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Jenna Stregowski, RVT

Are Pit Bulls Dangerous?

By November 27, 2012

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There's no denying that pit bull type dogs have a bad rap. Stories of dog attacks in the news often involve pit bull type dogs. Many people are afraid of them. Some groups want to ban or restrict the ownership of these dogs through breed specific legislation. Are pit bulls actually bad dogs?

The issue over pit bulls is a controversial one. Those who support breed specific legislation have some compelling arguments. Many BSL supporters or their loved ones have been the victims of dog attacks by pit bull type dogs. However, most people who have truly known and loved pit bull type dogs find them to be loving companions. Are all pit bulls good dogs? No. But they are not all bad. Some are the result of irresponsible ownership and/or irresponsible breeding, both of which can cause behavioral issues in ANY dog breed.

Personally, I adore pit bull type dogs. I currently have a pit bull mix that is great with people and other animals. Most of the pit bull type dogs I have known were wonderful pets. Sure, I have known a few with behavioral issues, but most of them had responsible owners who took the right steps to protect the public while properly addressing their dogs' behavioral issues (through training, socialization and behavior modification). It is my opinion that breed specific legislation is not the answer. Instead, the focus should be on teaching the public about dog bite prevention and educating dog owners (and potential dog owners) about responsible dog ownership. However, I feel for the victims of dog attacks, pit bull and otherwise. I do not wish to make light of their tragedies.

Do you think pit bull-type dogs deserve the stigma that is attached to them? Share your opinion in the comments.

Need more information about the issues? Learn more:

What is a Pit Bill?
Breed Specific Legislation
Dog Bite Prevention
Training to Prevent Dog Bites
Dogs and Aggression
American Pit Bull Terrier Profile
American Staffordshire Terriers Profile

Photo © Brian Honan

Comments

November 27, 2012 at 10:49 pm
(1) Brenda says:

I totally agree with what you have said. Besides, all breeds of dogs have the Potential to bite .

November 28, 2012 at 1:42 am
(2) Barbara says:

I hate it that this breed always get a bad rap. I personally own pit bulls and labs alike and they have the same sweet personalities. With that said, most of the pit bulls in the news dealing with attacks belong to very irresponsible owners. Having a lot of loose dogs in ones backyard is a major problem everywhere. They fight each other and become aggressive and that goes for a lot of breeds such as rotweilers, dobermans and German sheppards. Most large dogs have natual instinct to be the top dog just like in the wild. People need to be more responsible and law enforcement should make sure they do what’s right by these breeds.

November 28, 2012 at 8:08 am
(3) Michael says:

Any dog can be made to bite, I have had Pit Bulls and they are loving, loyal companions. Pit Bulls have all to often been made to be aggressive by people who should not be allowed to own gold fish, they use their animals as cheap security systems, hooked to a short chain, teased, abused while the owner finds it “cool” to make the dog more and more aggressive, behind every bad dog there is a bad dysfunctional human.

November 28, 2012 at 2:58 pm
(4) edgar krepps says:

no i do not think the dogs should get the blame they are truely great animals most of murders that happen are men so do all men get called murderers if so they better start building more jails.

November 29, 2012 at 9:03 am
(5) Deborah says:

I am a Veterinary Technician. As such, I work with and handle all breeds of dogs in situations typically stressful to the animal. I have never been bitten by a Pit Bull. I often joke that I have been bitten by every species. The worst I have been bitten was by a Dachshund.

In addition I have a loving, but stubborn Pit Bull companion. He lives with four cats. Before I became a Vet Tech, I too had uneducated opinions of Pitties. All pet “parents” should be responsible owners, but Pit Bull “parents” must be especially diligent and promote the breed in a positive light.

November 30, 2012 at 2:22 am
(6) Abbey says:

Any breed of animal can be taught to be aggressive. I’ve owned 4 Pit Bulls and currently have one now. I’ve always had very large dogs ranging from Great Danes to Rotweilers. I can honestly say my Pits have been the sweetest, my loyal dogs I’ve ever owned. My girl now, Athena, is like my child. She follows me all around the house, never leaves my side, goes everywhere I go, and is one of the smartest dogs I’ve owned. I’m a professional dog trainer so I’ve seen my fair share of unproperly trained dogs. A lot of owners aren’t educated when it comes to caring for and training a bully breed like Pit Bulls.They require extra time and patience but it is well worth the effort. It makes me sick how society judges these animals based off of the incidents that have occurred in the few that you hear about and see on the news. That in no way means that the breed itself is all bad and should be outlawed. I’m doing my part in my county advocating to save as many Pit Bulls as I can. My dream is to open a safe haven for Pit Bulls in the near future!

December 5, 2012 at 1:17 am
(7) Melissa says:

Breed Specific Legislation is a cop out for irresponsible owners, and puts dogs of responsible pet owners at risk! :( . I have 2 American Bulldogs who I am regularly harassed by ignorant individuals from the public about. Because they are muscular and have similiar characteristics of the American Pitbull Terrier, they are often mistaken for them! Both of my dogs have BSL BITES dog collars to show how much we hate Breed Specific Legislation. The ban bites, not my dogs!

If you’d like to show your support for my rescued American Bulldog Taffy, please follow the URL and vote for her in a photo contest to win a new collar!

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152320822430607&set=a.10152320821395607.934547.304577275606&type=1&theater

December 6, 2012 at 11:00 am
(8) carol says:

mankind is the most offensive killer in the world they are more dangerous than any animal on earth!

January 14, 2013 at 6:55 pm
(9) Josie says:

Your right my pitbull is sweeter than my other dog xena and xena is not a pitbull

September 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm
(10) janeen says:

today I took my dog to a dog park things where going great till a new dogs arrived and when surrounded by my dog and another one snapped an at.tacked my dog and my dog who looks like a pit bull but I am not even sure what breed she is reacted and latched on to the other dog. I had to chock her to get her to let go I feel so bad about it but she was just defending herself, the owner of the other dog screamed at me that she was gonna have my aggressive dog put down. I have had her since 2007 she was a rescue but hasnt bit a person ever. the other dog had a small puncture wound on its neck but the lady took her back into the park after I left. The dog seemed fine. I apologized to the lady told her my dog is current on her shots and she was fine with all the other dogs bigger and smaller then her. My daughter is worried they are gonna come and get her and put her down, shes not an aggressive dog she does bark at ppl when they come into the house but she has never bitten any humans.

should I worry that they will kill her? I called my vet they told me if she didnt bite a person it should be ok, but I am still worried. Shes a great dog, I cant bear the thought of having to kill her cuz she defended herself. The other dog bite the man trying to help me break it up but because my dog looks like a pit, shes persecuted?

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