Cool Facts About Pitbulls You Probably Don’t Know

You might think you know pit bulls, but these canines are full of surprises. Often misunderstood, pit bulls actually boast a range of traits that might just make you rethink everything you’ve heard about them. Whether you’re a dog lover or simply curious about this often-misrepresented breed, get ready to have your mind blown with some cool facts about pit bulls.

Decoding the Pitbull Breed

What Exactly Is a Pitbull?

A Pitbull isn’t a specific breed, but a common term used to describe several breeds of dog that share similar physical characteristics. Generally, the term encompasses the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and sometimes the American Bulldog. Originating from the British Isles, these dogs were initially bred for bull-baiting and later as farm dogs. Today’s Pitbulls are known for their strength, intelligence, and loyalty, making them popular among families if trained properly.

The Diversity Within the Breed

Pitbulls demonstrate a remarkable variety in size, build, and color. The American Pit Bull Terrier, for example, typically weighs between 30 to 65 pounds, showcasing a stocky and muscular frame. In contrast, the American Staffordshire Terrier slightly differs with a heavier weight range of 40 to 70 pounds. These dogs can be found in a broad spectrum of colors like black, white, grey, and brindle. This diversity extends beyond physical traits to personality traits as well; some Pitbulls might be outgoing and energetic, while others are more reserved and placid. This variability provides potential dog owners with the ability to find a dog that matches their lifestyle and preferences.

Cool Facts About Pitbulls

Pitbulls in History

Pitbulls have a storied past that dates back to the early 1800s in the United Kingdom. Initially bred from Old English Bulldogs, these dogs participated in a cruel sport known as bull-baiting. After this practice was outlawed in 1835, their ancestors were then bred to be family companions, showing their versatile nature. In the late 19th century, immigrants brought these breeds to the United States, where they became known for their bravery and tenacity, traits that led them to be termed as “nanny dogs” due to their gentle demeanor towards children.

Misconceptions and Reality

Despite their historical role as protectors and companions, pitbulls often face numerous misconceptions. A common myth is that pitbulls have locking jaws — they don’t; their jaw structure is the same as any other dog breed. Also, while they are often portrayed as inherently aggressive, studies by the American Temperament Test Society show that pitbulls consistently score above average for their friendly and gentle temperament. More than their breed, factors such as environment, training, and socialization play a pivotal role in a dog’s behavior. Understanding these realities helps break down unfounded fears and promotes better care and acceptance for these misunderstood dogs.

Temperament and Behavior

The Truth About Aggressiveness

Many believe pitbulls inherit aggressiveness; however, studies counter this notion, revealing they often display less aggression than many other breeds. The American Temperament Test Society shows that pitbulls score 86.7%, compared to the 82% average of other breeds. This test assesses sociability, emotional stability, and aggression toward humans and other animals. If provided with appropriate socialization and training, pitbulls generally exhibit a calm and stable demeanor.

Pitbulls with Children and Other Pets

Pitbulls’ historical nickname, “nanny dogs,” didn’t emerge by chance. Their typically gentle and protective nature makes them excellent companions for children. Observations confirm that, when introduced properly, pitbulls display patience and a playful demeanor towards kids. Similarly, their interaction with other pets can be harmonious, contingent upon early and consistent socialization. Many pitbull owners report successful integrations of their dogs into homes with various pets, suggesting proper guidance and familiarization are key. Such traits emphasize the importance of nurture over nature in shaping their sociable behavior.

Pitbulls in Popular Culture

Famous Pitbulls and Their Stories

Pitbulls have left their unique paw prints across various forms of media, capturing hearts and challenging stereotypes. A noteworthy mention is Sergeant Stubby, an American Pit Bull Terrier mix, who became the most decorated war dog in World War I and the only dog to be promoted to sergeant through combat. This incredible dog served in 17 battles on the Western Front, saving his regiment from surprise mustard gas attacks and capturing a German spy.

Then there’s Petey, the mischievous yet adorable ring-eyed pitbull from the classic “The Little Rascals.” Petey’s character exemplified the breed’s loyalty and patience, which resonated well with audiences and made him a beloved figure in American pop culture.

Pitbulls as Service and Therapy Dogs

Pitbulls excel as service and therapy dogs due to their sensitivity to human emotions and eagerness to bond. They’ve effectively served in roles that require both emotional and physical support. For example, Pits for Patriots is a program that trains pitbulls specifically to assist veterans with disabilities, providing companionship while facilitating the veterans’ reintegration into civilian life.

Their work doesn’t stop there; pitbulls regularly participate in reading programs for children, where their calm presence helps young readers build confidence. These dogs also support individuals through rehabilitation processes, using their intuitive nature to ease the stress and pain of recovery. Such roles highlight the breed’s capacity for empathy and their profound impact on those they help.


Pit bulls truly break the mold when it comes to the stereotypes that often shadow them. Their journey from historical fighters to beloved family members and capable service animals is not just inspiring—it’s a testament to their adaptability and the profound connection they can forge with humans. Whether it’s their role in media as iconic characters or their invaluable contributions as therapy dogs, pit bulls continue to demonstrate that they are much more than their past. Embracing these facts helps foster a better understanding and appreciation of this remarkable breed.