Where do you stand on the pit bull issue?

Tiger - my pit bull/mcnabb mix
@wiccania (3360)
United States
June 15, 2007 12:56am CST
I'm not trying to start a huge debate or flame war. I'm just curious on where myLotters stand on the pit bull issue. Personally, I have a pit bull mix. He's sweet, docile, loving and gets put in his place and beaten into submission by my toothless and clawless cat. He adores his little boy (my son), and when they play out in the yard together, he puts himself between my son and anyone walking by. He's incredibly protective of us. Any dog is capable of violence. My dog was actually attacked last year by a Rottweiler. He barely tried to defend himself. Instead, he took it and whined and barked and looked to me to help him. For a dog that's supposed to have an "ingrained instinct to fight" he certainly didn't exhibit any of that behavior.
4 people like this
21 responses
• United States
15 Jun 07
I dogsat for a friend that had a pitbull. It was huge! But she was the sweetest dog. But there was that whole "she'll turn on you" thing that kept going through my mind. I actually could not relax the entire time we were watching the dog. Plus, I have my own dog, and he weighs a huge ten pounds. I was affraid that she would eat my dog. To make it worse, I went into labor while watching the dog. I ended up putting each dog in a cage and in seperate rooms. People took turns visiting the dogs while I was in the hospital. Everything was fine, but I still tense up whenever I see the dog. I think my problem is also that wouldn't be able to control that dog if she did lash out. And I do walk in the other direction if I see someone walking a pitbull or rot in my neighborhood. If I don't see a wagging tail, I'm staying away..
2 people like this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
15 Jun 07
I can understand that. With all of the stories going around about them and everyone saying they can turn on you at anytime it's easy to be a little afraid.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
15 Jun 07
true, true. i also own a pitbull she has had two litters already and everyone can approach her. she is playfull and greets everybody with a rag on her mouth for you to play with her with. i have her for three years now and not once did she displayed aggressive behavior even to strangers.
2 people like this
• Philippines
15 Jun 07
by the way she is a pure pitbull
1 person likes this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
15 Jun 07
That's awesome. I've only known a couple of pure bred pits, and they've all been incredibly friendly and docile.
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@lisado (1230)
• United States
15 Jun 07
I have always thought that it depends on the envirnment that the dog is brought up. I've seen Chows and Pits that were docile and I have seen dogs that are supposed to be good family dogs (collies, Cockers, labs) that are mean as all get out and bite. Any breed can be made mean if they are raised that way. All animals were wild at some point and sometimes people forget that. There are still some insticts there, but I believe that it's environment that brings it out in a lot of cases. It makes me sad when I see that dogs are banned in cities because they are a "dangerous" breed. Any dog can be dangerous, not just Pits.
2 people like this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
15 Jun 07
That's very well said. Thank you.
1 person likes this
@castleghost (1304)
• United States
15 Jun 07
We often adopt dogs from our local humane society. I have to admit that pit bulls, bull dogs and rottweilers. Mainly because we don't like the looks of these types of dogs. Another reason is that we haven't found one with a personality that we like. When we look for pets we first check out their looks and then we check out their personality. We do not get an animal that could place our children in danger. Any dog can be aggressive because of how they were treated in the past. I don't see how some people can blame it on the breed.
2 people like this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
15 Jun 07
I can certainly understand that.
1 person likes this
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
15 Jun 07
Your dog is beautiful. I think that singling out any specific dog breed is silly. My parents have a pit bull mix, and he is also sweet most of the time. He sometimes get a little bit rough, but he never tries to hurt any humans, he just gets rough with his doofus "brother" who is a Lab puppy. And if you've ever had a lab puppy, you can see why another dog would get tired of him. lol Their dog was even abused before they got him. My dad rescued him, because a guy he worked with was trying to kill him, because he was hanging around with his dogs, and he was afraid he would get one of his females pregnant. He was just a puppy, and the guy shot at him, and blinded him in one eye. And he is still nice to humans. So I definitely don't see how anyone could say he is evil just because he is part pit bull.
2 people like this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
15 Jun 07
Thanks. When I went to pick him up from the animal clinic after we had him neutered, the vet tech asked which dog I was picking up, I told her "Tiger" and she sent someone to go get "the pretty puppy." Apparently they called him that all day, because anytime I say pretty puppy, he knows I'm talking about him.
1 person likes this
@Jshean20 (14362)
• Canada
17 Jun 07
Any breed of dog can turn on a person at any time, whether it be a pitbull or a little poodle. I have to admit that I once stereotyped against the pitbulls because of all the negativity you hear about on the news, that was until I actually owned that breed of dog myself. I now own a pitbull mix (pit/lab mix) and I think that he's more of a hyper dog than an aggresive one. He will bark at people who just walk by or look at him without petting him, but once people actually reach him and pet him, he's fine. He only seems to get really worked up when he's on our property and sees a dog or a cat, if we're out for a walk and approach an animal he doesn't seem to care at all. He tries to look tough but he's actually a big softie and so loyal to my boyfriend and I.
2 people like this
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
19 Jun 07
Your dog may be the exception to the rule. Or maybe it isn't. I've never owned a pit bull, but I know a few people who have. My great nephew was bitten by his pit bull a while ago. I think his parents (my niece and her husband) still have the dog. I think when a pit bull is introduced into a home with children, the family naturally becomes concerned for the child(ren). I know I did. Trust me, there was no good feeling in being right that my great nephew was bitten. Thank God it wasn't worse than it was. I don't even know the extent of the injuries, other than to know it wasn't fatal and I don't "think" there was any damage to his eye. His hard to know, because his parents my be trying to play things down... Anyway, I guess I got a little offtrack. I agree that dogs are individuals and probably not ALL pit bulls will attack. The pitbulls that I have encountered have been okay. I happen to like dogs a lot and I am an opened minded person. Even with all that. I do catch myself being a little more uptight around pit bulls. I guess my feeling is this. Especially if you have a child. Even if the dog is docile. The fact is, pit bulls have been bred to fight for many years. Their bodies are capable of killing, more so then most other brees. So, WHY TAKE THE CHANCE? If you have a child, you should have a breed of dog that is more child friendly. I realize with pets there are no guarantees. If child friendly breeds can have dogs that turn out bad. But why not do both. Get a dog that is a child friendly breed and make sure the dog is submissive.
@breepeace (3024)
• Canada
26 Jun 07
But you forget that pitbulls were bred to fight OTHER DOGS. If 2 dogs are in the middle of a fight and for some reason their handlers needed to break them up, it wouldn't do to have your dog turn on a human hand, so they were bred specifically to be dog aggressive and people friendly. Traditionally the breed was also a beloved family pet, living inside the house working as a ratter, and on the farm as an all purpose herding dog. It's funny -- myself and everyone I know who has ever been bitten by a dog has either been bit by a German Shepherd or a Labrador Retriever, and yet those breeds will likely NEVER go up on the chopping block.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
18 Jun 07
the american pit bull is a wonderful dog - useful about the farm - so very sad the bad reputation that he has received - due to the irresponsible ownership of some corrupt persons. They are not naturally an angry or aggressive breed - individual animals have been made ugly. remember not too long before the pit bull the vendetta was against the rottwieler?(sp)
1 person likes this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
18 Jun 07
And before that it was dobermans, i believe. This issue has been raised around a number of breeds.
@DeenaD (2688)
• United States
15 Jun 07
I don't trust them and I don't like them. Even if you think yours is docile, he could change all of a sudden. If he suddenly attacks someone, it will already be too late.
1 person likes this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
15 Jun 07
But that's true for any dog. Any dog can turn on you and attack, no matter how docile they usually are.
@Snickey (157)
• United States
15 Jun 07
Hi wiccania! Your dog is adorable! Sweet face! I believe that much of a dog's behavior depends on what he/she was exposed to in his/her environment from an early age. I don't know if you have your sweetie posted on, or even know anything about www.dogster.com, but many people have pitbull profiles for their dogs, and haven't had any issue listed regarding aggression. I do have to wonder, however, when you hear of those instances whereby a pit was raised in a loving environment, and then, suddenly, the dog 'snaps,' and harms a family member. That does scare me about that particular breed, but I have also heard of boxers and rottweilers doing the same thing. People are also fearful of dobermans, and I had the most loveable 110 lb. doberman who never had one incident of aggression! We had to watch him very closely, and keep him on a leash when he was outside because when near a road, he would think that cars were something to play with; a total goofball! Here's wishing the best to you and your pup!
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
15 Jun 07
Thanks. And thanks for your post. I honestly thnk that a lot of those cases where the dog was supposedly so loving and then snapped and attacked that there's something that people aren't mentioning. Whether they got the dog 8 months old and don't know what it's background was or if the kid in question was pulling the dogs tail or something. Years ago, I knew someone who had a Rottweiler. She was sweet and affectionate and so loving. Unless you were black. I don't mean to sound racist here, but that's how this guy raised his dog. It took no provocation. All she had to do was SEE a black person and she went nuts. From sweet and docile to vicious. One day, she got loose and bit a boy in the neighborhood. When animal control investigated the family backed up the claim that she was so sweet and the boy must have provoked her. The boy was black. She did what she'd been taught. Of course, THAT part was never told to animal control or the boys parents. And fortunately the bite was minor, but if the dog had severely mauled the boy, people would start saying "well what do you expect when you own a Rottweiler." Because they weren't told the whole story.
• United States
15 Jun 07
I don't know what other people said because I didn't read any other responses. Here's what I say. Dogs are dogs and they will attack or defend at will. My dogs are good and they only are agressive towards each other. But... They also have limits. My friend was here with her 3 year old. I was outback smoking and she was in here with her kid. She watched her son while he was kicking Spoof in the hips. He was laying on the floor, minding his own business when Brandon started kicking him. Not hard, but Spoof has bad sensitive hips due to getting hit by a car. Anyway, Spoof put up with it long enough for my friend to stop her son. She didn't so Spoof did. He turned and bit Brandon on the calf. He didn't break the skin, actually he only left one indent. My dog got his butt whooped. I don't care what the problem is, he could have gotten up and came outside. Brandon deserved the lesson, but Spoof should NEVER bite someone. He jumped at the Schwann man once. But he thought he was protecting me from the guy when he was handing me a book. My dogs are very good and loving, but they don't like to be messed with and they don't want their people messed with. My neighbor has dogs. Golden Retrievers. They are very good and incredibly obidient. They don't like bikes and they haven't had much exposure to kids. The one dog, Hunter, has chased my daughter, her friend, and he also came into my driveway, knocked my 5 yr old nephew off his bike, and bit INTO his leg. He had to go to the hospital. Well, he didn't HAVE to go. 4 puncture wounds, probably could've used a band-aid or two, but my sister wanted it documented. The Animal Control came and did nothing. My point is that it's certainly not the breed, it's the caregiver. Yes, Pits are fighting dogs and it's in their blood. Pits are notorious for attacks, but they only learn what they live. If you keep them on a chain with little human contact, they tend to get more aggressive. Dobermans, on the other hand, can be awesome also, but their brains have a tendency to outgrow their skull, so they can get very aggressive no matter how much love they get. Dogs really are like kids. The more love and affection they get, the better dogs they will be. This has been my experience.
1 person likes this
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
15 Jun 07
She definitely should have stopped her son from kicking the dog. By not stopping him, she sent the message that it's ok to kick the dog.
• Atlantic City, New Jersey
18 Jun 07
Pit bulls get a bad rap- period. I own a 2 year old 85lb Full Breed American Pit Bull and she is a sweetheart. I really believe it is how they are raised. Now by all means I always remember she is a pit bull- and no mater how long I've had her- anything can make them snap- and her jaws would REALLY hurt if she gripped me in anger (which she never has). My pit bull is a huge baby and just loves to be loved :)
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 07
I believe it depends on the owners. As others have stated, any dog is capable of violence. If you raise the dog as a pet/family member, and properly socialize it around people and other animals, and don't let it run loose...My grandparents' terrier was literally torn apart by a neighbors' pit bull that had gotten out. But I have also known several pits and Rotties that were some of the sweetest dogs on the planet, and plenty of ill-tempered Chihuahuas. :)
1 person likes this
@urbandekay (18308)
17 Jun 07
No bad dogs only bad owners! That's not quite true but most badly behaved dogs are a product of their owners treatment. Perhaps, these breeds get a bad name not because of what they are but because of the character of a certain type of person that chooses to own them. all the best urban
1 person likes this
@natrlvr2 (384)
• United States
16 Jun 07
No matter what breed, it is not the breed,it is the OWNER. Sure some breeds can have 'tendancies' but it is ALWAYS the owner when it comes to training.BTW,I watch Cesar Millan.LOL!
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jun 07
I feel a dog is only as violent as his/her owner makes them out to be. I mean, I know some dog breeds were bred to be agressive dogs, but I don't think they'll be violent unless the owner really makes that trait come out in the dog. I think it's silly to try and claim that every single dog in a certain breed is going to be a horrible dog that wants nothing more than a person's blood.
1 person likes this
@wachit14 (3600)
• United States
16 Jun 07
My daughter works in an animal shelter. About forty percent of the dogs and puppies that are brought in for adoption are pit bull to some extent. She said many people come in and when they hear that the dog or puppy is part pitbull, they back away. What she has learned is that these dogs are so sweet and wonderful. I'm sure that there are dogs who are bred specifically for the purpose of attack, but that could be in just about any breed.
• United States
19 Oct 07
I own a pitbull and I disagree with the sterotype that pitbulls have gotten. These dogs get a bad rap for the way that some people raise their dogs. Well the biggest one right now is Michael Vick. What a piece of trash..
@suspenseful (40314)
• Canada
17 Oct 07
It could be that your dog's nature comes from the other mix, not the pit bull mix. Other people may not be so sure, especially if he has the jaw of a pit bull. So he may be very friendly and thinks he has having fun when he take another dog or another child in his teeth. So considering that he might mistakenly harm a child, you should take steps to keep him from doing so, not only by telling him no, but keeping him on a leash and not letting him run loose. He also may be territorial, that is he will protect your family, and be submissive to them, but if another dog or another person comes into your yard, he may react. So you have to be careful that you introduce your visitors and well I hope your yard is closed and he cannot get out. He may be cute and friendly, but he has the pit bull jaw and I am sure if he harmed some little kid, he would feel bad and you do not want him to do that, do you?
@Y3110w (113)
• United States
12 Oct 07
ABSOLUTELY! They are amazing dogs, they just want to be loved, they want to play, be active. They don't want to hurt people which some "owners" will train them to do. Which is why Pit Bulls have such a bad name, because of all those ignorant people out there, and horrible owners. If they were raised correctly they would be the best pets you've ever owned. Your dog is adorable by they way, I started to tear up when I read about you dog and son...it was so cute. I actually started a discussion on Pit Bulls, if you want to post a response to share your story please do =) Oh yes please hug your dog for me =D