Top Ten Breeds Commonly Mistaken for "Pit Bulls"
It’s not quite the new year, and as I was posting about Scooter’s breed analysis results, I realized that many breeds are mistaken for pit bulls. The general public does not understand or even see the differences in these dogs. Sometimes, the dissimilarity is so wide, a dog lover such as myself (or, probably, as you are reading this, yourself) cannot believe people can’t tell the difference.
You wouldn’t believe the dogs people mistake for pit bulls!
The general public does not understand or even see the differences in these dogs. Sometimes, the dissimilarity is so wide, a dog lover such as myself (or, probably, as you are reading this, yourself) cannot believe people can’t tell the difference.
A psychology experiment regarding facial recognition was performed on college students. What was confirmed was the fact that people had a very quick and, generally, accurate recall of people faces. In a darkened room, projected slides of people faces were shown in pairs, first one, then a second one would flash on the screen. The study participant was asked to click “same” or “different” on a recording device. Even upside-down and backward people faces were recognized most of the time, and correctly identified when they were flashed very, very quickly.
People easily recognize people faces.
Then the experimenters went a step further and flashed dog faces. Generally, people performed very poorly on this part of the experiment. There was a distinct successful group of people, however. The psychologists discovered that people who worked with dogs such as breeders, vet technicians, veterinarians, and dog owners, recognized the dog faces whether they were upside-down, backward, or normal. Often, these people performed better recognizing the dogs than they did looking at people faces!
“Dog” people recognize dog faces even quicker and more accurately than they recognize people faces!
I take away this message from this study: we all have differing experiences and abilities. I can tell a dog breed by the sound of the bark in the kennel. I can remember my patients, even after I have not seen them for 5 years, and I am visiting the kennel and walk by their cages. “Hi! Lollipop!” But when I was asked to pick out a drug dealer from mugshots, even though I spent an hour consulting with him about his dog, I guarantee you, I could pick out his Doberman Pinscher to this day! The guy? Thankfully, another doctor at my practice picked him out. I could not have done it!
“I’m a dog person” is Doc Truli’s excuse for having lousy ability to pick a guy out of a lineup or mugshot book!
Be as understanding as you can about pit- bull public ignorance. Stay upbeat about your wonderful dog, don’t foist your dog on other people who may be phobic or terrified, and
protect your dog from the stupidity and ignorance of those we have not yet educated.
Let’s chuckle together over the list, and if your dog has been singled out, set a picture, and I’ll post it for the betterment of the world! Names changed to protect the innocent, of course!
Send in pix of your Mistaken Pit Bulls and we’ll all chuckle sympathetically…
- American Bulldog
- English Bull Terrier
- Mastiffs (Cane Brasileiro, Dogue de Bordeaux, Neopolitans, etc.)
- Chunky Labradors, especially Chesapeakes with their muscular heads
- Chow mix
- Rottweiler and mixes
- French Bullies
- Shepherd/Lab mixes, especially if they have those bulging masseter chewing muscles on the sides of their jaws.
- Once, people ran at the sight of my friend’s Pug, I mean, he was large for a Pug and manly, but, seriously, people!
Further Reading (if you don’t already have this bookmarked): Rio’s Pit Bull Kingdom
and ask your vet for the Wisdom Panel blood test for mix-breed dog identities.