Written by Yvonne Driscoll
We couldn’t let Pit Bull Awareness Month (October) end without sharing some interesting facts and thoughts about this sometimes misunderstood breed.
“Pit Bull” Isn’t a Breed
The “Pit Bull” is not a single breed. It is actually a generic term that refers to a variety of dogs with similar traits and characteristics, 75% of dogs identified as “Pit Bulls” are identified incorrectly. Among the breeds that are often confused with, or labeled as, “Pit Bulls” are:
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- American Bull Terriers
- American Bull Dogs
- Dogo Argentino
- Dogue de Bordeaux.
According to the American Temperament Test Society, Pit Bulls score exceptionally well, and generally exhibit gentle-natured traits and behaviors. In these tests, often performed by shelters for placement, dogs (and cats) are exposed to unexpected situations and strangers. According to 2019 statistics, Pit Bulls scored in the top 23% of all breeds tested.
They’re Quite Loved (and Cute!)
People who love them often refer to them affectionately as Pits, Pitties, Bullies, or Pibbles.
Pitties are known for being snuggly, and for their huge, wide smiles.
They Were Once Nannies & Military Dogs
In the early part of this century, they were also known as “Nanny Dogs” because they were so trustworthy and reliable with kids.
Throughout history, because of their bravery, determination, and loyalty, they have been mascots for the American Military. They can be found on recruitment and war bond posters for WWI. Sergeant Stubby was famous in WWI for his 17 battles on the Western Front, and he could often be found comforting wounded soldiers, by keeping them company and staying by their sides.
They’re Often in the News…
Many Pits have been featured on the news for their heroic gestures. One recently saved his young boy from a fatal snake bite by lying on the snake. Another awoke her family to alert them of the house being on fire. She went in and dragged a small child out. They love fiercely and go to extreme measures to protect those that take care of them.
They’ve Joined the Police Force
Pit Bulls are intelligent, and love to learn. They crave attention and approval. They form strong bonds to their people, and really thrive on pleasing them. This, coupled with their strong work ethic and powerful noses, have made them great narcotic and bomb-sniffing dogs and Police K9s.
A Pit Bull in Texas holds the record for finding 3,000 pounds of cocaine. Many have become therapy dogs as well, bringing peace and comfort to those in need. They are notorious for being stubborn, so training and consistency is especially important for these terriers. They are athletic, and exercise is crucial to their happiness.
Celebrities Love Them
Famous people that love and advocate for Pit Bulls include Tom Brady, Sir Patrick Stewart, Liam Hemsworth, John Stewart, Kevin Bacon, Miranda Lambert, Jessica Biel, Jessica Alba, Norman Reedus, and Serena Williams.
Happy Pit Bull Awareness Month
To those of us reading this who love them, Happy Pit Bull Awareness Month!!!
To anyone else who has been on the fence about Pit Bulls, all we can say is please give them a chance. A very small percentage of dogs end up on the news, and just as all people aren’t bad people, all Pit Bulls aren’t bad either. Show a Pittie some love today, and don’t rule them out when you’re looking to adopt! They might just be the family dog of your dreams.