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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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Pit bulls have the potential to be dangerous. They should be banned. Very irresponsible article. Upsets me.

Sherri Broughton

My husband and I adpoted Cecil, an AmStaff mix three and one-half years ago from our local shelter. We quickly came to realize Cecil needed an outlet for his energy and intelligence! Three years later, Cecil is competing in agility trials and changing minds about the breed. I am so proud of him for all he has learned and accomplished. He is by far the smartest and most engaging dog we have ever had the pleasure to share our lives with.


i have 2 wonderful pit...China and Lenox...they were raised with my grandchildren from the time the dogs and kids were babies, and they are inseperable! they are loving, playful and great watch dogs...i also have 3 other dogs, and we all live here safely in the house , and for the most part, they all get along fine. Pits have been given a bad rep by bad owners, and it is a shame, because they are wonderful pets!

Lynn Sayad

She was running oround our neighborhood actively looking for a hom. As we were out walking one day she ran up to us, tail wagging and greeted us with a big smile. She had been playing with the neighbors kids but then decided to follow us home where our kids discovered her joyful appeal. At first we told our kids we could not keep her since we had already adopted an Austrailian Shepard and Chihuhua/Rat Terrior mix. The children and the dog would not take no for an answer and she found her home. She was kept outside in the dog run until she drove the neighbors crazy with her barking and was finally allowed to move inside with the other dogs. Initially due to negative media stories about the breed, we feared she might hurt the smallest dog but at this point they all cohabitate nicely with no injuries or mishaps with the exception of the Austrailian shepard occasionally pulling rank on her. She is very quiet as long as she has her companions so we guess the barking was a call for companionship. To date the pecking order remains 1. The Chihuhua mix 2.The pit pull and 3.The Austrailian shepard. She is a joy to have and so very gentle. The Chihuhu mix is the one we have to be careful with around strangers. She is very fierce. The pit bull has by far the most loving and gentle personality of the 3 breeds. They are all female. They were all homeless dogs when we got them but have made our home a warmer place.

Leigh Ann Raab

Our pit bull Gidget was kept prisoner in a puppy mill for several years and forced to be a breeder. The vet estimates she had anywhere from 6-9 litters before she was abandoned as she was no longer good for making puppies:( Despite this treatment, she is the most gentle soul, LOVES all people, lets the grandkids pull on her, put beads around her neck, try to catch her tail-all w/out complaint. And when they finally wind down and fall asleep on the floor, she is right there next to them snoozing away, but keeping alert to make sure they are safe.

David Harder

I owned a pitbull for 14 wonderful years. My mother purchased him from a breeder in Califorina. It turned out that my mother was not aware of the issues when purchasing a pitbull and as it turned out about a year after owning spooker we found out that the breeder was arrested for pit fighting.
I was very fortunate to have gotten spooker as a puppy and raised him correctly with love, excercise and socialazation. Spooker was extremely careful around small childeren, cats and elderly. The only time I had to be careful was when being with other dogs as I believe Spookers parents were raised to fight and he was not good with other male dogs. knowing this was half the battle as I was able to have him without incident throughtout his entire life.

They are the most misunderstood breed and because of bad owners and breeders they really do not deserve the negative attention that they receive. If you were to ever adopt one make sure you get as much history and any possible bad habits brought to light prior to accepting responsibilty for one. They are truly one of the greatest breeds but because of a long history of bad owners you need to research and understand the breed before owning one.

But then again you should do this with any animal you decide to take responsibility for!


My roommate fosters pitbull and pit mixes. One brindle pit mix, named Toaster, was with us for 6 months, and I became her main caretaker. I was afraid of them at first, but as a dog-lover, came to see that they are just like other dogs. In fact, I got very attached to Toaster, and she to me. She is very sweet, and has lots of personality. She would follow me to every room I was in, and slept with me. She liked to sleep on my pillow with me sometimes. She was so excited when I came home, after only gone an hour! She became protective of me, as well, barking at a man who came out of the woods in the park in front of me, etc. Toaster is a gentle dog, but scary when she is protecting you from harm. She looked kind of scary as she is dark and muscular, but she is a lovely dog. She is also smart - I was blown away when, one day in the park, she was standing there watching water go down into a hole like a whirlpool, wondering what it was. I picked up a stick and started scraping around it because it looked like a grate covered in mud. I uncovered a couple more holes. So Toaster picks up a stick in her mouth, looked like she was going to scrape like I just did, and realizing she couldn't, started scraping with her paws and uncovered another hole in the grate! She imitated me, and I was amazed at her intelligence. I took Toaster everywhere with me - we went all over that park, and the dog run, as well as Central Park, where I would feel safe with her in the woods, to the pet supply store, to the restaurant to pick up food, to the bank, to pick up a check, to walk other dogs.. She got along so well with other dogs; puppies in the dog run would be so excited to see her when she would come in. One dog that I walk doesn't socialize with other dogs too much, but she got along fine with Toaster, playing with her and chasing each other. Toaster's owner was in jail, and is out now, and took her back kind of suddenly, and I was the saddest person when this happened. I still miss her alot.


Last year, the area around Chattanooga, Tennessee was hit with tornadoes. I lived in Ringgold, GA at the time and thankfully, had no damage. I fostered two dogs after, a pitty and a blue heeler. I currently had a Pomeranian and was a little iffy at first. The very first time I met Jazz, her home had been destroyed and she was chained to a tree, outside in the rubble with food thrown on the ground for her. Poor baby still has the scars around her neck. Clean up crews were everywhere and the noise was overwhelming. As I walked up the driveway, she went down to her belly and crawled to me as far as she could. I sat down and her head was in my lap, eyes closed and let me pet her for 30 minutes. I knew right then, she was coming with me. The first few weeks were a rough adjustment for her but with some true affection and play, she fit right in. The blue heeler found a home but no one wanted Jasmine because of her breed. I proceeded to bring her into the house with Boo (my Pommy) and they are now inseparable brother and sister! She was house broken in 2 weeks, sleeps in the bed with me, learned commands and tricks and came when I whistled. She would, and still does anything to please. I couldn't imagine my life without her now and our "family" is complete. I didn't rescue her, she rescued me.


I rescued a pit puppy who was tied up with a chain that could probably haul a semi tractor. It's my understanding this is done to the poor thing to strengthen their upper body. She loves everyone and if she is guilty of anything, it's not understanding why not everyone wants a kiss from her. She is a hero at the vets office and I've been told numerous times she should be a Pit Ambassador and /or a therapy dog. I also foster dogs and she is currently a big sister to 2 small chi's. When will people realize, it's not the 4 legged breed that's the problem, it's the 2 legged breed that is.

Debbie Saide

I have owned pit bulls for the last 25 years. They are so misunderstood. They are the sweetest, most loyal, and happy dogs you can own. I'm getting older so I haven't adopted any pit bulls in years. I have an AST that is 9 years old and an American pit bull terrier that is 5 years old. They are so spoiled. If I leave for a little while, they are at the door waiting to welcome me home. It is some owners that make pit bulls mean. They should be the ones punished for their behavior, not the dog. I can't even imagine how anyone could teach a sweet animal like a pit bull to fight. Some people are under the impression that a pit bull feels no pain. That is a falsehood. They hurt just like any other dog.