“Pit Bull” Facts: A Bully Or A Beauty?

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Pit Bull (caption: facts & mischaracterizations)For decades dog lovers have read headline after headline positioning one breed or another as “dangerous.” Most recently the newest is the Pit Bull. But is this dog as dangerous as the media and society make them out to be? Or are they really just cuddly, playful companions?

Article Overview

Pit Bull Basic Stats

An American Pit Bull Terrier generally weighs in around 30-65 pounds and measures 17-21 inches in height. They are medium-sized dogs with a solid build, known for their intelligence. Their average ages is between 8 and 15 years.

Another dog that is commonly referred to as a “pit bull” is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It is a lighter weight dog at 24-37 pounds and a height of 14-16 inches tall.

As of 2017, there were approximately 89.7 million total dogs throughout the United States1. 5-10 million of those dogs were estimated to be “pit bulls” (the reported number varies widely by how each vet, breeder, organization, owner, vet, etc. defines the term)2.

When you look at data from U.S. city shelters, you will find that “pit bull” type dogs make up about 40% of the dogs that are killed2.

Pit Bull vs Bully Breed

After much research, it is our opinion that the “bully breeds” include a wide range of dog breeds (see list below), but the only dog that is a true Pit Bull is the American Pit Bull Terrier, which is recognized by the United Kennel Club and American Dog Breeders Association. We know this is widely discussed and disagreed upon, but for the purposes of this article, that is our position.

The term “bully breed” is used to refer to a large group of various breeds of dog that hail from the same root breed. Dogs that belong to a bully breed are all derived from one particular type of dog known as the Molosser. The Molosser is an Ancient Greek breed that was characterized by a short muzzle, large bones, large frame and pendant shaped ears.

Originally, Molossers were bred with a range of other dogs that resulted in the characteristics found today in the various bully-type breeds. These dogs were bred as guardians of both property and livestock. Some owners would also use their dogs in sports like bull-baiting which many believe is how the term “bully breed” came about. Unfortunately, many owners have recognized their potential as fighting dogs and, in turn, have created an unfortunate alternate use of the term “bully breed.”

What Breeds Are Bully Breeds?

English BulldogThere is a dog breed called American Pit Bull Terrier, but the broader name of “Pit Bull” is often used to categorize many breeds under the bully breed label. All the following breeds actually make up the bully breed category:

  1. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
  2. Ambullneo Mastiff
  3. American Bulldog
  4. American Mastiff
  5. American Pit Bull Terrier
  6. American Staffordshire Terrier
  7. Anatolian Mastiff
  8. Australian Bulldog
  9. Bantam Bulldogge
  10. Banter Bulldogge
  11. Belgian Mastiff
  12. Boston Terrier
  13. Boxer
  14. Buldogue Campeiro
  15. Bull Terrier
  16. Bulldog
  17. Bullmastiff
  18. Ca De Bou
  19. Cane Corso
  20. Catahoula Bulldog
  21. Dogo Argentino
  22. Dogue De Bordeaux
  23. Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge
  24. English Bulldog
  25. Fila Brasileiro
  26. French Bulldog
  27. Great Dane
  28. Mastiff
  29. Miniature Bull Terrier
  30. Neopolitan Mastiff
  31. Olde Boston Bulldogge
  32. Olde English Bulldog
  33. Pug
  34. Pyrenean Mastiff
  35. Renascence Bulldogge
  36. Rottweiler
  37. Spanish Mastiff
  38. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  39. Standard Bull Terrier
  40. Tibetan Mastiff
  41. Valley Bulldog
  42. Victorian Bulldogge

As you can see from this extensive list, the American Pit Bull Terrier is just one of many breeds. In fact, more than a handful of the breeds on this list surprise even the most anti-bully breed proponents.

Mischaracterization Of Pit Bulls

Looking over the list of bully breeds above many of these breeds are unknown to general dog lovers which is perhaps one reason why so many dogs are mischaracterized as Pit Bulls. While these breeds all share a common ancestry and have similar features such as the flatter, shorter snout, being able to distinguish between different bully breeds is important.

Without being able to separate one bully breed from another, it is easy for Pit Bulls to be pinned as the “breed that bit that kid.” That is not to say that bully breeds, in general, are bad dogs, they just happen to be most frequently selected by bad owners.

Misquoted Facts

The mischaracterization of all bully breeds as Pit Bulls is not the only area where Pit Bulls get the short end of the stick. Unfortunately, as public opinion of this breed declines and the banning of bully breeds builds momentum, many more facts are turned around.

Myth: Pits Bite Harder Than Other Dogs

The Pit Bull is said to exert through their bite is actually just like many other breeds – around 235 pounds per square inch. Of strongest breeds’ bite according to force, the Pit Bull is not even in the top 12 list.

Which dog has the highest pounds per square inch bite force? The Kangal which measures in at 743 pounds per square inch of bite force. Even with this figure in mind though, does this mean that the Kangal is a dangerous breed? Not necessarily: It means that if a Kangal were to bite someone or something, it could be capable of exerting 743 pounds per square inch of bite force. It does not mean that this dog will bite or that it will use that much force with a bite.

What this data could mean also is that if a dog does exert that much bite force, the resulting bite could be much more severe than a bite from a less powerful dog. And that means that bites from this type of dog are more likely to be reported than bites from smaller, less powerful dogs leading to a news reporting bias.

Pit Bulls Are Cute

No question these pit puppies are adorable! Just watch this video if you don’t believe us.

Are Pit Bulls Good Dogs?

Asking the question of whether Pit Bulls are good dogs is in our opinion the same as asking whether misbehaved kids are good children. A dog’s temperament depends on a variety of factors including breeding and upbringing (much like our offspring).

What we do know from statistical analysis3 is that as of December 2017, 87.4% of American Pit Bull Terriers had passed their temperament testing, according to the American Temperament Test Society, Inc.

This is a higher number to pass these tests than Collies (80.8%), Beagles (79.7%) and even Golden Retrievers (85.6%). Of 931 American Pit Bull Terriers tested, 814 of them passed the 8-12 minute behavior test which measures 10 criteria, including a dog’s reaction, its aggressive behavior and more.

Are Fatal Pit Bull Attacks Common?

When you turn on the news, it seems like the only dog attacks that ever make headlines are attacks by Pit Bulls and attacks that result in death or serious injury. Few people take the time to learn the facts behind this type of dog, they simply take what they are fed by media news outlets.

What Can Be Done To Help Pit Bulls And Bully Breeds?

Fifty the Two-Legged Pitbull DogIf more people were familiar with the array of dog breeds within the bully breed category, perhaps they would be less inclined to judge one particular bully type as a “bad dog” — whoever heard of someone banning Boston Terriers from an apartment complex because they were a bully breed? Judging a dog’s temperament by its appearance is like judging a person’s personality by the color of their skin, something one would hope humankind had learned from in its history.

Advocate For Pit Bulls And Spread The Word

One of the best things that can be done to advocate for Pit Bulls and bully breeds is to spread the word about just how expansive the bully breed category is. Share with your friends about how the Boston Terrier and Pug come from the same origin as the Neopolitan Mastiff and the Pit Bull Terrier.

Encourage people not only to educate themselves about the difference between individual breeds (see our comprehensive list of breeds where you can learn more) but also about the sheer ridiculousness of judging an entire classification of dog based on a select few incidences that receive sensationalized media coverage. Ask people to stop and think when the last time they heard of a mixed breed dog bite fatality was?

It Is Not Okay To Minimize Pit Bull Bite Incidences

With all of these statistics under your belt, it is important not to minimize Pit Bull bite incidences, but it is crucial to also draw attention to the fact that there are some mitigating circumstances in these bite statistics. The truth is that people do get bitten by Pit Bulls, just as they get bitten by Huskies and German Shepherds. It is possible however to become a proponent for Pit Bull Terriers while also respecting incidences of Pit Bull bites.

Encourage individuals with reservations about Pit Bulls to understand that not all dogs within a certain classification are bred to fight, that upbringing and good breeding can result in a wide range of dispositions. Many people have experiences that have colored their opinion of one dog breed or another, but as a proponent for fair treatment of the Pit Bull it is important to make others aware of the fact that not all Pit Bulls are like “the one that bit that kid.”

Dog Liability Insurance May Save You Money And Your Dog’s Life

If you do want to better understand how you can protect yourself and your Pit from potentially risky situations, we recommend that you contact a dog liability insurance expert to gain some perspective on your options.

What do you love about Pit Bulls and other bully breed dogs?

Source: [1] Statista [2] KC Dog Blog [3] American Temperament Test Society, Inc

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Boss Hog
First let me say to the writer, thank you for making the distinction between the American “Pit” Bull Terrier, APBT and the other Bully breeds, forgive, I didn’t read the whole article, quite frankly after 30+yrs dealing with this particular breed the Miss information becomes repetitive so I usually won’t read or respond to anything dealing with it, however when I read the first paragraph I was pleasantly surprised and appreciative of your stance on making the distinction, Game bred APBT’s were never bred to have any aggression twords people and if they did they were systematically culled, I’m not going to get into explaining the differences in what is or isn’t an APBT, quite frankly I believe almost all wouldn’t get it anyway and I’ve learned not to argue with someone who knows it all because they read something somewhere.
Joseph Godin
One of the best articles i read in a long time on pit bulls
Wicked Wulf
I have lived with several dog breeds over my life time…all my dogs have been friendly, loyal, protective & socially great around other people, kids & other dogs (except one – a Springer spaniel that would get aggressive & was upset around people & children…we had to give him to a farmer & it worked out). When I adopted a blue nose american pit bull pup, I realized he was unlike any dog I have ever known. He is 90 lbs & the most loving, goofy, needy creature on earth. He talks & if possible wants to touch us, sleep on us…just love us always. When he meets smaller dogs & they act scared or timid of him…he rolls on his back or gets as low to ground as he can to comfort them.

At the park one afternoon a woman started screaming when she seen us. She grabbed up her child & screamed at us to leave the park. She really went out full drama…then others noticed us…several came over to meet Sterling with their children. I warned parents to watch that his tail didn’t smack the kids or knock the little ones down. Sterling was in heaven lol…he got lots of hugs & kisses. Several wanted to know if he was really a pitbull. Several told me he was amazing & they would love to have a dog like him. The screaming woman was still there oddly enough but seemed upset no one was trying to rescue her.

Every pitbull I have met…raised by regular loving people is like my Sterling. They bunny hop, frog hop, snuggle & do everything in their souls to please you & learn. Harsh words actually hurt them. For all the haters out there…my 9 lb mini rat terrier is the alpha & she would snap at you faster the my gentle giant…she even backs him up lol.

Boss Hog
Greetings to you,there is no such thing as a blue nose APBT, you have an American Bully, AmBully.
Dawn M DeWitt
I have 3 pitbulls. All rescues from bad people as babies. I have 5 grandchildren. My 3 pits are the most loving, gentle,loyal babies. It’s how they are brought up and treated. They have there own bedroom beds and health insurance. I brought a kitten home and she rules the house, willow(cat) and (Bella)my baby pit sleep and play together. Leave them alone and look at cocker spaniels, chihuahuas and little ankle biters
I figured you wouldn’t publish it, but I do hope you consider the feedback contained in it and write a new article in the future which better addresses the problems involved with fatalities by pit bull type dogs. As someone who is a frequent flier at UKC dog shows, I think there are many good pit bull types out there, but sadly, there are way too many poorly bred and socialized ones too. I know that my post was very critical, but I think it is important that the writers hear from more than just the fawning readers.
Boss Hog
Thank you sir however we still want to get away from using the “Pit” Bull moniker and call them what they are,Bully breeds, that way people start to disassociate the term “Pit” Bull with everything Bully bred, however I understand what you’re saying.
Truthfully, I think a better article could have been written in support of pit bull type dogs. This one evaded the problem and never really gave solutions. It may make true pit bull owners feel good, but for the general public, it will not give answers nor give a good defense that will change any minds. There are many good pit bulls out there, but ignoring the many bad ones will not help the many good ones.

A number of fallacies in your article, but you mention that one is 200 more times to be killed by an aspirin. Okay, your point? An aspirin is an inanimate object. The likelihood that it will jump out of the bottle and kill you is zero. Literally zero. If one has children, it is well known that we should put all medicines in a locked cabinet for the reason that they are dangerous if placed in a mouth. However, they won’t jump into any mouth. A pit bull is an animal that has a mind of its own. Based on many reasons, it can attack with no notice. Hardly a good analogy. Using that logic we can eliminate laws in place for regulating many things in our society. I have no doubt that you could think of a list in your mind rather quickly. I noticed that you never even answered your own question.You evaded it with a straw man argument which was easily knocked down.

Creating a large classification of dogs as a bully breed when you know that most people associate a pit bull with a much much smaller group of dogs is misleading and is done to strengthen a case that you know needs some bolstering. And I noticed you didn’t mention the statistics that show pit bulls cause 66% of the dog attack fatalities. Now you will respond with “many dogs in that count are not pit bulls.” Notice that statistics do break down other dogs that you list as bully types. The list of fatalities was made up by individuals who do have an idea of the four basic types that make up the pit bull type. This is not simply a group of haters. People are not so quick to call a Great Dane a pit bull.

Posting a video of cute puppies certainly may tug at the emotions, but one can post cute videos of baby tigers and other wild animals. Does that make them any less dangerous? Of course not. If a guns rights group posted pictures of beautiful guns, would you think that supports their case for allowing guns without any regulation? I would not.

People do indeed get bitten by all types of dogs. There has never been a disagreement about that. Many are dogs who have had poor upbringings and have bad breeding. There is no question that this is part of the problem. But by comparing pit bull “bites” to other dogs, your attempt at making them all equal ignores the problem. You never actually address the real issue. Pit bull attacks (and by pit bulls the statistics include four major types) account for 66% of all dog attack fatalities. The actual number is almost 300. Yes, in the realm of deaths to people, this is indeed a small amount. Yet it cannot be ignored. This is not bites. This is deaths. That is why there is an outcry.

What can be done? If breed legislation is not the answer (which I don’t think it is),then what is the answer? Defending pit bulls and trying to equate the problem to aspirin deaths is never going to help anything and will make any group stating that appear not so credible to say the least. In order to get ahead of the problem and provide solutions that are dog friendly, it is important that you do not avoid it.

Educating one self is important, and actually reporting about reality would be best for advocating pit bulls. Despite what you may think, I am not a pit bull hater. I don’t have one, but only because I have always enjoyed boxers. I know. You classified them as a bully breed. However, when they show statistics of dog fatalities and bites, they are always listed separately. I love all dogs, and I would hate to see one breed be banned. However, in this article, I never read any ideas that would help the pit bull types. Blaming the outcry on “pit bull haters” and the media does nothing to help anyone, and people come to trusted people like you for help and actual solutions.

I suggest an article that takes a look at actual statistics and examines what led to each of the 300 attacks. Was it actually the dog in a good home? Was it a dog in a bad situation? Was it a dog that was taunted by a child? Was it a feral dog? Was it a pack of dogs? What was behind each situation? Could it have been prevented? How? And on and on.

Thanks for reading this. My intentions are good. I know that an actual “pit bull hater” would have found more objections. If you decide not to place this for the public to read, then at least examine what I said and the possible solutions. Maybe it will generate some more ideas that you hadn’t considered before. I love dogs of all breeds, and I would love to see the pit bull types become a breed that is accepted into all homes one day. I would love to get some feedback from you about how you disagreed or agreed.

Ur comment is by far the best. It is full of good critique for the writer to chew on.
We a pittie who was returned to shelter because he was too “wild”. Turns out. He was one year old,they kept him in a kennel all day while at work. You keep me like that I’d go wild when you let me out too. He’s a very happy boy and loves to run and play and loves to be with people. He’s so friendly he visits all dogs in the neighborhood on our walks. Loves children. He licks our new granddaughters feet and play nicely with her dog. They partner to let us know when she is crying upstairs. And learned to open the back door to let themselves out.
Teri mannino
That was a very informative article. I have 2 strattfordshire terrier mixes that are absolute jewels! I am constantly bragging about what wonderful dogs they are. I volunteer at a shelter in Atlanta, a non kill facility. Very often, we will have several hundred of dogs in the shelter! Of those dogs, my guess would be almost all of these dogs that come in are bully dogs. It is really sad to see all these dogs just tossed away like trash . Very often people come in and say I don’t want a pit bull
And it always makes me feel sad because my experience has been just the opposite. Having my 2
“Girls” has forever changed the type of dogs I will rescue. I will only adopt a bully for as long as I own dogs, which will be for the rest of my life
Maria K
I had a pitbull before that I fell in love with because of being playfulness and good company. HeroHeroa name is precious. She was cuddling me to keep me warm during the winter. She was my protective dog. She went literally between me and my husband when he was closely leaning towards me with a temper. She was braking at him as if she was telling him to back off. So, this is my proof that pitbull are good breed of dogs. It depends on now the owner brought up these dogs to be a good dog or not. They are friendly because the owners are friendly while the mean feisty dogs are from the same behavior of their owner. Killer dogs because the owners are killers too.
Joni Jones
My 1st pitt.. brought my 1st grandson home from the hospital & my gentle giant walked over 2 the 1 day old baby licked his little face & laid directly in front of his car seat. As 2 say 2 say this isy baby 2! If any1 outside of the family would try 2 touch the baby he’d stand directly in front of him. Never growled at any1 but definitely didn’t want anyone else (that wasn’t trustworthy 2 the dog) 2 touch the baby. Needless 2 say that I’m on my second bully boy!! N he’s amazing. He let’s my oldest grandchildren walk home without pulling or yanking away. He just turned 9months. Of course we got a lot more training 2 look forward to but I love my Pittbull..& so does my 4lbs Chihuahua!! If u beat a person at some point that person will strike back. U beat a dog it’ll probably bite back.. everything in the world needs some more damn love!! Love u Pitt!!!
Joe C
This article is “somewhat” factual…..for example, the only REAL American Pitbull Terrier is the “Gamebred” American Pitbull Terrier, they are overwhelmingly known for their courage or ” gameness” and the bite power of the American Pitbull Terrier is genetic, NOT a breed specific trait. Gamedog breeders target the genetic code that allows for devastating bite AND uncompromising courage. Again, this only applies to the Gamebred American Pitbull Terrier. The ONLY Real American Pitbull Terrier. These breeders also target genetic codes for wrestling ability, intelligence, and long windedness. These dogs are essentially superior in every aspect of K-9 genetics by design. They are NOT bred for appearance and only the best of the best are bred keeping bloodlines as pure as they were 100years ago. Again, this only applies to the Gamebred American Pitbull Terrier.
Ive owned American Pits all my life. I remember when they were called the ” Nanny ” dog. Why were they called that? Because people could trust them to protect thier children. There was one problem. They couldn’t dial 911.
My pits r extremely loving smart and loyal.
I’ve even trained them for water safety. Kids at the beach hold on to thier tales and my babies happley pull them to shore.
I’ll bet many HATERS have met a pit and never even new it. There as smart as thier owners let them b. Mine is our neirhood mascot. Nevertheless she would protect anyone in trouble.
Shannon Moore
Y’all can love them all you want to, I’ll never play put bull roulette band have one..will it be sweet? Will it eat my baby? Yes, I personally know someone who had a sweet family pit, raised from a puppy, no abuse, well trained…until it wasn’t. It crushed her infant’s head, and was halfway through eating the baby girls arm while laying in her swing and mom went to get a bottle. And don’t you dare blame a baby for sleeping in a swing. Last Christmas Eve? Two jumped my co-workers fence, riping her 7 year old grandsons ear off, ripping off his scalp,and damaging his arm. But,of course the owners said they were just big babies! A 77 year old man a couple miles down the road almost lost a leg and had bites from head to toe from 3 attacking him, just talking a walk. Again, not abused pets. Oh! A lady three days ago had to stop her car and help a woman being mauled at 8 am by two that the neighbors had let out to pee, and “don’t know how they got out of the fence”
Look up Logan Braatz. He was killed walking to the bus going to kindergarten. You can say “oh that’s just a few” but those are actual human lives not just casualties to knock off and say but the chihauhas!
There really needs to be someone to stop making excuses and really campaign to better the breed, not assume all are “sweet pitties”
Dogs can be badly bred, mentally unstable, and just born not right. Just like people! But they don’t think like people…so stop assigning human traits to them.
Yes, others bite, yes, it used to be the shephards or dobies or rotties…but the rise in popularity of the pit has led to horrible breeding, over population, ect, which of course tips the scale on the percentage of attacks/killings.
No, I don’t want to see your sweet pittie, hear how great they are, or your lovely stories. I’m busy thinking on the dead and damaged that non of you seem to want to acknowledge
Allen Smith
I owned them all my life and like it says.the canine will only be bad if the owner makes them.hate yhe deed not the breed.everyone listens to all the bad but never the good.if you never owned one dont hate.
Allen Smith
The things that happn to people because of pitbulls or any breed is cause of the owners.i owned pitbulls all my life nd also had a service pitbull.he was great.all mine were great.people that blame the dog especially pitbulls is because of how they train them.remember the saying.hate the deed the breed.
I’m very sorry to hear about all your horrific stories. I don’t know how u seen so much violence. I find it most disturbing. I believe I’d move and move fast. Theirs a lot of dangerous dogs were you live. And of course no one blames the bady. Thats just awful. My prayers go out to you and all the families.
Oscar Acosta
You really are a lying and pathetic person. I and many friends have owned and been around pitties for 50 years.

Never an issue. The only dog bite I ever received was from a Pomeranian.

Beth Price-Almeida
Well, if you don’t want to hear how amazing these dogs are then don’t you think you’re in the WRONG PLACE? But,I will say thank you for pointing out, vehemently, that PEOPLE are responsible for the reputation of these dogs.
Where you said
“but the rise in popularity of the pit has led to horrible breeding, over population, ect, which of course tips the scale on the percentage of attacks/killings.”, placed the problem square with humans. The blind fear and ignorance spread by people who are determined to hate an animal in no position to defend tself, are the creatures to be afraid of.
Wicked Wulf
Please state the new articles on all of that please. Sounds a bit much tbh.
Austin Palmer
Dogs are like people they will do what they were trained to do if left untrained and put into a threatening situation they will attack even if they are well trained when threatened they will attack. You referenced there being bad people in this world but not all of them are of one specified ‘breed’. We don’t ban people from towns and kill them as soon as they enter a town. Instead of raging on a comments section do research on the other side I understand both sides but all dogs are NOT the same.
Im pit bull lover ive raised as of right now i dont have any but looking for a pup. My girlfriends daughter at the time was only 2yrs old my baby Sandie was laying on floor the 2yr old started crawling all over Sandie the gf started to get scared i told her dont worry about it Sandie is a big baby shes not gonna hurt her and all the stories you heard about pit bulls is not true its how they are raised the gf started slowly trusting Sandie my family told her she has nothing to worry about Sandie was grandma’s baby. R.I.P. Sandie we lost her to cancer but she proved one person wrong its how they are raised.
Eilidh Somerville
To allow a child to crawl over a dog is extremely irresponsible and it sounds like you allowed it in order to prove some kind of point. That dog could have reacted in a split second and you wouldn’t have been able to stop it. As for it all being down to how they are raised. Do you really think that all the people whose pits killed/nearly killed them or someone else raised them to be violent like that?
Of course Pitbull is the best and the innocent breed, those people who think that they dangerous or whatever incident came may be due to weather condition that makes this pitbull get irritated or may he/she upset that they want something else but no one is noticing that etc. Forex. If a person claims that, that wolf, tiger or a lion is a man eater it is not true because wolves lion or tiger any wild animals becomes the man eater when there is drought in the their jungle (forest) and in this condition they eat dead bodies of other animals or sometimes dead babies or human which come across sewer or sea for longer periods this also force them to become man eater or sometimes longer periods of hungerness force them to irritation ,anger this also leads to become man eater sometimes they attack people in their defense if they felt threat.eventhough they are innocent animals and natures gift we shouldn’t blame if animals understand everything then why we human call them ANIMAL.
Just like that in the case of Pitbulls rottweiler and other claimed dangerous dogs, firstly think why they attacked what is the reason behind it-did somebody run in front of themfor no reason that what makes them get irritated and tend them to attack, secondly weather condition is not suitable for our dog that force him become angry irritated that tends him to attack this always happens ..Thirdly there are some stupid been seeing that they force dogs to bark at them and bullying them and when dog attacked at them they go to police station that dog had attacked or they started fighting with their owner even they wrong,this kind search people to fight with them.
My dog gives warning if he don’t like the person like grrrrrrrrrrr for longer that makes us understand he is not happy with the person we just ask the person that move a side and don’t touch him….
So there are many reasons frnd don’t just blame them first to know them…. They are natures child don’t blame for no reason Pitbulls are one of the most amazing beautiful dog breeds.
The Staffordshire bull terrier isn’t a pit bull, it’s a separate breed.

Pit bulls are terriers, they are not and have not been mastiffs.
There are a few original breeds that made the apbt aka the pit bull. And it wasn’t mastiff…
The pit bull was bred originally for the sole purpose of dog on dog combat.

Mastiff and anything bigger wouldn’t last long in that sport, they tired to quickly. The only sister breed is the AM STAFF, which was petitioned by Colby..to be accepted by the akc as an am staff verses a pit bull, it was extremely common for winning dogs to be matched or any apbt to be matched after an Akc show.

Bull breeds do not consist of all those mastiff breeds.
ADBA breed standard, can literally tell you about the real breed. Even the UKC. Hell, both the Akc and the adba/ukc breed standard depict, dog on dog aggression is normal and common, where human aggression isn’t acceptable by the breed.

You guys started with decent information and just fell off.

Sargent stubby wasn’t even a pit bull, like the media like the falsely say.

Mastiffs are bully breeds.
Very smart loving dogs but also strong and powerful. Socialization is important. The are the most abused dogs.
Kristen Burlenski
I’m a vet tech one who has worked with dogs of all kinds for my whole life of 40 years. I have NEVER gotten bit by ANY DOG let alone the “fighting” breeds that you all are talking about. To have phobias about certain animals is on you. All animals can sense fear and aggression. It’s a matter of teaching youself how to go about going up to or approaching a dog no matter what breed it may be. I’ve worked at leader dogs for the blind and have seen the worst dog fights and bites from golden retrievers. But yet there are no headlines about that. Bottom line it pisses me off that people judge these poor innocent animals all upon what the news reports. I personally have had a array of dogs from a Cavalier King Charles and yes I have had pitbull mixes and to be honest my pitbulls were a lot sweeter and more approachable then my little dogs. I don’t know it just makes me so upset that people just don’t know the facts and I want to put the facts out there because these innocent animals don’t deserve the shelters that they go into because people are scared and it ends up that these dogs lose their lives because of a stigma that is false.
Joni Jones
My Chihuahua is way more aggressive than my Pitt has ever been!! Let’s just be smart about this.. I won’t put my fingers near a baby’s mouth.. cause that baby will probably bite me! Lol I’ve been bit by baby’s.. but never a dog. But I’m also aware that dogs can be aggravated by certain things & don’t bother with dogs that I don’t know. My cousin was mauled 2 death back in 95.. 16 dogs and not 1 that would be classified under the aggressive breed list we have now!
I love my two girls. They are American terror .Their called Blue nose .Lulu is 8 years and Jazzy is 3 years. I am able to stay home so I’m with them always. They are the love of my life. I was living in apartment with just lulu , and when i found Jazzy, after a month . The manger of the apartment complex asked me to move out . So I got lucky. I went back home again . We have a big house more room and live near the ocean. . They are just sweet, loving dogs. And very smart.
Blue nose isn’t a kind or type, it’s a color of nose leather, there is no blue nose pit bull.
Allen Smith
It is a type hy you think its called that.and yes its nose is blue thats why they call them that.
My blue nose pit Ginger is 1 yr old I was having a nightmare one night and I was whining loud,she came running in the room and licked my face and barked that woke me up, she’s Mama’s Baby my baby love her I know she will try to save my life if needed that’s my house dog friendly as can be protect me,bark when hear strange noise she’s my alarm system thank God for her
That’s why they call them that
Liz Morris
Rocky-our families 95” pit mix was the most emotionally intuitive fella. He loved n watched over our silly 60” boxer Sammy girl, and his love n heart for his humans was undeniable. He was a gentle giant and our BFF. My then, 2yo grandson, bossed him around:). He was a hiker, a travel buddy, a lizard chaser, a professional tail chaser, loved sprinklers n tennis balls and was our gentle friend all the days of his life. He never once made us feel that he was anything but unconditional light n love in 10 yrs. Bone cancer took him this April. He’s forever in our hearts.
Diane White
I am so sorry for ur loss I really know ur pain. I love my animals with all my heart.cherish all the wonder memories and the sweet kisses. God Bless.
So sorry for your loss
I don’t feel that Guest Author (we get no other name) has shone a very clarifying, nor an objective light on the issue.

“Encourage individuals with reservations about Pit Bulls to understand that not all dogs within a certain classification are bred to fight, that upbringing and good breeding can result in a wide range of dispositions. ”

I am a “person with reservations about Pit Bulls”. I of course understand “that upbringing and good breeding can result in a wide range of dispositions.”

And explaining to me that even the Boston terrier is part of the Bully family will not sway me. It will not make me afraid of the Boston terrier, and it will not make my fear of badly raised pit bulls any less.

The fact that only badly raised pit bulls will become a problem really doesn’t help the issue at all.

Dogs should not be bred for fighting purposes. What if people breed yet larger, yet more potentially dangerous dogs? Should these also become a familiar sight in our streets? Where does it stop?

I agree. Dogs should not be bred for fighting. And I have no problem with people not liking pit bulls. I’m afraid of Chihuahuas. What I do have a problem with is people using the false information from places like dogbite.org to pass laws against pit bulls.
Liz Morris
Everything starts with information. Digest it at the levels of your capabilities and limits. There was no suggestion to fear a Boston terrier, but merely a DNA identifier linking the breeds. In any event, most pits in our homes are not pure bred. Most of those 10 million are pit mutts. As responsible citizens we should move away from ALL breeders and towards adoption. Learn what you want, if you chose to embrace only fear, growth is not possible.
My current pit is a small, sweet wiggly girl who gets along with people, cats, dogs and everyone she’s experienced.. She’s a rescue and apparently had a difficult life before adoption given how shut down she was when I got her. My first pit was also a sweet wiggly girl. But she was also dog aggressive. She was ok with familiar dogs but would not have been safe if she’d been allowed off leash. Recently I read in the news about a “vicious” pit bull who attacked a dog and was finally caught by the police.
So many people responded to this as a breed issue instead of an owner issue. The dog aggression might be genetic but the actual attacks are owner lack of responsibility. I suspect that many of the human bites by pit bulls are related to dog owners getting in the way of a loose pit bull attacking their dog. Unfortunately, the pit bull bias doesn’t seem to be changed by the facts.
What town did the attack happen
Sarah Miller
This is a great article. American pitbull terrier is not an umbrella term it’s a breed. Unfortunately so many people mislabeled their bully breeds as “pit mixes” . For that mislabeling the increase of so-called incidences with pitbull bites increase because people just assume without proper DNA testing. Majority of the pit bull attacks are dogs that have not 1 oz of pitbull in them. American pitbull terriers were bred for pit fighting when they first started out but with that notion they were bred not to be human aggressive. A lot of people don’t look up the true history and acknowledge for the breed. Many owners also are uneducated and don’t probably understand the breed they get. I do admire the American pitbull terrier and think they are great dogs for responsible owners. Any dog from a shelter or from a backyard breeder are not true American pitbull terriers nor are they pit mixes. They are mutts or bully mixes. We need to stop mislabeling these dogs because unfortunately it’s increasing attack statistics when the breed isn’t even involved, this is the reason why there’s so many bands/restrictions for bully breeds. If we can’t differentiate these mixes properly how is society supposed to do that?.
Liz Morris
The ‘labeling’ of pit mutts/mixes does not contribute to any negative outcome. Of the 10 million Pits in the US, the majority are mixes. Pit breeds are NOT inherently aggressive. There are some aggressive border collies, poodles. That does not speak to those breeds but rather to their environment, training, or a dogs individual inherent character. Pits Rottweilers German Shepards Doberman Pinschers etc r not inherently dangerous aggressive or wired differently. If a individual dog exhibits aggression it is its owners responsibility to remedy the issue. No excuses No breed differentiation.
Well, my Labrador was just attacked by a Pit Bull yesterday, while we were minding our own business. This was a “nice” pit bull whose owner claimed was the sweetest thing and never had problems with other dogs. He came up on my dog from behind, and then went for the neck.

My dog now has a drain tube in her neck and an expensive vet bill.

I wasn’t a Pit Bull hater until one came up and bit my dog. And I’ll never believe a Pit Bull owner when they say their dog is “nice” again — they are just too unpredictable.

Liz Morris
I’m am very sorry for your experience. The owner must be held fully financially and legally accountable and the dog must be reported. It’s a traumatic experience for both your dog and yourself. It is not your responsibility to factor in the other owners input but rather to ensure that the attacking dog is confined and removed from public access. Your responsibility is to care for your dog and to report the incident. I have been both a non-aggressive pit owner and on the other side of the leash when an unattended dog attacked my grandsons little terrier. You must report the incident.
Kristen Burlenski
I’m very sorry that happened to you and your poor pup. I would blame the owner on this one due to not having her dog fenced in or on a proper leash. Again ANY dog can do the same thing. Anyway I pray your dog is ok and please don’t close your mind open it that any breed can do what that dog did.
Justin United Blue Kennels
There u go judging a whole breed by one incident. And u don’t know if the dog was pure bread or if he just looked it. Again, that is an owner problem, not a breed problem. Keep control of your dog no matter the breed at all times.
Charles Ferguson
I call bullsh/t. You wouldnt be on this article fu©kin wailing. If the owner knew the dog is an alpha..they would have pulled it. I have 2 dogs both alphas and its easy to recognize traits. If the douche couldnt, he doesnt deserve the dog
Stari Byrd
I am so sorry for your dog, and your trauma. I certainly understand your feelings. I hope your dog is recovering well and that the owner of the dog that attacked it is being properly punished and prevented from having other pets. When I was in third grade riding my bicycle through my neighborhood a dog lept over the fence around its own yard and attacked me. Luckily it only was able to get ahold of my ankle. It’s a terrifying experience at any age and I will carry the scars both physically and emotionally. I certainly understand you’re feeling hesitant about the breed even though I love my APBT. I was hesitant when my husband talked about wanting a labrador because all I could see was the face of that dog as it flew over the fence going for me. But I know not all Labradors attack. Even knowing something doesn’t always stop feeling that a traumatic experience initiates.
Brittany Cantara
Around 3 weeks ago, we just adopted a rescue Pittie who is around 4 years old. She is the sweetest, most well-behaved dog I’ve ever owned! Small children can walk up and pet her, and she does great with commands. She comes from South Florida, where Pits are actually banned in some counties. Sadly, this means these sweet dogs are euthanized at an astonishing rate compared to other breeds. Keep educating people and hopefully some day we can stop this tragedy.