Pitbulls - Threat or Menace? Our blind spot when it comes to this breed

Hardly a month goes by without some story about a child or elderly person being mauled by a pitbull. If it were alligators or ostriches, there's be laws passed banning them and everything would be done to exclude them from contact with people.

It wouldn't be "It's not the alligator (or ostrich) that's the problem, it's the owner."

But when a pitbull kills someone's toddler, dog lovers will say "It's not the pitbull, it's the owner that is the problem."

Well gee, that mental bumpersticker sounds great but it's something you say after a dog has done something horrific.

The dog owners who say that never really follow the platitude up with a proposed solution. Why? Because none of the obvious solutions are possible as long as people will blindly defend a breed that has the instincts and hair trigger reactions this breed has.

What would be the negative consequence of this breed disappearing from the face of the earth? And, please, let's remember it's only a breed—a very recent and artificial one—not a species. If every pitbull were replaced with an Irish Setter or Yorkie, even if they bit, a lot less damage would be done.

Another problem is that all too often, the worst elements of society seem attracted to this and some of the other large, aggressive breeds.

If you're willing to admit that we have a problem here, what is your solution?

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Your list reminds me that pitbulls are understandably even more dangerous to other dogs (scratch that: other people's dogs) than they are to people.

There are fewer German Shepherds than there are pitbulls. Also, it is a reasonable assumption that there are likely fewer German Shepherds in the hands of irresponsible owners than there are pitbulls.

Once again, a pitbull defender changes the subject, which was never about bite force. Pitbulls are nice a good deal of the time. I'm not claiming pitbulls just run around biting everybody in site. However, there are ample cases of good, well-raised pitbulls, owned by responsible owners who didn't try to bring out their aggression, who suddenly do something horrific.

And, BTW, if german shepherds have such a "dangerous bite," why don't the dogfighters use german shepherds?

Agree!! Don't believe the hype!

How about you think rationally and offer us up something to support your claims.

And which particular claim or claims are you talking about?

Just out of interest, have you ever owned a dog yourself and if so what breed was it? I owned a staffordshire bull terrier who also have a poor reputation. The most affectionate dog i ever had tho people crossed the road to avoid the 'danger'. Ridiculous. I get your point about the damage pitbulls can do tho this is simply for the reason of its build including those mighty jaws and teeth. There are many dogs of similar stature which when tortured and abused will bite and hard. If a kid is pulling at a Chihuahuas ears, it could suffer some nasty wounds, a bigger dog will always do more damage so the point your making isn't of any relevance to that particular breed. Unfortunately the breed attracts assholes. Assholes will never do the right thing in caring for a dog.

No one is saying your beautiful precious Fido isn't a kind, gentle, loving little pooch. 


What we're saying is that there's a decent chance that one day, that gentle loving little pooch could wake up with a behaviour center of her brain deteriorated due to bad inbreeding, and wham-o, Fido goes Cujo and decides it'd be a good idea to rip every animal in a two block radius to shreds. 


And five minutes later, the dog will go on and won't even remember that it happened. Until it happens again a year later. When your 5 year old niece is playing in his doghouse. 


And I agree, it's not the dog's fault that it's inbred. My old purebred pit Winston was a perfect angel 99.9% of the time. Until he turned eight, when he killed Bub, our mongrel pit/rottie mix, and seven months later tried to eat my infant son. I should have had the bedamned thing put down after the first incident. I still have a hard time letting my son around dogs, and he's three now. That's just mama bear instinct, though. 


A pit bull bite isn't just a hard bite. They chomp, they do not release, and they twist that massive neck of theirs until something comes off. Remember - they're built to kill bulls. A small child or even a big man is nothing in comparison. 

You are making some HUGE claims and assumptions here. Provide some evidence.


Here's a random link for the thread.





Oops. i forgot to respond to the story about your dog.


Did you take the dog to a vet to make sure it was healthy? Sudden behavior changes like that are usually caused by some kind of physical problem. Maybe it was in pain, or its eyesight was failing and lashed out when it was startled, etc.

@ Alyson - Thank you for sharing your story. I always wondered if it was true a well treated and well behaved pittie could lose it one day and do something like that. I guess any dog can, but like you said, when they lose it, it can mean death and destruction far and wide.


I love pitties. Don't get me wrong. I have worked around dogs for a long time. I am wary of pit bulls. My neighbor has one and I give it Milk Bones every day when I walk by its house. She is the sweetest thing ever, but boy, I can see the power in her body and jaws. One time I was walking my dogs and two pit bulls came out of nowhere and started growling. I almost **** my pants. Fortunately, they all just sniffed each other's' noses and we went on our way. 

The OP's point is that pit bulls are very powerful, which means when they do react aggressively, they tend to cause grievous damage or death. His point is not that they they are more aggressive than all other types of dogs.


I love pit bulls also, but when they go bad, they can be really, really bad. I don't know what should be done, but I certainly would not want to see beloved pitties being taken away from good, responsible owners.


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