People who have had negative experiences with Pitbulls stigmatize these dogs as all being aggressive or dangerous due to one experience. Due to the fact that Pit bulls are large, active, strong dogs that have acquired an unnecessary negative stereotype in society, they are often considered to be more dangerous than other breeds. Other breeds of dogs that have a similar look to Pitbulls are labeled as Pitbulls and when these dogs act out – Pitbulls are again given a bad name. Due to the fact that dog fighting has become synonymous with Pitbulls because of the practice of this cruel and inhumane practice - there are breeders specifically breeding dogs in order to then abuse, neglect and teach them how to fight. After this kind of treatment, many Pitbulls retain residual behavioral issues that now have also become synonymous with Pitbulls as a whole – such as dog aggression.
Rescued Pitbulls that have been successfully rehabilitated are examples of the resilience of the spirit of this breed of dog, their ability to release past trauma and a human’s ability to provide the kind of effective rehabilitation that they require. With proper professional guidance and education, people can learn what is required to provide this kind of rehabilitation. However, not all dogs get this opportunity for fullrehabilitation and so, many of these dogs will continue to have unacceptable behaviors. This is not fair, but we cannot make it up to them by ignoring what they should be and what we know they can be.
Pitbull myths: some very common misconceptions about pitbulls
1. Pitbulls are not Pack Animals
Every dog is born an innately social being. All dogs are born into a pack structure – Pitbulls included. Antisocial behavior in all dogs is due to human error.
2. Pitbulls are all born to fight
Over time, unconscionable humans have bred, raised and trained Pitbulls to fight. They will admit that in an average litter of puppies – there will only be a few that are born with the intensity and drive required to be trained as a fighting dog. To increase these odds, these breeders will choose the most easily trained dogs to continue a bloodline built for this intensity and drive. However, due to a canine's inherently social nature - every Pitbull born into balance without being trained to fight has as much potential to be a social and docile animal as any other. Likewise, every Pitbull that is bred and even trained to fight will not necessarily fight and if offered rehabilitation, has the ability to be a social animal again.
3. It is normal for Pitbulls to be human aggressive
Pitbulls are known – above other breeds – to be one of the most loyal and affectionate breeds of dog with humans. It is this connection to their humans and their devotion to what their human requires that is perverted in the sport of dog fighting. Pitbulls desire first and foremost to please their people in any way, shape or form that they can. When a human makes them fight – Pitbulls do so because they are told – not because they want to. Even dogs that have been used to fight other dogs will often harbor absolutely no ill will or aggression towards people. Pitbulls that are human aggressive have been the subject of senseless abuse and neglect and ANY breed will lash out under these conditions.
4. Pitbulls are intense
Intensity in a dog is an undesirable trait unless it is being directed at some adequate and entertaining sport, job, release or activity. Pitbulls are physically capable sport driven dogs that excel at activities such as swing poles and weight pulling. They can also excel at agility, frisbee, flyball, hunting, retrieving, guarding, protection or any other athletic pursuit that their muscular and resilient build and their active minds can handle. However – Pitbulls in no way have any amount of extra intensity hard wired into their personality due to their breed that make them more apt to be aggressive. Aggression is learned through abusive handling practices. Every dog’s energy level and drive is unique and Pitbulls are no different.
5. Pitbulls have a higher sensitivity to pain and it makes them become aggressive
Pitbulls – like many power breeds have a high tolerance for pain. They can overcome great pain and discomfort to accomplish what their human desires. Evidence of this is seen in the fighting rings – where these abused animals undergo extreme injury in a sport that they are motivated to participate in merely because their human encourages them to do so. The scars covering the bodies of dog fighting victims tell the story of many painful days and nights where they continued to do as their humans taught them – despite the trauma. However, it is not a precursor to aggression and has no link to determining their temperament. Aggression is taught by humans and likewise also avoided with proper care and training.