Does It Make Sense To Ban Pit Bulls When Most People Can’t Even Identify One?

Most people have failed KTVI's Pick-the-Pit Bull test.

Most people have failed KTVI’s Pick-the-Pit Bull test.

Pit bull owners have long spoken out against the inaccurate portrayal of the dogs as vicious attack animals. Some municipalities have gone so far as to ban or highly regulate residents’ rights to own a pit bull. But a new poll shows most people can’t even correctly pick one out.

As part of a report on the problems with breed-specific legislation, KTVI-TV in St. Louis posted an online poll, asking readers to select the one American Pit Bull Terrier from among 10 breeds shown.

In case you want to test your knowledge, we won’t tell you the answer [The KTVI site has the answer in a second video near the bottom of its online story]. But we can say that more than 70% of the nearly 20,000 votes thus far have gone toward the wrong dogs.

“This is why we shouldn’t have breed bans and we shouldn’t be so judgmental of the dogs and judge each one individually like we do each other,” said one employee of an animal rescue operation, who was not able to ID a pure-bred American Pit Bull.

As he points out, many of the dogs people refer to as “pit bulls” are actually mixes of various breeds. This is why some cities haven’t just banned American Pit Bull Terriers, but other breeds that have a physical resemblance to the Pit Bull.

For example, residents of housing operated by the New York City Housing Authority are allowed to have dogs in their homes, but the NYCHA has breed-specific bans on more than 20 breeds, including the Dogo Argentino, which most people in the KTVI poll mistook for an American Pit Bull.