National Pit Bull Awareness Month
Category_The Wild Times

National Pit Bull Awareness Month

by Andrew Ehlert

Every October is considered National Pit Bull Awareness Month - a month to celebrate a breed that is often mischaracterized and mistreated. Pit Bulls are oftentimes one of the most common breeds of dog in shelters and are routinely looked past by those who are looking to adopt because of the false stereotype that all Pit Bulls are dangerous.

This month we celebrate this beautiful breed and strive to disprove stereotypes about Pit Bulls and to help increase the adoption numbers seen across the United States.

What Is National Pit Bull Awareness Month?

October is National Pit Bull Awareness Month which is a month for celebration - but it is also a month to fight against misconceptions about the breed. This national awareness campaign was established by local advocates and animal welfare organizations in order to educate and foster positive communication about the breed. The month strives to restore the image and treatment of American Pit Bull Terriers throughout the United States.

The first ever Pit Bull Awareness Month came in October of 2007 and was organized by Jodi Preis of the Tennessee based "Bless The Bullys" organization. The overall goal of the first event was to promote positive media attention and education for Pit Bulls who had seen negative media attention grow in the months prior to the event.

Why Is National Pit Bull Awareness Month Important?

National Pit Bull Awareness Month is important because the breed has seen copious amounts of negative press because of stereotypes and stigmas that have developed over the years. Each year, nearly 400,000 dogs are euthanized in American dog shelters with a large percentage of these dogs being Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls are often stereotyped as violent or dangerous which has caused their adoption rates to plummet compared to other breeds.

In the past, Pit Bulls have been severely mistreated by owners and have been bred as fighting dogs which began to slander the characteristics of the breed. This gained mainstream media attention in 2007 when NFL quarterback, Michael Vick, pleaded guilty for running a dog fighting ring that consisted mainly of Pit Bulls. The overall slander and spread of mistreatment of Pit Bulls has since grown over the years because of negative media attention and the rise of social media. But National Pit Bull Awareness Month gives dog lovers the opportunity to educate the public and advocate for American Pit Bull Terriers.

How To Celebrate National Pit Bull Awareness Month

There are many ways to celebrate National Pit Bull Awareness Month and most of them revolve around spending time with your pup and educating others about the breed. Below are a few recommendations on how to celebrate.

Post About Pit Bulls On Social Media

One of the best ways to celebrate National Pit Bull Awareness Month is by posting about your pup on social media. A national holiday isn't necessarily a national celebration unless it's shared with others, so share photos, videos and stories about your Pit Bull or show support for those who do. You can use the hashtag #PitBullAwarenessMonth to help spread the word about the cause and show your support during the month of October.

Support A Humane Shelter or Pit Bull Rescue

If you have ever thought about volunteering at a shelter or dog rescue organization, the month of October is a great time to finally do it! Most cities around the U.S have rescue organizations or shelters that you can volunteer at, or if you don't have enough time you can always donate money, old dog supplies, toys, or dog food to an organization in your area. It is important to support humane dog shelters and rescues in your area.

Adopt A Pit Bull!

One of the most selfless things you can do during National Pit Bull Awareness Month is to adopt a Pit Bull. There are millions of dogs around the U.S that are in shelters or rescue organizations who are looking for a forever home. Many of these dogs are Pit Bulls or Pit Bull mixes. Reach out to your local rescue organization to learn more about adopting or fostering a Pit Bull this month.

Debunking Common Myths About Pit Bulls

Myth: Pit Bulls Are Violent By Nature

There are many people who believe that Pit Bulls are born more violent than other dog breeds. As with any breed, there are some dogs who are more aggressive than others. However, many people believe that the Pit Bull is inherently violent and cannot be trusted around children or other pets. There have been several scientific studies performed on this topic which prove this not to be true.

The environment in which a dog is developed, as well as the environment they currently are in, plays a huge factor in the overall personality and well-being of the dog. It is the responsibility of the owner to raise and keep a dog in a safe and positive environment. Negative environments can bring on dangerous habits for dogs who don't see humans as friends.

Myth: Pit Bulls Are Dangerous To Have Around Children

Pit Bulls can be fantastic companions and guardians for children and family members. Pit Bulls were originally bred as a dog that was used for all around help on farms and in homes. They are known to be extremely loyal, intelligent and very eager to please their humans. It is important to introduce children into the lives of your dog and it is also important to teach children how to behave and interact with a dog.

Myth: Pit Bulls Have The Strongest Bite of Any Dog Breed

There have been many misconceptions that the Pit Bull has the strongest bite out of any dog breed in the world. This myth is simply untrue. American Pit Bulls actually have a bite strength very similar to Labradors or Golden Retrievers. This is measured in a unit called Pound per Square Inch or PSI. This unit measures how much applied pressure a dog is able to produce with their bite.
The average Pit Bull will produce roughly 225 PSI - 235 PSI, whereas a Labrador Retriever typically produces roughly 220 PSI - 230 PSI. The Labrador Retriever is one of the most common family dogs in the world and since the two breeds have very similar bite strength, it proves that this claim is a myth. The strongest bite of any dog breed actually belongs to the Kangal which is a Turkish guard dog that has a PSI bite of over 740. Which is more than 3X the strength of the bite of a Pit Bull.

Let's Stay Connected