October – National Pit Bull Awareness Month

This is a difficult topic. Pit Bulls. It shouldn’t have to be, but it is.

There is a whole month dedicated nationally to this breed of dog and the great things about them and yet there is so much misinformation and anger surrounding this breed that is so unnecessary. I will give you the facts though, as I have found them from reputable information sources, and hopefully some of the confusion may become clear.

The name Pit Bull is often a term used to speak of a generalized group of dogs that are “bully breeds”. Among this group is often included Staffordshire Terriers, Bulldogs and Mastiffs. There is in fact a specific breed called American Pit Bull Terrier. The photo above is of Penny, she is an American Pit Bull Terrier (APT). She is also among some of the most well behaved and happy dogs I have ever met.

Penny loves her ball.

Because of the actions of a few dogs that are like her, whether APT or a mix of that or possibly a completely different breed altogether, this breed of dog and her cousins are demonized as aggressive and dangerous. So, I did some research.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), statistically speaking, Chihuahuas are actually the breed most commonly associated with dog bites. While Pit Bull Terriers are among the top ten of most reported dogs to bite… they are among several other breeds as well that are not villainized and scrutinized as closely as PBTs. Aside for Chi’s and PBTs dog bite incident to the CDC, among the top reported dogs are also :

Bulldog, German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Lhasa Apso, Jack Russell Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Bull Terrier, Pekingese and Papillion

Here are some more tidbits to chew on…. (sorry for the pun)

  • Over 30 breeds and dog-types were associated with dog bite-related fatalities
  • Most dog bites involve dogs who are not spayed or neutered
  • 25% of fatal attacks were inflicted by chained dogs of many different breeds
  • 6,244 U.S. Postal Service employees suffered from dog bites in 2017 from over 60 different breeds.

While PBTs have a strong jaw as stated in many news reports when a “pitbull” like dog was involved in an injury, there are several breeds that have stronger jaw strength and could potentially inflict more damage. With this said, there are well behaved and happy dogs of these breeds just as there is with PBTs, especially when paired with responsible owners… Here you will find breed and jaw strength as PSI (pounds per square inch) (Reported by PetComments.com)

  1. Kangal: 743 PSI
  2. American Bandogge: 731 PSI
  3. Cane Corso: 700 PSI
  4. Dogue De Bordeaux: 556 PSI
  5. Tosa Inu: 556 PSI
  6. English Mastiff: 556 PSI
  7. Dogo Canario: 540 PSI
  8. Dogo Argentino: 500 PSI
  9. Wolfdog: 406 PSI
  10. Leonberger: 399 PSI
  11. Akita Inu: 350-400 PSI
  12. Rottweiler: 328 PSI

While on my journey as a pet photographer, I have to say that my encounter with any dog, cat or other pet has been nothing but positive, I believe it goes back to responsible ownership and education. There are certainly owners that have PBTs that are not responsible, but that is across the board for every breed and mix of breeds as well. I don’t think it is responsible to make laws that discriminate on breeds when there isn’t information and science to back up the claims.