If you’ve ever heard of pit bulls before, you’ve probably also heard that they are a dangerous dog breed. More than this, if you’ve ever seen one before – you’ll probably assume they’re a dog that you need to be careful around.
They are muscled dogs, with big, wide jaws and powerful bodies, and because of this, there have been countless instances where towns, cities, and houses ban them. But is the reputation of pit bulls warranted? Are they actually bad dogs?
If you find yourself wondering these questions, you’ve arrived at the right place!
In this article, we’re going to be telling you everything you need to know about these dogs, including their history, why they have a bad reputation, and why judging a dog based on breed doesn’t always tell you the full story!
What Is A Pit Bull?
Contrary to popular belief “pit bulls” are actually more than one breed of dog. This is a blanket term used to describe a lot of different terrier breeds. It’s better to think of a pit bull as a type of dog, rather than an actual, specific breed.
Pit bulls are generally described as medium in size, with very short hair, a muscley build, a wide head, and a robust jaw.
The origin of a pit bull is believed to have descended from the British bull and terrier breed. This was a type of dog selectively bred in the United Kingdom across the 19th century.
The origins of this breed are not kind, for they were often used as combatants in various blood sports, dog fights, and dealing with rats.
Because of this, many physical attributes were favored during the breeding process including strong jaws, stocky bodies, and thick heads.
At the time, dog fighting was popular in the United Kingdom and this caused a lot of people to try and make money from breeding dogs who were hardy and aggressive.
Now in the modern age, we are left with a series of different breeds that are all grouped together as pit bulls, usually for what they look like.
Thankfully, dog fighting is now illegal in most parts of the world, and instead, pit bulls are left to lead much more peaceful lives.
However, their sad origins are one of the main reasons that people judge them by sight – but is there anything innate within pit bulls that make them aggressive?
Pit Bulls And Aggression
The first thing to note in this section is that pit bulls are usually very strong and powerful dogs. This means that they are capable of great harm when put in the wrong kind of situation.
However, this is where the story ends when it comes to pit bulls and aggression.
The idea that breed and personality are linked without exception is wrong. Like humans or any other species on the planet, dogs are individuals that have unique experiences that shape them.
Personality traits like aggression, confidence, and fear all stem from somewhere.
Of course, the psychology of a dog is very different from a human, but it is without a doubt that any dog can be aggressive or calm depending on how they are trained and the situations they find themselves in.
In short, it’s not the dog – it’s the owner! Countless people across the world have pit bulls as their pets and they are happy, loyal dogs who never hurt a human in their whole lifespan.
However, it’s important to note that a pit bull that has been conditioned to be aggressive is going to be more dangerous than a smaller dog.
But that’s not to say they’re the most dangerous dog, after all, they’re much smaller than some other breeds.
How Easy Are Pit Bulls To Train?
Okay so we’ve gotten that out of the way, and by this point, you’re probably wondering how difficult it is to train one?
The first thing you need to remember here is that it can depend on the type of pit bull you have. There are lots of different variations that all have slightly different needs and positive traits.
That said, terrier breeds tend to be fairly easy to train.
Pit bulls are smart, quick to learn, and very physical. However they can be quite stubborn, so it’s important to lay good groundwork for them as they learn and grow.
In the section below, we’re going to break down some of the most important things to keep in mind when training a pit bull.
If you want to break the stigma around pit bulls and aggressive behavior, one of the most important things you can do is ensure that they are properly socialized with other dogs.
If you have your pit bull from the time they’re a puppy, it’s very important that you properly socialize them with other dogs and animals.
Pit bulls are very energetic dogs, so making sure they get the physical exercise they need is going to do wonders for regulating their behavior.
Make sure you take them out on lots of long walks, and games such as fetch can be great for mental stimulation.
3. Positive Reinforcement
Dogs thrive from positive reinforcement, and pit bulls are no different. It’s very important that you make sure they know when they participate in positive behavior.
Dogs will generally want to please you as an owner, so make sure you find some way of letting them know when they’re acting as you want them to.
To conclude, Pit Bulls are not dangerous dogs, but they have a bad reputation because of their history and because of some bad owners.
They are strong and powerful dogs, and with any breed that has the same kind of strong attributes, it is important to make sure they are properly trained and socialized.
Pit Bull owners who take good care of their dogs tend to tout their positive attributes, including loyalty, confidence, and affection.
We hope that this guide has told you everything you need to know about why pit bulls have a bad reputation and that you now feel more confident about this topic.
If you’re considering getting a pit bull make sure to research them thoroughly to make sure they’re the right type of dog for you!