“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 Rottweiler which measures in at 328 pounds per square inch of bite force. Even with this figure in mind though, does this mean that the Rottweiler is a dangerous breed? Not necessarily: It means that if a Rottweiler were to bite someone or something, it could be capable of exerting 328 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. 

InsureMyCanine logoIf you are interested in protecting yourself with dog liability insurance, visit our partner at InsureMyCanine.com to learn more and get a free quote.

What do you love about pit bulls and other bully breed dogs?

Source: Wikipedia: Pit Bull

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new pet health insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.
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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Chuck
Citation
Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009 Aug;124(2):551-8. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181addad9.
Abstract
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..
Exzavier
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.
gggg
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.

Sara
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.
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.
SARA
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?
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.
harry
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.
Ana
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?
Tom
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.
SARA
If you clearly knew the dog tried to attack other small children, why would you let your kids pet it? Sounds stupid to me.
Julie
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?
Volunteer
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.
Dog
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
Dog
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
Jack
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.
Stupefied
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.
Tim
4% you pulled that number out of your a**, now, try your head.
Mike
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.

Source

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.

Iris
erm…who is ling?
Iris
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
Matt
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.

David
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
John
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.
Mike
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.
Rick
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.
Selina
We adopted Lilo, a beautiful black and white cocker spanie,l in 2003 when she was 8 months old. We were told then that her previous people had abused her and were forced to give her up. Even though we loved her a lot, for a long time she was very suspicious and defensive. She had bitten my husband several times when he approached her when she was sleeping. We had to be very careful whenever strangers approached her; such that often they thought we just did not want them to pet her — an adorable cocker spaniel.

Lilo died in March, 2016 from kidney failure. In October, 2017 we adopted Gogo (10 weeks old) from a rescue organization and was told he was a labrador and springer spaniel mix. When he was about 5 months old we took him to be neutered and the vet told us he believed Gogo to be a pit bull mix. We were kind of shocked and worried. The rescue place told us that we can return him if we want to. But then Gogo has always been such a sweet, loving puppy, we decided to keep him. Now he is almost 10 months old and still the same sweet, loving dog. We have trained him to stay within our property line and not venture into the street. He is friendly towards everyone and every dog who walks by our house, but most people walking their dog seem to be very cautious whenever they pass by our house!

Gogo still thinks he is a puppy and often put his head my my lap. I often look into his gentle eyes and ask him “how can you ever be mean!?”

It’s not the dog, it’s how the dog was brought up and treated. Cocker Spaniel Lilo was defensive because she had been abused in her puppy days.

Pitty Gogo has never demonstrated anything but sweetness and will never be a danger to anyone!

Lydia
My pit bull, Rosie, follows me around, trying to give me kisses all day. She takes care of my 1 year old daughter Isabella, and snuggles with our cat. Yet when my mother-in-law comes to visit, she refuses to be in the same room as her! This doggy-racism has to stop!
Ban the breed
This entire article is designed to minimize pit bull attack incidents. The math is clear every year that the pit bulls are the number one killers. the fact that this website leaves that information out shows it’s willing to censor inconvenient facts.
Dog
Did ya read the article? The whole point was that attacks are commonly attributed to ‘pit bulls’ when that isn’t even a breed it’s an umbrella term that can take include up to 30 different breeds, from a Boston terrier to a napoleons mastiff. The numbers are skewed because they include such a broad range of dogs. Even the accepted category of pit bull contains four distinct breeds in itself. There was literally a section labeled ‘don’t minimize pit bull bites’
Stupified
Thank you jesus!! Someone else who actually read the whole thing!!
Silv
In 1997, there were 40 fatal pit bull attacks in the US. If you assume an average life span of 13 years, that puts the total fatal pit bull attacks over a given dog’s lifetime at 520. So, 520 out of 4 million pit bulls fatally attack someone over their lifetime. That comes out to 0.00013, or 0.013%. About one hundredth of a percent of pit bulls will ever kill anyone during their lifetime, while 99.987% never will. You want to ban a breed for something that 99.987% of dogs will never do during their lifetime?

Out of those 40 attacks per year, some can certainly be attributed to bad owners who made the dogs mean on purpose. Because of pit bulls’ fearsome reputation, they’re selected by people who want a dog for all the wrong reasons. Any animal can be turned mean by poor treatment, and if people are going to do this deliberately to any dog, it’s almost guaranteed to be a pit bull. This inflates the statistics and makes it seem like your family pet might attack you at any time. Unprovoked attacks for unknown reasons have happened, but they happen with other breeds too, and when you exclude the owners who wanted their dogs to be mean, a pit bull is just an ordinary dog. It’s a strong dog, so when it does attack, it is more likely to cause serious injury or death, but that’s true of any larger breed.

As others have mentioned, any dog that has a passing resemblance to a pit bull will be reported as a pit bull if it attacks someone, even though the dog may not be a pit at all.

Human beings are five times more likely to kill someone in the US in any given year (5 per 100,000) than pit bulls (1 per 100,000). If pit bulls are dangerous killers that should be banned, what do we do with ourselves? Any random person you meet on the street is 5 times more likely to kill you than any random pit bull you meet.

Jakieeeeee
I was just wondering about pit bulls so I looked them up on my free time!
Ayla
My sister has a very nice pit bull!
ur boi (Nick)
Pit bulls lit
Natalie
I’m writing an essay of why pit bulls are miss understood and i realized all these statistics are wrong. Either they don’t add up to 100% or they add up to more than 100%.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hi Natalie, some of the stats aren’t supposed to add up to 100%. Which ones are you having questions on specifically, so I can try to explain further? We think it’s awesome you’re writing this essay!
ken
Back here on planet earth. Two facts. First, there are two emotional sides on this thread. Want the most unemotional person’s opinion? Ask an insurance actuarial. They only know numbers. Second, there are three types of physical dog contact. A strike bite, an attack, and a mualing. A chihuahua, a police dog, and a pit bull. Show me a chihuahua who continues an attack to his or your death. Trained guard dogs stop when resistance stops, and instinctively hold, not tear. Maulings are where child death occurs. Killing the object, instinctively, to the point of sacrifice of their own life in that goal. They all go into the same bucket…dog bites. The issue is, not all dogs bite with the same purpose or intensity. And the difference in bite is all in the breed.
missy
completely agree. And while all dogs are capable of biting or attacking, I would love to see a scientific study be done on the brains of certain breeds (almost like we do with serial killers) to learn what makes them tick. I truly believe there’s something in the “hardwiring” of different breeds. It may not ever present itself in some dogs but is always there.
Stupified
Its obvious.. just like in 1950 a Persian cat had a regular nose. Its called selective breeding. Those aforementioned criminals breed dogs that tend to possess traits higher on the aggression scale. This also explains the love em or hate em attitude. For those dogs that have never been in a selective breeding line for the purposes of fighting people tend to value as wonderful pets.
Teresa Smithson
Just for the record, pugs are not a bully breed. They were developed in China as lapdogs, not fighters. In ancient times, Pugs were companions for ruling families in China. They arrived in Europe in the 16th-17th century.
Lydia
And pit bulls weren’t bred for abuse, or a victim of humans. It’s not so much what their for, but where they come from. A pug DOES share the same ancestry as a pit.
we be plebs
me be a dog luver an i jus tink dat dis is dum
Adam C
I’ve been going through some type of moral dilemma. I fought long and hard trying to keep myself from putting a comment on here, especially after reading a ton of comments from what seem to be very ignorant people. My one and only comment on here is, first off thank you to Sarah Logan Wilson for writing this article if you are the author and especially if you are the one who did all the research, I’m sure that most people on here talking bad about it have done none of their own other than watch tv! Second, all domesticated animals are born with different types of personalities and temperaments, however none of them are born with any type of anger, or hatred, or evil in their souls. The only ones that are “evil vicious dogs” are the ones that are raised to be that way period! The only dogs that supposedly do a “random” attack are ones that have in someway been provoked or (in minor instances) have been over breed by incest (also from a human hand). So almost every instance that someone or some other animal is bitten is due to some type of human intervention at some point in the dogs life. Now about myself I have been a certified dog trainer for just over 25 years. I train security dogs for one of the largest security companies in the western hemisphere and, I also run a smaller facility that helps in police and civilian dog training. I can’t even count the number of dogs that I’ve trained or the number of different breeds that I’ve worked with. I’ve even helped to train a few packs of wild wolves for a couple local zoos in Indiana and Illinois. I would never call myself “the authority on dogs” but, I do happened to know a thing or two. I will say that no breed of dog will ever know that it is supposed to be an aggressive breed only the people around it think that. No dog breed has exact specific behavior traits. The only dogs that I’ve dealt with that have had behavior issues are the ones being trained for a police department or security and they don’t have any aggressiveness and they become rejected from the programs and, are adopted out for family pets. The dogs that we personally have to train to be less aggressive are usually small or toy breeds due to the fact that their owners don’t correct bad behavior and treat them like human children causing over dominance in the dogs. Watch a couple episodes of the dog whisperer and it may help people understand that we really have to train people how to interact with the dogs for a family pet as opposed to training the dog to behave. I hope that I have helped some people on here, I realize that alot of people are stubborn and won’t pay attention to anyone telling them that THEY are wrong and others only listen to biased media that create bad news stories to sell but, hopefully someone gets better understanding of the issue!
Kydd2k
Very well said, good sir!
Lydia
Absolutely beautiful. BAN AGGRESSIVE HUMANS, NOT PITS.
Stupified
Thank you!! Finally Another one with common sense.