Writing effective letters to officials
Preparing for BSL meetings
BSL Studies
Alternatives to BSL
The Calgary Model
Guardianship v. Ownership
Dispelling the myths
Organizations against BSL
What Pit Bulls Can Teach Us About Profiling
A Message to the Media
Fight the Good Fight - New BSL Presentation
Pit Bull 101
Identification Issues
Discounting the CDC Report
Helpful Facts and Statistics

The Truth about Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls are not the stereotypical devil dog put forth in media myths. They are companion animals who have enhanced the lives of many through their devoted people-loving natures, positively channeled physical prowess, bravery, and intelligence. Pit Bulls have served key roles in search-and-rescue efforts, excel in agility training, and work nationwide as therapy and service dogs. Famous Pit Bulls include Petey in "Our Gang/Little Rascals" film series and an American poster mascot during WWI.

Pit Bulls have great physical and mental characteristics that make them excellent partners for responsible, active, and caring owners. These same outstanding qualities can also make them a little difficult to handle for people who don't have a lot of experience with dog ownership. Obedience Classes are strongly recommended for this breed. A well behaved and obedient Pit Bull will be a wonderful companion, and a great ambassador for an often misunderstood breed.

Pit Bulls are very adaptable and will even do well in urban living, provided they have enough exercise or other positive outlets for their energy. Pit Bulls are strong, energetic, agile, and powerful dogs. They are also very resourceful and driven. "Determination" is one of their most notable traits… Whether it is escaping an inadequately fenced yard to go explore the neighborhood, or destroying your new couch when left home alone, or climbing into your lap to shower you with kisses! They just don't give up easily.

Most Pit Bulls are very good with children. However, any dog must be supervised with children at all times. Like other active dogs, they need substantial daily exercise -- and depend on their owners to teach them good manners, such as not jumping. 

Owner responsibility is required for anyone getting any dog. Pit Bulls strive to take on the behaviors that their guardians instill in them, and their behavior is reflective of the care, training and socialization practices (or lack thereof) used by their owners. It is essential for owners to socialize and train their dogs so they are well-behaved with people of all ages and in public situations.












One very important characteristic of the Pit Bull dogs, is their amazing love of people. Human aggression, severe shyness, and instability are not traits typically found and accepted in the Pit Bull breed. Unlike the myth propagated by the media though, human aggression is not a trait associated with the Pit Bull breed. In fact, Pit Bulls tend to do better than average in temperament tests. Unlike the myth propagated by the media though, human aggression is not a problem specific to the Pit Bull breed.

Dog Aggression

Humans have created very specialized dogs through emphasizing desired traits and eliminating unwanted ones. It is no different with the Pit Bull breed - 'selectively' bred for hundreds of years to fight other dogs. Certain specific traits were selectively bred into the dogs and are now part of the breed's character. It's like the digging instinct of many Terriers, the compulsion to run in Greyhounds, etc. We don't condone or glorify it, but dog-aggression is common with Pit Bull type dogs. Owners must recognize and accept this fact or they won’t be able to provide competent ownership and have fun with their dogs.

It is not necessarily a hate of other dogs that will cause Pit Bulls to fight, but rather an "urge" to do so that has been bred into the breed for many generations. Pit Bull owners must be aware of the remarkable fighting abilities of this breed and always keep in mind that Pit Bulls have the potential to inflict serious injuries to other animals.

Pit Bulls can and do interact peacefully with other dogs and animals. Individual dog temperament, early training and socializing, all play an important role in whether or not a Pit Bull is capable of getting along with other animals. Many people successfully keep multiple Pit Bulls and other pets in the same household. Success is based on careful supervision, proper management and training, and the individual animals involved.

In closing, please remember that animal-aggression and people-aggression should NEVER be confused, as they are two different traits.