ARE PIT BULLS DANGEROUS?
We at Doggy Brace firmly believe that all dogs are born good. They all deserve loving homes that train and treat them right. However, this isn’t always the case. Due to this particular breed’s history and their facial structure, many shy away from pit bulls. So today we’re tackling the question: are pit bulls dangerous?
The answer? Not more than any other dog breed. Here’s why.
About Pit Bulls
Did you know that pit bulls aren’t actually a specific breed? The term “pit bull” is commonly used to refer to mixed breed dogs with certain physical traits, such as a muscular body and broad head.
Breeds that can be considered a pit bull include:
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- American Bulldog
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
When it comes to their personality, all of these breeds evolved to be farm-dogs or nanny dogs because of their protective and gentle natures. They are usually very sweet around children too and LOVE humans. They are extremely eager to please and will happily do an excited dance when you’re coming home from work.
Their tenacity, gameness, and courage make them popular competitors in the sports of weight pulling, agility, and obedience. Despite the rumors, they are good dogs.
Speaking of those rumors, let’s address them now.
Are Pit Bulls Dangerous?
Some pit bulls are dangerous, yes. But some dogs are always dangerous. So why the bad rep? Well, data shows that pits do attack more dogs and people than any other breed. However, it is very important to remember that pit bulls are actually four dog breeds, which immediately skews the data out of their favor.
But are those four types of dogs more dangerous?
No — these dogs are not born more aggressive than any other dog breed. Instead, they have a dangerous history that created this idea.
Dog Fights Created the ‘Pit Bulls are Dangerous’ Stigma
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, dog fights were all the rage in the US. Pit bulls were the top contenders. They were trained to be violent for profit, which is not the fault of the dog in our opinion.
Thankfully, such a practice was banned from the US in 1976, but it still continued for many years after that. Those that survived the dog fights were never trained to be good household dogs. This can explain why there was a sharp increase of dog bite fatalities between 1978 and 1998 caused by pit bulls.
Additionally, Michael Vick’s 2007 dogfighting scandal brought on more bad rep for the dogs, as they were trained for this illegal practice. Perhaps a silver lining to this story is that this scandal also helped galvanize the pro-pit-bull movement.
So, their violent history created the myth that they’re dangerous. But what about the rumors that they don’t like kids, can’t be trained, or have the strongest bite out of all dogs?
Pit Bulls are Naturally Friendly Dogs
You may not believe it until you see it, but pits love to play and they love to cuddle. They’re actually quite clingy and hate being left alone!
It’s true that they do have a high prey drive due to its being bred to chase and subdue livestock, however, they are not naturally aggressive towards people. Most of them love children too and are content to just sit next to them and have a tea party or follow after them during a walk.
With other animals, pits are just like any other dog. Socialize them early and they’ll be great with other pets.
Do Pit Bulls Have a Strong Jaw?
Yes, they have huge heads. No, they’re not strong biters. In fact, their bite strength is weaker than most breeds. A pit bull will bite with around 300 pounds of pressure, which is a little less than the average 320 psi.
For comparison sake, let’s put them up against another breed: rottweilers. Rottweilers have a bite strength of 328 psi. Another breed, the American Bulldog (a breed that can be considered a pit) comes in at 305 psi!
So, in short, pit bulls aren’t the strongest bitters. They don’t even have above-average bite strength. And no, they can’t lock their jaws — no mammal can.
Because of their people-pleasing nature, pit bulls are highly trainable. They actually make excellent therapy dog candidates because of this!
Like with every dog, early socialization is key. With pits, this is even more important because of the stigma around the breed, not because of their intelligence. So get them socialized early to show the world just how good they really are.
If you do get a pit bull, we recommend training it not to approach a person unless that person calls them. A lot of people are afraid of this breed and may mistake a pit bull greeting as an attack. This will protect your dog and will help break negative stigmas about them.
So…Are Pit Bulls Dangerous?
We like to think they’re not. They have a rough history that created stigmas about them. At their core, they want to be goofy lovebugs who smile at you day and night. We do understand why some people might be afraid of them, but we highly recommend that you meet a pit bull and see for yourself how good these dogs can be.