“Pit Bull” Facts: A Bully Or A Beauty?

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Pit Bull (caption: facts & mischaracterizations)For decades dog lovers have read headline after headline positioning one breed or another as “dangerous.” Most recently the newest is the Pit Bull. But is this dog as dangerous as the media and society make them out to be? Or are they really just cuddly, playful companions?

Article Overview

Pit Bull Basic Stats

An American Pit Bull Terrier generally weighs in around 30-65 pounds and measures 17-21 inches in height. They are medium-sized dogs with a solid build, known for their intelligence. Their average ages is between 8 and 15 years.

Another dog that is commonly referred to as a “pit bull” is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It is a lighter weight dog at 24-37 pounds and a height of 14-16 inches tall.

As of 2017, there were approximately 89.7 million total dogs throughout the United States1. 5-10 million of those dogs were estimated to be “pit bulls” (the reported number varies widely by how each vet, breeder, organization, owner, vet, etc. defines the term)2.

When you look at data from U.S. city shelters, you will find that “pit bull” type dogs make up about 40% of the dogs that are killed2.

Pit Bull vs Bully Breed

After much research, it is our opinion that the “bully breeds” include a wide range of dog breeds (see list below), but the only dog that is a true Pit Bull is the American Pit Bull Terrier, which is recognized by the United Kennel Club and American Dog Breeders Association. We know this is widely discussed and disagreed upon, but for the purposes of this article, that is our position.

The term “bully breed” is used to refer to a large group of various breeds of dog that hail from the same root breed. Dogs that belong to a bully breed are all derived from one particular type of dog known as the Molosser. The Molosser is an Ancient Greek breed that was characterized by a short muzzle, large bones, large frame and pendant shaped ears.

Originally, Molossers were bred with a range of other dogs that resulted in the characteristics found today in the various bully-type breeds. These dogs were bred as guardians of both property and livestock. Some owners would also use their dogs in sports like bull-baiting which many believe is how the term “bully breed” came about. Unfortunately, many owners have recognized their potential as fighting dogs and, in turn, have created an unfortunate alternate use of the term “bully breed.”

What Breeds Are Bully Breeds?

English BulldogThere is a dog breed called American Pit Bull Terrier, but the broader name of “Pit Bull” is often used to categorize many breeds under the bully breed label. All the following breeds actually make up the bully breed category:

  1. Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
  2. Ambullneo Mastiff
  3. American Bulldog
  4. American Mastiff
  5. American Pit Bull Terrier
  6. American Staffordshire Terrier
  7. Anatolian Mastiff
  8. Australian Bulldog
  9. Bantam Bulldogge
  10. Banter Bulldogge
  11. Belgian Mastiff
  12. Boston Terrier
  13. Boxer
  14. Buldogue Campeiro
  15. Bull Terrier
  16. Bulldog
  17. Bullmastiff
  18. Ca De Bou
  19. Cane Corso
  20. Catahoula Bulldog
  21. Dogo Argentino
  22. Dogue De Bordeaux
  23. Dorset Olde Tyme Bulldogge
  24. English Bulldog
  25. Fila Brasileiro
  26. French Bulldog
  27. Great Dane
  28. Mastiff
  29. Miniature Bull Terrier
  30. Neopolitan Mastiff
  31. Olde Boston Bulldogge
  32. Olde English Bulldog
  33. Pug
  34. Pyrenean Mastiff
  35. Renascence Bulldogge
  36. Rottweiler
  37. Spanish Mastiff
  38. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  39. Standard Bull Terrier
  40. Tibetan Mastiff
  41. Valley Bulldog
  42. Victorian Bulldogge

As you can see from this extensive list, the American Pit Bull Terrier is just one of many breeds. In fact, more than a handful of the breeds on this list surprise even the most anti-bully breed proponents.

Mischaracterization Of Pit Bulls

Looking over the list of bully breeds above many of these breeds are unknown to general dog lovers which is perhaps one reason why so many dogs are mischaracterized as Pit Bulls. While these breeds all share a common ancestry and have similar features such as the flatter, shorter snout, being able to distinguish between different bully breeds is important.

Without being able to separate one bully breed from another, it is easy for Pit Bulls to be pinned as the “breed that bit that kid.” That is not to say that bully breeds, in general, are bad dogs, they just happen to be most frequently selected by bad owners.

Misquoted Facts

The mischaracterization of all bully breeds as Pit Bulls is not the only area where Pit Bulls get the short end of the stick. Unfortunately, as public opinion of this breed declines and the banning of bully breeds builds momentum, many more facts are turned around.

Myth: Pits Bite Harder Than Other Dogs

The Pit Bull is said to exert through their bite is actually just like many other breeds – around 235 pounds per square inch. Of strongest breeds’ bite according to force, the Pit Bull is not even in the top 12 list.

Which dog has the highest pounds per square inch bite force? The Kangal which measures in at 743 pounds per square inch of bite force. Even with this figure in mind though, does this mean that the Kangal is a dangerous breed? Not necessarily: It means that if a Kangal were to bite someone or something, it could be capable of exerting 743 pounds per square inch of bite force. It does not mean that this dog will bite or that it will use that much force with a bite.

What this data could mean also is that if a dog does exert that much bite force, the resulting bite could be much more severe than a bite from a less powerful dog. And that means that bites from this type of dog are more likely to be reported than bites from smaller, less powerful dogs leading to a news reporting bias.

Pit Bulls Are Cute

No question these pit puppies are adorable! Just watch this video if you don’t believe us.

Are Pit Bulls Good Dogs?

Asking the question of whether Pit Bulls are good dogs is in our opinion the same as asking whether misbehaved kids are good children. A dog’s temperament depends on a variety of factors including breeding and upbringing (much like our offspring).

What we do know from statistical analysis3 is that as of December 2017, 87.4% of American Pit Bull Terriers had passed their temperament testing, according to the American Temperament Test Society, Inc.

This is a higher number to pass these tests than Collies (80.8%), Beagles (79.7%) and even Golden Retrievers (85.6%). Of 931 American Pit Bull Terriers tested, 814 of them passed the 8-12 minute behavior test which measures 10 criteria, including a dog’s reaction, its aggressive behavior and more.

Are Fatal Pit Bull Attacks Common?

When you turn on the news, it seems like the only dog attacks that ever make headlines are attacks by Pit Bulls and attacks that result in death or serious injury. Few people take the time to learn the facts behind this type of dog, they simply take what they are fed by media news outlets.

What Can Be Done To Help Pit Bulls And Bully Breeds?

Fifty the Two-Legged Pitbull DogIf more people were familiar with the array of dog breeds within the bully breed category, perhaps they would be less inclined to judge one particular bully type as a “bad dog” — whoever heard of someone banning Boston Terriers from an apartment complex because they were a bully breed? Judging a dog’s temperament by its appearance is like judging a person’s personality by the color of their skin, something one would hope humankind had learned from in its history.

Advocate For Pit Bulls And Spread The Word

One of the best things that can be done to advocate for Pit Bulls and bully breeds is to spread the word about just how expansive the bully breed category is. Share with your friends about how the Boston Terrier and Pug come from the same origin as the Neopolitan Mastiff and the Pit Bull Terrier.

Encourage people not only to educate themselves about the difference between individual breeds (see our comprehensive list of breeds where you can learn more) but also about the sheer ridiculousness of judging an entire classification of dog based on a select few incidences that receive sensationalized media coverage. Ask people to stop and think when the last time they heard of a mixed breed dog bite fatality was?

It Is Not Okay To Minimize Pit Bull Bite Incidences

With all of these statistics under your belt, it is important not to minimize Pit Bull bite incidences, but it is crucial to also draw attention to the fact that there are some mitigating circumstances in these bite statistics. The truth is that people do get bitten by Pit Bulls, just as they get bitten by Huskies and German Shepherds. It is possible however to become a proponent for Pit Bull Terriers while also respecting incidences of Pit Bull bites.

Encourage individuals with reservations about Pit Bulls to understand that not all dogs within a certain classification are bred to fight, that upbringing and good breeding can result in a wide range of dispositions. Many people have experiences that have colored their opinion of one dog breed or another, but as a proponent for fair treatment of the Pit Bull it is important to make others aware of the fact that not all Pit Bulls are like “the one that bit that kid.”

Dog Liability Insurance May Save You Money And Your Dog’s Life

If you do want to better understand how you can protect yourself and your Pit from potentially risky situations, we recommend that you contact a dog liability insurance expert to gain some perspective on your options.

What do you love about Pit Bulls and other bully breed dogs?

Source: [1] Statista [2] KC Dog Blog [3] American Temperament Test Society, Inc

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July 16, 2020 10:37 am

My bully is best friends with my Yorkie.

May 14, 2020 7:44 pm

I got my baby at 4 weeks old. Lace is loving smart tender and caring. Great dog for getting cattle off the fence. She has as siblings 2 cats a very old man and 6 other dogs. She’s wonderful. I hate reading bad things about this type of dog. So many in shelters breaks my heart

Jana Robertson
April 26, 2020 4:36 pm

Dog only as smart as trained to be Love pits for life

mike barnes
April 21, 2020 10:15 am

Well it is not a Beauty as it is quite a gnarlish ugly canine..

As far as a beast, I will let the facts/stats speak for themselves.. pitbulls kill more domestic pets than any source.. they are the ultimate dog killers

Jane Weaver
July 23, 2020 1:24 pm
Reply to  mike barnes

You have no idea what you’re talking about! Educate yourself before you stupidly comment please!

July 10, 2020 1:15 pm
Reply to  mike barnes

Socialization is key, if you’re lazy and don’t train/socialize, then any breed is likely to attack another animal. I’ve seen more labs attack other dogs than pits.

Georgeanna Ramos
June 9, 2020 9:07 am
Reply to  mike barnes

I have a 1 year old Pitt and he plays with my ferret and does not hurt her in any way.

May 18, 2020 9:46 pm
Reply to  mike barnes

Get your facts straight before you comment.

Angela King-Arotin
April 27, 2020 9:48 pm
Reply to  mike barnes

Untrue on all counts.

William Prince
March 16, 2020 10:28 am

I own several American pitbull terriers. All well behaved and very friendly. However you have to understand one of the reasons their bites are bad when they do bite is not biteforce. Pits unlike other dogs do not release during a bite, they hold on and the shake which tears flesh. Its why as a responsible pitbull owner, even though my dogs are friendly, i carry a break stick when walking them. Its the only thing that will get a pit to release during a bite.

Angela King-Arotin
April 27, 2020 9:51 pm
Reply to  William Prince

The same here. I have a six pack of males. All super friendly to people and all other animals. Any dog can bite in the right circumstances so a pet owner of any breed should always be alert when around others. Best, most loving and friendly pets I have ever owned.

Jason Kennedy
February 28, 2020 1:53 pm

I see the haters referring to a Pitbull’s aggressive nature because of breeding to fight. Yes to fight other dogs. They where bread to not bite people so even the most aggressive killer fighting dogs could be handled by their trainer/ owner a person! So your argument doesn’t hold water. Yes a Pitbull can be aggressive toward people but that’s not every Pitbull or even one percent of them. Just because some gangster down the street has a viscous pitbull doesn’t make mine a bad dog.

May 18, 2020 9:49 pm
Reply to  Jason Kennedy

The pit bull can protect itself and people can’t stand it. Always looking for to boame.. I have a mini schnauzer that attacked my pit yet the pit is always blamed because it defends itself. It’s the small ones you need to watch out for.

March 17, 2020 12:03 pm
Reply to  Jason Kennedy

That’s what I’ve been saying

February 12, 2020 11:40 am

In the section that talks about the commonness of fatal pit bull attacks the article says that people don’t take the time to learn the facts behind the breed and would rather take the facts from news outlets. It’s not that people don’t look at the facts, because people do look at the facts. They are just to close minded and ignorant about the breed. They would rather say that they are aggressive dogs because that is what they are advertised as. They like to point out that they were bred for fighting. They were, but with careful breeding over time, these dogs have almost completely lost that aggressive, dog fighting quality. Yeah, with training they can be aggressive but that happens with anything. You can take a person and with a bad environment, constant training, abuse and neglect, they can become negative, hateful, hurtful, aggressive people. The thing about pit bulls is that they are resilient creatures and with the right love and care, they are loving and happy to be a person’s best friend. My family have 2 purebred american pit bull terriers and they are the most amazing, loving and caring animals. They are protective and love affection. They aren’t aggressive despite what people think. I mean as I type this comment my pit bull is sleeping at my feet, he follows me and loves cuddling. People need to be more open minded about the breed and stop discriminating. I will be honest, despite how loving our dogs are, we have received hate and negative comments because people see their big heads and their stocky bodies. While staying at a hotel over the summer we knew the staff and they always gave our dogs affection, saying that they were their favorite dogs. Meanwhile, other people would walk around and give nasty looks and see the dogs and refuse to take the same elevator as us and our dogs. Anyway, all I’m saying is that people do need to become more open about pit bulls. They need to understand that just because one or two pit bulls bite someone occasionally doesn’t mean that every pit bull is aggressive. Just because one or two people every now and then shoot up an event, doesn’t make every person in the world a bad person or aggressive. They just need to start looking at these dogs from a new perspective and be open minded towards them. At the end of the day, they are amazing, loving dogs whether everyone believes it or not. When it comes down to it there will always be haters. You can give them every test result that says pit bulls are non-aggressive and they have good temperaments and they don’t attack often, and that they don’t have the strongest bite, in the end they will still find an excuse to hate.

February 8, 2020 11:26 pm

We adopted a pit mix 6/2014. She was about a year old. She is by far and away the best dog we have ever had. Both my wife and I had dogs growing up, after we got married and when we had children so we are very familiar with different types of dogs. For both of us, any dog we have ever had was either found in the street, adopted from a rescue or from a person we knew who could no longer care for the dog. After feeling our Pitti out for a while it was undeniably apparent she just wanted to love us, make us happy and be with. She can be goofy and loves all people no matter the age. My wife is a part time teacher and when I pick her up I bring my dog in. The kids lover her. When they see her they scream her name and flock to her. She loves the attention and wants to lick them (they need to be careful to have their mouths closed or they will get tongue in it). The only thing that could scare people are the sounds she makes. I play with her everyday and she will growl and sometimes dart forward with her mouth open but never bites. I even put my face right in front of hers when she does this and her reaction is to stop the growling and start licking my face off. To her everything is playing. You can pull her tail or ears. You can touch her paws. She does not mind. There have been times the kids at the school went to pick her up. Her reaction each and every time was to roll over on her back and the kids rub her belly – which she loves.

January 29, 2020 12:47 pm

I own a small-medium pit bull mix, the sweetest little thing who loves new people, but last May she was a attacked by three pit mixes, i later found out they were treated improperly, unloved, outside without leashes. The owner of the dogs had actually owned a Rottweiler that killed a puppy the year before. Many pit bulls live near me, and they are extremely sweet. I am thankful my dog is still alive and well. But my point is, even after my dog was almost killed, i still blame the owner.

Sonja K Shrauner
January 9, 2020 6:50 pm

Just want to say this is such a thorough article. I’m very impressed.

January 30, 2020 7:39 pm

what you mean

Gennen B
December 24, 2019 2:05 pm

It’s been proven that chihuahuas & dachshunds show the most aggressive behavior toward humans. I’ve never in the 40 years that pits have been in our family had one of my dogs bite anyone.
Not the dogs it’s the owners that cause the bad rap!

April 8, 2020 3:46 am
Reply to  Gennen B

Yes a Chihuahua or a dachshund may bite but they don’t kill!! I was attacked by a “gentle pit” who had met me 2x before the time he attacked! I can tell you from first hand experience no matter how gentle your pit may be there is ALWAYS the potential of an attack! The pit that attacked me came through the front storm door even though he knew me and then turned around and attacked another person 5 days later! You can’t imagine how painful The crushing and tearing of my bones and flesh was! It was by far the most painful and terrifying experience of my life! And I was lucky because they got him off me before he killed me!!! The dog was a sweet gentle pit until it wasn’t!! So please quit whining about those of us you call “haters”! I don’t hate any dog! But now thanks to a pit bull I have PTSD and can’t even walk around my own neighborhood without horrible anxiety that myself or my dogs will be attacked!! Some of us have a reason to feel pits ARE a dangerous breed and no “All he’ll Do is lick you to death” will ever let me get near any large dog now!!! Sad because I love dogs!!! You should be less judgemental because you don’t know what a person has gone through in their life to make them fearful!!

Angela King-Arotin
April 27, 2020 9:56 pm
Reply to  Mimi

I am terribly sorry that happened to you. I know it was scary. My sister had the same happen to her with a Doberman. Many years ago an old friend of mine was attacked by the golden retriever she grew up with. It isnt a Pitt thing… Its a dog thing. Any breed. You were just unfortunate enough to be dealing with a Pittie and they are strong animals. Still not a Putt issue though. I am.glad you lived through the experience and hope you never encounter such an incident again.

Frederick Stoop
December 23, 2019 6:33 pm

Your supercilious ,ney naive, coronation of pit bulls is a mockery of logic and science.
Dogs are lower case (sic) mammals which make them amenable to comfort, i.e., a predictable meal and a scratch on their head.
My dogs are pretty primal, Basenjis, and if you know anything about canis evolution (sic), you might know that the modern breeds were designed for specific purposes, herding, security, and sadly aggression.
Superficial folks, as you, focus on the surface animal, all of whom relate positively to food and affection. Yet they make several very dangerous and foolish assumptions. As in: my pit bull is a baby, a model of canine affability and social (with humans) compatibly.
Like a bird dog inherently tracks birds removed violently from the sky, as a cattle dog will herd your kids to a nearby position and a Doberman Pinscher will defend your property without an ounce of training.
Pit bulls were bred to fight, relentlessly to the death of their perceived opponent. Aggression of that sort is buried deep in their DNA and you might find that superfluous or or ‘cute’, when the strange PB wanders down the street (or some other apparently innocuous scenario) and bites your kids hand off for no apparent reason, you may get my point.
They are ticking bombs, loaded hand guns, and you pass them off as gentle puppies.
Shame on you and grow up!

Piotrek Ziolkowski
May 26, 2020 8:35 am

A voice of logic. The whole article is an affront to who can read with understanding…

February 24, 2020 5:31 pm

Logic and science Fred?
So there are roughly 5-10 million estimated pit bulls in the United States……and their have been 284 maulings/deaths related to pit bulls over the past 12 years.

So let’s just say there’s only 5 million estimated pit bulls. The 284 deaths throughout an entire decade and two years equates to 0.00568% of the total 5 million pit bulls in population…..yet you’re telling everyone that pit bulls are ticking time-bombs?!?!

February 9, 2020 8:57 pm

I love all dogs and even pits can be very loving and affectionate. But like the writer above said they’re ticking time bombs. Stats show that retrievers bite more than pits and that’s right but what they DONT mention is the numbers.there are 19 (?) Retrievers to every potty so of course they will record more bites. But pitty attacks cause extreme trama vs. A retriever or any other breed. Just ask any doc who works in a trama center where there are a lot of dog attacks. Just go to u tube and Google attacks.theyre almost 98% pit bull attacks. And while you’re there Google LITTLE STRONG. So no pitties should be banned, killed, or bred out of existence. We wouldn’t let dangerous undomesticated animals live among us and that’s what kitties are.

December 28, 2019 8:19 pm

Wow, so naive and uneducated. You should actually be around one of these dogs. Unfortunately you will keep spreading misinformation because it is easy. I can tell by your lazy rant above exactly the type of person you are.

December 13, 2019 2:33 pm

The day my husband brought home our Pitbull (Ragnar) at 10 weeks of age, I fell in love with him immediately. It’s 2 1/2 years later and we do not have one regret of having him in our lives. He’s the most lovable, playful, caring dog we’ve ever had. His face is so full of expression and he is so tuned into our emotions. We brought home a female Husky/German shephard mix (Jemma) a year ago as a friend for him. Oh my word, I cannot explain how inseparable they are. An absolute match made in heaven. Our experience has been nothing but absolute joy. He loves our hugs, kisses and tickles. As the article says, it’s the way you raise them, treat them and understand them. Nothing saddens me more than the idiots out there that get them purely for fighting and to just be aggressive. Pitbulls yearn for love and once they get it, they reciprocate beautifully.Once you experience their absolutely love and loyalty, you will soon realize that they are irreplaceable. To all you foolish, uneducated hateful and cruel fools and idiots out there who abuse these beautiful animals, all I can say to you is ‘Rot in hell’.

January 19, 2020 2:58 pm
Reply to  Lucia

I agree with you Lucia! I lost my chi/rat terrier after having her 14yrs. My son and I went to the shelter to bring home a new baby to help us find love during our sadness of loss and to get our other fur baby another friend (he’s an Australian shepherd/beagle) anyway we decided on an adult pit at the shelter since they seem to be put down first. And I couldn’t be more happy with our new family member And like you said her and our other baby became best friends instantly. I really with people understood the love these dogs have.

November 26, 2019 7:21 pm

I read you article. Did you ever think that once Pit Bulls do attack humans they are more likely to severely injure or kill compared to other dogs!!

Jane Weaver
December 16, 2019 8:31 am
Reply to  Diane

Omg Diane…did you even read the whole article? Other breeds can do the same or more damage than a pit. Yup, keep falling into the media hype!!! Any other type of dog is never in the news!!

January 3, 2020 10:43 am
Reply to  Jane Weaver

Did you read the article Jane? The part about not downplaying attacks? I love my pit, but that doesn’t change the fact that the article glossed over the true danger of a pit bite. It isn’t the strength of the bite as much as it is the fact they were bred for latching onto the necks of larger prey. I don’t think Pits are terrors, but it’s insane to ignore the breeding. As loving as he is, I’d never leave my pit, or any dog, alone with a kid. People need to learn about the breeds they bring home instead of going, “awwww so cute.” Either way, attacking people for their concerns doesn’t help the breed. It just makes you look like a jerk willing to ignore reality.

Jane Doe
November 25, 2019 12:48 am

This article is laughable after spending the day researching the statistics on dog attacks and deaths from dog attacks. Pit bulls are responsible for 73% of deaths from dog attacks. This is definitely a very dangerous type dog.

Josh Rainbow
March 19, 2020 7:30 pm
Reply to  Jane Doe

Yes a dangerous dog to a unqualified/inexperienced dog owner. A great dog to an experienced, educated about the breed dog owner.

February 6, 2020 11:23 am
Reply to  Jane Doe

More children are bitten (usually in the face) by cocker spaniels. Yep why? Because they’re a favorite family pick.
They go unreported to law enforcement.
Raising a dog~any dog is a responsibility.
Irresponsible owners = bad dogs
Uneducated owners = bad dogs.
My dog cannot be around children (like12 years of age or so-size)
Why? Because they scare her.
Why? Because she was not raised around them.
Has she EVER bitten a child~NO
Her reaction was enough for ME to take action to ensure it would never happen.
She loves people & dogs.
I love her.
It’s MY responsibility to keep everyone SAFE.
PS She’s not a pitty wouldn’t matter if she was!

Susan Ayres
December 5, 2019 9:46 pm
Reply to  Jane Doe

You are wrong on all counts. That surprises me since you surly have never had aPit Bull. Like All dogs it is how they are raised. If you show them love and respect they are the most wonderful friend you will ever have. So don’t judge on what you don’t know about. You can read and interpret anything in to an article.

December 4, 2019 8:06 am
Reply to  Jane Doe

Like the article said, it’s the shady type of people that keep getting these dogs and teaching them to be aggressive! My pit bull is loving because she’s lucky a loving family has her and not some THUG!

February 6, 2020 11:36 am
Reply to  Amber

Yep~more “bad guys” (criminal type) have Pit’s. They raise them to be aggressive protection or profit from fighting.
Such ignorance!!
Human children raised in this environment are stuck just like the Pits.

Jeremy Habich
December 4, 2019 7:43 am
Reply to  Jane Doe

You know nothing about the breed except what media tells you on the internet. I’ve always had pits and they sweet loving dogs and all you hater are just ignorant assholes who are too afraid to use their own name on a post. Fo to hell you ignorant pitbull haters.

January 3, 2020 10:54 am
Reply to  Jeremy Habich

Nope, I have a pit that I love. It doesn’t change the fact they were bred for hunting large game. As sweet as they can be, people who ignore their breeding are the ones who create scenarios more likely to lead to negative outcomes. Not everything has to do with a dog’s life experiences. Acting like a stupid twat on a comment section, even under your own name, doesn’t help the breed. It shows an owner as aggressive as so many people consider pits to be. It doesn’t help the image at all.

Kimbo Slice
November 25, 2019 11:17 am
Reply to  Jane Doe

And where did you get that information from? How do you know 73% of deaths from dog attacks are caused by Pit Bulls? Did they run DNA tests on each of these dogs to prove they were Pit Bulls? I highly doubt that. So many dogs are mischaracterized as Pit Bulls. Your comment is laughable.

November 26, 2019 7:32 pm
Reply to  Kimbo Slice

I am sure the authorities know what dog breed it is, compared to the man on the street. THEY ARE FAR FROM STUPID!

Kimbo Slice
November 27, 2019 10:18 am
Reply to  Diane

You think a police officer, animal control or other official can just look at a dog and say, “Yeah, that dog is 25% lab, 50% chihuahua and 25% pit bull.”? No one knows the breed makeup of a dog unless it’s purebred with paperwork or has had a DNA test done on it. That’s as ridiculous as saying you could look at me and tell me my heritage. Come on, think about it.

Albert Einstein Jr.
December 27, 2019 11:17 pm
Reply to  Kimbo Slice

Shae can’t think it’s hard enough to breathe where her head is

Libby Hyland
November 20, 2019 5:24 pm

My neighbor has a pit bull who has attacked no less than three children in our neighborhood as horrified parents looked on powerless to do anything about it. The dog has been impounded twice. My daughter’s dog was also attacked by a pit bull as she screamed for help. Help came, but my daughters dog died six months later.

January 3, 2020 11:03 am
Reply to  Libby Hyland

That’s a real shame. It surprises me that this could happen, since most governments I know of would have put the animal down after the first time it attacked a child. I remember when I was a teen there was a sweet dog who was put down after biting another teen. The idiot had walked up to the dog’s fence and kept slapping it in the face until it bit him.

Larie Munoz
December 12, 2019 11:36 am
Reply to  Libby Hyland

That’s horrible that this has happened, but what are the owners of that dog like? It seems obvious to me that these people do not care about there dogs at all. Not all are like that. Most aren’t. I’ve had and have a Pittie now. And she is a sweet, loving and very loyal little girl. Please do not judge all by a few.

Kelly Gunsalus
November 16, 2019 4:44 pm

I have a 2 and a half year old AmStaff he’s about 80lbs. Many people are prejudice of him and yell at me?! He has natural everything but he has that short wide head that people take notice of first thing. He’s a gentle sweetheart that LOVES children!!! He has NEVER raised his hair up or approached anyone and he NEVER GROWLS!!! He runs like a greyhound and leaps like a kangaroo so we make sure to stay out of his way when he’s having a HAPPY RUN!!! I just don’t understand how people think it’s appropriate to tell me to “get that terrible dog out of here!” I’ve been flipped-off as well. What’s the deal and how should one deal with it???

Linda Christian
November 21, 2019 11:17 pm
Reply to  Kelly Gunsalus

Luckily I live n the country on the back side of a little over 31 acres. I have 3 pit bulls, o problems with mama,daddy and baby boy. I also have a lab and what looks like a border collie. I have no problem with any of my dogs. Anyone can come in the yard and they run to greet them. Wagging tails and all. All of them snap at each other,On occasion, less than I do with my kids. My boy Viper weighed 91 lbs last time he was at vet. Hes just a big baby. Hes a red nose gator head pit. White with reddish brown spots around each of his eyes. Beautiful boy. Our girl (my son dog) Kasey is a blue pit but the baby Chance is black and white. Recently he has a lot of reddish brown starting to show over his eyes and neck. He’s got a big head like his daddy but he is extremely quiet, he doesn’t bark or anything. But he chews up everything in sight. Rugs. Shoes, clothes, paper. Omg. Other than my 2 boxer bulldogs, I’ve NEVER had better dog than my pits

Boss Hog
November 10, 2019 7:41 am

First let me say to the writer, thank you for making the distinction between the American “Pit” Bull Terrier, APBT and the other Bully breeds, forgive, I didn’t read the whole article, quite frankly after 30+yrs dealing with this particular breed the Miss information becomes repetitive so I usually won’t read or respond to anything dealing with it, however when I read the first paragraph I was pleasantly surprised and appreciative of your stance on making the distinction, Game bred APBT’s were never bred to have any aggression twords people and if they did they were systematically culled, I’m not going to get into explaining the differences in what is or isn’t an APBT, quite frankly I believe almost all wouldn’t get it anyway and I’ve learned not to argue with someone who knows it all because they read something somewhere.

December 23, 2019 3:49 pm
Reply to  Boss Hog

Boss Hog
I absolutely love your response and statement. You summed up what those of us are educated about regarding all of the above , and if ever someone could read another’s mind reading your words at the time, I’d say I was a mind reader lol, and couldn’t agree and appreciate your contribution 110%
Thank you for your summarization and it will be a handy tool moving forward in future situations

Kelly Gunsalus
November 16, 2019 4:48 pm
Reply to  Boss Hog


Joseph Godin
November 10, 2019 1:34 am

One of the best articles i read in a long time on pit bulls

Wicked Wulf
November 2, 2019 12:48 am

I have lived with several dog breeds over my life time…all my dogs have been friendly, loyal, protective & socially great around other people, kids & other dogs (except one – a Springer spaniel that would get aggressive & was upset around people & children…we had to give him to a farmer & it worked out). When I adopted a blue nose american pit bull pup, I realized he was unlike any dog I have ever known. He is 90 lbs & the most loving, goofy, needy creature on earth. He talks & if possible wants to touch us, sleep on us…just love us always. When he meets smaller dogs & they act scared or timid of him…he rolls on his back or gets as low to ground as he can to comfort them.

At the park one afternoon a woman started screaming when she seen us. She grabbed up her child & screamed at us to leave the park. She really went out full drama…then others noticed us…several came over to meet Sterling with their children. I warned parents to watch that his tail didn’t smack the kids or knock the little ones down. Sterling was in heaven lol…he got lots of hugs & kisses. Several wanted to know if he was really a pitbull. Several told me he was amazing & they would love to have a dog like him. The screaming woman was still there oddly enough but seemed upset no one was trying to rescue her.

Every pitbull I have met…raised by regular loving people is like my Sterling. They bunny hop, frog hop, snuggle & do everything in their souls to please you & learn. Harsh words actually hurt them. For all the haters out there…my 9 lb mini rat terrier is the alpha & she would snap at you faster the my gentle giant…she even backs him up lol.

January 19, 2020 3:16 pm
Reply to  Wicked Wulf

LOVE THIS!! I had a chi/min rat terrier mix for 14yrs. She was my world. But she did not like children or much of anyone other than me really. And was quick to snap at anyone who came near me (or her) she was an 8lb “Bully” lol. After she passed I went to the shelter and adopted a 3yr old pit (knowing and adult pit would be less likely to get adopted etc) she is about 60lbs (vs my 8lb baby) and she wouldn’t hurt ANYONE! I find it funny when I hear people discuss certain dog breeds. This is the largest dog I’ve ever owned (always had Australian shepherds or rat terriers) but by far the least aggressive dog I’ve had also.

Boss Hog
November 10, 2019 7:43 am
Reply to  Wicked Wulf

Greetings to you,there is no such thing as a blue nose APBT, you have an American Bully, AmBully.

Dawn M DeWitt
October 29, 2019 7:19 am

I have 3 pitbulls. All rescues from bad people as babies. I have 5 grandchildren. My 3 pits are the most loving, gentle,loyal babies. It’s how they are brought up and treated. They have there own bedroom beds and health insurance. I brought a kitten home and she rules the house, willow(cat) and (Bella)my baby pit sleep and play together. Leave them alone and look at cocker spaniels, chihuahuas and little ankle biters

October 25, 2019 11:06 pm

I figured you wouldn’t publish it, but I do hope you consider the feedback contained in it and write a new article in the future which better addresses the problems involved with fatalities by pit bull type dogs. As someone who is a frequent flier at UKC dog shows, I think there are many good pit bull types out there, but sadly, there are way too many poorly bred and socialized ones too. I know that my post was very critical, but I think it is important that the writers hear from more than just the fawning readers.

Kelly Gunsalus
November 16, 2019 4:52 pm
Reply to  James


Boss Hog
November 10, 2019 7:53 am
Reply to  James

Thank you sir however we still want to get away from using the “Pit” Bull moniker and call them what they are,Bully breeds, that way people start to disassociate the term “Pit” Bull with everything Bully bred, however I understand what you’re saying.

October 25, 2019 2:34 pm

Truthfully, I think a better article could have been written in support of pit bull type dogs. This one evaded the problem and never really gave solutions. It may make true pit bull owners feel good, but for the general public, it will not give answers nor give a good defense that will change any minds. There are many good pit bulls out there, but ignoring the many bad ones will not help the many good ones.

A number of fallacies in your article, but you mention that one is 200 more times to be killed by an aspirin. Okay, your point? An aspirin is an inanimate object. The likelihood that it will jump out of the bottle and kill you is zero. Literally zero. If one has children, it is well known that we should put all medicines in a locked cabinet for the reason that they are dangerous if placed in a mouth. However, they won’t jump into any mouth. A pit bull is an animal that has a mind of its own. Based on many reasons, it can attack with no notice. Hardly a good analogy. Using that logic we can eliminate laws in place for regulating many things in our society. I have no doubt that you could think of a list in your mind rather quickly. I noticed that you never even answered your own question.You evaded it with a straw man argument which was easily knocked down.

Creating a large classification of dogs as a bully breed when you know that most people associate a pit bull with a much much smaller group of dogs is misleading and is done to strengthen a case that you know needs some bolstering. And I noticed you didn’t mention the statistics that show pit bulls cause 66% of the dog attack fatalities. Now you will respond with “many dogs in that count are not pit bulls.” Notice that statistics do break down other dogs that you list as bully types. The list of fatalities was made up by individuals who do have an idea of the four basic types that make up the pit bull type. This is not simply a group of haters. People are not so quick to call a Great Dane a pit bull.

Posting a video of cute puppies certainly may tug at the emotions, but one can post cute videos of baby tigers and other wild animals. Does that make them any less dangerous? Of course not. If a guns rights group posted pictures of beautiful guns, would you think that supports their case for allowing guns without any regulation? I would not.

People do indeed get bitten by all types of dogs. There has never been a disagreement about that. Many are dogs who have had poor upbringings and have bad breeding. There is no question that this is part of the problem. But by comparing pit bull “bites” to other dogs, your attempt at making them all equal ignores the problem. You never actually address the real issue. Pit bull attacks (and by pit bulls the statistics include four major types) account for 66% of all dog attack fatalities. The actual number is almost 300. Yes, in the realm of deaths to people, this is indeed a small amount. Yet it cannot be ignored. This is not bites. This is deaths. That is why there is an outcry.

What can be done? If breed legislation is not the answer (which I don’t think it is),then what is the answer? Defending pit bulls and trying to equate the problem to aspirin deaths is never going to help anything and will make any group stating that appear not so credible to say the least. In order to get ahead of the problem and provide solutions that are dog friendly, it is important that you do not avoid it.

Educating one self is important, and actually reporting about reality would be best for advocating pit bulls. Despite what you may think, I am not a pit bull hater. I don’t have one, but only because I have always enjoyed boxers. I know. You classified them as a bully breed. However, when they show statistics of dog fatalities and bites, they are always listed separately. I love all dogs, and I would hate to see one breed be banned. However, in this article, I never read any ideas that would help the pit bull types. Blaming the outcry on “pit bull haters” and the media does nothing to help anyone, and people come to trusted people like you for help and actual solutions.

I suggest an article that takes a look at actual statistics and examines what led to each of the 300 attacks. Was it actually the dog in a good home? Was it a dog in a bad situation? Was it a dog that was taunted by a child? Was it a feral dog? Was it a pack of dogs? What was behind each situation? Could it have been prevented? How? And on and on.

Thanks for reading this. My intentions are good. I know that an actual “pit bull hater” would have found more objections. If you decide not to place this for the public to read, then at least examine what I said and the possible solutions. Maybe it will generate some more ideas that you hadn’t considered before. I love dogs of all breeds, and I would love to see the pit bull types become a breed that is accepted into all homes one day. I would love to get some feedback from you about how you disagreed or agreed.

Crom's mom
May 28, 2020 3:18 pm
Reply to  James

Thank you! I found it really weird and misleading that they defined bully breeds so broadly. I have a Caucasian Shepherd (AKA Caucasian Ovcharka) and they are a molasser breed, several of which were including in the list of “bully” breeds. Not one person on this planet would look at my dog or the similar Tibetan Mastiff and say it was a pit bull or bully breed. They aren’t even from the same foundational stock at all. We all know what is meant when people talk about the category of pitbull or “bully” types–they are recognizable in any setting it seems, except for when they are receiving bad press.

PLEASE NOTE: I emphatically, 100% agree that not all pitbull-type dogs are dangerous. Many are loving, wonderful pets.

That being said, a good, responsible owner knows that certain breeds do come with some heritable qualities. If I didn’t understand and completely respect the inherent qualities of my Caucasian Ovcharka, I would be an extraordinarily dangerous dog owner. I have a dog that REQUIRES me to be a highly-disciplined dog owner. Front-loading their training for the first six months (especially) is crucial, with lots and lots of socialization, and strong leadership. I was lucky that I could bring him to work with me every day and he had positive interactions with hundred upon hundreds of students before he turned six months old. His needs are far beyond that of any other dog I’ve owned. I don’t think most people are up to the task of properly raising the breed I’ve chosen, but when it’s done right, they are extremely PREDICTABLE, low-energy, marshmallowey dogs. But they are natural personal protection dogs unlike any other and THAT CAN’T BE TRAINED OR LOVED OUT OF THEM. That’s the role of genetics in my dog’s behavior. I can make sure my dog understands what normal social interaction looks like and teach him to not fear strangers, but I can’t make my dog not be protective. I can make sure he’s healthy, well-balanced, and exercised. But should someone break into my property (which is why I got him in the first place), I couldn’t stop him from attacking if I wanted to. It’s in his genes and that’s why I chose this dog. It’s also why I upgraded all of my fencing, educating myself nonstop about the breed, walk him with a special collar AND harness, just in case I need to take more control over him, and that’s why I have warning signage all over my fences. My dog is awesome and loves people and I’m so proud of the job we’ve done raising him, but he is still a Caucasian Ovcharka and I must respect that. If I simply pretended his genetics didn’t matter, I wouldn’t have done right by him and would have raised a dog more dangerous, quite frankly, than any pit bull.

The sad legacy of dogs that were used for fighting is that SOME of them still have those tendencies. Some people are STILL breeding them to fight and some of those dogs are rescued and end up in shelters. That means SOME pitbull-type dogs have a higher propensity for spontaneous attacks and a higher prey drive in general. All the things that make a great fighting dog still exist in some of these dogs. A responsible owner who doesn’t know the history or genetics of their dog, needs to be aware of this risk. Don’t just go by how sweet and friendly they look. Understand that they may have triggers and you as an owner can’t be blind to that. My dog is a dopey, tender marshmallow until someone threatens his owner and then Satan himself emerges to defend his us–and there’s no changing that. That’s why I had to approach owning him with a great deal of seriousness and care. I would feel so much more comfortable if bully-dog advocates took these issues more seriously and addressed them through advocating for serious, responsible ownership instead of acting like the problems don’t exist at all. Taking the problem seriously as dog owners and not denying the overwhelming body of evidence that bully breeds cause a disproportionate number of dog bite injuries may be what saves these dogs! I love all dogs, including bully breeds. I love protection and working dogs. But I don’t for a second minimize what they are capable of and hopefully that means that my dogs never harm someone who doesn’t very clearly instigate it.

December 23, 2019 7:59 am
Reply to  James

So about a year ago my son brought home a gorgeous pit bull puppy. Before that I had never had experience with pit bulls other than to be slightly afraid of them if I saw them off leash. In any case, I really have fallen in love with this dog. The bond I feel with him is unlike any I’ve had with any dogs in the past, and I’ve always had dogs and would consider myself a dog lover. But this dog is just so special and I can see why people love pits. He is super happy and affectionate and silly and just lots of fun. That said, he is somewhat aggressive, especially around children. When he sees a child his hair stands up and he barks and runs to them and tries to jump on them. This has only happened twice because it’s only happened twice that he’s been off leash around children (when he’s on the leash he ignores people). Both times I called him and he came right back to me. Since those incidents, I wouldn’t let him off leash where there are children. Luckily I don’t have any small children in my house. And I have a fenced in area where he can play outside safely. I don’t know that he would actually hurt anyone. He’s never bitten anyone or even tried to. But he seems to see children the same way he sees a squirrel, like something small to chase and attack. I know many small dogs are the same way. I have a Yorkie who chased a kid and made him slip in the mud one time. But being that my Yorkie is 10 pounds, I’m not afraid of him hurting anyone. The pit, however, is 70 pounds and strong. If he did bite someone, it could be very serious. I’m taking him to obedience school and trying to train him not to jump on people, but I have to say that I am somewhat nervous about having such a powerful and rambunctious dog. I think that yes, most pits are awesome, but you really do have to be careful, especially around children. And my dog has been given nothing but love and daily walks, games, exercise, a good diet, etc. I even pay a dog walker to take him on runs every day since we all work. I mean I really spoil this dog! He sleeps under the covers cuddled up with me. He’s never been chained up or beaten. So I don’t know what it is. My downstairs neighbor also has a pit, a smaller one, and that dog was chained outside and neglected a lot but he’s the most affectionate and non aggressive dog. He loves everyone, whereas my dog barks at people when they come over my house. So some of it must just be natural personality. And I think those personality variations happen in all dog breeds. The difference is that a pit bull, if it decides to attack someone, is much more dangerous than most other breeds just because of their strength and tenaciousness. I think that some pit bull lovers minimize pit bull attacks and blame the owners when there have been cases of pits killing children they grew up with and we don’t really know the treatment the dogs got and it seems terrible to blame the parents of a child who was mauled and killed by the family pet.

Roxann Buell
November 15, 2019 12:53 am
Reply to  James

And, it’s people like you, that get many of these awesome dogs banned or killed with your outrageous and untrue hysteria which then incites others. It’s the people that are the monsters, NOT the PBs. Let’s be clear on that.
The hatred for this breed, who Loves people sooooo much, which no one would know, if they’d not had or been exposed to one. I’m so fed up with this, it is in the same category as the for no good reason, President Trump HATERS.
Then, there’s the other group who think they are the ONLY ones who know what exactly PB breed is and go around basically telling others they dont have a PB, and being very arrogant about it.
Enough is Enough!!! Dogs, actually NO animals
asked to be dragged into the human world to be put thru the cruelty and suffering that so many
have went thru by so called ‘people’s.
Give them a break !!!!!
AND, I didn’t agree with all in this article.
We don’t all have to agree, but we could be looking out for the good and Loving the
animals and one another ~ far more than gets done.

December 6, 2019 1:45 pm
Reply to  Roxann Buell

I can barely understand half of the things you wrote, because it is written in such an incoherent manner. However, I noticed that you claimed what James said is based upon “outrageous and untrue hysteria”, but you failed to refute any of the (valid) points he made, instead relying on argumentum ad passiones (argument from passion, aka appeal to emotion). This entire argument has no factual basis, but is based upon personal opinions and can thus be safely disregarded.
One of the questions I think it would be wise to answer, as opposed to skirting the statistics: why is it that pit bulls, which makes up approximately 5% of the canine population at maximum, are the breed that is disproportionately more likely to commit a fatal attack (around 60-70% of all fatal dog attacks)?

December 23, 2019 4:37 pm
Reply to  God

Because the majority of people responsible for overbreeding these dogs are uneducated , irresponsible and only in it for financial and status purposes , 1 in 600 PB’s born will have a forever home, most are neglected , not seen by veterinarians and given the proper medical treatments and sterilization procedures and end up killed or in a shelter that is already over crowded in high stimulated, stressful environments and never allowed to truly experience a good life and be allowed to be a dog , have structure , daily balanced feedings , warm bed , time to exercise and time to relax and behave , and most of all never get a chance to know love , kindness, calmness. Imagine a place where 50lb Jack Russell terriers intact and cooped up in tiny cages for long periods of time with no discipline or training and then one day escaped into the public society !?!?! It would be sheer terror and chaos!! Or For example, why are people like Michael Vick , NFL role models and athletes , that contribute to the abuse of this breed and those associated to them, allowed to even own pets after the horrific abuse and inhumane treatment and gaming That was practiced under his authority, and then even worse allowed ( though not very successful) to return to the NFL after the nightmare he was involved with and maintained all that time. Why are they the breed that are more responsible for these attacks ? Why? Because of humans and their negligence and the lack of creating a system that requires legal responsibilities to have certifications, required educational resources and programs, sterilization programs, breeding programs with mandatory standards and requirements to that of only licensed certified breeders can legally be allowed to breed these animals which means they have to meet and complete educational and certification processes, in order to reproduce , just like anyone who wants to drive a car needs drivers ed and pass a test in order to drive a vehicle legally. As well as the government should also create laws that protect these animals and restrict production of all breeds and require all dogs that are owned to either be approved breeding animals or fined and penalized if they own an animal not approved and are not in ownership of licensed breeder , to be appropriately vaccinated and sterilized and training programs. We market and advertise to no end dog and cat products through company’s like Chewy.com and Bark Box, but we don’t expand enough and advertise the most important factors in owning a pet. And that’s a position we all need to practice, educate and enforce more , as well as the advocation of routine medical care that is most important of all

Kelly Gunsalus
November 16, 2019 4:56 pm
Reply to  Roxann Buell


November 10, 2019 1:26 am
Reply to  James

Ur comment is by far the best. It is full of good critique for the writer to chew on.

October 19, 2019 9:08 pm

We a pittie who was returned to shelter because he was too “wild”. Turns out. He was one year old,they kept him in a kennel all day while at work. You keep me like that I’d go wild when you let me out too. He’s a very happy boy and loves to run and play and loves to be with people. He’s so friendly he visits all dogs in the neighborhood on our walks. Loves children. He licks our new granddaughters feet and play nicely with her dog. They partner to let us know when she is crying upstairs. And learned to open the back door to let themselves out.

Teri mannino
October 19, 2019 9:10 am

That was a very informative article. I have 2 strattfordshire terrier mixes that are absolute jewels! I am constantly bragging about what wonderful dogs they are. I volunteer at a shelter in Atlanta, a non kill facility. Very often, we will have several hundred of dogs in the shelter! Of those dogs, my guess would be almost all of these dogs that come in are bully dogs. It is really sad to see all these dogs just tossed away like trash . Very often people come in and say I don’t want a pit bull
And it always makes me feel sad because my experience has been just the opposite. Having my 2
“Girls” has forever changed the type of dogs I will rescue. I will only adopt a bully for as long as I own dogs, which will be for the rest of my life

Roxann Buell
November 15, 2019 12:55 am
Reply to  Teri mannino

It sure is sad…heartbreaking