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Here’s What Pit Bulls are Really Bred to Do

Here’s What Pit Bulls are Really Bred to Do

The SPCA Serving Erie County in New York hopes to dispel common myths about pit bull terriers and show the world what they’re really born to do with its new Bred to Love campaign.

“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.

 

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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1370 comments

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9:51AM PDT on Apr 8, 2015

It isn't the fault of shelters that approximately 1 million pits every year.
The blame rests on the shoulders of pit "advocates", who foolishly resist Breed Specific Legislation (BSL), which requires mandatory spay and neuter. If it isn't born, it can't suffer and die.
Who do you think is dumping all the pits at shelters? The misguided people who believe the myths that pit advocates spew forth. "It is all in how you raise them." "Pits were nanny dogs" and "All dogs are alike". None of those statements are true. Breeds were developed to have specific traits. Pits were NEVER nanny dogs. Historically, pits have mauled and killed more children than all other breeds COMBINED, and by a wide margin. Pits were created to be the ultimate fighting dog. Most pits will end being dog aggressive, which is what they were bred to be.
The reason why pits are being dumped at shelters is because the naive owners soon discover that it is NOT "All in how you raise them" when their pit mauls or kills after reaching maturity. You CANNOT " love" a dog's instinct out of it.
The people who are "ignorant" about pit bulls are the ones advocating for them, which is allowing the endless cycle of breeding and killing to continue.

8:00AM PDT on Apr 8, 2015

I learned the other day that 599 Pit Bulls are destroyed and 1 out of the 600 will survive and be adopted. Shelters ill these poor angels just because they are Pitties. So sad that people are so ignorant!

10:50AM PDT on Apr 7, 2015

This is true. Pibbles are NATURALLY animal aggressive, not people aggressive. They're terriers, which means they're usually high energy, intelligent, inquisitive and very tenatious. The reason they were referred to as "nanny dogs" is because they bond very closely with their people.

It also means they're great dogs for working (if you get one from usually a rescue or a reputable breeder). Like all popular breeds, this one has suffered not only from over popularity for all the wrong reasons, but also because of the myths surrounding the breed. Golden retrievers, collies and American Cocker Spaniel's have the same issues...those are three breeds right off the top of my head that have been harmed as a breed by over popularity. People don't realize it, mostly because they a) don't know dogs and b) those three breeds specifically are seen as "family" dogs.

As always, it comes down to knowing what kind of dog is the best fit for your family. Without exception, every single pit bull I have met (and most of them were rescues) are big, slobbery tongues inside a cement head who think they're lap dogs.

All dogs will bite. You NEVER tell someone your dog doesn't bite even if they're the gentlest, most patient, well behaved, well trained dog on the planet. If you insist they'll never bite, you don't know dogs and shouldn't own one.

10:32AM PDT on Apr 7, 2015

This is without a doubt the single most poorly researched article about Pit Bulls I have ever read. I am going to leave with one simple observation. The Nanny Dog is not only a myth but has been retracted by the husband of the originator of the myth after his wife was mauled to death by her own pit bulls. I think one lie is more than sufficient to discredit the rest.

4:42AM PDT on Jun 30, 2014

they may be 'sweeties' and 'nice dogs' but really ... we know they are bred to kill so why take the risk! There are so many other breeds that are beautiful gentle animals that pose no danger. We had a miniature poodle from 6 weeks old until she died of old age. She was our children's pet and companion and left us with fond and wonderful memories.

9:36PM PDT on Oct 27, 2013

I've met some wonderful pits! BUT I also know first responders who have had to treat attack victims too. I wish them all to find a wonderful forever home!

9:59AM PDT on Oct 24, 2013

I had two pits and one was aggressive and the other one was scary. The aggressive one didn't like other dogs and I had to keep him leashed when we were out. I walked him at night. Never had to worry about anything or anyone. The scary one was ok. and could be taken anywhere. You just have to know your dogs. Then one I had for 16 years and had NO PIT in him and was crazy as a loon I used to tell him. He was 3 wks. old when I got him and I raised him like my own baby. He didn't even know he was a dog and he was very protective. He had crawled away from a litter and was lost. I didn't want him but I couldn't just throw him out there to fend for himself. I wouldn't have been able to sleep. So I figured I would keep the little thing until I found him a home and 16 years later I had to put him to sleep. He was my heartbeat. So like I said before you just have to know your dog.

12:52PM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

Darla Napora was huge pit advocate and used the same arguments many of the posters here have used. She was a member of "Bad Rap". Tragically, Darla's 2 year old Pit Bull mauled her to death when she was 6 months pregnant. Bless her and her unborn baby's hearts. What a horrible way to find out that the breed you advocated for really is bred to attack to the death. I am fully aware that it could have been me when I was advocating that there were no bad dogs, only bad owners.........

8:55AM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

They are "sweeties" until their genetic heritage kicks in. My rescue Pit was a doll until he turned into a killer. They are bred to attack and keep attacking until their target is dead. Out of the 23 dog-caused human fatalities this year, 22 were Pits and pit mixes. In the last few weeks, 2 children were killed by Pits and many more attacked. Pits have turned 5 Pit owners into double amputees. They are 3500% more likely to turn on their owners than any other breed. They are responsible for countless dogs, cats, alpacas, llamas, horses, miniature horses, donkeys, goats, sheep, and other animals deaths. Will all pits turn? No, but you can't tell by looking at them which ones will. I have known of many pits who grew up in wonderful homes that ended up attacking their owner. Many pit puppies have killed members of their litter, as young as 5 weeks old. These dogs were bred to fight. They do it better than any other breed, which is why they are the #1 choice of dog fighters. I used to rescue them, and learned the hard way what they really are, and know of many rescuer who had the same experience. A rescue in the Northeast had several pit puppies grow up to kill the other dog in their household. These were puppies that were adopted very young into great homes. They cannot help it. I don't blame the dogs, but it doesn't change the fact that they have aggression bred in, and it is just a matter of time before it strikes. Darla Napora was huge pit advocate and used a

8:40AM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

They are sweeties just like any other well treated dog.

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