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What is a pit bull?

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Quick Answer

The modern pit bull terrier is a dog that traces its lineage back to bull-baiting dogs of England that were used to hunt bears and other large animals. Although they have a loving disposition, the strong jaws of pit bulls make them ideal for illegal dog-fighting competitions.

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Full Answer

Pit bulls have a bad reputation due to instances where they were bred for fighting competitions. In reality, a pit bull is one of the sweetest, most loyal dog breeds in the world, and it is perfect for a family pet, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Even the dogs bred for competition are comfortable with being handled by humans, as they crave interaction with people.

A pit bull is like most other species in that if it is chained outside, abused and has no chance for socialization, there is a chance of aggressiveness toward people and other dogs. Those who obtain a pit bull as a puppy and make the effort to socialize it with other dogs and children have a fun, loving pet for a lifetime.

The ASPCA opposes laws that ban particular breeds, such as the pit bull. In the case of the pit bull, the dog's disposition is a case of its environment versus genetics.

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