The first thing to understand is that an American Pit Bull Terrier is a specific breed, but that the term “pit bull” is often used to cover a vast array of breeds, and in fact, many dogs labeled “pit bulls” are actually mutts with a wide and varied pedigree. This is why it’s so important to judge dogs by their individual personalities and behavior, rather than their label. Not only are pit bulls capable of being perfectly sweet and affectionate dogs, but when mixed with other breeds, you never know what personality traits from which breed the dog will end up with.
They Don’t Have Locking Jaws
A rumor has been spread that pit bulls have jaws that will lock shut when biting their prey or target. In fact, a pit bull’s jaw is structured much like any other dog’s jaw. That said, pit bulls are not only strong, but also notoriously stubborn, which could explain how this “locking jaw” rumor got started. Their tenacious nature is more likely to be the true cause of the unlikelihood that they’ll let go of anything once they’ve managed to get hold of it.
They Are Not More Likely Than Other Dogs to Bite
As for the common misconception that pit bulls are more prone to biting than other dogs, that’s also false according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Controlled studies have found that pit bulls are no more dangerous than other breeds.
While reports of dog bites do sometimes indicate a higher rate of bites from pit bulls, there are a few reasons to take these numbers with a big grain of salt, including the issue mentioned above: not all dogs labeled “pit bulls” are actually pit bulls. That means a dog of another breed could have bitten someone and they reported it as being a pit bull. Second, minor dog bites that don’t require medical attention often go unreported, especially bites from small dogs and puppies – that said, you should always report a dog bite, however minor. If the dog has rabies or the would gets infected, you’ll want the owners information and the number of an excellent personal injury attorney.
It’s the Human, Not the Dog, That’s the Problem
Ask just about any dog trainer, veterinarian, or animal rescue professional, and they’ll all say the same thing: a dog’s breed doesn’t matter nearly as much as how it’s handled. Just like humans can be raised to be aggressive and violent, or calm and empathetic, dogs can be raised to attack each other (and/or people) or they can be raised to be gentle, loving dogs that can be a great addition to any family. This is why we hold the humans accountable when a dog bites and why a good personal injury attorney will fight to make sure they pay for the damages their dog inflicted.
They Love People
Pit bulls that have been properly raised can actually be among the most affectionate dog breeds, beating out beagles, golden retrievers, and corgis in terms of their need for cuddles. Pit bulls are also very eager to please, which can make them easy to train, despite their stubborn nature.
In fact, their eagerness to please can be a detriment when they fall into the wrong hands. A pit bull that is encouraged to fight other dogs or attack people will do just that if their human rewards them for such aggressive behavior. This is why it’s so important to hold owners and handlers accountable when a dog does bite someone. If you’ve recently been bitten – by any breed – call us today to make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.