The Pitbull Terrier is one of the most loved breeds on the planet. However, even though many love this breed, it is also one of the most understood breeds on the planet. Some physical qualities that are found in a well bred Pitbull are often seen in other breeds as well. This opens up blame and mislabeling that causes a disproportionate number of bites and accidents blamed on the breed (when in reality, it is multiple breeds and mixes being reported as a Pitbull for statistical purposes). Shelters, rescues, and some owners see the blocky head, the muscular body, the perked ears, and the short coat (or fawn/red/blue coat color) an label a dog as a Pitbull or a Pit Bull mix. While it may seem innocent, it is giving our beloved breed a horrible stereotype of aggressive as multiple breeds and mixes are biting and being compiled in bite statistics as an American Pitbull Terrier. That is not the characteristic we see in this breed. We will talk more about this in the next paragraph.
The Most Loved Characteristics of the Pitbull Terrier
The Pit Bull has a not so pleasant past, however a few of the qualities bred into this breed for hundreds of years make them for a great companion dog. In the past, they were used as sporting and occasionally herding dogs. In the sports of ratting, bull baiting, and dogfighting it was imperative that their human handlers be able to handle them when they were in a level of excitement. Absolutely NO HUMAN AGGRESSION (HA) was tolerated. Dogs that bit were put down. Dogs and puppies that showed signs of HA from an early age were culled (put down, removed from the gene pool). Now with over 150 years of selective breeding, human aggression is not a natural characteristic of the American Pitbull.
Another characteristic we all love about the Pitbull is his loyalty and willingness to make his owner happy. This willingness to work to please the owner (whether “work” is catching a frisbee, biking, or working on a farm) is sometimes referred to as drive. Drive is the willingness coupled with the stamina and desire to accomplish whatever “work” he is involved in. This willingness make them an extremely owner focused animal. Easier to train than many other breeds.