By Georgia, K-9 Myth Buster (as transcribed by her mom, Jean Campo)
Hi there! I’m Georgia, Washington Humane Society (WHS) alumnus and K-9 Myth Buster, here to set the record straight about pit bull type dogs!
Myth #1: “Pit bulls” represent a single breed.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASCPA) cites that the term “pit bull” is used to describe several types of breeds that have similar features, including the American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. This is why you’ll see lots of my adoptable friends at WHS identified as “pit bull type dogs.”
Myth Busted: Actually, there is no single breed of dog that identifies as “pit bull.”
Myth #2: Pit Bull Type Dogs are “Inherently Dangerous”
My friend, Scott Giacoppo. WHS Vice President of External Affairs, busts this myth: “The myth that they are inherently dangerous is a flawed statement in so many ways. In the early 1900s, pit bulls were commonly referred to as the ‘nanny dog.’ They enjoyed a wonderful reputation and were commonly used in movie shorts such as ‘The Little Rascals,’ product advertisements like RCA and Buster Brown shoes.
There are so many examples of pit bull type dogs being friendly, playful family pets that all one would need to do is a brief search of local dog parks and animal shelters. WHS has a weekly feature on our social media pages called “Alumni Friday” where we highlight an animal that was adopted from us and is now living happily with their new family. On many occasions, pit bull type dogs are featured alumni showing how well they are doing in the family.”
In fact, the American Temperament Test Society rates American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers at 86.8% and 84.4%, respectively!
Myth Busted: Pit bull type dogs have a history of being a family dog and are not inherently dangerous.
Myth #3: Pit Bull Type Dogs have a “Locking” Jaw
The ASPCA asserts this myth is “patently false. There is nothing unique about the anatomy of pit bull jaws. They do not ‘lock.’”
Further, the American Humane Society confirms that any dog – regardless of breed – can bite and notes that unneutered males are 2.6 times more likely to bite. This is which is why it’s so important to visit the National Capital Area’s Spay & Neuter Clinic to get your dog - or cat - fixed to help calm your dog in addition to help curb the overpopulation of homeless animals.
Myth Busted: The myth that pit bull type dogs have a locking jaw is patently false.
Myth #4: The Washington Humane Society only has pit bull type dogs up for adoption.
WHS takes in each and every animal that walks through their dogs – over 43,000 animals a year! That’s right – absolutely no animal from the District of Columbia is turned away. In order to make sure there’s room for all of us, WHS partners with breed-specific rescues to help re-home the animals. Being DC’s “backyard dog,” there is an abundance of pit bull type dogs in the area, which is why you’ll see so many of us wagging our tails at the shelters.
Myth Busted: WHS takes in EVERY DC dog that walks in the door – regardless of age or breed.
Become a Myth Buster!
Join the K-9 Myth Buster Movement and help spread the truth about pit bull type dogs. Then come on down to New York Avenue or Georgia Avenue to meet – and maybe fall in love – with some of my friends!