Dog Forum banner

1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Why are people so afraid of Pit Bulls? I've never owned or really been around any but I can't fathom the idea of branding an entire breed of dog as dangerous. I watched 'Dog town' a while back - the one about the Michael Vick's pit bulls. They were not large dogs - they were much smaller than my german shepherd and didn't even seem particularlly fast or vicious. What personality traits do pit bulls have that give people the impression they are dangerous?

This is an honest question as I have never been around any pit bulls. You see, I am not opposed to adopting a pit bull in the future, but I need to know what I am getting into before I make a decision like that. Of course, there are no adoptions being planned right now, but I know that pit bulls are plentiful in shelters and a lot of good dogs need really good homes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
That's a really good question and I would like to hear what people have to say about that too. I've heard a lot of attack stories about pit bulls. The last one I read about was where a pit bull escaped from his yard (the owners stupidly left the fence open) and ran into a neighbor's yard and killed their cockapoo... while the whole family was outside with the cockapoo building a doghouse.

But then I have seen some very balanced and calm pit bulls on the Dog Whisperer from a pit bull rescue--the pit bull rehab lady was actually having trouble with an aggressive chihuahua!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
The American Pit Bull Terrier aka Pit Bull is a true terrier. They can be wonderful, loyal companions but they are true to the terrier type which is what most people do not understand. Terriers were bred to hunt vermin and kill them, such as Rat Terriers etc. used to kill rats on ships and harbors. While not given to biting the power a pit bull possesses in its jaws and the mindset to not let go is what makes them dangerous in the wrong hands.
I have owned and currently have a pit bull, they are incredibly talented, smart and loving pets that will give their life to protect their family yet I have seen what destruction they can do in the hands of someone who isn't knowledgeable or trains them for fighting.
People fear what they either do not know or what the media tells them, anytime you see headline news of a fatal or severe dog bite they always attach the pit bull to it. The media doesn't report other dog bites although many have had severe injuries and fatalities due to many other breeds. Many other breeds are more prone to biting or in some cases truly attacking.

Here is a wonderful example of the loyalty and dedication of a Pit bull towards it's family
Pop Up Video
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,782 Posts
They are a terrier so have high drive often. High drive dogs belong in experienced hands or else they can develop behavior issues. Often times People get pits as first dogs and cannot handle them



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,135 Posts
They are a terrier so have high drive often. High drive dogs belong in experienced hands or else they can develop behavior issues. Often times People get pits as first dogs and cannot handle them
I agree 100%. I have been working with dogs for 8 years and pit bulls are very determined dogs, I have even been bitten by a couple while doing nothing but standing there. They need an owner who is dedicated to training and is not afraid to put their dog on their back and put them in their place. The big problem I see is that people do not train these dogs or other similar breeds properly so they dont know better. I also see too much inbreeding with this breed. I do not dislike any breed but pit bulls, chow chows, sharpeis, rotties, and many more breeds all typically need lots of socialization and training.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,782 Posts
My first post was short cause I was in a hurry...


Imagine being a workaholic type person but never being allowed to go to work or school. You live at home with ZERO stimulation. Then you have roommates that yell at you in another languange and hit you when you don't understand. This goes on for years. And years. You can see the outside world but have no clue how to deal with it. Your frustrated with no outlet.

What I described is not specific to pitbulls but I feel it explains the problems with having high drive dogs as pets and not fullfilling thier needs. If the dog is not trained in a positive way, exercised, socialized, desensitized you can end up with a time bomb.

When your time bomb is 50lbs of solid muscle and the most popular breed in the U.S then you see what happens on the news.

100% of my nieghbors do not walk their dogs or train their dogs. Their version of training is yelling and hitting their frustrated dogs. But if som'thing went wrong, the dog would get blamed. Not fair. Not ever.

I would trust a pit bull whose mental and physical needs are met, with my life.

They are alot of work, but the return is just amazing..and totally worth it.



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
American Pit Bulls are banned in Australia. There have been too many accidents involving babies and children - many of whom were the owners' or friends of the owners - and as a result the breed has been declared 'dangerous'. Pit Bull owners have to declare them when registering their dog(s) with the local government (registrations are done each year). They have to abide by certain rules and laws pertaining to them.
I agree 100% with Criosphynx that a dog's needs should be met physically and mentally. No dog should be left to linger in the backyard all day with nothing to do and then be expected to behave when brought in at the end of the day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,481 Posts
There are many things to consider if you possibly want to adopt a Pit Bull. There are certainly cons as with any breed.

BSL means you might have to move or give up your dog if it comes to your area. It also means you can't move to certain places which have a ban.

There are also other places Pit Bulls are not allowed, certain airlines will not accept them and landlords might not rent to Pit Bull owners.

Determination can be good but it can also lead to them getting in trouble.

High drive/prey driven dogs need exercise and mental stimulation. Not all Pit Bulls have much prey drive, nor are they all high energy spaz dogs. But there is a possibility to end up with a dog like that. Some are go go all the time others are much more relaxed. The drive can be a good thing too, but it is something a lot of pet owners can do without.

Dog aggression/fighting ability means that you can't trust your Pit alone with other dogs. Must know their tolerance level and read body language. (good for dog of any breed) DA also has a range within the breed, you might get one who just loves other dogs and is perfect around them.

Having secure containment. This is so important, dogs often get into trouble or cause problems when their owners can't keep them at home.

Typically they love people, even strangers, they don't care as long as it is attention they are getting. Some are velcro dogs and others prefer to be off running, playing even if it is alone they do not have much thought to settle and cuddle, then some are major cuddle bugs. They are often very good with kids as they have a high pain tolerance and overall general tolerance. Mine have been around plenty of children, sometimes not well manners or just doing what little kids might do (they don't realize that it is wrong/mean, they have to be taught). Such as being hit in the head with a toy hammer and wagging tail, being drug by the tail, pinched, ears pull, eyes poked. Children should be taught how to respect the dog but it is a learning process, especially with smaller ones, grabbing, pinching and pulling is part of how they learn and experience the world. I have been around Pits since I was a kid and I'm still here, not attacked, mauled, killed by one. I have also had Pits from a number of different backgrounds from good to horrible. They are very resiliant (as many dogs are), forgiving, loyal creatures. Could you imagine being beaten everyday and still loving people, wanting to give them kisses, follow them around, ect.

There is really not just one answer to the reason why people fear them.

Popularity. It is the enemy of many breeds. American Pit Bull Terriers are very popular, AmStaffs by AKC are not extremely popular but they are not at the bottom of the list either. I think 60 something is where they are at. It means more breeders of which many are not reputable. Leading to lack of care for breed temperament. It also means more owners, some of who are not capable of proper ownership and others who are out right horrible owners.

The APBT is a fighting breed which a lot of people don't understand, they automatically assume something negative or think they are killers. In reality they were bred to have a balanced type of temperament for the most part. They also had to be very trustworthy, not biting the handler duing a fight (which might be a person other then their owner), not after a fight when getting vet care, ect. Many dogs will bite when in a lot of pain, but APBTs were bred not to. Some, thought not all fighting dogs can also be ok around dogs, it doesn't mean they are just out to attack any and every dog. They also typically were great with children too, they were trusted around them. They just love people in general still today that part of their temperament is required. In reality if APBT were as dangerous, vicious and unpredictable as an entire breed (like they are presented) they'd be banned long as they'd be too dangerous for anyone.

Good, nice owners who are careless. Let their Pit run loose, it attacks another dog. Or isn't careful to keep them contained so they frequently escape (they can be good escape artist due to determination and intelligence). If they harm someone or a dog, it adds to their bad rep. Takes their Pit to the dog park thinking their sweet, dog social, baby would never think of harming another dog. If it does finally happen they are not the least bit prepared, they do not even own a breaking stick nor stay calm to use other proper dog fight separation methods. They hit their dog, scream at it or just start their shocked. Which leads to the Pit as being a vicious dog who turned out of no where and more then likely PTS. The same happens when they are left home alone, only it is the owner who freaks out and kills their dogs because they get into a fight without anyone to stop them. They made the irresponsible choice but only say how they can't trust the dogs not to turn on them next or kill someone. Though dogs fighting each others or even showing aggression to another is a big step from attacking a human. They can't make the distinction. When a cat kills a mouse it does not mean they will attack a kid. Same goes for dogs.

Overall bad owners can really bring a breed down. Bad breeding + bad owners can make some dangerous dogs, though it is not the breeds fault.

Myths.....there are many but a few are

*Their brains swell bigger then their heads, which causes them to go crazy.
This has previously been said about other breeds popular during times of attacks, without proven evidence. A breed being involved in a large number of attacks usually has a number of causes, though this is not one of them. No scientific evidence exist to support this theory. If it were true it wouldn't just disagree when a specific breed is out of the spot light. It also wouldn't explain why only a small fraction of APBTs have been involved in attacks. While there have been a lot of attacks in comparison with the number of Pits it is not many, if it were true most all of them would be attacking.

*They have lock jaw
APBTs will grip and hold, they are a bulldog and terrier breed. Bulldogs are gripping breeds and terriers are used for game/vermin in which they must catch prey or wild animals. So it is natural for them to grab and not let go, though they don't actually have lock jaw. They can also be taught to let go or their jaws easily opened with a parting or breaking stick.

*Pit Bulls must be trained to fight
While this might seem like it is in their favor (blame on the human-where it should be anyway), it can actually back fire. Well meaning people get Pit Bulls thinking their dog will grow up to never harm another dog because they haven't been trained that way.
The truth is that dogs regardless of breed can get into a fight, though we know most breeds out there are not kept, used for fighting, they are not "fighting breeds" and their owners certainly don't want them fighting. Pit Bulls are not immune to this, they can get into fights with other dogs. They can also grow less tolerant of dogs. They have a wide range from very dog social to not liking most any other dog they meet even though they were socialized with other dogs on good terms. The APBTs fighting ability has been bred into them just as other dogs breed specific abilities. Even if they are not dog aggressive and don't start a fight, they might not want to stop once they get started and finish the fight as they say. This is true in most any of the terrier types (bull and terriers too), they are very tenecious and determined.

*Pit Bulls are only mean or attack people if they are fighting dogs
This is similar to above but so untrue by far. Just as their are Pit Bulls which do attack people there are numerous other breeds which do as well, not fighting breeds, not saught out or used for fighting. Yet they are "mean". There are a number of reasons why dogs might become aggressive, why they might end up biting or attacking a person. Often the signs are missed, the owners knows but ignores it, or the owner might have encouraged the dogs humane aggressive behavior. There are different reasons to name a couple such as resource guarding, fear aggressive, medical problems from the dogs environment and poor genetics.

*Red nosed Pits are the most aggressive
Which leads to some people being very scared of Pit Bulls with red noses, even though they are not any more likely to harm you then any other. They believe Pits of this color will turn on people and can't be trained. Though it is only a color and does not indicate that the dog is man aggressive or dangerous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
This is just my opinion, but for what it's worth, here goes.

The proplem with pit bulls is that you have two totally different type of people breeding them. There is the person who breeds them because they are basically great dogs and this breeder takes a lot of effort into breeding for temperment and wanting to breed a dog that is a great family pet. On the other hand, the other type of breeder only wants fighting dogs and breeds for that trait and that trait alone, they don't care about family pets, they only want fighters.

So the person looking to buy a pit bull has to be careful from which type of breeder his/her dog comes from and breeding does show in the dogs over all temperment. Since there are as many of each type of breeder out there, it is a 50/50 chance of which kind of pit the public in general comes across on a day to day basis. And that is why pits have such a bad rep, you can never know where the pit you meet came from.

Another thing against pits is that while any dog of any breed is capable of biting, some breeds are able to do a lot more damage when they do and pits are one of those breeds. This is why pits are banned from most dog parks, have strict control limits in most cities and are outright banned in some cities.

Now my personal experience with pits. I've know several and all the ones I've known have been pussy cats, about the sweetest natured dogs you'd ever want to meet. My own standard poodle and boxer have a pit playmate at the doggy park even though pits are banned at the doggy park. I sure can't tell the owner of such a great natured dog that he can't be there, not when my two are having the time of their lives playing with him. I work nights at a 24/7 retail store. One night I went out to join some other co workers for a smoke and there was a pit tied to the sitting bench. I just sat next to it and it put it's head on my lap to be petted. But as soon as I told the other co workers that it was a pit, they all couldn't get away from the dog fast enough even though they had been petting it before that. That is the general publics opinion of pits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
My sister has 3 pitbulls. I met 2 of them as puppies and they are so loving and even if they haven't seen me in a long time...they still recognise me and respond to me.

The other one is old, but very well mannered. they have never had any problems with their dogs before. I am inclined to believe that its all about a dog's environment, just like with humans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
APBT have a bad reputation because of the number of attacks on children and their owners. However, incidents of this kind are not reserved to the Pit Bull only. We have had here Golden Retrievers, the gentlest of all dogs, attack and kill a baby. As Spicy and especially Cri have said, it is to do with the breeder/owner. I have seen at the park a VERY agressive GR. Thankfully and for good reason, their owner had it on a leash. It IS how you handle/care for/train your dog that really matters together with the knowledge that if you have a powerful dog such as a PB, you keep it in your sights at all times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,782 Posts
APBT have a bad reputation because of the number of attacks on children and their owners. However, incidents of this kind are not reserved to the Pit Bull only. We have had here Golden Retrievers, the gentlest of all dogs, attack and kill a baby. As Spicy and especially Cri have said, it is to do with the breeder/owner. I have seen at the park a VERY agressive GR. Thankfully and for good reason, their owner had it on a leash. It IS how you handle/care for/train your dog that really matters together with the knowledge that if you have a powerful dog such as a PB, you keep it in your sights at all times.
Yup... In fact a pomeranian once killed a 6 week old baby.



Dog | Forum | Rocks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
APBT have a bad reputation because of the number of attacks on children and their owners. However, incidents of this kind are not reserved to the Pit Bull only. We have had here Golden Retrievers, the gentlest of all dogs, attack and kill a baby. As Spicy and especially Cri have said, it is to do with the breeder/owner. I have seen at the park a VERY agressive GR. Thankfully and for good reason, their owner had it on a leash. It IS how you handle/care for/train your dog that really matters together with the knowledge that if you have a powerful dog such as a PB, you keep it in your sights at all times.
Yeah I've owned a german shepherd/husky x, a gsd/husky/wolf x, a rott/pitbull x, and a dobie and none are as vicious as my friend's Chihuahua.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Yeah I've owned a german shepherd/husky x, a gsd/husky/wolf x, a rott/pitbull x, and a dobie and none are as vicious as my friend's Chihuahua.

Thats funny LOL. We have two chihuhauhas, a german shepherd and a min-pin mix. The min-pin mix is the most aggressive, the german shepherd is a close second but the two chihuahuas love everyone, dogs and humans alike.

The only one of our dogs to ever bite a human is our German Shepherd and that was because he was accidentally stepped on in the middle of the night. Anyone else see the irony in this? Three dogs under 15 lbs and the one dog that weighs 110 lbs is the one that got stepped on.

As it is right now, we would either have to adopt a puppy or a very social, trust-worthy pitbull if we decide to. Our min-pin mix loves and protects puppies but becomes very aggressive toward large, stranger dogs (the german shepherd bit her).

Some of the things I read on this threat worry me a little. My entire family is pretty good when it comes to dogs so the training / responsible household part I'm not worried about. We do have time for training and all of our dogs get plenty of exercise (the two high energy ones go for long bike rides). But like I said, I do have three small dogs and while our min-pin wouldn't start a fight she also wouldn't back away from one if another dog instigated.

How big are pit bulls? Everyone describes them like they are massive, but every one I've ever seen is a medium-ish sized dog - like terriers normally are. If their biggest fault is the fact that they are terriers, I certainly don't have a problem with that. Our min-pin (special needs dog lol) has taught us a lot of patience and compassion toward dogs with aggression problems and I think our work with her is what allowed us to adopt our two chihuahuas and turn them both into pleasant social little companions.

Also, are pit bulls stubborn? If they decide they want to attack something, do they completely tune out their owner? Or can they be easily controlled as a breed?

Thanks for all the information you have all shared. It has been very enlightening and has calmed some of my hesitation about the breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
321 Posts
Thats funny LOL. We have two chihuhauhas, a german shepherd and a min-pin mix. The min-pin mix is the most aggressive, the german shepherd is a close second but the two chihuahuas love everyone, dogs and humans alike.

The only one of our dogs to ever bite a human is our German Shepherd and that was because he was accidentally stepped on in the middle of the night. Anyone else see the irony in this? Three dogs under 15 lbs and the one dog that weighs 110 lbs is the one that got stepped on.
My Doberman's afraid of my Grandfather's Pomeranian. :)
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top