Are PitBulls safe to be around Children?

United States
November 30, 2009 10:39am CST
Hello mylotters! I am thinking about purchasing a puppy for my 5 month old daughter and I was thinking to purchase a breed that would get fairly big and grow with her. I was sort of interested in getting a pitbull but was wondering oft hat was a good idea becasue of the wrap sheet that they have as a breed. I would just love to hear you ideas.
3 people like this
21 responses
• United States
30 Nov 09
Well, any dog can be mean and aggressive depending on their own personality, nature, and how they are raised. I know that there are people that will disagree with this, but I do not think that Pitbulls are any more or less safe than any other breed of dog as long as you know how to train them. If you have never owned or trained a dog before, though, then you should probably start with a mutt or mixed-breed dog. Dogs are pack animals by nature. If you do not know how to handle and train them, then they may try to become the "leader of the pack" and that is where a lot of people run into trouble. Dogs are very similar to small children - you need to give them a lot of love and attention but also set firm boundaries. If you do this, then you should not have any problems. However, if you do not, then just like a young child, they will test their boundaries and see how far they can push you and how much they can get away with. Pure breed dogs are breed to optimize certain characteristics, which unfortunately often leads to in-breeding. That in turn leads to other unwanted characteristics sometimes coming out, too, such as aggressiveness or hyperactivity. The reason that I suggest a mixed breed dog, or a "mutt", is that there is less chance of these unwanted characteristics showing up in this type of dog, because the gene pool is much larger and a lot of the "unwanted" characteristics tend to be recessive traits. That does not mean that a mixed breed dog cannot be aggressive or hyperactive, but the chances are less that they will be. Once again, though, any dog can be dangerous if they are not handled properly, and they might not intend to hurt your daughter but accidents can happen, such as unintentionally stepping on her. Your daughter could also hurt the dog by trying to pet it but accidentally sticking her finger in the dog's eye. The best course of action is to always keep a close eye on them and be right there when your daughter interacts with the dog. That will not only help to ensure the safety of both of them but also help to teach them how to safely interact with each other.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Nov 09
Hello purplealabaster and how are you doing today? Hopefully all is well with you and your life. I agree with you saying that Pitbulls are any more or less safe than any other breed of dog as long as you know how to train them. I also agree with you saying that dogs are very similar to small children, with that being said you need to give the a lot of love and attention but also set firm boundaries. I love how you put your post becasue it shows that you are wise and know what you are talking about. Just like a child if boundaries are not set firmly they will try and push those boundaries to see how much they can get away with or how far they can go. The only issue I feel may need to be address with any breed of dog and my daughter is the tail pulling. I know that when children are young they tend to pull and tug on dogs tails and I just do not want the dog to have a close reasction and try to bite. Well until next time purplealabaster thanks so much for responding and NakitaLikely3617 is out. Thank you once again. Take care and be safe.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Nov 09
You mentioned that you are concerned with tail pulling. All dogs have their own personalities, and some may not like it or react to it more than others. However, larger breed dogs generally do not mind it as much as smaller dogs. I think they might not have as much feeling in their tails or their tails are just naturally stronger so they do not feel it as much. That works both ways, though. They also tend to unintentionally hit and knock over more things when wagging their tails without even seeming to notice that they hit anything, which could include knocking over a young child, especially when she is first starting to walk and naturally unstable.
@minx267 (14603)
• Hartford, Connecticut
1 Dec 09
Well I couldn't have said it any better than purplealabaster.. I just wanted to interject that I had a lab/malamute mix who always let me hold onto him by his tail- never minded it in the slightest. It may be because malamutes and lab are both known to have thicker tails but he really didn't care- he was great with children and I have none- he just was socialized with them at an early age and that is key with any dog- they need to be socialized while they are young. Once they reach a certain age it is much harder to get them used to things or to change their stripes, so to speak. I agree that a mutt would be a much better choice, or a breed known to be gentle. I have Collies and I think they are just inherently bred to be sweet hearts. My second dog was a collie shepherd mix.. she was one of the most perfect well behaved and eager to please dogs.. I would try to stay away from terriers as they are hyperactive and tend to have a mind of their own.. I also think a big dog would be better with children as I have noticed that if they are smaller sometimes they nip/bite more in fear that they are ging to be stepped on and they can be much more easily injured by kids if they are roughhousing. Whatever your choice, Good luck!
• Canada
2 Dec 09
The wrap sheet on Pitbulls r bad, only because u only read of the bad ones. The ones owned by M. Vick for fighting etc. or the ones in the news some protecting their property etc. Most Pits from babies r very good. When purchasing a dog make sure u see both parents and how they where treated or mistreated. Make sure u buy a puppy no younger than 8 weeks , that way they learn how to be around other dogs and things their age. Pits r part of the terrier family so they r an excited breed and growing up around your daughter will show your daughter and the puppy how to act together.. REMEMBER ALWAYS LUV/ CARE FOR YOUR DOG/ PET, THEY WILL ALWAYS LUV U..
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
30 Nov 09
Hi, nakita. No disrespect, but I would not get a pitbull for any of my kids of any age. I have never felt safe around these animals myself. As a mother, I feel that having a dog at 5 months is not safe to do. If I was you, I would wait until your child gets a little older. Your daughter is still very much a baby and exposing her to a dog that is a pitbull is unsafe. Maybe when she gets 4 you can buy her a puppy. Please give it some time, I am sure that you don't want anything to happen to her.
• United States
30 Nov 09
Hello cream97 and thank you for responding to my discussion. I appreciate the fact that you centered you response around what would be best for my little girl. You are so right about her still being a baby. I am definately considering just waiting because I do not want to end up on the news for child endangerment or anything of that sort because my dog bit my child. So thanks so much for responding and until next time NakitaLikely3617 is out. Stay safe and once again thank you so much.
1 person likes this
@cream97 (29166)
• United States
1 Dec 09
Thank you for understanding my concern. I appreciate it. I just posted an response to another members discussion on here earlier. It was about an lady that got bit by a dog. When I saw this discussion, I thought about you and your discussion. All I can say is be careful. I know that this is going to have to be your decision. And I know that you really do love your daughter. Please keep her safe at all times. 12 years ago, my cousin's dog bit her all in her face. She was bleeding when I got there from school/work. I was so upset!! After seeing her this way, I vowed to myself that I would never get a dog for my kids. This bad experience had made me very skeptical. I know that some dogs are not harmful. But, I just don't want to take any chances with my life or the lives of those that I love dearly. Many people have dogs and their dogs are safe. And that is very great. But, then there are some dogs that just have a wild streak to them. My cousin's dog was a normal dog. He was very friendly. He did not show any signs of violent behavior at all. He just all of a sudden decided to turn on my cousin.. We still till this day, don't know what made this dog commit such a brutal attack. My aunt and cousin loved this dog dearly. For what the dog had done to my cousin, my aunt had the dog put to sleep. It was sad and I felt bad for my cousin, the dog and the fact that they lost a dog that they trusted for many years. My advice is to you is to think this through, because I know that you will do what is best for your child. You are a mother that just gave birth, please reconsider getting a dog as of now..
@benny128 (3621)
30 Nov 09
I had an old english bull terrior was an amazing dog when I was a kid. But to be honest any breed of dog can become agressive and the pit bulls are very very strong dogs. Only you can answer the question but personally I would be worried incase something ever happened. If you are even slightly worried then go for a smaller, weaker breed as your daughter will be just as excited with a small dog than having a large strong dog. Remember dogs are still animals and any animal can turn nasty.
• United States
30 Nov 09
First and foremost benny128, i would like to thank you for even taking the timeout to respond to my discusson because you didn't even have to. So once again thank you and I greatly appreciate the fact that you did respond. You are so right about any breed of dog becoming aggressive because my moher has a chihuahua and even though he is super small he is very mean. He doesn't like to be bother or anything. I am not afraid of the pitbull breed but I know that dogs don't like their tails pulled and I think she may be a child the does that. I think I may take her around my aunts puppies she has and if she pulls the tails then a pitbull isn't what we need.
@benny128 (3621)
30 Nov 09
your welcome personally could you live if anything bad did happen why take the risk when you really don't have too.
• Trinidad And Tobago
2 Dec 09
No, these dogs have a probleam with seeing, and they do turn on there owners, in my country Trinidad, we had we few cases where they attacked their owners family members.we also had a few cases where children was attacked by these animals these dogs is not a good dog for children.
• United States
3 Dec 09
It's the OWNER/HANDLER of the animal that is at fault. They don't properly socialize their animals with other dogs and strangers. I personally have three pitbulls, littermates, one year old. They are intelligent, extremely affectionate, and very strong -- whatever your pittie decides to accomplish, they're so game, it's likely they're going to do what they intend. All three of my puppies give me a kiss when I let them back inside the house. These types of dog adjust to your pace of life. You only hear of attacks, and the media really hypes the viciousness of the dog, and often say it's a pit when it's another dog altogether. Small dogs are more likely to bite, but since they're little, they don't tend to do much damage, and people don't report being bitten by a little dog. Pitties have a bad rap undeservedly.
@rika999 (104)
• India
1 Dec 09
No my dear friend, none of any pet is safe to be around children. the hair of pets is mainly the carrier of many serious diseases and keeping pet around a 5 years old kid in not advise able at all..
@minx267 (14603)
• Hartford, Connecticut
1 Dec 09
Wow, that is not true at all. Pets hair does not carry diseases. The hair contains Dander which can cause allergies. But children exposed to pets at a young age are less likely to develop allergies than those that are not exposed to them. In all it is more beneficial for children to be raised around pets than not. It teaches them Love, patience and understanding. It is more beneficial stress wise to have a pet and a best friend that they can always turn to in good times and bad. Animals that are well cared for, vetted and bathed properly are very healthy and do not carry diseases. A child will pick up more things going to school than they will from their pet.
@shadow41 (2356)
• Philippines
30 Nov 09
You shouldn't buy a pitbull for your daughter. It's not completely safe. Although most of people say that dogs are very loyal to their owners you can't just simply buy that idea especially if it means the safety of your love ones. Dogs can be mean at times even to their owners. Plus pitbulls are aggressive dogs. Even the kindest breed of dogs can be very dangerous especially to children. I've heard a story about a baby who was bitten by a Labrador in the head. The dog nearly killed the baby because the dog is very big that can almost put the whole head of the baby into its mouth. And you know what? It's their own dog. And it's a Labrador who's known to be very kind type of dogs. So if I were you I wouldn't dare. shadow41
• United States
3 Dec 09
Hello shawdow41! First and foremost I would like to thank you for taking the time out to even respond to my discussion. So thank you and I appreciate it very much.
@matsulori (269)
• United States
3 Dec 09
I have three pitbull puppies, littermates, they're a year old. It's very important that you establish yourself as Alpha when you have a pitbull. Don't let him walk ahead of you; don't let him go inside the house before you. Pitbulls used to be called "nanny dogs." Because they have such a high pain threshold, they're good with kids who might be a little rough with them. It's not advisable to leave your dog -- any dog -- alone with your children until you are completely satisfied with your dog's manners. I would urge you to go to training classes if you get a pitbull. It's important to properly socialize your pit both with other dogs and strangers. Make sure he always knows you're the boss. Other than that, I can tell you I love my pitties like they're my kids. They sleep with me, eat with me, lounge with me, follow me all around the house -- and forget going to the bathroom alone ever again. You always have an audience with a pittie. I urge you to read a good book about pitbulls in specific, and dog psychology. It's so important to know exactly what you're getting into if you've never had a pitbull, or especially if you've never had a dog. There's pictures of my babies on my photo page.
@emrajr69 (25)
• South Africa
2 Dec 09
Dear nakitalikely3617, my choice for a dog, especially one which is good with children, is the Labrador. They are family dogs, with soft mouths. They protect their families and their property, are not inclined to run out of your yard, and are very affectionate.As long as you feed and water them, and give them lots of love, you have a friend for life.
@qamarep (4449)
• Pakistan
2 Dec 09
why dont you buy her an electronic pet like a japaanese robot so that she can play with it and be safe at the same time. instead of putting her at danger with an animal
• Canada
2 Dec 09
The jury is still out on weather pitbulls are safe. I would go with "any other dog". That way it would be one less thing to worry about. More importantly you should keep in mind that any large breed is high maintenance and takes as much time and training as a child almost. Be prepared to have items, carpet or furniture destroyed. Walking the dog is of the highest importance. If you are a family that is out of the house for 6-10 hours a day then it's not a good idea to get a dog. I grew up with a very large Irish Wolfhound lab mix and all four of us contributed to his training, walking and my parents commited to alot of vet bills for his health. My mother was a stay at home mom then graduated to part time work and my dad came home for lunches between work hours so there was alwyas someone there to let him out and take care of him. A dog can end up costing you thousands if a health problem arises. Also keep in mind, and this may sound obvious, but a puppy turns into an adult dog that you may have for anywhere from 10-18 years or more. Alot of people don't respect this commitment and after the novelty of puppy hood they get rid of their dogs and unfortunately there are too many being euthanised or held in cages at shelters. If you are going to get a puppy or dog I would also recommend a rescue shelter. These are the animals that need a home the most. Puppies at pet stores get adopted quickly and are costly. I hope that whatever you decide will make you a happy pet owner. Cheers!
@Genericbe (1378)
• Philippines
1 Dec 09
NO, i heard that pitbulls are dangerous especially when with children.. I have a relative who have a pitbull and there was a child just walking and that dog just out of nowhere bite the left arm and left neck of the poor child for no reason, the fact that the said dog knew the child too.. Sad to say but the child was brought to the nearest hospital because the child was amputated. From then on, they removed the pitbull already and left bad memories in our relatives.. But, it depends on you, If you are confident enough in your pet..Its your decision..
• United States
1 Dec 09
Hi! First and foremost, I would like to say "Thank You" for not believing everything you hear about Pit Bulls. I have two of them, and a 5 year old son. I know that neither one of them is going to hurt my son. Like everyone else told you, any dog can be aggressive. However, proper training usually takes care of that. On a side note, Pit Bulls are not a good breed to have if you've never had a dog before. My husband and I have both had dogs before, so we know how to handle them. If it is your first dog, you might want to go with a Retriever. They are gentle, grow to be pretty big, but they have a very gentle nature. The choice is yours. Good luck with your search.
• Canada
1 Dec 09
Someone gave me a puppy an american pitbull ten years ago. Her name is Diamond. She has never shown aggressive behaviour with children. She played with my kids and I have 4 children of my own. She is very strong in her age. They are pretty muscular and monstrous in strength. Strong jaw and very active personality. Quite hard to control yet if they are well trained they are loyal and listen to the master. They think that a baby or any individual once inside the house is part of the pack and family. I have several cats before, and she loved them like her own. They sleep together and play together, never shown violent behaviour except being playful and because of their size they can be very hurtful. it depends on how you treat them. If you let them stay outside they become a guard dog and become aggressive because of lack of sleep. They are irritable because you let them alone without social interaction. They bark a lot at anything moving or making noise. So they hate other wild animals or pets outside your house or their territory. But for the last ten years, my dog thinks he is like human being. They have really evolved to be part of human family. if your family expresses violence and anger and anxiety they would be the same.
• United States
1 Dec 09
Hi, nakitalikely, from my own personal opinion it may be best to wait until your daughter is alittle older before you buy her a puppy, especially if she is the only reason that you are considering adding a puppy to your house hold. she may not be old enough to truly understand the meaning behind the puppy or the responsibilities of it. However if you feel that both of you are ready for it, then go for it. As for the idea of a pitbull puppy. I have had pitbulls before and they are extremely loyal and loving dogs, especially if raised from a puppy. I have had them around small children before and never had a problem with them. Like all dogs their temperment is dependent upon that of their owners. Your dog is what you train him to be. Pitbulls are very very intelligent animals, that being said they are animals that need loving care, attention, and lots of excercise. If continuously locked in the house or a caged yard with little human contact or if they are treated poorly they can become aggresive as they have natural survivial instincts. It is important that you know that the media version of these animals and brutual killing machines is not necessarily true. They animals deicted on tv have been trained to be that way. It think that if you have the time for a dog and wnat to get one that a pitbull is a very good dog. They love to play and cuddle and the ones that I have been around have been absolutely wonderful with little children. I would encourage you however to get one as young as possible, as you have a better opportunity to raise them. The younger they are when intrduced into a home, the better that they do in seeing that place as their home. Again, pitbulls are wonderfull, loving, loyal, and playful dogs, but they do have survival instincts and they are intelligent so if you are considering one, be sure that you have the appropriate time and situation to be able to raise one. Goodluck.
@NIECIE21 (365)
• United States
1 Dec 09
While I have seen some Pit Bulls be very lovable and gental, I have seen some that are so not. And one in particulare was lovable when the owner first got him and about a year later, he snapped and attacked the other dogs in the house and even tried to attack my nephews. So, I would highly advise against getting pit. There are many other large breed dogs that are better suited for young children.
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
1 Dec 09
Pit bulls have a bad reputation, and whether they deserve it or not, why take a chance? There are hundreds of breeds, and surly you can find a dog big enough and cute enough for your 5 month old daughter. Personally Id be thinking about a Miniature Collie or a Fox Terrier. A mid size breed would be easier to keep, and they don't eat nearly as much as the big dogs do.
• United Kingdom
1 Dec 09
After everything that I've seen on the news regarding pitbulls and rottweilers, I don't think it's safe to have these dogs around children. I don't know the facts about these things but there was mention that dogs become very jealous when lots of love and attention is being given to a small child and then the dog lashes out. However, there's a lot to be said for the way dogs are brought up, I think that this needs to be taken into account as well. Just recently there was a news story about a small child, four years of age and how he was attacked by a family pet and sadly he lost his life. The grandmother tried to pull the dog away from the child and she ended up in hospital with horrific injuries. I don't think there's anything wrong with getting a pitbull just as long as it belongs to a family that are willing to do everything that is needed to ensure that it is brought up as loving family pet. Andrew
@happy6162 (3011)
• United States
1 Dec 09
Any breeds of dog can be aggressive and you have to be careful with your 5 month old baby. A pitbull can be very agressive and is very strong in the place that I live there has been a lot of pitbull attacks. Some were on other dogs and others on people I would not want one anywhere near my kids. When your daughter gets older you might buy her a poodle they are small and usually very gentle.
@kitaboo1 (34)
• United States
1 Dec 09
Hello NakitaLikely3617! How was your Thanksgiving Holiday? Well anyways I haven't been on here in a nice little while. I think that it would be a great idea for you to get your baby girl a puppy. I am just not sure if a PitBull is th e best breed. I would suggest that you research the breed and if you still want t get this type of breed maybe obeidence school.