Experience vs Perception
The Dog Whisperer of MN, Robert Cole
Continuing from “Are Pit Bulls Aggressive Pt2 | Dog Behavior Trainer Breed Info
It is important because of perpetuated notions or conditioned ideas develop through a lack of understanding or blatant ignorance. This data is important because it is not singling out a breed as aggressive or not. It includes many breeds and has a decently high sample size as well as testing dogs from variable backgrounds, blood-lines and combining both pure bred dogs and cross or mix-bred dogs of the same “breed”. Also, as a side note, with cities, communities are becoming more and more rigid about breed bans/declaration-consequences etc. also because of breed-specific dog legislation and negative publicity associated with many breeds of dogs, temperament testing has assumed an important role for today’s dog fancier. The American Temperament Test provides breeders a means for evaluating temperament and gives pet owners insight into their dog’s behavior. It can have an impact on breeding programs and in educating owners about their dog’s behavioral strengths and weaknesses as well as providing a positive influence on dog legislation. Below are some experienced based and statistical facts regarding the Pit Bull and similar “type breeds”
Breed Temperament Testing Result Information: Updated from March of 2011
American Pit Bull Terrier: 804 tested; 86.4% passed
American Staffordshire Terrier: 627 tested; 84.2% passed
Staffordshire Bull Terrier: 117 tested; 89.7% passed
Total: 1548 tested; 85.8% passed
To add perspective and Qualify Pit Bull and similar “Bully Breeds” as not inately aggressive or dangerous
Of all the breeds tested: 83% passed (Totalling 30,876 dogs)
Honorable Mention (Common Family Dogs Today)
Collie: 856 tested; 79.9% passed
Cocker Spaniel: 227 tested; 81.9% passed
Australian Cattle Dog: 187 tested; 79.1% passed
Beagle: 72 tested; 80.6% passed
Golden Retriever: 764 tested; 84.9% passed
2009 was the year of the previous study
2009 spanning through 6/2010
Pit Bulls and similar “Bully Breeds” achieved a combined passing score of 85.7%.
Some Specific breeds outlines below:
American Pit Bull Terrier: 772 tested; 86% passed
American Staffordshire Terrier: 608 tested; 83.9% passed
Staffordshire Bull Terrier: 115 tested; 89.6% passed
Total Bully Breeds Tested: 1,495; 85.4% passed
For additional perspective, consider the following:
Total Dogs Tested: 30,468; 82.4% earned a pass
Chihuahua: 38 tested; 71.1% passed
Dachshund: 181 tested; 77.8% passed
Collie: 846 tested: 79.7% passed
Golden Retriever: 746 tested; 84.6% passed
Things that make you go, Hmmmm.
Pit Bull breeds, earned a better score based on the tests from the previous study two years in a row. Golden Retrievers went up in overall score; 84.9% in 2011 from 84.6% in 2009. Pit Bull Breeds went up as well from 2009 at 85.7% to 85.8%.
More Specifically, American Pit Bull Terriers: 2009: 86% to 2011: 86.4% | American Staff Terriers: 2009: 83.9% to 2011: 84.2%.
Both of these popular breeds for fighting, scored higher in the temperament test than the Average of all dogs tested. Note that this is during the “Pit Bull Fighting Phenomenon” In 2011 they even scored higher than America’s beloved Golden Retriever. Still a great dog, don’t get me wrong. Just a point to consider.
Now some fun facts and perceptions of this horribly misrepresented breed of dog.
*Do know that this type of information and even some more in-depth information can be found all over the internet by doing a little research. This is just a small list.
Fact: No conclusive research exists that implicates breed (or breed mix) as a cause of dog bites. In most bite cases, it is impossible to distinguish the dog’s background based on appearance. When breed is unclear, it’s all-too-easy to apply an arbitrary label for dramatic effect.
Fact: All dogs, including Pit Bulls are 99% the same genetically. Chihuahuas included.
Fact: Pit Bulls are among other things: tenacious, loyal, sensitive to human energy and will give 1000% to accomplish what they perceive their job to be. No matter what the job is.
Fact: The fact above is the reason why Pit Bulls are used for fighting. Not because they are more dangerous then another dog. A Boerboel could probably kill a Pit Bull Easily.
Fact: With all the intensity inherent within the breed, the personality of a balanced Pit Bull is calm, relaxed and at times even lazy. Only jumping to excitement when being called upon to accomplish a goal/do a job.
Fact: Dog Bites are at an all-time low.There are around 78 million pet dogs in the US, and an average of 30 dog-related fatalities per year. According to studies (more information below), a person is more likely to be killed by a human family member
Fact: Pomeranians and Shi Tzus have put more people into the hospital over the last several years then Pit Bull and similar breeds.
Fact: Tan, unfixed Male English Cocker Spaniels have more reports of injuring people based on police reports at the time of hospital intake. Putting them atop the “most dangerous dog list” source: Applied Animal Behavior Science Report Published by: Anthony L. Podberscek and James A. Serpell
Fun Fact: There are around 78 million pet dogs in the US, and an average of 30 dog-related fatalities per year. According to studies (more information below), a person is more likely to be killed…
- by a falling coconut
- in a bedroom slipper-related accident
- choking on a marble
- drowning in a 5-gallon bucket
- getting struck by lightning
…than by a dog of any breed.
And for the other sides’ common and popular beliefs of Pit Bull Type Breeds, are as follows:
Pit Bull Breeds Bite Force/Power is over 2000 psi
Pit Bulls are naturally more aggressive than any other breed of dog
Once a Pit Bull becomes aggressive, it can never be changed
Pit bulls have locking jaws.
A pit bull is more likely to bite me than another dog.
Pit bulls do not get along with cats.
Pit bulls do not get along with other dogs.
Pit bulls are not good with children.
Who’s really responsible for dog bites? Humans. In almost every case where a person died because of a dog bite, there were steps that someone could have taken to prevent it. Responsible ownership influences good behavior, and every dog deserves to be set up for success!
More resource information:
Don’t take my word for it though. take a day to volunteer for a local bully rescue and see what your time with them will teach you about this breed. A rescue pit bull is a handful, but with patience, can be the dog it was meant to be. Like all dogs, they are meant to have rules and boundaries enforced on a consistent basis to provide a suitable environment for developing or maintaining limitations. Pit Bulls and the similar breeds should be owned by someone with experience in handling dogs. It is not a breed for the “first time dog owner” no matter how pure the persons intentions. It takes a firm level of control and direction giving to ensure the proper development and understanding of their role socially, otherwise you can have a pit bull breed that is very similar to the ones that the “haters” incorrigibly project to anyone willing to listen, developing a negative sense of what this breed represents.
- Allow a DOG a chance to feel Love and live Life as a well trained and balanced family member! Pit to Pom.
Information compiled by ATT, learn more about the American Temperament Test Society testing and results, please visit http://www.atts.org
Also visit http://www.fortheloveofpits.org/Education/Library/Society/ATTS.htm for charts of past years and more great Pit Bull information.