Hello. As an American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) owner, I felt compelled to address the inaccurate information in the post titled, The K9 Question. Since the reputation of the ‘pit bull’ type dog has been shredded by the media and various myths, I ask that the information be corrected.
The post states; “On the other hand, if children are not necessarily a consideration and your needs are for a one purpose guard dog you might decide on one of the BULL TERRIER breeds commonly referred to as Pit Bulls. They are easy to find. Every dog shelter is overflowing with them because they can be difficult to train for the novice due to their stubborn, bull headedness. But for the right individual they can be a loyal and fearless companion.”
There are several mistakes in this paragraph. First of all, the generic term ‘pitbull’ commonly refers to two breeds, the American Pitbull Terrier, and the American Staffordshire Terrier. The Bull Terrier and American Bulldog often get mistaken for ‘pitbulls’ but are separate breeds with separate temperament types and working skills.
Next, the American Pitbull Terrier is not a risk to children, any more than any other breed. The ‘pitbull’ temperament is friendly and loving to humans, although they may be aggressive to other dogs. A properly socialized ‘pitbull’ is friendly, outgoing, and does not make a good guard dog. I think mine would give away the television for a pat on the head, she loves everyone. According to temperament testing done by the American Temperament Testing Society, American Pitbull Terriers pass with at a rate of 86.4%, while Golden Retrievers passed at a rate of 85.2%, and German Shepherds at 84.8%.
Finally, they are no harder to train than any other breed, and many APBTs are Canine Good Citizens, serving as therapy dogs, drug detection dogs, and are world class dog athletes. They are a high energy breed that needs owners who are committed to proper training, socialization, exercise, and the restoration of the breed’s reputation. It is my opinion that the only value an APBT would have as a guard dog is based solely on the misrepresentation of the breed in the media and the myths associated with the breed. If you are looking for a true guard dog please consider getting a guardian breed like a German Shepard and do not get an APBT.
Here are a few links to back up my information:
- ASPCA : The truth about pitbulls
- Breed history
- Facts and myths
- American Temperament Society
Thank you for your time. Sincerely, – Jennifer L.