Pit-Bull's...friend or foe?

LSUmiss

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 8, 2014
Yes, when you don't know a dog's history, it could be a recipe for disaster. But I think this would be true with all breeds, not just pits.
Which is why we don’t do rescues. I love the idea, but I want more of the reliability of traits that comes with pure breeds.
 

Soldier's*Sweeties

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
I agree that any breed can be dangerous under the right circumstances, but IMO, pit bulls can be dangerous sometimes when there is no cause. Additionally, to me, it’s like owning a tiger. If you raise it from a cub & treat it right, you would probably never have a problem with it. BUT, if something went wrong & the tiger decided to attack, it would be so powerful it could easily kill someone. I have a dachshund. They are often biters. My last one was for sure! Current one seems ok so far. But, he’s not dangerous b/c if he becomes a biter, it would be unpleasant but not deadly.
That could be said for any large, strong breed.

I actually have the opposite experience working with pit bulls than you. I’d take them any day over other dogs in the office. But to each their own. I respect your opinion.
 

luvsJack

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 3, 2007
From the ASPCA

Today’s pit bull is a descendant of the original English bull-baiting dog—a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head. When baiting large animals was outlawed in the 1800s, people turned instead to fighting their dogs against each other. These larger, slower bull-baiting dogs were crossed with smaller, quicker terriers to produce a more agile and athletic dog for fighting other dogs.
Well if you want to quote the ASPCA please quote all that they say:


“Throughout the years, pit bulls continued to be great family pets. Despite the negative news that sometimes surrounds the typically muscular, square-headed dogs, pit bulls were ranked as the second most tolerant dogs in a test by the American Temperament Test Society, Inc., American Humane Association, ASPCA. The results were originally shared by The Huffington Post.
The results also showed that in the overwhelming majority of cases where pit bulls were associated with attacks on people or other animals, the dog had been neglected or abused. Conditions where dogs are trained to be aggressive or are not trained to socialize are also circumstances that could cause a dog to behave negatively in certain situations. The point is, pit bulls are as good as their breeding. With love and training to be social, pit bulls are loving and loyal pet”.

And as for their lineage, it’s so mangled at this point it would be hard to say. They descended from Bulldogs. So when you talk about being used for bull baiting, you are talking about a wide range of breeds.

Also, it needs to be pointed out how many breeds are assumed to be pits when they are in fact not. They have the same strength and many have the same agility. So regardless of their lineage, they don’t have characteristics that other dogs do not have.
 
  • Soldier's*Sweeties

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2009
    Fair enough. But I personally wouldn’t want any breed that powerful that isn’t known for gentle temperament. After working in veterinary medicine for years in college, I have a whole list of large breeds that I would never own. Pit bulls are just one of those.
    Are Dalmatians on your list? They’re on the top of mine. I’ve never met a predictable one.
     

    jliehr

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 9, 2013
    Well, there are quite a few of "pit bull" breeds. Do you have one particular in mind? Probably the American Pit Bull Terrier?

    Regardless, the data regarding dog bites by breed is pretty inconclusive. An older study seems to show American Pit Bull Terriers and Rottweilers account for a larger number of bites. However, newer studies refute this statement. The American Veterinary Medical Association has said that "breed is a poor sole predictor of dog bites. Controlled studies reveal no increased risk for the group blamed most often for dog bites, ‘pit bull-type’ dogs. Accordingly, targeting this breed or any other as a basis for dog-bite prevention is unfounded." As stated by the National Animal Control Association: "Dangerous and/or vicious animals should be labeled as such as a result of their actions or behavior and not because of their breed." (https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/LiteratureReviews/Pages/The-Role-of-Breed-in-Dog-Bite-Risk-and-Prevention.aspx)
    I'm sorry, but that logic is asinine. Wolves, Bears, Tigers and Leopards are sometimes kept as pets also, that doesn't mean we should encourage the population to bring them into homes and neighborhoods because we shouldn't label all of these animals bad just because of a single attack. The sad fact is the breed hasn't been taken care of well in the US in the past 30 years, mixes and puppy mills, poorly treated animals by owners have caused the issues. There are great Pits, Rotties and German Shepherds out there, but to claim that they don't provide more risk to the family they live with or the people around them is denial of simple facts; these are powerful animals that can inflict significant injury quickly and have killed children or caused them significant harm. As someone posted earlier they had a rescue that flipped out one day a bit a 10 year old in the face. I don't personally understand how someone is willing to put their family or neighbors/friends at risk, but our society is based on freedom and personal rights so that's what we live with.
     

    ThistleMae

    Falling More in Love Every Year!
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2015
    Well, there are quite a few of "pit bull" breeds. Do you have one particular in mind? Probably the American Pit Bull Terrier?

    Regardless, the data regarding dog bites by breed is pretty inconclusive. An older study seems to show American Pit Bull Terriers and Rottweilers account for a larger number of bites. However, newer studies refute this statement. The American Veterinary Medical Association has said that "breed is a poor sole predictor of dog bites. Controlled studies reveal no increased risk for the group blamed most often for dog bites, ‘pit bull-type’ dogs. Accordingly, targeting this breed or any other as a basis for dog-bite prevention is unfounded." (https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/LiteratureReviews/Pages/The-Role-of-Breed-in-Dog-Bite-Risk-and-Prevention.aspx)
    Very informative, thank you. But apparently the breed is targeted. My nephew has some type of mixed Pit. He had to get a statement from his vet indicating there was no Pit in his dog, to be able to bring the old gal to camp. She has typical Pit like features, so she was "in question."
     
  • Cannot_Wait_4Disney

    Ok all you A cattle, get in ...
    Joined
    May 18, 2005
    They were bred to hunt wild hogs.

    .
    Incorrect. They were originally bred for bull baiting and bear baiting. Both are blood sports and were banned in 1835. But breeders found something else to do with them. Dog fights. It wasn't until the 20th century in the U.S. that they were used as catch dogs for semi wild pigs and livestock. To this day they are the most popular breed to use in illegal dog fights.

    Contrary to myth, they don't have a locking jaw. They just hold their bite longer than most. Smelling salts or any other ammonia odor will cause them to break their bite. They hate it.

    Well if you want to quote the ASPCA please quote all that they say:


    .
    She was quoting them as to the fact of what they were originally bread for. A fact you didn't have straight.
     

    ThistleMae

    Falling More in Love Every Year!
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2015
    From the ASPCA

    Today’s pit bull is a descendant of the original English bull-baiting dog—a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head. When baiting large animals was outlawed in the 1800s, people turned instead to fighting their dogs against each other. These larger, slower bull-baiting dogs were crossed with smaller, quicker terriers to produce a more agile and athletic dog for fighting other dogs.
    Interesting. So they are saying the baiting behavior is a genetic trait of these cross bred dogs, thus making them more dangerous than other breeds?
     

    LSUmiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2014
    That could be said for any large, strong breed.

    I actually have the opposite experience working with pit bulls than you. I’d take them any day over other dogs in the office. But to each their own. I respect your opinion.
    Don’t get me wrong there were “worse”
    Large breeds...akitas, chows, Dalmatians,
    & shepherds (esp white & black ones-CRAZY TOWN)! HATED those breeds were on the schedule.
     

    LSUmiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2014
    Are Dalmatians on your list? They’re on the top of mine. I’ve never met a predictable one.
    I grew up with Dalmatians too so I knew that before I even got there.
    We didn’t have a problem with either of ours growing up, but I would never own one myself.
     
  • FlightlessDuck

    Y kant Donald fly?
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2006
    I'll admit to not really liking them as a breed even though I know they aren't any more aggressive than other breads. They do look aggressive. Same with Rotties, Doberman Pinschers, and German Sheppards (it's the eyes!).
     

    ThistleMae

    Falling More in Love Every Year!
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2015
    I'm learning quite a bit on this thread. It's apparently a very controversial topic, but one that bares consideration when thinking about breed purchasing. It does border on the nature vs nurture theory, but for dogs. If raised in the right, caring and loving family will nurturing overtake any undesirable genetic traits? Good to ponder upon.
     
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    ThistleMae

    Falling More in Love Every Year!
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2015
    I'll admit to not really liking them as a breed even though I know they aren't any more aggressive than other breads. They do look aggressive. Same with Rotties, Doberman Pinschers, and German Sheppards (it's the eyes!).
    They are very strong dogs, that's for sure. But many dogs are. If they are used as fighting dogs, as some are saying is the case, are they the strongest breed of dog in all of dogdom?
     

    ThistleMae

    Falling More in Love Every Year!
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2015
    My MIL used to raise Dalmations. Said they were bad with little kids. I don't have any experience with them personally.
    Might there be another reason for the breeder saying they were bad with little kids? I guess if you have a dog with say, for example, a nervous disposition, little kids loud voices and waving of arms and hands might make them fearful, and maybe snappy. Or if the pups are raised in a home that's quiet, will a suddenly noisy environment, or the introduction of little kids, make them all rather nervous. I don't know, just thinking about it.
     

    Mermaid02

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 1, 2002
    I'm not scared of pits, but I don't want one. I used to work for a pediatric surgeon and he said he had repaired injuries from just about every type of dog, lazy family pets, sporting dogs, working dogs, toy breeds etc but he said by fair the worst injuries were caused by pit bulls. That was enough for me. We are getting two GSD puppies next month, I know a lot of people are scared of them though. To each his own. I did call our insurance company before we committed to be sure they would still cover us with a GSD.
     

    jaybirdsmommy

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 27, 2008
    Our Chi mix is more likely to attack someone than our pit is. Of course, he's little so he can't do as much harm, but he's the one we've warned the mailman/garbageman/anyone else who might find themselves in our yard with him. He waits until the 2 big dogs have distracted his victim, then gets them from behind.


    I have a dachshund. They are often biters. My last one was for sure! Current one seems ok so far. But, he’s not dangerous b/c if he becomes a biter, it would be unpleasant but not deadly.
    It's funny that you mention dachshunds. When we moved here our oldest was 10 months old. In our rental house neighborhood we were surrounded by pits. They LOVED him, the one next door would steal his shoes and lick his feet once they were bare. Obviously, he was a baby and never left alone outside with strange dogs, but the pits were all extremely interested in him and friendly.

    A neighbor came out one day and asked me if I wasn't nervous playing outside with him with all the pit bulls around. I had to tell her that no, it was her nasty, snarly, little demon of a dachshund that worried me the most. When that thing came out, we went inside.

    Again, like you said, the dachshund would do much less damage, but that one certainly acted like he wanted to eat us alive.
     

    LSUmiss

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 8, 2014
    I'm learning quite a bit on this thread. It's apparently a very controversial topic, but one that bares consideration when thinking about breed purchasing. It does border on the nature vs nurture theory, but for dogs. If raised in the right, caring and loving family will nurturing overtake any undesirable genetic traits? Good to ponder upon.
    Idk but my golden likes to retrieve & my dachshund likes to burrow & I taught neither of them to do that. It’s what they were bred to do. I used to have a beagle, they’re bred to flush prey. He tried to do this with the cats & smaller dog all the time. My point is if I have seen my dogs naturally do what they were bred to do without any training, then I’m not trusting any large breed that was bred to be aggressive.
     

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