These dogs have a serious reputation. Everybody knows how tough they are – how mean they are. You don’t want to mess with a pit bull, do you?
Actually, that’s not true. The truth is that pit bulls are actually have the potential to be great pets. It’s a question of what you, the pet owner, want from your pit bull.
Unfortunately, their reputation is often a self-fulfilling prophesy. People who want a mean dog buy pit bulls. Then, they set out to make their pit bull fit the reputation. In the process, they can take a sweet-tempered dog and transform it into a vicious canine.
What does popular culture say about pit bulls and what is the truth – the truth before a pit bull’s temperament is twisted by someone with bad intentions:
- Pit bulls are naturally vicious. Not true. As with any breed, there are well-tempered pit bulls and more aggressive pit bulls. The stereotype of the vicious pit bull is a creation of people who have turned good dogs bad.
- Pit bulls have unique jaws that lock when they bite. Also, not true. In terms of skeletal structure, the pit bull is the same as any other dog. This is a myth that resulted from demonstrations of the pit bull’s inherent determination. These are, generally, very strong-willed dogs. That can be a positive trait if it’s not twisted to illicit purposes.
- Pit bulls are naturally aggressive towards people. Again, not true. The pit bull is a friendly and loyal member of many human households. In those families that appreciate the pit bull for its true nature, this is one of the better pets.
- It’s better to adopt a pit bull as a puppy. Yes and no. The common ‘wisdom’ goes that, if you adopt your pit bull as a puppy, you can train it so it won’t have problems with aggression towards people or other dogs. The reality is that pit bulls are like any other dog. Collies are popularly seen as one of the friendliest dogs in the canine family. But, some collies are more aggressive towards people and other dogs. However, if adopting an older pit bull, you should take caution that it’s not a dog whose previous owner was teaching an aggressive attitude.
Whatever the age of the pit bull you adopt, dog training is a great idea. That’s true with any dog.
For one thing, living with a well-trained dog is a pleasure missed by those who have untrained dogs. For another thing, a dog is a potential liability if it does get aggressive with someone or another dog. This is more true with a powerful dog, such as a pit bull.
Dog training is a great way to ensure that you have a friendly dog who is safe around people.