Not All Pit Bulls Are Dangerous: Why They Deserve a Second Chance

I love pit bulls because I know that they are wonderful, silly dogs when treated with care and affection by loving owners.

What Is a Pit Bull?

The word "pit bull" is widely known to be used on any dog that has a stocky build, wide chest, and very short, thick hair. But every dog that is deemed so is not always an actual pit bull. People are quick to point their finger at any dog that looks like one, but the actual breed of the dog can be far from it. Even breeds such as boxers and bulldogs have been mistaken as pit bulls by those who do not know any better.

The American Staffordshire terrier (also known as the American pit bull terrier), is probably where the term pit bull got started. These dogs are normally medium-sized dogs with a very solid build and come in many different colors and color patterns. They are very athletic dogs and have a lot of energy. They love to run and play, making them a great choice for a family pet.

Pit bulls are smart, athletic, and loyal dogs.

They are also highly intelligent and easily trained, because they are so eager to please their master. They even have been known to be the comedians of the dog world. They are always making their owners laugh at their playful antics!

A pit bull can live to be around 12–14 years of age, sometimes even longer with regular vet visits and tender love and care. They do need a lot of attention and regular play time from their owners though. A bored pit bull is an unhappy pit bull.

With that being said, a pit bull also doesn't mind being a couch potato with you after some good outside exercise. They tend to be a fairly healthy breed, but some possible problems can include canine parvo, hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, allergies, and congenital heart disease. Coat color can also make a difference in health issues, such as with blue coated, or all-white coated dogs.

Why Do Pit Bulls Get a Bad Rap?

Pit bull-type dogs are not generally mean and ill-tempered pets. It just isn't part of the breed, like some people think it is. If they come from a good breeder and are given a good home, they will be just as loving and gentle as the popular golden retriever.

Bad Owners Are to Blame

Bad owners are what often give this dog a bad name. Because of their unmatched strength and willingness to please, they make a popular choice as guard dogs in gangs and also for dog fighting. They are used as a tool, much like a loaded weapon.

When being trained for dog fighting, the dogs are exposed to many different types of abuse. They are not thought of as a cuddly pet, but as a way to make money. A victim of greed and violence. They are usually kept outside, with heavy chains attached to their neck. They do this because the constant weight of the chain will build neck and upper body strength. This can cause chafing around the neck of the dog and even will cause deep wounds in their skin and cause infection to set in.

They will also hang bait or tires from long ropes. They then hang the rope from a tree or other object that is high off of the ground. The dog will repeatedly jump up to get the bait and will hang by its jaws. This will strengthen their jaws and back legs.

Some dogs are kept only to be used as bait for the dogs that have proven to be good fighters. They might have tried to train them, but the dog did not have the desire to fight. Or they might be dogs that were being given away in the newspaper. (This is why you should never give a dog away for free, and always should obtain vet references from potential new owners.)

They are considered to be useless dogs to the person running the dog fighting ring, and their only purpose is to keep the other dogs in tip-top condition. They will tie up or otherwise confine the dog to be used for baiting and allow the fighting dog to attack. The bait dog has nowhere to escape and usually will suffer traumatic injuries, or even death.

When It Comes to Pit Bulls, You Only Get What You Give

Some cities have banned pit bulls completely because of the number of attacks on people and pets. When a city bans a certain breed of dog, this means that you are not allowed to own one. If you do, you can be slapped with a hefty fine, and your dog will be impounded and killed. These attacks would not be happening nearly as often if the dogs were not being used in such ways.

Some pit bulls are trained to fight and only want to please their masters.

If a dog is trained to show aggression in a dog fighting ring, or to show aggression towards people, then it will use that knowledge wherever it goes. It doesn't know the difference. It doesn't know when it is an appropriate time. It only knows what it has been taught. The dog knows that its owner wants it to fight. This pleases its owner. The dog gets rewarded for it, and he likes rewards. So he is going do what he was told to do.

Pit bulls get disproportionately more bad publicity in media.

We all see it on the news, on the Internet, and in the newspapers. Another pit bull attack on an innocent child. Or a pit bull attack on the little terrier that lives down the road. We see it all too often. But attacks by other breeds of dogs happen all the time. We just don't always hear about it, because it wasn't one of those awful pit bulls causing the problem. All dogs have the ability to attack if they feel threatened. Some dogs can just have a bad temper, just like some people do.

The responsibility for misbehaving pit bulls lies with their owners.

The responsibility lies on the owner, not the dog. If the dog is known to be aggressive, it should be supervised at all times, even when left outside in a fenced yard. There should be harsher punishment for those that are known to be using dogs for fighting or other inhumane purposes. No dog asks to be thrown into a life of crime and fighting. They are forced into it by the very humans that they trust.

Pit bulls are wonderful friends when treated with love.

Pit bulls are full of love if they are treated right. They are silly dogs and will do many things that will have you laughing yourself to tears. They are high energy, love to play, and make wonderful pets for children. And at the end of the day, they like nothing more than lying beside their master and getting a gentle scratch behind the ears. Don't allow the media to make them look like monsters. Do some research on this wonderful breed, and you will soon see them for the gentle creatures that they really are.

Top 10 Reasons Why You Can't Trust "Vicious" Pit Bulls

  1. They will steal your spot on the couch while you are up getting a soda.
  2. They will take the treat you give them and bury it in the back yard like a paranoid drug addict hiding their stash.
  3. They will jump on your bed with muddy feet. Making you do the laundry . again!
  4. They will lick visitors with an uncontrolled passion only they understand.
  5. They will cause children to smile.
  6. They will make you feel horrible for not walking them by looking at you with deep, sad eyes.
  7. They will look at you like you committed a crime against them if you don't let them lick your ice cream bowl.
  8. They will cause widespread happiness in large group settings.
  9. They will crack you up by shaking their butts so hard you think they are going to snap in half.
  10. They will steal your heart like a thief in the night, showing you complete and pure love that only a pit bull can show.

Jaydene on October 04, 2018:

this is so helpfull to my friends who think that pittbulls are bad i have a pittbull

kamryn on May 01, 2018:

Thank you human (dog voise)

Bobbe on January 01, 2015:

Big help, big help. And suvtrlaeipe news of course.

jay on August 26, 2014:

I'm sure 54-year-old Linda Henry thought her pit bulls were great pets too, until they attacked her & tore off her arms & chewed the scalp off the back of her head. Youre rolling the dice every time you interact with one..

true on January 16, 2014:

Pit bulls rule. They should have never been treated this way. They should all get second chances. If humans get second chances so should pit bulls. Save pit bull!!!! Before its to late!!!

andrewmcd on May 11, 2011:

great hub

Eternal Evolution from kentucky on October 24, 2010:

Great Hub

Doggie Devotee from Danville KY on March 16, 2010:

From one pit lover to another, great hub. I really liked Top Ten Reasons Why You Can't Trust Vicious Pit Bulls It's all true lol. They really are wonderful dogs, people need to stop blaming them and start blaming the real problem, IRRESPONSIBLE OWNERS! Koopa my 3 month old APBT is the 3rd pit bull i've owned and all have been nothing but big goofy love bugs. True you must watch pits around other dogs due to their fighting history but they are bred to have NO human agression a all. A pit bull in a responsible owners hands is a true joy.

Pit bull terrier facts and myths

Are certain breeds of dogs inherently aggressive and dangerous? Some people assume some breeds of dogs are more prone to attacking and biting, though this is a misconception. BSL is often enacted to ease fears over public safety, but these laws are ineffective and very costly.

Pit bull terrier dogs and puppies are the most frequently and unjustly targeted by breed discriminatory legislation as inherently vicious, aggressive and dangerous, though this is not the case, as shown by research, studies and policies from the National Canine Research Council, the Center for Disease Control and the American Bar Association. Unfortunately, negative media attention and the fact that particular breeds of dogs are used in illegal dogfighting has given these dogs a bad reputation.

Best Friends is committed to changing public perception of these dogs with facts, statistics and stories that illustrate their true, loving natures. Documentary films like The Champions, which chronicles life after the fighting ring for the dogs rescued from the property of professional football player Michael Vick, are key to telling that story.

Pit Bull Described as 'Mild-Mannered' Brutally Kills Female Owner During a Walk in the Province of Nova Scotia

Mark Taylor ran over a dangerous pit bull after it killed its owner in Nova Scotia.

Mega Built Bullies
UPDATE 06/30/20: On June 30, 2020, a commenter left a link showing when Megan Milner purchased her two pit bulls -- less than four years later, one brutally kills her while she was taking it for a walk. On November 8, 2016, Mega Built Bullies, a British Columbia-based breeder of "exotic" pit bulls (American bullies), congratulated Megan on her two newest "MBB family members" from a Tonka and Camo litter. The designer pit bulls were a sister and brother pair.

In October 2016, Mega Built Bullies stated on their website, "Welcome to the Home of Mega-Freak-A-Bulls." There is no mistake what Megan had been seeking, two extra large mega-freak pit bulls that we often refer to as "mutants." At that time, MBB Tonka was advertised on the stud page, and the breeding of Tonka and Camo was advertised on the breeding page. This breeding pair session produced one fatally attacking pit bull and one aggressive pit bull in the same litter.

The dogs were at least 4 months old when Megan bought them, indicating that one or both might have been returned to MBB beforehand for behavior issues. The littermates also had to be sold as a "pair."

Does everyone understand that MBB is breeding for size, not temperament or health? MBB is breeding for extra large heads, heavy bones and over 100 pounds in weight. That is all they are selecting for too. Megan seems aware of this and states in a post left at MBB on March 22, 2017: "Kaos, AKA Tonka Jr. 8 months old. Starting to grow a big head, just like I told him his one job is. " In a nutshell, that sums up the problem with designer (exotic, extreme, etc) pit bull breeders.

We also noted among MBB's dogs that UKC's Most Wanted Kimbo is in the second generation of MBB Jesus. Back in 2014, one of Kimbo's offspring, Niko, destroyed a 4-year old girl in Louisiana. Afterward, Kimbo's owner, a California breeder named Gustavo Castro, came under fire because Kimbo was widely known to "throw" (pass down) human aggression to his offspring. Castro ignored this and continued breeding Kimbo, just like MBB will continue breeding Tonka and Camo.

Megan's dogs were XL pit bulls, also know as the American bully. Though recognized by the UKC in 2013, the AB was "developed as a natural extension of the American pit bull terrier." It can be an infusion of at least 7 different breeds: American Staffordshire terrier, American pit bull terrier, American bulldog, English bulldog, Olde English bulldogge, Staffordshire bull terrier and French bulldog (See: related post). They come in four separate "varieties" separated by height only.

Megan Milner purchased her pit bulls from Mega Built Bullies in 2016. In 2020, one killed her.

The pit bull littermates were at least 4 months old when they were shipped to Nova Scotia.

06/13/20: Mauling Victim Identified
The 38-year old woman mauled to death by her alleged "mild mannered" pit bull near Halifax has been identified as Megan Milner. Her last public Facebook post was on June 5. She was found dead in a ditch on June 9 on a rural road in Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia. She had taken one of her two pit bulls for a walk outside of the village. A muzzle was also found at the scene. Mark Taylor, who lived near the attack site, later struck and killed the pit bull with his vehicle.

Just a few weeks before the vicious attack, Milner posted a photograph of her two pit bulls near a vase of flowers. Recently, Bronwynne Conrad Martin, a friend of Milner, claimed to know what Milner would want following her death. "Megan would not want an entire breed to be condemned from this tragic event," Martin wrote. But Martin does not know this -- no one does. Just like no one knows what Darla Napora would have opined about pit bulls after being killed by her own.

"Sorry for your loss, but please don't speak for the dead. Everyone loves their pits until it kills them, literally." - Commenter Ezekiel Roberts

Martin also claimed that people should, "Challenge the conversation with facts." In this case, the facts are clear. Milner was killed by one of her pit bulls, while taking the dog for a walk. Milner was a conscientious owner who would only walk her dogs one at a time outside of the village, and while armed with a sturdy muzzle. On June 9, one of her pit bulls brutally attacked her and left her dead in a ditch. Those are the grim facts, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Like the attractive female pit bull advocates before Milner, who were killed by their own pit bulls (Darla Napora, Bethany Stephens and more), gross speculation and conspiracy theories fueled by pit bull advocates has followed. Claims like, Milner must have been "struck by a car" or "she was killed by a bear." There is a reason why jurisdictions in 53 countries regulate this dog breed. The routine horrific injuries pit bulls inflict, including deglovings, have no place in a civilized society.

Megan Milner, 38-years old, was mauled to death by one of these two pit bulls in Nova Scotia.

06/10/20: Pit Bull Kills Female Owner
Nova Scotia, CA - On Tuesday, a 38-year old woman was mauled to death by one of her two pet pit bulls. Police were called to the scene on Wittenburg Road just after 8:00 am. About an hour-and-a-half later, the attacking pit bull was discovered dead after being run down by a vehicle. At the time of the deadly attack, the victim was taking one of her pit bulls for a walk. One neighbor expressed shock after learning which of the two pit bulls was responsible for inflicting her death.

But the victim's neighbor said he was shocked to find out which of the dogs was responsible for the woman's death. He said one of the pit bulls she owned, which was at the victim's home at the time of the incident, was known to be very aggressive and had attacked the owner last year. The other that turned on its owner was always mild-mannered and well behaved , he said.

"When I found out it was that dog I was shocked, I couldn't believe it," he said. The man said he witnessed the dog being taken from the woman's home by Animal Services on Tuesday afternoon. - The Chronicle Herald

According to the neighbor, he and several other community members saw the other pit bull pin her down before she escaped unharmed in the past. He said the victim adored her two pit bulls. "Those dogs were the focal point of her life," said the neighbor who did not want to be identified. "They meant so much to her," he added. "I think she really tried to help the problem dog become a better dog." Yet, it was not the problem pit bull that killed her. It was the "mild-mannered" one.

Driver Ran Down Dog

About 3 kilometers from the attack site, a driver intentionally struck and killed the dog to prevent further injuries. "I'm glad I came across the dog and took care of it because it really bothered me to think about what else could have happened to the people that didn't know this was going on, so I'm very thankful," Mark Taylor said. After his daughter alerted him to the attack, he jumped in his van and began telling people along the road about the attack. Eventually, he caught up to the dog.

He was headed down the road that leads to his livestock when he saw the dog. Taylor said he made a snap decision to hit the animal with his vehicle.

"It was very fast. I don't know how to describe it, it was surreal," he said. "I didn't concern myself with any repercussions. I took care of the dog."

Taylor, who describes himself as an animal lover, says it was a tough decision to make, but he believes it was the right one. - Mark Taylor, CTV News

Muzzle at the Scene

Video shows the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigating the scene. A large leather dog muzzle can be seen. The National Desk also talked to Taylor, who again emphasized, "It was quick." A teenage jogger and a woman driving her vehicle discovered the victim in the ditch. The jogger had run by the victim and her dog earlier when she was alive. When she returned along her route, she encountered the loose pit bull and the victim dead in the ditch. The teenager called 911.

Police have not release the name of the victim. It is unknown if the dog was wearing the muzzle at the time of the attack. The fact that she had a serious muzzle -- not a flimsy nylon one -- indicates the "well-mannered" pit bull may have also been problematic. Community members said the victim would deliberately walk her dogs outside of town, to be away from residents, as was the case on the day of the attack. (We have never heard of a pit bull owner being this conscientious before.)

Unpacking the Attack

According to neighbors, the victim loved her pit bulls, and knew that at least one of them was aggressive. Notably, she only walked the dogs one at a time too. Residents told news outlets that she often walked her dog on the rural road and the dog was usually muzzled. The victim took precautions to keep her dogs away from the village population, only walked each dog alone, and was armed with a muzzle on her walks. Yet, her "well-mannered" pit bull fatally attacked her.

Statistical data from a 15-year period shows that pit bulls are over 11 times more likely to kill their owner than any other dog breed.

Pit bull owners routinely make devastating choices that result in people and pet dogs being severely mauled or killed. They make devastating choices that result in their own death too. There is no other dog breed that kills their owners more frequently than pit bulls. Over the 15-year period of 2005 to 2019, there were 75 owner-directed attacks that ended in death. Pit bulls were responsible for 63% (47). German shepherds, boxers and mastiffs followed, each with 4 deaths.

Very often, the extreme violence inflicted by pit bulls is unpredictable there is no known stimuli beforehand. What is always true is that when stimuli is known before the attack, it is either minor (movement while sleeping, taking away a treat or a baby in a bouncy chair) or at worst, moderate (the clap of thunder or a domestic family dispute). Thus, the act of killing by pit bulls is always a disproportionate response. There is no appropriate context for these behaviors in normal life.

"It's also not realistic to pretend that impulsive aggression is not pathological. The environments (the fighting pit, the baited bull, the escaping slave) for which these behaviors were selected as an adaptive response are so extreme that in fact there is no appropriate context for these behaviors in normal life." - Animal behaviorist, Alexandra Semyonova

Royal Canadian Mounted Police find muzzle on scene of fatal pit bull attack in Nova Scotia.

Images from Megan Milner's Facebook page. She was brutally killed by one of her pet pit bulls.

The 2016 website of Mega Built Pit Bulls, where Megan purchased her defective XL pit bulls.

The Most Feared Dogs May Also Be the Most Misunderstood

Many countries ban pit bulls as a dangerous breed but “there’s no science that bears that idea out,” says this author.

In 2014, while playing near his house in Phoenix, Arizona, four-year-old Kevin Vicente was savagely attacked by a pit bull named Mickey. But when the authorities sought to put the dog down, public opinion swung behind the dog, not the boy.

The incident illustrated the bitter divide in perceptions of pit bulls—as Bronwen Dickey, author of Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon, has discovered to her own cost. By attempting to show that negative views about pit bulls have often been shaped by misunderstandings of the breed and its history, she has unwittingly become a heroine for the pro-pit bull community and the target of threats and harassment from those who see her as an apologist for a vicious animal. Her bookstore appearances now require security, and her home has been equipped with surveillance cameras.

When we caught up with the author by phone, she explained how her own pit bull, Nola, confounded her fears of the breed how the story of the pit bull is deeply interwoven with the history of the United States and how a foundation in upstate New York is trying to restore the reputation of this most polarizing breed. [Travel to the Chinese festival where dogs are on the menu.]

Watch the video: 10 Myths About Pit Bulls - And the FACTS to Disprove Them (October 2021).

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