pit myth busting

While walking through the kennels of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League and many other animal shelters in Florida you will discover quite a few dogs we lovingly call “square heads.”  Big, tall, short, and small they have one thing in common – a head that looks a bit “square.” At first glance, some would call a dog like this a “pit bull” or a “bully breed”.  But truthfully, these are simply the mixed breed dogs that are now one of the most popular and most beloved dogs in America!

  Peggy Adams finds homes and new families for hundreds of these dogs each year.  They are adopted by a wide variety of people – single people, couples, grandparents, and families with children of all ages. With the resources on this page, we hope to educate and encourage the adoption of these breeds that have been unfairly represented for years! 


Interested in adopting a pit bull? Dolly’s Dream is a project to encourage the adoption of our “Square Heads” and to help counter the unfortunate stereotypes and myths that some people still believe about these dogs! Each month, the Dolly’s Dream project sponsors four great dogs available for adoption at Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League.  When you choose to adopt one of these dogs, you and your new furry friend will receive a number of adoption bonuses, including waived adoption fees!




What is a Bully Breed?

*”Pit bull” is NOT a breed. It's a generic term often used to describe all dogs with similar traits and characteristics known to the public as "pit bulls." When we use the term “pit bull” here, it should be understood to encompass American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and mixes of those breeds.

Pit bulls have physical and mental characteristics that make them excellent partners for responsible, active, and caring owners. These same outstanding qualities can, however, be challenging for people who don't have a lot of experience with dog ownership or have a limited understanding of the breed. Luckily, pit bulls are intelligent, very responsive to training, and, above all, eager to please. Therefore, pit bulls should be enrolled in obedience classes as soon as they are up-to-date on their shots.  A well-behaved pit bull is the best way to fight breed prejudice and misconceptions.

Pit bulls can do well in an urban environment, provided they have enough exercise and other positive outlets for their energy. Many pit bulls are easygoing couch potatoes, but like all terriers, they can also be somewhat rambunctious until they mature. Maturity can come relatively late with this breed (two to three years old in some cases). Pit bulls remain playful throughout their lives and have a great sense of humor. True clowns at heart, these dogs will make you laugh like no other.
Pit bulls are energetic, agile, and strong. They are also very resourceful and driven. Determination is one of their most notable traits: They put their heart and soul into whatever they set out to do, whether it is escaping an inadequately fenced yard to explore the neighborhood, destroying your new couch if left home alone without a proper outlet to combat boredom, or climbing into your lap to shower you with kisses!
All information in this Breed Overview section is provided by Pit Bull Rescue Central 
* Information provided by other organizations, including links to external websites, does not constitute endorsement by the League of the opinions, information, products or services of that organization.




Myth Busting


There are many reasons for the high numbers of dogs label “pit bulls” in shelters. For example, local breed-specific policies may make it difficult for families to keep their dogs. This is a particularly difficult issue for renters in areas where landlords aren’t welcoming to large dogs or certain breeds. However, this is not a reflection on the “pit bull” dogs themselves, rather the reactionary policies that affect them.



No. This is a myth. There is nothing anatomically unique about the jaws of “pit bull” dogs.



No. An American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) exhaustive review of dog bite studies conducted in North America and elsewhere concludes “pit bull” dog-specific regulations are not helpful in preventing dog bites. Those authors concluded that “serious bites occur due to a range of factors.”



Sensationalized reporting equals big ratings for the media. Publishing and broadcasting stories about dog bites that are perceived to involve “pit bull” dogs – even if those dogs are not correctly identified – results in ratings. The fact is that with more than 78 million dogs in this country, many of them “pit bull” dogs, dog bites are at historic lows and we’ve never been safer.
For more information on dogs bites, please visit the National Canine Research Council.


All information in this Mythbusting section is provided by Animal Farm Foundation

* Information provided by other organizations, including links to external websites, does not constitute endorsement by the League of the opinions, information, products or services of that organization.









Pit Bull Peggy Alumni Happy Tails!


Meet Zoey!

"I fostered for 5 years prior to adopting Zoey. I have a passion for rescuing and providing a loving, supportive environment for dogs that haven’t felt love or safety before. Zoey chose me. When I first met her I wasn’t sure as she’s very cautious, timid, and was visibly abused and neglected. During our foster period, the thought of her being with anyone but me was unbearable. I dropped her off after our foster period and she wouldn’t get out of my car. I had to walk her to the kennel and my heart broke. I told myself when I returned from work that if she remembered me it was meant to be. I picked her up and she was the happiest, pouncing around girl filled with so many kisses.


She has improved so much with her stranger danger, but a work in progress still. She’s extremely protective of me, and my family but in a good way. She’s met my niece & nephew (1 & 9 years old) and she was TERRIFIC! She let the 1-year-old feed her, he’d have her sit and wait, and then he’d say "eat Zoey" and off she’d go. She was not aggressive or territorial at all. I’m a flight attendant and traveling for work so she goes to Mimi & Papa’s (my parents) when I’m flying (roughly 10 days a month) and she is spoiled as a wonderful grand pup should be!


 The most rewarding part is how far she’s come. In the beginning no one especially males could come near me, or in the house really. Even on walks she’d stand guard and protect me in a way. She was very protective, aggressive, and scared. She is now my dad's best girl, and adores my friends and anyone she meets. She loves the beach and her doggie friends. It’s as if she knows now she’s safe, and no matter where or who I bring around no one will hurt her. She’s the sweetest, cuddly square head around and her loyalty warms my heart daily.


Square heads are as loyal as they come. Originally I was very hesitant to bring her around children, and I was very wrong. Zoey loves with all she has. There’s no halfway with her, and that’s a responsibility I take and enjoy. Overall Zoey is my best friend, & life is so much better with her."

-Kristina C.  (Adopted Zoey in January 2021)

Meet Zoey!

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