Pitbull Awareness Month: What You Need to Know About This Breed
Pibbles, velvet hippos, land seals. If you have ever had the privilege of being adored by a Pitbull, then you know. These mighty dogs were war heroes, beloved by several presidents, and were stars on TV and the silver screen. Yet now, they account for the majority of dogs euthanized at shelters.
Pitbulls have developed a reputation for being cold-blooded attack dogs. Once used as a nanny dog to watch over children, people have been convinced that Pitbulls will snap at any second. Locking jaws (a trait that is non-existent in any breed), bad with children (not at all!) The myths surrounding Pitties are numerous.
In today’s world, with information at our fingertips, it’s important to fight back against common myths and misconceptions that we’ve been trained to believe for years. So it’s time to dispel the myths about Pitbulls, and bring awareness to these wonderful dogs. If you hadn’t guessed from our logo, those of us at Brindle Market are huge fans of Pitbulls. Get to know more about these awesome pups, and we know you will be huge fans of them, too.
Pitbulls: Fact vs. Fiction
Let’s start with some of the most common myths surrounding Pitbulls.
Fiction- Pitbulls are a single breed of dog.
Fact- The term ‘Pitbull’ actually describes multiple dog breeds that just happen to look similarly. The American Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier are three entirely different dog breeds but are often incorrectly lumped together and described as Pitbulls. In fact, The AKC does not recognize Pitbull as a breed.
Fiction- Pitbulls have the strongest bite of any dog, which is made worse by their locking jaws.
Fact- We said it once, but we’ll say it again, there is no such thing as a dog with locking jaws.
Fiction- Pitbulls are naturally aggressive.
Fact- There are a lot of factors that play into aggression. From natural behaviors amplified by a negative environment to manifestations of stress and anxiety to lack of proper socialization, the causes of aggression are endless. Additionally, it’s important to remember that reactivity can be misinterpreted as aggression.
Unfortunately, over the years, the media, TV, and movies have continued to perpetuate a stereotype of aggression when it comes to Pitbull breeds. Whatever your stance on nature vs. nurture, the truth is that every dog is an individual.
What To Know About Adopting A Pitbull
If you’re looking for a companion and heading to a rescue or shelter, you’ll see a ridiculous number of Pitbulls and Pit mixes. Here are a few reasons to give those puppers a second look:
- Pitbulls form a strong bond with their owners. They will be your devoted companion and will want to shower you with love. Make sure you return that devotion with plenty of attention.
- Pitbulls are intelligent and easy to train. Since they grow so attached to their owners, they are eager to make you happy.
- If you’re looking for a dog to be your hiking or running companion, Pits are perfect! They tend to be high-energy dogs and great at agility sports, so in addition to long walks, you can direct that energy toward games of catch or a backyard agility course.
- Pitbulls are great with kids. The science backs this up. According to The American Canine Temperament Test, pibbles have stable temperaments making them good family dogs. They’re playful, sturdy dogs, and can handle the high activity kids bring to a house. As with any dog, there will be exceptions, and a rescued dog’s history should always be taken into account.
- They make great lap dogs! At least they think they do. This is how they have earned the nicknames “sofa whale” and “squirmy blanket” with many Pitbull lovers.
Pitbull Fun Facts
- Due to their tenacity and spirit, Pitbulls used to be known as America’s Dog.
- Helen Keller, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Theodore Roosevelt, and Humphrey Bogart were proud Pitbull owners.
- War hero Sergeant Stubby served 18 months in WWI in 4 campaigns. He warned of mustard gas attacks, carried messages over enemy lines, and even caught a spy!
- A Texas Pitbull holds the record among drug-sniffing dogs for the most illegal drugs found.
How You Can Help If You Can’t Adopt
As much as we may want to be, not everyone is in a position to foster or adopt. You can still help Pitbulls and turn the narrative away from the myths that have made them seem undesirable.
- Volunteer at rescues and at adoption events. You can even step up and help facilitate one of these events yourself!
- Join the fight against breed-specific legislation. These are laws that prevent certain breeds within towns and cities. This legislation places the responsibility for dog fights and abuse on the dogs instead of taking steps against the human abusers. You can join the fight against BSL by supporting Best Friends, a group that is working to undo a lot of the stigma around pitties.
- If you can’t donate your time and volunteer, donate money, dog food, beds, towels, and toys to rescues. Call the rescue in advance to find out which items they are most in need of.
- Shop to benefit rescue dogs! 10% of the proceeds from the Jackson T-shirt go to the Every Pet's Dream Rescue. This rescue group specifically saves animals who are on their way to being euthanized at shelters. Or show your love for Pitbulls (while giving back) by shopping from the Super Pitbull line. Check out the Vintage Tee, Hoodie, or Women’s Slouchy Tee.
October is Pitbull Awareness Month, so now is the time to show some pibble love! Help us help this sweet, silly, misunderstood breed by spreading awareness.
Brindle Market founder Cathy’s life was changed when she adopted her Pitbull Bella. That’s why we’re committed to changing the narrative around Pitbulls. 10% of the proceeds from Brindle Market products go back to rescue groups. In addition, we have merchandise specifically earmarked for rescues that we feel strongly about.