Debunking the Generic Pit Bull Reputation

Are Pit Bulls really as mean as their reputation makes them out to be? Or, are Pit Bulls misunderstood?

As a young twenty-something, I will be very honest that I am on social media at least once a day. In the past few weeks, I have seen several posts and shared articles in regards to Pit Bulls and the stereotypes surrounding that breed. Are the rumors warranted, or are they simply misunderstood?

A lot of the articles I read went over the reputation that Pit Bulls have. The most common belief is that it is a naturally aggressive dog breed, and that they are violent by nature. Unfortunately, this stereotype probably developed rapidly because of what the animals were originally bred for. Today’s Pit Bull is a descendant of the English bull-baiting dog. That was a canine bred to bite and hold bears, bulls and other large animals around the face and neck. Baiting became outlawed in the 1800's, and then the canines were used to fight each other. The bull-baiting dog was crossed with terriers to produce a more agile and athletic dog, later known as the Pit Bull.

On the flip side, however, some Pit Bulls were bred for work and companionship instead of fighting. These animals were noted for their gentleness, affection and loyalty. It is likely that the vast majority of Pit Bulls in our society today are the result of random breeding. Random breeding is when two dogs are mated without regard to behavioral traits being passed onto offspring. The result of this is that there is a population of Pit Bulls with a wide range of behaviors and predispositions. For this reason, it is important to treat each pooch as an individual with its own personality.

In conclusion, the ASPCA states, “All dogs, including pit bulls, are individuals. Treating them as such, providing them with care, training and supervision they require, and judging them by their actions and not by their DNA or their physical appearance is the best way to ensure that dogs and people can continue to share safe and happy lives together.”

Do you have a pet Pit Bull? Share stories about them in the comment section!

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