Pit Bulls have had a truly intricate history, transitioning from being a revered national symbol to becoming America’s most despised dogs. How did this transformation occur? Is there a valid justification for the breed being disliked, or is it all simply a result of widespread misunderstanding?
Pit Bull statistics reveal how the media and public perception negatively influenced this affectionate breed. Were you aware that 25% of Americans have a negative opinion of Pit Bulls? Below, we have listed some of the reasons they hold this view.
However, the biggest concern for these courageous friends is the absence of a clearly defined breed classification. Let’s delve into further details about these misunderstood canines and their traits.
Fascinating Facts about Pit Bulls
- Pit bull mixes account for 6% of the total dog population in the United States, which is approximately 4.5 million.
- The breed consistently achieves a temperament test score of over 85%.
- In 2022, the data on Pit Bulls reveals that 40% of these dogs that are kept in shelters are put to sleep annually.
- During World War I, a Pit Bull known as Stubby achieved the distinction of earning 13 decorations and being promoted to the rank of sergeant.
- From 2013 to 2021, a total of 20 States acknowledged that pit bulls were responsible for the majority of bite incidents.
- In 2019, Pit Bulls were responsible for causing 39 fatalities due to dog bites.
- Pit Bulls suffer from greater abuse than all other dog breeds combined.
- Your chances of sustaining a serious injury from a Pit Bull are 213% higher compared to other dog breeds.
- Nearly all of the attacks involving Pit Bulls, 94% to be precise, consisted of male dogs that had not been neutered.
- Between the years 2005 and 2019, there was an annual average of 30 to 40 incidents of fatal dog bite attacks.
But What Is a Pit Bull Breed?
The term “Pit Bull” encompasses various dog breeds that originated from bulldogs and terriers. This classification includes breeds like the American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and American Bully.
Remember this piece of information as you go through the details provided about these dogs.
Characteristics and History of the Pit Bull Breed
The breed’s history remains to this day a turbulent journey. It can be seen that people are split into two distinct groups: one group exhibits great love towards Pit Bulls, while the other group is determined to eliminate them by any means possible.
Approximately 4.5 million dogs in the United States are pit bull mixes, which accounts for about 6% of the total dog population.
(Source: Dog Bite Law)
- The Purebred dog organization, AKC, does not consider Pit Bulls as an officially recognized breed. It is important to note that physical features such as a wide chest and short hair do not guarantee that a dog is a Pit Bull. If you want to confirm your dog’s breed, you can consider using a dog DNA test.
- Pit Bulls have their roots in the 1800s, descending from the Old English Bulldog. After bear and bull-baiting were prohibited, gamblers began organizing dog fights against rats, which led to the name “Pit Bulls.”
- A lot of dog breeds, over 20 specifically, are often confused with Pit Bulls because they share similar traits. This raises uncertainty about the accuracy of the alarming statistics related to pit bull attacks.
- Pit Bulls have been prohibited in 12 different countries, namely Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, and Puerto Rico.
At first, these dogs were specifically bred for combat purposes. However, over time, they became beloved by Americans due to their exceptional skills in protecting homes and herding livestock, as well as amusing children. Thus, what caused the situation to deteriorate?
Good Pit Bull Statistics
In the past, Pit Bulls easily captured the affection of individuals. These dogs are highly intelligent, trainable, and exceedingly faithful, making them a popular choice for roles as police and service dogs.
Temperament tests consistently show that Pit Bull varieties score above 85%.
(Source: Pit Bull Info)
- During World War I and World War II, the Pit Bull was highly regarded in America. Advertisements primarily focused on this breed, highlighting their bravery and ability to offer protection. Additionally, the Pit Bull frequently served as a mascot for various football and basketball teams.
- The first dog soldier of the US, called Stubby, received 13 honors and the title of sergeant. Stubby served for a period of 18 months and bravely participated in 17 battles alongside soldiers. To this day, Stubby is remembered as a symbol of valor and loyalty.
Pit Bulls are widely known for being great family and therapy dogs. However, due to numerous dogs being incorrectly identified as pit bulls, the actual statistics about these dogs are often manipulated. It may take many years for organizations to rebuild the reputation of pit bulls.
Pit Bull Adoption Statistics
Due to the widespread dislike towards Pit Bulls, they spend more time in shelters compared to other dog breeds. Eventually, data from animal shelters reveal that a significant number of them end up passing away in these facilities.
In 2019, a majority of Pit Bulls in the US, specifically 54%, were made available for adoption.
(Source: Animals 24–7)
- Around 15% to 20% of the dogs in shelters belong to the Pit Bull breed. However, determining an exact figure is difficult due to the expansive definition of the breed.
- Each year, approximately 80% of Pit Bulls are put to sleep. This is due to the lack of adequate shelter space and a significantly low adoption rate of just 4% for this particular breed.
- Statistics comparing pit bulls to other dog breeds indicate that it takes three times more time for pit bulls to find adoptive homes. It is possible that public perception plays a role in this disparity.
- A negative perception of Pit Bulls is held by 25% of Americans, while over 50% believe that families with young children should not choose to adopt this breed of dog. It is not surprising, then, that a large number of these dogs end up staying in shelters.
- A majority of shelters make mistakes when identifying dogs, with an estimated 75% getting their labels wrong. Even professionals in the animal industry, such as breeders and veterinarians, struggle to correctly recognize a breed, only being accurate in a limited number of cases. However, the Blue Nose Pit Bull is relatively easy to differentiate from other breeds.
- When the shelters in Orlando stopped labeling Pit Bulls, 64% of them were able to find homes through adoption.
Shelters may increase the chances of finding a new home for the American Pit Bull Terrier by eliminating dog labels. Given that this breed is frequently misidentified, removing labels could be a potential solution to improve public perception of these dogs.
Pit Bull Abuse Statistics
Despite being against the law, dog fighting persists as individuals continue to engage in this cruel activity. Even in 2022, it remains a significant problem in the United States, leading to devastating outcomes for the innocent dogs involved.
Pit Bulls suffer from higher rates of mistreatment compared to other types of dogs.
Owners who believe the misconception that Pit Bulls are not capable of experiencing pain have permitted and actively contributed to these animals’ distress.
- Statistics on Pit Bull aggression reveal that these dogs are more frequently subjected to engaging in dog fights compared to other breeds. These canines endure cruel treatment such as being chained, tormented, and deprived of food to enhance their aggressiveness. Additionally, it should be noted that the act of dog fighting is prohibited across all 50 states.
- In 2021, a group of three individuals kept a total of 42 Pit Bulls for the purpose of training them for an unlawful dogfighting circle. These dogs were subjected to mistreatment, suffering from injuries, scars, suffocation, and starvation. Thankfully, they were saved as part of an investigation, although none of them were suitable for adoption. Instead, they were entrusted to organizations that had previous experience in dealing with Pit Bulls.
- Abused or neglected dogs accounted for 84% of the dogs that caused fatal attacks. Additionally, research demonstrates a correlation between individuals being investigated for domestic violence and being reported for animal mistreatment as well.
Pit Bull fighting statistics demonstrate the inhumane behavior of cruel pet owners. Moreover, research has revealed that these individuals are also prone to engaging in unlawful actions. It is possible that the dogs themselves are not the main problem in this scenario.
Pit Bull Facts & Myths
Pit Bulls continue to suffer from a damaged reputation due to widespread misunderstandings surrounding the breed.
5. False Belief: Pit Bulls can withstand pain very well.
(Source: Animal Farm Foundation)
It is a fact that all dogs experience pain, including Pit Bulls. The breed of the dog does not affect its ability to feel pain.
- Truthfully, Pit Bulls do not possess jaws that lock. Their skull structure is comparable to that of other dogs and lacks any distinctive locking mechanism. Nonetheless, they bite with great excitement, which could be the cause of this common misconception. Hence, it is advisable to have some sturdy dog toys that cannot be easily destroyed.
- Misconception: It is often believed that Pit Bulls have a more powerful bite than other dog breeds. However, when looking at bite statistics, American Bulldogs actually rank fourth, while American Pit Bulls are even lower on the list. In reality, Rottweilers possess a much stronger bite, and Kangals claim the top spot with an impressive 743 PSI.
However, we should also consider the numerous instances of these dog breeds being involved in biting incidents. To gain a better understanding, let us explore the facts and statistics on Pit Bulls.
Pit Bull Bite Statistics
It is indisputable that this breed has played a role in increasing the total number of dog bites towards humans. However, the question remains, how many of these bites are actually serious?
From 2013 to 2021, it was confirmed by 20 states that Pit Bulls were responsible for the majority of bite incidents.
(Source: Dogs Bite)
- Based on the real data of Pit Bull incidents in Arizona in 2019, out of over 4500 reported bites to both humans and animals, the breed was responsible for 801 of them.
- According to a Taxes study conducted in 2020, the risk of experiencing a severe injury from a Pit Bull is 213% higher compared to other breeds of dogs.
- More than 80% of dog bites do not need medical treatment. Less than 1.5% of these incidents result in severe injuries. Hospitalization is more common for children who have objects stuck in their eyes or ears rather than from a dog bite.
Certain statistics on Pit Bull bites are discouraging and cause many individuals to develop negative opinions towards a breed that was once beloved in America. Nobody wants to be responsible for an animal that exhibits serious behavioral problems. However, the key lies in providing appropriate training and care. Therefore, utilizing a vibrating dog collar, as opposed to a shock collar, could potentially assist in rehabilitating any dog.
However, if we take into account the statistics on Pit Bull attacks, the situation becomes even more concerning.
Pit Bull Fatality Statistics
Identifying the specific breed responsible for deadly dog attacks is challenging. Due to this difficulty, the CDC no longer considers breed-specific information when examining such incidents. However, there are still concerning statistics regarding Pit Bulls.
From 2005 to 2020, Pit Bulls caused the deaths of 380 individuals in the United States.
(Source: Dogs Bite)
- In 2020, a total of 33 fatalities were attributed to Pit Bulls. It is important to mention that all breeds involved in these incidents are specifically bred for fighting or baiting purposes. The majority of the victims were adults who were 20 years old or older.
- More than 50,000 animals in Texas were victims of fatal attacks in 2019, with Pit Bulls being responsible for 91% of these incidents.
- From 2005 to 2020, the yearly average of fatal dog bite attacks ranged from 30 to 40.
However, that is not everything; let us examine some statistics on Pit Bull attacks in comparison to other breeds of dogs.
46 Americans lost their lives in 2020 as a result of dog attacks.
(Source: Dogs Bite)
- In the year 2020, Pit Bulls were responsible for 33 fatalities; however, they were not the only breed involved. American Bulldogs also caused the death of two individuals during that time.
- Furthermore, there were six deaths that were not specifically attributed to any particular breeds.
- A total of 24% of fatal dog attacks happened on the premises owned by the dog owners. To avoid any unfortunate incidents, we suggest considering the use of a wireless dog fence.
According to the statistics on Pit Bull fatalities, this breed is responsible for numerous unfortunate deaths of humans. However, we should not rush to make assumptions. Each year, the chances of dying due to being struck by lightning are actually higher than being attacked by a dog. Nevertheless, specialists suggest that the hormone testosterone, which is primarily found in males and relates to reproductive functions, could potentially contribute to the aggressive behavior seen in dogs. To gain a better understanding, let us analyze the available data.
Pit Bull Aggression Statistics
Just because Pit Bulls were trained for fighting doesn’t make them any more likely to display aggressive behavior towards humans than other dogs.
Pit Bulls do not have a natural inclination towards aggression.
(Source: National Geographic)
There is no scientific proof suggesting that this specific type of dog is more aggressive than other breeds.
- According to a study conducted in the UK in 2020, Pit Bulls mixes were responsible for 40% of dog-on-dog attacks. The majority of these incidents involved smaller breeds such as Yorkies and Chihuahuas.
- The majority of Pit Bull attacks, accounting for 94%, were carried out by male dogs that had not been neutered. This indicates that these dogs had notably higher levels of testosterone, which has been linked to increased aggression.
- The survey participants believe that Pit Bulls are the most aggressive, but is their perception correct? Scientific evidence suggests otherwise.
The task of fully understanding violent Pit Bull statistics is complex because multiple factors are involved. However, by having your dog neutered and ensuring they are healthy and well-socialized, you can significantly reduce the chances of your pet behaving aggressively towards humans or other animals.
Make sure your dog always has water, food, and a place to stay. Since Pit Bulls have shorter fur, it is suggested to consider using dog house heaters.
Information and data about Pit Bulls serve as a warning about how humans have impacted the lives of these dogs. Previously known as America’s Dog, this breed is now disregarded as the most undesirable choice for adoption. These faithful and brave creatures spend a significantly longer period in shelters, patiently hoping for a new family to take them in.
There is an extensive amount of evidence indicating that the majority of incidents and fatalities caused by dog bites can be attributed to Pit Bull mixes. However, it should be noted that a significant number of these dogs have endured mistreatment, neglect, and were compelled to engage in fights with other dogs throughout their lives.
We trust that the concerning statistics about Pit Bulls will not discourage you from selecting this breed as your future companion and guardian of your home.
Do Pit Bulls pose a greater threat compared to other dog breeds?
In brief, the answer is no, not inherently. There is no particular breed that is more unsafe than another. Nevertheless, Pit Bulls are frequently bred for aggression and combat, which can result in learned and conditioned behaviors that are difficult to undo until it becomes too late.
Do Pit Bulls have locked jaws?
No, this is a widely believed misconception as this breed is known for having an exceptionally powerful bite, ranking fourth in terms of strength. An illustration of this is the Kangal, which has a bite force measurement of 743 PSI, the highest among all dog breeds. However, it is important to note that while a Pit Bull can cause serious harm, it does not imply that it will not release its grip.
Can I identify a Pit Bull?
The number of dog breeds, including the Pit Bull Terrier mix, is so vast that the AKC does not officially classify Pit Bull as an independent breed. This lack of recognition leads to numerous misunderstandings about Pit Bulls, resulting in frequent misidentifications.