“Pit bull terriers are a severely misunderstood breed. The SPCA Serving Erie County’s goal is to educate and bring awareness to this issue in our community. The Bred To Love program’s main purpose is to put an end to the myths surrounding this amazing and loving breed. Pit bull terriers are loyal happy go lucky dogs that just adore people and will make a wonderful addition to a family looking for their new pal,” said Lindsay Guiher, a volunteer at the shelter.
According to Guiher, most of the dogs coming into the shelter are pit bulls who take longer to adopt than other breeds, which they suspect has to do with common myths surrounding the breed.
Some of these myths include the beliefs that pit bulls have locking jaws and are more likely to bite than other breeds. To clear that first one up once and for all, pit bulls do not have any anatomical mechanism that would cause or allow their jaws to lock. No dog does. And while pit bulls still get a lot of bad press, they’re no more likely to bite someone than any other breed.
The American Temperament Testing Society (ATTS), an organization that promotes uniform temperament testing, has found that the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Terrier all had a higher than average passing score, which is 83 percent, and did better than many other breeds, including Golden Retrievers, when it comes to stability, aggression and friendliness, among other traits.
Even the AVMA has stated that despite the stigma, when it comes to pit bull type dogs “controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous.”
In fact, pit bulls used to be referred to as the perfect “nanny dogs” for children because of their fantastic temperaments and were used to represent America on WWI posters because of their loyalty, bravery and determination. Even Helen Keller had one.
“As any responsible owner knows, it’s not these sweet and loyal animals that are the problem, but rather a handful of self-serving and unethical breeders. Raised in the right environment, pit bull terriers are naturally inclined to be wonderful pets, sure to steal your heart!” according to the shelter.
Along with urging people to consider adding one to the family, the SPCA Serving Erie County wants everyone who loves pit bulls to join the campaign by submitting a photo showing the world what their dogs were born to do. So far, they’ve got people showing off pit bulls who were bred to give kisses, be loved, be best friends, protect, be loyal, brighten lives and be family, along with a few who were born to cuddle.
If you want to join the campaign and help spread the truth about pit bulls, visit their website, download and print a sign and fill in the blank: Bred to _____, and take some pictures. You can then submit your images via their website, which will be shared in an album on their Facebook page.
Photo credit: Thinkstock