Are pit bulls naturally vicious to humans or is it due to bad owners?

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It's all about the owners, the same goes for any dog.
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#203
Quote by eGraham
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.

Actualy, the thing that REALLY makes them such good candidates for dog fighting is their willingness to please their owner and do whatever they are told, including going through a lot of pain, which is also what's really sad about dog fighting, the very same thing that makes them such dangerous fighters is also the thing that makes them such good and loyal pets.
Quote by JustRooster

EDIT: I'm not saying people shouldn't be allowed to own Pit Bulls. My point is that there is no way anyone can say that a pit bull isn't naturally more aggressive than almost any other type of dog out there. Yes, it can be curbed with training. However, and untrained pit bull is FAR more likely to be violent than an untrained Irish Terrier, or an untrained Bloodhound.

Pit bulls are generally instinctively violent.

No, that's not correct.
Pit bulls have no more natural aggression as any other dog, it's just that they tend to have a lot more strength than the average dog, so any aggression that they may have is more efficiently channelled, infact, the most aggressive dogs I've ever met have all been small dogs like Chihuahuas, Jack Russells and Yorkshire Terriers.
Having raised several pit bulls and related breeds, I can tell you that the natural state of mind for one is actualy more like one of playfulness.
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#204
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Pit bulls have no more natural aggression as any other dog,

Dogs have instinctive traits that are bred into them. There are things they just know how to do without specific training, or have a natural tendency toward.

Heelers will nip at feet. They don't have to be shown how to do it they just do it. Dobermans don't need extra protection training they are naturally brave and loyal. They will fiercely defend their masters if necessary with no training to do so.

A Golden Retriever on the other hand does not have the same protection instincts and is very unlikely to attack an intruder or perceived threat to master or property even with training.

Different breeds have different temperaments. Some will more readily attack other dogs or people than other breeds.
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#205
http://www.dogguide.net/blog/2008/07/the-3-most-aggressive-dog-breeds-revealed-pit-bulls-rottweilers-youll-be-surprised/


just saw this posted on my timeline on fb

pitbulls and rottweilers scored average/below average
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#206
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
http://www.dogguide.net/blog/2008/07/the-3-most-aggressive-dog-breeds-revealed-pit-bulls-rottweilers-youll-be-surprised/


just saw this posted on my timeline on fb

pitbulls and rottweilers scored average/below average


I've seen that, but I'm always a good bit skeptical about any 'study' that uses self-reporting as a methodology because it's extremely hard to quantify and correct for bias.
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#207
Quote by 20Tigers
Dogs have instinctive traits that are bred into them. There are things they just know how to do without specific training, or have a natural tendency toward.

Heelers will nip at feet. They don't have to be shown how to do it they just do it.

Heelers are usualy very short dogs, what else are they going to nip at?
Quote by 20Tigers
Dobermans don't need extra protection training they are naturally brave and loyal. They will fiercely defend their masters if necessary with no training to do so.

Most dogs will naturaly do this, it's a pack instinct, although a Doberman's build will give it a large advantage over many other dogs. The thing about the Doberman that is pretty specific to the breed though is that they will attack silently and without warning, usualy taking their victim by complete surprise, which can be a big advantage in an emergency situation.
Quote by 20Tigers

A Golden Retriever on the other hand does not have the same protection instincts and is very unlikely to attack an intruder or perceived threat to master or property even with training.

I disagree, a Golden Retriever is highly likely to attack a percieved threat, practicaly any breed of dog would do the same.
Funnily enough, a breed that often tops the lists of the most recorded dog bites in many countries is the Labrador Retriever, a very close relation to the Golden Retriever.

Quote by 20Tigers
Different breeds have different temperaments. Some will more readily attack other dogs or people than other breeds.

This is true, but only to a certain extent, almost any dog will attack other dogs or people if they percieve them to be a threat to their surrogate pack, which usualy includes a dog's owners and their family.

Quote by Arby911
Quote by ali.guitarkid7
http://www.dogguide.net/blog/2008/0...l-be-surprised/


just saw this posted on my timeline on fb

pitbulls and rottweilers scored average/below average

I've seen that, but I'm always a good bit skeptical about any 'study' that uses self-reporting as a methodology because it's extremely hard to quantify and correct for bias.

Agreed, but it really shouldn't be so surpising to discover that dachshunds are a very aggressive breed. They belong to the 'hound' family and were infact bred for flushing badgers out of their sets, which most certainly requires a very aggressive streak.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Jan 31, 2013,
Arby911
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#208
Quote by SlackerBabbath


Agreed, but it really shouldn't be so surpising to discover that dachshunds are a very aggressive breed. They belong to the 'hound' family and were infact bred for flushing badgers out of their sets, which most certainly requires a very aggressive streak.


Agreed, and thanks...
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#209
German shepherds are used as police dogs, guard dogs, attack dogs (by militaries and police forces the world over), and were originally bred to kill wolves. They also grow to be larger than Pitbulls. As a result, they're fiercely defensive and dangerous if handled improperly. The difference is they have a face that the general public has decided is cute and a Pit does not. Hence the stigma towards Pits.
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#210
Quote by Arby911
Agreed, and thanks...

But don't be mistaken into thinking that the example of aggression in a hunting dog, like a dachshund, is the same as aggression in a fighting dog, like a pit bull.

They are actualy based upon different instincts. A hunting dog's aggression comes from an instinctual need to kill for food for the pack, while a fighting dog's aggression comes from an instinctual need to protect the pack, which doesn't necessarily require the need to kill but rather the need to dominate the opposition.

If fighting dogs worked from the same instincts as hunting dogs, dog fights would be over much quicker with the death of one dog or the other, which, believe it or not, is the last thing that dog fighting enthusiasts want. Dog fighting enthusiasts want a dog fight to last for a while, they want to see a competition where both dogs recieve bites and wounds all over their bodies but still continue to fight. They don't want it to be decided upon which dog rips the other dog's throat out and kills it first.
The aggression in a fighting dog is actualy aggression with a certain amount of restraint, and that actualy takes a lot of training and conditioning and requires a dog that will do as it's master tells it.

When dogs fight each other away from human influences, it's usualy about display and dominance and the fight is usualy over when one dog or the other becomes submissive. THAT is natural and instinctual behaviour for dogs, so it requires training and conditioning to break that natural behaviour so that dogs will fight for a longer period of time.

A hunting dog will hunt and kill instinctualy with very little training required (infact the only training that is usualy required is to prevent the dog from eating the prey or running off with it) but a fighting dog requires lots of training and conditioning to make it fight another dog for long periods of time. Without that training and conditioning, pit bulls are usualy (there are always exeptions to the general rule) loving, loyal dogs that often make very good family pets.
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#211
Mine was beaten as a puppy. He's never attacked anyone and he's gentle. I've actually never met a mean pit bull. They've always seemed like the most loyal breed I've seen.

In fact, just the other day I was stomping around the house in a Halloween mask with a knife, and my pit just kinda hid in the corner whereas our little dog tried to scare me off. We used to have a poodle that would start fights with him and he would just lay on his stomach or back and let the poodle win the playfight.

Granted, he was neutered after I got him. Maybe the unneuterd ones are more aggressive. But I suspect the people who think they're particularly aggressive have never owned one. It worried me when I found him because I believed what I heard about pits. I wasn't going to keep him but I figured he'd die if he was taken to a kennel.


Quote by Eastwinn
there are plenty of dogs that weren't bred for killing. besides, you must be deliberately missing the point.

if you raised a bengal tiger from birth in your house to adulthood, would you expect it to attack you? of course, we know this happens. tigers are genetically predisposed to attack people. why then is it so hard to believe that a breed of dog could have a similar predisposition? it cannot possibly be all in how you raise it; a wolf raised from birth by humans is still likely to attack, if its anything like big cats.

Wolves work under chain of command. If they are raised by humans, they will have one alpha male. They don't tend to show much respect to the other members of the family because of this. Dogs don't work that way. Although, in my experience, most dogs seem to have someone they like best in the family. Dogs can consider several people to outrank them.

That's why dog owners need to grow a pair and establish themselves as leaders who the dog is dependent upon.
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#212
Quote by VanTheKraut
German shepherds are used as police dogs, guard dogs, attack dogs (by militaries and police forces the world over), and were originally bred to kill wolves. They also grow to be larger than Pitbulls. As a result, they're fiercely defensive and dangerous if handled improperly. The difference is they have a face that the general public has decided is cute and a Pit does not. Hence the stigma towards Pits.



Well yeah, that and the fact that they kill more people every year than any other breed...that just might play a part as well.
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#213
Quote by Jack Off Jill
Mine was beaten as a puppy. He's never attacked anyone and he's gentle. I've actually never met a mean pit bull. They've always seemed like the most loyal breed I've seen.

In fact, just the other day I was stomping around the house in a Halloween mask with a knife, and my pit just kinda hid in the corner whereas our little dog tried to scare me off. We used to have a poodle that would start fights with him and he would just lay on his stomach or back and let the poodle win the playfight.

We used to have a pit bull that would regularly get bullied by our cat. The cat would see it eating, calmly walk up to it, beat seven shades of shit out of it and then sit there eating the poor dog's meat while it sat there watching. The dog could easily have bitten the cat in half but it just wasn't in it's nature. But believe me it was a completely different story if it thought that any of our family, including the cat, were being threatened.
Quote by Jack Off Jill

Granted, he was neutered after I got him. Maybe the unneuterd ones are more aggressive.

There are cases where overly aggressive dogs can be calmed down by neutering, but that's certainly not limited to just pit bulls.
Quote by Jack Off Jill

But I suspect the people who think they're particularly aggressive have never owned one.

I think you just hit the nail squarely on the head there. That said though, not everyone is ideal for owning a pit bull, they require the right kind of care, treatment and training/conditioning. They are a very powerful dog that can be extremely dangerous when out of control, but then that can be said for almost any large breed of dog.

Quote by Jack Off Jill

Wolves work under chain of command. If they are raised by humans, they will have one alpha male. They don't tend to show much respect to the other members of the family because of this. Dogs don't work that way. Although, in my experience, most dogs seem to have someone they like best in the family. Dogs can consider several people to outrank them.

That's why dog owners need to grow a pair and establish themselves as leaders who the dog is dependent upon.

Agreed completely, although you don't need to be aggressive towards a dog to establish yourself as it's leader, all it takes is calm assertiveness.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Feb 2, 2013,
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#214
All animals are naturally vicious.
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#215
Quote by Arby911
Well yeah, that and the fact that they kill more people every year than any other breed...that just might play a part as well.


But why is that? Is it because of the dog's nature? Is it because of the way the dog has been handled, or could the percentage of people being killed by pit bulls corelate to the sheer number of pit bulls out there?

Imagine that only 50 pit bulls existed in the whole world and that every other dog in the world was a spaniel and there was literaly millions of them. At some point or another, some those spaniels will be responsible in some way or another for the death of a person. That's not particularly because spaniels are an aggressive breed, (although it's not unknown in some spaniels) that's just down to probability given the number of spaniels in that scenario.

Pit bulls are a VERY popular dog. There's a lot of pit bulls out there. Hell, they're illegal to own or breed here and it's still pretty easy to aquire a pit bull puppy, that's how popular they are, they are legislated against and it hasn't really made that much difference to their numbers at all.
They're also the dog of choice in gang culture, which makes many of them more likely to be trained and used to attack other people, which you can train any dog to do, regardless of it's breed.
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#216
Quote by SlackerBabbath
But why is that? Is it because of the dog's nature? Is it because of the way the dog has been handled, or could the percentage of people being killed by pit bulls corelate to the sheer number of pit bulls out there?

Imagine that only 50 pit bulls existed in the whole world and that every other dog in the world was a spaniel and there was literaly millions of them. At some point or another, some those spaniels will be responsible in some way or another for the death of a person. That's not particularly because spaniels are an aggressive breed, (although it's not unknown in some spaniels) that's just down to probability given the number of spaniels in that scenario.

Pit bulls are a VERY popular dog. There's a lot of pit bulls out there. Hell, they're illegal to own or breed here and it's still pretty easy to aquire a pit bull puppy, that's how popular they are, they are legislated against and it hasn't really made that much difference to their numbers at all.
They're also the dog of choice in gang culture, which makes many of them more likely to be trained and used to attack other people, which you can train any dog to do, regardless of it's breed.



Wait, is it your serious contention that Pits are more popular than any other breed?

Really?

The American, UK and Canadian Kennel Clubs all disagree.
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Last edited by Arby911 at Feb 2, 2013,
SlackerBabbath
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#217
Quote by Arby911
Wait, is it your serious contention that Pits are more popular than any other breed?

Really?

Wait, is that what you're seriously choosing to pretend that I said?

Really?
Quote by Arby911

The American, UK and Canadian Kennel Clubs all disagree.


Wait, you're saying the American, UK and Canadian Kennel Clubs all disagree that pit pulls are a 'VERY popular breed of dog'? (which is what I actualy said about them in the post you quoted)

Really?

And you trust these sources that say that pit bulls are not a popular breed? Or are you infact misquoting them when you claim that they disagree that pit bulls are a popular breed?

The point I'm making is that there will invariably be more attacks attributed to more popular breeds because they exist in larger numbers because of their popularity. It's like lions and tigers, there are more attacks on humans made by lions than tigers simply because tigers are much rarer than lions.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Feb 3, 2013,
HeretiK538
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#218
My dad was involved in a study on this - managed to get his name onto BBC News, so it's all legit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18175053

The jist is, aggressive people are more likely to get aggressive dogs, but it's an interesting read
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#219
Quote by HeretiK538
My dad was involved in a study on this - managed to get his name onto BBC News, so it's all legit http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-18175053

The jist is, aggressive people are more likely to get aggressive dogs, but it's an interesting read

That is interesting.

Y'see, as said earlier, it really isn't a case of some breeds of dogs being aggressive and other breeds not, dogs are all individuals which may turn out to be aggressive or passive or anything inbetween based upon any of several contributing factors, breed being a much less contributing factor than conditioning. In other words, a dog's behaviour is based more upon nurture than nature. It's just that powerful dogs make for bigger headlines when they are raised to be aggressive and end up hurting someone, because they invariably do a lot more damage that less powerful but equally aggressive dogs.
For example, a dachshund is usualy far more naturaly aggressive than a bull terrier, but a bull terrier will always be able to do much more damage to you than a dachshund.

So if aggressive people are owning particular breeds, then lots of members of those particular breeds are being raised in an aggressive manner, making them aggressive themselves, which is obviously just making their reputation worse, which is quite unfare when you think about it.
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#220
Quote by SlackerBabbath
Is that what you're choosing to pretend that I said?

Really?


The American, UK and Canadian Kennel Clubs all disagree that pit pulls are a very popular breed?

Really?

And you trust these sources that say that pit bulls are not a popular breed? Or are you infact misquoting them when you claim that they disagree that pit bulls are a popular breed?


It's not what I'm choosing, it's what you directly implied. You asked if the numbers could be correlated to "the sheer number of pit bulls out there" and given that well over half of the fatal dog attacks are pit bulls said correlation would mean that to allege a statistical norm they must make up over half of the canine population, making them the most popular breed by a magnificent margin.

Except that they aren't.

You then took it even further with your "if spaniels ruled the world" scenario, a very weak attempt to again imply that Pit Bull attacks are high merely because of their sheer numbers.

Look, I know you can do basic statistical analysis and we both know your population apologetic was ridiculous, so why continue to push it? There are plenty of more rational variables that we might consider to explain the disproportionate numbers, why would you even allege such a patently false one?
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Last edited by Arby911 at Feb 3, 2013,
SlackerBabbath
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#221
Quote by Arby911
It's not what I'm choosing, it's what you directly implied.

I implied nothing of the sort. You simply chose to 'assume' that I implied that to give yourself something solid to argue against.
Quote by Arby911

You asked if the numbers could be correlated to "the sheer number of pit bulls out there" and given that well over half of the fatal dog attacks are pit bulls said correlation would mean that to allege a statistical norm they must make up over half of the canine population, making them the most popular breed by a magnificent margin.

Except that they aren't.

You're reading far too much into it. I merely stated that pit bulls are 'a very popular breed', which means they exist in larger numbers to many other breeds, which in turn means that more attacks will be attributed to them than lots of other breeds.

As you've just said, over half of the "fatal" dog attacks are attributed to pit bulls but fatalities are not a measure of how 'naturaly aggressive' a dog breed is, it's a measure of how 'powerful' a dog is.
As I said earlier, a dachshund is usualy far more 'naturaly aggressive' than a bull terrier, but a bull terrier will always be able to do much more damage to you than a dachshund. Remember, this thread and debate is about the 'natural aggression' of pit bulls, not how many pit bulls have been 'conditioned' to be aggressive.

Y'see, even though over half of the "fatal" dog attacks are attributed to pit bulls (which I haven't checked, but I'll take your word for it) far more 'unfatal' attacks are attributed to other breeds than pit bulls. We measure a dog's aggression by how likely it is to attack in the first place, not by how likely it is that it's attack will result in a fatality.
Quote by Arby911

Look, I know you can do basic statistical analysis and we both know your population apologetic was ridiculous, so why continue to push it? There are plenty of more rational variables that we might consider to explain the disproportionate numbers, why would you even allege such a patently false one?

You are patently misunderstanding what I said.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Feb 3, 2013,
LostLegion
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#222
It's the owner. Some dogs are just more stronger and better at attacking than others which is why they garner a reputation for it.
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#223
Quote by SlackerBabbath
I implied nothing of the sort. You simply chose to 'assume' that I implied that to give yourself something solid to argue against.

You're reading far too much into it. I merely stated that pit bulls are 'a very popular breed', which means they exist in larger numbers to many other breeds, which in turn means that more attacks will be attributed to them than lots of other breeds.

As you've just said, over half of the "fatal" dog attacks are attributed to pit bulls but fatalities are not a measure of how 'naturaly aggressive' a dog breed is, it's a measure of how 'powerful' a dog is.
As I said earlier, a dachshund is usualy far more 'naturaly aggressive' than a bull terrier, but a bull terrier will always be able to do much more damage to you than a dachshund. Remember, this thread and debate is about the 'natural aggression' of pit bulls, not how many pit bulls have been 'conditioned' to be aggressive.

Y'see, even though over half of the "fatal" dog attacks are attributed to pit bulls (which I haven't checked, but I'll take your word for it) far more 'unfatal' attacks are attributed to other breeds than pit bulls. We measure a dog's aggression by how likely it is to attack in the first place, not by how likely it is that it's attack will result in a fatality.

You are patently misunderstanding what I said.



It was a reasonable inference, given your claims. If I was indeed misunderstanding what you said, perhaps you said it poorly.

And while the overall thread has been about inherent aggression, the post that predicated this particular dialog was that of VanTheKraut where he discussed the stigma attached to Pit Bulls, to which I responded that perhaps the disproportionate number of fatal Pit attacks may contribute to said stigma.

In any case I find your contention of my misunderstanding particularly unusual given the following quote.

or could the percentage of people being killed by pit bulls corelate to the sheer number of pit bulls out there?

If you meant to correlate attacks instead of fatalities, perhaps you shouldn't have used "killed"?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#224
A pitbull broke into my friend's house and murdered 2 of her dogs.
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#225
Quote by Arby911
It was a reasonable inference, given your claims. If I was indeed misunderstanding what you said, perhaps you said it poorly.

And while the overall thread has been about inherent aggression, the post that predicated this particular dialog was that of VanTheKraut where he discussed the stigma attached to Pit Bulls, to which I responded that perhaps the disproportionate number of fatal Pit attacks may contribute to said stigma.

In any case I find your contention of my misunderstanding particularly unusual given the following quote.

or could the percentage of people being killed by pit bulls corelate to the sheer number of pit bulls out there?

If you meant to correlate attacks instead of fatalities, perhaps you shouldn't have used "killed"?

Yes, maybe I should have corrected your inflection rather than using it there, but it really wouldn't have made any difference, my point would still have been the same anyway, and that point would have been that regardless of whether we are talking about fatalities or just attacks, the fact that there's a LOT of pit bulls out there simply means that we are going to get a certain percentage of pit bull attacks on people, just like the fact that there are a lot of Dachshunds out there means that there are going to be a lot of Dachshund attacks on people, only difference is, the pit bull attacks will make the news because a pit bull bite does a lot more damage than a Dachshund bite. Pit bulls really don't have any more of a 'naturaly aggressive' nature than any other dog breed, it's just that they tend to do more damage than other breeds when they are aggressive.
Last edited by SlackerBabbath at Feb 4, 2013,
ErikLensherr
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#226
It's 100% bad owners. I had a pit bull as a kid and he was a sweetheart.
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#227
Quote by ErikLensherr
It's 100% bad owners. I had a pit bull as a kid and he was a sweetheart.

Totaly agree.

Owing a dog like a pit bull is a big responsibility. There's no denying that they can be dangerous when they are out of control, as many other breeds are, which is why pit bull owners should have a responsibility to make sure that their dog is well trained and conditioned enough to ensure that it doesn't get out of control.
Of the several pit bulls and other bull terriers that I've owned and of the several similar breeds of dogs kept by my friends that I've known, it would seem to me that their 'natural' temperament is one of loyalty and playfulness. They can be a bit headstrong but that's something that can easily be sorted with the right training.

If I had my way, people who keep dogs above a certain size would go through a vetting system to see if they are capable of responsibly training and conditioning them.