Why are Pit Bulls misunderstood

Why are Pit Bulls misunderstood

If you think that Pit Bulls are dangerous, aggressive, then you might have been the victim of a socially constructed misconception. I bet most of you not know that there are actually many wrong conceptions about Pit Bulls.

First of all, Pit Bull is actually not a dog breed, and even if they are regarded as a dog breed, they are not aggressive at all.

  1. Pit Bull is not a dog breed? My whole life has been a lie?

Yes, you read it right. Pit Bull is actually not a dog breed per se. Indeed, Pit Bull actually refers to a group of dogs that have similar physical traits. But while they are grouped based on their physical traits, it is tougher to recognize individual breeds amongst the Pit Bull group, and this is really because of the extensive crossbreeding across generations, and hence the genes in each of the offspring becomes complicated.

If that is the case, how would you know if the dog belongs to the Pit Bull group then?

How to identify a Pit Bull?

Before we can do this, we will need to understand just a bit of the Pit Bull’s history. Well, in the 18th century, one of the most popular sport is actually the dogfights, where owners will bring along their dogs to trash and fight it out in the ring, much a like to our MMAs now, and owners will go to extreme lengths just to ensure that their dog wins the match.

And to do this, the key is to choose a dog breed that is strong, ferocious and tough. After years of crossbreeding, the Pit Bull was finally discovered when owners start to allow terriers and bulldogs to mate with each other, hence producing the winning ‘machine’. These dogs were chosen as the strength of the Bulldog and the agility of the Terrier were deemed as crucial traits to ensure that the dog wins during the dogfights. Though such fights are illegal now, the misconception, sadly, follows the Pit Bull from then on.

What are some of the common traits of the Pit Bull

As mentioned earlier, it can be tough trying to identify a Pit Bull these days due to extensive crossbreeding. However, there are still some distinctive feature of the Pit Bull that is unmistakable.

  • Jaw: The Pit Bull does have a square-shaped head with a strong, defined jaw.
  • Body: Pit Bulls do have a strong, muscular body that resembles the Bulldog’s.
  • Hair: Most Pit Bull variants have short hair, and this is actually a desirable trait for most dog owners.


  1. Pit Bulls are not aggressive

As mentioned earlier, Pit Bulls are actually not aggressive by nature. Most Pit Bull owners will just tell you that the dogs are actually very loving and silly, which is true. You will need to understand, that the Pit Bulls are deliberately designed and evolved to be aggressive, but this is just a perceived aggressive that is grossly misrepresented by the media, presumably because of the dog’s intimidating posture.

Pit Bulls are extremely good with families as they are loyal and fun to be with around due to their goofiness!

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How do you explain a pit killing a dog in a home where previously they got along? The family rescued the pit after it had been forstered in a home with dogs and children. After having the dog for several months without incident, the family left for a short dinner out. When they returned, the pit had killed one of the other dogs for no apparent reason. Blood was everywhere! How is that explained? They were practically guaranteed a safe dog because of the socializing and fostering. Yet, while left alone for an hour, the pit fulfills his horrible destination. How can one ever feel truly safe with a pit?

Jane Kendra Truett

You are so correct. I am a dog lover and have had several dogs over the past 50 years. Last year I adopted a pit bull type dog from a rescue group and the dog is loving, affectionate and gentle.

Guy McCormick

Thank you for this blog. I happen to have a pit bull. Her name is Xena and I have had her for 3 years. When my shepherd mix passed away, my veterinarian convinced me to get a pit bull. She assured me that I would not be disappointed and she was right. I love my pit bull!

Karen Marie Grego

I agree with you…I have two rescue Pitts I adopted the first five years ago and the other 9 months ago. I’m 80 yrs old and if I could afford it I would bring home two more. I live with my daughter so there will always be some one to take care of them!!!!!!!

Frances Fydryk

I own a pit bull mix . He was adopted from the local humane society and they said he was a pit. He is a lover and very loyal also very goofy. My whole life I have not wanted one because of the bad reputation they have. My husband and I went to look for a dog and they fist thing this one did was lick my face when I bent over to pet him. Right then I knew he was the one. He his a very handsome chocolate pit mix and we think he is mixed with a chocolate lab but he is very sweet.

Patti Deibert

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