“Pit Bull” Facts and Why We Love This Dog

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Pit BullFor decades dog lovers have read headline after headline positioning one breed or another as “dangerous.” Most recently the newest “fall dog” is the pit bull. This article and accompanying infographic will take a look at pit bull facts and just how accurate the label of “dangerous dog” fits this dog as a whole and look at the real facts behind bully breeds.

Pit Bull Facts Infographic

Pit Bull Infographic

What Is the Difference Between a Pit Bull and a 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, a 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?

There 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:

  • Alapaha blue blood bulldog
  • Ambullneo mastiff
  • American bulldog
  • American mastiff
  • American pit bull terrier
  • American Staffordshire terrier
  • Anatolian mastiff
  • Australian bulldog
  • Bantam bulldogge
  • Banter Bulldogge
  • Belgian mastiff
  • Boston terrier
  • Boxer
  • Buldogue campeiro
  • Bull terrier
  • Bulldog
  • Bullmastiff
  • Ca de bou
  • Cane corso
  • Catahoula bulldog
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Dogue de Bordeux
  • Dorset olde tyme bulldogge
  • English bulldog
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • French bulldog
  • Great Dane
  • Mastiff
  • Miniature bull terrier
  • Neopolitan mastiff
  • Olde Boston bulldogge
  • Olde English bulldog
  • Pug
  • Pyrenean mastiff
  • Renascence bulldogge
  • Rottweiler
  • Spanish mastiff
  • Staffordshire bull terrier
  • Standard bull terrier
  • Tibetan mastiff
  • Valley bulldog
  • 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 The “Pit Bull”

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 boy.” That is not to say that bully breeds, in general, are bad dogs, they just happen to be most frequently selected by bad owners. Did you know that currently only five percent of all of the dogs found across the United States are pit bulls? Overall there are approximately 78.2 million dogs throughout the United States, 3.91 million of those dogs are pit bulls. However, 40 percent of dogs in animal shelters are characterized as bully breeds, and 20 percent of those are called pit bulls.

Misquoted Facts

The mischaracterization of all bull 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

Who hasn’t heard about the incredible amount of force exerted by the jaws of a pit bull? The amazing 1600 pounds per square inch that the pit bull is said to exert through their bite is actually just like many other breeds – around 235 pounds per square inch.

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 Sure Are Cute

No question these Pit puppies are adorable!

Are Pit Bulls Good Dogs?

Asking the question whether pit bulls are good dogs is the same as asking whether disadvantaged children are good children. A dog’s temperament depends on a variety of factors including breeding and upbringing (much like children.) What we do know from statistical analysis is that 86.8 percent of American pit bull terriers have passed their temperament testing according to the American Temperament Test Society, Inc. This is a higher number of American pit bulls to pass their testing than collies, beagles and even golden retrievers. Of 122 different canine types tested by the society, pit bulls ranked fourth for passing temperament testing. Pit bulls, like any other dogs, have the opportunity to be great dogs.

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. So just how common are fatal pit bull attacks? According to research, an individual is 200 times more likely to die from taking over the counter aspirin than from a fatal pit bull attack. An individual is 60 times more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than they are to be killed by a pit bull attack. Additionally, a person is 16 times more likely to die by drowning in a five-gallon bucket of water than they are to die as the result of a fatal pit bull attack. Yet, how often do you hear of people dying from taking aspirin or from drowning in a bucket of water on the news? Many pit bull and bully breed haters are colored by this media reporting bias.

What Does This Media-Driven Bias Mean For Pit Bulls?

With such a bias against pit bulls and select bully breeds in general, how is the pit bull affected? Perhaps the biggest indicator of this is by taking a look at research from animal shelters around the nation. Approximately 60 percent of all dogs that are taken to shelters are euthanized every year. As we have already mentioned, of all of the dogs in animal shelters currently around 40 percent are classified as bully breeds, and 20 percent are classified as pit bulls. Only 48 percent of the nation’s shelters place these pit bulls up for adoption, another 30 percent of shelters put these dogs up for adoption under special circumstances. Most disappointing, however, is the fact that 22 percent of the nation’s shelters euthanize dogs that are categorized as pit bulls regardless of the individual dog’s disposition. This practice of breed discrimination is wrong not only because perfectly healthy and happy dogs are being put to death because of their appearance, but also because they aren’t being given a chance due to ignorance and bias.

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

If 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 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 was the last time they heard of a mixed breed dog bite fatality?

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 a 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 boy.”

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: Wikipedia: Pit Bull

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Sara is a writer for Canine Journal. She adores dogs and recently adopted a rescue pup named Beamer. Whole she may be adjusting to life with another being to care for, she needed no time to adjust to all the extra love.

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My 6 year old pit was chained to a boiler in the basement of an abandoned house and left to die. That was 3 years ago. Today she is filled with joy and love and happiness. And I never hesitate to let my elderly mother babysit her. She is gentle and sweet. I would never have any other breed as a pet
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
It breaks my heart to hear about a dog that was left to die. So glad she has you in her life! She sounds like a wonderful dog 🙂
Carolyn Stearnes
I have had my American Pit Bull since he was 2weeks old an now he is 5yrs old he has never attacked anyone or other pets he is excellent with people and children’s in the home and outside ,my Majic is known by the police an firemen in my neighborhood and has never been in trouble love my Majic
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Majic sounds like a great dog!
I have had this American Staffordshire pitbull for 3 years I had a Rottweiler mastiff mix that lived for 15 years before this we didn’t have the little one very long before the old one died but they were best friends this little Pitbull is great with the grandkids ,people ,dogs ,cats .there’s nothing that this one doesn’t love they are great dogs if raised right thanks for the article they are a very misunderstood dog but we love them
Jaclyn Savoy
My Pit bull is the sweetest most loving dog I have ever come across..She knows when I’m sad amd immediatly comes to comfort me..I have had 2 other pits thru the span of my life and they were the best dogs I could ever ask for..Would mot hurt a fly..Loyal and loving!
This is very helpful and I love Pit bulls, I have one of my own.
My experience. I have a Staffordshire Terrier (throw away momma dog) rescue d from NYC I also have a Rottie I rescued from being crated 24/7 they are both spoiled I walk them 2x aday they are very secure dogs (now) and know they are loved they thank me in their own way daily. I am the leader of my pack,and that is what makes them feel safe. They were both adults
when I got them, so now is it really about where they have been or is it about their future hmmm
Jan Anthonisz
Society is so bent on putting these or any animal of all kinds for any reasons down in death row It appears Jesus Christ. Alla Goot, The Inquisition, Hitler and others didn’t do a very good job in putting these low life scum bags criminals including corrupt politicians into a gas chamber or a firing squad than only then the world will be a better place for real nice people with a Nuclear Heart of warmth, love and care. Look out for the 2nd Comming of the Reich Kind starring Donald Trump. Love and cherish these dogs: MEMBERS OF THE LOYAL FAMILY. Dog Bless. jan.anthonisz@live.com.au
Mike Hunt
Calm down dude.
Are you afraid of the truth? We love our rescued pitbull mix. Sweet dog we ever had
Sean Obrien
I have 2 Pitties. I got them from the shelter. Everyday when i walk them everyone in the neighboorhood knows them and adors them. It is not fair that people pull their dogs back when i walk them just because they are PBs. I think they are amazing dogs and should be treated like any other dog.
Alicia Nunez
What i would do when i walked with my pit, before people would step back or pull there dogs back, id beat them to the punch, i’d stop my baby and say OMG does your dog bite, totally throws them off. It actually made people less scared.
Randy Lockhart
This says the rottweiler has the strongest dog bite. It’s actually the the kangal at 748 psi.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Thanks Randy, we will confirm this and update our article accordingly.
And Jim Jones thought his Cult was on point… Christ stop making the koolaide AND drinking it. Statistics do not lie.. but people stick their head in the sand when they don’t face the truth..
I live in a home with a 2 yo pit. He is loved, well cared for, been socialized, and never struck. Has him since he was 6weeks old.. and he is completely bipolar.. super protective, fun, playful and batshit crazy.. at least 3x a week he tried to kill/maim me..
DO NOT TELL ME ” it how there raised”.. it’s the decades of breeding that has peoduced this beast.
Obviously your dog has mental disorders. Needsmeds.
Dog obviously believes it’s your boss…pack leader, which means you need some Cesar Milan training for yourself.
Neisha McKee
Well my very best friend in the world died ..she was 78..she always listend to my problems and neverlet me down. I never told her, but she much smarter then I..Much more patient..I miss her so much.. MY BEST FRIEND MARLEY GIRL MCKEE..14 yrs. 78 in people years. Was put down Nov 28. I was at her side..Did know how hard it was going be……MARLEY GIRL I LOVE U
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss, Neisha. You are in my thoughts.
Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009 Aug;124(2):551-8. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181addad9.
BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to characterize the nature of dog bite injuries treated over a 5-year period at a large tertiary pediatric hospital and to identify relevant parameters for public education and injury prevention.

METHODS: Investigators performed a retrospective review of emergency room records of a single tertiary pediatric hospital. Records of all patients who were evaluated for dog bite injuries between April of 2001 and December of 2005 were reviewed. All demographic, patient, and injury details were recorded.

RESULTS: Five hundred fifty-one patients aged 5 months to 18 years were treated in the emergency department after suffering dog bite injuries during the study period. The majority of injuries (62.8 percent) were sustained by male children. Dog bite injuries were most prevalent during the months of June and July (24.1 percent). Grade school-aged children (6 to 12 years) constituted the majority of victims (51 percent), followed by preschoolers (2 to 5 years; 24.0 percent), teenagers (13 to 18 years; 20.5 percent), and infants (birth to 1 year; 4.5 percent). Injuries sustained by infants and preschoolers often involved the face (53.5 percent), whereas older children sustained injuries to the extremities (60.7 percent). More than 30 different offending breeds were documented in the medical records. The most common breeds included pit bull terriers (50.9 percent), Rottweilers (8.9 percent), and mixed breeds of the two aforementioned breeds (6 percent).

CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric dog bites are preventable injuries, yet they persist as a prevalent public health problem. Evaluation of data from high-volume tertiary pediatric health care institutions identifies predictable patterns of injury with respect to patient age and gender, animal breed, provocation, and seasonality.

PMID 19644273 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

mike barnes
Pitophilia is a mental disorder.. you people are blinded to the obvious dangers this dog type brings to a community..
And your obviously uneducated as to the facts. ANY dog can bite, and there are more bites by small dogs on the average. Any dog that is raised right is a safe dog.
Dear Mr. Barnes. First of all. To make a statement like this, shows you do not understand the Dynamics of dog behavior. Yes bad breeding, abuse of this breed has done great harm to the reputation of pit bulls. Treating ANY breed of dog in
Like manner may indeed produce the same effect. PB are very intelligent, willing to please, if you are consistent in training, spend time with PB, socialize, IF the human is the ALPHA, dogs any dog, submits to that heiarchy. Most of the time it’s human error, ignorance in improper raising of the dog. No matter what breed. Instead people are the most dangerous of the two.
Belief in any breed of dog being “dangerous” compared to any other dog, is akin to believing another race of human is more “dangerous ” than another. Basic dog racism!
Though I hate to say it, I agree with the whole “pit bulls are as dangerous as a gun” spiel. With that being said, most people in the United States own a gun right? With that also being said, there are people who are responsible and careful with their guns, and their are people such as criminals, who are irresponsible with theirs and more often than not kill or injure people. This leads to me saying that if you don’t take time, and respect the dogs ESPECIALLY pit bulls, they will end up injuring or even killing someone. I’ve been around these dogs all sixteen years of my existence, and have never been bitten once. I even had a friend that had 12 pits in their house, all treated with utmost respect (that’s also another thing we could get into) and properly trained, and never showed any aggression towards anyone. The only time that properly trained pit bulls, or just dogs in general have ever attacked or showed aggression was when someone was harming their owner. Its the same with my dads chihuahua. If you hit, kick, punch, etc… him, his dog will bit, or whatever else.
Da Bo
To be clear, guns are inanimate objects.. if they could jump up and kill the neighbors kid on their own, we wouldn’t have them.
Melanie Wambach
To be clear..bad people shoot guns, and bad people train bad dogs
i love dogs so
Brad Blanton
DogsBite.org’s 13-year fatality report identified breeds of dogs involved in U.S. attacks between 2005 and 2017, as well as victim age groups, the number of dogs involved and whether the incidents resulted in any criminal charges.

The following infographic shows that the Pit Bull is still responsible for the most fatal attacks in the U.S. by far, killing 284 people over that 13-year period – 66 percent of total fatalities. That’s despite the breed accounting for just 6.5% of the total U.S. dog population. The Rottweiler came second with 45 fatal attacks recorded while the German Shepherd was third with 20. Even some breeds that are not associated with aggression, such as the Labrador Retriever, also make the top-10 list with 9 fatal attacks documented. Why do people still support these monsters? They are not pets they are vicious thugs.

Ignorance is strong. A pitbull describes many different dog breeds while a Rottweiler and German Shepherd only characterizes one individual dog. It is unfair to determine that all pitbulls are dangerous when it makes up a rather large amount of the statistics. And viscous thugs. You were just waiting to use that horrid racist word, right? Read statistics better, my friend. You suck at it.
So true, I have a sweetheart of a pit and a silly english bulldog. Mutt and Jeff. My female Pit with I think has a lil mastiff in her is 92lbs.My male English is around 50lbs. I was taking them for their daily walk,run,and ball playing time and a couple with a kid looks at them and I hear OMG that guy has those 2 pits. I’m thinking 2? Really and I said it’s ok they won’t bite at all. Their daughter was about 6 and asked could she pet them. I said yes I’m ok with it. As soon as she walked over my “Pit” Rolled onto her belly and let the little girl rub her all she wanted and my English tried to talk and sing to her to get her ATTN lol. But face it, a brindle Pit and white English bulldog with a 40 lb weight difference not to mention the height difference look nothing alike. Pits get blamed for everything. Kinda like me as a kid
Do these infographics include the FULL facts? We’re these family, stray dogs. We’re these dogs involved in PB fighting. How about people leaving children unattended with a new unfamiliar dog. It can go on & on. Yes dogs bite. Of all the dog breeds, PB have been, the most abused. In our early history, PB we’re know as the baby sitter dog.
dogsbite.org is run by a man who hates pitbulls…much of the data on the site has been discredited.
Brad Blanton
The article talks about human Fatalities. I’ve known several pit bulls and for the most part, they were nice enough until they weren’t. They’re just too dangerous to have in a typical neighborhood. I know of one that was left alone with a kitten and ate the kitten. Later when the boy was wrestling around with a friend the dog attacked the friend. My terrible neighbor’s dog murdered my kitty. And the next day almost murdered another one of my kitties. Pit bulls are like having a handgun that could go off at any time. Praising these monsters is very unresponsible. There is absolutely no reason to have these kinds of dogs around. I don’t understand the mentality of these dog owners.
I was bit viciously by a black lab while running in the park away from it. No growl. Just bite. Should all labs be considered dangerous?
Da Bo
In all honesty, all dogs should be considered dangerous.. same with humans.
FYI…Handguns can’t just “go off” at any time.
Its a cat. Dogs hate cats. Didn’t you watch cartoons as a kid?
Love my pit
As in any breed the key to a dog to NOT bite or attack anyone is to familairize them with children at a puppy stage.
I took my pit to a school at a early age and the children played with him.Today at 10yrs.old he loves kids. If you don’t expose them early they will be more likley to bit. Peopole who have dogs don’t let them be around kids for that reason.I have another pit that would bit unless I tell her “it’s children” then she’ll back off.If adults raise pits without kids around they don’t know what this short person is they take it for another dog.So train and familerize your dog no mater what breed.
mike barnes
You are an idiot.. it happens all the time.. pits attack owners, especially kids.. despite the best efforts of the owner
Jessica Brown
Thats not true, Pits dont attack all the time. if you abuse or neglect your dog, then you dont deserve a dog. Pits are only aggressive depending on the way that they are raised. My aunt has 2 pits that she rescued and she has no trouble out of them at all. Dont judge a book by its cover. Raise a pit or any other dog the RIGHT way and you will have a nice family friendly dog, raise them aggressively and you will have an aggressive dog.
Quinton Davis
I agree with you and any responsible dog owner. My Pit is 6 yrs old and a total sweetheart. Lots of people pet her when we are walking. Some are very apprehensive. That’s fine Shes very loyal and protective of her family, especially my wife. But as one animal control officer once told me, they are great pets, but if another dog gets stupid around them or they sense that you are a mean person, they will get busy with you.
Abigail Kirby
I highly disagree. When I first adopted my pit I made sure to ask the foster owners who had him before how he was with other dogs and children, I have both. They all had amazing things to say about this dog, and even he was abused as a puppy. Yet he still absolutely loves children, people and dogs. Iv had a wide range of dog breeds in my life and I can easily say he has been the most kind hearted and gentle dog I have ever had. Love my pit!
my son suffered an unprovoked attack last sunday by a pitbull. the owner said the kids could pet the dog even though the dog has tried to attack other small children in the past. the dog didnt attack until my son turned to walk away. i realize that pitbull owners and owners of closely related dogs may have never personally suffered an attack and wish to defend their dog and their right to own such dogs. we love our pets and believe they would never turn on us or other people. i personally have a golden and i know that she has the instinct to retrieve, my dad has bird dogs that points and a sheep dog that herds. these dogs were not taught to have these traits, they got them through selective breeding. pit bulls and the like were bread to fight , hopefully that fact is not in dispute. it is in their genetic nature to attack and kill their opponents or prey. yes, bad owners will take a dangerous breed and make the situation worse. dog breeds go extinct continually and we would all be safer to eradicate pit bull genetics from what we call mans best friend.
I am very sorry to hear that your son was the victim of a dog bite. However, I believe you missed the point here. The article above just explained how more than 20 different types of dogs are lumped together as “pit bulls” so basically you believe that more than 20 different types of dogs including Pugs and Boston Terriers have been bred to fight?
This article sites Wikipedia as a source, making it pretty unreliable. The “drowning in a bucket” statistic alone is laughable. And to compare mauling deaths to medicinal deaths is ridiculous; the rate of use of medicine compounded with the fact that those taking medicine likely have a medical issue to begin with makes it inappropriate to compare to bully mauling deaths. If you want to make that comparison, narrow the sample size to those that have been in contact with the bully breed and aspirin. The likelihood for an attack of someone who is actually around the breed is going to be much higher. As for pugs and boston terriers, the smaller breeds of bully are less likely to be able to KILL, whereas the larger bully breeds are VERY capable and even likely to kill when attacking. Though, in my opinion, Boston terriers aren’t worth having around. I have never had a good experience with Boston terriers. They also attack unprovoked, and the older couples I know that have them certainly don’t abuse them. My daughter is terrified of anything that is black and white because of a Boston terrier attack. And, no, she did not provoke him. I was holding her on my hip, she was 8 months old, being very quiet, when that vicious dog CLAWED up my side and bit her foot. He continued to climb up my side to get to her as I tried to leave the house. I had scratches all down my side. This dog had known me since it was a puppy.
Dogs that are treated and raised like human children, have tendency to bite. It is not good to raise and treat a dog as if it was human. That is also abuse. Some people see it as spoiling the dog and treating it good. The human has to be the alpha I the relationship no matter the breed, size or age.
If you clearly knew the dog tried to attack other small children, why would you let your kids pet it? Sounds stupid to me.
Brian Willis Smith
You and many others have a undeniable understanding of this breed. First and foremost pitbulls are the most caring individuals. You fear this breed because it is mostly owned by African Americans. There were more dog breed bites last yr other than pitbulls. And it is a terrible thing for any dog to attack a human however all dog breeds have wolf instincts. If you take a lion out it’s natural habitat…it will still be a lion. All dogs need attention,care, and teachings in order to elevate beyond this misconception that they won’t bite bc they will. Again you never had a pit and as soon as you hear that a pit bit someone…your ears go up cuz you hear it so much bc again brain washing you. Who is the most predominant race who watch over these dogs?????
Just because you would like the American Temperament Test Standard to be a temperament test for a balanced pet, it is not. It was developed by Alfons Ertelt in 1977 as a screening test for potential Schutzhund candidates – ie dogs that do bite work like police dogs. He was not an animal behaviorist, he was a schutzhund fan. He wanted a quick way to screen dogs to see if they were bold and aggressive enough to do police work. As much as you wish otherwise, it is not in any way an indicator of a safe pet. The test itself only takes 15 minutes and as a screening test, was designed only to weed out the most unlikely candidates for attack dog training. A dog that panics when it hears a gunshot will fail this test. A dog that balks when asked to walk on wire fencing will fail this test. No part of this test looks at how the dog reacts in a home or with children or with other animals. These are things that are immediately obvious to anyone who takes even a cursory glance at the test. Why would you be attempting to prove pit bulls make great pets based on this test?
Please look up ASPCA Safer test worksheet. This is the testing that the several shelters I am involved in use for temperament testing. This test is rather involved and requires two people to complete the test and requires much more than 15 minutes. While I do agree the Safer test is no guarantee of temperament and the test is also subjective to whomever is doing the assessment, it is much more involved than you suggest.
I feel like people are missing the point here. I thought a central point is that pits are over represented in fatality statistics because of the broad range of dogs that get lumped in as ‘pit bulls’, which isn’t even a single breed. These determinations are never made based on actual genetics- it is always based on the dogs appearance
None of these fools can even identify dog breeds and none have owned a pitbull. Yet, they know more than pitbull owners do. Mine is an English Staffordshire and she is the kindest, sweetest dog I ever saw. Her and the cat are best buddies and they eat together st the same time out if the same dish. She has no toy or food protectiveness whatsoever. She is very popular at the dog park and people would bring their puppies over to play with her. She was the only adult dog that would associate with puppies at the park. Everybody that meets her comments on her friendliness and sweet demeanor. In England, the parliament passed a special law prohibiting any community from passing laws to ban English Staffordshires. They are known for their friendliness. Over Here, they are called blue nose pits.
I think this article is a real good contribution to this conversation. Just look at the list of credible organizations that do not single out pits or support breed specific legislation and tell me that you know better than their informed opinions. Anecdotal evidence is not good evidence
And even with all this. Pit bull breeds are under4% of the dogs in the US, and killed 88% of the people killed by dogs in 2017. I have seen them excused from a show ring (basically forever) for trying to grab a judge. That was NOT a poorly trained or miss handled dog. So for me the pit bull is not unlike any other wild semi domesticated killing animal. I can not trust them. And yes i live daily with a dog in my home. NOT (AND NEVER) a pit bull. I will not allow them on my farm.
Your choice, and risk if you play with them!
And by the way, rots, dobies, and danes are not allowed on my place either. Personally i think dogs are too easy to purchase! Should be a screening process for every dog every breed.
First of all where did you read they in fact were responsible for 88% of dog related human fatalities??? Oh and I’d REALLY love even one example of what exactly a “wild,semi domestic killing machine” is because unless you tried to turn a honey badger into a pet… ever word in that sentence contradicts the previous!! I doubt anyone would be able to get a wild killing machine any where near semi-domesticated… plus I seriously missed “killing machine” when Noah was accounting for all the animals on the ark!! Oh yeah. Pit bulls have always been a domestic animal since WE BREED THEM FROM OTHER BREEDS OF DOGS. But I digress…
Any dog has the ability to bite.for that matter so does any 1 year old human!!! Like the author said, circumstances play a great roll. If a seasoned show dog bit at a judge, where is the rest of the info? Like what was the judge doing? Was it seasoned? Was it verified the dog didn’t spend its entire trip puking in the car like my treeing Walker would. Everyone has a right to their opinion based on their personal experiences. I may have a biased negative view of chows based on mine. That being said, anyone who has attained an age of at least 20 who insist these dogs are generally more prone to aggression, without a doubt must view the chihuahua in the same category…. I dont think there is anyone who would disagree in their own life experience that those little ankle biters are 10 times more likely to bite and in much more unprovoked situations. At 40 I dont think I’ve ever meet even one that didn’t growl, snarl and have to be “put up” anytime company comes to visit. As for me… I’ll take my chances with a pit bull over those little rats with hair anyday!! I also happen to agree with the author that stereotyping 26 different breeds of dogs because one of the 26 bit or went after a judge and made headlines when 2000 were bit by those little ankle biters but went unmentioned is ignorance at its worst..a responsible potential owner weighes the positive and negative based on what they plan to use the dog for but more importantly do their due diligence to verify they are not out of a bloodline breed specifically for aggressive qualities, and if they find that is the case but buy the dog anyway because he has confirmation sure to win in the ring and make his owner a lot of money despite the risk! Hes ignorant!!! At least with a papered pit you can ascertain any genetic pre disposition up front… unlike the aformention ankle biter who if breathing has a predisposition!! For the record I’m a cat girl. I’ve had one dog I got for my son because he was afraid of big dogs…and she fell under that list being a boxer. A boxer who didn’t bark, chew, get on the furniture or drag you behind on the leash but would completely tolerate a 2 year old pulling her around by the collar. Sometimes even the ears. However one word from me and she would ready herself to sacrifice her own life for her human family. Long and short.. I think you have made an excellent decision not to own any dog that could, if they wanted to take you down. Based on that I assume one will also not see a horse or cow on your farm either? You’d probably be more comfortable with a small lap dog who barks and attacks his own farts in order to feel secure. Best of luck in your indevours and I shall pray you find just the right fit to feel safe and secure regardless of my feelings about your reasoning. No one should live with a pet they do not trust. You have your reasons. I just chose to share mine since you decided an article pointing out the unfair reputation and facts to support it was the appropriate place to do it. Btw… I’m sure they have hater bully blogs that will welcome you logic with open arms. Mean time I’ll be on the look out for this creature created only to be a killing machine.
4% you pulled that number out of your a**, now, try your head.
A basic google search shows that your 88% claim is utter fabrication. You’d do better at proving a point if you didn’t lie twice in your first two sentences.


Scroll down to the list of reported fatalities for that year. Now let’s do some math for this liar.

Pitbull (Which is unfairly about 6 dog breeds lumped in to one): 11
German Shepherd: 5
Labrador Retriever: 4
Husky: 2
Great Dane: 2
Akita: 1

So of the 25 reported confirmed fatalities in the US for 2017, less than half were from a classification that aggregates 6 separate breeds in to one parent category. If we actually compared it to per capita, you would realize that GSDs and Labrador Retrievers were the more lethal dog that year.

Stop ling.

erm…who is ling?
I really have no idea why you don’t like this. I don’t plan on hearing your life story, but I’m positive that you or anyone you know haven’t been attacked by a DOG at all. You might just need to open your eyes to what happens to these dogs because of people like you.
Christine Ann Bialeschki
I agree I have a Pitt and he is the best dog ever plus I have 2 Poms and they get along great with each other the Pitt is the lap dog and the Poms run the house so if u treat a dog good you don’t have to worry about anything all he wants to do is please us
That’s funny. The only “show” that recognizes the breed is AKC, and that only includes the American Staffordshire Terrier, so what show are we referencing here?
What’s most interesting about the stats in this article are all the ones that are suspiciously missing. Here’s an article that has some of those, literally critical, statistics.

Also check out The Fifth Estate (CBC) documentary on Pit Bulls, which “pits” the competing stats (no competition really) of advocates and opposers. Skip to 18:00, if you don’t have time to watch all of it.

This is obviously a pro Pit Bull article. To all you responsible owners of this breed , why don’t you push for mandatory training and screening of owners. A Pit Bull is more dangerous than a gun. Yet, it is statistically the favorite dog of criminals. I believe it is a special responsibility to own one of these dogs. I have been attached by a Pit Bull and had to go to hospital, a completely frightening event. The owner turns out was a felon. He got a ticket for his Pit Bull responsibility. You are all ridiculous in you blanket statements that Pit Bulls are unfairly picked on. You all need to take responsibility for these dogs if you don’t want them to be outlawed.
David W
So the pit bull “attached “you what did he attach you to? The ignorance of most of your statements. As far as the ownership of pits being mainly criminals just where did this statistic come up from and did you know it’s a felony to j-walk on us 19 in florida funny being a felon for walking across a road and I suppose that background checks stopped all the school shootings. The ignorance of almost all your statements is outstanding but like anything else even ignorant people are entitled to their opinions
I am a pit bull advocate but I do agree that owners need to be screened, even more so than the dogs themselves. It’s bad owners that have given rise to the vilification of this breed. The owners of smaller vicious breeds, like chihuahuas, don’t get called out for their ineptitude because their dogs can’t do the same level of damage but it’s the same principle. People are the problem yet the only solution that gets implemented is banning the dog themselves. It’s unfortunate. I do feel for anyone that has been the victim of any terrible incidents. Weak, negligent or abusive owners create the problem.
I totally agree
What an asinine statement. Any dog is more dangerous than a gun. Gun’s have a safety device that would prevent them from being used by accident.

But I’m sure you don’t actually want to compare gun fatalities to dog fatalities, let alone pit bull (6 breeds in one category) fatalities. That would cause your assumption to fall apart like a piece of wet toilet paper.

Dog owners should be screened in general, I agree. I’m sure you’re already thinking of how to acquire the budget for this and the necessary legislation to enforce it since you are so confident this is the best solution going forward. Not saying it’s not, just that your point is so wholesomely based in a fantasy world that it has no chance of ever coming to fruition.

I’m sorry you were attacked by a dog. It appears that your experience is heavily biasing any ability that you may have had to look at this issue objectively, though.

Mark F McCoy
pro pit .. meaning I dont agree with the info so it cant be true. Jesus what have we become. If it doesnt validate my views its wrong.
Let’s be honest pit owners are typically thugd that are incapable or sober enough to make logical decisions so anybody that agrees with me on this you’re wasting your time talking to stupid people because stupid people don’t know when they’ve lost an argument.
The same logic applies to you, buddy. If all pit bull owners are too drunk to make a logical decision, then what does that make you? I’m only 15 and threaten to break my mother’s alcohol and you say that we are to drunk to make a logical decision? You say that “stupid people don’t know when they’ve lost an argument” well I’m sorry sir, but you’re losing an argument with a teenager. (How’s that feel?) By the way, this article is pro-pit bull, as Stupefied said above, there are plenty of articles and websites that hate pit bulls, so why don’t you leave this article with your inconsiderate comment so that the rest of us can make our own decision without being called “stupid”, “incapable of making a logical decision”, or “drunk”. Are you a preschooler, because if you aren’t, you should be old enough to know that name-calling is immature and that makes your statement loose its steam.
Thank you and goodbye because unlike you, my mom taught me what manners are, why don’t you go find some.
Excuse me!? Wrong on all accounts. I’m 65 yrs old…. Just rescued a PB from a shelter. I’ve had him 3 months, he is intelligent, loving, obedient. He was used as a bait dog, the scars on his face & body attest to his abuse. His teeth were cut, that’s common for bait dogs. You could count his bones in his body. Yet he never has exhibatid 1 speck of aggression. This dog knew nothing. Never experienced inside a home, car, walk, toys, nothing. Not even hugs. Now he sits, down, stay, wait, eats when given permission. No I haven’t feared him 1 time. Or any dog. For that matter.
David just as life, the idiots ruin it for all. Your right. A felon. Some ppl think having a bad arse dog, with a chain, mean disposition is all that. We won’t mention how these dogs are treated.raised. Selective breeding practices would help tremendously.