Myths About Dogs

Find out which 4 dog myths you should never believe.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
6-minute read
Episode #63

Myth 3: All Dogs Are Good Mothers

Also, if you’re having any soft-focus thoughts about how nice it’ll be for your human kids to witness the miracle of birth and motherhood, please remember that sometimes bitches kill and eat newborn pups. Breeders speculate that this occurs mostly with puppies who are sick or otherwise unhealthy. Some mother dogs seem simply careless and will step on their newborns or smother them by lying down on them.(2) If you still want to showcase the joys of motherhood, you can do it without contributing to pet overpopulation. Foster a mother dog and litter from your local shelter instead.

Myth 4: Pit Bulls Have Locking Jaws

The myth that Pit Bulls have locking jaws probably arose because Pit Bull jaws are just plain strong. I have video of my late, much-missed Pit mix Muggsy Malone as he hangs by his jaws from a rope that two people swing back and forth. Come to think of it, don’t some human circus acrobats perform essentially the same trick?

Informational sites about Pit Bulls all seem to cite the same expert, I. Lehr Brisbin from the University of Georgia, so I emailed him directly to ask about his research. Professor Brisbin wrote back: “Sorry, but this issue is so ludicrous that it defies logical refutation. If the Pit Bull jaw ‘locked’ on closing, how would they ever reopen it later to eat or drink?” Hey, good question! Not content with mere logic, though, Professor Brisbin told me that he had participated in research on Pit Bull jaws from the collection of the Smithsonian Institution and “found no evidence of any locking mechanism.” (3)

Other Myths About Pit Bulls

With that cleared up, a few words about Pit Bulls in general. Pits are dogs. They’re strong dogs, but they’re not the only strong dogs. They’re athletic, energetic dogs, but they’re not the only athletic, energetic dogs. They can do a lot of damage when they aggress, and they always seem to get a lot of publicity for it, but I owe the scars on my right arm to an English Springer Spaniel, and it was a neighbor’s Golden Retriever who killed the terrier mix down the block from me.


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).