Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pit Bulls

Now that the weather is getting warmer (now if only it would calm down with the rain everyday) I walk Lady a lot more. In case you don't know Lady is my dog. And I have a gigantic pet peeve, so sorry for my complaining I just want people to see the truth and maybe learn a few things.

Pit Bulls (American Pit Bull Terrier or APBT) do NOT have locking jaws. For some reason many people think this. But they do not. Like many other breeds of dogs out there once they grab on they don't want to let go.They do not have the strongest jaw out of all dogs. There was actually a test done by Dr Brady Bar from National Geographic to help disbar this myth. Pit bull actually have the lowest pressure PSI (per square inch) out of a rottweiler and german shepherd dog. The rottweiler had the highest PSI ( rottweilers are actually my favorite breed)

Many years ago before they were used for fighting they were owned by butchers. Using dogs to take down bulls was more cost effective for the butchers. The dogs were turned on the bulls and take them down. Many times a dog would grab the bull by the nose and not want to let go. If the dog let go it would be thrown as the bull was bucking and thrashing. These dogs were bred to each other because they brought the bulls down faster and more effectively. They did not damage the hide of the animals. People began realizing this was sort of fun to watch it was cheap entertainment and interesting to see dogs bring down such a strong large animal.

It soon became a sport. Breeding became very selective. This is where the term "pit bull" came from. They were the dogs that fought bulls in a pit. Eventually bull baiting was outlawed in many places and this soon turned to dog vs dog fights. It became an underground, gritty yet lucrative sport. And it still is until this day.

**I do not recommend playing tug of war with any dog unless the dog is fully submissive to you and understands that you are the boss.***

Ok this may be a shocker for some people. Every year the American Temperament Test Society, Inc test hundreds of dogs of many many breeds. The test is composed of several categories. Some examples are: behavior and reaction to strangers, sounds, new things, being touched, etc. If you ever watch any of the Animal Cops shows on Animal Planet then you have seen parts of this test. It's when they take a bowl a way, open an umbrella, check their teeth, etc.

Here are some of the results for some common breeds.
     Breed                   Number of Dogs:   Tested  Passed   Failed    Percentage

AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER     772     664       108      86.0%
AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG          184     145        39        78.8%
BEAGLE                                           71       57         14         80.3%
BICHON FRISE                                30       23          7          76.7%
BOXER                                             418     351        67        84.0%
CAIRN TERRIER                             49        36         13        73.5%
CHIHUAHUA                                    38        27        11         71.1%
COCKER SPANIEL                        227       186       41         81.9%
DACHSHUND (STANDARD SMOOTH)48  33        15          68.8%
DOBERMAN PINSCHER               1,574    1,222    352        77.6%
FRENCH BULLDOG                         28        27          1         96.4%
GERMAN SHEPHERD DOG           3,038     2,559   479      84.2%
GOLDEN RETRIEVER                     746       631      115       84.6%
GREAT DANE                                  275        219      56        79.6%
ITALIAN GREYHOUND                     50        41         9          82.0%
LABRADOR RETRIEVER                763       704       59        92.3%
MALTESE                                          16        13           3         81.3%
POMERANIAN                                   33        25          8          75.8%
PUG                                                   44         40          4          90.9%
ROTTWEILER                                  5,357     4,470    887       83.4%
SAMOYED                                         282       224       58        79.4%
SHIH TZU                                           41         32          9          78.0%
SIBERIAN HUSKY                            295       257       38         87.1%
SOFT COATED WHEATEN TERRIER 36      26        10         72.2%
STANDARD POODLE                      243        209      34          86.0%
WEIMARANER                                 215       173        42         80.5%
WEST HIGHLAND WHITE TERRIER 60       53          7           88.3% 

 Lady with my cousin

To see the complete list or read more about temperament testing visit:

Once upon a time in the early 20th century Pit Bulls were considered "America's Dogs." They were much more popular than labs, golden retrievers, german shepherds and came long before all the oodles, doodles, and apoos of today. 

 My grandfather in 1945 with his puppy pit bull.

They are smart, don't shed a lot and can be amazing dogs if you know how to deal with them. They are strong willed and will stand their ground wanting you to back down. They will test you with that every day. They need consistency as all dogs should have. But they need a firm handler or they will take advantage. 

Big pet peeve of mine! HUGE!!! The color of your pit bulls nose does NOT mean anything. You will often see dogs advertised and hear people talking and they say my pit is a red nose or my pit is a blue nose. That means nothing, I don't care what color nose you dog has. A pit bull is a pit bull. The color means nothing. Lady is blue, which is now a trend. People want blue dogs because they think they are rare and will charge 3 times as much as a brindle. Pit bulls come in any color pretty much. And technically the color blue in any dog besides a merle great dane, aussies, dapple dachshunds and weimaraners is a genetic mutation. They have allergies and sensitive stomachs also. Notice how all of a sudden many breeds have blue? Labs, boston terriers, french bull dogs, shar peis? 

Blue dogs have always been around. Now they are considered unique and rare and are "worth" a lot of money. However in the past when a blue puppy was born it was euthanized immediately. Since the coloring of the dog was not a breed standard breeders did not want people to know that their blood lines produced these mutated genes. As years went by some people felt bad about euthanizing puppies. So breeders would drop the puppies of at shelters, breed rescues or give them away to people they know.  Now these blue dogs are seen as a hot commodity because they can charge so much for them. A reputable breeder will not charge more for these dogs, they should be the same price or even less because they are not desired among the show circuit.

I also can't stand when people say the pit bull is half blue and half brindle...but the dog is black and white. How does this make any sense?? That's like you have a lab that is black but you say it's half yellow and half chocolate because that's what the parents are. 
Another huge problem is several people cannot properly identify a pit bull. So when reporting dog bits and such if they see that it was bulky strong, athletic dog they automatically say it was a pit bull. I discussed this in college in my urban sociology class. I made this poster and asked my class of 46 to identify the adult pit bull and the puppy and not a single person including my professor could do it. What does that say? 

Do I recommend a pit bull for everyone, no of course not. I think before any one gets a dog they should research particular breeds carefully. Just because it looks cute does not mean it is a good match to you and your family. 

Talk to someone who knows about dogs (I'm available), meet dogs of a particular kind you think you want. Maybe go through a process with a local breed rescue to foster a dog. Is having a dog even right for you?  

I know I'm missing a ton of points and things that bother me, lol but it's late and I can't think anymore. Before I go I'm going to share with you some of my favorite pics of my Lady. Then I will give you the answers to the Can you spot the APBT.

Waiting patiently to open her presents.
New sweater for Christmas!

Chewing sticks with bella


  1. You crack me up about the dogs nose color.... I have Italian greyhounds (miniature greyhounds) and they were all considered "Defective" because of stupid traits like the color of their nose. My sisters IG dog had a pink nose which is unacceptable apparently LOL
    It is ridiculous!

  2. omg she is so adorable!!!!
    pit bulls are seriously mistaken dogs. Their reputation is made from peoples doing. horrible... they are such cute dogs!!!! i love pit bulls!

  3. Wow! I didn't know that about pit bulls!!

    And your Lady is SO cute!

  4. Thanks for all the information! I'll have to remember the dogs color is nothing more than how its prettified lol

  5. Lady is adorable...and I am one of those ignorant people that just listen to others. I have never had a problem with pitbulls and I will be the first to admit when my sister's husband was talking about getting one I told her he was crazy!!

    Sorry Lady...I will no longer judge by name, thanks for the information, Angela.

  6. Lady is so cute!

    Some individuals train/use dogs the wrong way and others, who are uneducated, create wrong opinions. Sad.

  7. Lady looks like a sweetie! Thanks for the history lesson, I had no idea. I HATE people who make dogs fight! If I ever win the lottery will put a lot of money and energy into finding and prosecuting them.

  8. Lady is so cute!! I love animals :)

  9. There is definitely a lot of misinformation out there, and if more pit bull owners made it their business (like you) to clear up some of it, pit bulls wouldn't get such a bad rap nowadays.

    !!! Down with dog fighting !!!

  10. She is so cute. My dog is a tiny toy poodle but being somewhat of a Dog Whisperer addict I was very fond of Daddy and very sad when he died.
    I think the problem with pit bulls and other dogs that get a bad rep are the owners not the dogs, mistreatment and ignorance cause a lot of damage.
    Thank you for providing all of this clear information.

  11. Love the info and the pics! Pit bulls do have a bad reputation, sadly. Great article!!!

  12. I love love love pit bulls. My parents are scared of all dogs (and some cats) and have told me they won't visit if I get one. This is half drama and I responded by saying that I was getting 2 and naming them after their grandparents - Bob and Lorraine. That shut them up! hahha!

  13. We have a dog boarding kennel and had a pit bull in last summer - she was the sweetest dog! It's not the breed - it's the owners. We have learned that while boarding many different breeds of dogs.
    Bouvier is my favorite dog ever! :)

  14. Great info! I had no idea about most of that info. Lady is a gorgeous dog...lover her color!

  15. Lady is very very pretty! I like her sense of fashion;) Also, wow, that pic of of grandpa with his puppy in '45! I certainly admire how enthusiast you are about pit bulls, they need people to love them like you do!

  16. Wow! What an informative post! I am more of a cat person, myself (I have 2 now, named Lewis and Clark, but I'm glad you told us about pit bulls). Thanks!

  17. I have never met a pitbull I didn't like, they have been some of the sweetest dogs I have come in contact with ^_^

  18. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about several breeds of dogs, but especially pit bulls. Unfortunately, it's an owner problem. ie: my neighbor has a pit bull which he torments and teases horribly and he still a pup. Another neighbor's dogs get out all the time, and they don't look cared for. And I have to say, because of issues like these, big dogs often send a chill up my spine. No one should have a pet if they're not going to care for and luv it as part of the family. Thanks for clearing up a lot of misconceptions I had!

  19. pitbulls have a bad rap, but they are sweet just like any other dog :) I watched several episodes of Pit Boss on animal planet and it was so sweet! Good job bringing awareness out there.

  20. I have heard that Pits were used as nursemaid dogs in the olden days, they were exceptional at taking care of young children. Our friends have a huge almost all white one who is the sweetest boy ever, reminds me of Petey on The Little Rascals.

    Could not help but notice that you mentioned allergies on My NH Garden's blog (how I got here)...I used to be miserable every spring, and as a big gardener that was a huge bummer. Anyhoo I started taking LOCAL, has to be local, honey a teaspoon every couple days throughout the year (you can get it at your local farmers markets) you body builds up an immunity to the local pollens and come spring you are feeling great. Can't hurt to try it! I go through one of those big bottles every couple months.

    Can't wait to come back to your blog and check out older posts. Have a great day!