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This forum promotes pit bull hate!
Not true; we promote awareness
of the dangers of pit bulls. In any given year, pit bulls (a category of dog that includes the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier line of dogs), are the culprits in more than half (generally ~2/3) human fatalities from canines. These dogs were specifically bred to bring down bulls, fight bears, and eventually fight each other.
It's all in how they're raised! FALSE.
While it is true that training and a good home life has an impact of a dog's behavior, you can't discount the genetic component. Border collies were specifically bred on the genetic level to have an innate tendency towards herding animals. Retrievers were specifically bred on the genetic level to fetch. Bloodhounds were specifically bred on the genetic level to have an acute ability to track a scent. Dogs are happiest when doing what they were bred for; collies get a sense of accomplishment from herding, retrievers will play fetch all day, bloodhounds will track instinctively.
Pit bulls were specifically bred on the genetic level for fighting. What do you think their natural inclination is? What do you think they are happiest at doing? And why do you think that innate fighting dogs can be "loved" out of it any more effectively than innate tendencies of working dogs?
But I/my brothemy neighbor has a pit bull, and it is the sweetest dog ever!
We don't doubt that. No one is saying that pits can't be loyal, affectionate, and gentle. What we are saying is that, due to their genetic history and innate tendencies, pits are more wired towards sudden, unprovoked aggression. Due to their size, bite strength, and tenacity, if a pit ever does suddenly "snap", the damage they do is far more severe than most other breeds.
Chihuahuas are more aggressive than pits!
This is true. The issue with pits isn't aggression per se
, it is that: (1) Their aggression is oftentimes sudden and unprovoked (2) The damage they cause when they do attack is far, far greater than what a chihuahua can inflict, even when adjusting for size.
Any dog can bite!
That's true. Any animal with teeth can bite. But here's the thing: bit pit bites tend to be many or orders of magnitudes worse, for three reasons:
- Bite strength. While pits do not have the highest bite strength of all dogs, they have one of the highest
- Hold and Thrash bite style. Most dogs, when they do bite humans, will generally bite once and then release. Bit pulls type dogs were specifically bred to hold on to large thrashing bulls and not let go. As a result, their bite style tends to be to hold on and thrash, shredding muscle and tissue and just doing an extraordinary amount of damage.
- Tenacity. Pit bull type dogs have terrier heritage, which gives them an amazing amount of tenacity. Once an attack is in place, it is commonly very hard to get a PBT dog to release.
When someone says a "pit bull bite", here are some real-world examples of what that looks like (please proceed with caution, as these images are NSFW and may be hard to stomach): A pit bull "bite" on an arm A pit bull "bite" to the face Another bit bull "bite" to an arm
Pit bulls were bred to be nanny dogs and protect children!
No, they weren't. The "nanny dog" myth is just that--a myth. Pit bulls were originally bred to bring down cattle in abattoirs, and also to bait and bring down big game (bears, bores, bulls) in a fighting pit. This is the origin of their names, pit bulls
. When baiting was outlawed, the dogs' natural talents were used for dog fighting.
In the earlier part of the twentieth century, there were some photos of children with pit bull dogs, but these were more in-line with fantastic photography than a statement on the trustworthiness of the dogs in question. Remember, there was also a trend of children being posed with fairies and other fantastical creatures as well.
There is simply no legitimate case of these dogs being bred to be good around children. In fact, by all the statistics we have, pit bull dogs are some of the worst
dogs you can have around small children. Dogs in the pit bull category rank #1 for fatal attacks on children (although to be fair, they rank #1 in fatal attacks on humans in general). Here is a statement by a surgeon who routinely literally puts childrens' faces back together
. Also, you can read the statements of another pediatric surgeon in regards to the unusually violent nature of pit attacks on children
Pits outscore most other dogs on the ATTS (American Temperament Test)!
It is true that pits score high on the ATTS. However, using this test to gauge an animal's tendency towards sudden and unprovoked attacks is useless. The ATTS is administered under controlled conditions, where the dog is being directly controlled by the owner. In addition, the dog is allowed to repeat the test an unlimited number of times before "passing".
Per the ATTS website: "Comparing scores with other dogs is not a good idea
" and the test "takes into consideration each breed's inherent tendencies
". In other words, Golden Retrievers only fail against a standard set by Goldens. Pit Bulls don't fail against a Golden standard; they fail against a Pit Bull standard.
The test standards are also fairly subjective. From their test description page: "The stranger is never closer than 10 feet from the dog. The handler’s 2 foot arm and the 6′ lead is added in for a total of 18 feet. Aggression here is checked against the breed standard and the dog’s training. A schutzhund trained dog lunging at the stranger is allowed, but if an untrained Siberian husky does the same, it may fail." In other words, even displaying aggression isn't necessarily a disqualifier.
The test was originally designed to select dogs for Schutzhund (protection dog) work and it primarily rewards bold dogs: the president of the organization, Carl Herkstroeter, said that of all the dogs who fail the text, approximately 95% fail because they lack confidence to approach the weirdly-dressed stranger or walk on the strange surface, and nearly all of the remaining five percent fail because they take too long to recover from the gunshot noise or another scary stimulus.
More importantly, as the ATTS admits on its website
, the breed rankings are "not a measure of a breed’s aggression," are not scientific, and hold no statistical significance.
The individual score is certainly valuable to each individual dog's owner, but scientifically speaking, comparing scores between breeds is as meaningless as your horoscope.
The ATTS test, at best, measures how brave or timid a dog is, not how dangerous it can be. How a dog behaves under controlled conditions with lots of repetition is not an accurate portrayal of how dogs will behave in environments with new and unexpected stimulus.
And the stats that we have bear this out. Pits and their mixes comprise ~2/3 of human fatalities in any given year, and more than half of all serious human injuries from dog attacks. By serious, we mean cases where the individual is scalped, disfigured, maimed, or dismembered. People who will spend the rest of their lives unable to walk properly due to having their calf muscles ripped out, or who will requires years of reconstructive surgery after a pit attack aren't counted among the fatalities.
It's not only the ATTS that is unreliable for gauging potentially dangerous pit bull behavior. Legitimate temperament studies like James Serpell's C-BARQ
put pit bulls near the middle of the pack when it comes to stranger-directed aggression, which that study very broadly defines as behaviors such as growling in addition to actually attempting to bite. However, the C-BARQ is based entirely on owner self-reports: "faking good" is a problem with virtually any kind of self-report data, and other researchers have found that pit bull owners use passing techniques and denial to combat what they feel is an unfair stigma: this could include denying that their dog has shown aggression when asked during a survey.
In this controlled temperament test study
, which was funded and authored by anti-breed ban activists and has been widely touted as "proof" of pit bull friendliness, there was indeed "no significant difference" between breed groups when the definition of "aggression" was watered down to the point that even whining or crying were considered "aggressive." But pay close attention to Table 5 on page 138: pit bulls were at least twice as likely to attack than the other dangerous breeds studied, and were several times more likely to attack than golden retrievers. Out of all the "dangerous" breeds tested, dogs in the pit bull group were by far the worst when it came to the percentage of dogs reaching Level 5 on the aggression scale (attempting to attack).
Even if pits are aggressive, they were bred to only be dog aggressive, not human aggressive!
This may have been true one hundred twenty-five years ago. However, in the last thirty years, backyard breeders have haphazardly been breeding these creatures without proper care for temperament or other human positive traits. Dogs that displayed erratic and human aggressive behavior were not culled, as they should have been. In fact, many backyard breeders have specifically selecting human aggressive pits. Today, most of the pit bull type dogs that you see are not remnant of the true well-bred game dogs of old, but backyard breeders, complete with a sketchy genetic lineage.
German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Dobermans used to be villainized as well. This is just an unfair fad.
Pit bulls have never been considered good family pets. Even during the 70s, 80s, and 90s--the decades where other dogs were known as the number one menace--pitbulls still inflicted more severe injuries and fatalities on humans than those other breeds combined
Pits were 1% of the dog population in 1987, and already a menace.
Few definitive figures on dog bites are available. But the Humane Society of the United States says that since July 1983, pit bulls have been responsible for 20 of the 28 deaths after dog bites in the nation, including all five this year. The breed accounts for perhaps 1 percent of all dogs in the nation.
Note that this article was written in a time where pit bulls were a fairly rare breed for the average household. From the Milwaukee Sentinel, Feb 16, 1945
You would change your tune if you actually met a pit bull!
Why don't we check in with actual pitbull owners and see what they have to say amongst themselves. http://www.game-dog.com/index.php?threads/fight-prevention.13751/ Tips for pit owners
, including such gems as:
Take note that a fight can strike suddenly and for no apparent reason. Warning signs can be very subtle with Pit Bulls and even completely absent in certain cases.
ALWAYS have your Pit Bull on leash when you take him/her for a walk.
Do not bring an adult Pit Bull to an off-leash dog park or any other area where it may come into contact with other dogs running loose.
Early socialization MAY help, but is not a guarantee that your Pit Bull won't become dog-aggressive at some point. ALWAYS be prepared for it!
The experts say that pit bulls are just like every other kind of dog!
Do they? let's take a look at what some of the experts have to say regarding the breed. Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President to the ASPCA
Fighting dogs lie all the time. I experienced it first hand when I was investigating three pit bulls that killed a little boy in Georgia. When I went up to do an initial evaluation of the dog's behavior. The dog came up to the front of the fence, gave me a nice little tail wag and a "play bow" -- a little solicitation, a little greeting. As I got closer, he lunged for my face. It was one of those "ah ha" experiences. Yeah, that would really work. That would really work in a dog pit. Because 99% of dogs are going to read that as "Oh boy I am your friend, let's play -- and there's my opening." Benjamin Hart, professor emeritus at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and an animal behaviorist
“It’s quite common for a pit bull to show no signs of aggression,” Hart said Wednesday. “People will call it a nice dog, a sweet dog, even the neighbors – and then all of a sudden something triggers the dog, and it attacks a human in a characteristic way of biting and hanging on until a lot of damage is done.”
The National Canine Research Council doesn't agree with your stance!
This so-called "National Canine Research Council" is actually a fully-owned subsidiary of Animal Farm Foundation, an organization whose mission statement includes "securing equal treatment and opportunity for pit bull dogs." As a pro-pit organization, they of course will not agree with our stance. However, our views are based on scientific research
. The NCRC, by contrast, is a lobbying group. Click here
to read more on this lobbying group, and the lengths they will go to, including knowingly re-homing dogs with a history of human aggression and endangering potential new owners by withholding information.
Saying pit bulls are inherently dangerous is like saying some ethnic groups are inherently dangerous.
No, it is not. Dog breeds and races are not
Dog breeds are the result of generations of intensive artificial selection
by human beings. We, as humans, have specifically chosen what kinds of appearances and behaviors we want to see in specific breeds of dogs. There is a reason why a Border Collie will naturally start herding ducklings or playing children, even if it was never taught to herd. It is for the same reason that pit bull type dogs have a natural inclination towards fighting: we have bred in instinctual behavior in dogs on a genetic level.
Human behavior, meanwhile, is more dependent upon culture and circumstances. Pointers will, in general, always instinctively point and signal, no matter how they're raised or what country they are raised in. Whether brought up by a Chinese family, an American family, a poor family or rich one, Pointers will always display this behavior because it is imprinted into their genes. In contrast, human behavior varies greatly upon cultural upbringing, religion, philosophical world view, and socioeconomic circumstances
. What's more, these traits are mutable: a child born into a culture of poverty may initially grow up to make "bad decisions", like prioritizing short-term pleasures, however they can unlearn bad habits and learn better decision making skills and impulse control. A Labrador Retriever, however, doesn't unlearn how to swim.
Some studies have shown that you can't even really identify a pit bull!
This is a common fallacy. Pit lovers often cite a study where 6000 "dog experts" took a survey where they look at 100 shelter dogs and took a guess at the most likely dog breed they are. The people conducting the study had DNA tests done on the dogs in order to determine what the dogs really were.
"A total of 5,922 respondents representing all US states and territories completed the survey. Respondents correctly identified a prominent breed an average of 27% of the time. Each of the dogs had an average of 53 different predominant breeds selected. No one correctly identified a breed for 6% of the dogs, and 22% of the dogs had the correct breed chosen less than 1% of the time. Only 15% of the dogs were correctly identified more than 70% of the time. https://sheltermedicine.vetmed.ufl.edu/files/2012/05/2012-Croy-Maddies-Shelter-Medicine-Confernce-Abstract.pdf
The conclusion is that since these people guessed so poorly to pick the predominant breed of 100 shelter mutts, therefore all of the research showing that pit bull type dogs are the most dangerous must be bunk because even experts cant identify dogs.
Here are some issues with the study:
- These dogs are super mutts and we shouldn't be surprised if few guessed correctly. This says more about mutts than it does about visual differences between dog breeds. And even if their guesses were wrong, they weren't THAT wrong: Dogs that don't look like pit bulls at all weren't guessed to be pit bulls.
- If you want to prove that people specifically cant identify pit bull type dogs, then this survey is set up incorrectly. There should be a "part pit bull or not" yes or no question. The fact that most people cant identify random mutts does not mean people cant identify whether a dog is part pit bull or not.
Take a look at the dogs in the study and the guesses people made: https://sheltermedicine.vetmed.ufl.edu/library/research-studies/current-studies/dog-breeds/dna-results/
If you look at the dogs and ask yourself "part pit bull type dog or not?" Then you start to see a pattern emerge: people did guess correctly. (Remember that pit bull type dogs are the american Staffordshire terrier, american bull dogs, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, etc.)
The conclusion in the abstract clearly is alluding to pit bull bans and is using their results to say they are unjustified. However, as I mentioned above, people in this study were good at identifying pit bull mixes
Why do you want to forcefully take everyone's pit bulls away?
This subreddit does not support confiscation of existing dogs that have not shown any aggression or have harmed anyone. We're not in favor of rounding up all pits and taking them away from their owners in mass.
What this subreddit does promote is a forward-facing ban or restriction: current owners get grandfathered in, while new ownership is either restricted contingent upon proving that you are capable of dealing with the dog, or banned outright. In a system where ownership is restricted, pits will be required to be spayed or neutered unless the owner can provide a certificate for breeding. In a system where pits are banned, the dogs would be required to be fixed.
People get to keep their dogs, and within a decade the pit population will naturally dwindle.
Pits aren't the only dangerous dog around, so why are you picking on them only?
Pits are not the only dangerous dogs, but they are the worst offenders, and they are the only dog breed with a propaganda lobby behind them. This is the reason why this subreddit focuses on restrictions for pit bulls specifically versus BSL in general.
What happens if pits ever get banned? Are you going to go on to the next most dangerous dog?
This subreddit focuses on pit bull type dogs because all available data shows that, year after year, such dogs outrank all other breeds combined
in unprovoked attacks and fatal and disfiguring injuries.
That being said, the official stance of this subreddit is that we would ideally see the same sort of restrictions and BSL applied to pit bull type dogs expanded to include any fighting breed. The "fighting breed" list includes:
- American Bulldogs
- Bully Kuttas
- Japanese Tosa
- Inus Dogo
- Presa Canarios
- Fila Brasileiro
The above breeds were bred either solely or predominately for bloodsport, or the breed lines were adjusted for selection towards bloodsport within the last two centuries. These are not working dogs in the sense that they were bred for a specific purpose to assist humans, but were bred only or mostly to entertain humans by fighting to the death (or were originally working dogs but had been re-purposed as fighting dogs). The artificial selection that led these animals to be ideal for bloodsport also make them too unpredictable and dangerous for modern society.
In addition, in an ideal world we would also see additional scrutiny for the follow breeds:
- Cane Corsos
- Doberman Pinschers
- German Shepherds
- Turkish Kangals
- Any otherwise not listed Bully breeds and mixes over 40 pounds
- Any otherwise not listed Mastiff breeds and mixes over 40 pounds
How do you know BSL even works?
Former Animal Control Officer John Holmes, the key voice behind the 2004 ban, said in 2013 that the numbers spoke for themselves, saying residents were safer with the ban in place.
“The law worked,” he said at the time. “We didn’t put this law in to destroy pit bulls, in fact, quite the opposite.”
Officials have also noted how the Pawtucket Animal Shelter has also been routinely full of pit bulls since the ban was reversed.
City data shows that before Ontario banned them nearly a decade ago, pit bulls did more biting per capita than other breeds; but today’s neutered, muzzled pit bulls registered only 13 bites last year.
Indeed, reported incidents of such attacks have almost disappeared. Reporter Eric Andrew-Gee and data analyst Joel Eastwood crunched municipal numbers and found that, from 2001 to 2004, pit bulls were more likely than any other breed to bite people and pets in Toronto.
In 2004, the last full year before the ban, there were 984 licensed pit bulls in the city and 168 reported bites. Last year there were 501 pit bulls registered in Toronto, and just 13 bites. That’s right — the number of reported bites went from 168 to 13.
"Since the ban has been in place, bites are down 73 percent from pit bulls," said Cheryl Conway, a spokeswoman for the city’s animal care division.
She added that the dogs placed a tremendous burden on city staff. According to city documents, before the ordinance was enacted in 2005, up to 70 percent of kennels in the Aurora Animal Shelter were occupied by pit bulls with pending court disposition dates or with no known owner. That number is now only 10 to 20 percent of kennels.
"There hasn’t been a human mauling in many years. Complaints and requests related to pit bulls are down 50 percent. Euthanasia of pit bull dogs is down 93 percent. Of those few that are put down, they are primarily those that come in as strays and their owners don’t come to claim them," she said.
"Other dog breeds bite," Gipson said. "Pit bulls are very strong and athletic dog. When they bit they do not let go and cause some severe damage. They are bred to fight. They are fighting dogs. It is inherent in their nature."
Before the law, one in three dog bites in town were from pit bulls/pit bull mixes. Those numbers have since decreased dramatically, from 34 cases in 2005 to just 16 last year. Also, before 2006, the city picked up and euthanized hundreds of pit bulls a year. In 2016, just 26 were put down.
Just a few examples of BSL working in cities and towns.
I keep seeing references to "the pit lobby"; what does that mean?
The pit lobby refers to a network of well-monied interests and organizations that use their wealth and influence to downplay the inherent dangers of pit bull type dogs, while falsely promoting them as "nanny dogs" and suitable family pets. Yeah, I know, it sounds totally bonkers. But if you've read this far, please take a few more moments to understand (and see actual supporting evidence) of the pit bull lobby: https://rc4ps.org/who-is-the-pit-bull-lobby/