What About Pit Bulls | Misunderstood Breed

There is no other dog breed in the world, that gets more attention than Pit Bulls.  I have always had a huge fascination with Pit Bulls as a dog breed.  They have always seemed to me to be a very special breed.

what about pit bulls
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Anytime you hear any talk about Pit Bulls people seem to get fired up very strongly for or very strongly against.  What I find so interesting is why are people so conflicted about this breed.  Has it always been this way?

No other dog breed is more talked about then this breed.  What about Pit Bulls makes them loved or hated?


History of a pit bull

Where does the Pit Bull breed come from.  Well to be honest, they really aren’t an actual breed, but a term used to describe the breed American Pit Bull Terrier breed.

An American Pit Bull Terrier is a purebred dog breed recognized by the American Kennel Club under the name American Staffordshire Terrier or also called the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Back in the day they were one of the most popular dog breeds around.  They were often used by the military as strong mascots due to their physical appearance and fierce strong look.  The military would use them as messenger dogs simply because of their can do attitude.

Their popularity also led them to be used as farm dogs to drive cattle and even as family dogs.

The Pit Bull was brought to England in the 19th century by immigrants from England, Ireland and Scotland.  These dogs are also recognized by the name “Pittie.”


pit bulls

Physical characteristics

The stature and physique of the Pit Bull are unmatched by any other breed.  No other breed looks like a Pit Bull. They have very strong standout features like :

  • strong jaw
  • impressive size heads
  • very large necks
  • muscled hind quarters
  • big gait

When they stand straight up and down they almost look like they are leaning forward because they are standing so proud.  They are very confident, loyal and playful dogs.

They have an average life span of 8-15 years, and a height of approximately 45-53 cm tall with a weight of around 16-30 kg.  Depending on whether your dog is a male or female the size and weight will vary.

They have an extremely strong jaw line with a flat head and ears the generally stand up straight.  There is nothing like the smile you get from a Pit Bull.  It is unlike any other dog.  With an open mouth, it can almost look like they are laughing.


Pit Bulls were originally used for bull baiting and herding purposes as a working dog breed.  Their reputation is one that has led them to be strongly discriminated against over the past many years.

Originally their head strong attitude and working capabilities gave them a very good reputation as a great working breed.  They historically have been known as very courageous and heroic dogs.

Over the past few decades their reputation has taken a serious negative turn.

It all changed when dog fighting rings and criminals took off creating dog fighting as a type of business.

Gambling on dog fighting has become a huge problem in many countries.  For that reason these dogs started to be bred strictly to fight and or be used as bait dogs.  They use aggression training and growing up in abusive environments to train these dogs for their own greed.

pit bull terrier

Because of this type of breeding and environment the dogs quickly got labeled as aggressive and vicious dogs.  Yes these dogs can be trained to attack and injure, but so can many other breeds of dogs.  The breed has been unfairly judged for the work of greedy men and horrible dog breeders.

Yes there at times a Pit Bull gets labeled negatively, but in the same breath, there are many people doing their very best to change that opinion.  Pit Bulls have so many wonderful qualities that seemed to get overlooked. Some of these amazing features are:

  • Affectionate
  • Friendly personality
  • Intelligent
  • Social
  • Gentle
  • Playful
  • Easy to care for

They if trained properly are eager to please and crave attention. They love to be around children and are a wonderful family dog.  Like any dog, you always want to be around to supervise any interaction with dogs and children for everyone’s protection.

Caring for a Pit Bull

Like many dogs Pit Bulls require some very important things to be amazing loving family dogs. Because they are part of a working breed of dog, they do require quite a lot of exercising.  They require 20-30 mins minimum of exercise every single day.

On top of physical exercise, it will important to give them plenty of mental stimulation.  You can incorporate it with the exercise, or separately.  They enjoy things like playing Frisbee, throwing the ball around or you could even go as far as enrolling them in competitive obedience classes.  Agility training is something they do very well with due to their strong body and high energy.

Keeping a Pit Bull busy will make sure that your dog does not become bored.  A bored dog is a destructive dog and do not get tired easily.  Structured obedience training is a great way to make sure your dog learns the proper way to behave and follow rules.  Dogs need to learn good manners around other people and other dogs.

Socializing any type of dog is crucial to ensuring that they will be well-adjusted and happy, but with Pit Bulls it is even more important.  Making sure they get out and are in social environments as soon as possible.  This will help them overcome any bossiness or stubbornness they may have as a puppy.  Teaching them to be playful with other dogs and children in fun happy ways ensures they do not become overprotective or aggressive.

black pit bull

When it comes to grooming your Pit Bull, they really have very low grooming requirements which makes them a low maintenance dog breed.  Not many trips to the groomer like some dogs.

What’s the real truth

The real honest truth about Pit Bulls is that they are amazing and beautiful dogs.  Extremely loyal, affectionate and wonderful family dogs.  Like most dogs, the breed and individual dog is only as good as their owner.  If they are treated, trained, loved and treated with respect can be the best dogs in the world.

I spend 7 years living in Ontario in Eastern Canada, where Pit Bulls are not allowed.  Every other province in Canada does not ban the ownership of a Pit Bull.  In the US, there are many states that have bans like Ontario, but it is a state by state legislation.  So make sure that before you inquire about getting a Pit Bull that you know the rules and regulations where you live.

Pittie dog

I will never understand how you can hold a breed of dogs responsible for ever dog in that breed.

Yes I realize that the odd Pit Bull dog has been responsible for attacking people at times in history.  I just don’t believe that saying that every dog in the breed is the exact same dog with the exact same issues.  It just doesn’t make logical sense.  Well what about Pit Bulls?  To me any dog brought up in a loving, happy, environment with proper training and socialization will not grow up to be a vicious dog, let alone a killer.

If you are seriously considering Pit Bulls as the breed for you, do your homework to see if it is a good fit for you and your lifestyle.  They are a serious commitment and huge responsibility, so think long and hard.  There are many Pit Bulls in different states and provinces that are in need of being rescued to a forever home right now, so please help if you can.


18 thoughts on “What About Pit Bulls | Misunderstood Breed”

  1. I definitely agree with the topic of this article. We have a boxer, but some of my favorite dogs that my friends have are pitties. They are indeed a misunderstood breed! I can’t really say I know why this is so specific to pit bulls, but I think it really comes down to nature versus nurture. I don’t think pit bulls are overly aggressive or mean by nature, but maybe they tend to be owned by folks who want them to be guard dogs and protective than other breeds. What do you think?

    • Hi Tucker,

      I absolutely agree with you that many Pit Bull owners get them for all the wrong reasons.  Nurture is the key.

      Unfortunately many dog owners get Pit Bulls as guard dogs and to them that means making them vicious by utterly being horrible to them.  I believe in training them with respect, love and like you said nurture.  They deserve to have a safe, happy home.

      Thank you so much for sharing on my post and for your comments.

  2. I can’t say that I am a fan of pit bulls but I don’t really have a reason other than I don’t like the look of them, which I understand is a silly reason. I tend to prefer the larger breeds of dogs. I do believe however that any dogs character and behaviour is a result of how they are brought up/treated by their owners. Same with children really.

    Any Dogs will be great pets or work animals depending on how they are treated and trained. They have a bad reputation herein the UK because of their history as fighting dogs but treated differently they are just as soft and loving as many popular breeds.

    • Hi Louise,

      Hey no worries that Pit bulls are your favourite dog, we all have breeds that we love.

      I absolutely love Labradoodles and I had my boy Finn for almost 11 years. He was the best boy ever and I never knew anything about them before I got him.

      I would love to get a Pit bull in the future. Then I am sure that as long as you love, respect and teach your dog well, they can all be a great dog. 

      Thank you for your comments on my post. I appreciate it.


  3. I just rewatched Ceasar Milan and most of the time that I learned from his show is that we do not train our dogs the right way that is why they express the bad behaviors. Awe I have no idea that they are called Pittie as well, so cute. My brother in law has a pit bull named Baxter. I have to say that he is the smartest and the most gentle dog I have ever met. He is great with my dog Shiro (a husky) and also great with my cat (Sno Sno). All three of them played together all the time and I have never seen any bad aggressive behavior from Baxter at all. Like I said it is all about the training. The most important part is that before you decide to get a dog or rescue one, you have to make sure that the breed will fit with you and you know how to train them as well. Most of the time the dog reacts a certain way are just because we let them behave that way.

    • Hi Nuttanee,

      So great to hear from you and Shiro.  I love that your brother has a Pit Bull and that his name is Baxter. LOL! Too cute.

      Sounds like your brother did all the right things to ensure that Baxter was a wonderful successful family dog.  It absolutely drives me crazy when people get a dog, and have no idea about the breed they get.  Then when they are unhappy, they blame the dog.  More chances then not, they just picked the wrong breed for them.

      Thank you as always for your comments and letting me know all about Shiro’s other friends. HAHA!


  4. Coralie, you have educated me on the pit bull. I agree with you that it is a misunderstood dog breed. Much of it due to the perception and stories we hear about how aggressive this dog is. However, what we do not see is the bottom of the iceberg, how this do is used and abused by humans with their selfish objectives. We use it to our benefit and then blame the dog for its behavior. I guess the circumstances and the relationship between owner and dog will have a lot of influence in the ultimate behavior of the dog. We fear what we do not understand. Thanks for your piece on the pit bull.

    • Hi Stanley,

      It is great to hear that you found my post educational and learned something new about the Pit Bull. Perception of the breed is certainly the one thing I am hoping to achieve with this post.  Spreading positive feedback about the breed is important to me.

      Ultimately dog owners are responsible for their dogs behaviour.  A dogs behaviour definitely comes from their owner and how they are raised.

      Thank you for your comments on my post.


  5. It is true that pit bulls have a negative reputation. Reading your article convinced me that it is indeed not fair that all the breed should have such a bad etiquette. It’s like stating that all humans are bad because some commit crimes.  As you mention, it is the owners’ responsibilty to care and train them properly. At any time, their wild instinct can resurface. They look so adorable!! 

    • Hello,

      You are so right, that it is not fair that any dog breed gets a negative wrap for some of them being raised by terrible people.  That was one of the reasons that I wanted to write this post.  I think it is important to try to spread the word and hopefully over time change even a few peoples mind.

      Thank you for your thoughts and for sharing.


  6. Yeah, thanks for this great article about pit bulldogs. I got my pitbull dog when he was a puppy and I trained him in a very sociable manner. He is very friendly and plays around my children always, although sometimes if he is bored he acts very aggressive which I think a lot of dogs do that too.  I think the pit bulldogs are a very good breed to get at your home they are very calm and friendly depending on the way you breed them, thanks for this great post.

    • Hi Rose,

      Wow lucky you that you have a pit bull. I really love the breed.  Sounds like you have done all the right things with your boy, so great job.

      Any dog that gets bored, can lead to trouble, no matter what the breed is. This always seems to be the case and keeping your dog busy can go along way in keeping them out of trouble.

      Thank you for sharing your story with me and for your comments.


  7. I didn’t know much about the breed. I used to know the breed to be a very strong breed that is used by the police. Around here, they are also called the police dog. I like the fact that you can explain the difference between the notion of this and that of others. I might get one Pitbull one of this days. I guess if they are well bred, they will make good companions.

    • Hi Henderson,

      Yes they sure are a great breed and would make a fabulous companion. I am glad that you found out more information about the breed than you knew before. That means that I did my job on this post.

      Thank you so much for sharing on my post.


  8. How long I know, the Pit Bull can be traced back to the early 1800’s in the United Kingdom. Pit Bulls were originally bred from Old English Bulldogs who gained their popularity on the British Isles in a cruel blood game known as “bull baiting”. One to two Bulldogs were set to tease a bull for hours until the animal collapsed from fatigue, injuries or both. These tournaments were held for the entertainment of the struggling classes; a source of relief from the tedium of hardship.

    • Hello,

      Well thank you for sharing all that you know about Pit Bulls with me.  That sounds just completely unfortunate that back then this is how this poor breed was treated. 

      They certainly over history have been forced to be part of such horrible circumstances.  Then we wonder why their is suck a big stigma around them.


  9. Pit bulls are one of my most favourite breed of dogs and like many other people, I used to think that they are wild and should not be called dogs until I saw the dog with a friends cousin and fell in love with it. They really are compassionate and very loyal as well. I really like the dog very much and I hope that people try to understand the fantastic breed. Nice post.

    • Hi John,

      Pit Bulls really are such wonderful dogs.  It is so great to hear that you thought one way about the breed, until you met one.  Their reputation always seems to come ahead of the actual dog and it’s own personality.

      Getting to know a breed is the only true way to give them a fair shake. Hearing someone else’s story, is sadly, but not your story.  Thank you for sharing your positive story about Pit Bulls and putting comments on my post.



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