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DANGER – Pit Bulls Are MONSTERS!

Everyone knows the story.  Pit Bulls are evil.  They’re aggressive.  Their goal is to rip you limb from limb.  They’ll attack your children.  The sole purpose of a Pit Bull is to fight to the death.  And they know it.  So it’s either them, or us.  If we don’t kill them, they’ll kill us.  They’re like home-grown, four-legged terrorists that will tear out your throat if given the chance.  RIGHT?

Pit Bull Hard At Work Plotting Humanity's Death

How can she sleep? Doesn’t she know her life is in danger?!?!

Pit Bulls Attacking Children

How dare their parents put them in such peril! They should be prosecuted…

The Truth About Breed Temperament

You may not want to accept this, but – statistically speaking – your Golden Retriever poses a greater risk to your kids than a Pit Bull.  As does a Collie and a Shetland Sheepdog.  I bet it never dawned on my Grandma the danger she put me in when she had a Collie and 2 Shelties while I was growing up.  Apparently I’m lucky to be alive!

Breed Temperament Statistics

Find additional information at http://www.atts.org

The Breed Temperament Big Picture

Feel free to check out The American Temperament Test Society’s full breed statistics. Obviously some breeds are more common than others, so there is quite a discrepancy in sample size from breed to breed in the full result list. Though you will notice that the sample sizes of the breeds shown above are generally comparable.

If what people collectively refer to as “Pit Bulls” are so dangerous as to warrant being banned and killed based on a supposed predisposition to aggression, it would stand to reason that Shetland Sheepdogs, Akitas, Doberman Pinschers, Collies, Border Collies, Boxers and Golden Retrievers would be subject to the same treatment. I love dogs. No dog should be exterminated because some ignorant souls choose to believe in a hypothetical danger.

The truth is that to discriminate against ANY breed based on ignorance and sensationalism is a tragedy.  It is no less ludicrous to discriminate against a dog based on breed than it is to discriminate against a person based on race, creed, gender or sexual orientation.  Some ignorant and xenophobic souls believe black people to be intellectually inferior.  Some woefully obtuse individuals believe women are subordinate to men.  Some of the most painfully judgmental among us, as illustrated by the government of Uganda, believe anyone afflicted with “the gay” should be put to death.

These same types of prejudice are at work with regard to Pit Bulls.  Pit Bulls are victims of prejudice, but that prejudice is socially acceptable, albeit based no more in fact than the prejudices held by racists, sexists or homophobes. I suppose because dogs can’t speak out against injustice, their suffering is somehow less tragic. They’re quiet victims. They suffer silently. NO breed should be demonized and preemptively killed based on ignorance, prejudice or fear-based misconception.

The Media – “Pit Bulls Licking Faces” = Not A Great Headline

Clearly A Danger To Mankind

TIck-tock. I should check on this kid. I bet he no longer has a face.

The media has demonized and sensationalized Pit Bulls.  This sensationalism is not based on the truth about the breed’s inherent temperament, but the fears associated with the consequences of SOME OWNERS choosing to abuse these dogs.  In much the same way Retrievers were bred to retrieve, Collies & Sheepdogs were bred to herd and Greyhounds were bred to run, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier – collectively referred to as “Pit Bulls” – were bred to emphasize specific traits, like loyalty and fearlessness, while eliminating others, like human aggression and instability.

Learn the truth about the breed commonly referred to as the “Pit Bull” at Pit Bull Rescue Central.

Ignorance Is The Real Danger

Abuse can cause ANY dog to become aggressive. Abuse can turn ANY dog into a danger. So, why don’t the idiots who abuse and fight dogs use other breeds? Well, a fight between a Golden Retriever and an American Staffordshire Terrier wouldn’t last long, now would it? It’s the same reason a heavyweight boxer doesn’t fight a welterweight boxer. “Pit Bulls” are fantastic physical specimens. WE bred them to be! Now some people want to kill them for it.

Temperament isn’t about nature alone. Dogs are not so different from us. Separate twins at birth. Raise one in a home where he’s tucked into bed each night with a hug and a full stomach. Watch the other grow up on the street, fighting for every morsel of food and relying on his fists to survive another horrendous day of a miserable existence. Then let’s see if one seems more prone to aggression.

Anger, abuse, neglect and violence…that’s the reality that awaits many Pit Bulls from the day they’re born. Not because it’s what they must do, but because the despicable fools who breed them will settle for nothing else. But when they’re rescued, if they’re rescued, they thrive.  They become loyal and loving members of warm and welcoming families.

Impending Disaster

Uh oh…someone better intervene before she snaps & kills the whole family!

How Can You Help Pit Bulls?

Pit Bull Rescue Central

You can learn more about Pit Bull type breeds and how you can help by visiting Pit Bull Rescue Central.

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About Alysson

I'm snarky, progressive and profane. Known throughout search marketing circles as SEOAly, I provide affordable small business website design and SEO services. My allegiance is not to religion or political party, but to having a positive impact on those around me & leaving the world a little bit better place than I found it.

Comments

  1. I too was one of the skeptical people who thought “what are they thinking” when my cousins brought home a pit bull when they had 2 small kids in the house. I thought of all the stories I heard the injuries.
    Then I started volunteering at an animal shelter that takes in pit bulls and works closely with an pit bull rescue in the area.
    Now I hear all these wonderful stories of them rescuing someone, the shows dedicated to the breed, the rehabbing of the fighting or bait dogs and of course hands on relationship with the breed.
    I love dogs. I grew up with doxies, had a couple bassets and now have a coonhound and boxer.
    I cannot own a pit bull because of the laws and insurance requirements. But I love them and would lay beside one anyday over a small dog. I’m not knocking the small breeds…I love them too. I just prefer big dogs.
    There are so many advocates now for pit bulls that hopefully legislation can pass reforms so that the breed isn’t discriminated against, then insurance follows thru to not exclude specific breeds…THEN and just as important, tougher laws on owners who fight these dogs. These dogs as so many just want to love and be loved.
    Thank you for listening!

    • Experience is always the best teacher, Reda…and always more powerful than preconceived notions. I’m glad you were open-minded enough to base your opinion on your experiences, rather than simply relying on the maliciously inflated danger this breed supposedly poses. Thanks for stopping by and for volunteering at your local animal shelter. I’d hope others reading this right now will be inspired to do the same! :)

  2. I own 3 APBT’s and love them to pieces! All have their own quirks but are SO lovable and everybody that knows them just loves them to pieces! I adopted my oldest from a rescue, they called her a ‘Lab/Weimaraner mix’ which was a total lie but i didn’t care, and i have never looked back, my second i got from a byb before i knew much about the breed and my third is my first show dog and they are all just great dogs. everyone is always going to have their thoughts and we are always going to have people that are afraid of pit bulls but the more people that spend time with these beautiful and amazing creatures the more people whose minds we are able to turn! i would say 90+% of the people that ‘hate’ all pit bulls and want them all to die have probably never actually met one, and are just feeding off of the media frenzy! my dogs are always properly contained and never off-leash other than in their own backyard. they are properly socialized (i am a dog groomer) and they come with me to work most days of the week and love to greet the customers! we have the occasional customers who have problems with those ‘pits’ (i hate that term) but if they stand and pet the dogs they get over it. as far as my experience goes, the small dogs are the problems. the dog is small so nobody cares to socialize or train it. the dog barks and snarls, so the owner picks it up. how is that a correctional behavior? regardless, any dog can be aggressive and if they ban all pit bulls they will just continue through all the breeds until we can’t own dogs anymore. what a shame!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Megan. My sister owns a local pet sitting business. Our experiences are very similar to yours, in that Pit Bull-type breeds have never caused either of us any problems, but other breeds – particularly small breed dogs like Chihuahuas, Pomeranians and the like – are often far more aggressive and prone to bite. Granted, the damage they do is far less than that of a large breed, but tell that to the girl who ended up with 20 stitches after having been attacked by her grandparents 3 Chihuahuas. I don’t recall anyone ever calling for a ban on Chihuahuas…

  3. There’s always two sides to a story. Below is information which directly contradicts the opinions expressed in your article. While my experience of Progressives is that they don’t really like to hear opposing opinions, hopefully you’ll allow this information to stay on your website so intelligent, rational individuals can make up their own minds.

    http://thetruthaboutpitbulls.blogspot.com/2010/08/there-are-three-kinds-of-lies-lies.html

    http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-study-dog-attacks-and-maimings-merritt-clifton.php

    http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics-fatalities-2011.php

    • The snide comment about my being a progressive wasn’t necessary, as I can easily – and accurately – point out that ultraconservatives tend to be among the most factually challenged and prone to revisionism.

      Readers of this blog are welcome to share whatever facts or anecdotes they feel are applicable to the topic at hand so others can make informed decisions based on all of the information available, not merely the information that supports my position. Thanks for stopping by.

    • You're an idiot. says:

      LOL. Dogsbite.org is a crock of shit, and if you listen to them, then your are worse then retarded.

    • From Dogsbite.org: “In the 3-year period from 2006 to 2008, pit bull type dogs killed 52 Americans…at least eleven U.S. State Supreme and Appeals courts have ruled that pit bull terriers pose a significant risk to communities and can be regulated accordingly.”

      In the same three-year time period, 198 Americans were killed by plane crashes. Planes pose an even more significant risk to communities! Stop the planes! Visit my urgently needed website, Planescrash.org. After all, there are two sides to every story. I hope you will let this information stay up on your website so paranoid, misinformed individuals can make up their own tiny minds.

  4. I loved reading the postings. I have five dogs, two akita/lab mix and have fostered three pit bulls and then adopted them. I cannot stress how wonderful they are….they are not only grateful for getting out of a shelter but they are calmer and loving by knowing they came into a home where they would be loved, and given a nice bed to lay their head at night. I would like to urge people to foster this breed, they stay in shelters for so long because people are afraid of them…please give a bully breed a chance, it is so wrong to euthanize them just because of the “pit” status. Give them a chance….you will be glad you did. :)

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Bonny. The more positive stories people share about Pit Bulls, the less likely people will be to believe they are inherently more aggressive or dangerous than other breeds.

  5. Great page!! I too own a pitbull and love him to pieces best dog i’ve ever owned.. Keep up the good work :)

    discriminating against a certain breed is like discriminating against a certain race, wish people could open there eyes! :/

    • Thanks, Allison. There are far more stories like yours than there are horror stories. Unfortunately only the sensationalized attack stories seem to make headlines.

  6. Thanks for your post/blog – we have a bully mix (not exactly sure what types or proportions as she is a rescue). The biggest danger she poses is she might lick a person down to a pebble if given the chance. Would like to add my two cents regarding breeds & behavior. I have worked at 2 vet clinics, one of which was a non-profit 24-hour emergency clinic. You can probably imagine the horrors that came through those doors, but I digress. What I would like to comment on is the reason I chose a bully breed – behavior. After watching the behavior of injured dogs, I started noticing the breed most likely to remain calm and compliant, case after case: the pit bull and mixes thereof. Breeds that tended to react by biting: dalmatians, huskies, retrievers, chows. For small breeds – as far as biting goes, chihuahuas take the cake – and eat it too, ha! Jacks are not far behind. This is simply personal observation in one clinic under traumatic and stressful conditions, during my shift times. For me though, I learned which breeds are more likely, in general, to bite when stressed – useful information, I think!

    Other posters have mentioned being aware of the bully’s strength – this cannot be understated in my opinion. Bully breeds, although generally calm and congenial, are strong and can be stubborn. They need an owner who is willing to learn about the breed, and who is the dog’s equal or superior in both strength and stubbornness, lol! Anyone who is hesitant regarding physical interaction with a dog should not consider this, or any other dog breed. Dog classes are recommended for any breed, including this one! Like a lot of large, active breeds, bullies benefit from regularly engaging in rigorous physical activity.

    Also I really wish “back yard breeding” were banned instead of dog types. Breeders and puppy mills/pet stores are the source of most problems and misery experienced by dogs. In general, from what I have seen, uneducated or willfully ignorant owners/potential owners are more likely to purchase a dog from a backyard breeder or a puppy mill/pet store. There is simply no reason to allow unrestricted breeding of animals – 30,000 cats and dogs are killed every month in the USA due to overbreeding. Sad, sad, sad. And entirely the fault of humans.

    To end on a happier note, our girl, Charlotte is now getting close to 8 years old, and shares the house with 2 very sassy cats. Her favorite outing is to visit our relatives who have children – she is in 7th heaven when in the arms of a doting child – so cute! A close second would be a “W-A-L-K ” (we even have to spell “G-O”, “R-I-D-E” and “C-A-R” – ha!), and third would be “doggy bedtime” with a much-coveted center-cut soup bone.

    Thanks again and Happy Holidays everyone! May all beings live in peace one day!

    • Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. You make a good point about the strength of bully breeds and making sure that one is capable of physically handling a dog of any breed. A pit bull-type breed isn’t for anyone. This would not have been an appropriate dog for The Golden Girls or Webster, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfect fit for a lot of households.

      P.S. I applaud you for bringing up the issue of backyard breeders, puppy mills and pet stores. You’re absolutely right on all counts, particularly that those who are NOT capable/prepared of handling strong breeds (both physically and mentally) fall into the category of most likely to get a dog from such a disreputable/unprofessional source.

    • donna bursell says:

      Allyson, all i can say is if you think a pitbull is a monster, then you truly KNOW NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!….you are an idiot

      • Hello, Donna. Thanks for stopping by. Had you taken 11 seconds to read anything more the THE TITLE of this post, it would have become rather obvious to you that I am part of the fight FOR pit bull type breeds, not against them. And you have the audacity to call me an idiot? If you’d like to go ahead and pull your foot out of your mouth, please go ahead…I’ll wait.

    • While I appreciate exactly what you’re saying and in a lot of ways agree I have to say the strength of the person physically isn’t really what counts in my humble opinion. I have a 132lb purebred mutt…..part Dane part Pit and part Lab. I am an over 50 female with 4 major back surgeries behind me and don’t even weigh as much as the mutant. BUT….due to training and committment to him knowing that there are some things he is NOT allowed to do with momma means I can walk him, play with him, and snuggle him just as if he was half the size he is. The same goes for my 87lb beagle/border collie mix. They don’t pull when walking and are not prone to get overly exuberant when I play with them. Yes, being strong enough to handle a bully breed is important the same can be said for having the good sense to train your dogs properly regardless of breed.

      • I completely agree with you, Dixie. However, during the process of training a willful, intelligent and potentially physically overwhelming animal of any kind (dog, horse, et al.), both physical & emotional strength give you and the animal the greatest chance for success. Based on my pet sitting experience, I can say with confidence that there have been times when my physical strength was the only thing standing between my clients’ dogs & other aggressively approaching animals is my physical ability to stop the confrontations before they turned truly ugly.

        Thanks for taking the time to share your insight! :)

  7. Alysson said….”You’re right, James. Like people, dogs are a product of their environment – Pit Bull or otherwise. Like kids, if you raise them in a home filled with aggression and anger, they will respond in kind. Thanks for stopping by to share your story!”

    Curiously, you do not equally tout that dogs are also a product of their nature or genetic lineage. You must agree with this, yet seem to deemphasize this to score a cheap point.

    • I do agree that all living beings are a product of both their environment AND their genetics. However, we do not preemptively execute the children of psychotics, schizophrenics. et al. (like Herb Baumeister, for example) simply because they may have a genetic predisposition to mental illness that could potentially result in a violent murder spree at some point in the future. Yet it seems perfectly acceptable to some to exterminate a dog without a single incident of aggression or so much as an aggressive bark.

  8. I just wanted to say thank you for such a well-written article on my new favorite breed. I adopted Bean, a 4 and a half year old APBT 2 months ago after losing my doberman to cancer. I can’t tell you how much she has filled the void in my life. She is loving and cuddly and always ready to sneak a kiss/lick. She is well socialized and loves to play with other dogs at the dog park and with my american eskimo and shitzu at home. I cant imagine a more perfect fit in my family. Some colleagues at work do not understand how I could ever have such a dog and this i find very frustrating considering all they want to believe is sensationalized media and refuse to consider the alternative.

    Thank you for providing this opportunity to speak to this issue. It is much appreciate.

    • You’re quite welcome. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and help to dispel the myth that all pit bulls are aggressive or dangerous.

  9. pit bulls are not monsters they are loving animals . . . . its not the dog its the person that is making the dog fight the dog is mean because of the person its not the dog people kill dogs they hang them when they lose a fight ok pitbulls are being killed i want to say something to the cops and the aspca that there not monsters okay they are loving dogs and people should stop saying shit okay its not right to say all this stuff when its not real !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO STOP IF YOU ( THE PEOPLE THAT ARE MAKING THESE DOGS FIGHT ) STOP THESE ARE LIVING ANIMALS WHAT IF YOUR MOM AND DAD MADE YOU STARVE BECAUSE U NEVER FIGHT WHAT IF THEY KILLED YOU FOR NOT FIGHTING SO THINK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. I have a 19 month old Pit bull, Rhodesian Ridge-back mix. Hey name is Bailey and is the most loving and caring dog I have ever owned. Prior to Bailey growing up my family had all types of dogs from Rotties to Germans Shepard’s to Shih Tzus.
    I must say that Bailey is the smartest, most loyal dog I have ever had. She is smart, full of life and has an amazing personality. Many people that are scared of Pit-bulls will learn to love them once they educate themselves better.

    I also want to say that the reason most pit-bulls are viewed as a dangerous breed, is because their ignorant owners. The people who get Pit bulls to prove they are tough, or for gang related issues should be prosecuted. It is because of these idiots our loving, four legged family members have such a bad rep.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Brianna. Accurate information is always the most effective weapon against fear-based ignorance.

  11. I love seeing sites like this! It makes me sooo happy when I find people standing up for the best breed in the world. Growing up my Mom refused to even think about getting a pit as a pet. She says “all the pits out there just cause injury and problem. Good riddance!” It made me want to cry knowing that pits are just like any other dog! Now I need to start convincing my husband:O

    GO PIT’S

    • Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Abby. Good luck convincing your husband that Pitties aren’t the evil killers so many would like to believe. One show in particular might help you to convince him. If you can get him to sit down to watch a few episodes of “Pit Boss” on Animal Planet, some of their rescues will certainly show him a completely different side of the breed.

  12. james webb says:

    I had A pit bull when I was 12 years old. I am now 55 and just got me one of the fattest,cutest pit bull puppies you would ever want to see.he is very playful and plays with a mini-doberman,cat,rabbit and my 12 yr.old daughter.the only thing victious about him is he will lick your face off.My son raised and bred pits for years and had people putting up deposits every time they heard they had mated.HE WAS STRICT ON HIS NOT SELLING TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT FIGHT THEM.Pits are like any breed,raise them mean they will be , raise them with love and they are one of the most loving,loyal and protective dogs you could have for you or your child.I by the way have had german sheppards,rottweilers,beagles,collies,dobermans and some mutts as well.my brother has 2 pits and i have 3 friends who have pits and each and everyone of them are very loving and gentle dogs.james webb.

    • You’re right, James. Like people, dogs are a product of their environment – Pit Bull or otherwise. Like kids, if you raise them in a home filled with aggression and anger, they will respond in kind. Thanks for stopping by to share your story!

  13. First of all, Chad Bellows from Rescue Ink/ packethic sent me here
    I live in Australia which has the BSL wall up and my dream is to own a pit, but my staff/ lab fills the void of a pit even though she looks like one. I need a dog to help me with my several mental illnesses that I have due to a childhood trauma. I think of her has my therapist, councillor, psychiatrist, psychologist, hair dresser, beauty therapist, dentist, masseur. Whenever I walk her at the local dog park, owners of the smaller yappy breeds will stop, walk of the track, to allow my dog to walk past them, all because she looks like a pit-bull. She is more likely to lick them to death than draw blood.
    I walked her to the local shop and met a family was taking their poodle for a walk. My dog ran up to the poodle with her tail wagging a million miles an hour wanting to play, she also licked the face of their 4yr old son. The child’s father asked me the breed and I said staff/ lab and was amazed how beautiful and well behaved she was, as they thought she was a pit-bull…the only danger to the breed are those holding the leash -they can be your best friend or the worst enemy!

    • I completely agree, Susan! Pit Bulls, like any breed, need a responsible pet parent. Thanks for taking the time to share!

  14. Jesse Wolff says:

    Look, Pitbulls aren’t bad dogs. They’re GREAT! They’re loving and highly social… the fact is that the only reason they attack ppl is because their owners are raising them wrong. Its like if u spoil ur kids, they’ll grow up to be incredibly annoying teens, and/or trouble makers. Thats like with ur dog, only, if u teach ur dog that its fine to bite or u dont do anything about it, thats when the dog gets out of hand. I have two pitbulls right now and i raised them from puppies. They’re amazing dogs, and they’re loving, caring, fun animals. You ppl need to get ur heads straight and learn to deal with this- Pitbulls are mean because YOU Don’t know what you’re doing.
    >Wolff Out< o.o
    o_O O_o

    • Good analogy, Jesse…and I believe you’re correct. You must be as diligent as a pet parent as you would be as a child’s parent. Dogs, like children, will behave as you permit them to behave. If a child throws tantrums and ultimately get what they want as a result, they will continue to throw tantrums. If a child beats up on another child to express anger or frustration and is never reprimanded for it, the behavior will continue and likely escalate with age. The same is very much true of dogs, Pit Bull-type or otherwise.

      • at this point i believe that pitts are victim of sociaty as is bull sfighting in the grand spain and they call it sport. it make me sad that animals suffer so much for human devertion i frequent rescue dogs however the number of pitts with human trouble is overwelming . in check i think that pitts are great pets and i fear for them,

  15. Voice of all pit bulls says:

    Thank you for replying to that ignorant post. I know this is an old thread but it still got me so angry. I have to pit bulls they both live with a bunny n cat. They sleep with both bunny ( when out of cage) and the cat. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover. There are no bad dogs just bad owners. I believe all dogs can be rehabilitated regardless of their past. I rescued jada. She is now a 65 lb loving red nose pit bull. She was scared under weight unsocial, hairless from tons of fleas. My daughter called me ( she is 16 ) and said mom there’s this 10 month old pit that really needs a home or she will be PTS. I didn’t hesitate that night jada came home. That was a year n a half ago now jada and my other pit sky are best friends. They arethe sweetest loving dogs you would ever meet

    • You hit the nail on the head with there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. That’s not to say there are no dogs with aggression or other behavioral issues, but we don’t put kids who act aggressively toward others because they’re being abused to sleep, so it makes no sense to me that people are so quick to put down a dog they believe could possibly show aggression someday.

      In addition to my work as a website designer and SEO, I also pet sit here in Jacksonville. Right now I am pet sitting for a family with a rescued Pit Bull. Her name is Lola. And, like your Pit, she lives in a house with many other animals – 2 other dogs, 2 cats, 4 birds, a Chinchilla, a snake and 2 domestic rats. She and one of the cats are best buddies (they actually sleep together). Lola loves to play with her and you can’t imagine how gentle she is with her feline BFF. That cat can jump on her head, bite her ears, claw her face…and she shows absolutely no aggression whatsoever toward the cat or toward any other animal in the house.

      She’s a dog owner’s dream come true and if some ignorant souls had their way she’d have been murdered rather than rescued. Utter nonsense.

  16. Simply put … Thank you! My 3 pittie rescues & I thank you! :)

  17. I just want to say, up front, that I have spent time with a lot of pit bulls and I really do not advocate the ban on the breed based on the argument that they are any more dangerous than any other medium/large breed dog.
    All the pitties I have met have had very solid temperaments, even though many were abused before finding a good home, and none have shown any type of behaviour that would cause concern. I also know people, personally, who have been severely maimed in dog attacks – none of which were pit bulls.
    Having said that, I have to say that I am also not advocating the lift of this ban.
    Since the ban has been in place, I have known of a number of instances of people:
    - Bringing in unaltered, illegal, pit bulls.
    - Breeding pit bulls.
    - Not adhering to the laws by not muzzling their dogs in public.
    The result in several cases has been that the dogs have been confiscated, by the authorities, and ultimately destroyed.
    None of those dogs would have chosen to be brought into an area where their lives were at risk. None of the unmuzzled pit bulls know that by not wearing their muzzle they will be put to sleep. None of those pit bull mums would have chosen to give birth just to have themselves, and all their babies, destroyed. However, every single one of the owners DID know and understand those risks.
    People are using pit bulls as political tools in Ontario. They are sacrificing these souls to be martyrs for the cause of lifting the ban. They are being used to garner sympathy, and generate anger, for their owners. I cannot support that or the people who are using pit bulls for these purposes.
    People can argue until they’re blue in the face that pit bulls should not be illegal, but the bottom line is that they are. Maybe one day the ban will be lifted, but these people are currently breaking the law and I cannot support that when the dogs are being made to pay the ultimate price with their lives.
    I remember a time before the ban when the vast majority of dogs in shelters were pit bulls. I remember trying to convince people to adopt their dogs from shelters, and not support intentional breeding, and far too often I was told that the only dogs available in our shelters were pit bulls. Every day I network shelter dogs online, and the vast majority are pit bulls. I watch as hundreds are put down who score ‘No Concern’ on their evaluations, or who are a risk because their owners did not value them enough to provide them with the proper training that they required to be no concern. We don’t have pit bulls dying by the hundreds in our shelters anymore and I don’t think that is a bad thing.
    I won’t support the lift of this ban if it means that I support those people who are breaking the law at the expense of the lives of innocent dogs. I won’t support the lift of the ban if it means that there will be an explosion of back yard breeding resulting in more pit bulls being destroyed in shelters.
    I know that responsible dog owners are being punished by the ban and I do not support that. I know that innocent dogs are dying because of the ban and I don’t support that either. But there are just too many people out there who are irresponsible and selfish, and who will end up owning and breeding pit bulls if the ban is lifted, and I cannot support that either.
    Please, opt to adopt and save a life!

    • You bring up an important point, Vanessa. The law is the law. And while that is unfortunate, it also creates a mentality within many communities that anyone owning a dog that is suspected of being a Pit Bull-type breed is living outside the law and thus their arguments advocating for Pit Bulls is often discounted. Some irresponsible owners, as you point out, purposely flout the law in an attempt to create a new horrible story that will outrage Pit Bull owners and advocates. The fact of the matter is that the owner is as responsible for the consequences the dog must face as those who have enacted laws based on ignorance.

      Some choose Pit Bull-type breeds in order to capitalize on the fear & hatred created by the media. Many believe the “tough” image of the dog will somehow cast them in a similar light. They have no affinity for dogs, Pit Bull or otherwise. They merely use the dog as a part of their image. Those individuals deserve the kind of retribution only Karma can deliver. And I believe she will in time.

  18. Thank you for such a well written article and all of the well written responses. You have pointed out some things that even I never thought of as your arguments, such as horses. I owned a horse during the majority of my youth and yes they are very dangerous and we almost constantly had bumps and bruises from the mishaps. I have always rescued dogs and was never a “breed” person until I rescued my first “Pit Bull” type dog. I started reading about all of the discrimination and how hard it would be to own such a breed and laughed it off thinking no way could this be true. Now, 6 years later I own 2 pit rescues and don’t think that I will ever own any other type of dog. Having said that it is not because I think that it is the best breed that I have ever owned (my doberman/greyhound mix was the best dog ever made), it is because they need responsible owners who are conscious about their size, strength and power. The more responsible owners they get, the more the “disasters” should go down.

    • You’re right, Lynette. People rarely seem to focus the appropriate attention on the dog owners. That’s where the focus should be when there is an incident involving ANY breed of dog.

  19. My comment above should say before the 1900′s, not 1800′s, that was a typo error.

  20. Anyone that has never, ever owned a dog, pit bull type or otherwise, should not be on here commenting at all. Anyone that has never physically seen a pit bull attack, should not be on here commenting at all. Anyone claiming pit bulls are aggressive cuz they killed a small animal should take the breed identification test to see if they know for sure what a pit bull actually looks like and realize that pits, much like many other large dogs, have small prey drive and if they killed another animal-they have a stupid owner that didn’t study their breed of choice before taking it home nor do they provide responsible guardianship and restraint for their dogs. If your dog or anyone’s dog is allowed to roam free, these things will happen. Unfortunately because of the “guard dog” or “status symbol” owners that are out there, we see this far too often. These people and dog fighters are the ones that have doomed these dogs. Dogs are dogs and they act like dogs, it is the owner and HUMANS responsibility to see to it their dogs are well handled. The ney sayers on here have 0 experience w/ the breed and until people get educated and actually work w/ these dogs, learn about dogs in general and understand the commitment and responsibility required to own any animal-you have no voice here. If you listen to the media..here’s a fun fact for you…up to (based on state/county) 60% of reported “pit bull attacks”, the dogs were NO breed of pit bull whatsoever. No retraction of these reports leave the public believing the dogs were pit bulls and that among countless other facts are what add to the stigma and stereotypes today. Case in point, in Seattle, Washington about 9 or so months ago there was a report by KOMO 4 News that a “Snarling Pit Bull cleared a fred meyer”. This occurred in Auburn, Wa just outside Seattle. Freddie Meya, as she was named by her rescuers, DRAW rescue, is absolutely no breed of pit bull but bears a striking resemblance as do 26 known other breeds of dogs. (FACT, NOT FICTION OR A GUESS, see links attached at bottom) This story among countless others were never retracted, the fact is, pit bull attacks GET RATINGS!!!!! I have several stories by the Dogs Examiner, one branch located here in Tacoma, Wa, about dog attacks one after another that never make headlines…because they are not pit bulls. FACT: Pit Bulls are the least likely dogs to attack a human being. FACT: Pit Bulls since far before the 1800′s were (and still are by many loving and responsible owners) known as Nanny dogs and are in the top 3 best family dogs and best dogs for homes w/ small children. Training, Socialization, strong but respectful handlers and BREED EDUCATION is a REQUIREMENT of owning any dog. If you bring home a puppy because it’s cute, you’re an idiot. STUDY YOUR DOG!!!!!! You can rant and rave about attacks all you want, about the pit bull history of fighting, all you want…but the fact remains a dog is only as misbehaved as his owner. They ARE a reflection of you, so IF you’re “friends” pit bull killed 3 animals-then your friend needs to re-examine her ownership skills. If you pit bull attacked or bit your friend, that is YOUR fault. NOT the dogs. Blaming a dog is like blaming your car for your accident. Blaming your pencil for misspelling a word. Blaming a spoon for making you fat. Your dog IS what YOU make it. PERIOD!! That is the only fact that matters here. I love this article and I hope it spreads like wild fire!

    And I love a challenge…so bring it on!
    Visit my rescue page!! And see just how wrong you really are!

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=100000548918008

    TAKE THE PIT BULL TEST-CAN YOU IDENTIFY JUST BY LOOKING? NEITHER CAN ANYONE ELSE!
    http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html

    Fred Meyer Story:
    http://www.katu.com/news/91279984.html
    DNA proven-NOT A PIT BULL!

    Joel Moreno heard from thousands of us and verbally refused a retraction stating it would in fact damage his reputation. What about the damage he did to pit reps?

    That is all!

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment, Angie. I echo your sentiment. There are far more irresponsible dog owners our there than there are rogue aggressive dogs of varying pit bull-type breeds!

  21. http://nationalcanineresearchcouncil.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/2009-DBRF-Booklet-FINAL-11.pdf

    These are documented statistics. For those who fear the breed there isn’t much to influence them other than to introduce them to the kindness, the beauty and the wonder of these kissy clowns. I was raised with the breed, all my nephews and my niece as well. As babies we watched our dogs take the poking, prodding and biting of little children with not even a whimper. Every one of our dogs have been used as a step stool by the babies and they make the best pillows. There is no other breed I trust more or that I love more than the bully’s and it’s so sad that anyone can take the tiniest of percentages and skew it for political rhetoric. I’m no conspiracy theorist but eugenics of any creature, especially to make a political stance is scary to say the least. Take heed; one breed, then a species, then a race.

    • I couldn’t have said it better myself, Mindy. “First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist…”.

  22. Hilarious! However,that first picture should read. Danger- Pits will hog the bed causing you endless nights of fitful sleep and perhaps mega-exhaustion which could lead to a premature death! LOL! I pray one day that I will have a Pit that will not sleep laterally on my bed.

    • HAHA! You’re right about that! I’m betting there are a lot of breeds guilty of depriving their owners of restful sleep by hogging the bed. :)

    • Voice of all pit bulls says:

      You are so right my pit bulls literally try n push me off the bed at night lmao. They take up the bed, like it’s theirs and I moved In on their spot lol. I tell them get off they do but are always back on when I wake up lmao. In the morning its always me my man, my two pit bulls and the cat. I need a bigger bed lmao

  23. My family has owned, at different times: 2 Dobermann Pinschers, 2 Mini Pinschers, 1 Shih Tzu/Mini Pinscher mix (don’t ask how that happened), and Chow/Shepherd mix. However, the sweetest, most docile dog I ever had the pleasure of meeting was a Pit Bull.

    My husband’s aunt (who is Chinese and practices Qi Gong) and her husband owned a beautiful Pit Bull that they named Dozer. When I first saw him I was struck with the fear of God, but after interacting with him on many occasions, I realized he was just a big softie with a heart of gold.

    A few years ago I had my wisdom teeth extracted, and chose to stay at their house to recuperate. Dozer seemed a bit worried and anxious at my physical state. My aunt let me rest in her guest room… she left the door open. Dozer then entered, and lay on the bed at my feet as I slept. He then continued to tend to me as I rested.

    I observed him as he would be at my aunt’s side whenever she prayed at her altar (his deep breathing would be in sync with hers).

    He passed away from the Big C a few years ago, and it brings a tear to my eye whenever I think of him. What a wonderful, beautiful, caramel-colored miracle of a dog. I only wish there were more like him.

    Oh… my aunt always muzzled Dozer, keeping him on a strong leash whenever she walked him. Fully aware of the prejudice against the breed, she always made sure no one was ever put in harm’s way, and that her neighbors always felt safe around him. Sweetest dog ever. He didn’t like the muzzling, but understood its need.

    • You make an important point, Lea – the necessity of responsible owners to recognize the source of the prejudice and take tangible steps to combat it. It sounds like Dozer was lucky to be part of such a wonderful family.

  24. Great info! Well written and very informative. Thanks

  25. The great debate rages on. I have owned Rottweilers, a power breed (1 at a time) for over 25 years with never an incident of aggression or having caused distress to my neighbors or other people. I am however very cognisant that they are a big powerful breed capable of causing a lot of serious damage. I very carefully have socialized my dogs as puppies to both people and other animals. I also own two chihuahuas. My older female chihuahua is not very stranger friendly however due to her dimutive size she is not capable of harming someone seriously. Despite her small size and my Rotti’s placid nature I never allow any of my dogs to to have unwanted or unsupervised contact with people or animals they are not familiar with. I would never allow my Rotti to run up to someone as her size and breed could frighten them. I don’t allow her to run loose in the neighborhood and if out walking she is always directly under my contol on a leash if others are around. I am always respectful of how others may feel about my big 120 lb dog. Too many Bully Breed owners are so full of all the pro-bully arguments like the ones posted here that they seem to lose all sense of their dogs potential to cause harm, are in complete denial about the potential for an incident and refuse to respect other people’s property and rights. I am a 53 yr old dog lover however every single negative dog experience I have ever had has involved a Pitt Bull and extremely ignorant owners. Example: 1. I take my kids to a popular beach. While walking along the edge near the bushes a Pitt Bull who is tied up to a bush and hidden under it so no one can see him explodes out as we walk past knocking my 6 year old son to the ground. The dog is extremely aggresive and the only thing that saves my son is the short rope the dog is on. The owners response. Thinks it is very funny and tells me his dog is “friendly.” Tells me to F…. Off when I chastise him. Nice!
    2. My 14 year old son is riding his bike at a good speed down the road and a loose Pitt Bull runs at him, bites his leg (fortunately just the pants) causing him to flip off the bike and wipe out. Fortunately he is not seriously hurt but has some pretty good road rash and the dog is apparently startled by what has happenned and runs off. By the time my son gets home the dog is long gone and the report to Animal Control produces nothing. Another idiot owner who by failing to train & control his dog has produced an animal that will likely seriously injure someone.
    3. My neighbor begins to breed Pitt Bulls and has perimeter fencing of aprox 4 feet. The dogs frequently escape her yard in packs of 3 or 4 and run loose in the neighborhood. Despite repeated neigborly requests to contain her animals and her assertations that her dogs are “so friendly” her dogs escape in a pack and attack my horses twice. In the second attack my horse is seriously mauled and almost killed.Long story but unbelievably her response is to deny responsibility despite all the evidence and continue to insist her dogs are “friendly” and not capable of hurting anyone. I get a $2000.00 vet bill. I sue her and win in Small Claims but good luck collecting as she is a loser with nothing. Animal Control does nothing except issue her a very small fine for allowing the dogs (all of whom were unlicenced) to run at large and issue her a kennel licence so she can continue to keep up to 9 of them. The entire neighborhood is held hostage by this woman and her dogs and no one is able to enjoy our previously quiet country neighborhood anymore. Fast forward almost one year later. The same pack of dogs once again escapes from this ignoramous again and this time not only seriously mauls a man in a completely unprovoked attack (he was shovelling snow in his driveway) but after mauling him they rampage over to another neighbors and attack another horse there. Finally the Animal Control does something the dogs are seized and euthanized by court order. The owner has since moved as her house was foreclosed on but is still continuing to breed and sell Pitt Bulls at another location in our town.
    4. I am aware of a fairly large scale Pitt Bull Breeding operation(for fighting purposes?) outside the city limits that apparently the authorities have no contol over as it is in unregulated territory.
    More nasty people and nasty dogs!
    5. Yesterday I take my 3 dogs (My 5 yr old Rotti, a 10 yr old Chihuahua and my 3 month old chihuahua puppy down near the river for a walk on a beautiful sunny day. About half a mile into the walk I notice a man with his young daughter flying a kite off to the side of the dyke. The man has a huge black dog of an indetermite breed held very tightly on a thick lead however his Pitt Bull is running around unsupervised. As we approach to walk past sure enough the Pitt Bull comes charging up to us. I pick up the two chis and hide them under my coat and grab the Rotti’s collar. The man is at least 50 to 60 feet away from his dog watching her run up to us and does nothing. I yell at him to call his dog back. He yells back. “Don’t worry she is friendly” God, how many times have I heard this! I ask him once again to call his dog back and leash her until we pass. His reply. ” This is a leash free area, lady. I don’t have to!” (it is not a leash free dog park) I ask him again, the dog is circling my dogs and us and although her demeaner is not aggressive I am uncomfortable with her presence around my dogs. We try to continue walking and the dog follows us and I end up in a huge verbal confrontation with this idiot who tells me I need to learn how to be around dogs, calls me names and never does leash or make any attempt to call his dog back to him. Wow! What an idiot. First this owner immediately showed me when he allowed his dog to bound up to me that he does not have the slightest clue how to properly train, contol or socialize a dog. He proved his extreme ignorance and utter disrespect for others by refusing to control his dog when asked. He even placed his own dog at risk as he had no idea whether or not my Rotti was social. His Pitt Bull did not even have a collar on so if something had gone wrong there was no way to control the dog. Unfortunatley this sort of irresponsibility is the case with far too many Bully Breed owners and invariably this is the type of situation that leads to trouble. Many people are bitten by Pitts when they pick up or otherwise try to defend their smaller animal.
    6. An elderly friend is knocked to the ground and her dog attacked by her next door neighbor’s Pitt Bull. The neighbors response. No apology or offer to pay the vet bill but he retorts. “Would it make you feel better if I told you he was a Lab?”
    So what is the problem with Pitt Bull Owners? Too much propaganda from the Pro Pitt Bull People instead of educating owners in my opinion. Don’t be in denial about your dogs potential to hurt someone. Pitt Bulls have a very high prey drive and that is instintive in them just as a Retreiver instictively retrieves. Despite some pussycat behaviour from some dogs owners must always be diligent that they own a very powerful dog and with that comes a big responsibility. Many people choose to own Pitt Bulls because of the “power dog” label and then deny that “their dog” has it and is anything other than a big softie. A responsible owner will always be cognisant of their dogs strength and powerful jaws and train the dog appropiately. A responsible Pitt owner does not allow their dog to run loose and cause distress or injury to others. All the cutsie tales of parrot loving Pitties without cautionary education for owners to properly train their dogs and always respect others is the reason why Pitt Bulls and their owners are often so highly maligned and often rightly so. I am sad to say that in my experience with rare exceptions almost every Pitt owner I have had the misfortune to cross paths with has been what I would consider to be a highly irresponsible owner. Are there good owners out there, I am sure there probably are but the bad owners who fail to control and properly handle their dogs outnumber them. Dare to say anything negative about the breed and their owners and you get jumped on my howling hordes of rabid Pittie supporters. Do I have just incredibly bad luck to always have such unfortunate experiences with these dogs and there owners or just maybe people is there really a problem and you are it?? Clean up your own backyards, speak up against bad owners and don’t lend your support to unscrupulous breeders and people whose dogs are have proven themselves to be dangerous. For hundreds of years Pitt Bulls (and other breeds) were bred to fight and just because society’s view about that has changed just not necessarily mean that the dog’s insticts have. Be aware, set an example, be responsible maybe then people will think better of you.
    I was disappointed but not surprised to see you start your response to a previous poster’s well thought out comments with swearing and rudeness. Sadly typical.
    Frankly I am sick of these people.
    R. Turcotte

    • I appreciate you taking the time to join the conversation, Rosalie. I believe you’ve mistaken my position as one of blind pro-pit bull from the perspective of the irresponsible pit bull owner you so frequently refer to throughout your lengthy comment. I am not suffering from any level of denial or delusion regarding the potential for an attack by a pit bull to end in tragedy. Nonetheless, the fact remains that other breeds are equally capable of inflicting comparable injury to people or other animals. The problem is not with pit bull-type breeds, but with those who choose to own them for the wrong reasons and/or aren’t responsible enough to own a dog of any breed.

      I do not own a pit bull. I resent the accusatory tone with which you state, “Don’t be in denial about your dogs potential to hurt someone…”. The fact of the matter is that ANY dog has the potential to hurt someone and it is no more or less important for a Pit Bull owner to be responsible than it is for the owner of any other medium or large breed dog. Frankly, I’m sick of the self-righteousness with which people like you wag your judgmental fingers at those who speak out against discrimination and prejudice against specific breeds – like Pit Bulls AND Rottweilers. You do so assuming that being outraged by discriminatory practices somehow means I am among the irresponsible dog owners and despicable breeders who are the real villains. I am not. Nor have I ever been.

      I agree with your contention that the problem stems from irresponsible ownership. You hit the nail on the head with regard to the human element in this equation. The owner of any breed, pit bull or otherwise, is responsible for taking into consideration the safety – both physically and emotionally – of those who may come in contact with their dogs. Some people simply fear dogs and for those individuals a dog’s breed makes little difference. When venturing out into the community, all dogs should be restrained and fully under their owner’s control. To those who fear or simply do not like dogs, being approached by an unrestrained Collie is no more or less uncomfortable an experience than being approached by an unrestrained Pit Bull.

      Demonizing and discriminating against an entire breed based on ignorance is the core issue and the crux of my argument against the unrelenting propaganda of prejudice against dogs that fall into the pit bull-type breed categories. If you truly understood the history of the pit bull-type breeds you’d realize that they’ve been bred to possess specific physical attributes because of the work they were expected to do, not specifically “to fight”, as you contend. Historically pit bull-type breeds were bred to be loyal and fearlessly protective of people, not to be aggressive toward them. As you point out, the irresponsible owners who choose to condition these dogs to be aggressive toward people and other animals by endlessly abusing and mistreating them are to blame – and they, not the breed, should be held responsible for the consequences of their choice to be abusive.

      As for your dig at me for choosing to curse on my own blog, my best advice would be spend your time elsewhere if you find my language offensive. I curse on occasion. That is my choice and I am free to do so as I please. As it is your choice not to. The fact that you opted to make light of a single instance of my using profanity and your perception that my response to that commenter was rude, rather than taking into consideration my response to all of the other commenters on this post, tells a lot about the information you choose to use when coming to a conclusion about my character.

      I am equally disappointed by your typical response and woefully incorrect assumptions about who I am and the basis of my motivation for speaking out against breed prejudice. Perhaps you should take a moment to recognize that my responses to those commenters who choose to identify themselves differ considerably from the responses to those leaving sarcastic comments as anonymous blog trolls. Unlike you, I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you didn’t pick up on that important distinction.

    • I think you need to take the breed test I submitted w/ my statement and then please try again
      to convince us that all your negative encounters were w/ pit bulls (ps, just one ‘t’ and they are
      not a breed, there are multiple breeds classified as a type of Pit Bull) If you’re going to judge the dog
      at least know how to spell it’s breed type correctly. I can’t agree w/ any of your comments on pit bull type dogs.
      Only because I can offer proven facts to discredit every single statement you made. I’ve attached
      ways to contact me personally or if you’re one for a public debate, you can comment here but
      I assure you, my education on these dogs supersedes yours so you better make sure you have
      all your facts straight. You can’t just “google” pit bull facts people, seriously, when are people going to learn?
      It’s like you think dogs know right from wrong?? I for one handle my pit bulls the exact way you handle
      your rot’s and just because I own them doesn’t mean I’m out there emotionally grilling people.
      I did what most don’t, I got an education on pit bull type dogs and not one of my facts or pieces of
      knowledge came from tv or google. Seriously…it just boggles me how ignorant this nation is.
      Astounding, really.

    • Okay. So we ban pit bulls, or dogs that look like pit bulls, or whatever. Are these idiots
      going to say. “Gee, we can’t legally own these dogs. Guess we’ll just not own any dogs”?
      Or will they a. illegally own these dogs, since they seem to have no regard for the law
      anyway, or b. find another large breed dog to be irresponsible with? And then, do we
      a. pass a law against being an idiot, or b. ban whatever “breed” they choose to own next?
      Where does this end?

      Unless we choose to address dangerous dogs and idiot owners, *on an individual basis*,
      you will not reduce the threat. Penalizing me, and my dogs, who never run loose, who have
      never shown aggression towards a person, who I watch carefully, will not prevent my
      neighbor from illegally breeding in their yard to make a buck with dogs that are chained or
      penned and never taught that people are in charge.

      If you really want to reduce dangerous dogs, enforce laws targeting dangerous dogs.
      Anti-chaining laws, stricter backyard breeding and loose dog enforcement, and stiff
      and enforced! penalties for dogs who show aggression are the answer. Banning a breed
      is not.

      • Agreed, Jen. The standards for responsible dog ownership should be enforced with all dog owners, not just those with Pit Bull-type breeds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, etc. If attention is put on dog owners, the breed becomes completely irrelevant.

    • Voice of all pit bulls says:

      I believe you maybe to timid and scared to own larger dogs. I never let my pit off leash but they are friendly. The visit my moms poodle who bits them. They just walk away. Are you sure all theses dogs were pit bulls. Look up find the pit bull on the web see how many times it takes you before you answer correctly. Many dogs have a pit bull look and are not pit bulls at all. You come across so smug n righteous, yet you seem afraid of even your own dogs.

  26. When was the last time you heard of a pomeranian mauling someone? Well, since you ask-

    http://www.amarillo.com/stories/100900/usn_pet.shtml

    My sweet rescued pit bull and I live on the oceanfront. Drive around in a porsche. He loves ALL and everything. Matter of fact his very best friend is a large macaw parrot.
    Watch them play together…Need I say more. I think not.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8qVZITdqgY

    STOP the discrimination and stereotyping. It’s not pretty!! Just shows major ignorance, and prejudice in going along with the sheeple mentality while failing to use your own brain to think for yourself and learn the truth. Bad, abusive and irresponsible owners make bad dogs-any breed of dog, end of story.

    • Hey, Paula. Thanks for sharing the link to the Pomeranian attack. It’s disconcerting that even in an article regarding a fatal attack by another breed that Pit Bulls are still mentioned specifically as a breed that is usually responsible such attacks.

      As for the video, that is AWESOME! Your dog is absolutely adorable and your Macaw is fantastic. We had several large birds when I was growing up, including a Yellow Naped Amazon named Joey. I don’t know that there is a pet one could have that provides more entertainment, that’s for sure! :)

      Thanks again for chiming in and taking the time to share. I appreciate it!

  27. i love seeing a beautiful article on my favorite breed. thank you. i’ve had 3 pibbles, and do advocacy and rescue work.

    to some of the commenters:
    a pomeranian did kill a child here in Los Angeles, about 2001. i’ve also read about a jack russel killing a child last year (tore a neck artery in the child). to a small child, size of dog is irrelevant!

    its been proven that a pit attack will be published nationwide in 300 while any other breed attack may make a blurp in a local paper. many many so called pit attacks aren’t even pit attacks, the general public can’t properly id a “pit” breed. i’ve seen the media call it a Pit when a different breed completely is written in police reports and vet reports. several in my neighborhood – turns out one was a retriever. last month an off leash lab and water dog killed a dog walking with its owner. they’ve terrorized before too. idiot owner. my friends daughter’s bunny was killed by the neighbors dalmation. i know a wheaton who attacks most animals and few hybrids that have bitten several people. yep, non if these made TV news and hardly even a local paper.

    great read: check out National Canine Research COuncil. “The Pit Bull Placebo” is an excellent read on media misreporting and pit bull myths, as well as goes in depth about the history of dog attacks and how the media targets certain breeds, starting with hounds, airedales, to dobies, rotts, GSD’s, etc. the pit has been its choosen demon dog for the past several years.

    bottom line is all dogs can bite. be a responsible owner to the dog you bring in as a domesticated family member. they have teeth for a reason and for survival. teach them to use them properly.

    http://www.understand-a-bull.com/Articles/OtherBreedBites/AllDogsBite.htm

    • Thanks for your feedback, Beth. I appreciate you having shared your experience with Pit Bulls, as well as the information regarding attacks by other breeds and mention of “The Pit Bull Placebo” from the National Canine Research Council.

  28. Alysson,

    Just looking at this article and your comments that followed, strictly from a logical perspective, I can tell you that the vast majority of your arguments are invalid. At first I suspected that this article–like every other pro-pit bull article I’ve ever read–would be the emotion-tainted drivel of someone who owns or has owned a [nonviolent] pit bull without incident of tragedy. The further I read, the more I was convinced that yes…you are indeed another pit bull lover who’s willing to say some ridiculously-stupid shit in defense of the animals who mean so much to you. Here’s a brief overview of some of your most desperate/pathetic/invalid/ridiculously-stupid attempts at reasoning:

    1. You incorrectly equate “temperament” to “risk to human safety.” This misrepresentation effectively invalidates the only real data you provided to support your case. To better understand the significance of the statistics you provided, I took the liberty of reading the entire ATTS.org website, including their description of the temperament test procedure.

    The test is subdivided into 10 subtests, which measure characteristics like “aggressive behavior,” “investigative behavior,” and “reaction to unsure footing” (whereby the dog has to walk across a sheet of plastic). The test description makes it absolutely clear that “temperament” is not a measurement of “the likelihood that the dog will kill or maim human beings.” The latter metric is obviously the one that anti-pit bull legislation is based on. To my knowledge, no government has banned pit bulls due to their inability to “walk the entire length of a 15-foot by 6-foot clear plastic strip” (i.e. subtest 6).

    2. According to ATTS.org, failure of ANY of the subtests results in overall test failure. Therefore, your comparison of pit bulls to other breeds, such as collies, golden retrievers, and Shetland sheepdogs, is completely invalid and meaningless without additional information about WHY each dog failed. Maybe Shetland sheepdogs tend to freak out when someone close-by starts firing off a few gunshots (i.e. subtest 4). Maybe the average golden retriever refuses to investigate or react when someone opens an umbrella in their face (i.e. subtest 5).

    3. The ATTS.org temperament test charges a $30 fee for each dog tested. If the dog passes, the owner is given a certificate. Think about it… What type of people are willing to pay $30 for a certificate that proves their dog passed the temperament test? Why would anyone want/need one of those certificates? I won’t try to stereotype these people or their dogs, but I will say this: the dogs that have taken the temperament test were NOT selected at random and they are NOT a representative sample of all dogs. Therefore, the data you provided cannot be used to support/rebut arguments about pit bulls in general.

    4. You focus on several arguments that are irrelevant to the overall debate. For example:

    Based on your rationale, the bans and extermination of specific breeds shouldn’t be based on the likelihood of aggression, but the damage that would be done in the event that they were to succumb to that possible moment of aggression.

    First of all, that was a pretty big leap from what the previous commenter actually said:

    I agree that some dogs may bite more, but when was the last time you heard about a Pomeranian mauling someone to death?

    Call it a straw man, call it putting words in their mouth, call it whatever you want; the fact is…you wrote 4 paragraphs rebutting an argument no one made. To the inexperienced debater, that might make you seem more “right” overall, but to me…it’s a waste of time and a sign of weakness. And mind you, the smell of desperation was already quite pungent, due to your opening sentence, which was a shameful attempt to “discredit the witness.”

    First, I think it’s hilarious that you’re more than willing to talk shit about your friend’s dog killing 3 other animals in the neighborhood…anonymously.

    Such tactics are used by defense attorneys who know their client is guilty. If they could prove their client’s innocence, they wouldn’t need to take cheap shots, now would they?

    5. You use specific cases to support statements about the general case. In logic class, we called this the fallacy of hasty generalization. Basically, you can’t use your personal experiences with dogs to make assumptions about all dogs. This is probably the #1 invalid argument I hear from pit bull “enthusiasts.” The story goes something like this:

    Anti-pit bull: “Based on data we’ve collected from many sources, over many years, in many locations, under many circumstances, we conclude that pit bulls are responsible for the majority of dog-related deaths and maimings, and therefore–in general–they are a dangerous breed.”

    Pro-pit bull: “No way! You’re totally wrong! I own 12 pit bulls and not a single one of them has ever killed or maimed anyone, therefore pit bulls are NOT dangerous!”

    Not matter how “right” that counterargument sounds in your head…it will never be true. No matter how loving and caring your 12 pit bulls are, they aren’t going to convince the other million to stop killing people.

    My personal stance:

    To be honest, I don’t care what happens to pit bulls. I’ve never owned any, nor have I known anyone who owns any. I don’t have any emotional ties whatsoever to pit bulls. Frankly, I didn’t write this comment in support of banning/killing pit bulls; I wrote it in opposition of stupid arguments.

    But since I’ve been so critical of your arguments, I suspect you’ll feel a strong urge to criticize mine…so I’ll humor you, pretend I support banning pit bulls, and give you something to chew on.

    Why Should Pitt Bulls Be Banned?

    Premise 1:

    According to the data in the (2009) report by Merritt Clifton, pit bulls are responsible for roughly half of all dog-related deaths of people in the U.S. and Canada reported from 1982-2009.

    Premise 2:

    The sum of all the negative reactions and emotional distress that may result from:

    (1) a pit bull owner who is forced to give up their pet
    (2) a person who is prevented from owning pit bulls

    …is less than the sum of all the negative reactions and emotional distress that may result from:

    (1) a person whose friend or family member is killed by a pit bull
    (2) a person who is permanently disfigured by a pit bull attack

    Conclusion:

    Reducing the number of dog-related human deaths by roughly 50% is more important (i.e. worth more) than letting people own pit bulls, therefore we should not let people own pit bulls.

    Enjoy. :)

    • Your assumptions about who I am and my motivation to protect pit bull-type breeds are unfounded and incorrect. I do not own, have never owned and have never been denied ownership of a pit bull-type breed. That nonsensical premise is as asinine as saying that in order to be outraged by racism or racial profiling by law enforcement officials I would have to be a racial minority and have been a victim of racial discrimination or wrongfully detained, arrested or imprisoned as a result of racial profiling.

      I won’t attempt to engage in a reasonable and substantive debate with an anonymous commenter who repeatedly labels contradictory arguments as “stupid”, “ridiculously-stupid shit”, etc. While I’m certain you’re quite proud of yourself, such conduct is juvenile and shows a staggering level of immaturity.

      • Amen to that Allyson! I was thinking the same thing. Grow a vocabulary, get an education
        Then try again, dude. You sound about as intelligent as the owners ruining these dogs’
        reputation.

  29. Fair enough. One last comment. I would like to say that I am 100% in agreement with you that the abuse and destruction of these animals is a tragedy and support rescue efforts of all breeds of dogs.

    I have two hounds living in my house and wouldn’t trade them for anything.
    .-= Bob Weber´s last blog ..Colorado Government Kills Revenue Stream For Colorado Residents =-.

    • It never entered my mind that you weren’t, Bob. Only an animal lover would take the time to make such a cogent and well-thoughtout contribution to the discussion. Thanks again for chiming in. It’s nice to have a rational exchange on this issue. :)

  30. Mr. Clifton’s study addresses your concerns about sensationalist media inflations of pit bull attacks and those concerns are addressed in his article. The dog attacks he measured where only those where an animal control officer or other expert identified the breed of the dog. Dogs not clearly identified were ignored as well as attacks by police dogs, guard dogs and dogs trained to fight. In his study Pit Bulls, Rottweilers and Mastiffs accounted for 68% of dog related fatalities in the US & Canada since 1982.

    This appears to be a reasonably conducted study, and the CDC published a study in 2000 with similar results . If I understand correctly, your argument with Mr. Clifton’s position is that fatalities involving other types of dogs are reported. The statement that attacks by other breeds don’t make the news is definitely not always true. A recent case in Colorado involved a daschund who bit a vet tech. It made the nightly news for over a week. I know, I watched the reports.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to prove your contention that other attacks go completely unreported. There is no evidence to support this, and I’m not sure how you would find any. The conclusion that pit bulls are more dangerous than other breeds is not baseless or nonsensical, it’s reasonably well documented.

    Decisions based on dog breeds must be based on both the ability and the likelihood of a fatal attack. While horses are definitely capable of injuring a person, I’m not aware of any evidence that indicates there is a large problem with horses injuring the general public. Horses aren’t typically found in front yards or on sidewalks. Pit Bulls are, and they have a documented history of injuring people. The argument that the breeds shouldn’t be banned because they are only a product of their training and that there are some good Pit Bulls out there is an emotional one, not a logical one.
    .-= Bob Weber´s last blog ..Colorado Government Kills Revenue Stream For Colorado Residents =-.

    • The argument that Pit Bulls are dangerous and should be banned is also an emotional one, not a logical one. Of the sheer number of Pit Bulls in existence, an incredibly small percentage ever have, ever would or ever will attack a person. And the aforementioned temperament studies provide empirical data to support that contention.

      I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on the substance of this argument, Bob. You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m entitled to mine. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I appreciate you taking the time. :)
      .-= Alysson´s last blog ..A Knockout Blow To American Democracy, Courtesy of the United States Supreme Court =-.

  31. Temperament Testing and breed profiling are good evidence to support your argument, but the real question comes down to the number and severity of injuries inflicted by a Pit Bull. ‘yappy dogs’ may very well be more likely to bite (although observations by your mom is hardly empirical evidence), but injuries, on average, should be much less severe. A Pit Bull, Rot, Golden, etc… can cause serious permanent injury or even death very quickly. We live in a society that is so paranoid about their children that they can’t walk to school by themselves and have to wear helmets when they ride their bikes. For many of these cities the chance that just one child could be injured by a Pit Bull is reason enough to ban the breed.

    Discrimination against a breed based on ignorance is a tragedy, but if the breed is discriminated against because there have been more pit bull attacks that resulted in serious injury this is not based on ignorance.

    Mr. Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People News explained the Pit Bull problem like this:

    “Temperament is not the issue, nor is it even relevant. What is relevant is actuarial risk. If almost any other dog has a bad moment, someone may get bitten, but will not be maimed for life or killed, and the actuarial risk is accordingly reasonable. If a pit bull terrier…has a bad moment, often someone is maimed or killed–and that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk, for which the dogs as well as their victims are paying the price.”

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/24436191/Dog-attack-deaths-and-maimings-U-S-Canada-September-1982-to-December-22-2009

    I don’t hate Pit Bulls or advocate their banning, and I absolutely know that any dog can be dangerous regardless of breed. I also think that sometimes in our efforts to squelch discrimination and exude fairness we overlook the actual facts in an issue.

    • Thank you for your comment, Bob. And while I respect the position of Mr. Clifton, I don’t subscribe to the notion that all Pit Bulls should be judged, sentenced and convicted based on the perceived potential impact of a single act of aggression. That single moment of aggression may result in more damage than the single moment of aggression from a Chihuahua, Pekinese or Shih Zsu, but that is also true of other large breeds – like Doberman Pinschers, Mastiffs, Great Danes or even Collies. Those dogs are just as capable of inflicting severe injury and pain on a potential victim, yet they are not subject to the same level of prejudice and discrimination as a pit bull-type breed.

      Why? Because the media coverage of such attacks is virtually non-existent. People have adopted the misconception that all Pit Bulls pose a danger as factual. That assumption is no more based in fact than the reaction of an elderly white woman locking her doors as a black man crosses the street in front of her car for fear that if she doesn’t, he will leap into her care and accost her. Because of that unfounded and irrational fear, people are interested and demanding of stories that confirm their preconceived notions and justify those fears. Stories of a 2-year-old being grabbed by the head and given a good shake don’t make the evening news. Nor do you hear tell of a 9-year-old who was attacked and whose injuries required plastic surgery to correct. Attacked not by a Pit Bull, but by a Collie…by Lassie, a dog breed held in the highest esteem yet whose temperament test results fell well short of all the pit bull-type breeds.

      It also stands to reason that while well-intentioned, there are likely a number of reasons Pit Bull maiming and fatality numbers exceed those of other breeds. People are quick to report such occurrences because of the discrimination and prejudice. In how many of those attacks was the breed of dog actually verified? Are those numbers based on the claims by those having been attacked or witnesses to those attacks who merely identified the dog as a “Pit Bull” simply because they assumed such? How many other attacks go completely unreported when involving other breeds because those breeds are considered “safe” in a general sense?

      People will sprain their ankles running to report supposed run-ins with Pit Bulls because the breed has been so demonized that many believe they pose an imminent danger to people. With notations like “…mauled by 13 dogs, including one pit bull and 12 of unidentifiable mix…” and “…suffered severe facial injuries when a pit bull attacked a horse she was saddling and the horse kicked her in the face,” this report can hardly be taken seriously as factual analysis.

      Horses, as illustrated above, pose great potential risk to human beings. They can bite. They can kick. They can stomp. They can throw their heads, knocking a person unconscious or worse, crushing facial bones. They can buck people off and paralyze them. They can escape their enclosures, run into the road and cause a fatal car accident. And none of these things require any anger or propensity for succumbing to a moment of aggression on the part of the horse. A nibble from a horse will break a finger. An accidental misstep crushes foot bones. A simple head shake can result in a person’s catastrophic head injury. But no one discriminates against horses or their owners.

      Sharing the world with animals is always a risk. Risk is a part of the world we live in. To demonize and condemn a specific breed in a futile attempt to somehow mitigate that risk is shameful. People must be held accountable for their actions. Those who train dogs to fight and abuse them with the sole intent to cause them to behave aggressively are the guilty parties in this scenario. Even assuming the data in Mr. Clifton’s study is accurate, where is the background information about these animals? Were they household pets that one day snapped and ripped their loving owners’ throats out? That is highly improbable.

      The more likely background stories are those of neglected and abused animals who were simply turned loose when their fighting or illegal breeding value had passed. These dogs may have attacked total strangers – taking the abuse they had suffered throughout their lives on an innocent individual. I don’t dispute that. Isn’t it a possibility, though, that many of these attacks were carried out by Pit Bulls on those from whom they had suffered life-long abuse and finally reached a point where they could take no more? What other breed is subject to such horrendous treatment on such a scale and then blamed for how they react to it? What other breed is so senselessly and callously used in such a malicious fashion and then given the sole blame for the resulting behavior of a very small percentage of their entire population?

      I share the concern of those who want to mitigate the potential damage caused by dogs attacking humans. What I don’t share is the nonsensical belief that a single breed is measurably more dangerous or more deserving of being banned or worse, preemptively killed, because of an unfounded and baseless fear that relies solely on the sensational media coverage Pit Bulls have fallen victim to over the years. The problem, as usual, is not the dog – it is the people. Whether a person is among the despicable souls who abuse the dogs and cause such behavior or among those who willfully and maliciously perpetuate the stereotype, something must be done to save these dogs. Something must be done to end the unwarranted discrimination and senseless killing of these animals based not on an actual crime against a human being or even evidence that proves beyond a doubt that they pose a real danger to anyone, but simply for being born.

  32. Terri Parchim says:

    My daughter and son-in-law have a pit bull. She is the most loving dog I have ever met. I was very skeptical when they first obtained her years ago. She was a year old and had been abused by the male in the house. She still has a fear of men she does not know, but had I been abused you can bet that I would be fearful also. The dog is never let outside alone and great care is taken when they walk her. This special care is taken to ensure someone doesn’t get “scared” by her and consequently she ends up being put down. The ignorance of people who will ban a whole breed due to the mistakes of a few just angers me to no end. I was raised with poodles and I have many scars on my hands and legs where the poodles snapped and bit. I have never had a problem with the pIt, but have been scarred for life by a miniature poodle! I correct people all the time when the subject of killer pit bulls arise. It is not the dog that is deadly. It is the ignorant people who train the dogs to fight that causes the problems.

    • Hi, Terri. Thank you for taking the time to comment. And you’re absolutely right…of all the potentially dangerous encounters I’ve had with dogs throughout my life, none have ever been a pit bull-type breed. People’s ignorance is only magnified by the media’s sensational stories. Where are the stories about Poodles, like yours, that snap at strangers or even scar their owners? It’s very sad to see a breed demonized in the same way people have been victims of racism, sexism and homophobia throughout our nation’s history – yet no one seems to recognize that interrelationship with a prejudice against pit bull-type breeds.

  33. A friend has a pit bull and she believes all these things too. She sleeps with him, treats him like a baby and when she’s around, he’s golden. She’s also not abusive physically or mentally, etc. That dog has the perfect home environment and is naturally very protective of her. Sounds great.

    She still believes it, even though the dog has already killed 3 other neighborhood pets.

    They are a breed that was bred for their aggression and strength and, while they make good pets I’m sure for *some* people, you can’t trust all owners to do what needs to be done to keep other people safe from harm.

    I agree that some dogs may bite more, but when was the last time you heard about a Pomeranian mauling someone to death?

    My golden retriever has never bit a soul, human or otherwise #justsaying.

    • First, I think it’s hilarious that you’re more than willing to talk shit about your friend’s dog killing 3 other animals in the neighborhood…anonymously.

      When was the last time we’ve heard of a Pomeranian mauling someone to death? Never. Because they’re physically incapable of doing so. That doesn’t mean they are any less inherently aggressive than a pit bull-type breed. Small dogs, based on my experience and the experience of many others I’ve spoken with, are far more aggressive and are far more prone to bite than any big dog – Pit Bull or otherwise. A Pomeranian is just as capable of psychologically scarring a small child, or even putting out an eye of a child in an unprovoked act of aggression.

      Based on your rationale, the bans and extermination of specific breeds shouldn’t be based on the likelihood of aggression, but the damage that would be done in the event that they were to succumb to that possible moment of aggression. That said, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, St. Bernards, Boxers…virtually any dog larger than can fit into Paris Hilton’s Louis Vuitton dog carrier should all be banned. And yes, even your Golden Retriever should be banned. While he or she has never bitten a soul, that doesn’t discount the potential damage that could result from an attack.

      While people believe St. Bernards to be quiet, calm, gentle, non-aggressive and great family pets based on the claims of their temperament, not all of them are. I know a St. Bernard who is loud, pushy and loves nothing more than chasing kids, cutting in front of them and watching them tumble. If I spoke dog, I’m pretty sure I’d translate her barks into, “Man, I HATE that kid down the street…”. Imagine the damage she could do if she were to truly attack someone? Clearly she should be put to death – not because she ever HAS harmed someone or that there’s a bit of evidence proving she will, but because she could. You tell the 8-year-old and the 13-year-old who love her dearly that she has to be killed.

      Since there are more minorities in prison than white people, that clearly means that minorities are more prone to commit criminal acts and thus should all be treated as if they are criminals…preemptively convicted and sentenced for acts they may or may not commit in order to keep those who would have been their victims safe from harm. Stupid idea, right? I hope you can appreciate the correlation between racism and breed discrimination. It’s no different.

    • My father had and still has Goldens. Of the 5 that he has had, only one of them was NOT aggressive. They are not raised in an aggressive environment, they are living the high life in Pagosa Springs, CO and go on 12 mile hikes daily. Yet they will attack and kill anything that comes within reach!

      I’ll happily take my German shepherd, rott/pit mix (aka: Pitweiler) and black lab any day of the week. And I’ve trusted them 100% with my daughter as well. They’ve proven time and time again that my trust is warranted!

      • You make an important point, Julie. Any animal has the potential to be aggressive, regardless of breed. Animals, like people, have their own unique personalities – some gentle and some aggressive. To discriminate against one particular breed smacks of ignorance and is indicative of a false sense of security some have developed in relation to “preferred” breeds like Collies and Retrievers.

        All dogs deserve to be judged on their own merits, rather than vilified based solely on breed. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment!

  34. “Pit Bulls” have been banned in the province of Ontario. It makes me furious. The dog I grew up with was part Staffordshire Terrier, part Doberman, and part Whippet; according to such breed profiling, she should have been a menacing killer. Yet she was the sweetest, most gentle creature you could ever meet.

    I have several friends who are vets and vet-techs, and they all admit that when it comes to handling dogs, they are much more wary of being bitten around the smaller yappy breeds than the so-called Pit Bull breeds.

    It all boils down to fear and mis-information. Retrievers and Shit-Tzu’s might bite more than Pit Bulls, but Pits leave more damage, and that sells more newspapers.

    • Yep – you’re exactly right, Dawn. My mom worked in a vet’s office and a pet store when I was a kid. She echoes the sentiment of your friends and always warned me that small, yappy dogs are much more apt to bite than any of the so-called “dangerous” breeds like Pits, Rotts and Dobies.

      It all comes down to publishing and airing the stories that are the most sensational. As you said, the damage done when a Pit Bull attacks sells more newspapers and ad space. Like everything else, the stories that confirm the nonsensical preconceived notions and whip people into a fear-induced frenzy are the stories that get told. No one wants to read about a kid’s face being mauled by Lassie. The Pit Bull is the throwaway breed…the one people are comfortable hearing horror stories of because they want to be able to justify banning and destroying them.

      I wonder what kind of outcry there would be if a province or city were to ban the Poodle…or the Lab…or the Portuguese Waterdog.

  35. That is a really well-written piece. Like you, after adopting all four animals in my house, the only monsters I’ve come across are people.

    • Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Please feel free to share it. The only way to educate people is to spread the truth as effectively as the media has spread the lies. I couldn’t agree more. It amazes me that with the atrocities that mankind is capable of and the violent acts we commit against each other, some choose to demonize an innocent dog.