Pit-Bulls Are Not A Public Health Hazard


If you own a Pit Bull you know that everything, from finding a place to live to walking your dog to buying homeowner’s or renter’s insurance is more difficult than it should be. In reality Pit-Bulls are better behaved than chihuahuas, but public opinion doesn’t always reflect that. Lots of people believe that Pit Bulls are a public health threat, but nothing could be further from the truth.

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Out of an estimated 90 million dogs in the United States, about 18 million of them fall into the Pit Bull family. This includes breeds like the Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. When Pitbull look alikes are taken to dog shelters, many of them never leave, thanks to things like breed specific legislation that outlaws them in many areas and general distrust of this family of breeds.

Groups like the Centers for Disease Control, the American Bar Association, the Humane Society of the United States, and more are opposed to breed specific legislation because of the many problems with them. They are costly to implement and enforce, they are ineffective at preventing dog attacks, and they punish dogs instead of the owners who fail to control them properly.

The unfair bias surrounding pit-bulls stems from hysteria in public opinion, partly due to unbalanced reporting in the media. In 2007 two dog attacks taking place just a few days apart received wildly different coverage. One, in which an elderly man was hospitalized from a Labrador mix attack received one article in a local newspaper. The next, in which a middle aged woman was hospitalized after a pit bull attack in her home, received 236 local, national, and international articles.

The main problem is that visual breed identification is almost always completely inaccurate, even when professionals are the ones doing the identification. In a study where 20 shelter dogs were shown to almost 6000 “dog experts” the correct dominant breed of those 20 dogs was only correctly identified 27% of the time. What’s more, Pit Bull breeds pass their temperment exams more than 85% of the time, whereas Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, Chow Chows, Dobermans, and Dalmatians are the most often to be poorly behaved.

Dogs are only as good as the owners who train them and love them, and if you aren’t treating them like family you shouldn’t have them to begin with. Learn more about why Pit-Bulls aren’t a public health threat from this infographic.


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15 Comments on "Pit-Bulls Are Not A Public Health Hazard"

  1. David Sapolis, I am so very sorry for your tragic loss, I can’t imagine the horror, anger and grief you have been left with after losing your defenseless dog to this lethal violence. It has gone too far with these animals, they are not “pets” and they need to be made illegal to own. The stupidity of people who own them should alone make them illegal, they are the most unpredictable and lethal dog on the planet. This breed has taken the joy out of walking a dog–they’ve infested every community that hasn’t banned them. I hope you are suing the helldog’s owner and the killer has been put down.

  2. You should be ashamed for posting this stack of pit bull crap; you are not writing about Labradors or Beagles, you are writing about the No. 1 canine killer. You are responsible for these bloodsport bred dogs horrifically mauling and killing children– and the killing of our pets on a daily basis. The content and illustrations in this propaganda piece are elementary and foolish. Tell the truth about this dysfunctional breed, only then will the fatalities will decline.

  3. My dog was 10 years old, and blind, attacked from behind (unprovoked) and viciously killed by 2 pit bulls that were off leash. Tell me I am wrong about the breed. Go ahead. Tell us about how we’re crazy and uninformed after you look at the $12K plus in medical bills that we suffered during the same attack. I’m listening.

  4. Robyn Gayle Jakubiec | Mar 2, 2018, 6:56 pm at 6:56 pm |

    That’s a crock of if I ever saw one.

  5. Pit bulls are not “mean” nor “aggressive” when they maim and kill any more than labs are mean or aggressive when they retrieve, pits simply maul and kill because of genetics. Denying the truth won’t reduce the killings and maimings by these purpose bred blood sport animals. Spay and neuter pit bulls to extinction.
    #GeneticsMatters #BreedMatters #WontBackDown #SpayNeuterPitsToExtinction

  6. Marisa Nordstrom | Feb 21, 2018, 5:39 pm at 5:39 pm |

    I stopped reading before I started. Pure garbage pit propaganda.

  7. Julie Edwards-Matanga | Feb 21, 2018, 11:56 am at 11:56 am |

    It’ seems we encounter your name on threads like this too. I believe you live where pit bulls are banned. How is that working?

  8. Julie Edwards-Matanga | Feb 21, 2018, 11:55 am at 11:55 am |

    I stopped reading after I reached “chihuahua”. Really now.

  9. Julie Edwards-Matanga | Feb 21, 2018, 11:49 am at 11:49 am |

    I stopped reading after I read “Chihuahuas”. Really now.

  10. Chef David Edelstein | Feb 21, 2018, 10:16 am at 10:16 am |

    1) Why is it STILL that those who know the very least about a topic do the most amount of talking about it?
    All these negative comments, inaccurate comments…. none of which come from anyone even remotely considered an expert (ie Veterinarian Doctor, Animal Behaviorist, Dog Trainer, Animal Control Officer, etc)

    2) It appears that the hysteria stems from a VERY SMALL GROUP (the same names keep popping up on comment threads attached to articles about Pit Bulls). Some call that a religion, others call it a cult, and some call it good old fashion McCarthyism.

  11. It’s surprising how strong the propaganda is with these. Why don’t they spend their money in something that actually matters?

  12. Who paid to have this article written? Who hired the graphic designer?
    I’ll take a guess: the Human Society? Best Friends? Animal Farm Foundation?
    They all have paid pit bull lobbyists on staff, One statistic the graphic neglects to mention: which breed comprises only five percent of the canine population but is responsible for 95% of fatal attacks on humans? Pit Bulls.
    I guess they forgot to mention that . . . .

  13. There is no hysteria, there is no media conspiracy, there are no problems with identification of pits, there is nothing that you can say or do to change the FACTS, which are pits are mauling and killing like no other in history. Now you want to do something to help the breed, tell the truth about it, stop pimping it to every Tom, Dick and Harry.

  14. nonpitbullpetslivesmattertoo | Feb 20, 2018, 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm |

    Dr. Michael S Golinko, who did the largest dog bite study to date, states pit bull type-dogs are a danger to children. It’s better to be safe than sorry, keep your children away from pit bull type-dogs. He states what makes pit bulls different from other dog breeds is that they keep attacking. Google: Characteristics of 1616 Consecutive Dog Bite Injuries at a Single Institution

    Pit bulls are selectively bred to recognize other dogs as prey to fight in a pit to the death. You never know when it will be triggered. Simple noises and movement can trigger the pit bull’s prey drive into a deadly attack. This is not a safe breed trait to have in a family pet. Pit bulls are zero mistake dogs.

    Correct there are nice pit bulls. The problem is that you can’t tell them apart from the pit bulls that decide to kill.

    Please spend some time witnessing to the victims of pit bull attacks. Most attacking pit bulls are not due to bad owners but naïve owners who do not understand the dangerous pit bull breed traits.

    From 2005-2018, 281 people killed by pit bull type dogs. Go to: DOGS BITE ORG

    Would you deliberately choose a crib, car, or helmet with the highest record of fatalities and the worst safety rating? Pit bull type-dogs are responsible for 95% of severe attacks (level 4-6 dog bites) on people, pets and livestock in breed neutral zones. Please follow for one month. You will be shocked at all the people and pets that are severely maimed or killed by pit bulls.

    FOLLOW: National Pit Bull Victim Awareness
    30,000 estimated animals killed by pit bull types every year.

    Pit bulls do not lock their jaws but with their gameness trait they do not let go.

    Two words to prove pit bull type dogs are inherently dangerous, “BREAK STICK’.

    Does this sound like a normal and safe dog breed to have live in our neighborhoods? Pit Bull Rescue Central recommends ALL pit bull owners to have a “break stick”, a wedge-shaped piece of wood used to pry open a pit bull’s jaw during an attack. “Since pit bulls have a strong fighting background, we recommend that pet owners also have a breaking stick as a precaution, even if they don’t plan to use it in an illegal context. However, please be discreet. Breaking sticks are not something to brag about and the general public might have the wrong impression if you walk around with a stick in your hand. Breaking sticks are not illegal, but they are considered dog fighting paraphernalia in certain states and/or with certain law enforcement agents.”

    According to Pit Bull Rescue Central, “It is a FACT that our pit bulls, AmStaffs and pit mixes come with a built-in fighting heritage.It doesn’t matter where we get them from, whether it be the pound, a stray we pick up, or a puppy we buy from a breeder. The majority of pit bulls will, at some point in their lives, exhibit some degree of dog-on-dog aggression. Yet, chances are that a “normal” pit bull will not share his affection with other animals.We cannot predict when or where it will happen and we can’t love, train or socialize it out of the dog. Pit bulls may not start fights, but they will finish them.”

    Red Flag: MOST insurance companies have come to the same conclusion and do no cover pit-bulls because they can’t afford the risk. Insurance companies have a calculated actuarial risk of pit bulls a lot higher compared with other dog breeds. Pit bulls are more likely to attack their owners. Dog attacks are the third most common claim on homeowner’s insurance. More evidence that people who have pit-bulls and certain other types of breeds are endangering people and other people’s beloved pets in our communities.

    It all starts with the ethical breeder willing to produce a dog with a stable inherited temperament. Domestic animals are selectively bred for certain traits, people are not. It is not possible to discriminate against dog breeds that are purposely bred for certain traits and characteristics. Dog breeding is the practice of mating selected dogs with the intent to maintain or produce specific qualities and characteristics. There are 300+ dog breeds. Pit bull breeders are the only ones who are breeding for aggression, tenacity and power to create the ultimate canine gladiator. The reality is that it is not how you raise them, it is how they are bred. “Love” will not take away a pit bulls inherent drive to kill. They are supplying to dog fighters, drug dealers, gang members, people who want a guard dog or a dog that looks like a protection dog. Aggression is a dominant trait resulting in a 75% chance of inheritance. One needs to actively breed to eliminate it through selective breeding and deliberate attrition, things that back yard breeders never do. Another problem is the rampant inbreeding with pit bull that produces unsafe dog. Pit-bull type dogs are the number one dog surrendered to shelters, a million every year, mostly because of aggression issues. Then many are rehomed by irresponsible pit bull advocates back into our communities.

    Most dogs warn you before they attack, growling or barking to tell you how angry they are—”so they don’t have to fight,” ASPCA adviser and animal geneticist Stephen Zawistowski stresses. Not the pit bull, which attacks without warning. Most dogs, too, will bow to signal that they want to frolic. Again, not the pit bull, which may follow an apparently playful bow with a lethal assault.

    BENJAMIN HART, professor emeritus at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and animal behaviorist says, “It’s quite common for a pit bull to show no signs of aggression. 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. Hart said pit bulls are responsible for about 60 percent of dog attack fatalities each year, which is “way out of proportion” compared with other breeds. Pit bulls make up less than 5 percent of the American dog population. “It’s very poor policy to allow any child around a pit bull, in my mind, let alone climb on a dog.”

    Tia Torres, who has a T.V. show on Animal Planet called, “Pit Bulls & Parolees​” wrote this for Rescue Train, “It’s a mistake to think the fighting gene can be easily trained or loved out of a pit-bull.”

    Pit Bull Federation of South Africa – PBFSA’: “Pit bulls were never designed to be 100% safe with other animals.”

    Why they think it’s appropriate to rehome pit bulls after saying that is beyond me. Owning and adopting out predators of other people’s beloved pets compromises public safety. In my opinion is immoral.

    A Propensity to Attack Other Dogs Means a Dog Is Dangerous to People. Approximately one-third of Mr. Phillips’ cases started out as a dog attacking another dog, and then turned into a dog attacking a person.

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