Pit Bulls : Behind The Jaws
The jaws of a Pit Bull strikes fear into the hearts of many that do not understand these dogs. When looking at pit bull type dogs including breeds such as the American Pit Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Staffordshire Bull Terrier and American Bulldogs, you can easily see that these dogs have strong powerful jaw muscles. This does not however mean that they have an ability or mechanism that allows them to lock their jaws; which is the most popular myth surrounding these dogs. Other common myths about a Pit Bulls jaws state that they have 1600 P.S.I in jaw pressure and that they grip with their front teeth while chewing with their back teeth at the same time. Myths such as these lead people to believe that these dogs are monsters.
All myths surrounding a Pit Bulls jaws are false and are ridiculous. A Pit Bull's jaw structure is no different that that of any other breed of dog."The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles and teeth of Pit Bulls show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is no different than that of any [other] breed of dog. There is absolutely not evidence for the existence of any kind of 'locking mechanism' unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier", says Dr. I. Lerh Brisbin of the University of Georgia. Let's think about this logically for a moment shall we. If a Pit Bull or any dog for that matter had a locking jaw how would the dog be able to eat? If a dog's jaw is locked onto another animal how is it that the dog is able to ever let go? Doesn't quite seem reasonable to me. If a dog can voluntarily "lock" it's jaw it's no different from a human "locking" it's jaws on something, all it means is that the muscles are contracted to keep the mouth shut, but it is not locked. Pit Bulls were breed to control unruly cattle and large game such as boars. If the dog were to let go of the bull they could be killed and so could their owner. They same goes for a wild boar, if the dog were to let go as the hunter was approaching the boar would inflict serious and even fatal wounds upon the dog and the hunter. Pit Bulls have the will and determination to not let go no matter the circumstance, they do not lock upon their target. This determination and powerful jaw muscles is where the locking myth gets it's start. Pit Bulls and dogs that are trained for schutzhund (guarding/bite work) must let go on command, if the jaws were locked this would be impossible. Even this strong determination to hold on doesn't mean that they have a stronger bite than any other breed. "To the best of our knowledge, there are no published scientific studies that would allow any meaningful comparison to be made of the biting power of various breeds of dogs. There are, moreover, compelling technical reasons why such data describing biting power in terms of 'pounds per square inch' can never be collected in a meaningful way. All figures describing biting power in such terms can be traced to either unfounded rumor or, in some cases, to newspaper articles with no foundation in factual data." -Dr. I. Lerh Brisbin. Again with the myth that they are able to chew as they grip with their frount teeth is impossible, "This is anatomically impossible! Humans can move their mandibles forward to a degree because of an essentially flat dental plane. Dogs have greatly projecting and interlocking canine teeth and projecting cheek teeth that prevent movement forwards and backwards. I have a dog skull on my desk as I write and this type of movement can not be made." - Dr. I. Lerh Brisbin.
Place The Power In The Right Hands
Pit Bulls need to stop being looked at as monsters, and killing machines. Pit Bulls are dogs, simply put. They are powerful dogs, but that power is not evil unless placed into the wrong hands. Pit Bulls are a wonderful versatile breed that can be used for many purposes. Contrary to popular believe fighting is not the only thing they excel at. They are a breed determined to please it's owner, thus if we start using them for the right purposes these dogs make wonderful therapy, guide, rescue, service,weight pulling, agility and companion dogs. All they need is the right kind of guidance, and owner.
- LOCKING JAWS? IMPOSSIBLE | Dog Facts
- National Geographics Dr. Brady Barrs Bite Pressure Tests | Dog Facts
- Dispelling the myths
- Endangered Dog Breeds Assoc
The Endangered Dog Breeds Assoc (Aust) is dedicated to fighting Breed Specific Legislation throughout Australia.
- About Dogs - American Pit Bull Terrier - APBT
Profile and history of American Pit Bull Terrier