Skip to content

Healthy Dogs

Pit Bulls: What's Hype, What's Not

Do pit bulls get a bad rap? Experts weigh in.
Font Size
A
A
A

Myths About Pit Bulls

Here are three myths about pit bulls:

They have locking jaws. There’s nothing anatomically different about a pit bulls’ jaw - “they cannot lock,” Reid says. But like other terriers, “they are more likely than other breeds to grab a hold of something and to shake.” It doesn’t mean they won’t let go, but owners need to know how to break up a fight.

They can tolerate huge amounts of pain. “Pit bulls are incredibly wimpy in many respects - they don’t like to go in the cold and rain,” Reid says. But when aroused or agitated, they may be less responsive to pain.

They’re unpredictable. The popular notion is that pit bulls can be fine their entire lives and suddenly snap and turn on their owner. Reid says that’s no more likely to happen with pit bulls than it is with any other breed.

Considering a Pit Bull?

You’ll need to do more than the average dog owner to counteract negative perceptions. Socializing the dog with people and other animals is key. Here are some other tips:

  • If your pit bull is friendly with other dogs, maintain that socialization by meeting up with friends or going to the dog park, if your dog doesn’t get too rowdy in such settings.
  • Monitor your dog’s play and be prepared to distract your dog if she gets too intimidating. “The ones that are friendly with other dogs are sort of the life of the party, but they can play rough sometimes because they are so strong,” Reid says.
  • If your dog isn’t friendly with other dogs, make sure he’s on a leash and there are no unleashed dogs around.
  • When it comes to other pets, Reid says some pit bulls “are absolutely lovely with other animals - cats and bunnies,” but others are not. Take introductions slowly. “The more you know about the dog, the better off your are,” Reid says.

Responsible pet ownership includes spaying or neutering your pet. That will help decrease some undesirable behavior, such as male dominance aggression.

Today on WebMD

bulldog in party hat
Breeds with longevity
Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
 
dog with duck in mouth
Which are considered smartest?
boxer dog
What are their health issues?
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
Lady owner feeding dog
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow