Kathy is a freelance writer for Textbroker, Verblio, and Constant Content and published author in Neon Rainbow Magazine.
Deciding to Add a Pit Bull to Your Family Should Be a Thoughtful Decision
With a friend of ours recently acquiring a four-week-old pit bull puppy, my first reaction was aww, how cute! After looking into it a bit more, however, I have come to believe that the decision to become an owner and parent of a pit bull should be a very well thought out decision, and one that is not simply based upon "how cute!"
All puppies and baby animals begin as darling little creatures that are hard for many people to resist! This particular puppy is still being fed by a bottle, which led me to believe that she probably shouldn't have been sold at such a young age. As it turns out, she was bought from a breeder who was only into breeding these dogs for profit. Normally, a puppy should be eight weeks old before they are sold or adopted out.
Consider Both Sides of the Argument Before Making a Decision
In the case of our friend, she basically only read things on the Internet that said that pit bulls have unfairly gotten a bad reputation and that they make wonderful family dogs. She had read about how they grow up to be great dogs if they are well-loved and treated well. She believes that if they are raised right, they will be fine.
To look at and to believe only one side of the argument is not really the best way to go into a decision of this magnitude. It is better to consider the other side as well. There are people out there who either have been bitten or attacked, or both, or who know someone who has. They tell quite a different story. Some of these people were seriously injured or even killed by what they thought was a wonderful family pet. I've heard stories from those who said that their dog simply "snapped" before attacking them.
I think it's like the animal trainers who work in zoos or in shows that use animals. When you consider the famous Siegfried and Roy show in Las Vegas, they thought they knew the animals they worked with daily very well and that being attacked couldn't happen, or at least that the chances were very small. In their case, it did happen and Roy was viciously attacked by a tiger in October of 2003, ending the pair's career.
The most important thing to be aware of is that these are animals. Even though they have become domesticated and share our homes with us, they still have that bit of animal instinct inside of them that I don't believe will ever be taken out of them. Even giving them love and treating them well can't take away the basic animal instinct that has been bred into them for centuries. Caution is advised, even in the case of family pets that you think you know very well. When pets are near babies or children, for example, they should always be supervised by an adult for safety reasons. Male pit bulls should also be neutered, since an estimated 70 percent of attacks involve unneutered male dogs.
What Causes the Horrific Injuries When an Attack Happens?
The biggest thing that causes injury to people or animals is the method pit bulls and other strong biters use instinctively when they bite. It is sometimes called a grab and shake method. They have very powerful jaws and have a very strong grip on anything they grab with their teeth. They hold the item and shake it as a matter of instinct. When it comes to the bones and soft tissue of people or animals, this causes extreme injuries that are known as mauling.
The things that make the injuries even worse are the traits that pit bulls and other breeds with a strong bite have as a result of genetics. They grab onto something with a tenaciousness that is almost unmatched in the animal world. When a pit bull is involved in holding the object it has bitten, they often show a very heightened level of pain tolerance, making it easier for them to continue to attack even when someone tries to stop them.
In a very sobering fact, at least 50 percent of those attacked by a pit bull were the owner of the dog or a member of the owners family. This is a pretty strong example of thinking that you know your pet very well, but when nature takes over, it can be unstoppable. I read someplace that you can't "love" the natural instinct out of a pit bull. You can raise them in a warm, loving environment, just to have something snap inside the dog one day.
There are also pit bull owners who have been successful in owning their dog for the average lifespan of the dog, which is about 14 years, without problems. I honestly think that the way an owner raises the dog is most important in how the dog will behave as an adult. I believe genetics can also play a part in whether the dog you get will be well-behaved and an exemplary family pet. The thing you have to consider before getting one is, do you want to take a chance and hope for the best?
Consider Both Financial Costs and Time Costs
Pit bulls need to be socialized at a very young age, and from what I have read, they need to be socialized again when they become about the age of an adolescent. Obedience lessons are a highly advised thing when deciding to own a pit bull. I've also read that pit bulls are extremely intelligent and learn quickly, making the obedience training you get for them very effective.
You must also establish at a very young age that YOU are the pack leader. You must be able to enforce discipline and codes of acceptable behavior or be ready for potentially unpleasant consequences. They must know that you are in charge, from puppy-hood on.
Another important consideration is that the average pit bull needs daily exercise due to high energy levels. This can vary according to the dog's temperament. The average, however, is about an hour of exercise to three hours a day. You have to be willing to make this type of a commitment. If you live a couch potato lifestyle and your idea of walking the dog is walking him 1/2 block and back home again, the pit bull may not do well. They can become frustrated, which can lead to problems.
Veterinary expenses are a given. You should get the pit bull spayed or neutered, and possibly micro-chipped for identification purposes. And of course, they need to have all the shots that are recommended by your veterinarian.
You also need to think about food expenses. Pit bulls can grow to be pretty large dogs and can have a very healthy appetite. With the very short hair they have, grooming is usually not a problem and shedding is normally not a problem either.
One expense that many potential owners are not even aware of is this. If you decide to rent a home or apartment in the future, you may not be able to rent a place if you intend to move into it with a pit bull. It depends on where you decide to rent and the rules in place for the rental property. In another important consideration, if you own a home, you have to tell the company that provides your homeowners insurance that you have brought a pit bull into your home.
The insurance company will normally increase homeowners insurance rates when they learn of your new pet. This is because pit bulls are considered to be a high risk. That is, if the homeowners insurance company even covers pit bull expenses.
In some cases, the insurance company will make the owner sign papers saying that insurance will not cover any damages caused by the pit bull (i.e. medical and lawsuit expenses of anyone who is injured, or expenses from law suits if another person's pet is injured or killed). If this happens, you as the owner of the pit bull take on all financial responsibility if your pet injures or kills a person or an animal.
On the other hand, if you keep it a secret that you've added a pit bull to your home and the insurance company finds out about it, they may cancel your policy and you could have difficulty obtaining another policy. It's important to check your insurance companies policies and be aware of them. Being aware is better than being blindsided later if something happens.
I Was Attacked as a Child
I have experience with a dog attack as a child, but it was NOT a pit bull that did the attacking, it was a German Shepherd mix. I still have a very faint scar at the top of my nose, right between my eyes (it just looks like extra tissue there now since this happened a long time ago). It was scary to see teeth coming at you and not knowing what to do to stop it.
Due to this experience, I can tell you that it is not only Pit Bulls that can attack! I think any type of dog could attack if they feel provoked or if they feel as if they're in any type of danger.
Any time a family is thinking of adding any type of dog to their family group, it's smart to make the decision in a carefully thought out way. Professional training can be a good idea I think for ANY breed of dog and can make a real difference in teaching dogs proper behavior and good manners. If you do decide to adopt a Pit Bull or any other type of dog, I wish you the best and hope you have a truly positive and loving experience.
This article was not meant to be an article bashing just one breed, although the facts and statistics do show higher rates of attacks from certain bully breeds. I hope you adopt a good puppy and have a positive experience.
Make the Decision After Careful and Thoughtful Consideration
I am not an expert on pit bulls. I may have made errors in writing this, even though I tried to be as accurate as possible.
I believe that the decision to bring a pit bull into the home should be a very carefully considered decision, and not one that is made on a whim or a feeling of "how cute, I want one," the way that one of our friends decided to get their pit bull puppy.
I think the owners of a pit bull should know what they are getting into. If you are an experienced dog owner and are willing to invest the time and effort in training your dog to be a great citizen, then you will probably be fine.
If, however, you are an inexperienced dog owner, or even a first time owner, I've tried to cover some things to think about before making your decision. There is information out there about the best dog breeds for your personality type. The best dogs are those that are well matched with their owners personalities and temperaments. I believe it's always best to make a wise, well-thought out decision.
An Interesting Article Using Statistics from TIME Magazine
- But, My Pit Bull Would Never Attack - May Be Wishful Thinking | Boston.com
Pit bulls make up 6 percent of the dog population in Canada and the US, but they are responsible for 68 percent of dog attacks and 52 percent of dog-related deaths since 1982.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: Where did you get the information that pitbulls have the strongest bite, or, have one of the strongest bites in the animal world, with the bite of a shark coming in a close second? I have to ask because this is the type of stuff that feeds the hysteria about this breed. It is a ludicrous assertion to say such a thing, and in my opinion, one should not be writing anything about the breed unless they are an expert.
Answer: I got my information from places like:
In this article, the information also came from studies done by National Geographic. I try to use reliable sources.
Question: Where did you get a lot of this misleading information?
Answer: One resource was https://www.dogsbite.org/dangerous-dogs-pit-bull-f... - if you look at the bottom of the first page, there are 23 source notations at the bottom of the page for reference. I also use .gov and .edu resources a lot, plus for this article, I used some insurance company information as well.
Question: Where did you get the idea that all Pit Bulls are aggressive?
Answer: They’re not all aggressive. I think a lot depends on how they’re raised and what’s going on in a moment if they do respond by biting. I think any animal can become aggressive if they feel cornered or threatened.
Question: What kind of dog have you personally owned? And what makes you think that you can judge pit bulls? This article is very judgy. Where's the positive stuff about them?
Answer: We had a beagle for about 12 years when I was growing up and more recently, our son’s Shih-Tzu was living with us for a year. There are positives to all dog types, along with things people should be aware of before becoming a dog owner. It’s a big commitment and one that people should be dedicated to making when they get a dog. Animals are not a whim or “disposable.”
© 2015 KathyH
Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on May 12, 2019:
I've always thought that pit bulls got a mostly undeserved bad reputation. I've know so many people that had them, and they were friendly, well behaved dogs. I've also know a few people who had pit bulls that seemed scary by their actions (growling, aggressively guarding).
My daughter has two pit bulls.The first is a male (neutered) who she has had since he was a year old. The second is a female she got when the puppy was about 4 months. She thought her first dog needed a friend. The dogs played together and got along great. They were both friendly to people, and were able to accept a cat into the family.
Now I think the male is about 12 years old, and the female is 8. Recently the female is asserting her dominance over the (larger) male. He is not willing to submit to her, so it becomes a problem.
One night the two dogs got into a serious fight. My daughter was not able to get them to stop. She had to call for help. Both dogs had significant injuries, and she was injured herself from her efforts to stop them, not bit, just knocked down.
My point in telling this story is to point out that there were signs. This attack did not just come out of the blue. If your dog, pit bull or otherwise, begins to show aggression, or behave differently, don't ignore it. Behavior can change.
Thoris on April 15, 2019:
I have owned Staffordshire terriers for years. I love my babies more than most humans. An intact male is territorial unless you socialize them begining when they are young. Just like any male dog. But, a pit not socialized with other dogs CAN NOT have another intact male come into his home, he isn't having anything to do with it. Yes there's those exceptions, but majority will rip the other dog a new ..butt. as for kids, mine will herd the kids it's amazing, and comical. If you don't take the time to train it.. or any dog they don't know what they're suppose to do. The owner has to take alpha position or these loves will walk all over you. They r hard headed and stubborn when they want to be. They also want nothing more than to please their owner. They are extremely loyal, loving and characters. If you don't laugh at the things they think up or do ur not paying attention. I just want to get this in here.. there are so many breeds that look like a pitbull. If you actually look at pictures of the dogs the media shows that attacked people, a great number aren't even pitbulls.But they wouldn't sell as many papers if it wasn't a pitbull attack. God forbid that any other breed be held accountable. I'd take a bullet for my babies. Without hesitation. People need to get some hands on spend time with one some day. Give them the chance they deserve.They are not monsters.they are an awesome breed. Go image an large full sized ankle bitter... They're far worse than any pitbull I ever seen at least the pits have manners lol.
John Smith on April 09, 2019:
Im an owner of a pit mix rescue, and not sure if I correctly grasped the point you intended to make, but here are my thoughts. I believe your statements about the breed being prone to aggressive behavior is accurate. When you say take it into consideration your correct, but as I'm sure you more so meant in the bigger picture, carefully consider owning a dog in the first place. Consider your lifestyle. How much available time you will have to give to the dog, and how much you genuinely intend on giving. Yes the pit breed is not for every household, but the same goes for any breed. Mine has never bitten another individual, or another individual's dog. He does chase however, and is standoffish towards other dogs. Shockingly he has been bitten in the face by considerably smaller passive breeds that, if he so wanted, could have rag dolled to there deaths without any real invested effort. Recieved from one's he has run up on, and started. Though this is due to the fact that I made it abundantly clear, while he was at an early age, that biting WILL not be tolerated. At the same time I do not live under the illusion that it's impossible, and could never take place. There are too many variables that could come about, and the right recipe of events could conjure possibly that are needed to bring about such an occurrenc. The real issue lies within the same, and frequently repeated practice of incorrectly addressing the problem. Go after the dog's breed, not the dog's incompetent owner. A G.Shepard bit my brothers nose, and split it. Then a couple years later a chow did just the same tearing the very same scar open from the previous bite. Always assume potential risks. Pits are high energy dogs, and if this is unaddressed there can be consequences. Hes been a joy to train as the breed is one that is eager to please. They easily get there feelings hurt, and definitely will take notice if you make clear your disapproval. Each one has its own personality to consider, and it's the responsibility of the owner to know their dog's. As well what situations the dog is familiar with, unfamiliar with, comfortable with, uncomfortable with. If a new setting is presented then assume the worst could happen without the rightly taken preventative precaution.
Owner of many bull breeds on March 26, 2019:
Please don't succumb to the idiot pro pit lobby. I have owned pits and other bull breads so I am very familiar. The people that say it's all in how you treat them with treats and kind words are the most dangerous owners out there. The people who chose to ignore and not address that every breed was breed for a purpose. A hardwired genetic code that it will revert to if not controlled by a strong alpha owner. These I rescued a pit look at me Starbucks late sipping suckers are going to learn the hard way. If you understand that pits were breed for fighting other dogs and animals in a ring or pit you will understand that you need to be very cautious around other dogs with your pit and have full control. If you understand that pits were breed with terriers dogs that were breed to be very aggressive and have strong tenacity because they are a small dog. it's not so much about the jaw strength it's the fact that they have the terrier mentality in a medium to large size dog package that makes them so dangerous. Of you understand all of this and assert yourself as the alpha you can have a best buddy for many years that will leave a whole in your heart when they go. But I fear to many people get a pit and think if I'm nice to it it will be a sweet soul. All dogs need a dominant owner but a pit especially needs one. I see idiots with there pits off leash, I observed a woman walking here on leash (retractable kind lol) lose control because it went after a woman's shitzu. Killed that dog in about two seconds. I had to kick the shit out of the pit to get it to stop from shaking the dead dog. The woman who owned the pit was hysterical screaming OMG omg she's the sweetest dog ever this isn't happening....news flash it did and your lucky it didn't go after me or the owner of the shitzu. I heard the woman had to sue the other lady for the cost of her dog...anyways people are right in a way when the say it's the owners not the dogs fault, but they have this false idea that aggressive pits are beaten into being aggressive, not the case they are genetically aggressive and it takes a strong owner to control and understand this aggression
Cynthia on March 11, 2019:
We have a Bully Pit, that is the sweetest thing. When my daughter briught her home i eas super angry. Now four years later she's my baby. We ordered a pizza one evening and Dottie was barking up a storm when the Pizza guy rang the doorbell, we cracked the door to retrieve the Pizza and somehow Dottie, got out, the Pizza guy politely said "Go back in the house". Dottie turned around and came right back in the house. MY HUSBAND AND I were stunned. THE NEXT DAY WE PURCHASED A GUN.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on March 11, 2019:
Hi David! I try to reply to people with different views if they carry on a thoughtful, respectful conversation. I don’t respond to name calling and derogatory comments. Thank you for sharing your views and experiences! I don’t have any hatred towards pit bulls but wanted to say that deciding to own one should be a thoughtful decision and one made by those who are willing to put effort into training a dog well.
DAVID L on March 11, 2019:
I have noticed you only reply to people that agree with you . Have owned pit bulls for 40 years , have seen other dogs try to atack kids, my.dog got inbetween the kids and rotweler and protected them. People are so ready to blame dogs and not be responsible for their own actions. All dogs can and will bite if not properly trained,but the pit is going to do his best to do what his master wants of him. I'm sorry for all the people that have been bitten by any dog , I have been bitten by a beagle, and a german sheapard. I hate no dog for what they have been taught by PEOPLE.
Chubby on February 07, 2019:
A bulldog (Pit Bull) is less likely to bite people than most other breeds. However they may be aggressive with other dogs, especially larger breeds. In most cases small dogs pose no threat to the bulldog and they can intermingle. They are sometimes protective of family members. Man-biters are very rare
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on February 07, 2019:
That is a horrible situation, AD. I am so sorry your cousin's family went through this. Sure hope your cousin is doing better now!
AD on February 07, 2019:
My 18 year old cousin was just bit by their family dog pit bull. They are a wonderful family with four kids and great parents. After 4 years of no viloelnce, he snapped. My cousin just bent down to pet him amd he bit her face. Ripped her lip wide open and it was gory and horrific. If i could post a photo here i would show everyone. They had to put their family dog down. It is a horrible situation. Everyone was devastated. Parents felt so guilty for choosing a pit bull amdnthe kids lost the dog they loved. NOTHING to do with how they raised the dog.
Vilma on January 23, 2019:
I have a 11year old Stafforshire Terrier and I had him since 8 weeks. He love people and dogs. I spent time with him training him and socializing him with other people and other animals. He was neuteredcat 8 months. So first of all before choosing any dog you have to consider your lifestyle and get educated on the breed and TRAINED YOUR DOG. A responsible owner will do whats necessary to ensure the safety of the family and the best care for their dog. Its not the breed is the owner.
Lolita on January 22, 2019:
Your article has many great points however as a owner of many different dog breeds I can tell you, just as people each dog has their own personality and when selecting a dog a owner must consider the animal and their current situation. It is true that in many cases pitbulls are considered vicious animals and a person should consider this prior to providing this type of animal a home. Nothing is worse for any animal than to get adopted and then returned or sent to a pound. Additionally, I think as an author you could have included other dogs similar to pitbulls (ie rotweilers, German Shepards, Danes, mastiffs, etc.). Finally, your article is written very well but everyone should consider the fact that this is an opinion article backed by research that favors the authors opinion.
Examples include her past experience with German Shepards and her experience with small dogs not categorized in the vicious dog category. The author stresses at the end that if you are a first time dog owner a pitbull may not be the answer for you and to consider all the information prior to owning.
Norma on January 11, 2019:
All this information is creating more negativity against the breed. All breeds are dangerous if not properly trained. Even our children are dangerous if we dont raised them right. Its not the breed, its the people/owners who are irresponsible. Having a dog is not an easy task. You have to dedicate time to have a well behaved dog. It takes hours and months of dedication. We have a very lovable pitbull, we rescued him at the age of three. The owners before us mistreated him and the poor pooch was afraid of everything and any little sound. The last owners had only negative things to say about him. But EVEN with this history, we decided to give our pit a chance to have a loving home. He has never shown any signs of aggression. This is because we treated him with respect from day one and in return he has given us his unconditional love and trust. We showed him that no one will ever hurt him againg and he knows he is safe with us. We had to make modifications at home for him because he was afraid of the sound of the heater during winter time, he was afraid of the AC during the summer, he was afraid of the doors slaming, or the beeping of the house alarm, he was even afraid of the fly swatter. Not once did he show aggression towards us, instead he would run and hide under the beds. It took him some time to get used to all kinds of sounds the house made, but with patience and love he learned that he was home and he was safe. He is good with kids and adults and likes to make friends with strangers when we take him out for walks. No he was NOT a puppy when we got him, he was three years old, and he is the sweetest pit youll ever meet. I strongly believe that our pets reflect our behavior. If you mistreat them, their reaction will be self defense.
Of course they will attack if they feel threatened, just like any other breed. Even humans react when we feel threatened.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 19, 2018:
Thank you for commenting and sharing your experiences moonlake! I think if we were to get a dog it would be a smaller one as well!
moonlake from America on December 18, 2018:
My friend has a very nice pit bull. I would never own one and I would never own a German Shepard. There’s just to many stories about children and grown ups they have killed.
I own chihuahuas now they are brave enough to run a bear out of the yard and they can bite but only your ankles. They are not going to kill anyone. My dogs have never tried to bite anyone.
My days of owning big dogs are done. We once owned Great Danes.
When I was young and walking my puppy a Boxer ran from its yard killed my dog right in front of me.
You made many good points in your article.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on December 18, 2018:
Great points, Adam! It is unfortunate that they all seem to get a bad rap because of the actions of some! Thank you for sharing your experiences!
Adam L on December 18, 2018:
It's not the aggression or attacks you need to be worried about, that is if you are a responsible owner, it's the dirty looks, fear of the public, the inability to rent a house or apartment, and a substantial increase in home insurance if you own. My boy has 0 aggression, but I've had more issues at the dog park then I care to mention, and not once has his mouth been around a single dog or owner. As a pit bull owner you will have to walk on egg shells due to the unfortunate reality it's always the pit bulls fault.
Carla C. on December 16, 2018:
Funny, I've been around more pit bulls and never been attacked and only been around three border collies and been attacked by two. And been bitten unprovoked by a small dog. To this day I hate having small coming up behind me. So Susan's own anecdotal evidence proves nothing to me about the inherent nature of pit bull aggressiveness. Also German Sheperds, Doberman Pinschers and Chow's scare me the most. Doesn't mean I won't consider either as a companion, though. T.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on November 21, 2018:
Hi Micala! Thank you for your insight and for sharing your patient’s experience! I hope she was able to be helped!
Micala S on November 21, 2018:
Of course any dog large, small or in between can be aggressive and attack, but not every dog can maim or kill so easily. I work for a plastic surgeon where we recently had as a patient a poor woman whose well loved and cared for pitbull attacked her while she was sleeping and ended up biting off her nose!!! Not provoked in any way...and anyone who states maybe she spooked her dog???? All I know is a chihuahua is never going to bite off anyones nose no matter how nasty it is
Tom on November 21, 2018:
Any dog will bite. and the smaller the dog. The more likely it will
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on November 19, 2018:
Hi Susan! I’m sorry to hear about your friends little dog! Sure hope he’s going to be ok!
Susan Wylie on November 19, 2018:
My friend was walking her little dog on a leash. A pitbull that was not leashed jumped out of the back of the owners truck and attacked. He was bitten multiple times, had stitches and drains and casts and weeks of bleeding and infections. The vet bill is over $650.The owner said "He has never shown agression before".
So there ya go. Lets hear some more comments about how pitbulls aren't aggressive by nature.
Kt on November 01, 2018:
Rottweilers actually have a stronger bite than pitties. Both that I've personally owned were the sweetest things on earth. Im actually more afraid of German shepherds - which I've been bitten by.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on October 29, 2018:
Thank you for sharing your experience, Sara! I did change this to remove a reference to shark bites after doing some more research. The abuse some of these dogs have been through is horrible! No animal should ever be treated that way! Thank you for your thoughtful comments.
Sara Nelson on October 29, 2018:
Please do true extensive research before writing an article like this. When you are talking about "Pit Bulls" you need to be specific. Pit bull refers to a grouping of dogs each of which have a different temperament. To say that "pits" have a bite force stronger than a shark is completely false. Of dog breeds Rhodesian Ridgebacks have a 1000 lb bite force Rottweilers are next with around 360, pitbulls average 265. Rhodesians were breed to hunt lions hence the bite strength.
Did you happen to do any research as to how horrifically these breeds are abused. Of all abused dogs, "pits" make up over 75% of the abused dogs. If you want to do some good how about writing about that instead of putting out false information.
Articles like this are the reason that there are so many negative feelings toward all pit bull breeds.
I own a "pit" Staffordshire Terrier, that was used as a bait dog, they filed his k9s down to the gum so he would talk be able to defend himself. After they were done with him (2 years if his life) he was chained in a junk yard for another four. Even after all of that he is the sweetest pup. Loves people and small dogs, he is obviously afraid of large dogs due to his past. Though when he sees them he is not aggressive.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on October 29, 2018:
Thank you, William! I have made some changes to the article which I feel have improved it. Sounds like you've raised a wonderful dog that's given you many years of joy!
And thank you, StephAces! I appreciate your thoughtful addition to this article!
StephAces on October 29, 2018:
Rottweilers have the strongest bite, followed by German shepards, and then pit bulls. Around 70% of bites are perpetrated by intact males, with around 90% of death by dogs being caused by intact males. What's the TYPE of dog that is spayed/neutered the least? Pitbulls, which is backed up by the fact that there are so many of them.
William on October 28, 2018:
As an owner of pitbulls all my life and im 61 now and my current pit is a 110 pound baby, i had to laugh at all of the inaccuracies of your article. For one about the bite, a shark comes in second to a pit? LOL. The pit does not even have the strongest bite in the canine world. That would be the Kangal dog. And the bite and shake is not exclusive to pit bulls. All dogs do this. It comes down from wolves who do the same thing. Owners who are attacked by their own pits are owners who have been abusive or neglectful, my pit is by my side every minute i am home and sleeps in my bed. When i shower he lays by the tub til im finished. When i walk him and people come up to pet him he is overjoyed and will jump up on them to lick them with gusto. As with any dog you raise them right they will act right, you raise them wrong they will attack, that is any dog out there. Mu pit has never even growled at a person let alone tried to bite. Please dont put articles like this out there with so much misinformation in it as it just feeds the anti pitbull crowd and is unfair to a wonderful loyal intelligent dog.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on October 14, 2018:
Thank you, Casey! I agree especially about getting your dog from a reliable source! Very important!
Casey Swift on October 14, 2018:
The problem with this article is not only the fact of no sources, but how this isn't about dogs in general. Every dog should undergo this type of scrutiny as every dog had an equal chance to be aggressive. Personally, I've been bitten by more chihuahuas than a pit bull, which I have never been bitten by. My family owned pitbulls when I was a child.
When getting a pitbull, you should always get the dog from a reliable source, like a rescue organization, a registered breeder, or even a shelter. Usually they will all carefully vet the dog to determine if it has any bad traits or is dangerous.
Please consider that if you have a child, you must be careful getting any type of dog. You also have too teach your child how to properly behave around animals and watch them closely around unfamiliar and familiar animals.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on October 03, 2018:
I think you've made a good point, Jeanelle. A lot does have to do with the owner and owners need to be responsible. Getting professional training and proper socialization for the dog is probably a good idea.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on October 01, 2018:
Hi Tiffany! I stated that I am not an expert, but I 'm simply trying to point out some things to consider before getting any type of bully breed of dog. It should be a carefully considered decision and one made in an educated way. Thank you for adding to this with your thoughts and insights!
Tiffany on October 01, 2018:
What a load of uneducated rubbish. This is nothing more than uneducated opinion trying to sound authoritative.
Pitbulls are commonly misidentified ALL THE TIME. even amount of veterinarians, and do you know my? There is no such thing as a pitbull. There are breeds that are bully breeds and their multiple different types, but quite often boxers and other types of dogs are confused with them.
No, they don't have locking Jaws or a bite stronger than a shark good grief. Their jaws are not even as strong as German Shepherds or Rottweilers.
ATTS temperament testing, which tests dogs in unexpected situations from a child running up to them up to a gunshot, without the guidance of a trainer commanding them to see how they react on instinct, lists pitbulls as one of the highest in terms of temperaments.
Of Michael Vick's 17 dogs, 16 of them, in other words all but one, were rehomed successfully, many of them in families with children and this was years ago so I'm sure if something had happened, people like you and the media would have been all over it. The only one who wasn't rehomed and had to go to an animal sanctuary was the prize mother, who had her toenails and teeth removed (and I am sure not humanely)so she couldn't fight back and was repeatedly bred on essentially a rape machine for dogs. So I think we can cut her a little slack for not wanting to be around any more people.
Pitbulls are not pack animals so their Instinct relates to other animals, not humans. On any given day a pitbull will take a person over another animal hands down. And that instinct is trainable out. Untrained they can be animal aggressive, some of them, but they are not naturally people aggressive. In fact, it is there deep desire to please humans that made them good fighting dogs, because they would do anything for the affection of their master. If you would research and try to understand the training methodologies of these monsters, THAT is what they exploit, not aggression.
You have a lot to learn but I've certainly come to realize that this is not a site anybody should use for helpful information about pets. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Jeanelle on October 01, 2018:
first of all you saying that these attacks are caused by animal instinct is completely BS I've worked with the breed for over 16 years I've seen the worst of the worst and yes sometimes they can't be fixed because of neurological issues or what have you but it's all about the owner is how the dog turns just like bad parents have bad kidssame thing for a dog it only does what it is not taught or is only scared of what it wasn't shown so it's all about the owner has nothing to do with animal instincts
Alan Hughes on September 04, 2018:
Pitbull not a breed, but a type of dog. We have an American Pitbull Terrier, and for the last eight years, been the best a pup could be.
Mel Carriere from San Diego California on July 09, 2015:
As a letter carrier I have a natural aversion to Pit Bulls. That said, I have seen some wonderful pit bulls, young and old, that are so docile they get chased around by the Chihuahua in the yard. The difference is in upbringing, I believe, and probably also in genetics, as you have suggested. There are most certainly breeders who deliberately engender aggressive characteristics in these animals to sell them to drug dealers, dogfight rings, and the like. Great hub.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on March 19, 2015:
Great advice, DrMark1961! Thanks so much! I think you're right. She did tell me that the mother dog looked thin, and they thought maybe that's why the pups were sold so young. Thank you, I'll be sure to tell her!
Dr Mark from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 19, 2015:
Hi Kathy, thanks for this interesting article.
Bob was spot on when he discussed the problems with breeders. They may have sold the puppy so young because the mother did not have enough milk and they did not want to bottle feed, or they just didn't want to keep all the puppies around.
Anyway, tell your friends to read about bite inhibition since the pup was taken away too early and never learned it from her mother. Also, make sure they socialize the puppy with other dogs every day so that he does not grow up with dog-dog aggression.
They are great dogs (I have one) but those new owners need to do things right, from the start!
Bob Bamberg on March 19, 2015:
Thanks, Kathy. I'm trying to get more active again here, also. I work 6 days a week now, so I don't have that much time. There sure is a lot to write about, though.
KathyH (author) from Waukesha, Wisconsin on March 19, 2015:
Thank you so much, Bob! Your kind words mean so much and you've added so much to this hub! It's great to connect with you again, too! I'm planning to write here more often and will read your hub, too.
Bob Bamberg on March 19, 2015:
Hi Kathy, long time, no see! It's nice to connect with you again!
The fact that your friend was sold a 4 week old puppy, the breed doesn't matter, is one of the reasons why many veterinarians no longer put any faith in what breeders say or recommend.
To be a breeder, all you need is a pregnant dog...no education, no certification, no minimum competency standards, no oversight...anyone can call themselves a breeder. It sounds like your friend's breeder operates a puppy mill style business.
Pretty much everything you wrote about pit bulls applies to almost any dog. The way a dog is trained and maintained has almost everything to do with the temperament it eventually adopts.
Pit bulls aren't the only dogs to be black listed by insurance companies; there are a number of them. And if you lie to your insurance company about the breed of dog you have, you could be prosecuted.
Up until a few years ago, many communities, counties or states were adopting Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) which prohibited certain breeds of dogs within their borders. Pit bulls were a favorite target. At that point the only defenders of dogs facing prejudice were shelter workers, who were largely dismissed as bighearted, but misguided, by the politicians.
Then, veterinarians, behaviorists, trainers and other professionals (even the American Bar Association) started testifying at public hearings in favor of those dogs, pointing out that no breed is inherently vicious. Suddenly, states were enacting legislation that prohibited cities and towns from adopting BSL.
I wrote a hub about the subject, and at the time of the writing, 13 states had prohibited BSL and the list is growing.
A good first step is to talk with a veterinarian. They'll provide good guidance and can refer you to reliable sources of information as well. If people know groomers, dog walkers, pet photographers or others who work with a variety of animals, they're good resources also. And, be careful of the Internet...it's loaded with good information, true...but it's also loaded with bad information.
You raised a most important point in that folks need to do some homework before acquiring any pet. Voted up and useful.