Are Pit Bulls Naturally Mean?
Due to the negative media surrounding pit bulls, they are often portrayed as being naturally mean. Unfortunately, this makes many people afraid the breed. In fact, I must confess that I was scared of them until Natalya and Pyro came into my life. Natalya only wants to love, and Pyro just likes you to touch him so he can sleep.
Actually years before that, my girlfriend had a pit bull, and from what I can remember, he just wanted to be near you in some way. He often just slept with me on the couch. And that seems to be a common theme with this breed, a need to be near humans, always seeking the attention.
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What Is a Pit Bull?
Pit bulls are actually a mixed-breed dog. They can be any combination between the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, American Staffordshire bull terrier, and the American bulldog. Some states also consider other breeds to be part of the pit bull family.
I am unhappy to say that the they are sometimes bred for dog fighting because of their toughness and ability to finish a fight. But most are just loving family dogs who have never been exposed to dog fighting or aggressiveness.
What Do They Look Like?
Bearing in mind that a terrier pit bull mix can be a combination of many different dog types of, they vary in size from 30 to 120 pounds. Therefore, you cannot characterize one certain look for them. They may be black, brown tan or white or anything in between.
Most all dogs of the bull terrier pit mix have a strong muscular build. After you get to know their personality, you will think they are just powder puffs with muscles.
Are Pit Bulls Dangerous Dogs?
In conducting research for this article—and since I am obviously a pit bull lover—it was my intension to report statistics stating that they did not bite, kill, or maim more often than other breeds. Unfortunately, I did not find statistics to support that statement.
But I will invite you to read the statistics for yourself on Wikipedia, with my one editorial note: Before 2004, there were almost no fatal pit bull attacks recorded by news organizations. Now, doesn't it seem strange that the negativity surrounding pit bulls started rising when the news media begun to sensationalize these attacks?
Fatal Attacks by Pit Bulls Reported by the Media
Number of Pit Bull Attacks
Is a Pit Bull Naturally Aggressive or Mean?
When the average person thinks of pit bulls, they assume the breed is naturally aggressive and mean. If you speak with an owner of one, however, they will likely comment that their dog will only lick you to death.
So which is it? Are they naturally mean and aggressive, or are they just trained or raised to be that way (for fighting purposes)?
The simple answer is to say that pit bulls respond only to the way they are treated, much like most breeds of dogs. But in my extensive and personal research on this subject, I finally understand it. Let me further explain by detailing the difference between aggression toward humans verses aggression toward other dogs. Then you may reach your own conclusions.
Aggression Toward Humans
Over and over in my research and talking to my friends who are pit bull owners, two themes kept emerging:
- "Pit Bulls are wonderful family dogs. They play with and watch over my children."
- "No I cannot trust my pit bull to watch my home, because he only wants to play with and kiss the people who come to my house."
And to further prove the point, the United Kennel Club claims they are “extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed.”
Aggression Toward Other Dogs
Pit bulls are considered, however, to be dog aggressive. They are known to turn on other dogs and animals, even ones that they are raised with. Experts attribute this negative trait to years of interbreeding the most aggressive dogs for dog fighting.
If you are they owner of a pit bull, there are certain steps you can take to prevent this aggressive behavior from happening:
- When walking your dog, always keep it on a leash. Never let it run free in public parks.
- Never allow them to be alone with other dogs in the household.
- Supervise all play between dogs and never let it get too rough. Just like children, never allow the behavior to get out of control.
- When you do socialize your adult pit bull with other dogs, always keep a special watch for aggressive behavior. Stop it before it gets out of hand.
- Do not rough house with them. This encourages aggressive behaviors.
Conclusion: Why Are Pit Bulls Misunderstood?
Most people who are not dog owners have no idea of what pit bulls are like. There are still some dog owners who are wary of the breed. This conclusion is based upon ignorance, since it is based upon a sensationalized media portrayal.
In fact, these dogs are very affectionate toward humans and often just silly, fun-loving dogs. It is truly sad to judge this entire breed on the negative deeds of some. When in reality, these aggressive outliers were raised by humans with negative personalities with bad intentions.
Pit bull demeanor is not always bad. I know that Natalya and Pyro only want to please me. Please get to know the dog before you judge it. And more importantly, understand the breed before you start raising one.
What Are Your Feelings About Pit Bulls?
Questions & Answers
I am doing a school project on whether Pit Bulls are naturally mean or not. I think they are not, but is there factual proof available?
It was all researched, because as stated in the article, I am of the opinion that pit bulls are not naturally mean. But the article states that pit bulls are dog aggressive and not people aggressive meaning that they need to be supervised around other dogs. So you have to form your own opinion based on the article and your own experiences with the breed.Helpful 21
My neighbors across the hall are going to adopt a pitbull puppy. I have three indoor/outdoor cats. Should I worry about it attacking my cats when it grows up? What can I do to keep my cats safe?
In my opinion, you should not worry about your cats as long as your neighbors are responsible pet owners. Most pitbull owners understand that they must be contained at all times. It has also been my experience with cats and dogs, usually cats will be meaner.Helpful 12
There is an aggressive genetic component to Pit Bulls. They were bred for it. Did you look at CDC stats? The CDC actually records canine attack and fatality stats.
Yes, I have seen the CDC statistics. As explained in the article, Pit Bulls are dog aggressive as opposed to people aggressive. Not all Pit Bulls are bred to be aggressive.Helpful 27
If the police see me with a Pitbull, will I get arrested?
If you are in a community where Pitbulls are banned, you might receive a citation.Helpful 8
Are pitbulls good protectors of their owners?
In my opinion, it depends how they are raised. If you have a real mellow pitbull like me, it takes a whole lot of agitation to get a rise out of them. I have seen older pitbulls become more protective.Helpful 12