Any dog has the capability of harming a baby. A Chihuahua could kill a baby; if not with a well-placed bite, an infection. So if we should not have a Pit Bull because it can physically hurt a child, then no one should have dogs at all if there are children in the house. Or any type of pet really, as all of them can technically cause damage, if they tried. In my opinion, the benefits far outweigh the risks. Pets teach children responsibility, kindness, and acceptance. Our fondest childhood memories are often of our first pet.
A Pit Bull is no more likely to be aggressive or "turn on it's owner" than any other breed. Reasons a dog may be aggressive: being inbred, having aggressive parents, being unsocialized as a puppy, being abused, being trained to be aggressive, or it just has an aggressive nature. Reasons a dog would become aggressive when it was previously friendly include but are not limited to: being injured, being ill, going through a traumatic event, feeling attacked or threatened, and having a disease that affects their brain such as cancer or dementia. All of these reasons can happen with any breed of dog, and there is absolutely no proof whatsoever that they are more like to happen to a Pit Bull.
It's unfair to base an entire breed on one animal's behavior. I, personally, have been bitten by a Daschund. I know someone who was seriously bitten by a Labrador Retriever. One of my friends had an extremely vicious Australian Cattle Dog. I've never PERSONALLY met a vicious Pit Bull... All of the ones I meet are extremely friendly. Does this mean all Daschund, Labs, and Australian Cattle Dogs are unfriendly? No. Does this mean that all Pit Bulls are friendly? No. It's pretty silly to make assumptions like that. Generalizations based on looks or genetics are just as unfair to dogs as they are to humans.
There is a simple explanation for the amount of Pit Bull attacks you hear about. The reason Pit Bull bites are so common is there is an overpopulation of them. Right now we are having a sort of Pit Bull baby boom. And the reason Pit Bulls are often aggressive is because they appeal to a certain type of people, who are into dog fighting, having tough looking dogs, and/or having a dog for protection purposes. Those dogs are raised and trained to be aggressive. Any breed would be aggressive if raised in that way. And lastly, the media is all about grabbing everyone's attention. POODLE ATTACK! is not going to be a headline. That would just sound stupid. The media is playing off the Pit Bull's bad rep to make money.
But why did we get one? Just to make a statement? We did not set out to get a Pit Bull. Aries was a 9 week old puppy that needed a home. He was the sweetest little thing (and still is). Pitties have the highest euthanasia rate of any breed and I knew the cute Cocker Spaniel puppy would be adopted quickly, so I chose him.
Ceasar Millan, The Dog Whisperer himself, is a Pit Bull lover. If you ever watch his show, you'd see that his favorite dog for many years, until he passed away, was a Pittie named Daddy. Here is his opinion on them: "My kids are around pit bulls every day. In the '70s they blamed Dobermans, in the '80s they blamed German shepherds, in the '90s they blamed the Rottweiler. Now they blame the pit bull." Here are some other famous people who love Pits: Jessica Alba, Jon Stewart, Jessica Biel, Madonna, Vin Diesel, Pink, Orlando Bloon, Brad Pitt, and Ashley Olsen. Hellen Keller claimed that they were the best therapy dogs!
As a note, Pit Bull is not even an official breed. The Pit Bull Terrier is not recognized by the American Kennel Club. Many bully breeds and mixed breeds with a square head are dubbed Pit Bulls by the general public. There is no breed standard and they can vary greatly in size, shape, and personality. Here are some pictures of breeds that can be mistaken for Pits, especially when mixed with another breed. It's easy to see why a person who isn't an expert on dog breeds would say a Pit Bull bit them when it could have been any dog with a square-ish face.
|Boxer. Source: akc.org|
|Bullmastiff. Source: akc.org|
|Cane Corso. Source: akc.org|
|Dogue De Bordeaux. Source: akc.org|
|Mastiff. Source: akc.org|
|Neopolitan Mastiff. Source: akc.org|
|Rottweiler. Source: akc.org|
|Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Source: akc.org|
Our Pit Bull (or as I like to say, Pibble) is named Aries, otherwise known as Arie Berry! We've had him since he was 9 weeks old and he is a year and a half now. He grew up around our toddler so he is great with kids. He loves going to doggy daycare where he plays with his doggy friends all day. He's the kind of dog who will just sit there while a kid pulls his ears, pokes his eyes, and puts their hands in his mouth. He LOVES company, and I think if someone tried to rob us, he'd jump on them and try to give them a big slobbery kiss.
|When we first got him, he immediately adopted our older dog Molly as his new mommy.|
|He had never walked on grass before and was so unsure!|
|Me and my baby boy. :)|
|One time I lost him, and found him in the toy box!|
|The cuteness is worth the hair in the bed!|
|This is when he was recovering from being neutered. He milked that for all the special attention he could get!|
|Naughty boy, chewing up the carpet!! But how can I stay mad at that face?|
|It's so sweet to see how much Kaylee loves her puppies, and how much they love her.|
|He loves to play with my mother-in-law's Great Dane, Elly May.|
|My kids! <3|
|My handsome boy. He looks so noble here, when in real life he is very clumsy and goofy!|
Note: Pit Bulls can make wonderful family pets. They are known to be very loving and good with children. However, they need a TON of exercise and they are not always easy to train. They can be very distractable, hyper, and destructive. As a puppy, Aries chewed up our carpet and many items in our house. Vet bills can become expensive. Like any dog, they will need shots, checkups, flea medication, heart-worm preventive, and to be spayed or neutered. And I find that Pits are prone to injuring themselves due to a high pain tolerance combined with high energy level. Aries has needed vet care from injuring himself twice already.
If you are thinking of adopting a Pit Bull, I commend you. There are many that need saving. But please make sure you are fully prepared for the responsibility! I am the first to admit they can be a lot of work, he is definitely more work than my other dog (a Carolina Dog mix). But is he worth it? A hundred times, yes. He is definitely a part of our family. Would I ever get another Pit Bull? Yes! Aries has converted me into a Pit Bull lover, for sure!!
Disclaimer: This is based off of my personal experience, research, and opinion. I do not expect you to blindly take my words as fact; I encourage you to do your own research and form your own opinions.