(Closed) NWR – Pitbulls: What's your stance?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 61
Member
7473 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

The thing is, dogs are bred for certain characteristics. There are herding dpgs, hunting dogs/ retrievers, dogs intended to catch pests (many terriers), etc. Pit bulls are bred to fight. That doesn’t mean that they cannot be trained well and never hurt someone; they can. But as others have mentioned, ALL animals can be unpredictable. A dog can attack for seemingly no reason, and if a pit bull does so, it is virtually impossible to stop it. No one thinks that their own sweet dog could possibly harm anyone, but ANY dog can. No one thinks it can ever happen to them, but it does far more often than is comfortable for me. A smaller dog attacking can mean bites and possibly stitches; a pit bull (and several other breeds) attacking can mean death. I wouldn’t risk one around children, ever. Children can do stupid things, even after being instructed not to. If a dog snaps, I’d rather it not be fatal.

Post # 62
Member
591 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2017

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echomomm :  Quite the contrary; pitbulls may have been selectively bred for fighting other dogs, but human aggression was never bred into the breed. It made no sense to have a dog who would not listen to commands from the owner during a fight, so it was an undesirable trait. Human aggression and dog aggression are two completely separate beasts.

Post # 63
Member
97 posts
Worker bee

I, personally, am pro-pit bull. I think people forget that they used to be the “nanny-dog”. 

With that being said, I understand the limitations of my dogs. They were adopted from the shelter and badly socialized – they don’t go to dog parks nor are they ever walked off leash. 

Post # 64
Member
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

I have known wonderful, incredibly sweet pitbulls, and I’m another vote for good owners make good dogs, regardless of the breed. That being said, I would never get a pitbull myself. I would never get any dog larger than about 35 lbs. My current dog is 20 lbs.

I always want to be able to easily and completely physically handle my dog. I say this because I know I’m not the most capable dog trainer. I’ve done dog training classes with him, I take him to daycare to socialize him, I work with him on his behavior, and in general I think he’s a really good dog who I love very much. Even so, he’s still an energetic guy, and he occasionally jumps up on people when they enter the house, runs after a squirrel when we’re on a walk, etc. I’m no Ceasar Milan. When trained by the average person, I think dogs are dogs and they aren’t 100% predictable. I like to feel confident that when those things happen, it won’t be physically difficult for me to wrangle my dog. I think most pitbulls are just too strong for me to feel confident about that. But I feel the same way about most labs- haha.

I am not opposed to small rescue dogs that have some pitbull in them, though. As long as I feel like I can manage the dog, I don’t care what breed.

Post # 66
Member
2844 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

One thing that I didn’t mention in my previous comment: 

If you do decide to rescue a pitbull (or a bonded pair of pitbulls) please learn their own personal limitations before taking them out into large groups. Unfortunately, it only takes one bad apple to ruin things for the rest of them. We take precautions when taking Roxie anywhere because we know it makes others a little more comfortable with her around. Roxie doesn’t need a harness because she has been trained to follow a lead but we invested in one regardless because it tends to send the message that she is more secure. The harness that we use is bright pink and has bold text on it that reads “FRIENDLY.” 

If you end up with a pup that is overly protective of you or does not like the company of strange dogs, they make harnesses and leads that say that as well. 

Post # 67
Member
939 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969 - City, State

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kawood0618 :  Sorry to hear you lost your Boomer 🙁  (We had msgd briefly a few months back about putting him on a raw diet).  

 

I personally wouldn’t own a pitbull, too much liability for me, and just not what I’m looking for in a companion.  I also don’t buy the whole “it’s how they’re raised argument”, which is one of the first things you hear out of most pit owner’s mouths.  I see a lot of people rescuing pits and bringing them to off leash areas within a week of having them, having no clue what they are capable of, so the ignorance is definitely there.  I keep my dog away from certain breeds, for his own safety and my own sanity.  

Post # 69
Member
3960 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

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kawood0618 :  My opinion of pitbulls is my opinion of all pets: Train it, treat it well, and I have zero problems. I have little patience for bad pet owners (and I consider you a bad pet owner if your animal is poorly trained–jumping, aggressive, etc–or mistreated so that it becomes aggressive). When I see a pitbull, I don’t get more frightened than if I see another dog. I have several friends who own pits and they are total sweethearts. I expect all dog owners to leash their dogs when out walking around because at the end of the day, regardless of the temperment or breed, a dog (pitbull or otherwise) is still an animal–it can be spooked or set off by something inoccuous and can become unmanageable within seconds. 

My final stance is that it is ABSOLUTELY a nurture vs. nature thing. Under the proper ownership, I think a pitbull can and will be a wonderful family dog. But left to an aggressive or abusive owner, I don’t see how *any* breed can thrive. 

Post # 70
Member
339 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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kawood0618 :  my husband and I rescued a pit mix from a shelter a year ago and she has turned out to be the sweetest dog I’ve ever met. And she LOVES kids. She is so sweet and gentle with every kid and dog she meets. She is so sweet that we are working to get her certified as a therapy dog. I’ve worked as a vet tech and I’ve seen a golden retriever put in rabies quarentine for biting a kid in the face, and I’ve seen aggressive pit bulls. Actually, if you read the number of bites per year pit bulls are actually pretty far down the list. You just don’t hear about it in the media unless it’s a pit bull. 

Post # 71
Member
339 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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leembee :  if you really read the numbers on dog bites you’ll find that pits are really far down on the list of reported bites. People do this to me sometimes with my pit mix and it always makes me so mad. I take her to the dog park and doggie day care at least twice a week and I’ve never had a problem. 

Post # 72
Member
1307 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: City, State

In Hawaii 75% of dogs are pit mixes so theyʻre super normal and Iʻm around them A LOT. However, I am not a huge fan of having a pet of any kind, and anything that could potentilly kill a child, I refuse to own. I dont have the time for a pet so the training that ALL dog breeds need would not happen which isnt fair to anyone and my childʻs life, my neighborʻs childʻs life, is worth more than my need to have a pet of any dangerous potential. 

Post # 73
Member
912 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I used to be anti-pitt. When my husband (then boyfriend) told me he was getting a pitt mix, I was so unsure. I was terrified of temper, of jaw-strength, of how the pitt would get along with our existing Shepherd dog. Dogs are a huge commitment – what about when we had children? I couldn’t have KIDS around a PITT.

Fast forward to getting the dog in question. Our Rebel has been with us since puppy-hood and was rejected by his father – his face had been bitten and he was covered in mud, ticks and fleas We didn’t know if he would make it.

He did. And he proved to be the most loving, loyal, funny dog ever. He’s a social butterfly, a total baby. He loves attention, he has a full-body tail wag, and he thinks he’s a lapdog.

This dog is amazing with children – my nephew is four. Rebel follows him around, lets him pull his tail, gives him kisses. When his father was rough-housing with him? Rebel hated it, was immensely protective.

Rebel got sick during our family vacation to the beach with Swimmers’ Tail. He was in pain and when I tried to check his tail he snapped at me – but he intentionally missed me because he KNEW he didn’t want to hurt me. It was animal instinct to lash out and he FOUGHT IT.

Dogs are animals. Animals are, by nature, full of unpredictable instincts. A child should never be left alone with any dog. There are good dogs, and there are bad dogs. There are some dogs that are naturally predisposed to aggression. This is not true of an entire breed. It’s just not.

Post # 74
Member
6988 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

We just got a precious pit mix at the beginning of the year. I was a little nervous about it because she would be our son’s first dog (he’s 7). When we were searching, I was firm about no pits, no large breeds, nothing I can’t punt and fuck up if it looks like it’s going crazy or attacking. My husband (who has had several dogs) kept insisting that we should find a dog we liked with a great temperament and as soon as we met our sweet girl, he looked at me and said “This is the one. Let’s get her.”

I was still a little wary because of her breed and we were told to be prepared for her to get to be 50-60 pounds (they overestimated- she’ll barely top out at 40). The last few months with her have really changed my perspective (that and the fact that my husband has been making sure to send me EVERYTHING he can possibly find with more details about the truth about pitbulls and pit mixes.) Golden retrievers in studies are as likely (or more likely) to bite as pit bulls- no one is talking about banning them. 

Our dog is super sweet and submissive. She’s deleriously happy to meet new people and animals. We take her places with us often so she’s well socialized and we’re also training her (for her sake as well as for others) well. I recently told my husband- “I understand how people can feel certain that their dog would never deliberately harm someone.” Granted, she is still a dog, but she has never yet shown any signs of aggression – not even to the cat who was larger than her when she first arrived and is now half her size. My mother, who has never had a dog, adores her and is completely comfortable with her.

My uncle used to raise pit bulls and always had a couple/few at his home for protection but I don’t know how well socialized they really were since they were always kept away from everyone but him and his wife.

I’m still attentive when my son is with our dog, but I’m more concerned that he’ll be scratched by the cat than that the dog will harm him.

Post # 75
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee

As I understand it pitties as a breed are no more inclined to attack dogs or people than most other breeds; it’s just their physical jaw make up, like most of the “bull” breeds, that enables them do potentially more damage – and of course all the wrong people like to have them to capitalize on that 😡

They are nowhere near as common in my country as in the US but I would never rule out having one – like any animal, you just have to know your pet and its limitations and be responsible.

Best of luck in the search for your new fur family members 😊

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