The Truth About Pit Bulls

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What is a Pit Bull? 


The term "Pit Bull" has been somewhat misunderstood by the public at large. The public hears the term Pit Bull and they immediately envision some four legged monstrosity, muscles bulging, eyes bulging even further, saliva dripping from the flappy lips wile it takes in it's next meal, YOU!  Frightening right? WRONG! 

Pit Bull refers to several dog type with similar physical traits. The term "Pit Bull" refers to American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and mixes of those breeds. While recently recognized as separate breed, the American Bully can be considered a descendant of the American Put Bull and Staffordshire Terrier.

The general characteristics of Pit Bulls is their blocky, somewhat square, heads, their broad stout chest and powerful legs. They are typically short and thick but some mixed breeds can be tall as well. 


These dogs are fiercely loyal and very smart.  Contrary to popular belief, they make excellent family dogs. Petey from "The Little Rascals is an example of a famous Pit Bull and nobody feared Petey. As a matter of fact, in the late 1800's and early 1900's Pit Bulls were considered the American Family Dog. Gentle, kind and well-tempered, generations of children were safeguarded by this large lovable dog. 

Due to media hype and errant police reports, Pit Bulls have been labeled as aggressive. This label has haunted them and essentially condemns any dog labeled as a Pit to a virtual death sentence once they are delivered to a shelter. The reality is far different than expected. 

The American Temperament Test Society (ATTS) performed a study in which 913 Pit Bulls were tested for temperament and 87.4% passed. To put that into perspective, they also tested 804 Golden Retrievers resulting in an 85.2% passing rate. Would anyone envision a Golden Retriever as aggressive? Some other popular breeds results: 

BASSET HOUND 37 32 5 86.50%
BEAGLE 77 61 16 79.20%
BEARDED COLLIE 50 29 21 58.00%
BORDER COLLIE 305 251 55 82.30%
BOSTON TERRIER 75 64 11 85.30%
CHIHUAHUA 46 32 14 69.60%
COCKER SPANIEL 233 190 42 81.50%
POODLE, TOY 55 44 11 80.00%


Don't take my word for it. You can read up on the test approach and see all results here.

It's obvious that the statistics do not match the hype. Don't take this as an indictment of any dog as it is clear that the owner is likely the one responsible should a dog fail the test. Dogs are, after all, dogs. How you raise and socialize them as puppies have the largest influence on how they interact with the rest of the world. The blame lies clearly on the shoulders of the owner for any single dog that failed the test. 

Stigmatized - Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)

Unfortunately, man's lust for blood sport, dog fighting rings and general misinformation has taken its toll on their flesh and their reputations. What was once the most trusted family member has now been exploited, vilified, feared and approximately 1 million per year are euthanized. 

Pit Bulls have been anointed public enemy #1 and are being legislated against in many cities across the country. Approximately 900 US cities have implemented some form of BSL. About 15 US states have upheld the constitutionality of BSL. They are banned entirely in the UK and about 43 countries around the world have some form of bans or restrictions in place. In a modern world where tolerance is preached and judgement based on appearance is frowned upon, it is completely ironic for BSL, the dog equivalent of racial profiling, to crop up an infiltrate our cities, states and countries. 

What's the point? 

These dogs deserve a chance. They have been exploited and negatively stereotyped. They are among the highest shelter occupants and most likely to be euthanized as a result. Help change this image. 

Our message is simple, educate the public, help where we can and encourage people to form their own opinions. Our Pro Pit Bull T Shirts, Hoodies and more are meant to be a reminder and conversation starters. The goal is to keep the plight of the Pit Bull fresh in the minds of dog lovers, people looking to adopt a new family dog, those in positions of influence and the general public. Don't believe the hype. 

Of course we want to sell products. We are a merchandise oriented business and bills must be paid. However, I consider us fortunate to be able to earn a potential living in pursuit of a worthy cause. We donate a portion of profits to local shelters and are active in our community. We hope you will take a look around our store and join us in spreading awareness and love for a wonderful family dog.


John Delk

Little Pit Shop Founder

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