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 counterargument makes no sense, it's only an appeal to emotion. You cannot equate human life with animals', and there is a difference between nationalities and breeds.

umm. Isnt it usualy the religious people who claim that there is something fundementaly different between humans and other animals, while atheists usualy accept we are part of the animal kingdom.


secondly- ok we cannot equate breeds with nationalities, then how about we equate races with breeds, since geneticaly speaking there is as around the same genetic difference between dogs as there is between races. especialy since you must consider we have everything between pygmies to masaai. so tell me would it be right to wipe out a whole race of people because  a minute portion of them are more violent than the other races? but i can just hear you say again thatb we cannot equate humanity with animals. fine the only difference between us and other animals is that we are more intelligent. so lets say a hyper intelligent alien race came to earth and decided caucasions needed to be put down for the same reasons you say a bhreed of dogs need to be put down. would you the support their right to wipe out an entire race?


lastly. - You are the one using an emotion based argument. If you took of your rose tinted glases and stopped seing humans as some devine creature fundementaly better than any other you would see that humans are the most destructive creatures on this planet, we wipe out species every single day that have been around for millions of years without a second thought , we kill hundreds of millions of ourselves in the last hundred years, we pollute and destroy nearly ever habitat we come into contact with and are the cause of global warming. and yet what bothers you is a breed of dogs that kill 30 people in the usa a year. how about you get your priorities straight

"atheists usualy accept we are part of the animal kingdom."

This is quite unrelated. Just because humans are animals doesn't imply we should surrender to animals, especially not animals which have been bred by other humans.

"then how about we equate races with breeds"

There is no such thing as a "race" of humans. Even calling it "breeds" would be clearly erroneous. Human genes are much less plastic than canine's, and I'm not going to indulge your comparison.

Yada, yada,.. Humans are evil, destroying the planet, etc. Seeing as we live on this planet and are a part of it's ecosystem, then by your own argument that humans are mere animals, we are doing what animals do. Unless you want place humans in a special group on this planet with somehow higher responsibility that is.. :)

actually the difference between skin or hair colour in humans, being a pygmy or masai has more to do with gene expression than actual genetic difference. and the same applies to dogs.


now i will be honest with you here, i dont like pitbulls, i probably will never own one, not because they are considered dangerous, but because i have grown up with and become attached to german shepards. but my problem arises due to the fact it doesnt make any difference to you how many of those attacks happen out of how many of those type of dogs are owned. because lets just say pitbulls are got rid of. then out of 24 fatalaties by dogs a year lets say 11 are cause by rotties. so you are going to want to get rid of rotties, then after they have been gotten rid of out of 16 fatal attacks a year 9 will be by german shepards, so you are going to want to get rid of them.


and even if pitbulls are gotten rid of over night i dont think the number of fatalaties will change much since those same people who no longer have a pitbull will then go for the next status symbol dog and treat it badly and end up with it attacking someone

That's a slippery slope fallacy.

To make the point clear, substitute cars for dogs in your simile. They have more in common with dogs as they are also a creation of human ingenuity. If there is a ban on the Trabant because it's papier-mâché exterior is unsafe, you don't immediately outlaw grandma's Taurus. 

Yes but i feel that untill you can tell me how many pitbull and pit bull crosses are owned and how many of the dogs involved in fatalaties where kept in abusive settings or owned by people who had no clue how to properly keep a large dog i feel we dont have the information needed to call for anihalation of a breed.and i feel that the great majority of the times when a dog goes bad it is because it has been neglected, made aggresive, or spoilt rotten( spoilt is a major concern. alot of people dont understand that spoiling a dog often ends up with the dog being a nightmare)


Now i have no problem in putting laws on just who can own the dog so it is no longer bought by chavs who only want a status symbol. and making both the dog and owners go through proper training. but i feel calling for its eradication is a bit extreme.


from what i have been able to find it is estimated pitbulls and there crosses make up between 1 and 4 million of the dogs in the us. even at 1 million the chance of the dog killing someone is 0.0016% a year. now even without taking into account how many of those dogs involved in fatalities where abused or neglected and only kept for fighting i feel a breed with that low a % of bad dogs is no reason to call for the breed to be eradicated



Heh.. Let's use those stats. If 0.0016% of the around 2.5 billion passengers who fly every year died in an accident, it would mean around 40.000 fatalities per year.

Since the breed is undoubtedly the one responsible for the majority of reported fatal attacks, why have it around? What's the benefit to society?

Replying to Arcus:


You need to prove that the dogs are the problem,a nd not the owners. If you get rid of pitbulls and the owners get different dogs, and the fatalities do not decrease, you have killed millions of animals for nothing.

The dogs attack people, not the owners. You have to prove otherwise.

"The dogs attack people, not the owners. You have to prove otherwise."


A dogs upbringing affecting its temperment is WELL established. It is not up for question. You not realizing this makes your judgment on this topic suspect, at best.

So it's always the owner, never the dog?

That's a convenient excuse.

"So it's always the owner, never the dog?

That's a convenient excuse."


Do you have any actual info to refute what I said, or are you down to just snarky comments?


The law in most places, AFAIK, makes the owner legally liable for what their dog does.


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