Oh, Those Vicious Pitbulls



I am quite sure that every one has heard about the "vicious" pitbulls and what they are capable of doing. I will admit that pitbulls and other "bully" breeds can cause some serious damage and death, however, the dog alone is not responsible for that. In my career as a pet professional, I have come in contact with many people that own bully breeds and many who are deathly afraid of them. From a personal experience I can tell you a lot of these people that own bully breeds and those that are afraid of them have been grossly misinformed about these breeds. I am appalled when I hear people's "facts" about pit bulls, Staffordshire terries, bull terriers, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and more bully type breeds. People confidently tell me that pit bulls are dangerous and they should not be a breed. They come to me and ask me how I can own such a dangerous type of dog breed. In reality, I would love to curse them out and send them packing but that would just add to their already negative opinion about bully breeds. So, I educate them.



Any dog can be dangerous. In fact, if you look up the statistic, you will see that there are more reported bites from a Chihuahua than there are from a pitbull. The only reason there isn't much attention to that is simply because of the media. No one wants to hear a story about a small 10 pound Chihuahua biting someone's ankles or fingers. But if there is a pit bull attack, the biased media jumps on it quicker than you can say onomatopoeia. Why is this? Why is this unfair media so biased towards these bully breeds? The answer? Simply because of the history of the breed.



When the Staffordshire was created, it was purely for sport. As you can see in the picture above, the gentleman is holding a "Game Cock". What those cocks were used for was, you guessed it, fighting. Men would place wagers on their cock and the winner would walk away with a nice chunk of change. Like everything else in the world, cock fighting had to evolve. Originally, pitbulls were used for bull baiting.



Pitbulls and Staffordshire terriers are pretty much the same thing with the exception of a few different physical features. What's not so different is their personality and characteristics. Pits and Staffies are amazing dogs. They are extremely loyal, extremely obedient, and their rare courage separates them from every other breed in the world. This particular breed has no fear when put up against the most nerve shaking situation. Europeans and Americans back in the day took advantage of this and used them as gambling tools. They would starve and abuse them to make these breeds more vicious. Then, they would have them fight other dogs. Eventually, more and more dog fights were taking place in back yards and local towns. They not only used pit bulls and Staffordshires but, they also used other breeds, such as Rottweilers and Dobermans for fighting as well.



What is most upsetting to me is how people nowadays think that dog fighting was made popular by Blacks and Hispanics. I say this freely because I have experienced this first hand. In the media, Michael Vick ( who is Black) was scrutinized for what he did. I am not defending what he did but, say Michael Vick was a white Quarterback. Would he have gotten as much heat as he did? When is the last time you heard of a White person being scrutinized for dog fighting? What about an Asian person? Did you know that all sorts of races fight dogs? I am against all  dog abuse therefore I do not care what race fights a dog. I feel that those that fight dogs should be put down. As cruel as that sounds, I stand by it. How would you like it if someone abused you, kept you locked up in a cage, under fed you, and made you fight for your survival? Doesn't sound fun to me. But there is more to this breed than bull baiting and pit fighting. The reason this breed is an exceptional breed when trained properly is because of their willingness to please their masters.



Known as "Nanny" dogs, this breed was a protector of the families young ones. It has been said that the pit bull would be left home with children and the dog would simply 'watch" the children until the parents came back. Shocking, isn't it. Who would think that these "vicious" dogs would be good for more than fighting? Like I have stated before, this particular breed was not bred for fighting. It was bred for hunting and baiting. It's loyal attributes and ease of training took off with dog aficionados. This made the pitbull an ideal pet for the common household.

Dog show 1936


I currently own two bully breeds. One is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the other is a Rottweiler Pitbull mix. These two dogs would never hurt a fly. They are trained properly. One of my biggest pet peeves is the dumb, uneducated people that seek to own this breed without properly understanding the specifics of this breed. Like anything you buy, research is always recommended. Those that go by hearsay when owning a bully breed are going to be extremely disappointed. I firmly believe that you should research everything about a dog breed before you commit to it. And please, do not seek to own a dog just because its the popular thing to do. I hate when people purchase pets because they thought it was "cute" or because their friend recommended the breed. Always fit the pet to your standards and your schedule.



Oh look at the "vicious" pitbull.


As you can see in the picture, my dog is extremely patient and loyal. He has been around my children and other people's children. Not once have I seen him attempt to bite or nip at anyone. He's protective and loyal and always listens. Is he capable of biting? Well, he is a dog and that is what dogs do but, with the proper training and education you will have a loyal friend for a very long time.




Rescue A Pit Bull at these following links:





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    As ANOTHER Pet Professional (Dog Trainer of 24 years specializing in the very worst of the worst- former fighting dogs, highly abused/ neglected, etc) my question is always the same:
    "Why is it that those who know the very least about dogs or pit bull specifically do the most amount of talking about them?"

    As for "Who Owns Pit Bulls", I offer the World Pit Bull Owner Registry
    (pay particularly close attention to the "Occupation" column)

    As for the dogs themselves... they are not the sweetest thing ever in the world; they are dogs... with individual personalities, quirks, weaknesses, strengths, fears, and traits they excel at. They are also one of the most trainable breeds and one of the best all-purpose breeds (athletic, family oriented, intelligent, LOYAL, etc)

    Until the haters or skeptics spend an afternoon with a responsibly owned Pit Bull and their parent (observing, asking questions, interacting)... their "facts" are just are shootin' blanks in the dark.

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    I can only hope that the children shown do not suffer the repercussions of your denial... Pit bulls were bred for "bull baiting".. for hold and taking down bulls... and after that, for fighting in pits (hence the name)...the "nanny dog" myth has long since been dismissed.

    Animal behaviorists/researchers have, through scientific studies, found abnormalities in the frontal lobes of aggressive dogs...of which the pit bull breed is one. No amount of "nurture" will overcome the genetic predisposition of this breed.

    33 folks were killed in the U.S by dogs in 2013; 28 of the were killed by pits/pit mixes. While chihuahuas may bite, they don't KILL...

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    In reply to Karla Elvis:

    Karla, please include a link to the scientific studies regarding frontal lobe abnormalities in Pit Bulls. The only information I can find is about frontal lobe seizures aka rage syndrome. It is a rare disorder in ALL breeds of dogs. Certain breeds seem more prone to suffer from this condition, including Cocker and Springer Spaniels, Bernese Mountain Dogs, St. Bernards, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and Lhasa Apsos. http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/7_6/features/Rage-Syndrome-In-Dogs_5639-1.html. I have read at least 10 articles on this subject and not one of them say that any of the breeds that fall in the Pit Bull category are prone to this condition. As for the genetic predisposition of Pit Bulls. They were genetically manipulated to be animal aggressive just as all breeds in the "Terrier: group are. Does that mean that all Pit Bulls or all terriers are going to be animal aggressive or have a high prey drive, absolutely not. Genetics are complicated. For example, if you breed two black Labrador Retrievers the uneducated people would think you would get all black puppies. But when the puppies are born you get 4 black, 1 yellow and 2 brown. Why because genetics is not that easy. It is the same in genetics for behavior. With the same Labradors you might get 4 that are very instinctual retrievers but the 3 may show little or no interest in retrieving anything but the treat you have for them. This happens the same way in pit bulls. If you are breeding for animal aggression to be fighting dogs, out of a litter of 10 you may get one or two truly "game" dogs (ones that literally want to kill any animal on site) and then five or so that show some varying degree of animal aggression and then the rest may not have any animal aggression. If you want to do your own research then this is a site that talks about dog genetics. http://doggenetics.co.uk/breeding.htm. You can claim all you want that ALL pit bulls are this and ALL pit bulls are that but you are wrong. All pit bulls are individuals and each of them have individual characteristics, personalities, etc. This is a simple concept and all it takes is researching a litter of puppies of any breed to understand.

  • In reply to Karla Elvis:

    While chihuahuas don't kill, they DO damage. Kids are just the right height where they are bitten in the face as they reach to pet your little ankle biter. They undergo numerous surgeries to repair their features. Same with alot of other small breeds. Labs have been so imbred by backyard breeders who want quick cash they often bite. I have owned pits as well as other breeds for over 38 years. I have bred and shown them also. Genetics is a crucial part of any breeding program. We work hard to keep lines that are known for agression or "gamebred" out of our program. Example: neighbors dog a mixed breed attacked my UKC pit who was on my property. My dog did NOT fight back. I had to break a shovel handle over the other dogs head to save my dog. NIKKI my dog required 182 stitches and had numerous drains in her face neck and body. She looked like frankendog. She was a champion show dog. In all these years and we keep track of all offspring. None of ours have had a bite case. Being a responsible owner we breed to better the breed. To us that means a stable dog with good comformation who will be a part of our family. Who will protect(as any dog will) their family. If you do not like the breed don't own one. Also don't take away my choice (and right this is still America and pits fought in our wars for all of us) to own one. It is your opinion. We all have opinions. There will always be a breed to take its place because there are sick individuals who will train any dog to perform what they want. I have therapy dogs. Show dogs. Family pets that are couch potatoes. I suggest you take your fear of any animal n overcome it. Find a breeder who believes in breeding out aggression and spend a day with them and their pits. OH you say I'd never do that they're all EVIL dogs. What are you really afraid of? That you find out you were wrong and actually like them. Become educated firsthand.

  • In reply to Karla Elvis:

    I don't know or care where you get your nonsense from. We rescued and adopted a pit/boxer 4 1/2 yrs. ago and we don't regret our decision to have him in our family. We have MANY friends and family that will only own pure bred pit's & boxer's because they are one of the best breeds to have. If ANY dog is given a reason to attack, they will. My pit has been around all my grand kid's since the day they were born and he has NEVER attempted to hurt any of the kid's. He loves when the kid's come over. My Australian Shepherd will attack before my pit will, if given a reason to.

    You want to talk about pit's being bred for "bull baiting"? THAT'S THE HUMAN'S FAULT, NOT THE BREED. Human's have given the dog's a bad reputation and only the human's can take fault in that. Dog's don't come into this world hating, just like kid's don't. Adult's cause the real damage by the way they think and teach. That's where the hatred is taught. It's time for people to stop being so small minded and ignorant about this. If you don't like the breed, than stay the hell away from them and stop talking crap because your afraid of them!!!!

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    The most often offered statement by a pit bull owner after it has attacked a person/animal is "My dog has NEVER done anything like that before"... That is part of their genetics - to never give a hint of the impending attack, as that is a sign of weakness. This breed, unlike others, does not growl or offer other displays to warn of impending attack - they simply attack... the object is to catch the "opponent" off-guard. Likewise, once they have begun to attack they WILL NOT STOP.. though the victim shows submission, the pit bull will keep attacking to the death. Pit bulls will also attack their owners... virtually no other breed displays this behavior.
    50% of dog attacks are visited on their owners or family members...keeping it "all in the family".

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    In reply to Karla Elvis:

    Those who say their dog "has never done anything like this before" are usually not being completely forthright. Or they just don't know the signs to look for in regards to possible negative behavior. Not everyone should have a pittie. They're high energy dogs in comparison to others. A huge part of why dogs have behavior issues is often related to a lack of physical or mental exercise. That falls on the owner and not on the dog. In the U.S., we euthanize thousands of bully breed dogs annually due to overpopulation. overpopulation is an issue created by people as well who purposely breed the dogs or don't alter them. Backyard breeders have created a huge problem in this country and really a big issue amongst these dogs specifically, breeding them with no regard for how the puppy's will turn out and with a narrow focus on fast cash. I have lived in areas where strays were in high numbers. I have had many stray bully breed dogs wander up to me and never cause harm. I've also had many chis and terrier mixes wander up to me too and be aggressive. Pits are typically not inherently aggressive and their body language tells a lot. At the root of the pit problem is people. Not the breed. People are irresponsible and cruel.

    The other thing that I think is important to mention is how many breeds of dogs are classified as pitbulls or American pitbull terriers and wrongly so. Many dogs share common traits but we don't group them all under one breed. Pitbull as a term, encompasses not only American pitbull terriers, but also hybrids of the breed like ridgebacks. Staffies, American Bulldogs and others also get pushed under the pittie label. So out of the dog attacks you mentioned, I highly doubt all were done by actual dogs that can be correctly classified as a pitbull and falsely put the breed in a negative spotlight. I also highly doubt that all these dogs were owned by the right people with knowledge of how to raise them. They are work and take much more time than most breeds. I also want to bring up that while all sorts of people own these dogs, they're also the current breed of choice for many as guard dogs and one of the breeds owned by people who want them to be aggressive. Which once again brings us back to people as the root cause.

    Most dog breeds were created with some intention in mind, whether it be guarding, hunting, attacking, looking cute, etc. It doesn't mean that the dog of a hunting breed is incapable of living as a companion animal and incapable of not chasing down every bunny or squirrel it sees. Yet pitbulls are viewed negatively based on the purpose for which they were bred..... Instead of assuming the dogs all have this natural instinct, one should really look at each dog on an individual level. Some are great and some aren't, just as with any other breed. They're not different in any regard to any other dog breed as all dogs should be carefully placed in a home with consideration to the environment they will be in and tested with any other animals and varying ages of people. Which, once again, comes down to people.

    People, not the breed, are the problem if you really break it down. You have to look past the preconceived notions of the breed though, which is impossible for some people.

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    Good grief..... Firstly, NOT bred for hunting. NOT 'Nanny Dogs' (killed 16 children last year alone in America, plus mutilated hundreds more). Photographs prove nothing except a simple moment captured in time; happy photographs do not mean your child is safe, or anyone else around your purpose-bred Fighting Breed dog. 33 dead from dog attacks in America last year - 16 of them children as mentioned above; all other breeds combined accounted for FOUR of the dead. No one sane can compare the bite of a Chihuahua with the maul of a fighting breed dog; please do keep this real. Decent Pit Bull handlers/enthusiasts do not make excuses for their choice of dog. They understand the dog's powerful and fierce genetics, they educate themselves about the breed history and propensities, they watch that dog 24/7 for the rest of that dog's life, they embrace the terrible failings of the breed, and most of all they take great steps to keep all life that may come into contact with it, safe from harm. Using their children as propagandist tools for the Pro-Pit Bull movement is harmful and dangerous. The parents of the 16 dead children from 2013 would have plenty to tell you about that, and none of it happy. No-one uneducated and irresponsible should ever be allowed to own one of these dogs. As decent human beings, we must face up to facts and we must use that knowledge to ensure the safety of others if we choose to bring a fighting breed into a family home as a pet. Acknowledgement that this is the number one canine killer and mutilator of human beings and other life, is only the beginning. Recognising that the loving, goofy, happy Pit Bull in photographs is a mere moment in time and NOT representative of the dog itself in any wider way, is also responsible. Pit Bulls are dual-natured, and can switch from play to slay in a heartbeat, requiring NO catalyst. After all, owners would do well to remember that humans spent hundreds of years honing this pack animal into a dog that was designed to fight and kill other members of its type without hesitation, and that to place such a joyous killing machine into the heart of a human family pack is highly likely to have dire consequences. Never trust a Pit Bull, ever. Love it, socialise it, train it, entertain it - but if you truly LOVE it, you will know it for what it is and keep it safe from itself, as well as keeping all around it safe as well. This is not about being a 'hater', this is about understanding what the dog IS and acknowledging that the fighting breed dog does not understand that killing and mutilating is 'wrong' - for them, it is ALWAYS right. Pit Bulls that have killed the family child that they loved, went on to pass Temperament Tests for aggression AFTER they had killed the child that they loved and who loved them right back. One mother whose toddler son was killed by the family pet Pit Bull last year commented that her dog looked puzzled as it stood next to the mutilated body of her only son, as if it was asking 'what's the matter?' Tragedies don't just happen to random strangers in far off lands, they can happen to you and yours.

  • Here is what I have noticed. The people who own what you call "bully" breeds seem to take a perverse joy in scaring the pants off of people. Invariably these people let the dogs off the leash to run free on the forest preserve trails and in parks and elsewhere.

    While it is not the dogs fault that the owners are morons, some dogs are more docile in situations than others, though any dog is capable of attack at any random time.

    I think to allow that there is no difference in breeds is not reality. Some are more aggressive than others. Period. A lab coming up to you wagging its tail vs a bully breed charging towards you is a difference anybody can recognize, and it has been my experience that bully breeds do not come up to me with tail a wagging. It takes every bit of self control to not show fear when they do.

    In addition, thanks to the morons on the jogging trails and their unleashed dogs, I have to carry a knife. I was attacked once. Once is enough.

  • First of all, I woud think any" Professional Animal Expert" would not advocate this breed to be around children. The Nanny Dog Myth, has been dispelled as Myth a long time ago, even by the Pit Bull Advocacy, and any "Professional Animal Trainer" would never have bought into this myth, even before it was dispelled. Anytime I see one of these articles whose author is still spewing the Nanny Dog Myth, I automatically dismiss the article as just more Pit Bull Propaganda, written by a Pit Bull Owner, who cares nothing about the safety of our nations children, and is only interested in the promotion of Pit Bulls to fit into her own agenda, God only knows what that might be, but I guarantee to you, whatever this authors agenda is, it is totally self-serving and not worth wasting your time reading.

  • In reply to wftlover:

    Clearly you did not find this article a waste of time or you would have not commented on it.

  • It's so amazing how all the dog experts and animal experts say how awesome these dogs are but yet the non expert hysterical public who has never met a Pit Bull are the ones putting them down and being paranoid of them. Quite being hysterical, grow up and do some REAL research before you open your mouth and show your ignorance. The sky isn't falling and Pit Bulls are awesome dogs. I will never own anything but a Pit Bull and feel sorry for all you that are delusional, paranoid and hysterical.

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    I always wonder what people think when they talk about banning a breed, do they not realize that there will always be a "most dangerous" breed? You take away pitbulls and people will then talk about banning rotties. My issue is the owners who get these dogs for "guard dogs" and do not socialize or train them correctly and they end up biting someone. My pit spent his whole first year of life in a shelter without training, and he doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He has been bit twice in the face by other dogs at the dog park, and all he did was walk away and avoid those dogs. That is not what a dog does if it loves to attack and kill things. I do think there are bad pitbulls, but I think there are equally as many bad other dogs. I think the reason we have so many more reported pit bites is the dysfunctional part of society thinks it's cool to have mean looking dogs, leading to bites. Gangs aren't going to have Labradors, they wan't pits, and I realize that does not account for every pit bite, but I think that if you were to exclude that portion of society, and take into account how many pits there are it would make the numbers look a lot smaller.

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    It's really sad how these large breeds get bad rep simply because they look intimidating to most ignorant and stubborn folks. If a chihuahua or any other small/toy breed bites a human, people will say that the dog was probably mistreated by the human that's why it retaliated. However, if it were a stereotyped large breed like pitties, rotties, dobermans, etc, people will say the attack happened simply because the breed is vicious... and people who hear about this and are prejudiced beyond reason would immediately buy the bad press and spread the word against these voiceless ones. The cycle never ends. That's why it's nice to know that people like Joel Burton help spread the word that such breeds are not to be feared and ostracized. Rather, it is their owners (regardless of race and culture) are the ones to blame for their irresponsible dog ownership!!!

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    Wake up people!!!! PitBulls and Bully types are not the threat... lets take this statistic shall we.... Since 9/11, and the subsequent militarization of the police by the Department of Homeland Security, about 5,000 Americans have been killed by US police officers. The civilian death rate is nearly equal to the number of US soldiers killed in Iraq. In fact, you are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist.... Showing once again that it is HUMANS that are the evil threat.... I say don't ban a breed, ban STUPID people!

  • Pit bulls are amazing. I found out that in certain countries if you have a pit bull police will take costody and lable as "dangerous" and kept on a leash in public OR your dog will be "terminated" otherwise known as murdered. If a chihuahua bit you it would be playing or some shit but if a pit bull bit you they would be dangerous killing machines.

  • I couldn't agree with you more. I have a 6 yr old male Pit Bull who I love like my own child. He is the gentlest dog I've ever known. He's been around all of my nieces and nephews without any trouble and I wasn't worried about it one bit. He's the first dog I've raised myself. I had dogs when I was a kid, but my mother raised those. I don't know what made me choose a Pit Bull, but I'm so glad that I did. I don't think I'll ever get a different breed.

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