Pitbulls are a popular dog breed across places and are proudly owned by people as a show of strength. Pitbulls can be termed as America’s most-loved as well as most-feared dogs at the time.
They are well-known for dog fighting and are often trained as protection dogs. Sadly, they are also one of the breeds that are most misunderstood. As a result of a number of myths surrounding them like their violent attitude, self-centered personality, and difficulty in training, they have a negative reputation.
In truth, Pitbulls are trainable, sociable, and caring dogs and can make the perfect companion if nurtured appropriately.
You might be reluctant to raise a Pitbull due to the bad image but here are some fun facts about Pitbull that will persuade you to reconsider.
Top 15 Interesting and Fun facts about Pitbull
1. Pitbulls were historically bred for blood sports
It may come as a shock but the fearsome image of Pitbulls stems not from their haughty behaviour but rather from their unfortunate past and we are to be blamed for that.
Pitbulls were historically exploited as bait in bear-baiting, a blood sport in which bears had to undergo cruelty for the amusement of the onlookers. Bears were shackled by their neck or legs or dragged inside a pit and dogs were sent to attack them until they collapsed from their pain or exhaustion or both.
Pitbull was also used in several other bloody sports like dog fighting. Their powerful physique made them the perfect choice for such unlawful events where a lot of money was involved.
2. Pitbull does not indicate a single dog breed
A fun fact about Pitbull is there is a common misconception that people think of them as a single dog breed whereas Pitbull is simply an umbrella term that includes 4 different dog breeds. They are American pit bull terrier, American bulldog, American Staffordshire terrier and the Staffordshire bull terrier. Not to forget the crossbreeds are also counted as Pitbulls.
These dogs have been clubbed under the same category due to their similar appearance. They also share the same heritage with all of them having ancestors that were mostly raised to fight in the pits.
3. They are not “born” violent and have great temperament
Pitbulls are not naturally aggressive. In fact, contrary to their intimidating image, Pitbulls are one of the most affectionate dogs. As per the American Temperament Testing Society, they would rank these dogs close to the widely loved Golden Retrievers. Interestingly, experiments have shown Chihuahua to be the most aggressive of all dog breeds. This is a serious interesting and fun fact about Pitbulls which might have amazed you as well.
Pitbulls learn behaviours from their masters who raise them. Your Pitbull will develop into a happy, entertaining, and amiable adult dog if you are a good owner and train them to channel their energy in a positive way. On the other hand, if you treat your dog cruelly and neglectfully, they will unintentionally direct their energy in a bad way and develop aggressive, grumpy, and hostile traits.
Therefore, the nature (genes) vs. nurture (environment) concept holds true for Pitbulls just like in the case of other dog breeds.
4. Pitbulls are immigrants
The American Pitbull terrier originates from the introduction of English and Irish pit terriers into America during the mass immigration of the 1800’s. Pitbulls were originally from England. The American Pitbull Terrier was imported into America from England in the 19th century. Initially, life in America was a lot of struggles and Pitbulls due to their protective nature, were very helpful.
They protected their owners and even guarded the livestock against other intruders and predators. They also helped their masters while catching hogs.
It is strongly believed that without the assistance of Pitbulls, many American families would have died from the shortage of food and protection.
5. Efforts were made to rebrand the name ‘Pitbull’
The American Kennel Club did not recognize the American pit bull terrier and instead acknowledged the similar-looking Staffordshire terrier.
However, they weren’t the only ones seeking to change the name. There were numerous other attempts. For example, San Francisco tried to alter the name of these dogs to St. Francisco in the 90s. Also, the New York Animal Care and Control in the year 2004 intended to call the dogs “New Yorkies”.
It should be noted that most of these attempts were made to help them overcome the poor image that they suffer due to their past but unfortunately, the efforts were not fruitful.
6. Pitbull having locking jaws is a myth
A fun fact about Pitbull is that that unlike popular belief, Pitbulls do not have any enzyme or specialized physical mechanism that allows them to “lock” their jaws. If you compare the skull of a Pitbull with that of any other dog, you will see that the structure of the bone and the general attributes are not much different. There is no proof that Pitbull-type dog breeds are likely to cause more damage to human beings or other animals.
People also claim that Pitbulls’ bite is the strongest among all dogs. It is hardly surprising that people would think this given their background as a breed of combat dogs. However, this is incorrect because Rottweilers and German Shepherds have stronger bites.
7. Pitbulls were called nanny dogs
Early in the 20th century, Pitbulls were known as nanny dogs. This is an interesting and fun fact about Pitbull considering the bad press they currently receive, but the main reason for that is that they were used to safeguard families and children back then. Pitbulls were trusted by older people to protect their children from all kinds of dangers, thus they were happy to leave their youngsters in their care.
This demonstrates how Pitbulls are naturally good with humans and can make wonderful family dogs and further reinstating the fact of how wrong we are about them.
8. Pitbulls have featured in numerous movie shows
Kitbull is one of the latest shows featuring an abused pittie and an independent, bold kitten that depicts the unlikely friendship between the two. This 2019 American short film is an animated one from the houses of Pixar and Walt Disney Studios. To name another popular show is ‘Chance’ which is also a 2019 movie about a lovely pitbull. These have been rolled out into the audience with one of the hopes being the negative narrative behind Pitbull could one day be put to rest.
The movie John Wick features an ‘Unnamed Dog’ which was actually a Pitbull. At the end of movie Wick is seen entering the animal shelter to take a Pitbull from the kennels.
9. Pitbull became the Mascot of America during World War 1
Propaganda operations peaked during the first World War, with several nations on both sides heavily relying on it. One such strategy that gained a lot of significance is countries using specific dog breeds as mascots to portray characteristics that should represent that nation.
While Germany used Dachshunds to represent them and Britain, the bulldog, it is the Pitbull that became the face of America all thanks to their positive traits like devotion, courage and tenacity.
It is believed that a Pitbull named Sergeant Stubby was the most decorated dog during the war. Stubby was also the only one to receive a nomination for rank and was even given the promotion to Sergeant due to his heroics while saving his unit from mustard gas attacks. He was welcomed back with a hero’s parade.
The life of this dog is so amazing that a movie was made based on a true-life story named Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero.
10. Wheela, the Pitbull is a nation’s hero
The heroics of Pitbulls do not end with Stubby with many other Pitbull breeds doing heroic deeds. One such dog that deserves a special mention is Wheela. In 1993, she was awarded the Ken-L-Ration Dog Hero of the Year honour due to her valiant efforts in the wake of a dam breach on the Tijuana River.
Wheela worked tirelessly for 3 months and managed to save the lives of 30 individuals along with 29 hounds, 13 stallions and a cat. Along with leading the authorities to the abandoned horses, she also transported food to the trapped animals.
11. Pitbull can motivate Art
Talented photographer Sophie Gamand produced a collection of images of Pitbull to expose their gentler side. She used the adorable puppies and lovely pastel florals to produce stunning photographs that highlight how utterly adorable these canines truly are.
This is an interesting fun facts about Pitbulls. The series of pictures were also made to question people perceiving Pitbulls as vicious and with the hope to bring forth a change in the mindset of everyone.
12. They appeared in various logos
One of the fun facts about Pitbulls is that they were featured on the logos of the Brown Shoe Company, which now goes by the name of Caleres Inc., and the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). Similar to this, a Florida law organization attempted to include Pitbulls as part of their emblem in 2005, but they were prohibited by a court order.
13. They were also featured in Life Magazine
Well, Pitbulls are also the only breed to appear in Life Magazine and this happened not once but thrice. How interesting is that as a fun fact about Pitbulls? More interesting, all the three covers were rolled out at different times of the 1900s which indicates that Pitbulls have always been in the limelight in the American culture for an unmatchable combination of values the Americans have always been fond of – loyalty, friendship, bravery, respectful, and hardworking.
14. Pitbulls are quite old
Pitbulls are the descendants of bulldogs from UK and are considerably older than people think. As mentioned earlier bulldogs were used as baits in bear and bull-baiting and that dates back to the 1600s. In the middle of the 1800s, after such activities were declared illegal, dog fighting emerged as a viable substitute. Some people during this time interbred bulldogs with terriers in an effort to create a superior breed for entertainment purposes. This resulted in the arrival of Pitbulls whom we love and hate at the same time.
15. The term Pitbull has a sad origin
The word Pitbull originates from a savage mode of entertainment, more popularly known as rattling. In this game, rats and dogs would be thrown into a pit to battle, and bets would be placed on which animal would die first. The term “pit” in the word Pitbull refers to the area where such a severe style of sport used to be played.
This is one of the gloomy facts of Pitbull that has casted an everlasting shadow over their name.
Pitbulls certainly have a bad name in our society but from the above-mentioned facts we can see how loving, loyal and protective these dogs can be with the right training. It is therefore time that we show them some love and accept them wholeheartedly. They deserve a chance to move over their terrible past, especially because we are to blame for the damage, they have suffered over the years. We hope you enjoyed these fun facts about Pitbull.
Q. Are Pitbulls banned in USA?
Many cities and municipalities across United States have enacted Pitbull specific bans. Pitbulls continue to be the focal point of BSL (Breed specific laws) because they are believed to have a negative impact on communities.
Q. Do Pitbulls shed?
Pitbulls generally do not shed a lot. All Pitbull dogs have a single coat and have a single layer of fur on their coat. However regular brushing will help to keep your furry coat in good health.
Q. Are Pitbulls smart?
Yes Pitbulls are one of the smartest dog breeds. They are very affectionate dog breeds and are easily trainable also. Pitbulls have high adaptive IQ and ranked 48th smartest in working intelligence dog breeds.