What Is A Pit Bull?

Too often we see stories in the media about illegal dog fighting and counties across America implementing breed-specific legislation. It’s our duty to take a stand on these issues and show people around the world the warmth that comes from bonding with a pit bull. 

The media often portrays pit bulls as aggressive dogs that are quick to bite humans and attack other animals. But, at The Bully Dog Rescue Coalition (BDRC) we know that’s not true. When we think of pit bulls, we don’t see vicious fighting dogs — we see our best friends. A member of our family who loves us unconditionally. 

What Dogs are Considered Pit Bulls?

Contrary to popular belief, a pit bull is not a breed of dog. Rather, it’s a common term used by the media to describe several dog breeds. A pit bull can be an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog, Boxer, Bull Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier or a Boston Terrier. In fact, there are as many as a dozen distinct American Kennel Club-recognized breeds that are often lumped into the term “bully breeds.” The term pit bull is loosely used to group all of these breeds which share similar physical qualities. 

A History of Companionship

Long before pit bulls were seen as threatening, these loveable companions were known as babysitters! For generations, it was common for families to have a bully breed dog as a pet. Pit bulls made (and still make) the perfect family member because of their love for humans and reliable, social temperament. 

Interestingly enough, according to Adoptapet.com, “In temperance tests (the equivalent of how many times your kid can poke your dog in the eye before he bites him) of all breeds the most tolerant was the Golden Retriever. The second most tolerant was the pit bull.”

So, Why the Bad Reputation?

It’s hard to imagine these loveable dogs going from being a valued family member to the subject and target of breed-specific legislation across the country. Perhaps the biggest reason for this shift in perception is the resurgence of dog fighting in the 1980s. As dog fighting became a more common occurrence, so did the mention of pit bull attacks in the news. 

Correcting the Misconceptions 

Now’s the time to change the way the world sees pit bulls, and it’s one of our goals to do that. Through advocacy and education, we’re confident we can not only help pit bulls reclaim their status as the loveable, sweet companions we know but also help the media see the good these dogs do at home and for their owners each day.