Why is pitbull considered to be a dangerous pet dog?
Pitbulls have got a bad rep as dangerous dogs who are inherently violent and aggressive. If you’ve ever had a chance to see a bright side of a Bully, you will never believe what they say about them. And that is true. Pitbulls are one of the sweetest dogs as companions. It’s tough to believe as they have been pictured as kid maulers and biters.
However, I will try to include as many facts about Pitbulls so that you may know what are the myths about them that make them bad dogs.
And if you have a Pitbull, don’t worry, you have one of the most adorable dog breeds. Just ensure that your Pitbull is on a leash when you’re in a park while they’re being socialized with other dogs and humans. Be a responsible dog owner.
Factors contributing to a pitbull’s bad reputation
A 3-year-old kid was kicked out of one of the KFC restaurants because her face was disrupting other customers. There was a huge outrage about this issue on the internet. Sure, the KFC employee didn’t attack the girl, but 3 Pitbulls did.
The girl was at her grandfather’s place when three Pitbulls broke the door of the house and injured the girl. She had to lose the vision of her one eye permanently. Here’s the catch. There are aggressive dogs of all sorts of different breeds. On any given day, on an average 10 people get bit. But they only become news when it is Pitbull.
I’m not trying to negate the attack that happened on the poor girl. Aggressive dogs are a result of poor socialization and bad owners. As ASPCA says, “Pitbulls have long been popular family pets, noted for their gentleness, affection, and loyalty.” But there are certain facts that you should acknowledge before understanding why Pitbulls are being targeted.
The origin of pitbulls
Pitbull is a short name given to the breed ‘American Pit Bull Terrier.’ These dogs are a result of English Bulldogs bred with Terriers. English Bulldogs were dogs who were employed to fight with bulls and bears in the pit. This was an inhumane entertainment of humans of the 1800s.
The British government banned such cruel events. But humans still wanted this to continue. Then this breed was, as I said, bred with Terriers to make a new breed known as ‘Bull Terriers’ to use them in vicious dog fights. This again was banned by the government.
This was all back in the 1800s. According to Kevin Ruan, Editor at DogNeedsBest, “It has been 200 years since the Pitbulls were bred to be companion dogs. Their looks and characteristics have changed quite a bit as well. They are not the dogs who are used or want to fight anymore.”
Myths and misinformation
Only the American Pit Bull Terriers should be technically considered to be ‘Pitbulls.’ But similar breeds that have been bred separately for more than 50 years like, ‘American Staffordshire Terrier’ and ‘Staffordshire Bull Terrier’ are not Pitbulls. But still, they are considered by a layman as Pitbulls.
No dog hates another dog or a human. All dogs, regardless of breed, have almost the same DNA. When two dogs meet they greet each other and try to socialize as soon as possible. In fact, dogs do not have ‘hate’ for each other. Dog fights happen due to insecurity, guarding, and behavioral problems.
That brings us to another fact that behavioral problems are not breed-specific. So when the government implies any breed-specific legislation, they punish responsible dog parents rather than punishing irresponsible dog owners.
If you look a little back to the 1970s, Doberman Pinschers were considered to be violent dogs. A human attack happens, it gets the media coverage, and more such cases of the same breed surface.
Then in the 1980s German Shepherds got on the list. Next in the 90s were, Rottweilers, and now Pitbulls are being targeted. What if one vicious attack on a human by a dog of an irresponsible owner happens and the breed is the same as your dog? In short, we should start putting the responsibility of dangerous dogs on their irresponsible dog owners.
Other myths related to Pitbulls are that they’re unpredictable, they’re numb to pain, and they have locking jaws. Firstly, Pitbulls are not unpredictable. They’re strong and may get rough while playing with other dogs because of their strength.
Secondly, they are not numb to pain. Sure, they are strong but they’re athletic dogs as well. With great strength and agility, they can endure more pain. And thirdly, they can never lock their jaws. No dog can do it.
Conclusively, focusing and targeting a certain breed, their origin, myths, and misinformation has given the reputation of a bad dog to American Pitbull Terriers and other related breeds. Also, the statistics regarding Pitbull attacks are not one hundred percent accurate. So, as a cumulative effect, Pitbulls have been pictured as dangerous dogs. We all should rather focus on spreading awareness about the importance of being a responsible dog parent rather than specific breeds.
Story by Diane Oxford. Oxford is a full-time contributor at DogNeedsBest. She usually prefers writing reviews on the products that she has already tried and tested during either pet sitting or on her pets – Charlie, a Ragdoll cat, and Jack, a Labrador.