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Do Pit Bull Dogs Make Good Pets?

Dorsi fell in love with pit bull breeds after falling for her son's pit bull, Stunna.

Pit bull puppies are so cute!

Pit bull puppies are so cute!

Are Pit Bulls Good Pets?

Last night, I had to share the couch with Stunna, my son's pit bull puppy (whom I was babysitting). As I laid down to stretch out, Stunna immediately proceeded to edge between me and the couch, closed his eyes, and began to snore loudly in my ear. Not one to move a comfortable dog, I let him sleep there with me until I woke up this morning.

Now, maybe this little scenario doesn't mean a lot to you, but it speaks volumes about me and my idea about pit bull puppies and the pit bull breed in general. For so many years, I have heard about how vicious these dogs are, how unpredictable they are, and how they are bad pets. Well, I have to tell you that from my experience, I think pit bulls are getting a very bad rap. Without knowing the specifics of each case, I think that they are a great breed that has perhaps gotten some very bad press. I also feel a lot of those bad apples are those dogs that have been raised in the wrong way.

I mean hey . . . just ask Stunna, certified couch potato, snorer, and all-around chill dude. I've fallen in love with his catfish face and his turtle head. Yes, Stunna is a pretty stocky little guy (he's about eight months old now) but he is just a fantastic dog. I'm really, really glad my son got him.

Pit Bulls Have Gotten a Bad Rap

Now Stunna the pit bull puppy comes from a prestigious background (he does have papers) so maybe having good bloodlines has attributed to Stunna's casual, laidback attitude. All I know is that we have many other cats and dogs, and Stunna fits in well with all of them. The cats ignore him, he ignores them and the only thing he seems really interested in is spending time with my son and sleeping. He also loves to take walks.

When he walks down the street he looks like a little gladiator, all muscled up. So based on looks, I can see why one would be attracted to a pit bull's stature . . . they have a very stocky build and, unlike my other fur babies, are very solid. Stunna also has some really cute markings, with lots of pink on his nose and paws.

Raider and Stunna (bigger pup) Cousins from the American Pit Bull line

Raider and Stunna (bigger pup) Cousins from the American Pit Bull line

I am told that Stunna is an American Blue Nose Pit Bull Terrier. He is very loyal, quiet, and loves to cuddle. Speaking of cuddling, this is Stunna's favorite pastime. He literally climbs up on your lap, digs his face into your neck, and leans into you. Besides my border collie Karma, I have never known such a cuddly dog. A far cry from the killers I was told these dogs were! I think back to when I was growing up and Doberman Pinchers were considered the bad dog breed back then. That anyone who had one or was around one needed to be careful because of how vicious they were. I think perhaps that today pit bulls are getting that same bad rap, and as for me, I just wanted to tell my own personal pit bull puppy story.

Bo and Karma, my border collie. Karma is a great dog and Stunner, the new pit bull, looks like another great one.

Bo and Karma, my border collie. Karma is a great dog and Stunner, the new pit bull, looks like another great one.

If you are looking for a dog, possibly consider buying or rescuing a pit bull puppy. At least look into the breed to see if this type of breed would be the right fit for your family. I think perhaps this is one of the worst mistakes new dog owners make—not looking into the dog breed before bringing a puppy home. I also have border collies and they are not for everyone! Although the smartest dog breed in the dog kingdom, border collies require a lot of attention, exercise, and time. Just like pit bull puppies, not all breeds may be the right fit for you or your kids. But I would definitely say don't be afraid to consider having a pit bull puppy. Stunna is a great dog and a very welcome addition to our family, catfish face and all!


Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on June 11, 2013:

@Holly) Thanks for sharing about your baby. I am an avid pitbull fan now after having real life experience with these dogs through my son. My son lost his Stunna in Dec. (got hit by a car) and we all are so upset because he was just one of the best dogs ever. Great personality and we loved him to death. Sounds like yours is one of those great ones too. The breed has been maligned, sadly. People need to hear more stories like ours and yes, I remember when I was growing up that I was always told the Doberman breed was vicious and to stay away from them. Society goes through their quirky waves I guess, and bad pitbull owners have not helped the breeds popularity.

Holly on June 11, 2013:

I have to say even though I didn't have a pit bull at the time, when I started hearing the hype about these dogs, I really didn't buy it. Anyone remember the anti doberman and Rottweiler talk? Then I got my own pitbull, and I can tell you this is the best dog I have ever had. Having always had a dog ( pure bred and mutts) my entire life, I was surprised at how much I loooove this dog. He has never met anyone or anything he doesn't like. A little hyper as a pup, but always a snuggler! Now he is my 110 pound lap dog! Honestly I have never spokento a pibull owner tthatdoes not love this breed. Tthey want to please their people, so when bad people get great dogs........ My pit is not a pure bred, but has the best temperment of most dogs I've seen. Please, please don't judge an entire breed of dogs from some really bad owners! My dog has never shown any signs of agression, and trust me tail pulling, taking stuff from his mouth, using him as a chair has only earned the little kids a TREMENDOUS amount of licking!!!!

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on February 02, 2012:

@felicarenee) Hello to a fellow pitbull lover. I'll be by to read your hub - and YES, it all depends on how they were raised.

felicarenee from Iowa on January 31, 2012:

I just wrote on a topic similar to this. you'll have to view my profile to read it, and spread the word. But, people need to research before forming opinions, and actually go to the lengths of meeting numerous pit bulls. it is all in the way they are raised.. as with any dog.

Dozer Tee on January 28, 2012:

Awesome! ~ Funny, cuddly, loyal, intelligent, loving, eager 2 please, personable... The list goes on =).

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on January 26, 2012:

@Dozer Tee) So good to hear Dozer. Yes, aren't they just awesome?

Dozer Tee on January 26, 2012:

I have an 9 month old purebred American Pitty, Sienna. She was the last of the litter & was going 2 b shot because no-one wanted her. Due 2 public hype, I was concerned, but I made sure she was well socialized, with other dogs & kids & is friendly (sometimes a little 2 friendly!) 2 my 2 adult cats. I am amazed how awesome this breed of canine is! She is my 1st dog & the best decision I have ever made, love her 2 bits! She is my constant companion & whilst I have had 2 learn 2 b very dominant over her, she obeys happily. A novice 2 puppy training, I discovered it was all in the tone... A high pitched female voice didn't inspire authority! I am now a convert, previously a cat person, won over by a Pit Bull... Who would have thought?!

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on January 24, 2012:

@Desdemone) How adorable and yes, I agree with you about cats first. My sons dog was already part grown and has never got out of chasing the cat, unfortunately. Fortunately Zorro knows this and always has his eyes peeled for Stunna. Zorro is an outside cat and Stunna is indoors (wow that's an odd switch , huh?, so it works out OK)

Desdemone on January 22, 2012:

I have a pit and she's adorable! She grew up with my two cats, and because the kitties used to gang up on her she's adopted this attitude of "never mess with cats." It's so funny to watch all three of them cuddled up in my bed asleep... although they take up all of my pillow space.

It's probably not a good idea to have a pit bull first and THEN getting other animals though. I'm glad that my cats were adults by the time my pitty came around as a baby.

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on December 01, 2011:

@hayley) Thanks for reading and sounds like you have a wonderful dog friend there.

hayley on November 29, 2011:

I have a pitty of my own and have had him for three years. We have a child and my nieces and nephews have been around this dog and he is totally harmless.We love this dog and would not have him b any other type of dog!

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on November 02, 2011:

@Phoenix) Thanks for the fantastic info in the comment. My sons blue nose Stunna is one of the most awesome dogs I've known. He was bought from a back yard breeder but had been well taken care of and had a good background. My son taught him with a strong hand and now he is just one big lovable bull of a dog.

Phoenix on November 01, 2011:

I have had my little pitbull for three years, I am a dog trainer and I manage a doggie daycare and the most trustworthy, loving dogs I have seen have been pitbulls. Many people will say "its the owner", and to some extent this is true. However, much of the problem stems from bad genetics: a large portion of pitbulls are back yard bred without concern for temperament. It is mostly about pitbull lovers and owners being RESPONSIBLE! Not all dogs have to be friendly towards other pets (although many pitbulls can be fabulous with other dogs with proper socialization), but if your dog can be selective or aggressive - TRAIN THEM OR KEEP THEM ON A LEASH!. SPAY OR NEUTER - it curbs lots of aggressive tendencies! DO NOT BUY FROM BACK YARD BREEDERS - they pay NO attention to the betterment of the breed and do nothing to help promote awareness. anyone with the cash in hand can buy these puppies, why support that??

If you are considering getting a pitbull, do your homework! Be sure you are able to handle their power, their energy, and their love. Find reputable trainers that you can rely on for any issues that may arise. Physically and mentally stimulate your dog - a tired pitbull is a happy pitbull! Be aware of the stigma associated with owning a pittie (this is something you have to work against in housing, insurance, with vets, dog care facilities, and just walking down the street).

All that being said - they are powerful, beautiful, amazing dogs with unmatched resiliance. If you are a strong enough leader to have a pitbull join your pack, congratulations - you are enlisting the love of one of the most majestic dogs!

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on October 18, 2011:

@LuvBug) Thanks for the AWESOME story about your pitbull. YES love makes ALL the difference. Thanks for reading and the great comment!

Luvbug4687 from Pa on October 14, 2011:

I never liked Pit Bulls before. One day I seen some guy walking a puppy Pit and I fell in love with her. She was being beat, starved, kept in a small room all day, she was just skin and bone, she weighted about 10 pounds at 3 months old and the guy was going to use her for fighting. He sold her to my fiancé and I for $50 so he could get drugs. She didn't know what to do with toys, didn't know what food was we had to put something in it everytime until she got use to it, she would either lay under and chair and shake or on our laps. She was afraid of anyone who came by expecially guys. Now she's going to be 2 on October 16th and let me tell you. You could never tell she was abused or starved. She loves eveyone. She loves toys and LOVES to eat. Now at 2 years old she weights about 70 pounds! She changed my mind about pitbulls. It all comes down to show you its not the dog that is mean its the owner and how the owner rasies them!! I would never trade my Pit Bull for anything in this world!!

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on August 16, 2011:

@Tari) I think it's always best to know about the parents of a dog that you want to adopt, but I realize that is not likely when the dog is a rescue dog. I'm not an expert on pitbulls, and can only advise you on what my sons dogs are like. I have a 2 year old grandson that my sons dogs are around frequently, but as with ANY breed I would never leave any small child alone with ANY dog. It sounds like your 16 year old son would be be a responsible age to work with him, and I think I would give the dog a chance. I have not heard about them exhibiting aggressive behavior as they mature. And if your other dog is a love bug, it is likely he will pick up good habits from him!

Tari on August 16, 2011:

We are very close to adopting a pitbull mix from our locat animal shelter. He is 10 weeks old. He was picked up by himself wonderding the streets. I'm very concerned about his temperment once he becomes an adult. I have been told aggressive behavior may not show up until 18mos old. If he had aggressive parents will he be doomed to be the same? He will be raised by my 16 year old son and our 11 year old lab, the most wonderful dog I have ever owned. Thank you in advance for any advice/comments.

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on July 20, 2011:

@PitBullDadAZ) I totally agree - I remember in the 70's when dobies were the "bad" breed....I blame the owners for a lot of the bad press about pits. They are great dogs when trained properly, just like any other dog that is trained right!

PitBullDadAZ on July 11, 2011:

Reading this, I have to say... Its everything that I have said about pittie for years. We are on Pittie # 5, the first I bought from a breeder 28 yrs ago and the rest have been rescued. They joined ranks of Dobermans, German Shepherds and even a Chow; all supposedly Evil Killers. One Pittie was rescued from the Pit and had entered an intolerable lifestyle when the owner gave Flash to me.

The people that go ONLY by what the media strolls out in front of them need to examine the several MILLION Pit Bulls that will NEVER EVER get into any trouble...

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on February 02, 2011:

@Mrs J.B.) I absolutely agree!

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on February 01, 2011:

Your so welcome. I think with more positive stories and feedback about pitbulls that more people will come to accept them and realize that they are truly nice dogs.

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on February 01, 2011:

Mes. JB) That's so cute and sounds typical! With their big heads they are like battering rams! Thanks for reading.

Mrs. J. B. from Southern California on January 28, 2011:

I own 4 pitbulls and they are such loving dogs. I laughed about the couch incident. I go through that all the time. My dogs will actually bother you enough to get you to move so they can take your spot. Or they will jump on the couch and walk on you... Thanks for a great story

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on October 21, 2010:

Josh) I am so sorry to hear that. It must have been very traumatizing to get bit. I'm really sad to hear this. I hope you are OK and your friend addresses this problem with her/his dog. That's not cool at all.

Mountain Rose) Thanks for the great comment and I agree.

Common sense needs to reign with any animal.

Mountain_Rose on October 21, 2010:

I am not going to beat a dead horse about the subject of Pit Bulls but I would like to offer this little bit of advice...did you know that several Molosser or Mastiff breeds are considered to be a Pit Bull? You have your American Pit Bull Terrier, your Staffordshire Terrier, your Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and even many of your Bull Dogs are classified under this group.

Now, here is my opinion and this is coming from simple common sense and not the fact that I love Pit Bulls. Every dog breed is going to have their bad apples for the simple fact, they are like humans. It is in their breeding, it is in how they are raised, it is in what they are raised to do. That's like saying 'Oh, I'm sure if Ted Bundy hadn't killed all of those people, I might have liked him.'

Use your head people. Did you know that Dalmations are at the top of the list of dogs most likely to attack or bite? It's because they are usually born deaf or blind. Did you know that Rotweillers and German Shepherds were bread as herding dogs?

All I am saying is until you have experienced each breed, do not judge them by what you have heard. Dogs are loyal to a fault and will not turn on their owner most of the time, however...they are also fiercely protective. Even your small breeds are very aggressive but they are not put down in animal shelters because they believe that they are too small to cause any real damage.

Any dog who is starved, abused, set on fire, skinned of it's fur, tortured, maimed or otherwise harmed in any way...and then sent off to fight, of course it is going to be aggressive! What would you do to survive?

Josh on October 21, 2010:

I was bitten by my friends pitbull. My friend is a wonderful pet owner and she loves her animals.

It was an unprovoked attack, and I will never trust these scary animals.

I had never been bitten by any dog before in my life. My pants were ruined!

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on October 14, 2010:

pitbull)great comments and I agree with what you say. Obviously you have had a lot of experience with the breed and understand them. Glad to hear from a responsible furbaby owner who takes time to educate others. Thanks for your feedback!

pitbull on October 14, 2010:

i have two pits a male and a female the female is a low to medium energy dog and the male is a medium to high energy dog both are papered and have champion bloodlines king lion commet gotti to name a few so every dog is different both are loving and loyal but i agree that they are not for everyone i have had pits in my life since i was 17 now pushing 34 i am i have had very very dog aggressive ones and i have had them with no agression issues too never had one attack anything either when Kelly(the worst dog agresive one) went out for walks she was walk at night less chance of running into dogs she was double leashed when ever she was out side one on the neck and one on harness a safety precation if she ever got away from you she would go after any dog and kill it owned her for 6 years before she was put to sleep she was an adult dog when we got her and in 6 years she never hurt anything not that she did want to and any pitbull can be like this very dog agresive so unless you are prepared to have a dog like this and not take it out running off leash keep it under constant supervison or locked up tight then your better of with a different breed but if your a dominat person who would do what ever it takes to keep all other dogs cats safe then you might be the right person for a pitbull if not stay away from them every bad press story dog attack against a person or animial hurts the breed and there would be none or very few if the right people get the right breeds we are all better off fight BSL the right way give them nothing to write about and all you pitbull owners out there use some common sense there is no reason no excusse for a pitbull to be off leash or that i don't know how it got away bullsh** responsible owner ship that's the key to making all the haters disapear love my pitbulls and would never give them up or trade them for another breed one of the best house dogs in my opinon

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on October 01, 2010:

Software-Photos) I do not advocate breeding dogs at all. There are enough unwanted pets waiting for adoption.

I think families that really want a pit bull for a pet can look into all the facts and make a decision based on information gathered. Of course there are a lot of great dog breeds. I am only speaking on what I have observed with my sons dog. I had always been very afraid of the breed because of the media, and I think the breed as a whole has a bad rap because of irresponsible people. The breed is not going away anytime soon so I think it's better for people to get informed and read as much as possible about the dog they want to bring home - the good and the bad. Just like in all things.

Software - Photos from Canada on September 30, 2010:

Is this article your contribution to humanity? There are lots of good dog breeds that are just as loving as Staffies, but don't occasionally go ape and tear skin off.

Your labor of love: (1) keeps the breeding, dog-fighting, mauling, and murder GOING, and (2) ironically leads to continued cruelty against pit bulls (and so many other "types" and synonymous dogs.)

If you love pit bulls, let them fade away.

Lawn darts, a great family game, were banned after three children were killed. Nobody complained -- it just makes sense. There are other ways for families to have fun.

The pit bull genetics were a human-propelled mistake. Yes, blame the breeders, the fighters, and those who are entertained by blood and violence.

I'm well aware that the media sensationalizes pit bull attacks, but that doesn't mean pit bulls are actually a great dog! The media also sensationalizes the sexual molestation and rape of children, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a hideous problem. Reality is, the pit bull problem is EASY to fix if you liars and man-haters, dog-haters, goat-haters, pony-haters would shut up.

Think about what you are doing.

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on July 02, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by Whitney. As Stunna gets older I realize what a powerful dog he is. This breed definitely needs to have a strong and authoritative hand. (at least Stunna does) He is minding pretty well but he has got in some altercations with other household pets,both where he was the aggressor and they were the aggressors. He tucks his tail and pretty much runs from the Chi's but they don't like him for some reason. Of course chi's can be pretty dominant themselves. I'm only babysitting Stunna until his dad can take him.

Whitney from Georgia on June 24, 2010:

No, there being champion somewhere in the bloodline doesn't have anything to do with temperament or behaviors, nor does that really classify the dog as champion bloodlines. To have champion bloodlines there must be a good number of champions in the line, typically to include one or both parents.

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on May 12, 2010:

Kristen) Yes this is so true! Thanks for reading.

kristen on May 09, 2010:

i have owned pittbulls and still have one he is now 12 yrs old. he is the greatest gog ever!its not the dog that's bad its the owner!dont judge a dog by its name judge the person who it learns from!just like human kids!!!

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on May 05, 2010:

Thanks Whitney for stopping by and the comments. Yes Stunna has champions in his lineage. Don't know that that makes a big difference but he is a great dog. Just likes to kick back on the couch most of the time. And Bo was from the same family. And yes about the breed - that's why I encouraged people in the hub to read up on the breed and make sure that the dog would be a right fit for them. My son did tell me that they can be stubborn. Stunna also suffers from separation anxiety when my son is not around. He is such a love bug. Very happy with how he is turning out. Thanks for stopping by.

Whitney from Georgia on May 05, 2010:

Just because a dog has papers, doesn't mean it has a prestigious background. Does the dog have champions in the line?

More than likely, the dog is just calm. My dog has papers too and she's not a couch potato unless someone is sitting with her. Some are just more laid back than others; papers won't determine temperament of the dog.

By the way, Stunner is an American Pit Bull Terrier with a blue coat and blue nose. Doesn't make him any different than Bo, who was a blue APBT from what I remember. Color doesn't affect breed or cause the need to capitalize it as a part of the breed name.

I wouldn't recommend the breed to everyone, so saying anyone who is looking for a dog should go out and adopt an APBT, isn't a safe statement. The breed is very powerful, stubborn, and potentially dominant, which is why it's only a good breed for certain people. Definitely not one to promote for everyone to go out and bring home.

Dorsi Diaz (author) from The San Francisco Bay Area on March 13, 2010:

Eternal Evolution) I agree. Stunna is the best dog I've had in the house besides my border collie. Stunna is a very laid back dog and gentle. I think a lot of the problem with bad media is owners irresponsibility.

Thanks everyone for stopping by and reading about the American Bull Terrier/ Pit Bull breed.

Eternal Evolution from kentucky on March 13, 2010:

Pit Bulls are wonderful dogs that are very loving and loyal. They need responsible owners who understand the breed. They have gotten a bad name in the media due to misconceptions, lack of facts, fear, ignorance and irresponsible owners. I have owned/fostered 3 pit bulls and all 3 have been wonderfuly loving pets. And all 3 have been bed bugs and couch potatoes lol.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on February 27, 2010:

Like all dogs they are fine in the right hands

Hello, hello, from London, UK on February 26, 2010:

In England many of the drugdealers have them and so many you hear another baby was killed. We are too scared to go into the forest because they let them off the leash. It is terrible.

Ralph Deeds from Birmingham, Michigan on February 25, 2010:

I'm sure many or nearly all of them are okay. But I've read about too many instances in SE Michigan where pit bulls have killed, babies, joggers and even a horse tied up in a barn. I hope you have good experience with yours.