Are Pit Bulls Mean?

wiseGEEK Writing Contest

The American Pit Bull Terrier, also known as the Pit Bull, is a very common breed of dog. Most of the time, these dogs are classified as vicious, angry and aggressive towards humans and other animals. But is this really their natural temperament or are they raised to be mean? Most owners of Pit Bulls will agree that their dog is not only loyal, but extremely nice and even good with children!

The Pit Bull was bred in England, and their roots go back to the 19th century. These dogs were originally bred and used for bull baiting, which was when a bull was tied up and attacked by the dogs. Once bull baiting got banned, these dogs were then used for dog fighting. Dog owners preferred these dogs because of their courage, strength and loyalty. If they were to bite any handler, or any other human, they would have been culled and not been bred.

These dogs have also been known for violent crimes against humans and other dogs. One woman was killed by a roaming Pit Bull, and one report stated that a Jack Russell terrier saved five children from being attacked by this dog, resulting in the terrier being mauled to death. Maybe all the negative hype about this breed is true, but owners disagree.

What owners will agree on is that this breed is friendly towards people. They have great intelligence and a strong nerve. The thing is, they tend to love people, and make a poor choice as a guard dog(unless raised to be). They are always eager to please their owners, and are easy to train.

Just like with any dog, the owner needs to be responsible. Training and teaching the dog good traits and habits is a must. A vicious owner equals a vicious dog. It is most likely that all the negative media you hear on the Pit Bull is a result of a poor owner. A Pit Bull that shows human aggression and bad temperament should be put to sleep, and never be bred. Of course, this goes for all dogs.

So, the choice is yours. You decide weather they are vicious or not. If you are thinking of owning this breed, make sure you do extensive research about its temperament, socialization skills and whatever else that may help you in your decision. Remember, a good owner will have a great pet!

submitted by L. Chapman