October is all about Halloween and pumpkin-spice lattes. But animal lovers should know that it's also Pit Bull Awareness Month.
The breed has been misunderstood for years. Here are the top 6 misconceptions.
The term 'pit bull' is a grouping that contains several breeds of dog. The three most common types are the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
Misconception #1: Pit bulls are inherently vicious...it's in their DNA to be aggressive.
Pit bulls aren't inherently anything, other than a square-headed dog with a muscular disposition.
Bully breeds are some of the most loving, silly and lazy dogs you will ever meet.
The fact is any breed can be aggressive. The dog's upbringing is what primarily affects its temperament, not its DNA.
Not only are pit bulls not inherently vicious, but they are known to be the exact opposite. Rich Anderson, CEO of Peggy Adams Animal League in West Palm Beach says that they are one of the best breeds to have around a family.
Misconception #2: Pit bulls aren't aren't good with kids.
For most of our history, America's nickname for pit bulls was "The Nanny Dog". They were the go-to breed to have around your kids because of their high patience and tolerance levels.
Aggressive dogs absolutely can be rehabilitated.
Misconception #3: Once aggressive bully breed dogs cannot be rehabilitated.
This breed is so resilient. The dogs taken in the Michael Vick dog fighting ring are an excellent example. Twenty- two of the most abused dogs were rehabilitated and have adjusted as family pets after the fact.
The Netflix documentary, "The Champions" shows the true nature of this breed.
Misconception #4: Pit bulls have the strongest bite force and have locking jaws.
This is one of the biggest pit bull myths out there. There is no evidence that any breed has a locking jaw.
A lot of people think that they have this locking mechanism or lockjaw. That is absolutely a myth.
Pit bull breeds do have strong bites, but there are other non-related breeds who have stronger bite forces (Rottweilers and German Shepherds).
Misconception #5: It's dangerous to adopt a pit bull with an unknown history.
Shelters screen every dog before putting them up on the adoption floor. Aggressive dogs get further training.
Any dog of any breed has the potential to bite.
Misconception #6: Banning pit bulls makes communities safer.
Many studies have concluded that "breed specific legislature," or bans on pit bull ownership, don't make communities any safer.
The CDC recommends against using breed as a factor in dog-bite prevention policy.
So before you consider buying a puppy, you should consider adopting one of these big babies at your local shelter.