"Pit Bulls have locking jaws." The jaws of the Pit Bull are functionally the same as the jaws of any other breed, and this has been proven via expert examination.
The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles and teeth of Pit Bulls show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is no different than that of any [other] breed of dog. There is absolutely not evidence for the existence of any kind of ’locking mechanism’ unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier, says Dr. I. Lerh Brisbin of the University of Georgia (from the ADBA booklet, “Discover the American Pit Bull Terrier.)
“Pit Bulls don’t feel pain.” Pit Bulls have the same nervous system of any other breed, and they can and do feel pain. Historically, those dogs that would tolerate or ignore discomfort and pain and finish the task they were required to perform were the dogs that were bred and the sort of dogs breeders strove to produce. This is the trait of “gameness” that so many breed fanciers speak of, which may be defined as, “The desire to continue on and/or complete a task despite pain and discomfort.”
“Pit Bulls attack more people than any other breed.” Bite statistics are difficult to obtain accurately. Dogs that are referred to as “pit bulls” in statistical reports actually are a variety of breeds and mixes all lumped together under the “pit bull” heading. Also, many people have a difficult time properly identifying a true Pit Bull, so added to the statistics are those dogs that have been misidentified. Considering these factors, the actual number of attacks attributable to American Pit Bull Terriers is considerably lower thanrepresented. Also important to understand is the extreme popularity of the Pit Bull and pit bull-type breeds. By some estimates, numbers-wise they are the most popular of all dog breeds. It is only logical to assume that the breed with the higher number of individual dogs would be represented with a higher number of bites. Viewing older statistical reports for the Center of Disease Control, one will see that trends in breed popularity reflect in the number of bites attributed to a specific breed during a specific period of time.
“The only thing Pit Bulls are good for is dog fighting.” Unfortunately, a large amount of attention has been brought to the fact that the Pit Bull was originally created for fighting other dogs in the pit. Since the breed was selectively bred for and excelled at this task, there is a common assumption that fighting must be all for which the breed is good. The truth of the matter is that the Pit Bull is one of the most versatile of canines, capable of excelling at just about any task his owner asks him to complete. This breed is routinely used for: obedience trialing, conformation showing, weight pull, Schutzhund (a German sport which requires dogs to perform in obedience, tracking and protection phases of a competition), agility, and have even been known to participate in herding trials, search and rescue work, and a variety of other tasks including police and armed services work. But fanciers will argue that the task this breed performs best of all is that of a beloved companion.
"Dogs that are aggressive towards other dogs are aggressive towards people." Human aggression in dogs is entirely different than aggression directed at other animals. Inter-dog aggression is a normal trait of the breed (as it is in many terrier breeds, among others). Historically, humans were always in the pit, handling fighting dogs closely, while the animals were in full fight drive. A dog that was a danger to people and prone to biting was not feasible, and therefore carefully selected against.