Over the years, Pitbulls have gotten a bad rap due to their aggressive nature and likeliness to attack. For this reason alone, many cities throughout the US have outlawed Pitbulls altogether. Yet according to the American Temperament Test Society, the American Pitbull breed has a high passing rate of 82.6% compared to other common breeds with a passing rate of 77%.
When you take into account bite to population ratios, Pitbulls are still less likely to attack a person than German Shepherds, Chows, or Rottweilers.
Are Pitbulls a Danger to Society?
Many Pitbull owners abide by the slogan: “It’s the owner, not the breed.” This blames any type of dog bite or attack on the training and control of the owner alone, not the breed or natural temperament of a dog. Although environment and ownership can dictate a dog’s behavior, many experts continue to argue that genetics will determine whether or not a dog, like a Pitbull, is likely to attack.
While it may not be fair to classify a Pitbull as a dangerous animal that should be outlawed, it’s still important to acknowledge that Pitbulls have been responsible for fatalities – roughly 128 deaths from 2005 to 2011. In most cases, the attacks happened in the home with 51% involving a family member and a household pet.
Helpful Tips for Adopting a Pitbull
If you’ve weighed the pros and cons and believe that adopting a Pitbull is the right choice for you, consider these important tips for the best experience in welcoming your new furry friend home:
- Adopt an older dog instead of a pup. Pitbull rescue and adoption is critical to save a life and give a Pitbull a loving home. If you adopt an adult dog instead of a puppy, you’ll know exactly what personality traits and characteristics you will be bringing home with you.
- Focus on socialization. A Pitbull is more likely to be happy and confident if it’s well-socialized with other dogs and people. If you’re adopting a puppy, consider enrolling it in a puppy behavior class for both on-leash and off-leash training.
- Play to expend energy. As the famous dog trainer Cesar Milan advocates, it’s critical to expend energy in a dog through regular exercise. An active breed like a Pitbull will benefit from intense outdoor activity to stay fit and beat boredom.
- Prepare for discrimination. For starters, owning a Pitbull may be outlawed in or near your area; if not, other pet owners may be scared or intimidated by the breed.