No Such Thing as Locking Jaws
There is a standard myth about pit bull terriers locking their jaws when biting. The truth is their basic physiology (physical characteristics/build) is the same as any other canine; there is no such thing as a healthy dog with a locking jaw. The closest example found in the animal world would have to be the opposite talent found in many snakes; the unhinged jaw. Anyone who has seen training videos of police dogs knows that a dog can clamp and hold onto a limb with amazing strength and a very small number if any of these trainees are pit bulls. The pit bull does not even have the strongest bite of all dogs.
Origin of The Story
This myth, among many others may have been started as the pit bull became popular with gangs and as a security dog for drug dealers in the 1980’s. There were few reported attacks, and no large swath of destruction caused by pit bulls that lead to changes in many municipalities legislation regarding certain breeds of dogs. At least one notable case involved a pit bull used to guard a pot field that mauled a toddler in 1987. However, that attack and the growing reputation at the time of the breed’s vicious nature have far more to do with the owners and dog fight organizers (there was a resurgence in gambling on the horrific practice in the early ‘80s) than with the idea that this variety of dog has violent and aggressive tendencies hardwired in its DNA. Like any dog, the pit bull can be warm and loving when given a good environment in which to live and thrive.
Still Popular Despite Bad Rep
Despite its recent bad status, the pit bull is still one of the more popular breeds in many states. Some reasons the shelters in your area may seem to have more pit bulls than other breeds are overbreeding by some people and a neglect to neuter or spay dogs by owners. Combine those reasons with breed specific legislation and you get a lot of unwanted dogs. Much like the anti-vaccination movement some parents subscribe to, the ill repute of the pit bull is based on false narratives and misinformation. Letting people know the facts, actual facts, will help enlighten them and open their eyes to what great companions these dogs can be.