A. The term “pit bull” encompasses three different breeds of dog. They are the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
The “pit bull” is a good-natured, amusing, extremely loyal and affectionate family pet, which is great with children and adults. Almost always obedient, it is always eager to please its master. It is an extremely courageous and intelligent dog that is very full of vitality. The “pit bull” is a truly loyal and remarkable dog with so much to offer a responsible owner.
Q. Are pit bulls naturally aggressive towards humans?
A. No. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. A well-raised pit bull has no human aggressive tendencies. In fact, human aggression was bred out of this group of dogs. The majority of pit bulls are affectionate, intelligent, trainable dogs. In fact, they are known for being one of the most obedient breeds of all.
Q. Is it true that pit bulls can lock their jaws?
A. No. The infamous “locking jaw” rumor is a myth. Physiologically, the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are no different than any other 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 any of the breeds comprising pit bulls. All dogs derive from the same species and none have the ability to lock their jaws.
Q. Is it true that pit bulls are great with children?
A. Yes. Pit bulls have enjoyed a long history of being known as the “nanny dogs” for their famous love of children. When well socialized and properly raised, they are the perfect breed to tolerate the rough and tumble play that kids are known for. Pit bulls tend to be drawn to the joyful optimism of children and are naturally patient and gentle.
Q. Why do Pit Bulls have such a bad reputation?
A. At one time, the American Pit Bull Terrier was a much loved, trustworthy companion. People who chose to train these dogs to fight are chiefly responsible for the banning and unfair treatment that has been targeting the breed throughout the country. The media, however, should not go unmentioned, for it is also responsible for escalating isolated incidents in a relentless way of creating hysteria among the public. In many cases when the media is reporting about a “pit bull attack,” the dog involved is not even a pit bull at all, but a mixed breed of some sort, or another bull breed all together. The pit bull’s future has been perhaps irreparably undone and everyone is to blame except the dog itself.
Q. What breeds are affected by BSL?
A. Breed Specific Legislation (“BSL”) affects more than just the “pit bull” breeds of dog. Below is a list of 75 different dog breeds that are banned or restricted in different places around the United States. Local laws regulating dogs differ across states, cities, counties and towns. Also, it’s important to note that regulations often affect mixes of these breeds.
We have linked some of the breeds so you can see how wide the variety is when it comes to banned breeds.