Pit Bulls are among the most tolerant dogs, research shows

By on October 29, 2016

Hundreds of counties, a number of states, even a small number of countries around the world have not only breed restrictions, but bans on certain dogs. Pit Bull Terriers and other “pitty mixes” are the most common dogs that appear on those restricted breed lists. Believe it or not, new evidence shows these dogs are among the most tolerant and least aggressive breeds we own. In fact, pit bull breeds are also considered a great choice for service dogs.

Canine researchers have conducted recent surveys to gauge how pet owners rate the aggressiveness their dogs are capable of showing. Over 4,000 participants, with the help of Dognition instruments, told researchers about their dogs.

If you haven’t heard of Dognition, it’s an assessment that consists of interactive games and expert analyses by leading canine scientists. The test helps give users an “unprecedented perspective on how your dog sees the world.” By understanding your dog’s mind, the Dognition website says,
“you’ll build a deeper connection with the personality behind the bright eyes that greet you every day.”

Here’s a snapshot of the results gathered from the thousands of people who participated in the study (click here for more info from an Atlantic article which the below was taken from):

  • In almost every measure, out of the 35 most common breeds, Chihuahuas were reported as the most aggressive, especially toward bigger dogs they have not seen before.  None of the breeds involved in the survey were deemed to be particularly aggressive. Chihuahuas peaked out at being “moderately aggressive” on some measures but were usually on the “sometimes aggressive” end of the spectrum. They only stood out because most other breeds—including pugs, collies and King Charles Cavalier Spaniels—were “seldom aggressive” or “never aggressive,” the article says.
  • The American Pit Bull Terrier—a breed often portrayed as highly aggressive—consistently ranked as one of the least aggressive dogs, with the exception being toward new dogs, where it was still below Miniature Schnauzers. This could be because pit bull owners are conscious of the bias against the breed when self-reporting, but it does agree with the American Temperament Test Society, which also has found that American Pit Bull Terriers were among the most tolerant breeds.
  • The article details BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) that has become common around the world, and the fact that stereotypes exist which are almost always unfair to breeds like Pit Bulls. Interestingly, research shows that many people can’t identify a Pit Bull and don’t understand the difference in breeds.
  • An important note the article would like you to know: You can’t tell if a dog is aggressive by the way it looks, any more than you can with a human. In other words, stereotypes hurt some breeds. BSL doesn’t work. People need to be educated.

The more we research these things, the more we realize dogs that bite do it because of their environment and circumstances surrounding biting incidents. Pit Bulls don’t bite any more than, for example, Dalmatians, but hurtful stereotypes lead to pitties gaining negative and unfair reputations.

Don’t buy the idea that BSL doesn’t work? How about the facts that show Pit Bulls show no more aggression than other dogs? Dig a little and become more informed. You’ll be better for it and so will breeds that are often treated unfairly.

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