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Are Pit Bulls Scary or Misunderstood?

Living 2011/05/03 11:00:00
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When it comes to pets, pit bulls often fall into the "so ugly they're cute category." And some people find them downright scary.

But pit bull defenders say the dogs are actually sweet-natured family pets, even though some cities ban them. And with pit bulls, pit mixes and lookalikes making up 40 to 80 percent of shelter dogs in some areas, they're trying to give the maligned pooches a makeover, USA Today reports.

Best Friends Animal Society recently launched a campaign called "Pit Bulls: Saving America's Dogs" to overcome the breeds' "media-driven bad reputation."

StubbyDog.org will soon begin "working with people in the entertainment industry" to cast pit bulls in a positive light in movies, sitcoms and games.

And Pretties with Pitties is organizing a walk around San Diego with adoptable rescued pits.

Do you think pit bulls are scary? Or just misunderstood?




Read More: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/pets...

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Top Opinion

  • kevildawg 2011/05/03 12:26:13
    Misunderstood
    kevildawg
    +16
    My son and I had a pit bull named Frannie. She was a wonderful dog. She really loved people, and she lived peacefullly with a cat. I even researched the breed and was pleasantly surprised to discover that Frannie was very typical of pit bulls. As a matter of fact, pit bulls do not make good watch dogs because they like people so much. As for the bad reputation associated with pit bulls, that is the fault of those terrible people who breed them for fighting AND the media which harps about that. Thanks for that great question.

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  • caleb clark 2014/06/19 21:47:07
    Misunderstood
    caleb clark
    I own a online pitbull stores and own a pitbull kennel that produces the finest red nose and blue nose pitbull puppies in the world. The pitbull breed is like a gun, they can be completely harmless if handled correctly but if you mishandled one it can be one of the most deadly weapons on this earth. So yes there is bad pitbulls out there just like bad people. But that is where a responsible owner comes into play with how they handle a bad pitbull
    http://www.finestpitbullsmade...
    http://www.pitbullsupply.com
    www finestpitbullsmade com
  • KCMamabear 2013/01/28 18:31:23
  • VoidSeed 2012/11/20 21:07:47 (edited)
    Scary
    VoidSeed
    Idk. Is it safe to keep an animal bred for & quite capable of taking on a large bull around small children?
  • Dr. Jimmie VoidSeed 2012/11/25 06:28:40
    Dr. Jimmie
    You mean like American Bulldogs? Rhodesian Ridgebacks? Shar-pei's? Akitas? Alaskan Malamutes? Boxers? Bull Terriers?
    All dogs bred to kill and hunt large animals. Get over yourself.
  • VoidSeed Dr. Jimmie 2012/11/25 06:33:50 (edited)
    VoidSeed
    Humans in general need to ' get over themselves' and stop forcing inbreeding on these dogs (wolves originally) to amuse us.
  • Dr. Jimmie VoidSeed 2013/02/02 16:47:25
    Dr. Jimmie
    +1
    They were not bred for our amusement, they were bred to help us. At least, the working dogs were.
  • S* 2011/08/28 04:49:18
    Scary
    S*
    +1
    The potential is there, and it is a gamble as to when it might happen.
    Here are the stats and the truth.

    http://dogbitelaw.com/dog-bit...
  • Paula C... S* 2011/11/22 09:13:37
    Paula Clarke
    You can say "the potential is there" of all dogs. And of all people, for that matter...
  • KCMamabear S* 2012/10/15 17:00:53
    KCMamabear
    You're getting your "statistics" from a law firm that specialized in suing people for dog bite related injuries? Pretty stupid, isn't that?
  • S* KCMamabear 2012/10/15 17:38:17
    S*
    Only if the stats are incorrect. If you cannot refute the stats, then questioning the stats is pretty stupid, isn't it.
    "Studies indicate that pit bull-type dogs were involved in approximately a third of human DBRF (i.e., dog bite related fatalities) reported during the 12-year period from 1981 through1992, and Rottweilers were responsible for about half of human DBRF reported during the 4 years from 1993 through 1996....[T]he data indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted for 67% of human DBRF in the United States between 1997 and 1998. It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities." (Sacks JJ, Sinclair L, Gilchrist J, Golab GC, Lockwood R. Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. JAVMA 2000;217:836-840.)
  • Dr. Jimmie S* 2012/11/19 20:43:18
    Dr. Jimmie
    +1
    I have to agree with KCMamabear. Sites like that can be highly biased.
    Let's take this for instance. " pit bull-type dogs". No where did that author say PIT BULL did he? Nope, he said pit bull TYPE. Which can range anywhere from American Pit Bull Terriers to a dog that LOOKS like one. From 1979-1998 there were 66 human fatalities from "pit bull TYPE" dogs.
    On average 150 people die from coconut accidents. Shall we get rid of those pesky coconut trees now?
    "55 (24%) deaths involved unrestrained dogs off the owners’ property, 133 (58%) involved unrestrained dogs on the owners’ property, 38 (17%) involved restrained dogs on the owners’ property, and 1 (< 1%) involved a restrained dog off the owner’s
    property" Hmm. Interesting, right? Seems as though this ALL plays into part of the OWNERS FAULT.
    http://articles.nydailynews.c...
    http://www.newson6.com/Global...
    (This one is graphic) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ne...
    http://articles.chicagotribun...
    http://www.goupstate.com/arti...
    http://www.sunjournal.com/nod...

    Hmm what's that? It's not just PIT BULLS that attack people? Oh my, what a shock that is.
    Even those wittle wabradors kill people. THIS is why we need to be more responsible with our dogs. There is no "dangerous dog breed" and there is no "best dog breed". I don't give A CRAP what th...
    I have to agree with KCMamabear. Sites like that can be highly biased.
    Let's take this for instance. " pit bull-type dogs". No where did that author say PIT BULL did he? Nope, he said pit bull TYPE. Which can range anywhere from American Pit Bull Terriers to a dog that LOOKS like one. From 1979-1998 there were 66 human fatalities from "pit bull TYPE" dogs.
    On average 150 people die from coconut accidents. Shall we get rid of those pesky coconut trees now?
    "55 (24%) deaths involved unrestrained dogs off the owners’ property, 133 (58%) involved unrestrained dogs on the owners’ property, 38 (17%) involved restrained dogs on the owners’ property, and 1 (< 1%) involved a restrained dog off the owner’s
    property" Hmm. Interesting, right? Seems as though this ALL plays into part of the OWNERS FAULT.
    http://articles.nydailynews.c...
    http://www.newson6.com/Global...
    (This one is graphic) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/ne...
    http://articles.chicagotribun...
    http://www.goupstate.com/arti...
    http://www.sunjournal.com/nod...

    Hmm what's that? It's not just PIT BULLS that attack people? Oh my, what a shock that is.
    Even those wittle wabradors kill people. THIS is why we need to be more responsible with our dogs. There is no "dangerous dog breed" and there is no "best dog breed". I don't give A CRAP what they are "known for" stop generalizing you jerk and get to know the DOG ITSELF.
    (more)
  • S* Dr. Jimmie 2012/11/19 20:49:01
    S*
    Jerk?
  • Dr. Jimmie S* 2012/11/19 20:54:17
    Dr. Jimmie
    You did accuse the breed of being dangerous, did you not?
  • S* Dr. Jimmie 2012/11/19 22:28:28 (edited)
    S*
    misdirected.
  • Dr. Jimmie S* 2012/11/20 19:12:00
    Dr. Jimmie
    Feels nice to be proven wrong, eh? ;)
  • S* Dr. Jimmie 2012/11/20 19:14:11 (edited)
    S*
    +1
    I am not proven wrong, I have the facts, i give links to my facts, you can have all the warm fuzzies towards potential biters you wish, but that does not prove me wrong.
  • Dr. Jimmie S* 2012/11/20 19:32:55
    Dr. Jimmie
    So have I. I have proven you plenty. I'll even give you some more proof, considering your lack of knowledge on dogs.

    This is a legitimate fact sheet: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrec...

    And another thing: "Each year, 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites; half of these are children. Of those injured, 386,000 require treatment in an emergency department and about 16 die. The rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for children ages 5 to 9 years, and the rate decreases as children age. Almost two thirds of injuries among children ages four years and younger are to the head or neck region. Injury rates in children are significantly higher for boys than for girls." Children are most likely to be injured. Why? Because they usually don't know how to act around a dog. And guess who isn't usually supervising them? Yep. You got it, the PARENTS/GUARDIANS.

    Here's your proof: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrec...

    Once more proving that it's THE OWNERS FAULT.
  • S* Dr. Jimmie 2012/11/20 19:40:01 (edited)
    S*
    nearly a million people, you are correct, you prove a point alright.

    http://www.americanhumane.org...
  • Dr. Jimmie S* 2012/11/20 19:47:08 (edited)
    Dr. Jimmie
    Yep. Dog bites, which includes non-fatal dog bites. Such as from chihuahuas or some other rat-ass dog. If you actually read anything I just posted, and had a, i dunno, brain to calculate and infer how this many dog bites has come to be. You would see where I'm coming from. However, you're nothing but ignorant.

    Also-- "From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. An additional 347 people died each year from drowning in boating-related incidents" Should we start banning water, now? ;-)
  • S* Dr. Jimmie 2012/11/20 22:39:24
    S*
    tell you what, champ. You are quick to be offensive, you started with name calling. I know quite a bit about dogs, perhaps more than you, and I do not care if your having sex with your pit bull, the facts remain, there are 4.7 million dog bites in the USA a year, and I would rather be bitten by Chihuahua than a pit bull, and that is my point. If you look at the Deaths, more than half of them were delivered by 2 to 4% of the total breeds, by dogs that had never displayed aggression before, so there was no warning. Were I attacked by a dog, or someone of my family, I would kill the dog, and if the owner protested, I would off them too. That is my feeling of personal responsibility. SO spare me your stats about how lovable your Rot and Pit are, they have potential, and I will treat them as such. Be gone.
  • S* S* 2012/11/20 23:07:19 (edited)
    S*
    Of the breeds most often involved in incidents of sufficient severity
    to be listed, pit bull terriers are noteworthy for attacking adults almost as frequently as children.
    This is a very rare pattern: children are normally at greatest risk from dogbite because they play with dogs more often, have less experience in reading dog behavior, are more likely to engage in activity that alarms or stimulates a dog, and are less able to
    defend themselves when a dog becomes aggressive. Pit bulls seem to differ behaviorally from other dogs in having far less inhibition about attacking people who are larger than they are. They are also notorious for attacking seemingly without warning, a tendency exacerbated by the custom of docking pit bulls' tails so that warning signals are not easily recognized. Thus
    the adult victim of a pit bull attack may have had little or no opportunity to read the warning signals that would avert an attack from any other dog.

    Poor supervision? I do not think so. so read the facts and get off my case.

    http://dogbitelaw.com/images/...
  • Dr. Jimmie S* 2012/11/25 05:59:03
    Dr. Jimmie
    I don't own a Pit Bull, they are banned where I live, idiot. Any dog has potential to attack. A close friend of mine was mauled to death by her Labrador Retriever a few years back. Any dog can turn on you, there is no "statistically proven" dog that is more likely to turn on you. American Pit Bull Terriers were bred to fight dogs, yeah, they were. They are a breed of pure muscle and determination, they are a breed that is affectionate and willing to please. They are a person-oriented dog. These dogs, like any big dog, are a hazard, they can bite, and they can kill, just like any other large breed. There was a test done a while back, Pit Bulls show just as much of a warning as any other breed. Pit Bulls are a fearless breed with the dedication to their owners, and WILL attack if you try to harm them.

    Pit Bull attacks count for .041 of the entire dog population. Now tell me how all Pit Bulls attack, when they are considered one of America's most popular breed? Tell me why none of my birth mothers 4 Pit Bulls, who are all over 9 years old, have never mauled anyone or have never shown any aggression. Aren't they "ticking time bombs"? Why aren't there thousands of pit bull bites/attacks every year? There's a lot them, and they all attack, remember? I'm afraid, that your statistics only count for the minority of the dog population as a whole. Please, educate yourself, you need it. Idiots, idiots everywhere. :-)
  • S* Dr. Jimmie 2012/11/25 06:45:06
    S*
    I will type really slowly for you. You either are not reading what I write, or you not intelligent to understand what I am saying.
    There are no absolutes in the world, and I do not say all Pit Bulls will attack, but if you were attacked by a dog, would you rather it a Chihuahua than a pit bull? If you say no, you are truly less intelligent than I consider you now.

    your statement.
    "Now tell me how all Pit Bulls attack, when they are considered one of America's most popular breed?"

    my statement
    " I would rather be bitten by Chihuahua than a pit bull, and that is my point. If you look at the Deaths, more than half of them were delivered by 2 to 4% of the total breeds, by dogs that had never displayed aggression before, so there was no warning. "

    my statement
    "Of the breeds most often involved in incidents of sufficient severity
    to be listed, pit bull terriers are noteworthy for attacking adults almost as frequently as children.
    This is a very rare pattern: children are normally at greatest risk from dogbite because they play with dogs more often, have less experience in reading dog behavior, are more likely to engage in activity that alarms or stimulates a dog, and are less able to
    defend themselves when a dog becomes aggressive. Pit bulls seem to differ behaviorally from other dogs in...



















    I will type really slowly for you. You either are not reading what I write, or you not intelligent to understand what I am saying.
    There are no absolutes in the world, and I do not say all Pit Bulls will attack, but if you were attacked by a dog, would you rather it a Chihuahua than a pit bull? If you say no, you are truly less intelligent than I consider you now.

    your statement.
    "Now tell me how all Pit Bulls attack, when they are considered one of America's most popular breed?"

    my statement
    " I would rather be bitten by Chihuahua than a pit bull, and that is my point. If you look at the Deaths, more than half of them were delivered by 2 to 4% of the total breeds, by dogs that had never displayed aggression before, so there was no warning. "

    my statement
    "Of the breeds most often involved in incidents of sufficient severity
    to be listed, pit bull terriers are noteworthy for attacking adults almost as frequently as children.
    This is a very rare pattern: children are normally at greatest risk from dogbite because they play with dogs more often, have less experience in reading dog behavior, are more likely to engage in activity that alarms or stimulates a dog, and are less able to
    defend themselves when a dog becomes aggressive. Pit bulls seem to differ behaviorally from other dogs in having far less inhibition about attacking people who are larger than they are. They are also notorious for attacking seemingly without warning, a tendency exacerbated by the custom of docking pit bulls' tails so that warning signals are not easily recognized. Thus
    the adult victim of a pit bull attack may have had little or no opportunity to read the warning signals that would avert an attack from any other dog."

    Here is another site that says the same thing.

    http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-b...

    31 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2011. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 650 U.S. cities, pit bulls led these attacks accounting for 71% (22). Pit bulls make up less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population.3
    Notably in 2011, adult victims of fatal pit bull attacks more than doubled the number of child victims. Of the 22 total pit bull victims, 68% (15) fell between the ages of 32 to 76, and 32% (7) were ages 5 years and younger.
    The year 2011 also marks an increase in pet pit bulls killing their owners. Of the 8 total instances this year in which a family dog inflicted fatal injury to its primary caretaker, the dog's owner, 88% (7) involved pet pit bulls.
    Together, pit bulls (22) and rottweilers (4), the number two lethal dog breed, accounted for 84% of all fatal attacks in 2011. In the 7-year period from 2005 to 2011, this same combination accounted for 74% (157) of the total recorded deaths (213).

    2005 2011 combination accounted 74 157 total recorded deaths 213

    Those are facts. I understand stats a bit, I understand that people get smoked by lightening as often as dogs kill people, but that does not release pit bulls from being responsible for a large number of severe dog bites and the majority of fatalities. So you are in essence saying regardless of the facts, Pit Bulls are not scary, merely misunderstood, as the question is asked. Is lightening scary? Yes. Ever been in Orlando for the afternoon lightening strike display? Do you run around outside and huddle under trees and metal lightening rods during the storm? I think not.

    Let me repeat what I had posted just above.

    "Together, pit bulls (22) and rottweilers (4), the number two lethal dog breed, accounted for 84% of all fatal attacks in 2011. In the 7-year period from 2005 to 2011, this same combination accounted for 74% (157) of the total recorded deaths (213)".

    Try reading the information and quit attacking someone with more information than you and who is certainly not emotionally attached to the breed to the point of being blinded by facts. I like dogs, but I would never own a Rot or Pit Bull, merely because of liability. Other dogs bite, but would you like to live with the responsibility of having your pet kill an individual? I do not, but if that obviously is not a concern for you, as it does not seem to be for many people who purchase pit bulls, then do the right thing and control the dog at all times. This discussion is over.
    (more)
  • rodney 2011/07/01 18:02:38
    Misunderstood
    rodney
    its not the dog its the owner
  • tintin 2011/05/04 22:27:59
    Misunderstood
    tintin
    I think it is mostly on the owner, how Pit Bulls behave. Its the same with most animals, If they are lucky enough to be in an environment where their basic animals needs are taken care of, such as food, water. shelter, and love then they should be fine as mainstream household pets. It is the negative light that is put on them that makes some people shy away from them because of how they are used in dog fighting.
  • Lovely006 2011/05/04 17:05:22
    Misunderstood
    Lovely006
    Pit Bulls are only scary when they have to be, they only attack when they don't know who's near them so they protect themselves and i know that because i got one of my own.
  • Tabbi 2011/05/04 16:41:08
    Misunderstood
    Tabbi
    i love pit bulls!
  • Lanikai 2011/05/04 16:37:32
    Misunderstood
    Lanikai
    Both, needed to be an option.


    I have been introduced to several who are just big teddy bears. They were fabulous dogs, with a heart for their families. Amazing, loving, and gentle dogs.

    However, I have several customers who FIGHT their pits-THOSE, specifically, are very scary.

    I am asserting that OWNERS make the difference. Nurture in these cases makes ALL the difference.
  • Paula C... Lanikai 2011/11/22 09:14:03
  • bruce banner 2011/05/04 16:27:21
    Misunderstood
    bruce banner
    +2
    IT DEPENDS ON HOW THEY ARE TRAINED.
  • Gloria 2011/05/04 16:02:59 (edited)
    Misunderstood
    Gloria
    +1


    The video makes me cry. The photo taken at an adoption event for Chicagoland Bully Breed. I don't have a dog but bull dogs are beautiful!
  • shydreamguy 2011/05/04 16:00:14
    Misunderstood
    shydreamguy
    +2
    what some dont understand is these dogs are protective of thier owners.
    if you SNEAK into thier back yard yes you will get part of your face torn off.
  • Sinsin 2011/05/04 15:40:18
    Misunderstood
    Sinsin
    +2
    Definitely!
  • MissJo 2011/05/04 15:36:36
    Misunderstood
    MissJo
    +1
    It's the TRAINING, not the dog!
    Pits are really sweet, I've met some that are total lap dogs. I remember one day I was sitting out in the middle of a field and I happened to glance over to see a pit bull charging at me. Scary right? Yeah, I knew I was pretty much screwed so I didn't even bother trying to run... but when she finally reached me she jumped on me and started licking my face and then followed me around until I could find her owner. I nicknamed her Honey, she was a sweetie.

    My cousin also rescues fighting dogs... there was one young girl named Patches. She was the sweetest, you wouldn't have been able to tell she was a fighter if she wasn't covered in wounds. She got along perfect with two far smaller dogs (she was scared of my pug, in fact) and adored the three year old child running around. I wanted to adopt her sooo bad but my mom said no because we own a lot of other animals, and we were unsure how she'd be around cats, ferrets, and rats. Probably wouldn't have turned out pretty given how she was raised... but I loved her to bits.

    animals cats ferrets rats turned pretty raised loved bits
  • Rachel 2011/05/04 15:26:12
    Misunderstood
    Rachel
    +1
    Pit Bulls, in general, are wonderful dogs. They are loving, people-pleasing, intelligent that do very well as therapy, service, search & rescue, and police dogs. They are ranked very well in temperament testing at 86.4%, which is better than many common dog breeds like Yorkies, Poodles, Aussies, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Collies, Bichons, Dachshunds, Dalmatians, German Shepherds (84.4%), Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, Malteses, Min Pins, Schnauzers, etc. Check the website: http://www.atts.org/statistic...

    The breed isn't the problem - it's how they are raised and bred. Too many bad breeders focus on this breed, and too many bad owners buy them, and too many bad people fight them. The chances of finding a bad apple are much greater with this breed than probably others because it's been over-bred, over-sold, and over-fought (which any amount of fighting = too much). The odds are stacked against them, and it's not the dog's, or breed's, fault. Blame the humans - we are the scary ones.

    I work at a vet clinic and most of the pit bulls I see and meet are awesome dogs. I much more dread working with the labs or the little dogs, like Shih Tzus (they tend to be more fractious), than with the pits, who tend to be more scared of me (though docile) than I ever am of them.
  • Eric 2011/05/04 14:54:16
    Misunderstood
    Eric
    +1
    My son got a pit bull and I was nervous about it but he is a delightful dog. As long as I don't pretend that I am punching my daughter-in-law.
  • EmoPrincess((: 2011/05/04 14:19:12
    Misunderstood
    EmoPrincess((:
    My aunt has a pit and its the sweetest dog youll ever met....i mean she scared of her own shadow....i mean come on.....why do people tret them so badly?
  • I am me 2011/05/04 14:05:23
    Misunderstood
    I am me
    +1
    Considering any dog can be a dangerous dog... even a stupid little rat dog (ie Chihuahua's and miniature Pinscher's) can be dangerous.... and it all depends on how or if people train them...
  • Roy George 2011/05/04 13:59:05
    Misunderstood
    Roy George
    +1
    Now this is scary! scary michael vick
  • BlondieBrownEyes 2011/05/04 13:50:45
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