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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I am the proud owner of two pit bulls and a pit boxer mix, and with a heavy heart owned a American bulldog who gave her life protecting a friend of my daughters from getting hit by a car. She shoved the boy out of the way of a car and out herself between them. I will always have some kind of these breeds in my house, they are very loyal and loving dogs. I have children and grandkids that climb all over these dogs and have used my babies to change the thinking of alot of people who once thought ill of these breeds. My belived Beauty whi gave her life for a stranger to her, our boy Doz-zer, my lil girl Lilac, and Dag-ger.


I got Diesel from a prevoius owner. They coudn't seem to handle he's loads of energy and constant licking. I adopted him in my home because I melted in his grey bright eyes. He is now 3 years old and gets along with all my pets and will always tire you out when you play with him. Those people out there that give pittbulls a bad rep. need to look at dogs like Diesel. I had a friend that was super scared of pitbulls because of what she heard about them. After a day with Diesel, she went out and got one of her own! That should be proof enough that pitbulls are an amazing pet!

Veronica Dutridge

My aunt and uncle have a Pit mix and he couldn't be sweeter! My aunt and uncle have two young children (7 and 4) and when they accidentally fall on him or something he is so forgiving. Also, he loves to be paid attention to so if you are sitting on the couch he will sit next to you and slooooowly put his face in front of yours until you pet him. He is so adorable!!!

Suzanne Prentice

My daughter has a pit named Blaze. Without a doubt, this is the sweetest dog I've ever come to know. Family & friends all joke about standing in line to take ownership of Blaze. Everybody loves him - and rightly so! He has demonstrated everything that is good about having a dog. He is a gem.


I have two sister pits (Staffordshire Terriers) and they are they funniest and sweetest dogs, they absolutly love people and children. They have lots of energy but are gentle and calm in the house. They play lil games with each other, hiding bones, toys and so on. They are inseperatable, they do everything together and never fought.. well except a little growling.. and stealing each others bones. I have them socialized very well and they get along well with most dogs. No matter what, at the end of the day you can rest assure that they will be laying on top of each other no matter how many bones or toys the other one stole that day. One girl is so dam spoiled that she can't sleep without a pillow or something soft, the other one couldnt care less. I love my 2 spoiled girls... and I would never hesitate to recomend pit bulls as family pets. Really they are excellent with children and senior citizens.


I've had my pit1/boxer mix Dallas for 7 years, he was a year old when I got him. I've had several dogs in my life before, but my Dallas is the sweetest dog I have ever had! He loves everyone, including other animals. After having him for five years, my daughter moved back home with her cat. Since Dallas had always been an "only child" I wasn't sure how that was going to work, but no problem at all, he loved her. 5 months ago I added a 5 week old kitten to the family, and now Dallas thinks he is "Dad" to both cats! He licks them and plays with them, and Max, the kitten, likes to groom him. Max also likes to grab Dallas's tail and bite on it and that's just fine with Dallas! He is the sweetest dog ever!

As a first time owner of a pit bull I can only say that my boy is as loving and goofy as any dog I have ever owned. He is fun, loving, goofy, playful, and loves my other dogs. I have posted a video on Youtube to illustrate how goofy he can be and thats why I am proud and lucky to have such a wonderful dog be a part of my family. We have a dalmatian, and a boxer/beagle mix.


It is truly sad that there are too many people who use not only Pit Bulls, but Rotties and other mastiff/bully breeds for illegal purposes. I am always concerned about adopting a grown dog of any of these breeds - even though I have had Rotties all my life and think they are fantastic dogs. I also had a Neopolitan Mastiff that reminded me of Baby Huey. The clue is to be sure who the breeder is of your dog AND to raise them properly. It is a huge responsiblity to have such powerful dogs. I would never take a bully/mastiff breed or mix of such breed into my house with children not knowing the origins of its parents or how it was raised. The risk is too great. You are correct, it is not the breed's fault. It is a people problem. However, that "people problem" can end up living next door or in your own home. Until reponsible breeding restrictions are in force as they are in Europe and other countries, we will continue to have improperly bred and, possibly, dangerous dogs. You don't hear about poodles or smaller dogs because they don't inflict the same type of damage. Those of us who love the mastiff/bully breeds need to be diligent in our support of law enforcement and help shutting down dog fighting and breeders who are raising dogs for that purpose.


In 2006 me, my husband, and then 4yr old daughter were driving down the rd and seen a sign "Pitts for sell" beside a truck with a bed full of puppies. I made my husband stop. If you had seen the situation u would have stopped also. It was rite before payday and at that time we were living paycheck to paycheck, we had only $75 in the bank and the ppl wanted $50 for each pup. They were stupid enough to bring the parents of the pups along. The parents were not mean or anything toward ppl but u could tell by looking at them that hey were abused or being fought. I didn't like this, AT ALL!! I made my husband go to the bank and withdraw every penny we had. I tried to talk the guy down from his price so I could take more than one homebut he wouldn't budge. So I only got to rescue 1 of the 7. It broke my heart for the others. At home we had a 1 yr old boxer that my husband got for our daughters 3rd bday. Tink was the boxer and because when we took the Pitt to the vet that payday she told us that she was barely 4 weeks old we named her baby. In 2008 my husbands work transferred him to another state and we couldn't find a place to live that would accept both our boxer and Pitt. This saddened me. Our boxer was left with my husbands best friend and our Pitt was left with my husbands parents. My father in law refused to put baby on any kind of leash or restriction and where he lives it's not mandated that he do so. So baby was free to roam the neighbor hood. I would and check on her often they would just tell me she's growing and doing great. Well in2010 we got to move back home, and I was so excited to see my baby. When we had came to my in-laws house he whole neighborhood had taken up with baby! Everyone claimed her as their dog! She is so loved by all of the neighbors and most of the neighbors have children that are younger than 10. Baby is now 6yrs old and is the kindest gentlest dog I have evr had in my life. And as far as cats go, I guess it's the personality of the cat for baby because some she likes and some she doesn't. My advice to any one thinking or getting a dog no matter the breed, make sure you have the time for training it or the money for a trainer to train it for you. An untrained dog can be a dangerous dog! Not a certain breed of dog. Just like people it doesn't matter what race we are we all have different personalities!

We found our pit bull as a stray, still lactating from a recent litter and with a nasty skin condition. She was very scared of men, and the vet said she was probably two-years old and on her third litter. After some care, good nutrition, and some positive socialization, she is now healthy and fully-lovable to everyone - especially men. She now gets along well with the four other dogs and two cats in our house.

There were some pecking order skirmishes when she was first introduced to our house. However, it would be unfair to put full blame for this on the pitty. The only dogs she skirmished with were the dogs who got into scuffs over pecking order before she came to the house, and the dogs who never got into scuffs still didn't. I was surprised by the fact that my geriatric border collie beat the pitty and bit her nose as did my bad-back Australian Shepherd in a later skirmish. My pit-bull is no fighting dog!

What she really is is the most cuddly, snuggling love princess I've ever had as a dog. She is also very calm. The local vet office still routinely uses her as a blood donor because she stands stock still while they are draining her blood, as if she understands she's doing good work. My pit-bull is a great addition to my home and my multipet family.