Stereotypes exist everywhere, even in the dog world. Whether they deserved it or not, in the 70’s Americans feared Dobermans, in the 90’s, Rottweilers, and today, the much maligned Pit Bull brings fear and wrath to many people. In fact, the Pit Bull is not only stigmatized as a vicious animal, but Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) actually makes it illegal to own or care for them in some cities, including Denver and Cincinnati. But anyone who’s ever known or loved a Pit Bull knows this perception is undeserved. That’s why Libby Sherrill, writer, producer and director of Beyond the Myth created this powerful documentary about BSL and its devastating effect on the Pit Bull.

Sherrill’s first film, Beyond the Myth, developed for her senior graduate school project at the University of Tennessee, “challenges the idea that Pit Bulls are inherently vicious and goes one-on-one with people on both sides of this controversial issue.” It introduces you to the people who defend the breed amidst the growing fear and discrimination that’s sweeping the nation. And attempts to answer the tricky question: “What exactly is a Pit Bull?” Since the “Pit Bull” is not a breed, but is generally defined as any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one of those breeds, it’s harder than you might think to define. Especially, when there are still varying definitions of the name (more on that here).

Beyond the Myth is slated to premiere in Knoxville in April or May with a possible online screening at some point. Check out the links below to learn more and stay posted on the upcoming release of the film. 


The Scoop:

Beyond The Myth: A Documentary About Pit Bulls and Breed Discrimination
Learn more at the film website (and see a trailer) or at


Join the Beyond The Myth Facebook group and stay informed about updates and upcoming screenings.


Details about Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) and areas with or considering BSL.