Do Pit Bulls have locking jaws?
A) No. Their jaw is anatomically no different to other dogs. There is no ‘locking mechanism’ and they do not have this infamous ability lock their jaws when biting. In fact, the Pit Bull does not even possess the most powerful bite in the domestic dog world. Here’s some light reading, further dispelling the Pit Bull locking jaw myth:
Dr. Brisbin, as well as the other experts, testified that pit bulls do not have locking jaws. Based on actual dog dissections and measurement of their skulls, the evidence demonstrated that pit bull jaw muscles and bone structure are the same as other similarly sized dogs. No evidence was presented to demonstrate that a pit bull’s bite is any stronger than other dogs of its size and build. He stated that, contrary to information relied upon and perpetuated by earlier case law and law review articles, assertions that a pit bull can bite with a “force of 2,000 pounds per square inch” have absolutely no basis in fact or scientific proof. The testing of dog bite strength has never been done, and would be difficult if not impossible to perform.
In fact, a locking jaw in any dog is considered a cause for veterinary intervention. The notion that certain breeds such as Pit Bulls can perform this function is plain wrong.
Once celebrated as a great all-American pet, pit bull type dogs started getting a bad rap in the 1980s, largely due to misinformation, which spawned prejudice. Fast forward to today, and pit bulls are now the most abused, most maligned and most abandoned type of dog in the United States, with approximately 1,000,000 put to sleep in shelters yearly.
Some Facts & Myths About Pit Bulls
* Pit bulls are just dogs (a type of dog, not a breed).
* They do not have locking jaws, as covered above.
* They do not bite differently than other large breeds.
* They are not more aggressive than other breeds (source: American Temperament Test Society).
Like all dogs, they feel pain, love, fear and joy. The media has played a large role in spreading erroneous information and creating hysteria about pit bulls: National Pit Bull Awareness Day is a chance to for the media to help set the record straight.
National Pit Bull Awareness Day is the perfect opportunity to tell a positive story about America’s dog Pit bulls are the most abused, most euthanised, most maligned and most misunderstood type of dog in America and across much of the world today.
The media has been a big part of this problem—sensationalizing negative pit bull stories, spreading myths and inciting hysteria. Now, you can also be part of the solution. October 22, 2011, is National Pit Bull Awareness Day.
The organisers (and K9 Magazine is happy to join in) are asking you to take this opportunity to focus on the positive attributes of this all-American dog. Here are some story suggestions:
Facts About Pit Bulls
1. Pit bulls are therapy dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs and, most famously, loving family pets (including pets to many celebrities). Tell the story of one such everyday hero in your community. We’ll be happy to help provide contacts and leads.
2. Highlight a National Pit Bull Awareness Day event going on in your community.
3. Take the opportunity to dispel many of the common myths: Pit bulls do not have locking jaws, do night bite differently than other large breeds, do not “suddenly snap,” are not “bred to fight” (the vast majority are bred as pets, like any other dog), and they do feel pain. Like all prejudicial thinking, judging a dog simply by how it looks only leads to negative actions and reactions.
Understanding that certain myths created about particular breeds can lead to innocent dogs losing their lives is something that, happily, many thousands of people have been able to grasp since the Worldwide web has been able to educate. However, there are still politicians who need to learn. Hopefully National Pit Bull Awareness day will have a positive impact on the minds of those who are happy to see certain dogs lose their lives having never done a single thing wrong.
The next time you hear or read someone espousing the ill-informed myth about the Pit Bull’s locking jaw, feel free to send them here 😉