mix (Quibbling perhaps) so as to give her a chance to show her sweetness without the blinding prejudice. She never failed to be a honey pie. Yes, She was protective of me, But it was watchful waiting that is prized in most dogs. She never offered harm to anyone. The only person she ever bit was me, And that was when she was an eight week old puppy rough housing around. Once I taught her that nipping was unacceptable she never did it again. Pitties love to please and protect their people.
She was the best dog in the world, She was my soul mate. I miss her terribly and I'm crying as I'm typing this.

Sarah Goswick

We adopted Jake from a rescue organization here in New York. Already the proud parents of two dogs, Annie and Moose, and two cats, Gil and Charlie, the desire to rescue a dog came over us in full force in May 2010. While there were so many wonderful dogs at many of the shelters in and around New York, none seemed to be the right fit for our family; until that fateful May 20th. While home from work one day, my wife, Ariana, began looking online at different shelters to see if any dog specifically caught her eye. I, on the other hand was at work and was starting to abandon the idea of a third dog by way of discouragement encountered thus far in the search. And then… he appeared. There on the site for Posh Pets Rescue was the most beautifully handsome dog that we have ever laid eyes on! His ad stated that this was a dire emergency and indeed it was. Jake, or Snowman as he was in those days, had been adopted out but returned on more than one occasion (for reasons none of which were his fault) and he was, last the Posh Pets Rescue Coordinator knew, being fostered. Recently, the foster woman abandoned her responsibility to this amazing 3 year old dog and instead dropped him off at Animal Control, unbeknownst to the Rescue Organization. Upon finding this out (thankfully the Animal Control called Posh Pets to alert them that he was there), the race was on to get him out of this shelter fast! Literally as they were going to take him out of the shelter and with no real plan in motion as to where he was going to next, Ariana placed the call to Posh Pets, hoping that he was still available. Talk about worlds colliding. There he was in dire need of a home and here we were with a home overflowing with love just waiting to give to him. At a moment’s notice, we were there to meet Jake and to say it was love at first sight… well, that is an understatement. His sweet eyes lent to an even sweeter soul and this was now day one of our new lives together.

Jake came home with us right then and there and met his new brothers (Moose, the French bulldog and Gil and Charlie the cats) and his new sister (Annie, the wheaten terrier) and a family was completed. To see these five interact is to know that all of these myths about pit bulls and their aggressive, vicious tendencies could not be more misleading. Jake has a different play style with each one, specifically tailored to their needs. He romps with the best of them and nuzzles and cuddles just the same. He has never once showed aggression but only a heart as big as imaginable. And his parents? Well we couldn’t be happier. As one former pit bull fearer and embarrassingly enough- myth believer, I now proudly tell anyone who will listen how wonderful of an addition Jake is to the family and how he truly was the missing piece. You go into it thinking you are rescuing a dog but what you soon find out is that they actually rescue you right back. Never has it been more wonderful to have been proven completely wrong and to learn what a difference it makes when you let a pit bull into your home and more over: your heart.