Pit bulls are branded as one of the most dangerous dogs, feared for mauling people and even small children. But experts say the dogs are victims too — abandoned, over-bred or in-bred.
Here are five things you need to know about pit bulls:
1. People mistake other dogs for pit bulls. A study in the journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association on dog bite risk and prevention found that people often presume vicious dogs are pit bulls. "Visual determination of dog breed is known to not always be reliable.And witnesses may be predisposed to assume that a vicious dog is of this type," the study found.
2. Pit bulls might take on the personalities of their owners. A study in the Journal of Forensic Sciences examined whether vicious dog owners were different on antisocial behaviors and personality. "Findings revealed vicious dog owners reported significantly more criminal behaviors than other dog owners. Vicious dog owners were higher in sensation seeking and primary psychopathy. Study results suggest that vicious dog ownership may be a simple marker of broader social deviance," according to the study.
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3. There's more than one breed of pit bull. There are more than one breed of pit bull: the American pit bull terrier; the American Staffordshire terrier; the Staffordshire bull terrier; and the American bully. National Geographic reported that the original breed, the pit bull terrier originating in 1889, was bred for fighting. There is no history of the other breeds being developed for fighting.
4. Dog bites are a problem. Nearly 1 in 5 people bitten by a dog requires medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children are more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog, and when they are, the injuries can be more severe. Dog bites can result in diseases like Rabies, MRSA, Tetanus and Pasteurella. Approximately 241 children came to Dayton Children's Hospital last year with dog bites.
5. Pit bulls are hard to adopt out. Pit bulls and pit mixes make up about 70 percent of the dogs at Greene County Animal Control and the director told News Center 7 they are more difficult to adopt out.
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