For years, pitt bulls have been one of the most dangerous dogs because they are often bred to fight. Stereotypes such as having the strongest bite and a “locking jaw” have been used to argue that they have no place in any household and justify their mistreatment.
Pitt bulls have an 86.7% temperament passing rate. Temperament is defined as a person or animals’ nature in accordance to their behavior. This is significantly lower than breeds such as the Border Collie and Chihuahua. According to a National Geographic Study, pitt bulls only have a bite force of 235 per square inch (PSI).
Rottweilers often get categorized with pitt bulls because they are very territorial and have jealous behavior. This contributes to their larger bite force of 328 PSI.
The dog with the highest PSI is the Kangal breed; 743 PSI, but this does not mean that it is more or less dangerous. This simply means that if this breed was to bite someone, they would release 743 PSI into their bite.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) uses risk rates as a universal practice for calculating the risk that certain breeds have when around others. These risk rates barely change each year because it is difficult for a breed to suddenly become dangerous and has nothing to do with the increase of population.
One of the most important facts to keep in mind is that the breed of the dog does not determine its aggression or bite severity and that breed-specific legislation (BSL) do not help to reduce incidents related to bite or contribute to public safety.
Misinformation is the biggest factor to BSL and makes it harder for these breeds to receive good homes. BSL is based on appearance or stereotypes on the breed, whereas breed-neutral legislation (BNL) is comprehensive and based on behavior.
BNL uses individual history of violent behavior and the irresponsibility of its previous or current owner that helps factor into the regulation. According to Pitbullinfo.org, “98% of U.S. cities use BNL as their primary and only form of regulation because of the many advantages of breed-neutral policies.”
Pitbullinfo.org says, “There are currently 700 cities that have BSL and 100% of those cities, bite-related incidents continue to occur because safety is not a breed-specific issue.”
For one, BSL is not based on science. There are no scientific studies that conclude that one breed is more dangerous than the rest. And secondly, the physical attributes of the dog only make up a little less than 1% of their genes and BSL is heavily based on appearance instead of the environment which it grew up in, temperament, behavior, etc.
Not all dogs are born or raised the same, which is why all cities should encourage responsible ownership of all dogs. In fact, caninejournal.com says “As of 2017, 87.4% of American Pit Bull Terriers had passed their temperament testing according to the American Temperament Test Society, Inc.”
Pitt bulls scored higher than Golden Retrievers (85.6%) and Border Collies (80.8%).
Even though pitt bulls are part of the bully breed, they make successful therapy, service, and K9 police dogs as well as household pets. There are approximately 20% of dogs in America that are considered pitt bull-type breeds.
If people took the time to educate themselves on these bully breeds, they would have less of a hard time being accepted into homes and given the care and love they deserve. Pitt bulls are not the only breed that are being mistreated in cities and around the world, but by expanding one’s knowledge on these dogs we can allow them to be treated the way they deserve to be.