Pit Bulls Are Just About the Nicest Dogs There Are

“The overwhelming majority of pits and pit mixes are sweet goofballs,” the ASPCA writes on their blog.

While many have caught on about pit bull myths and facts, there will always be people who refuse to distinguish truth from media hype.  We may have missed Pit Bull Awareness Month, but we never miss an opportunity to help the public learn and love more about pit bulls.  So have a read, share this article with others, and share your pibble tales with us!

The overwhelming majority of pits and pit mixes are sweet goofballs,” the ASPCA writes on their blog.

 11.8.13 - Pit Bull Myths

Bred to Love: The Truth About Pit Bull Terriers (courtesy of the SPCA Serving Erie County)

Dispelling Common Myths About Pit Bull Terriers

The pit bull terrier is the breed most likely to bite.

NO! According to the American Temperament Test Society, in 2012, 86.8% of American Pit Bull Terriers passed society tests that measure stability, aggressiveness, friendliness, and protectiveness. 85.2% of golden retrievers and 80.1% of collies passed these tests.

Pit bull terriers bite or attack more than any other breed of dog.

NO! Despite all the studies on dog bites, the
American Veterinary Medical Association has found that no single breed is more dangerous than another. Rather, studies show the most popular breeds at any given time tend to top the list because there are more of those dogs in the general population.

Pit bull terriers have locking jaws.

NO! According to
Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, Ph.D., senior research scientist at the University of Georgia and an expert in training, handling, behavior, and the anatomy of bull dog breeds, “The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles, and teeth of [American Pit Bull Terriers] show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is no different than that of any [other] breed of dog. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of ‘locking mechanism’ unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier.”
Source: American Dog Breeders Association

Pit bull terriers have more bite pressure than any other breed.

NO! According to Dr. Brisbin (referenced above), “To the best of our knowledge, there are no published scientific studies that would allow any meaningful comparison to be made of the biting power of various breeds of dogs. All figures describing biting power in such terms can be traced to unfounded rumor.”

pibble smile

Here are a few other facts, courtesy of Pit Sisters:

According to the Humane Society of the United States, pit bulls are the “most abused, misunderstood dog breed,” comprising an estimated 70% of dogs housed and euthanized in urban animal shelters (HSUS).

Pit bulls were known in the early 1900s as “nanny dogs” because they were tolerant and gentle with children. Helen Keller’s dog, “Sir Thomas” was a pit bull, and so was “Petey,” the canine mascot of the Little Rascals (Yahoo! News).

• “Pit bull” isn’t a breed; it’s a label used to describe multiple breeds including the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bulldog (ASPCA).

Breed-specific policies (including shelter euthanasia) and legislation (bans) focus on a dog’s looks, rather than its actual breed (as determined by a DNA test). People generally misidentify a dog’s breed 75% of the time (Denver Post). (Would you know a pit bull if you saw one? Play Find the Pit Bull.)

Boxers, bullmastiffs, and bulldogs are commonly mistaken for pit bulls (ASPCA).

Pit bull bites draw more media attention than bites by other breeds. In a four-day study of dog-bite reportage, the National Canine Research Council found an anti-pit bull media bias. Each of three separate fatal attacks by non-pit bull breeds was mentioned only once or twice in local papers. Comparatively, one non-fatal pit bull attack was covered over 230 times in national and international newspapers, and on major television networks including CNN, MSNBC and FOX (ASPCA).

A study by Dr. Brady Barr of National Geographic found the bite pressure (PSI) of a pit bull is less than that of a German Shepherd or Rottweiler (The Pit Bull Placebo).

As terriers, pit bulls bite and hold, whereas other breeds bite and release repeatedly. Dog fighters created bite sticks to disengage pit bulls quickly and efficiently. These sticks are ineffective and dangerous when used with other breeds that snap erratically (Pit Bull Rescue Center).

Nearly 50 dogs from Michael Vick’s “Bad Newz Kennels” were released to sanctuaries to be rehabilitated. Despite abuse and torture, many have been successfully adopted (NPR).


Here are some fun facts – they are unsubstantiated by experts, but pibble parents can attest to these truths:

Pit bulls are born sweethearts, but early socialization and training is key if they are to have any manners. 

They weren’t bred to fight each other, but they are terriers, which means they like to dig and hunt for rodents and other small creatures.

They are smarter than people give them credit for. Puppies can be finished paper training by 4-5 months. 

Pit bulls help ease depression and anxiety.

They are loyal, and will do anything to be loved and given attention.

Every pit bull is different when it comes to water. Some could happily live in a lake chasing ducks, while others refuse to go outside and get their tootsies wet if it’s sprinkling.

Pit bulls have some of the most expressive faces of all dogs.  You will always know what your dog is thinking, because it will be written on his face.

Some have limitless energy, and others are couch potatoes, but generally they’re just happy to be doing whatever you’re doing.

This guy used to be a bit scared of pit bulls, but that was before he met Spartacus, the 65-lb lap beast who likes to "claim" people by laying on their chests and not letting them leave.
This guy used to be a bit scared of pit bulls, but that was before he met Spartacus, the 65-lb lap beast who likes to “claim” people by laying on their chests and not letting them leave.


Pit bulls break stereotypes every day. Many people who have only seen horrific news articles are afraid of pit bulls, believing they are all ticking timebombs. People who get to know pit bulls usually find that the ones raised in homes with love and training are very friendly and gentle.

Pit bulls are lap beasts.

Two of their favorite activities are snuggling and smooching.

Many pit bulls are bladder camels, and prefer to stay cozy in bed rather than go outside at 6 am, even if they haven’t gone out since 6 pm the night before.

There is no need for a garbage disposal if you have a pit bull.

When healthy table scraps are part of their diet, they are less likely to search for garbage can goodies they feel they have been deprived of.

Good-natured, family pit bulls make terrible guard dogs, because they are always happy to make a new friend.

They can sleep right through a break-in, but will hide from thunder.

Pit bulls are always entertaining, and many are terrific party guests.


Adopt one (or twelve) today!

silly pit bull




43 thoughts on “Pit Bulls Are Just About the Nicest Dogs There Are

  1. “Pit Bulls Are Just About the Nicest Dogs There Are”

    Not to other dogs. Hundreds of youtube videos exist of pitbulls mauling shih tzus and the like. Can’t find that with any other breed.

    1. You’re an IDIOT! When I take my pit bull out for walks, why is it other people’s dogs bark aggressively at my dog. which is a pit, and all he does is want to make friends? Labs are more aggressive than pit bulls! You know why you don’t see any “good” pit bull videos? YOU don’t look for them, you instantly go online and search ” pit bull attacks” don’t act like that isn’t what you do, as there are TONS of videos with pits playing well with people and other dogs!

      1. pit bulls are wouderfull and nice dogs my friend has three and hey are so nice pit bulls only get mean when there oner is meani love pitbul people thing my healer is a pit bull this one person was walking hergray hounds and my dog aw them and bolt only because she loves people and other dogs that person yeld her lungs out at me because she thaught it was pit bull well thats what dog faces wil look like shesh IF YOU HATE PIT BULLS YOU HATE YOUYR OWN FRIKEN DOG PEOPLE ADJUST THE WORLD

          1. Oho, how original. I have a pitbull myself. When I first learned that we had a dog, I was so excited. Then I learned it was him, and that was basically the worst disappointment of my life back then. He was pretty much starving and his ribs were showing, but he was so rude and bounced around so much that it became extremely annoying. All I wanted was for him to leave. I won’t deny it, I was pretty mean to him even though my sisters loved him and they’d protect him whenever I’d try to drag him off the couch or kick him in the butt when he was being a greedy hog. I often hit him on the head. But you know what? He still loved me, even though I was so cruel to him. Every day when I came home from school, he’d be waiting at the door for me, wagging his tail happily. I’d say, “GO AWAY YOU STUPID MUTT,” and smack him, but he’d still happily follow me around. I know better now. He’s the best dog anyone could ever ask for.

      2. I’ve never owned a pit bull but I think the reason so many people think pit Bulls are a aggressive is because people make them out this way or have trained them this way

  2. Too bad people that lose a loved one to a bite and hold aggressive pit bull type dog could not sue all involved with this article. I am sure pit bulls are nice dogs but one never knows if the dog is the one that is going to attack. I can see why the media is biased considering 13 humans have been killed by pit bulls this year. Sad that you are promoting this breed to people with innocent children.

      1. pit bulls are wouderfull and nice dogs my friend has three and hey are so nice pit bulls only get mean when there oner is meani love pitbul

    1. You never know if ANY dog will bite you, stop buying into the media GARBAGE!!!!! You know at one time the media laughed at global warming don’t you? Of course not, because you are a sheep which believes anything the media says. Hey, I have lake front property in death valley, want to buy it?

  3. I foster dogs and learned how sweet these pitties are, getting past the stereotype. All dogs need training and any dog abused, including by being left alone with no human contact, will be mean. Dogs in packs will revert to pack mentality. At Rochester Animal Services they have a play yard where dogs get to play together supervised. The pit mixes just play play play.

    My shepherd/husky mix killed a feral cat right in front of me years ago. I was so upset but that was natural for him. He had gotten out and there was nothing I could do to stop him.

    The lesson is that well trained dogs are great. Dogs aren’t people though, so you have to have boundaries, discipline and affection in that order. (Yeah, I said it!) /Thanks Cesar and RIP Daddy./

    Love my Blanca dog, Milk Bone who looks just like Petey and Rosey the deaf pitbull who could lick you to death with love.

  4. Typical. Can’t handle the truth about pit bulls. Just be careful with your pits around your babies and children please. I can’t stand the news stories that I see so often about pit bulls attacking and/or killing children. Also, be a responsible owner and keep your pit from roaming loose and endangering innocent people.

    1. Why is that you only have opinions about Pit Bulls? Do you not tell everyone with a dog to be careful around children? Is it okay for other breeds to run loose? Why do you single out the Pit Bull? I have an American Pit Bull Terrier that has never bit anyone. That damn dog has more friends than me.

    2. As expected, a revision of Castle Rock’s animal code that removes its pit-bull ban passed on first reading at the town council’s regular meeting on April 17. And research conducted as part of the proposal offers a strong argument for why pits shouldn’t be singled out for prohibition. According to statistics for Castle Rock and surrounding communities, several other types of dogs, including some of the favorite breeds in Colorado and America as a whole, are much more likely to bite people, and bite them severely, than are pit bulls.

      The introduction to the stats acknowledges that there’s no definitive way to know how many pit bulls and pit bull crosses (meaning dogs that are deemed to have 51 percent of the breed’s genetic makeup based on visual inspection) are currently living in Castle Rock. However, of the roughly 600 bites catalogued by Castle Rock animal control over the past ten years, only twenty involved pit bulls or pit-bull crosses. None of the 21 bites deemed “severe” involved pits.

  5. look at the caption: “Here are some fun facts – they are unsubstantiated by experts, but pibble parents can attest to these truths”: do what you want with these dogs, but PLEASE stay out of my neighborhood…..

  6. I am an animal lover who works with both dog and cat rescue groups, and frankly, this article makes me sick.

    Twenty years ago, I was a first responder to a scene which still gives me nightmares. We were told it was a dog bite, but when we arrived, we found what had *actually* happened was that a visitor had approached a house and knocked on the door…and was mauled by the owner’s two pit bulls. This was a frequent and expected visitor; the dogs had met and played with him several times before that day. The man had, from all accounts, made absolutely no antagonizing moves whatsoever.

    All around this lovely little white-picketed front yard were gobbets of raw flesh and fragments of body parts, along with splashes of blood on the fence and house where the man had tried desperately to pull himself away from the dogs. I’ve seen raw sides of meat in slaughterhouses which looked less brutalized than the victim did.

    I only wish I was lying or exaggerating. I only wish I didn’t still have screaming nightmares about what I saw.

    Further, our neighbor a block over had a pit bull which escaped the back yard. We caught him with our next door neighbor’s cat, which had been let out to go to the bathroom.

    And two weeks ago, a friend of ours who is an animal control officer in our city (and an avid no-kill activist, I might add) was walking with her 5 year old daughter when her daughter was attacked by a pit bull someone had allowed to run free. The child’s arm is going to be permanently scarred, the hospital bills are in the thousands, and the owner is taking NO responsibility for it.

    Maybe it is the owner, but the fact is, you just can’t present these dogs as a no-risk proposition.

    Go on and vote this down. I notice that any naysayer is around here. But the truth is the truth, and you are misrepresenting it.

  7. Yes the problem is the owners BUT that also indicts the Pit Bulls themselves.

    With all the dog and other pet breeds available, anyone who chooses a pit bull is choosing a potentially dangerous animal for the very reason that it is dangerous.

    Not even those who pretend they are rescuing one are telling the truth because by rescuing one they are letting some other less dangerous animal be put to sleep in its place that they could have rescued instead.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Sharks are really nice too, but they also don’t belong around people. Let’s just imprison everyone who pretends pit bulls are OK pets, because their touchy feely nonsense isn’t keeping people, especially children, from being mauled, disfigured for life, even killed.

    Sorry but your sentiments don’t trump real. suffering.


  8. I don’t get why people talk about Pitbulls like they are wild animals…

    ANY dog can be vicious and attack someone. And, as the article mentions, there are many instances where dogs are incorrectly identified as a “pitbull” when they are a Presa Canario or a bulldog. Sometimes a dog looks like a pit and it is called that by the media even if it has no pit in him. So keep that in mind when you look at statistics. Also, pitbull is an umbrella term, which leads to unfair representation. I’d like to see a study that divided “pitbull” attacks by specific breed (ie, APBT stats vs American Bulldog stats vs Staffordshire Terrier stats etc).

    St Bernards, Great Danes, German Shepards and Presa Canario are among breeds that are potentially, just as large, strong, and dangerous as pits can be.

    Lastly, the article also mentions an anti-pitbull bias, reporting of a pitbull attack gets far more coverage than attacks of other animals, so keep that in mind as well. ALL dogs can (potentially) attack w/o notice. I see it all the time walking my hound, but the media has trained you to fear or loathe anything that even appears to be pit-like.

    Read “Breed was not one of the factors identified” section:

    The issue comes from Pits being favorited by people looking for a scary/powerful dog (gangsters, criminals, dogfighters) who mistreat their dog AND loving owners who are not being properly training their pooch, and/or owners not noticing signs of possible aggression in their dog before an attack.

    HOWEVER, I will concede that pits are one of the most powerful breeds, but you should be cognizant around all dogs anyway.

  9. http://images.bimedia.net/documents/Dog+attack+stats+with+breed+2012.pdf

    stats by ACTUAL breed.. down to breed, breed/breed, breed/mix.

    It’s no close race.. pit attacks are over 4x!!!! the 2nd place breed (1985 pits / 481 rotts)..3rd is 93!.
    In FATAL attacks, JUST under half of ALL attacks were pit bulls (209 pit / 261 ALL others)

    I bear scars on my hands where I fought for my life after stepping in to save 2 kids just walking down the street from 2 pit bull terriers that had slipped under their owners fence. It was an upscale neighborhood, friendly owners, beautiful dogs.. but they were out to kill that day….

    I’m not saying to ban them.. but I will tell you that even prior to that day, pits have always been the breed I’m most careful around. I’m a parent now.. NEVER will there be a pit in MY home.. and when my kids pet one elsewhere, I make sure I’m RIGHT there, same level, watching EVERY muscle/move of that dog.

    Do I know many pits that are complete pushovers? Of course! My own GSD is such a baby.. but have you seen a Russian trained GSD?.. Just the same.. every breed has it in them.. but I have seen it come out of pits in a more deadly way than any other breed.

    STOP pushing that ALL pits are perfect.. STOP acting like they are safer than bunnies… instead, teach people that ALL breeds should be approached with caution. Talk to the owner before you touch an animal. Teach your kids to be cautious when ANY dog is roaming the street. NEVER let your guard down around ANYONE else’s dog… if it isn’t in YOUR home, WITH you, EVERY day.. it’s dangerous.
    Yes, statistically, it’s the ones living with the animal that are bitten when you take the statistics from the whole board.. but outside of the home, it’s pits leading the chart.

    Grow up, pits are dangerous.. so are my GSDs.. and I make sure that people know it.

    1. According to the CDC (center for desease control and prevention) which is where all fatal dogs attacks are recorded, in the last 20 years there were more deaths by Rottweiler’s than pit bulls. Further more pit bulls actually encompass any number of breeds in which people feel are pit bulls i.e. boxers, stattfordshire terriers, american bull dogs, bull mastiffs…and the list goes on to incoprate various mix breed dogs. So of course if one group is represented by multiple breeds you would expect the rate to be higher. My brother takes in rescue dogs of any breed one of which was a pit bull, which he still has he’s the biggest baby, he got loose when my brother moved to a new house and protected an elderly lady when a rottweiler tried to attack her. A neighbor witnessed what happened and called the cops ,the cops took both dogs in and my brothers dog would’ve been put down due to this stigma that all pit bulls are vicious if that elderly lady wouldn’t have shown up for court to tell them what actually happened because the cops didn’t bother to get her statement. To say that one breed is bad because of certain cases is as ignorant as saying a certain race is bad. I could go on about stories where a pit bull was put down but I have a feeling that most would not read it, and probably won’t read this comment, I just think that its sad how narrow minded people can be.

  10. I live alone, in rural Minnesota, no nearby neighbors. Two dogs from animal shelters live with me in my house… Maggie is a Labrador/Whippet cross, is about 14 years old, does not bark and has been my constant companion for 9 years; Rizzo is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is about 2 1/2 years old, does not bark and has been my constant companion for 1 year.

    My only criteria for a companion dog is ‘no barking allowed’. I communicate with whispered commands or hand signals. No yelling, no punishment… ever. Both dogs obey me because they want to please me. This has been a relatively recent decision on Rizzo’s part.

    Maggie is everyone’s friend. Until recently, Rizzo was nobody’s friend; now, he is my best friend and constant companion. I am his ONLY friend, and he follows me everywhere, inside and out. If I’m up and around, Rizzo is somewhere nearby, watching me closely.

    When we go to the vet for shots, I hold Rizzo while the nurse gives him the shot. No problem that way, but impossible if I’m not present…

    Somehow, Maggie and Rizzo have come to agreement in the past few months. But Maggie is the only other dog allowed around me…

    When I take the dogs to a nearby dog park, I always keep Rizzo on a leash. He seems to get along well with smaller dogs, except Jack Russell terriers 🙂 But bigger dogs, like boxers or German shepherds, should just stay away…

    In my current situation. Rizzo is a wonderful companion. But I’d be on double alert if small children were visiting. Rizzo is simply not a good companion in a family residential area… my honest opinion.

  11. I have a blueness pit and she is a serious goofball – more interested in giving dog kisses than acting aggressively towards anything (ok, she does towards display an attitude pigeons…I mean dumpster chickens).

    But some info here is wrong. Just because the ASPCA says it, doesn’t mean it’s true.

    American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers are essentially (genetically) the same breed. Bull Terriers and English Bulldogs are entirely different breeds altogether (and don’t even look like pit bulls). But people will make mistakes.

    And Pit Bulls tend to vary when it comes to bladder control. My pit (Peasie) has a puppy’s bladder.

    And Pit Bulls are NOT “garbage disposals!” Please, PLEASE, help dispel this myth. Many pits have intestinal problems and should NOT be given “people” food. No dog should.

    And believe it or not – people who spend a lot of time trying to dispel myths about the pit bull don’t like admitting this – is that one of the things pit bulls were originally bred for was fighting (more specifically it was the Irish Red – the origin of the “red nose” pit bull, in fact).

    If you raise a pit bull in a loving family the dog’s true nature will come out. My pit Peasie is nothing more than a cupcake. All sweetness. 🙂

  12. No thay ar not it get me soo mad coz in the eyes it how ya bring dogs up if you going to treat tham like shit what do you expect thay ar just like as in away so start doing ya jobs rite get the ppl who make puppies just to bring tham up to kill and make sure thay can’t do it again not a fine n the dog put down make tham pay for what thay put that dog though it make me sick how ppl all ways say it the dog na take a look around ya thay some sick ppl out who can’t look after thay dogs is place need chageing I know ppl not going to like what I put but it the truth

    1. No thay ar not it get me soo mad coz in my eyes it how ya bring dogs up if you going to treat tham like shit what do you expect thay ar just like as in away so start doing ya jobs rite get the ppl who make puppies just to bring tham up to kill and make sure thay can’t do it again not a fine n the dog put down make tham pay for what thay put that dog though it make me sick how ppl all ways say it the dog na take a look around ya thay some sick ppl out who can’t look after thay dogs is place need chageing I know ppl not going to like what I put but it the truth and pit bulls ar love my mate got a pit bull and he every had to worry coz the pit bull been treated gd n been lv ppl don’t get thay will treat you the same way as you treat tham and any dog can kill not just pit pull I wish ppl would stop blame dogs n look why it happened in the first place ppl don’t all ways see dog owners treat thay dog bad n dog have not got a voice so how can thay let you know that happened to tham

  13. i have a pit bull she is a babe that’s her name if you hate pits you never met one i saved 15 pit bulls from people abusing them they have never bit anyone so hate to brake it to you PITS ARE THE #1 NICEST DOG BREEDS IDIOTS.

  14. I fostered a pitbull that was deprived of socialization for 5 years! At the end of 6 months she is the sweetest dog of the village were I live. Animals end up being according to how we treat them

  15. We recently rescued a dog from one of those rescue shelters. They lied to us and told us he was a Black mouth Cur. We didn’t even know what that was! We looked it up but when we picked up the dog he didn’t look anything like a black mouth cur! When we took him to the vet for his first check up she told us he was pit bull lab mix. It did make me nervous to know he was part pit bill but only because we didn’t know what his previous owner did to him. He’s scared of everything! ! All noises scare him he is scared to go for walks all he wants to do is hide in the closet upstairs! ! We’ve had him since April so a few months and I feel like he’s getting a little better trusting us.

  16. are you guys living a dream world aren’t you, yes other dogs are more likely to bite yes, like the weiner dog, but of those how many result in deaths… pit bulls account for more than 70% deadly dog attacks on people, and yes, they are not even close to being the top popular dog… do your math… if you can.

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