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Pit Bulls: Scoring better than 121 other breeds in temperament are gentle dogs

 June 13, 2011

Joshua-Paul Angell - Chicago Animal Welfare Examiner

Pit Bulls have once again scored BETTER than many dog breeds. Temperament evaluations by the American Temperament Test Society have given pit bull terriers a very high passing rate of 90.6 percent. The average passing rate for the other 121 breeds of dogs in the tests was only a low 77 percent.
These temperament tests consist of putting a dog through a series of unexpected situations, some involving strangers.

Pit bulls have gotten a bad rap due to superstitions and organized crime. They are not attackers and they are not baby killers. In fact, they have been known to make a better family dog than many breeds, including the Dalmatian.

The facts:

Pit bulls are family-oriented dogs, loving, gentle and blessed with a tremendous sense of loyalty.

Pit bulls have been proven to not be naturally aggressive. Almost any dog can be taught to be aggressive, and, there are many other breeds that are dangerous and can cause real injuries. However, the evidence shows clearly that this is not a dog problem, but a people problem. In the case of Pit bulls, tests show time and time again that this breed has a very bad rap and that they make one of the best dog breed options for families.

The needless, senseless, killing of pit bulls solely based on looks and breed at animal shelters can only be compared to Hitler-esque Holocaust. This comes at an enormous economic and moral cost. Public and private agencies spend $2.5 billion each year caring for killing homeless pit bulls simply based on their breed and the superstitions surrounding the them.

Pit bulls represent three in four of all animals taken into shelters. More than 90 percent of pit bulls in kill shelters are immediately euthanized if they are not adopted within 3 days, and sometimes they are immediately killed in a breed-specific holocaust without proper evaluation or even an attempt to adopt them out.

Even Pit Bulls that have been victims of terrible fighting rings and bred to fight can be rehabilitated and should not be written off as vicious killers.

(EVEN former fighting ring dogs are now agility dogs, therapy dogs and spoiled family pets. Check out this VIDEO on the 'Vicktory Dogs' at Best Friends.)
Pit Bulls can live happily with other pets even if left unattended. In fact, there are many stories available on the internet of pit bulls playing peacefully with young children and videos on Youtube of pit bulls lovingly licking the faces of babies, cuddling with toddlers, and snuggling with the elderly.

The truth is that pit bulls were once nicknamed 'nanny dogs' because they are so great with children.

In the late 19th and early 20thcenturies pit bulls were popular family dogs. Helen Keller (who was blind and deaf), Woodrow Wilson and Teddy Roosevelt all owned pit bulls, as did many other famous people of that time.

Pit bulls were also featured in popular media of the day. Petey, the dog from Little Rascals was a pit bull and it is well documented that Petey was a loving dog and played regularly with the child actors/actresses of the popular. The famous RCA Victrola ads also featured a pit bull because of their popularity at that time as loving 'nanny dogs' for small children.

Sadly, they are portrayed in the media as vicious killers that cannot be trusted. More times than not, the media is basing stories of 'Pit Bull Attacks' on dogs that aren't even pit bulls in the first place. The media, as many have realized here in America, loves to report and propagandize the news in order to get ratings. The news reports that are often featured DO NOT display pit bulls, they display other breeds looking similar to the breed.

Below are five of the most common pit bull myths.

1. They have locking jaws.

This is probably the most common myth. The anatomy of a pit bull is no different than that of any other dog. They do NOT have locking jaws.

2. They fail temperament testing more than any other dog.

This is not true. Pit bulls pass temperament testing 81.7% of the time. Beagles only pass 78.7% of the time, and Golden Retrievers 81.1% of the time. The American Pit Bull Terrier scored just above the Golden Retriever and just below the Labrador Retriever.

3. They have been bred to be human aggressive.

Pit bulls are not aggressive toward people. They can be taught to be vicious; just as any other dog, but this is not a trait that is inherent in pit bull dogs.

4. Only drug dealers own pit bulls.

This silly myth exists thanks to movies and music videos that feature drug dealers and other criminals as pit bull owners. In the 1970's Doberman Pinschers were considered the most vicious dog, and were popular with criminals. In the 1980's it was the Rottweiler. Today it is the Pit Bull. This is a sad, self-fulfilling prophecy that can only change if the American propagandized media accurately portrays pit bulls as the gentle, loyal and loving breed that they are. Facts and temperament tests have proven that pit bulls are some of the greatest choices for a family pet.

All of these myths are pure propaganda. Why? Because ratings create ad revenue for media outlets. And the popular lies about pit bulls grab the public's attention.

Below are the top five dog breeds that have the most documented cases of attacks towards humans and other animals.

1. Rottweilers

Rottweilers are known to be very aggressive dogs because of their keen territorial instincts. That's why they make great guard dogs.

Weight: 100-130 lbs. Origin: Germany

2. German Shepherds

These dogs are intelligent and very alert. They are highly used by local authorities such as the police K-9 unit. German shepherds are known to be fearless and confident dogs.

Weight: 70-100 lbs. Origin: Germany

3. Huskies

A 2010 study of dog bites resulting in human fatalities in the U.S. found 23 such fatalities (16% of the total) were caused by "husky-type" dogs between 1979 and 2003.

Weight: 44-66 lbs. Origin: Alaska

4. Alaskan Malamutes

These dogs are very energetic and active. If they are bored, they can become destructive. That's why this dog needs lots of exercise to be happy.
Weight: 75-100 lbs. Origin: Nordic

5. Doberman Pinschers

Dobermans are great guard dogs for their alertness, intelligence and loyalty. They can be aggressive dogs when provoked. The typical pet Doberman attacks only if it believes that it, its property, or its family is in danger.
Weight: 65-90 lbs. Origin: Germany


Consider making a donation. During this focus on pit bulls, you can make a 1$ or more donation using the link below. All donations will be given to a Chicago suburban-based no-kill all volunteer animal rescue. They have no building, which means EVERY rescued pit bull goes home with a foster parent and is highly observed before adoption by volunteers. 100% of your donations will be used directly for the pit bulls and urgent health care needed for pit bulls within the non-profit.

Use this link to make your donation today: Help save lives of countless dogs! Can you help?

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