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Old 01-28-2013, 12:08 PM   #61
eGraham
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As has been mentioned, any breed of dog's personality relies heavily on its owner. That being said, pit bulls have really naturally strong, locking jaws, and that's what makes them good candidates for dog fighting, and what makes them particularly dangerous.

I don't believe that pit bulls are any more inclined to attack a human than a terrior. But the fact remains that a pit bull biting you is a worst-case scenario in the realm of dogs.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:09 PM   #62
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Ok I have had pits through all my adult life, and I can definitely attest to this: Pits are NOT naturally vicious towards people. They don't have a natural agression towards humans like certain breeds that were bred specifically for guard dog duties (Chow Chows are mean mofos!).
Pit's have a diverse history, as terriers, they specialized in digging and catching vermin so because of that they have a high "prey-drive" which means they LOVE to chase things but plenty of breeds are like that, Huskies are notoriously high "prey-drive" dogs.
Of course there's the history of animal fighting and bull baiting but bull dogs were also bred for bull baiting and animal fighting came as a result of the pit bulls physique not because they were specifically bred for fighting.
In the early 20th century their nicknames were "nanny" dogs because of their loyalty to their family, parents would leave their children in the care of the dogs and the dog would chaperone the kids while they were away. Google "nanny" dog and you'll see some old photos of pit's and kids together.
Why pits might bite:
1. not well socialized, you keep a dog chained by itself in a backyard for years on end, don't be surprised if it doesn't do well around strangers or other animals.
2. Loyalty. Pits are unbelievably loyal dogs, gladly willing to put themselves in harms way
3. Asshole owners who like pits for the "tough guy" status and literally promotes biting in his dogs by antagonizing the shit out of them
4. People never stop to think it might be the other dog antagonizing the pit. Because the pit has such a bad rep, people will assume it was the fault of the pit.
The stigma is so surprising to me, if a golden retriever bites someone it must've been that the dog was under stress and the person did something wrong. If it's a pit in that situation, then it's a vicious beast that needs to be put down. I hate that double standard.
If you raised the pit yourself, it will be the most gentle creature around you and your loved ones. My friend's pit sleeps by her baby's crib and refuses to leave that spot unless the baby is moved. My dog Snoopy has is the biggest mush, cries when I close the bathroom door to shower and everything. You'd never realize he's a 70lb little brick house haha.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:10 PM   #63
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Like any dog, pit bulls are born with a potential for violence, it's just that pit bulls also have the build to back up that potential, but also like any dog, with the right training and raising techniques they can make great family pets.
We've had pit-bulls, bull-terriers and bull-terrier crosses, each one was a little hard work at first, (because that's just what puppies are like) and each one had it's own personality, but every one of them turned out to make great adult dogs.


Essentially this. My best friend has had multiple pit bulls and they've all been great dogs. They're very high strung and annoying (if you're a guest in their house they won't leave you alone) but not violent unless trained to be that way.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:13 PM   #64
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^ some dogs do naturally have worse temperaments though. for a while we had two dogs, one was a husky-lab mix and the other was a lab-chow mix. as the chow got older, he got a lot more aggressive with the friendly husky-lab. we never mistreated dogs. always had a lot to eat. always got enough time inside and outside. played with them. slept on our beds and furniture. we treat our pets just like anyone else in our family. and yet the chow started to freak out and get really territorial with the other dog. he never really got angry at us. but he would try to kill our other dog for no reason. had to eventually get rid of him after my mom got a horrible bite breaking up a fight.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:16 PM   #65
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Aye, it's not really going anywhere when it's just "I had a nice one!" vs "oh but I saw a horrible one!"


The stats I quoted off wiki a short while back though did sound significant. I think it was approximately 50% of dog attacks were from pitbulls, which when you think that covers about 3 breeds of dog is quite a lot.
That's quite a significant amount indeed, although it doesn't say anything about what's causing this.

Judging from what I know about animal behaviour, I'm assuming that pit bulls have a higher chance of having a violent personality (since they've been bred that way), yet external factors (owners) can be a major influence on how this develops.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:29 PM   #66
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That's quite a significant amount indeed, although it doesn't say anything about what's causing this.

Judging from what I know about animal behaviour, I'm assuming that pit bulls have a higher chance of having a violent personality (since they've been bred that way), yet external factors (owners) can be a major influence on how this develops.

Aye it's not as simple as there being a high rate of attacks so the dogs are more violent.

For a start, it's only reported attacks, and I imagine a large part of why more pitbull attacks are reported is that they'd do a lot more damage than say... a chihuahua attack. For all we know, chihuahua attacks could outnumber attacks from all other breeds, but since a chihuahua attack is seen as at most annoying nobody cares.

Whether more dangerous or not in their temperament, their power means they are more dangerous in terms of what happens if they do attack.


And then of course, you have to consider how their reputation as dangerous dogs probably increases how often they are reported as responsible for attacks. Both because people might perceive an incident from a pit bull as more significant than one from another dog, and because people who want a violent dog would get one and make it violent. Their reputation as violent would actually increase the number of pit bulls that ARE violent.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:29 PM   #67
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Physically yes they are built for violence and fighting but mentally no way. Its all in how they are raised. Thats like saying one could be raised in a happy stress free enviroment raised around other dogs in peace and then suddenly snap.

Also id like to add that both Chows and cocker spaniels stats wise are more likely to turn on their owners.

Also that Toy Poodles and chichuahuas tend to display the more "aggressive" traits of dogs (hunting,spraying territory,territory issues) moreso than other dogs as well often biting people and attacking other animals.

Alot of other breeds are actually more territorial and naturally aggressive then Pits. Only thing is they dont have a huge history behind them of being trained fighters and no breed listed in this post can match the damage they do when attacking.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:36 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Ninja#117
Physically yes they are built for violence and fighting but mentally no way. Its all in how they are raised. Thats like saying one could be raised in a happy stress free enviroment raised around other dogs in peace and then suddenly snap.

That kind of scenario can happen with humans, why can't it happen with a dog? Raising a pit bull in the same environment as your family instead of some other breed not bred to simply be an attack dog is like telling your loved ones "I trust that this dog won't one day snap and have an incident more than I care about my own concern for your unconditional safety".
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:44 PM   #69
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So if it's purely the owner, why do you only hear about pit bull attacks and not attacks from other dogs?

Is it the dog or the type of person who is attracted to them?
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:44 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by MadClownDisease
*smart man's talk*
It's quite plausible that the stats are biased indeed, I hadn't thought of that yet.

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Originally Posted by Ninja#117
Physically yes they are built for violence and fighting but mentally no way. Its all in how they are raised.
Selective breeding doesn't just focus on physical traits, it can be focussed on behavioural traits as well, and has been done so in dogs.

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Thats like saying one could be raised in a happy stress free enviroment raised around other dogs in peace and then suddenly snap.
Just like some people can just snap without any apparent reason.

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Also id like to add that both Chows and cocker spaniels stats wise are more likely to turn on their owners.
Always share the stats if you're referring to any .
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:46 PM   #71
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And then of course, you have to consider how their reputation as dangerous dogs probably increases how often they are reported as responsible for attacks. Both because people might perceive an incident from a pit bull as more significant than one from another dog, and because people who want a violent dog would get one and make it violent. Their reputation as violent would actually increase the number of pit bulls that ARE violent.


Hell yes to this. Another issue is that bully breeds look pretty similar and it's easy to just assume it's a pit bull when in fact it could be something like a Presa Canario, an American Bulldog, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino. Or even more likely a mix. If you got a dog that's part lab, part pit, part shepherd or something, how can you specifically say that it was the pit bull part of it that lead to agression? But dog attack cases are based on the features we see, not a specific identification of the dog species, so a lot of attacks get mislabeled as a Pit attack when it was actually a mutt or another breed altogether.
I read an article about a poor pup that got put down in Belfast simply because it LOOKED like a pit. It never attacked anyone, or anything. But it just goes to show how easy it is to misidentify a dog. Couple that with the pit's reputation and I can't help but think that a good portion of reported pit attacks are mislabeled.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:46 PM   #72
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So if it's purely the owner, why do you only hear about pit bull attacks and not attacks from other dogs?

Is it the dog or the type of person who is attracted to them?


Because a Labrador mauling a kid is news nobody wants to hear.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:47 PM   #73
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Because a Labrador mauling a kid is news nobody wants to hear.

Well that's not true at all.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:48 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by element4433
So if it's purely the owner, why do you only hear about pit bull attacks and not attacks from other dogs?

Is it the dog or the type of person who is attracted to them?

My post a few posts above has a few ideas on the matter.

I think essentially it could be a combination of selective reinforcement (on the cases that are reported/remembered), that due to their build they'd do a lot of damage if they attacked (so even if they attack less than others, you'd hear more about it), and it being a self-fulfilling prophecy (people think they're violent, so people who want a violent dog get one and make it violent).


That's not to say it might not be that they're naturally aggressive or dangerous, but just a few thoughts on why they might give that impression.

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Originally Posted by LightxGrenade
Hell yes to this. Another issue is that bully breeds look pretty similar and it's easy to just assume it's a pit bull when in fact it could be something like a Presa Canario, an American Bulldog, Cane Corso, Dogo Argentino.

Funnily enough, Argentine Dogos are actually banned in the UK.


However, apparently so are pit bulls, which is what I don't understand as Staffordshire bull terriers are legal and according to wiki they're pit bulls...
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:49 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by element4433
So if it's purely the owner, why do you only hear about pit bull attacks and not attacks from other dogs?

Is it the dog or the type of person who is attracted to them?


someone made the point up there that it's more the damage a pitbull can do due to their sheer size and strength in comparison to other breeds.

i agree with you, but i also think that's a fair counterpoint.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:51 PM   #76
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The dangerous dogs act is often misunderstood, the law actually states that any dog that RESEMBLES a banned breed can be euthanised on that fact alone. You can have solid evidence that your dog is a pure bred Staffordshire Bull Terrier who has never so much as growled at anyone, if the police deem that dog to be "pit bull type", it's bye bye pooch. The "type" part means they need only resemble a banned breed.

My wife is a Vet Nurse, and is active with dog rescues etc. She's pretty passionate about breed specific legislation.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:51 PM   #77
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That kind of scenario can happen with humans, why can't it happen with a dog? Raising a pit bull in the same environment as your family instead of some other breed not bred to simply be an attack dog is like telling your loved ones "I trust that this dog won't one day snap and have an incident more than I care about my own concern for your unconditional safety".

But Pit's aren't bred to be attack dogs, let me specific about this - the role of the pit was not meant to be an attack dog - if people USE them to be attack dogs, that's their issue but you can easily turn a husky into an attack dog with the proper training. The majority of Pitts don't have a natural agression like people assume and that is something that is trained into them by asshole owners.
If you want to talk about dogs bred for defense or attack, Dobermans, Chow Chow's, Bull Mastiffs, Rottweilers and German Shepherds were specifically bred for those purposes and DO have a natural agression for humans. I would assume you don't think people should own those dogs either right?
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:56 PM   #78
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Well that's not true at all.


I'd disagree. People don't want to read about family dogs mauling kids, because it makes them uncomfortable about their own dog, so the papers don't report it. Or at least when they do, it gets much less of a prominent position. When it's a bull breed, it's front page news, because we want more evidence to support the commonly held view that these dogs are dangerous and should be banned. It just sells more papers.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:58 PM   #79
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I'd disagree. People don't want to read about family dogs mauling kids, because it makes them uncomfortable about their own dog, so the papers don't report it. Or at least when they do, it gets much less of a prominent position. When it's a bull breed, it's front page news, because we want more evidence to support the commonly held view that these dogs are dangerous and should be banned. It just sells more papers.


this sounds like the onion doing an article satirizing institutional racism.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:58 PM   #80
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But Pit's aren't bred to be attack dogs, let me specific about this - the role of the pit was not meant to be an attack dog - if people USE them to be attack dogs, that's their issue but you can easily turn a husky into an attack dog with the proper training. The majority of Pitts don't have a natural agression like people assume and that is something that is trained into them by asshole owners.
If you want to talk about dogs bred for defense or attack, Dobermans, Chow Chow's, Bull Mastiffs, Rottweilers and German Shepherds were specifically bred for those purposes and DO have a natural agression for humans. I would assume you don't think people should own those dogs either right?

Yeah sure, I'll say that people shouldn't pal around with those dogs either. I'm sure the way you feel about dogs is pretty similar to how the dude from Grizzly Man felt about bears.
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