You made a lot of good points, and some things I want to add on to, address or...not quite refute but we'll get to that.
I think the idea of insurance, while...somewhat of a good idea, would cause loads of people to not adopt Pit Bulls, or keep them.
Not only that, but you're talking about "puppy buyers" like the majority of people who have Pits and Pit mixes are actually purchasing the dogs. Plenty do, sure. But most purchased "Pits" are actually purebred Am Staffs, or street bred bully mixes. Your average Pit owner adopted them from some sort of rescue, or from the street. Is it true prospective adopters should be screened and properly educated before they get their dog?
Pit Bulls are such a big issue all over. But in order to protect the dogs and the general public I do thing the best way to try and control things would be mandatory spay/neuter for these dogs. While lots of people had childish grins of excitement when we found out some of our dogs at the shelter are pregnant, I cringed. I love puppies, but the last thing we need is a dozen or two more Pit mixes. Reduce the population, educate the public on UNBIASED info, and try to only promote and adopt out the best dogs, and not spend money and resources on dogs that will always be a risk, and might continue the bad rep Pits have.
I'll go in sections:
Yes, there is that. But wouldn't people feel a little more ... not confident but similar if there was some sort of a "backstop".
Maybe have the liability insurance on something of a sliding scale [pit / pit mixes, whatever you got that looks pitty, has to be evaluated yearly by a canine behaviorist / trainer]. Depending on the evaluation that's your payment. My father was a classification officer in federal prisons, these were the people that evaluated prisoners to see what "wing" they belonged to - and gave summaries for patrol meetings amongst other things; and I think if something similar ... a pit bull "classification officer"... would work.
I mean if good dog owner pays $50 in liability insurance yearly and bad pit owners pays $5,000+ in liability insurance wouldn't that be more
incentive to be responsible for owning a pit bull... that's one of the major issues. The owners are not necessarily responsible [even people whom adopt oftentimes get in over their heads].
I mean it's sort of different [in the most basic sense, neither is desirable] letting an ill-trained pug run wild jumping and biting at people than having an ill-trained pit bull do the same thing. Forgoing the size, it's sort of easy to pry a pug off... not necessarily with a pit when it clamps down.
I would really love to see neutering of pit bulls stepped up. Particularly street level dogs.
But the unfortunate thing is, is most street level people don't want their dogs neutered/spayed. Makes the dog "less". As if the dog really cares if it has its bits or not :eyeroll: [I've seen plenty of neutered boys humping away just as happily as intact dogs].
If you want to know what I mean look up Rodney McAllister - he was a 4th grader eaten alive by dogs in 2001 in St. Louis [it disgusts me to call myself human reading the cowardice of the people in the neighborhood]. St. Louis has always had a problem with dogs running loose and this is what happened - a pack attacked and ate the kid. Were the dogs destroyed? No. A number of dogs running loose [ones that could have easily been responsible] were rounded up by animal control (who really dropped the ball, people apparently had complained about this pack for a while)... and released back to their owners who finally "manned up" and claimed responsibility for those dogs.
When calls were had - there's always been calls for spaying / neutering these loose dogs in St. Louis - to spay and neuter the problem animals many people protested. Including of all things a priest saying he didn't want his male dogs neutered because they would indeed be "less manly". Forget the fact that loose dogs breeding like rabbits killed a child ... a less manly dog is infinitely a no go.
Screening / buyers.
Of course most adoptees are screened - that's just what a shelter needs, adopt out a pit bull to some goof off and watch the shelter go to the literal dogs [bad rep, condemned by rumour, etc.]. As you said it's hard enough adopting out pit bulls --- black dogs suffer the same thing in areas, which I think is rather comical seeing as in other areas of the world it's not black dogs / cats that are evil it is actually white dogs / cats are actually considered evil [shows how fickle humans are, doesn't it?].
But how would you enforce that with "breeders". You can't. A vast majority of street level pit bulls are just that - street level. Out of someone's backyard, sometimes even the back of their van or even a hotel room. They don't advertise like breeders of Lassie do, it's all word of mouth in the "circuits" that are after these sorts of dogs.
Joe asks John where he can get a pit, John tells Joe that Ed's bitch [female dog, not a woman] is pregnant. There you go... one sold pit bull puppy.
It is true that most Pits are really just some sort of bully mix. Currently there's a "Pit Bull mix" in my shelter that I'm quite certain is actually a Boxer/hound mix. There's a weird looking dog that looks like a giant Chihuahua/Shepherd mix that's labeled as a Pit mix. In urban shelters anything even somewhat resembling a bully breed is immediately labeled a Pit mix, and it's rather frustrating. I consider myself an expert in dog breeds and recognition, but bully breed recognition is next to impossible unless they are all hardcore purebreds with very distinct features that have very minor differences like skull size, body girth and the difference of a few inches. But just strolling through a shelter? You'll find a little bit of everything with majority bully features like the large, hard skull and powerful jaws, strong body, long tail, but with a huge variety of heights, weights, leg length, ear styles, muzzle lengths and mouth width, patterns, colors and more. But the variety of these street dogs makes them have such variant personalities, much more than a more concentrated purebred like a Rottweiler. I'll expect a more drastic difference of personality from a group of 6 Pits in a shelter than I will from 6 Rottweilers, German Shepherds, or even Shih Tzus and Chihuahuas.
A relative has adopted numerous pit bulls over the years - or what passes as pits. He told me he'd never have children [has a genetic issue he doesn't want to pass along] so he'd rather have four legged kids. This is everything from a boxer mix to actual former fighting dogs.
His current dog, Bones, is a former fighting dog. He is muzzled outdoors in public because training can only curb so much of such an animal's born dog aggression. Remove dogs and Bones is probably the biggest human "kiss up" suck going... his name comes from the fact this dog will become a "sack of bones" and let you do pretty much anything to him. Everyone has probably heard of Ragdoll / Ragamuffin cats... (extremely docile placid cats) .. same sort of personality with Bones.
My relative says pits come in scales - 1 (least true pit), 3 (average "pit") and 5 (true pits / fighting dogs). The problem isn't the dog as 3s are the most common dog he's encountered, but the person.
They haven't a rat ass' clue what to do with the breed... with this I am talking "normal" people not thugs, criminals, etc. [those sorts are a different animal entirely]..... and in a way they're no better than the thugs & criminals.
A number of young pit bulls are tossed in shelters cause the owners think it'll be a cute little puppy forever. They barely train it - or if they do train it, it's not the right training for a high energy active dog that needs to be engaged [this isn't some lazy bulldog on the end of your leash] constantly and has to have its training reinforced constantly. My relative jokes it's like having a tiger on the end of your leash... you got to be hyper aware of what the dog is doing and stop it before it does something. That is how you own a pit bull properly not rambling along with your eyes closed hoping for the best.
There's some idiot - and I say idiot - in the US breeding oversized pit bulls [Hulk - 175lbs of pit bull & is thankfully more mastiff than true pitty by the looks]. All I was thinking when seeing this was oh my god and holy sh*t. And the pathetic thing is, is the idiot breeder tries to pass the dog off as a family dog. Yes, a well trained, well behaved, well bred "pit bull" is a fantastic family dog... how many morons are going to get their mitts on this dog (and it's puppies) or similarly huge "pit bulls" and just be jumping off the deep end with a concrete block glued to their feet.
I mean the video, I'll see if I can find it, of the "owner" walking Hulk... is some dumb woman and she has zero control over it. If she is attached some skies to her feet, she could follow behind him like a sled. If that dog decided to go true "pit bull" that'd be a run away train coming at you and/or another dog.