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Old 04-02-2013, 09:55 AM
 
Location: A tropical island
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What's the truth about Pit Bulls? They are banned in many apartment complexes, they can cause your homeowners insurance to be higher, I read about them in many dog-bite stories.....but I've also read several posts here from people who get angry at the implication the Pits are any more "vicious" than any other breed. There was a recent story in the news about a toddler who crawled outside through the doggie door and was killed in the backyard by the family's seven dogs.....you guessed it, all pit bulls or pit mixes.

What about these statistics (taken from http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-sta...ies-2012.php):
38 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2012.2 Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 600 U.S. cities,3 pit bulls contributed to 61% (23) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population.

Do you believe that certain breeds tend to be more aggressive unless trained to be gentle, or are they gentle by nature unless trained to be aggressive, or something else? Why are Pit Bulls the breed involved in the majority of fatalities, yet Pit owners get upset at the stereotype that Pits are more vicious than other breeds?

I own only a little Maltese that's about as dangerous as a teddy bear, so I have no first hand knowledge of Pit Bulls. I am asking these quesions in complete sincerity and with a desire to understand.

Respectfully, kayanne

Last edited by kayanne; 04-02-2013 at 10:39 AM..
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,485 posts, read 43,812,291 times
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kayanne, I'm sure those with much more knowledge than I will be here soon. I personally would not have one. They have incredibly strong jaws and have a bad reputation because when they do become aggressive, they can kill. Unsavory elements in society have contributed to this bad reputation by using these strong dogs to fight and to "protect" drug houses.

At the same time I've heard wonderful stories about them and their gentle nature. I have young children, small dogs and cats. That is why i am weary of them. Not a single one in my neighborhood.
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Tejas
7,551 posts, read 16,397,409 times
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Insurance companies dont want to pay out on anything or have any kind of risk so it doesnt take much for them to have a breed they wont insure, breed bans help them no matter how warranted they are. 7 Dogs doesnt tell me anything. Is it one of those cases where the family claims they were great family pets that suddenly snapped but yet when you see the pictures/news you see bad conditions for dogs that were outside 24/7 and not taken care of or socialised. Did they have "vicious" looking dogs for a reason too. Staffs/AmStaffs were bred to fight DOGS not people. Back when it was a "respectable sport" if a dog showed any kind of agression towards a person it was killed, regardless if it was a good fighter at all. So no, under no circumstances is a pitbull more vicious than any other dog towards people. Its all how you rear them and personal experiences with each dog.

Its almost impossible to get statistics on what breed/type dog is doing the bite. If a dog is anyway muscular, its automatically pit mix. Even if it had more lab mix in it, its better for the hype to call it a pit mix if that makes sense. When my former town tried to ban pitbull types they cited that majority of hte bites were pitbull and they were the most agressive. When I spoke to animal control he said they dont keep records of the bites but since hes the only one thats in animal control he said the pitbull bites were pretty rare and not that many aggressive ones he came across in the street.

No I dont, you dont train a dog to be gentle. Its impossible, they all are gentle (in general) when socialised and trained properly. What makes a dog aggressive ? Being tied up 24/7, I would go crazy too and bite the first thing that came near me. Being beaten, being just locked in a yard for being a guard dog and just fed and no other attention. I would go out on a limb and say that the most abused type that I stated would be a pitbull type dog.

Take human emotions away from the dog when you think about it, dogs arent people. They dont process a 4yr old toddler they see wander into their area that they have been chained into for the last 6 years for the first time. This kid walks in and the dogs been abused to believe this is my territory and I will defend it. Its hardly the dogs fault that the owner did it.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:30 AM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,988 posts, read 4,636,452 times
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OP, I used to have a Maltese too. She was extremely vicious toward anyone who wasn't me. But due to her small size, the most damage she caused was a small tear in my boyfriend's pants leg and a minor scratch on a few people's ankles. I'm glad she died from old age before I had children, because I'm pretty sure she would have gladly harmed a toddler. My point is that there are a lot of breeds that are more vicious than pitts, but many of them are small breeds that don't cause as much damage (and therefore it doesn't get reported).

Additionally, pretty much any dog that looks even remotely pitt is going to be reported as a pitt for dog bites, which can skew the data quite a bit.

I'll probably get lambasted for this part, but.... I do think that some breeds are more prone to attack humans then others. For example, there is a reason rotties are more commonly used as guard dogs than labs. (some breeds are more difficult to train to bite). Personally, now that I have small kids, I prefer to avoid most terrier breeds (or toy breeds descended from them) because they were bred to chase down and kill, so most have a very high prey drive. Of course most are absolutely wonderful around 'their' people. (except xFIL's well-bred, properly raised jack russell that attacked him while he was asleep in bed, and he had to get several stitches on his lips and chin. But I digress.)

With all that said, I absolutely disagree with any anti-breed laws. Any animal with teeth can and will bite, and there are far, far, far more pitts that have NEVER so much as bitten a flea than there are ones that have bitten a person. Of course the sensationalist media fails to report that data.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:30 AM
 
Location: North Western NJ
6,591 posts, read 20,832,828 times
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pitbulls....where to start.
first of all most people wouldnt know an actual Ameircan pitbull terrier if it licke them to death.
the term "pit bull" is being used by the media an misinformed people to encompas a large group of dogs, some related to the bull and terrier group and some not

some examples:
when i worked at a shelter we had many "pitbulls" come in...a good 90% were lab or boxer mixes, but because they had a deep chest and wide head they were automaticallylabled as pits...

my dog is a BULLDOG x mastif...theres no pitbull in him, hes about 100lbs t 1 1/2 yrs old...and people keep calling him a pitbull...why? because he has a wide chest and a big blocky head.

heck...can YOU find the pitbull?
Pet Pitbull - Find the Pit Bull

most people have no clue a BIG pitbull is only 20" at the shoulders and 70lbs (thats a LARGE MALE) most top out at around 18 inches and 50lbs...

Bad breeding....the pitty shoudl be a compact atheltic breed bre as a WORKIGN dog...
these thigns that reseble dogs crossed with hippos are NOT pitbulls, they are monstrocities of human manipulation...
an THATS where the "pit bull problem" comes in.
it has 100% NOTHING to do with the breed, a pit is les slikley to bite than a cocker spaneil...

BUT...due to idiot humans...their reputation has become one of feircness...

did you know in the uk the staffordshire bull terrier (a bred freuntly called pitbull) is known as the nanny dog due to how amaing they are with kids?!)

but humans (the idiot kind) ame alng and wanted bigger stronger "scarier" and so they started mising in mastif blood and thi and that and breeding these monstrocities often marketed aspitbulls, they tok NO account of temperment or health and just bred for the "look" that was selling...
thugs will pay big bucks for a hippo dog that makes them look "scary" and special.

add to that the dog fighting aspect an you take an amaing breed and seriously screw it over.

the TRUTH about Pits (and all bull and terrier group dogs)
they are Tenacious (they are after all a TERRIER) bred to WORK and work hard! becaueof this they are high energy can be stubborn and a little headstrong andsometimes a little high strung...not because there bad dogs but becauss eomeone has taken this powerhouse of a dog and turned it into a lawn ornament or couch potato...its like putting a normal human in solitary confinemte, eventually there going to lose it...

they are STRONG...these dogs were bred to get hold and not let go agains an animal wigint over 1/2 ton...they were bred to bring dow BULLS...the reason they show up more in fatal dog bite statistis is because if one DOE bite...they are going to do a heck of alot more damage than a chihuahua...they DO NOT have locking jaws, they are not Out for blood, but when ou do get a "broken" one (theres no BAD dogs just damaged ones) that bites its going to REALY bite...


they are prone to dog agression...this is why they were ogrigioanlly choosen as dogs for fighting wiht...they fight to the end, and ame sex agression is particularly common in the breed...
BUT...think about it...
2 dogs are fighitng to the death and a human has to step in and end the fight, tend to wounds ect...dot you think a dog prone to attacking people would be a REALY stupid idea?!

fighting dogs were ALWAYS exceptionally HUMAN frinedly, and a human agressive dog would have been imeditaly killed a useless and dnagerous, humans had to be able to get into the middle of the dog fight, seperate them surrounded in blood and high energy tension, and safely tend to wounds ect...
a human agressive og would have been much too dangerous...

the breed only became "human agressive" after the thugs got ahold of them (and before pits it was shepards, and rots, and dobermans ect)

the AvERAgE pitbull in a home that undestands they are high energy, high drive, high reaction dogs has the BEST dog in the universe

that same pitbull in a home that doesnt understand it, chains it up, beats it or TRAINS it to beagressive has a killer on a chain...plain and simple...and puerly due to strength...

they are no more dangerous than the average lab...however hen a lab bites it will eventually give up...when a bull and terier type dog bites...it doesnt give up untill whatever set it off is over....


add to all that that any dog in a pack situation needs to be managed completly diffeently and CHiLDREN should NEVER EVer EVER be unsupervised around dogs EVER...
why were those todlers left alone long enough to crawl out of the doggy door!

most dog bites, no matter what the breed are 100% due to human error...

(randoly aproaching a strange dog, no backing off when it gives you ealy warning signals, BABIES and small children being left alone with the family dog (kids are small and squeeky...most children attacks start off as Prey/play drive that goes VEYR VERY wrong.) entering a dogs territory when it doesnt know and accept you ect...

HUMANS are to blame 98% fo the time...

be it bad breeding, bad training or us actually doing somehting stupid like ptting our hands in the middle of a dog fight or trying to pet a strange dog.


now...all that said i LOVE pits...
BUT...
i do NOT htink a pit (or ANY bull and terrier type dog, pit, staffy, bull terrier ect) is the right og for Every home...
i think they require a special owner, but that goes for ANY breed...

but ive met more SEIOUSLY agressive maltese than i have agressive pits...
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: A tropical island
4,579 posts, read 4,445,639 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
they are no more dangerous than the average lab...however hen a lab bites it will eventually give up...when a bull and terier type dog bites...it doesnt give up untill whatever set it off is over....
First of all, thank you foxy for your long and insightful post! I have a question about your statement above. The 2 halves of that statement seem to contradict each other. How can you say a pit is "no more dangerous than the average lab" if the pit is the one who "doesn't give up until whatever set it off is over"?


Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
but ive met more SEIOUSLY agressive maltese than i have agressive pits...
Awww, that's too bad. It helps me understand how pit lovers/owners must feel when people criticize their breed. I'm sitting here thinking "Awww, poor little sweet Maltese, getting a bad rep from foxy??" I'm sorry that's been your experience.

I see that my link to some stats didn't work in my first post. I'll try it again:
2012 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities - Dog Bite Statistics - DogsBite.org

I really enjoyed your link, foxy, with the pictures asking which one is the pit bull. I had no idea which one was! Actually I'd never heard of many of those breeds. But when you say that dogs who bite are often called pits when they're really something else, I'm confused, because this link (hopefully it worked this time) includes stats for other breeds i.e. American bulldog, husky, boxer-mix, bullmastiff, labrador-shepherd mix, presa canario, mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix, cane corso and a golden retriever-mix. This site is definitely saying that Pits accounted for 61% of fatalities in 2012 even though they made up 5% of all dogs by population in the US.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:56 AM
 
Location: SC
2,967 posts, read 4,193,432 times
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Very few actual Pit Bulls are around. The people who who used to develop and keep these dogs kept them out of the public hands for the most part.

What we have today is a whole bunch of bastardized bully mixes being passed off as Pits, by clueless people, kids, housewives and rescues run by feel-good people who try to promote the breed as big teddy bears that can cuddle with kids. Their knowledge of the breed was mostly gained by reading popular commentary via the internet - all those feel-good articles that have been circulating for years on the web.

The reality is that anyone who has a serious working background with dogs, knows about the capabilities of a terrier or Pit. Prey drive, pack attacks, and all kinds of characteristics that were bred into these dogs for generations. Many people who adopt or rescue Pits, have no real life background working with high drive dogs and have never seen what they are capable of. These are the people that will talk all day about what teddy bears they are, and send you pics of their 12 mo old baby riding the dog's back. Some are teddy bears, but anyone who refuses to recognize the fact that extreme tenacity and prey drive was bred into these dogs for generations, is living under a delusion. Even in all of the mixes we see, the genes are still floating around. We should not be promoting them to the public as big huggable kids pet's, like Labs. An owner of a Pit should be properly screened and educated about responsible ownership ... just like the owners of any other guardian or working breed.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:02 PM
 
Location: SC
2,967 posts, read 4,193,432 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxywench View Post
fighting dogs were ALWAYS exceptionally HUMAN frinedly, and a human agressive dog would have been imeditaly killed a useless and dnagerous, humans had to be able to get into the middle of the dog fight, seperate them surrounded in blood and high energy tension, and safely tend to wounds ect...
a human agressive og would have been much too dangerous...

the breed only became "human agressive" after the thugs got ahold of them (and before pits it was shepards, and rots, and dobermans ect)..
Go talk to some old men who were involved with the old fighting dogs. They will tell you this in NOT true and an internet myth.

Many of the old fighting dogs had reputations for being man-aggressive and would tear people up if given the chance. Take a sport where there are large amounts of cash on the line, and no one is going to throw out a human-aggressive prize dog that wins matches.

I have never heard an experienced Pit Bull person say they were never human-aggressive - I have only heard this tale passed down for years by rescues and people on the internet who had no first hand experience with actually fighting dogs.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:07 PM
 
Location: zone 5
7,330 posts, read 13,252,205 times
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Bmachina, I am currently working with several dogs who were rescued from a dog fighting ring. The fight was in progress when law enforcement arrived. All of these dogs are human friendly in the extreme, with one exception. He was not a fighter, but was there to guard the money and drugs, and so was trained to be aggressive to humans rather than dogs.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:09 PM
 
Location: SC
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I am not saying they are all human aggressive. A Chihuahua is more likely to attack a human compared to a Pit. Just saying the myth that human aggressive fighters were not tolerated is untrue. There have been many well-known winning dogs that would kill a man if given the chance. They were kept around and continued to be used because money talks. If the dog won fights and wins cash, no one cares if it hates people too.
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