Overview

 

Pit bulls are some of the most commonly used dogs in dog fights and are growing in popularity as a pet. In response to their growing popularity there is also a growing population of these dogs which in turn causes more unpleasant encounters with them. Many cases state that pit bulls are the most aggressive dog breed and cause the most dog attacks when compared to all other breeds. Many people fear that pit bulls are extremely dangerous and should not be kept around kids as pets because of a trait called “lock jaw” in which the pit bull will not/cannot release it’s jaws once it latches onto something. Studies of the jaw and skull of pit bulls and other dogs reveals that there is no trait specific to pit bulls that allow them to lock their jaw. Even though it has been proven in multiple cases to be false information, many people still go to it to prove that it is too dangerous of a breed.

In a study done by the CDC, it was found that the information stating that pit bulls bite more than other dogs could not be properly used seeing how the seriousness of bites and misidentification of mixed breeds make it difficult to properly collect data.The idea that the breed is too dangerous to own has caused some areas to ban pit bull breeds from being owned all together.

In the areas where pit bulls are banned, there has been no convincing data that it has been a success. One problem that comes with the ban, as stated earlier, is misidentification of a dog could be the difference between life and death. Many breeds are thought to be pit bulls but are in fact not a pit bull dog, including boxers and bulldogs, and are therefore put down because of the misidentification. Both the ASPCA and the CDC do not agree with breed specific bans because there are a variety of factors that go towards raised aggression in any dogs including, chaining the dogs up, if they are intact, and if they have a heritable gene that promotes more aggression. Rather actions against chaining dogs up have been found to be effective in lowering bite rates.

Also, the bans are not just for pit bulls typically but for many different types of breeds including American Bull Dogs, Mastiffs, Dalmatians, Chow Chows, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers and any mix of these breeds. These bans force people to give up their dogs, even if they are raised properly and pose no threat to the public, for euthanasia. This puts added stress on the shelters who have to house the dogs and perform the procedure as well as not being able to adopt out any of the dogs.

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