First of all, we apologize for the deceitful headline. Admittedly, we were going for a “shock factor” with that headline because when it comes to pit bulls, shocking headlines seem to be the only headlines that people notice. Of course, for 99.9% of pit bull owners out there, the above video is of no surprise at all. This is what happens in the homes of pit bull owners multiple times per day. They deal with daily attacks of love and tongue baths!
But let’s get serious for a minute. WHY are pit bulls so demonized in our main stream news media and local governments? Is there any legitimacy to these claims?
Are Pit Bulls Inherently More Dangerous?
For starters, ALL dog owners have to realize that dogs are animals and can be unpredictable, no matter what their breed is. In the vast majority of dog attacks, the dog’s owner claims that they had absolutely no idea that that would happen and are completely shocked by their dogs behavior. It is easy to point fingers at the dog owner, but there is a certain element of danger by having an animal in the home.
But to give this a little bit of context, humans can also be dangerous and unpredictable as we see in the news every day. We can’t just ignore the fact that bad things happen and sometimes they are unpredictable. With all of the advantages of having a dog in the home, it does not make any sense to never have a dog just because a dog could potentially be dangerous in certain circumstances. We also need to remember that dogs can be accredited with saving many lives and the therapeutic benefits and health benefits of having a dog in the home have saved even more human lives. So the real question here is, are pit bulls inherently more dangerous than other dog breeds.
The Argument That Pit Bulls Are More Dangerous
There is no question that a large number of people believe pit bulls are a more dangerous dog breed than other dog breeds. Local governments have even banned pit bulls entirely! One of the biggest arguments that these people claim is that pit bulls were bred for one specific purpose and that is for fighting. This is actually true. In the early days this dog breed was bred for the specific purpose of fighting (as a sport) and this can be seen in their features such as their ability to lock their jaws and their incredibly powerful necks and bodies. So, does this mean that pit bulls today are more dangerous because this fighting mentality has been bred into them for so long?
While this can be debated, the stats for pit bulls does leave a bit to be desired. Pit bulls make up only 6% of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68% of dog attacks and 52% of dog-related deaths since 1982, according to research compiled by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animals 24-7, an animal-news organization that focuses on humane work and animal-cruelty prevention. The hard numbers speak for themselves – pit bulls are responsible for most dog attacks in the United States even though they make up a very small portion of the overall dog community. That is fact.
In other words, critics claim that pit bulls are more dangerous no matter how they are treated by the owners. They claim that while bad owners can hold a lot of responsibility, even good owners of pit bulls may be unable to stop a future attack simply due to the breeds inherent genetics.
The Argument That Pit Bulls Are Not Dangerous
The argument that pit bulls are no more dangerous than any other dog breed is also a valid one. This is a very complex issue with many different angles, but most pit bull advocacy groups claim that it all comes down to the specific dog owner and that we cannot blame the dogs for the above numbers. It does seem that pit bulls are owned by a very unique segment of the population. While pit bull owners come from all walks of life, there are some very interesting statistics about pit bull owners specifically.
One such statistic is that pit bull owners tend to be lower on the income scale. This means that owners of pit bulls are usually less inclined to pay for professional dog training services and may even cause some additional problems by not seeking out veterinary care when it is needed. We know that a dog which is unhealthy is much more likely to be involved in an attack than a healthy dog. There is also an unusually high number of pit bulls that are rescued from very poor living conditions such as being chained up outside or places where they were confined to a small space for a long period of time. It is also no secret that pit bull dogs are usually not allowed in many areas where other dogs are allowed, and because of this, they receive much less socialization which can lead to socialization issues. And finally, a very large number of pit bull owners decide on having a pit bull for intimidation and protection purposes, yet lack the training skills necessary to have a protection or guard dog. All of these things together is a recipe for disaster no matter what breed of dog we talk about.
This debate will no doubt continue to rage on and probably for decades to come, but one thing is for sure… Those who save bulls from bad situations and invite them into their homes are some of the most considerate and loving dog owners on the planet. Any responsible pit bull owner should be praised and not punished like many local municipalities seem to be doing.
Are you a pit bull owner? Know someone who has been attacked by a pit bull? We would love to hear your feedback about this very controversial and emotional issue. Do you believe that pit bulls are just inherently more dangerous or does it all come down to the specific owners? Should we really ban certain breeds of dogs such as the pit bull or is there another way to lower the number of pit bull attacks on people and other dogs?