Pit Bull Facts, Myths & Media Hype

October 22 is National Pit Bull Awareness Day, and events will be taking place in San Diego and across the USA to raise awareness about pit bull type dogs.

Once celebrated as a great all-American pet, pit bull type dogs started getting a bad rap in the 1980s, largely due to misinformation, which spawned prejudice. Fast forward to today, and pit bulls are now the most abused, most maligned and most abandoned type of dog in the United States, with approximately 1,000,000 put to sleep in shelters yearly.

Some Facts & Myths About Pit Bulls

* Pit bulls are just dogs (a type of dog, not a breed).
* They do not have locking jaws.
* They do not bite differently than other large breeds.
* They are not more aggressive than other breeds (source: American Temperament Test Society)

Like all dogs, they feel pain, love, fear and joy. The media has played a large role in spreading erroneous information and creating hysteria about pit bulls: National Pit Bull Awareness Day is a chance to for the media to help set the record straight. 


National Pit Bull Awareness Day is the perfect opportunity to tell a positive story about America’s dog Pit bulls are the most abused, most euthanised, most maligned and most misunderstood type of dog in America and across much of the world today.

The media has been a big part of this problem—sensationalizing negative pit bull stories, spreading myths and inciting hysteria. Now, you can also be part of the solution. October 22, 2011, is National Pit Bull Awareness Day.

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The organisers (and K9 Magazine is happy to join in) are asking you to take this opportunity to focus on the positive attributes of this all-American dog. Here are some story suggestions:

Facts About Pit Bulls

1. Pit bulls are therapy dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs and, most famously, loving family pets (including pets to many celebrities). Tell the story of one such everyday hero in your community. We’ll be happy to help provide contacts and leads.

2. Highlight a National Pit Bull Awareness Day event going on in your community.

3. Take the opportunity to dispel many of the common myths: Pit bulls do not have locking jaws, do night bite differently than other large breeds, do not “suddenly snap,” are not “bred to fight” (the vast majority are bred as pets, like any other dog), and they do feel pain. Like all prejudicial thinking, judging a dog simply by how it looks only leads to negative actions and reactions.

Understanding that certain myths created about particular breeds can lead to innocent dogs losing their lives is something that, happily, many thousands of people have been able to grasp since the Worldwide web has been able to educate. However, there are still politicians who need to learn. Hopefully National Pit Bull Awareness day will have a positive impact on the minds of those who are happy to see certain dogs lose their lives having never done a single thing wrong.

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Jasmine Kleine

Jasmine Kleine

Jasmine Kleine is the the online editor at MyDogMagazine.com. She is an experienced dog owner and professional writer who lives with her two beloved dogs, Mabel and Charlie.


  1. know dog is a bad dog in my oppionion just bad ownership there are a lot of people out there that should not have a dog put the owner of the dog down enough said.

  2. Hi,
    My neigbors have a pit bull. She barks at me every time I go into my back yard & before they started to put her on a cable, she would run at me & came close to biting me twice & once grabbed my boyfriends pant leg. We have never done anything to her.
    There is no fence between their place & mine. She gets along fine with everyone, that comes to there place, even the little children & bigger children, that live there.
    I have a female dog, that is kept in a fenced area, but will bark at the Pitbull, when ever I am outside & the Pitbull starts barking.

    Irma Waldrop

  3. I have no idea what a “pit bull” is anymore. It seems to mean anything anyone wants it to mean… any dog of a certain appearance. Which is why you can believe that it’s a “type of dog, not a breed”

    Not too long ago, “pit bull” was only meant as the nickname for a BREED of dog: the American pit bull terrier (and its doppelganger, the American Staffordshire terrier).

    The REAL pit bull is getting lost is some well meaning attempts to normalize the dog.

  4. I have two “pit bulls” one American Staffordshire terrier and one half American Staffordshire half American pit bull terrier. They are both beautiful loving dogs, dogs should not be chained up it brings out fear and makes them protective, they should also be well socialized to avoid protective behaviors of their area if you walked into my yard my boys would shower you with kisses…. Dog behavior depends largely on the training they receive and positive owners that UNDERSTAND dog behavior… In my opinion all dog owners should have to obtain a licence to own any dog and go through training so they learn before they get a dog of any breed how to manage them…. Too many people own dogs who should not…

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