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01/05. Website is maintained by the Rios family.
ALL OF OUR AMERICAN PIT BULL
TERRIERS ARE ADBA REGISTERED.
MYTHS ABOUT THE AMERICAN
PIT BULL TERRIER
by Edward Hinkle
MYTH: Pit bulls bite more people than any other breed.
FACT: It is hard to pin down, as accurate records by breed
are seldom kept. Those records available show what a myth this is. Farmers
Branch, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, has kept accurate records since 1980. During
a 7 year period from 1980 through 1987, this is what was recorded. Total bites:
1,593. Pit bulls: 30 bites, or 1.89% of the total. Other studies tend to show
the same results and because of so many mongrels that have similar features to
the American Pit Bull Terrier, it seems reasonable to assume that the figures
are actually much lower.
MYTH: American Pit Bull Terriers are born mean.
FACT: In a letter to James Huffman of Columbus, Ohio,
Alfons Estelt of the American Temperament Test Society, Inc., an international
dog temperament test organization, wrote the following: "The American Pit Bull
Terriers participating in our temperament evaluation have thus far shown a
passing rate of 95%. The other 121 breeds of dogs in our tests showed the
average passing rate of 77%. While the heredity factor is of measurable
importance, these results show that a dog, even if used for dog fighting, is not
pre-disposed as such, but is brought by his environment."
MYTH: American Pit Bull Terriers have 1600 P.S.I. in jaw
FACT: Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin of the University of Georgia
states, "To the best of our knowledge, there are no published scientific studies
that would allow any meaningful comparison to be made of the biting power of
various breeds of dogs. There are, moreover, compelling technical reasons why
such data describing biting power in terms of "pounds per square inch" can never
be collected in a meaningful way. All figures describing biting power in such
terms can be traced to either unfounded rumor or, in some cases, to newspaper
articles with no foundation in factual data." Need more be said?
MYTH: American Pit Bull Terriers lock their jaws to the
FACT: Again from Dr. Brisbin: "The few studies which have
been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles and teeth of pit bulls
show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its
inferred functional morphology, is no different than that of any breed of dog.
There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of "locking
mechanism" unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit
MYTH: All American Pit Bull Terriers are bad and should be
FACT: On July 17,1987 on ABC's "Good Morning America"
program, Mr. Marc Paulhaus, S.E. regional director of the Humane Society of the
United States stated: "Serious dog problems tend to be cyclical in nature.
Breeds tend to change, but there is always a bad dog. A few years ago it was the
Doberman, currently it's the pit bull, a few years from now it might be the
Rottweiler or some other breed." On the same program, Mr. Gordon Carvill,
President of the American Dog Owner's Association, stated: "If we pass breed
specific laws then we eliminate the other 120 breeds that have the potential to
As you can see from these examples, myths are just that,
and many more exist about the American Pit Bull Terrier. But before you believe
them, you should evaluate for yourself the validity of each myth.
Common Myths About Pit
Bulls by Diane Jessup
Myth: Pit Bulls are not a pure breed
Fact: Pit Bulls are indeed a very ancient and
very pure breed of dog: some lines of Pit Bulls are considered to be of the
purest breeding in dogdom, such as the Colby line which has been linebred by the
same family since before 1900. Pit Bulls are registered as pure breds
with AKC, UKC, ADBA.
Myth: Pit Bulls have locking jaws.
Fact: There is no breed of dog which
possesses a locking jaw. When a pit bull grasps an object, it can release that
object instantly if it wants to.
Myth: The Pit Bull chews with its
back molars while biting.
Fact: This absolutely untrue and has no
basis in behavioral or physiological fact, as can be attested by true experts
who have had thousands of hours of experience with trained biting Pit Bulls.
This misinformation is often used in the language of ordinances banning Pit
Myth: The Pit Bull can never be
trusted around other animals.
Fact: If a pit bull is trained
appropriately and raised with other animals, it can be trusted around animals.
Myth: Pit Bulls attack without warning.
Fact: Pit Bulls may attack other animals
without any warning since they were breed to do this for many years.
Responsible owners need to keep their Pit Bulls away from strange dogs or other
animals in order to ensure their Pit Bulls do not try to attack or harm those
animals. Now, when it comes to human beings, a pit bull just like any dog
will display signs of fear like barking and raising of the hair before trying to
attack a human being.
Myth: The Pit Bull is the strongest breed
in the world.
Fact: The pit bull is know to defeat any
other dog in the pit regardless of size. However, when it comes to weight
pull contests, dogs of the Husky breed are usually the strongest.
Myth: Bullets bounce of the pit bull's
Fact: False. Bullets can strike
any living body in such a way that bounce off. Dogs happen to have a very thin
covering of flesh over their skulls so the chance that a small caliber bullet
will bounce off the head of a dog thus increases. The skull of a pit bull
is no different from other breeds.
Myth: The pit bull kills more people
in proportion to its population.
Fact: False. Regardless of what
the press reports, the breed of dog responsible for the most human fatalities
year after year is not the pit bull.
Myth: A dog that is game is aggressive and
wants to fight.
Fact: False. Gameness is an
individual's refusal to quit at a given task no matter how difficult the task
may be to complete. Dog fighting is not the only test of gameness.
Weight Pull competitions, search and rescue, hog hunting also test gameness in a
way that does not require a dog to fight or attack another dog.
Myth: Most Pit Bulls are owned by
criminals and are used for dog fighting.
False. Most Pit Bulls are owned by
regular citizens who keep pit bulls as pets.
More Common Myths about Pit Bulls
"Red or blue nose dogs are: a special type of Pit Bull /
rare / worth more than black nose dogs":
The answer to all of the above is: FALSE!!! Let's talk color
in Pit Bulls.
Pit Bulls are traditionally a performance
breed. That means that they were originally bred based on
how well they performed a certain task, not what they looked
like. Color was probably the least important thing that
oldtime breeders of Pit Bulls considered. Today, Pit Bulls
remain largely a working/performance dog, and so the old way
of doing things as far as looks are concerned largely still
holds fast. True, many Pit Bulls today are also bred with
the show ring in mind, however color is of almost zero
importance even in that venue. No one who really knows Pit
Bulls is all that impressed by color. A flashy color does
not a good dog make, and although many people have favorite
colors, breed-saavy people know that it's what's under the
coat that counts.
Pit Bulls come in almost every color that
is genetically possible in dogs. Some colors are more common
(brindle or fawn for instance); some colors you don't see as
often (such as spotted or black and tan). One thing is for
certain, however: blue and red nosed dogs do NOT fall into
the "rare" category--there are many of both colors out
there, especially (at least in my area) the red nosed dogs.
There is, unfortunately, a faction of
breeders (all unscrupulous), that are attempting to cash in
on the current fad of blue and red nosed dogs. These people
produce poor quality animals with no thought to health and
temperament, their biggest selling point being coat color.
Breeders of this type many times charge jacked up prices for
their puppies, justfying the high price tag by claiming
their dogs are of a "rare" or "special" color. The
unsuspecting buyer is duped into believing their animal is
extraordinary simply because he happens to have an "odd"
colored nose. Breeders of this ilk are especially dubious
because not only are they producing bad stock, but they lure
their customers in by making false claims. Do not be fooled
by this type!
There are, of course, very ethical
breeders that produce blue and red nosed dogs. There are
many fine, healthy, stable examples of these color varieties
out there. These are dogs bred by people who care about the
breed, are knowledgeable about what they are doing, and
breed for MUCH more than just a snazzy color. There is
nothing wrong with liking one color above another, but one
should be an educated consumer. Realize that you aren't just
buying a pretty face, but a living, breathing creature that
is going to make real demands and require money to care for,
time, and patience.
Some people have the mistaken belief that
blue or red nosed dogs are a special "type" of Pit Bull.
When speaking of such dogs, these sorts are apt to make
statements such as, "I have a blue Pit", or "My
dog is the red nosed kind". Let's replace "brindle" with
"red-nosed": "My dog is the brindle kind." Sort of
silly, no? Brindle is just a color a Pit Bull may be, not a
"kind" of Pit Bull. Well, ditto red and blue. There is a
specific line of Pit Bull known for its red noses; this is
the Old Family Red Nose strain. But this was a tight-knit
family of dogs bred closely because of their superior
ability in the pit. The genetic closeness of the dogs made
it easy to pass on certain traits--it just so happens that
the traits of the Old Family dogs included not only
gameness, but the genes for red noses as well.
MYTH: Treadmills are only used to get dogs ready to
Many responsible owners utilize treadmills to help exercise
their dogs. This is useful in places where weather prevents
outdoor exercise, or in situations where off-leash exercise in
not an option.
The treadmill is used by people that show their Pit Bulls, and
do sporting activities like weight pull and agility to help keep
their dogs in shape. Because Pit Bulls are athletic animals,
responsibly using a treadmill can help them be healthier and
MYTH: Pit Bulls brains swell/never stop growing.
This rumor started with the Doberman, and has since been said
about game-bred dogs in general. The concept of an animal's
brain swelling or growing too large and somehow causing the
animal to "go crazy" is not based in truth in any way.
Their brains grow at the same rate as any other dog, and the
only time that a Pit Bull's brain is going to swell is if it
receives a serious injury. If an animal's brain were to grow too
big for its head, the animal would die.
MYTH: It is unsafe to get a Pit Bull from a rescue or
shelter because their past/genetics are unknown.
Under the best of circumstances, it is great to know the history
of a dog, the history and health of its parents, and what that
line of dogs were bred for.
If a person is buying a Pit Bull from a breeder, this
information should be of top importance. However, in most
shelter/rescue cases this information is not available. The Pit
Bull at the shelter will often be a wonderful pet. It is
important to know the general behavior of the dog.
Has it shown any aggression towards humans? Most Pit Bull
rescues will not accept or adopt out Pit Bulls with any level of
aggression or excessive shyness towards humans. How does this
dog do with other dogs? Has it shown any undesirable behavior or
It is suggested that a potential adopter of a Pit Bull bring the
whole family to meet the dog. Often, shelters and rescues will
allow you to take the dog for a home visit to see how they
respond to the new surroundings. Most adoptions of a Pit Bull
are amazing successes, and the adopter is not only receiving a
pet, but they are also saving a life!
MYTH: It is best to get a puppy so that you can make
it behave how you want it to.
Many people feel if they get a Pit Bull as a puppy they can
train it to not be aggressive towards other dogs and increase
the likelihood that the dog will have no undesirable behavior
Puppies can be a lot of fun and very rewarding, but with a new
puppy there is no way of knowing how that dog will act as an
One benefit of adopting a young adult or full grown Pit Bull is
the ability to avoid the uncomfortable puppy behavior stage.
This includes constant destructive chewing, house breaking,
excessive and uncontrollable energy, teething and puppy biting,
possible whining, howling, and barking for attention at night,
and the time and effort it takes to begin teaching general
manners and obedience.
Another benefit is that an adopter can know how an adult Pit
Bull will do with other dogs, cats, children, car rides, and
other certain situations. Bringing a puppy up in the most loving
and social environment can only alter its predetermined genetic
urges so much.
In other words, having a dog since puppyhood does not
necessarily mean it will have all of the qualities desired in a
pet. It may end up having some traits that are undesirable. An
adult Pit Bull, however, will have more of an established
personality, and an adopter can know what to expect with the
"Dog fighting is a cruel activity invented by cruel people."
Let's get one thing straight--dogs invented dog fighting
and men watched, amused and interested. Try this mental exercise: you
are standing on a street corner. On one corner some guys are shooting
hoops; on another corner they are playing stickball; on a third they are
shooting craps and on the fourth the two biggest toughest dogs in the
neighborhood are stiff-legging and growling (these are not pits as they
don't behave that way) and start to fight. Which corner do all the men
run toward? Right. They will run to the dogfight! Because that's how men
are. They like boxing type sports too. Men enjoy combat although
combative sports have become non-politically correct. Come to think of
it men have too. Men are not really allowed to be men anymore are they?
If you will imagine for a moment what it must have
been like back in the early days of the man/dog relationship. Man was a
hunter and killer of wild animals for his food. The wild dogs hung
around the campfire until some became rather tame and man started to
utilize them to help with the hunting. the dogs had better ears and much
better noses than his new masters but man could use crude weapons and
kill larger prey and from a greater distance. Both benefitted from the
relationship. Hunting dogs are a tough breed. They have to be. Long,
hard days of running, searching for prey and then, long after exhaustion
has set in, one may find the prey and have to engage it in combat and
make the kill. Prey animals may look sweet but they are not. A deer can
easily whip a man, even kill him. Imagine what animals had to be
contended with 20,000 years ago!
The point is, the early dogs that hung with mankind
were probably the toughest. Early man wasn't going to share his food
with a dog that quit during the hunt and didn't do his share and pull
his weight. And the tribe could only afford so many dogs on the
"payroll" so I imagine they culled the dogs pretty hard and kept only
the best and toughest hunters.
As dogs will do these tough hunters would fight over
bones and scraps and the best females. Men would watch the dogs fight
and be amused (possibly even betting a steak or a good stone "knife" on
which would win) probably for thousands of years before deciding to try
breeding dogs that were particularly good at fighting. They soon found
that the better fighters were also the tougher hunters and that was just
what they needed. The more the dogs would do the less danger the men
would be exposed to on the hunt. And there were no doctors or clinics or
emergency rooms. For either dog or man back then, if you were seriously
injured and couldn't pull your weight...well, who knows.
So, the fighting dogs were an offshoot of hunting
dogs. With the eventual onset of civilization these types of dog were
used in warfare and were extremely ferocious and terrifying to an enemy.
Eventually, probably in around the 18th century or so dogs were being
bred exclusively to do combat with other animals. The elite rulers
didn't like that as their wives complained of the "cruelty" but the
serfs (slaves) needed their recreation and so were left alone until the
early 1800's when the official "banning" of animal combat (for the poor)
became the norm.
(To be continued)
MYTH--"Cattle prods are
used to make pit bulls fight"
More absolute nonsense propagated by the humaniacs. If
you were to hit a dog that WAS FIGHTING with a cattle prod he would
probably stop fighting! It certainly wouldn't make a dog want to fight
another dog although some dogs would probably bite the person who
"prodded" them real good. This myth often includes "feeding them
gunpowder to make them mean." More humaniac BS. If you want to eat out
the lining of a dog's stomach, make him sick and eventually kill him,
feeding gunpowder would probably do it. Only a moron would engage in
such treatment of a dog.
MYTH--"a pit bull will kill anything that
Only very partially true: most pits kept as pets can
be trained to tolerate other animals, even cats and often other pit
bulls. There are a few exceptions to this rule however. Ocassionally a
dog is born that will literally hit anything with fur on it. It may not
be possible to train one of these rare individuals to get along with
other animals. Normally, however, a pit with sufficient obedience work
can become a good "canine citizen."
MYTH--"Pit bulls always fight to the death"
The fact is in "real" dog fights, that is,
professionally conducted ones by experienced pit dog men, the dogs are
"matched" perfectly by weight (down to a 1/4 pound) and fought by a
strict set of rules (usually known as Cajun rules nowadays) that were
implemented for the specific purpose of shortening dog fights and
offering any dog that chose not to continue, many opportunitites to quit
the fight. This fact, of course, does not fit the humaniacs' goal of
demonization of pit dog men and the sport so they generally leave this
information out of their propaganda pieces which are liberally picked up
and distributed as "fact" by the sensationalist American media.
For you history buffs we will soon be posting "Cajun
Rules" so that you can see for yourself how it really used to be.
MYTH--"dog fighters steal people's little
dogs and kittens for training bait."
Nonsense. Do race horse trainers steal mules and
plowhorses to train their thoroughbreds with? Do professional boxers
kidnap high school kids to beat up when training for a big fight?
First, a pit bull could kill a kitten or puppy so fast
there would be no training involved and secondly, I assure you, MANY
PITS WILL NOT HURT A PUPPY OR KITTEN (or any animal that doesn't want to
fight) ANYWAY! You couldn't make them kill one.
Back in the 70's when I got involved with the breed
there were hardly any pits kept as pets. Those that were weren't causing
any trouble as they were, presumably, kept by responsible citizens.
Those in the hands of "dog fighters" were kept on chains in yards that
were mostly in remote areas, far out of towns and cities. If a dog got
loose it just got on another of the pit dog man's dogs and a "yard
accident" ensued, they didn"t go running around a neighborhood when they
got loose, jumping on people or their pets.
Then around the mid-70's a funny thing happened. The
humaniac groups started ranting and raving about dog fighting (a big
fund-raiser for them) so they could get felony laws shoved through our
state legislatures. They told outrageous lies (and created many of these
myths we are addressing) and made up stories about horrific abuses
carried out by dog fighters for the purpose of demonizing them and the
sport in the eyes of the public. This has been a very successful
A by-product of all their lies, such as this "stealing
puppies and kittens for training bait" lie is that, thanks to humaniac
propaganda in the media, young, impressionable kids heard about the
big, bad pit bull, wanted one, got one and actually started
believing these alleged, horribly cruel practices were the thing to do
in their training programs. So the humaniacs in their zeal to condemn
and vilify dog fighting and those who engaged in it, with the help of an
all-too-willing media, actually created what is called a "self-fullfilling
prophecy." Now, in many cities across the land, young street thugs
actually do these things to pit bull dogs, mostly ones they have stolen
from other people. They do a lot of other horrible things too as you
have probably read, from burning them to hanging them. None of this has
anything to do with the sport of dog fighting. It just happens,
unfortunately, to pit bulls that fall into the hands of scum. That sort
of behavior, as well as stealing people's pets and feeding them to pit
bulls, is, in fact, universally condemned by real "pit dog men" (if
there are any left) to this day.
MYTH-- "rednosed pits are a different breed than
regular ones." False. We will answer this with a response to a recent
email question that was sent to us.
Question: My friends and I have an ongoing debate. Is
there a specific breed called a red nose pit bull? Or is a red nose
considered a trait, like a brown or black coat? Any information is
Thank you, Ryan W.
Good question, Ryan! "Red nose" is simply a trait,
it's true. As is the case with "chocolate" Labrador Retrievers some pit
bulls are born with red noses. They are often born in litters of black,
brindle and buckskin colored black-nosed dogs although some breeders
have isolated the red/rednose trait and bred for it exclusively. They
are still the exact same breed of dog; American Pit Bull Terrier
and proof of that is that there is no differentiation made when
registering APBTs between red nosed and black nosed individuals or
lines. They are all simply registered as APBT.
Fighters make good guards.
If a menacing reputation can help keep a person safe, then pit bulls are
a shoo-in. But historically they've been bred as human-friendly and
aggressive to cows and other dogs.
Unfortunately, backyard breeding and hybridizing of pit bulls with large
guardian breeds such as bull mastiffs and Rhodesian Ridgebacks may
result in oversized dogs with the fighting skills of a pit bull and the
aggressiveness of a guard dog.
Bad to the bone. There is no evidence that pit pulls are any more
vicious than any other breed. In fact, in temperament tests on pit bulls
for unprovoked aggression administered by the American Temperament Test
Association pit bulls passed 83 percent of the time, which is above
A Jekyll-Hyde gene. When Seattle resident Heather Bauer was
looking to adopt a dog last year, she was warned that a pit bull can
"turn bad" at around 2 years old. Bauer decided on a Boston terrier.
Like many myths, the warning is half-true.
"Most dogs begin to challenge for social position" at around 2 years
old, says Dr. James Ha, an associate research professor in animal
behavior at the University of Washington. "If behavioral challenges are
anticipated and dealt with appropriately from the beginning, the dog
quickly figures out their position and relationships and settles right