Why the Pitbull Has Gotten Such a Bad Rep
Mon, April 19, 2021

Why the Pitbull Has Gotten Such a Bad Rep

It is common knowledge that not all dogs are meant to be house pets. Dogs, despite domestication, can inflict injury and even death by the build of their bodies alone. Many dogs are muscular, heavy, and have a strong jaw, which can lead to serious injuries, whether accidental or intentional / Photo by: Anja Seibert via 123RF

 

It is common knowledge that not all dogs are meant to be house pets. Dogs, despite domestication, can inflict injury and even death by the build of their bodies alone. Many dogs are muscular, heavy, and have a strong jaw, which can lead to serious injuries, whether accidental or intentional. Moreover, there are specific dog breeds that are known to be dangerous, aggressive, and threatening, which has led them to being banned across the United States. Among the commonly banned or restricted dogs in different American states, according to Cheatsheet.com, includes the Shar-Pei, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, the Alaskan Malamute, the Bull Terrier, the Siberian Husky, the Mastiff, the Akita, the Fila Brasileiro, the Cane Corso, the German Shepherd, the American Bulldog, the Chow Chow, the Doberman Pinscher, the Presa Canario, the wolfdog, the Rottweiler, and the most notorious of all, the Pitbull.

 

Dog Bites Statistics

According to Ask Adam S. Kutner, an online portal for attorneys providing help to injury victims, there were an estimated 78 million dogs in the US in 2016 and a reported 4.5 million dog bites with 81% causing no injuries. Dogs known to have the strongest bites include the Kangal with 743 pounds per square inch (psi) of force, the English Mastiff with 556 psi, the wolfdog with 406 psi, the Rottweiler with 328 psi, and the African wild fog at 317 psi. Most of these dogs are banned in different cities around the world. 

The Canine Journal, an online resource for all things dog, from health concerns and food to pet insurance and dog resorts, has compiled and analyzed dog bite attacks in the United States and determined that Pit bulls accounted for 284 human deaths between 2005 and 2017, which was 65% of the total number of fatalities involving dogs. The study also mentioned the Rottweiler being involved in 45 deaths or 10.4%, the German Shepherd in 20 deaths or 4.6%, mixed breeds causing 17 deaths or 3.9%, American Bulldogs in 15 deaths or 3.5%, the Mastiff causing 14 deaths or 3.2%, and the Husky in 13 deaths or 3%, all within the same time frame. 

Getting to Know the Pitbull 

Reports have shown that the Pit bull is most frequently banned in several states across America compared to other dog breeds. It is important to note, however, that the Pitbull is actually not any singular breed, but applies to several breeds and mixes of breeds. These dogs have gotten an unfair reputation of being the most aggressive and dangerous breed. There have been times when people hear of a biting incident involving a dog will normally assume that the offending animal was a pit bull. Additionally, people may become biased against this dog breed simply because they biased against the animal’s owners.

The Washington Post reported that Pit bulls and other usually banned dog breeds seem to surface in areas that experience demographic changes and that the laws banning them may actually be just a proxy for the suspicion of authorities on people based on race, class, and ethnicity who also happen to own the dogs. According to Niall McCarthy, a data journalist from Forbes online, there are some evidence that suggest that owners of vicious dogs are far more likely to have criminal convictions for violent crime. 

Reports have shown that the Pit bull is most frequently banned in several states across America compared to other dog breeds. It is important to note, however, that the Pitbull is actually not any singular breed, but applies to several breeds and mixes of breeds / Photo by: Anna Yakimova via 123RF

 

Critics say that Pit bulls are inherently dangerous no matter how they’re treated. But, Colleen Lyn, president and founder of DogBites.org, a national dog-bite victims group dedicated to reducing dog attacks, shared that there are certain behaviors in dogs that become selective depending on the need. In the same way herding dogs herd, Pit bulls were specifically bred to go into a pit with aggression and ready to fight—that is the known problem with Pit bulls. However, in a study of human fatalities involving dogs between the years 2000 and 2009, which was published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, it was established that in more than 80% of cases related to Pit bulls resulting in deaths or injuries, there were four or more significant factors related to the care and control of the dog: These dogs were not socialized; they were large and sexually intact; and they had no relation to the person who was killed.

In any scenario involving dogs, it is best to remain cautious when dealing with them (whether a Pitbull breed or not). There are several things that can aggravate a situation apart from the dog breed, and these are the size of the dog and its temperament, home environment, and upbringing. Whether Pit bulls were neglected during their upbringing, were bred for aggression, or due to a scenario causing unusual activity, extra precaution must always be taken. When dealing with dogs, always assume that at a moment’s instance, they can snap that can result in injury or death.