Pit bulls are among the most lovable dogs in the world. Of course, I’m also aware of their troubled reputation. Thanks to years of misinformation and bad press, they’re among the most misunderstood pets. I’m a pit bull person myself, and I know firsthand what a joy it is to share my life with these goofballs. There’s a reason pit bull lovers can’t stop showing off their pride on, well, everything they own.
The truth about pit bulls is simple: They’re sweet, smart, hilarious, loyal companions. And we’re not the only ones who think so. Ken Foster’s beautiful book “I’m a Good Dog” continues to climb the charts, and National Pit Bull Day has been established in their honor. To mark the occasion, we’ve gathered some of the most interesting, impressive, and surprising facts (plus a few unfortunate myths) about pit bulls.
The truth about pit bulls is simple: They’re sweet, smart, hilarious, loyal companions.
A “pit bull” might not be a pit bull (we can explain)
Shelters are full of cute bully dogs labelled as pit bulls, but in fact, there are far fewer actual pit bulls than you may think. The American Pit Bull Terrier is the only recognized pit bull breed, but the term “pit bull” is often used as a catch-all to describe a wide array of dogs with common characteristics. Due to diverse, unregulated breed standards across dog registries, as well as the unfortunate excess in “backyard breeding,” it’s very difficult to claim one true standard for a pit bull (though you can read about APBT standards here).
As noted by respected pit bull rescue organization BADRAP, “dogs commonly identified as pit bulls are quite often a mix of multiple breeds.” This results in shelters being full of bully dogs who may or may not be “pit bulls,” but can have a harder time finding homes due to the name and bad press. While it’s tempting to look at any short, muscular dog with a lightbulb-shaped head and label it a pit bull, it’s likely that dog has a lot more going on genetically. For this reason, it’s essential to evaluate the individual dog rather than the breed.