Are pitbulls dangerous? The short answer is: it depends.
Being someone who’s been surrounded by pitbulls since before I could walk, my personal experience has shown me that they are not vicious. In fact, they are quite the opposite.
I’ve seen far more vicious Yorkie’s and terriers than pitbulls. But to get a full concept as to why these dogs have such a bad reputation, we’ll have to take a look at the past.
Why Pitbulls get a Bad Reputation
Historically, the barbaric Brit’s were not only fans of conquering cities and destroying them and their cultures, they were also huge fans of bloodsports.
Bloodsports usually involved either a human or an animal being tied to a post and having another more aggressive animal tear them to shreds.
One of their favorite bloodsports was bull and bear baiting, where they would tie up a bear or a bull and force the pitbulls to kill the larger animals.
Later on when bloodsports were outlawed, the Brit’s started putting pitbulls against each other and made them fight to the death while they placed their bets.
Why Pitbulls and not Any Other Breed?
Believe it or not, a pitbull is actually not its own breed. Pitbulls are a blend of different breeds over thousands of years.
Originally, they were Mastiffs or Old English Bulldogs bred with terriers to combine strength with agility and hunting skills. Out of all dog breeds, the terriers are the only dogs made to catch and kill their prey. So combining these genetics together was an effective mix for the Brits.
To make them attack, their owners would starve the dogs for weeks and beat them so they would learn to fight for food. If the dog didn’t want to fight, it would be severely beaten or even killed by its owner.
Are Pitbulls Safe to Have as a Pet?
Are pitbulls dangerous to have as a pet? As the owner of over 5 pitbulls in my lifetime, I can assure you that it’s not the breed that’s the problem. It’s the owner and the dog’s level of socialization.
Like any dog, pitbulls are bound to misbehave if they aren’t properly trained. I’ve even owned adopted past fighting dogs myself. None of them have ever bitten me or any of my family members.
When they are socialized as puppies with kids and other dogs, they can also be a great addition to your growing family.
Even the American Temperament Test Society says that pitbulls pass the temperament test 86.4% of the time. (Chihuahuas passed only 69% of the time).
Should I Adopt or Buy?
In my personal opinion, it depends on the kind of work you want to put in and your lifestyle.
Are pitbulls dangerous for kids? If you have young children, buying a puppy from a reputable breeder might be a better option for you. This way, you know the dog doesn’t have any past issues and you can train and socialize them the right way.
If this will be your first dog, I recommend choosing one of these breeds for your first family pet.
The two pitties we have now we got from two different breeders. We got them each at about 10 weeks old. When people ask me why my dogs are so well trained, it’s because we’ve been training and loving them for as long as they can remember!
If you’re single or childless, adopting might be a good option for you.
Shelter dogs can have some issues from their past like being food aggressive or dog aggressive. Which is not something you want with small kids running around.
I’ve adopted several adult pitbulls from the shelter and sometimes they can have unpredictable backgrounds. (This isn’t just pitbulls though, this is any dog.) If you can, try to get their background from the shelter, though it’s not always possible.
However if you don’t have kids and you are willing to put in enough time and love for a dog that may have been abused in their past, adopting is a fantastic option.
One of my favorite pitbulls was actually used as a bait dog during fights. From the moment I met him he was the sweetest dog ever. He would even leave the room if people started yelling because he was afraid of loud noises.
He never bit any people or dogs under my care. (I can’t say the same of the racoons or squirrels though. RIP.)
Are pitbulls dangerous? Most studies confirm that overall, the breed itself is not naturally dangerous. Pitbulls are great with kids and are wonderful family pets when treated and trained correctly.
Like any breed, a pitbull’s behavior is solely based on how their owner trains them. If they are yelled at and neglected, they are likely to not be friendly.
However if they are trained with patience, love, and positive reinforcement, they are likely to become your new best friend. I know mine are!
Do you have a pitbull? Post their pic in the comments!