12 Things You Didn’t Know About Pit Bulls

Even though this breed gets more press than almost any other, you may be surprised at how little you know about it. For example, do you know where the breed was developed originally or whether or not it belongs to a group of dog breeds called “Molossers”? Find out the answers to both of these questions and more below!

#1 –  Not an AKC Recognized Breed

There is no “Pit Bull” breed in the AKC register. They do have the American Terrier, which many refer to as a pitty. However, The United Kennel Club does recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier as a breed and allows them to register. The term pit bull or “pitty” is used for both of these dogs and it can be hard for non-enthusiasts to tell the difference.

Image source: @Maplegirlie via flickr
IMAGE SOURCE: @MAPLEGIRLIE VIA FLICKR

#2 –  European Origins

The beginnings of the pit bull were in 19th C. England, Ireland and (some sources say) Scotland. The farmers were experimenting with crossbreeding terriers and bullies to make a more versatile dog – one that could do everything from bear baiting and hunting to driving livestock and family pets. Today, the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier is small and more compact than their American cousins.

Image source: "Staffordshire Bull Terrier 600" by User Sannse on en.wikipedia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: “STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER 600” BY USER SANNSE ON EN.WIKIPEDIA. LICENSED UNDER CC BY-SA 3.0 VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

#3 – Catalyst for Registries

Since AKC wouldn’t accept them, two new dog registries were formed – the UKC and the American Dog Breeds Association. Both clubs were started by men who owned pit bulls themselves. In fact the dog that holds the Registry no. 1 with the UKC is the founder’s pit bull. (www.ukcdogs.com)

Image source:  @SAM via Flickr
IMAGE SOURCE: @SAM VIA FLICKR

#4 – Eager to Please

Despite the rap he breed has received, owners of them know that the pit bull was actually bred to be loving of his family and to be eager to please – he will do anything his owners asks of him—making him perfect for any performance sport. A well-socialized pit bull has a very “lab-like” personality.

Image source: @AndreaArden via Flickr
IMAGE SOURCE: @ANDREAARDEN VIA FLICKR

#5 – A Coat of Many Colors

Pit bulls can come in any color in the dog coat rainbow – except merle or albinism.  The most commonly seen are red, blue, fawn and brindle.

Image source: @maplegirlie via Flickr
IMAGE SOURCE: @MAPLEGIRLIE VIA FLICKR

#6 – Molosser Dog

The American Pit Bull Terrier is part of the “Molosser dog” category. This is a group of diverse breed that descended from the ancient “Moloss” stock of dogs from Eprius, Greece. Other breeds in the group include American Bulldog, Boxer, Bullmastiff, Cane Corso, Great Dane, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Presa Canario, Rottweiler, and many more. (www.animalplanet.com)

Image source: @maplegirlie via Flickr
IMAGE SOURCE: @MAPLEGIRLIE VIA FLICKR

#7 – Stubby

The most decorated war dog of WWI was Stubby who is said to have had some pit bull terrier in him. There are many stories—almost legends by now—about his deeds during the war, which were front page news at the time.

Image source: "Sergeant Stubby" by Stubby: Terrier Hero of Georgetown. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: “SERGEANT STUBBY” BY STUBBY: TERRIER HERO OF GEORGETOWN. LICENSED UNDER PUBLIC DOMAIN VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

#8 – WWII Pro-American Propaganda

Just as the doxies were associated with Germany, so the bully breeds were associated with the American Hero. There are several posters from the times that should the “All American Pit Bull” as the symbol of American courage and patriotism.

Image source: Kristijames.org
IMAGE SOURCE: KRISTIJAMES.ORG

#9 – Nanny Dogs

The pit bull was given this nickname in the 50’s because they were so good with kids. You can find many images from that era showing kids and pit bulls together.

Image source: @maplegirlie via Flickr
IMAGE SOURCE: @MAPLEGIRLIE VIA FLICKR

#10 – Mistaken Identity

Many dogs labeled at “pit bull” are actually breeds or mixes of other dogs from the Molosser group. These mistakes have fueled the anti-pit bull group, since any time a dog that looks like that does something, it’s labeled a pit bull and the breed is condemned.

Image source: @Lexus2D
IMAGE SOURCE: @LEXUS2D VIA FLICKR 

#11 – Pal the Wonder Dog

Pal is best known for his role at “Petey,” the pit bull that followed The Little Rascals around and protected them. The ring around his way was partially his own, and was just completed by make-up. According to Animal Planet, “the ring was even recognized as an oddity by Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” When he passed, his son Pete took over the roll in the show.

Image source: "Schools-out-our-gang-1930" by Robert F. McGowan - School's Out at archive.org. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE SOURCE: “SCHOOLS-OUT-OUR-GANG-1930” BY ROBERT F. MCGOWAN – SCHOOL’S OUT AT ARCHIVE.ORG. LICENSED UNDER PUBLIC DOMAIN VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

#12 –  Locking Jaw Myth

Many people believe that the pit bull can lock their jaw – making it impossible to get them to release something they are holding. And while they do have strong jaws, studies have proved there is nothing different about it than other breeds; they cannot lock their jaw. (www.realpitbull.com)

Image source: @Amy via Flickr

 

Credits: https://iheartdogs.com

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