What’s got four legs, a fascinating history, and the biggest, most irresistable “pet me, please?” face in the world? Pitbulls of course! Pit bulls prove time and time again to be fabulous pets, protectors, and companions. So why not celebrate with a pit bull dog party? We’ve selected and gift-wrapped our favorite 10 pit bull fun facts that you as a dog owner may not have known before. So throw on your party hats, and get ready for three cheers. Pit pit, hooray!
#1 The Term “Pit Bull” Encompasses A Big Family of Pups
Let’s start this party off right by dispelling a common misconception. The term pit bull does not refer to a breed of dog. Instead, pit bull encompasses many different types of dogs. Kind of like how the term “retriever” can refer to Labradors, poodles, and Irish setters.
Is your mind blown yet?
A few examples of dog types that fall under the pit bull category include:
- American pit bull terriers
- American Staffordshire terriers
- American bullies
- American bulldogs
- Staffordshire bull terriers
- Bull terriers
According to a study done in 2015, a whopping 60% of pit bulls are misidentified. This issue often occurs because pit bulls align closely with many American bully-type dog breeds.
#2 Pit Bulls Make Excellent Farm Dogs
Pit bulls became increasingly popular in early American culture during the nation’s expansion. Many immigrants from the United Kingdom brought their pit bulls along to work on the family farm. Pit bulls used their strong muscles, agility, and intelligence to help farmers maintain flocks and protect against predators.
#3 Pit Bulls Have a Heroic Past
During WWI, pit bulls were a living symbol of American bravery. Renowned for their athleticism, friendly demeanor, and protective nature, pit bulls defined everything an excellent American Soldier should be. So what did the government do? They dubbed a pit bull dog named “Stubby,” the national wartime mascot, to cheer on the troops (naturally).
And Stubby’s life was anything but ordinary:
- Received an Iv League education – Sergeant Stubby was discovered at Yale University by troops in training. He quickly won their hearts and was dubbed an honorary member of their platoon.
- Deployed overseas – Stubby was stowed away on a ship to France to join the fight.
- Sniffed out spies – Division members credited Stubby with deceiving and identifying German soldiers.
- Provided relief – Among his many accolades, Sergeant Stubby’s troop members attest to his ability to provide companionship and comfort for the weary soldiers.
- Awarded a gold medal – After recovering from 17 battles and wartime wounds, Stubby received a gold medal of honor by General John Pershing in 1921.
This unbelievable yet true story shows how a pit bull can persevere and thrive in times of trouble. Whether you need some comfort in your life or a four-legged super soldier, a pit bull just may solve your problem. We salute you, Sgt. Stubby.
#4 Pit Bulls Are Champions in Temperments
According to the American Temperament Test Society, which judges candidates on panic, avoidance, and dog aggression responses.
Multiple pit bulls ranked very highly at staying cool, calm, and collected! In fact, a Staffordshire bull terrier and American pit bull terrier boasted scores above 87%. These test results show that pit bulls have just as friendly a temperament as multiple standard family dogs.
This gentle temperament makes pit bulls excellent options for service dogs as well. Their large, solid stature can provide physical support for disabled patrons. Their calming presence can help soothe and comfort those needing an emotional support animal.
#5 Busting the Pit Bull Bite Myth
You may have heard a rumor circulating that pit bulls have a severe biting problem, but this idea is actually fiction!
- High biting rate? Not so much – Many cling to the theory that the most significant percentage of dog bites come from pit bull attacks. There’s no evidence to back up this claim, as no national reporting system is in place to monitor dog bites. With a large number of unreported dog bites and confirmation bias among the public, all statistics appear skewed and unclear.
- “Pitbull lockjaw” is an urban legend – Another popular rumor surrounding pit bulls comes from the belief that they experience lockjaw. The narrative around lockjaw refers to a dog’s ability (or inability) to move its jaws at will. General impressions imply that a pit bull could clamp down for a dog bite and not unhinge its jaw, thus creating a more substantial wound. However, experts assure us that lockjaw isn’t physically possible for Pit Bull dogs. In fact, larger dogs such as Rottweilers, huskies, and German shepherds could out-bite a pit bull any day of the week.
#6 We’ve Had Multiple Presidential Pit Bulls
Have you been enjoying our little pit bull soiree? Well, this humble party just turned into a Presidental Gala. Who knew pit bulls and politicians made such a good pair?
There have been multiple pit bulls who have graced the halls of the White House. Here are just a few First Pitbulls worth commemorating:
- Animal-loving conservationist President Teddy Roosevelt had a wide variety of pets in the White House (including a lion, a rooster, a bear, oh my!). Included on that list is his handsome pit bull named Pete.
- Bruce, Woodrow Wilson’s bull terrier, earned plenty of presidential affections. In fact, President Wilson even looked to canine companions as a litmus test for goodness: “If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.”5
#7 Pit Bulls Are Not Viscous Fighters
Pit bulls may have had to fight allegations of being ruthless attack dogs, but that doesn’t make them fighters at heart. The negative connotation pit bulls have received stems from their long and complicated history. Let’s start at the very beginning.
- Breeding – Pit bulls first trotted on the pet scene in the United Kingdom. A descendent of Old English Bulldogs, pit bulls were bred for their squat, muscley stature and quick, agile motion. While pit bulls emerged as a popular type of dog, their breeders and Pit Bull owners would use them for unfortunate purposes.
- Bull baiting – With an ideal build for swiftness and sturdy attacks, pit bulls became a facet for bull baiting. This form of entertainment was popular in the early 1800s. In this attraction, handlers would release a pit bull and direct them to attack a tied-up bull (or bear).6
- The banning of blood sports – When blood sports became illegal, the torment didn’t end for these poor pups. Pit bulls were forced to participate in dog fights and rat baiting for human entertainment.
Despite their gruesome origin story, pit bulls have proven themselves as gentle, loving creatures when given proper care and attention. With their loving temperament and general trust toward humans, you can rest easy knowing that pit bulls have left their bloody battles behind them.
#8 Pit Bulls Are Natural Caretakers
Pit bulls used to serve as protective figures for babies and young children. After being trained to display gentle affection toward humans, many used to refer to pit bulls as “nanny dogs.”
However, you may not want to leave your children unsupervised with just a pit bull. Though they make terrific caretakers, they’re generally not fantastic guard dogs. Due to their friendly nature, a pit bull may opt to play with a stranger rather than growl at them.
#9 Pit Bulls Are Smarties
Pit bulls have a strong sense of intellect and energetic drive. Putting a pit bull in obedience school at a young age can give them a chance to shine and show off their natural skills.
When you combine their heightened agility and musculature with their intellectual prowess, as a dog owner, you can train your pittie with ease. Pit Bull dogs will take over as the star pupil of obedience school in no time, and you’ll have to plan a pit bull grad party.
Party The Pit Bull Way with BARK Post
Pit bulls have overcome a heap of damaging accusations since their conception. Luckily, with a caring and discerning disposition (and a little research), you can see through the ruff bully exterior to the sweet, cuddly pup inside. That’s what we’re all about here at BARK Post.
With our expansive collection of resource pages, product reviews, and professional insight, you can feel assured that your pooch receives the quality care it deserves. Whether they’re a lap-loving Labrador Retriever or a mailman-chasing Tibetan Mastiff, all dogs deserve a Chow Chow celebration.
So put your paws in the air and wave them like you just don’t care. Because the festivities never end when you have BARK Post as a friend.
- The Veterinary Journal. Olson, K. R., Levy, J. K., Norby, B., Crandall, M. M., Broadhurst, J. E., Jacks, S., Barton, R. C., & Zimmerman, M. S. Inconsistent identification of pit bull-type dogs by Shelter Staff. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S109002331500310X
- Military Times. Stubby’s story: All about the iconic World War I ‘war dogs’ … and star of an upcoming animated film. https://www.militarytimes.com/2017/06/07/stubby-s-story-all-about-the-iconic-world-war-i-war-dog-and-star-of-an-upcoming-animated-film/
- American Temperment Test Society, Inc. ATTS Breed Statistics. https://atts.org/breed-statistics/statistics-page1/
- Reader’s Digest. 12 Pit Bull “Facts” That Are Totally Wrong. https://www.rd.com/article/pit-bull-facts/
- America Comes Alive. The Pets of Woodrow Wilson. (1856-1924). https://americacomesalive.com/the-pets-of-woodrow-wilson-1856-1924/
- BARK Post. America’s Dog to Public Enemy #1 – A History On Pit Bulls, And Why They’re Making Such A Comeback. https://post.bark.co/fun/pit-bulls-history-of-americas-dog/