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Are Pit Bulls Naturally Mean?

Nancy wants to educate the public about basic facts that may save a life.

This article will break down the truth about pit bulls, why they are seen as dangerous, and why these loyal and lovable dogs are actually quite silly and playful.

This article will break down the truth about pit bulls, why they are seen as dangerous, and why these loyal and lovable dogs are actually quite silly and playful.

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.

Though they are often thought of as an aggressive breed, pit bulls are not necessarily dangerous—especially if they have a caring and loving owner.

Though they are often thought of as an aggressive breed, pit bulls are not necessarily dangerous—especially if they have a caring and loving owner.

Table of Contents

Those who have the pleasure of having them in their lives know that pit bulls are often big softies who just want to be around their owners.

Those who have the pleasure of having them in their lives know that pit bulls are often big softies who just want to be around their owners.

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.

Though they might seem intimidating, one could easily view most pit bulls as "powder puffs with muscles."

Though they might seem intimidating, one could easily view most pit bulls as "powder puffs with muscles."

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

YearNumber of Pit Bull Attacks

1988

0

2001

1

2001

2

2002

0

2003

0

2004

2

2005

13

2006

12

2007

15

2008

11

2009

11

2010

18

2011

11

2012

18

2013

25

2014

27

2015

28

2016

14

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.

Pyro greeting me at the door.

Pyro greeting me at the door.

Aggression Toward Humans

Over and over in my research and talking to my friends who are pit bull owners, two themes kept emerging:

  1. "Pit Bulls are wonderful family dogs. They play with and watch over my children."
  2. "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:

  1. When walking your dog, always keep it on a leash. Never let it run free in public parks.
  2. Never allow them to be alone with other dogs in the household.
  3. Supervise all play between dogs and never let it get too rough. Just like children, never allow the behavior to get out of control.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Questions & Answers

Question: 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.

Answer: 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.

Question: 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?

Answer: 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.

Question: I'm doing a school project on pitbulls and I need some facts. Are they naturally aggressive to humans?

Answer: It depends on how you train them. If you teach them to be mean and aggressive, they will be.

Question: I have a project I'm doing and it is for opinion, claim, and argument. My claim is home visitors are more likely to get hurt by Pit Bulls, (I don't hate Pit Bulls, love them) got any facts?

Answer: In my opinion, it is all in the way that you train them. If you train them to be protective and aggressive, they will be.

Question: Are pitbulls good protectors of their owners?

Answer: 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.

Question: 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?

Answer: 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.

Question: If the police see me with a Pitbull, will I get arrested?

Answer: If you are in a community where Pitbulls are banned, you might receive a citation.

Question: I am tired of pit bulls being bred in backyards. Is there any way to stop this? Why can’t regulations be put forth on this breed, whereas only responsible breeders will be legally allowed to raise them? I believe that a fine should be put on backyard breeders and the dogs seized from them.

Answer: I am not for more regulations at any level. Passage and enforcement of more stringent animal cruelty laws may be the answer you are looking for. You may want to start with local government.

Question: Do you think it is annoying to see people judging a pit bull that you own?

Answer: It is only based on fear an ignorance so I choose not to let it bother me. I only educate who I can.

Question: Where did you get all this information on pitbulls? I am doing a science fair project on them.

Answer: Most of the fact in the article came from internet searches. The rest of the information came from my personal experience with the dog breed.

Question: The only breed of dogs that I have seen attack other dogs (including mine) are pit bulls. Each of the three times that I’ve seen this happen, the attacked dogs were not doing anything wrong and near the owner. Why do pit bulls attack for absolutely no reason at all?

Answer: Maybe the other dogs were just too close and the pit bull felt threatened. Pit bulls are sometimes dog aggressive. Often with our own pit bull, we separate them from the other dogs and visits to public places with other dogs are closely supervised.

Question: Are pit bulls are banned in some places?

Answer: Yes in some communities they are. As a matter of fact, they are banned in my condominium complex in New York and my at my house in Florida.

Comments

Michael Davis on July 26, 2020:

My wife and I recently adopted a now ten week old Pitbull/ German Sheperd mix and let tell you that he is the well behaved for a puppy. I even tested his demeanor by doing the old hand in his food bowl routine to see what his reaction would be, All he did was continue eating and wagging his tail while at the same time licking my hand.Now does that sound like a vicious animal to you? heck this dog is friendly that he even will play with the cats in the house we live in.

BossGamer on April 17, 2020:

I didn't know Pit bulls were banned in some places. My pit bull is good to cats.

Tally row on March 17, 2020:

I know i have one at home sweetest thing ever.

Abbygail Nbert on March 12, 2020:

I don't understand people you can not judge a dog by its behavior. And all dogs can be aggressive its not just pitbulls and pitbulls are like babies they are sweet gentle and they are just a good dog to have as a pet. I believe that people need to get over there fear over pitbulls i know it probably won't happen but if people could get a look of a pitbull and meet one they might fall in love with them

Aj moore on November 20, 2019:

they are not mean i dont know why people say that

Lew Heifner on November 01, 2019:

Not human aggressive? Please explain;

October 2019, Oakland County, MI

Benjamin Cobb, 4

Fatal pit bull attack

October 2019, Stanislaus County, CA

Dustin Bryan, 21

Fatal pit bull attack

September 2019, Hampton, VA

Morgan Crayton, 31

Fatal pit bull attack

September 2019, Bryan County, OK

Alan Bruce, 56

Fatal pit bull attack

September 2019, Placer County, CA

Baby "Doug" Doe, 1

Fatal pit bull attack

August 2019, Knox County, TN

Adrieanna O'Shea, 19

Fatal pack attack involving pit bull(s)

August 2019, Wayne County, MI

Emma Hernandez, 9

Fatal pit bull attack

August 2019, Dallas County, TX

Nelson Cabrera, 16

Fatal pit bull attack

July 2019, Shelby County, TN

Mario Moore, 40

Fatal pack attack involving pit bull(s)

July 2019, Fayette County, PA

Homer Utterback, 52

Fatal pit bull attack

July 2019, Highlands County, FL

Melvin Olds Jr., 45

Fatal pack attack involving pit bull(s)

June 2019, Marshall County, KY

Brian "Scott" Butler, 46

Fatal pit bull attack

June 2019, Stanislaus County, CA

Nicholas Farris, 2

Fatal pit bull-mix attack

June 2019, Kern County, CA

Crystal Pearigen, 36

Fatal dog attack involving pit bull(s)

May 2019, St. Lucie County, FL

Christine Liquori, 52

Fatal pit bull attack

May 2019, Jefferson County, KY

Isaiah Geiling, 2

Fatal pit bull attack

March 2019, Dallas County, TX

Johana Villafane, 33

Fatal pit bull attack

March 2019, Alachua County, FL

Tanner Kinnamon, 2

Fatal dog attack involving pit bull

March 2019, Rowan County, NC

Jacari Long, 1

Fatal pit bull attack

February 2019, Lubbock County, TX

Johnnie Garner, 88

Fatal pit bull attack

February 2019, Riverside County, CA

Angela Johnson, 54

Fatal pit bull attack

February 2019, Todd County, KY

Ashton McGhee, 1

Fatal pit bull attack

January 2019, Potter County, TX

Ed Stanley, 85

Fatal dog attack involving pit bull(s)

January 2019, San Bernardino County, CA

Lana Bergman, 70

Fatal pit bull attack

G. A. F. on October 14, 2019:

Why can’t bad breeders be regulated, ie they get the dogs taken away if someone sees them? Can’t we be smart enough to report if we see a person w no morals breeding dogs? I guess in low income areas no one notices or cares what’s going on, just trying to survive. But would it be impossible to report if you see pits outside and know that person is up to no good? God there must be some way to stop this. Is our society that sick that it can’t protect innocent animals? It’s really getting to me, I wish ther was a way to help this poor breed from low life’s.

Erin on June 22, 2019:

My red nose pit was the runt of her litter. She’s the sweetest thing, she cuddles on your lap, licks you with kisses and cries for more back rubs. She’s not aggressive at all with other dogs, she’s really submissive even with small dogs. I’m not sure about other pits but mine is for sure a sweetheart and acts like a baby.

harper gardner on November 29, 2018:

pitbulls are the cuttest

Stephanie Rogers on October 23, 2018:

my son told me Mom I am going to bring my girlfriend's Pitbull and her Lab here for a couple of weeks until they move my first thought is what I told him no you are not they are dangerous, but he brought them any way and I have never meet the most loving, loyal, and precious dog I FELL IN LOVE! Now we have 5 here and they are the most adorable dogs and the sweetest dogs it is how you raise them to be loving or mean. It is not there fault they are aggressive it is the owners fault!

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on July 15, 2018:

Yes, they can be dog aggressive as explained above. Thanks for they insightful comment.

Mandy on July 14, 2018:

From experience every single pit bull I have encountered have been dangerously aggressive. I don't want to think of them that way. But they've come from very loving families and they don't really attack people (the ones I've been around)but when they are around other dogs they are extremely vicious. We go to different dog parks often and there is always a story about pit bulls attacking another dog. My dog personally has been attached to the point where he was bleeding all over the place. (He didn't fight back) some dog had to go to the emergency vet because they were just walking past a pit and it attacked. And almost blinded the dog permanently. And one broke another dogs leg after they were just playing for a few minutes. The reason I know some of them is because I have family members who have multiple dogs and they treat them equal but the have to separate them because the pit has attacked the others terribly. They love on that dog terribly and so do visitors. But that doesn't mean they won't turn if another dog is around. That's why I would completely avoid ever being around them with my dog or ever get one. I always give then the benefit of the doubt but everytime I risk being around them something terrible happens. I've tried countless times. And every single time a dog was badly injured. I'm glad not everyone has had the same experience as me but I will leave at the sight of them now.

vishu boy on September 25, 2017:

My choice is pittbull dogs

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on July 09, 2017:

They are truly the most loving dogs that you will ever own.

mark on July 09, 2017:

I'm impressed with this article. In fact the best one yet. I adopted a brindle pitbull. He is 15 monthes old. Had no training no nothing. He was growly sassy the hole nine yards. I can say now that with training an patients undersanding. It will be the best dog u ever own.I say it is the best breed i have work a lot dogs over the year's. No doubt the best breed..............Love the bullies :)

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on February 06, 2017:

Oh so do I, so many people only accept what is said in the media.

winter matthews on February 06, 2017:

i have three pit bulls they are so calm and sweet i hate that people think all are bad when they dont know how they were trained

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 08, 2015:

I so agree that it is how you raise them.

Mel Carriere from San Diego California on November 08, 2015:

As a letter carrier I have run across pit bulls both good and bad, and have written a couple hubs on the subject. I actually did find some research that put the Pit Bull way down on the aggression list, much lower than the Chihuahua, which was near the top of the heap. When a Chihuahua bites a human, however, it is rarely serious, whereas a Pit Bull attack can be deadly. Unfortunately, there is a criminal sub element that deliberately raises Pit Bulls to be extremely aggressive, and these are the ones responsible for human attacks. I wholeheartedly agree with your conclusions that they can be sweet and wonderful dogs if socialized properly. Great hub.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on October 11, 2015:

I really think that they are reported more in the media. It is the popular thing to report which creates more fear in turn more fatal attacks occur.

James from The Eastern Bypass on October 11, 2015:

It seems like the number of fatal attacks by pitbulls keep on rising. What could be the reason behind this? Is it that they are also increasing in number?

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on October 08, 2015:

I am so sorry that you had trouble with German Shepherds. I hope your cousin is feeling well after such a bad experience.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on October 08, 2015:

They truly just want attention. We had a big 80 pound pit bull, all he wanted to do be touched. He used to sleep at my feet for hours.

moonlake from America on October 07, 2015:

I wouldn't own a Pit Bull, sorry. My cousin was walking her two German Shepherds last week a pit bull knocked her down went after one of her Shepherds. The other Shepherd stood over the top of her protecting her. When someone finally came to get the Pit Bull her dog was hurt and had to go to the vet. I also don't like Shepherds I had two friends each one had Shepherds. I stop going to their homes. One Shepherd tried to get me when I was heading for the car I closed the door just in time, he hit his nose on the door.

My granddaughter worked for a vet she said they rarely had trouble with Pit Bulls but did have problems with Shepherds.

I have owned big dogs, Great Danes, Newfoundlanders, Labs and Springers.

Now I only have Chihuahuas.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 07, 2015:

Thank you for creating this hub. The only pit bull that I know is one owned by a colleague of mine. She occasionally brings her dog to work. The dog is so friendly and well behaved! I'm always happy to see her.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on September 09, 2015:

For sure. I had one of those when I was a kid. The little thing terrorized my poor brother.

Laura from Bucharest on September 09, 2015:

Sometimes I think there's more aggressiveness in a Chihuahua than a Pit Bull lol

I like your article Nancy, thanks for the info :)

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on September 07, 2015:

At this point I really don't know.

David from Birmingham, UK on September 07, 2015:

Sorry to hear that. Do you intend to get some more?

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on September 07, 2015:

Oh you would love them, unfortunately both of ours have passed on.

David from Birmingham, UK on September 06, 2015:

Great hub; guess I misunderstood Pit Bulls too, but this article has helped me get a clearer perspective.

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on June 11, 2013:

I too was afraid of pit bulls at one time. Our daughter and her husband got a pit bull a few years ago and I was just furious! They had a new baby and a 5 year old at the time. However, "Lola", turned out to be one of the best dogs I have ever known. She has always been very careful and protective around the kids and plays very well with the little Boston terrier they have. I too wrote an article on the pit bull, which was once know as the "nanny" dog. This is a very informative hub. Voted up and interesting! :)

collegedad from The Upper Peninsula on June 11, 2013:

20 years ago I became the accidental owner of a Pit Bull. It was abused and skinny and I had no idea what it was. Turned out to be one of the best dogs I ever had. Loved to eat 2" x 4"'s, broom sticks, and the back pockets off my jeans. I miss that dog..............

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on February 17, 2013:

@MichaelJohnMele So happy to hear that. I makes writing worth while.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on February 17, 2013:

@midget38 Thanks for you important input.

Michael John Mele from Seffner, Florida on February 16, 2013:

Great hub...very informative and has helped me see that I was wrong about them.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on February 16, 2013:

Coming in to say that although some dogs have the predisposition for being a bit more aggressive, any dog can have a wonderful temperament when properly socialized, like your pits. Thanks for sharing!

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on January 25, 2013:

@Mary615 That is too funny. I guess the little dogs feel like they need to make up for their small size.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on January 24, 2013:

I enjoyed reading about your sweet, lovable pits. When I go on a walk with my little schnauzer, if I see a Pit even on a leash, I have to admit, I will walk my dog to the other side of the street.. She doesn't like big dogs; she thinks she is a German Shepherd and would fight the big dog!

The Pit probably wouldn't hurt a fly...

I voted this UP, etc.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on January 22, 2013:

@jeolmoz2 The media just has to be right and do anything to get the latest story.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on January 22, 2013:

@lindalou1963 I actually owned a chihuahua and they are very mean and aggressive compared to Pyro (brown dog the picture) who barely raises an eye brow when I walk in the house.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on January 22, 2013:

@midget38 Yes they are sweet animals.

Julio E Olmo Sr from Florida, USA on January 22, 2013:

Yeap! The Media has really done a # on their rep...my sister has one & surprise!...she's a great pet!

Linda from Texas on January 21, 2013:

I am a pit bull pet parent. I have found pits to be the most gentle loving dogs. I wrote a story about ours, its call 'silly spoily pets'... please read it!! No, pits are not naturally aggressive... no dog is. Aggression comes from environment.

Where we used to live, our pit was attacked by a chihuahua. We demanded that the owner put the dog on a leash (ours was) so our dog did not have to suffer the consequences when she defended herself. Thankfully that never came about .

Thanks for a great hub. voted up and shared

Michelle Liew from Singapore on January 21, 2013:

Sharing this again......pitbulls will only get aggressive, like other dogs, if provoked. Thanks for sharing, Nancy.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on January 05, 2013:

@yanjiaren5 Thanks for your beautiful comment.

yanjiaren5 on January 05, 2013:

I really enjoyed your post Nancy and will definitely recommend it to my Friends to read as well. My sisters both have dogs so this is a great insight for dog owners and those of us who don't have them as pets. Dogs are beautiful creatures and should be given the respect they deserve in our ecosystem.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on December 17, 2012:

@Olde Cashmere So glad that you stopped by. Thanks for your positive comment.

Olde Cashmere on December 15, 2012:

We used to have a pitbull and he was an awesome dog. Built like a tank but he was a giant teddy bear. Voting this up and rating interesting :)

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on December 13, 2012:

@TTombs08 I agree, it is a shame. They are very loving animals.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on December 12, 2012:

I hate the bad reputation that pit bulls have acquired due to the idiotic actions of some abusive people. Thank you for writing this and putting the truth about a wonderful, loving, intelligent and loyal breed out there.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on December 08, 2012:

@ billybuc That is what it is all about. A little bit of knowledge can change a life.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 08, 2012:

Interesting and valuable information. I admit to having no knowledge about this breed, other than what I occasionally read in the papers. I also admit to being afraid of them generally, and I am not normally afraid of dogs. Fear almost always comes from a lack of information and a lack of understanding. You have helped greatly with this Hub.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on December 01, 2012:

@Suhail and my dog Thank you for your insight. I could not agree with you more.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on December 01, 2012:

@LisaKoski It is a shame that come people have to buy into the fear factor. I like the "slobbering beast" observation, it describes the brown dog in the pictures exactly. Thanks for stopping by.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on November 30, 2012:

I would like to add my two bits again. It is proven that it is how we raise a puppy for the first 8 weeks of its life that is going to decide whether he / she will be friendly, dominant or fear aggressive.

This is why it is important that puppies be left with their mother and litter mates for the first 8 weeks with a gradual increase of human socialization till it reaches a max from 6 to 8 weeks. If a puppy is adopted by humans before 8 weeks, there is a likelihood that it will grow thinking it is a human and will be aggressive towards other dogs. If its interaction with humans between 6-8 weeks is less than positive then it will be fear aggressive.

Pit bulls are trained for fighting using their natural prey, fight, defense, and rank drives.

Lisa from WA on November 30, 2012:

I've never owned a Pit Bull and probably never will because I don't like really big dogs but I've known a few people with Pit Bulls and never once have they had any major problems, except for the treatment they and their dogs receive just because they have a dog that most people tend to fear. It's unfortunate, because these dogs, in my own experience with them, were just big old slobbery teddy bears.

A neighbor I had at my previous residence was actually banned from walking his dog through a nearby apartment complex because they were afraid of his Pit Bull. The dog never showed aggression, was always kept on a leash, and actually had a brain tumor that made him ridiculously timid even though he was more aggressive in his younger years but they didn't care about that. The guy had walked that dog through that same neighborhood for over a decade with no problems until one or two people complained.

Like you say here, I believe it is definitely a lot about the way that they are raised. It's best for people to ask how to treat someone else's dog before approaching it because they may be a little aggressive to strangers but that doesn't mean it's some scary flesh-eating beast that should be banned. Great hub!

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 30, 2012:

@daholand Yes, I agree with you. Thanks for stopping by.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 30, 2012:

@vespawoolf Thanks for all your kind words.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 30, 2012:

@Just Ask Susan I agree with you. And in my opinion, there is never a good reason to mistreat an animal.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on November 30, 2012:

I have never had any contact with Pit Bulls but I do not think any dogs are prone to meanness. Many dogs were originally bred for fighting. the bulldog being bred to fight bulls and it is body characteristics are for survival in the bull ring. Some of this fighting might have been related to hunting activities at one time as the dog might have been used to help the human hunter to capture an kill the animal it needed for food.Anyhow, I think nurture trumps nature in this matter.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on November 30, 2012:

What adorable pooches! We loved our Staffordshire Terrier, Molly. She was the sweetest girl and did anything we wanted her to. I think that's the issue with pitbulls. They're very eager to please their owners and some use that against the dog by training it to fight. I agree it's all up to the owner to raise the dog right and to socialize it with other dogs at an early age. Raised the right way pitbulls are lovable, intelligent, hardy dogs that make great pets. This is a great hub...voted up and shared.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on November 30, 2012:

Great hub! You can take any dog and turn it into a killing machine. Rottweilers and Dobermans had the "Bad Dog" status before the Pit Bulls did. It's all how they're bred and treated. The only way to get a dog to be mean is for a human to teach it. It's not the dogs fault it's the humans.

Your dogs are beautiful.

Voting +++ and sharing.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 28, 2012:

@Michele Travis Yes, our pit bulls just like to be touched. And the 80-pound Pyro has occasionally decided that he should sit on my lap. Thanks for stopping by.

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on November 28, 2012:

Any dog can become aggressive if abused by a horrible person. I have a friend with a Pit Bull that loves to sit on people's laps. She also lets my daughter put her head on her ( the Pitt Bull's stomach). Basically the Pit Bull is a big sweet dog. But, if you scratch her tummy watch out, your hand might get numb. She loves that!

Thank you for writing this hub. I hope more people read it, then watching the idiotic television shows.

Voted up.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 20, 2012:

@Procrastinista Don't get me excited about the media. Anything for a rating!

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 20, 2012:

@Scribenet They do seem to love people and almost crave their affections. Yes I agree, it is often the owners that do not know how to handle a dog.

Kiley from her computer chair on November 19, 2012:

Great hub. The Pit Bulls sensationalized in the media as aggressive or evil are usually only that way because their owners trained them to be vicious... a bad owner makes a bad dog. Raise your Pit Bull right and he can be a real sweetie. :)

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on November 19, 2012:

I have had a dog that was half pit bull and she was amazing, smart and well behaved...the best! Everyone that met her loved her because she also loved people! However I never let her near small children for everyone's peace of mind only because she was too exuburant!

She was excitable so I imagine much of the problem with the breed are the owners! I say watch the owners rather than the dogs...they are the hazardous part of the combination...the owner has to know how to handle and control their pet...and that applies to every breed!

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 19, 2012:

@ignugent17 So glad that you enjoyed.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 19, 2012:

@fresh2def05 So glad that you liked it. It was difficult to research and see all the bad stories.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 19, 2012:

@Unknownspy Thanks your opinion means a lot to me.

ignugent17 on November 19, 2012:

It is good to know something new about about this breed. I am always afraid of dogs if it is not our pet. Not I am learning to love all of them.

Voted up and useful. :-)

fresh2def05 from Louisville, Ky on November 19, 2012:

I thoroughly enjoyed this hub. Pit Bull are constantly being judged. I've owned two and they are great family dogs but you're right. Certain measures should be taken to ensure safety for the dogs and the family. Excellent hub. Voted up.

Life Under Construction from Neverland on November 19, 2012:

you really know your subject Nancy. I'm impressed. shared

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 17, 2012:

@Suhail and my dog Thanks your input is most welcomed.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 17, 2012:

@mvillecat That is wonderful to hear. Pyro the chocolate dog in the pictures often sleeps at our feet.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on November 16, 2012:

I will not keep brachiocephalic dog breeds as pets, but I do love them all - pit bull, cane corso, fila brasiliero, bully kutta, boerbol, tosa inu, presa canario, etc. appear vicious from their looks and are great guard dogs, but more importantly, great companion dogs too.

Catherine Dean from Milledgeville, Georgia on November 16, 2012:

I am writing this as my Pit Chance is sleeping at my feet on my bed. I have had many different breeds in my life and I can tell you that Pits are one of the most wonderful dogs. I support Pit rescue groups and hope to own one for the rest of my life.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 16, 2012:

@vibsites Yes unfortunately they are bred for dog fighting and there is a whole culture of people who see nothing wrong with this. It is hard to change our ways of thinking and doing things. I am way to soft-hearted to see a dog fight.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 16, 2012:

@rustcliving Thank you so much for the wonderful words. I like to hear from real pit bull who love and treat their pets with respect.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 16, 2012:

Thank you so much. They are very loving dogs.

vibesites from United States on November 16, 2012:

It's only humans who train them to be mean, especially dogs who are trained for pitbull fights. It's now illegal in many countries but sadly there are still some who covertly practice this sport and use these dogs just for fun and money.

Liz Rayen from California on November 16, 2012:

Excellent Hub. I have owned 3 pit bulls in my life and my baby I have now is a Dalmation and Pit Bull Mix. They are highly intelligent, very loving, and very devoted to their families. The same myths ring true for doberman pinchers: Agressive, mean, vicious, etc. Where there are certain attributes each breed are born and bred with, the underlying factor is that the training and love falls upon the owner. Like a living plant, show the love, feed it, water it, give it sunshine, it lives and gives you beauty and pleasure, starve it (of food and love) it will eventually turn and die. Isn't human nature fascinating? I learn from my dog every day. :) Thumbs up and shared! Lisa

Adrienne Farricelli on November 16, 2012:

Thanks for debunking the myth that pit bulls are mean and providing clear, insights and research. I love pits and I hope more people realize how loving they can be. Too bad, too many irresponsible owners have caused these dogs to get a bad rep:(

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 15, 2012:

@rcrumble I think you said it best, "responsible pet ownership". Letting any dog run wild is not responsible pet ownership. I am very saddened and sorry for your loss.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 15, 2012:

@midget38 Thanks for the compliment. I will admit that it did take me a while to write and present facts not just based on personal feelings.

Rich from Kentucky on November 14, 2012:

Before last week, I would have been on the side of Pit Bulls as I am always standing up for animals. However, Saturday morning, my daughter's beagle was attacked and killed by three of them, belonging to a new neighbor of theirs. The police say there's no pet law in the county, so the dogs can continue to run wild. My daughter is completely afraid to let the kids play in the yard now. Their other neighbors are getting ready for a hunting party, since the Pit's owners has basically said, "So what" to the whole affair. If they don't want to be responsible owners, they probably won't have any dogs to worry about before long. It sounds harsh, but if one had seen how the beagle had been ripped apart, another attitude might prevail. We can't blame the entire breed for this act, but we can blame the guilty.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on November 14, 2012:

Wow, Nancy, a very comprehensive hub on the pitbull! You are right, they are just gentle dogs who love the family. I would like to see others have a deeper understanding of this breed, so I am definitely sharing your detailed and well written hub!!

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 14, 2012:

@Ruchira Like I said they scared me too until I got to know a few loving pit bulls.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 14, 2012:

@suzzycue That could very well be. Thanks for stopping by.

Ruchira from United States on November 14, 2012:

Interesting facts about pit bull.

I have. Ever been a fan of dogs but this species scared me but not anymore:)

Susan Britton from Ontario, Canada on November 14, 2012:

Lipnancy your dogs are cute but don't you think pit bulls are sort of a one person dog so they are over protective of that person. I also agree it is how you treat a dog, is how it reacts and you can sure tell who your friends are by how they react to a person. I strongly believe this.

Nancy Yager (author) from Hamburg, New York on November 14, 2012:

Thanks Carol. I am glad you enjoyed.

carol stanley from Arizona on November 14, 2012:

I have often wondered about this..Now I have some good reference. Most dogs can turn dangerous under the right conditions. Great hub and voting up.