Here's my story:
My son brought a six week-old pit puppy home one day in the late '80s when we were in Central Texas. We learned first-hand what it takes to handle this particular breed. In a word - it takes WORK. "Samurai" was a very loyal and seemingly gentle dog when she was in the house. But she was a holy terror outdoors. I say this because she either challenged or felt challenged by every dog and person she encountered on the street. It was a very difficult proposition to keep her under control. We could not trust her outdoors without having her on a leash.
We took her with us to Germany, and for the next 3 years we placed a significant amount of our focus on ensuring that she was properly cared for and didn't create an "incident" in our community. (We lived "on the economy," so our neighbors were a mix of Germans, Brits, Irish, Slavs, etc.) I felt that we were lucky to complete our tour without significant problems, and still on good speaking terms with the neighbors.
When my son returned to the States on his own, he then got to take care of his own dog. Only then did we get some relief. (That's relief in the sense that we didn't have to manage the dog ourselves; not relief from worrying about what she would do if HE didn't manage her properly). Eventually, our son gave her away to somebody who he thought would provide a "good home." That's the last we heard.
I believe that some breeds of dogs just do not make good "family pets." I think the pit bull is one of these breeds. It takes a special owner who understands the breed and is willing to put in the time and effort to ensure that the dog - and the life forms that come into contact with it - continue to "live long and prosper."
In sum: IMHO, pit bull terriers aren't for everyone.
I agree with Seb, big dogs have a lot of enegry and that energy needs to be worked off. They also need a strong "alpha dog" to lead the pack. Without such guidence, they do as they please and can attack partly due to fear. If no one is in control, then how can I be safe? So I attack you before you have a chance to get me. With strong leadership, the dog feels confindent and so will follow the alpha's lead. If you don't have the time, engery and temperment to properly care for these animals, then don't get them.
I have to challenge your assertion IKY, the *breeds* you are referring to are of the mastiff line that were used in battle by the Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians & Persians well over 3,000 years ago APBTs aka pitbulls were not used to kill humans in battle on the North American continent, so unless you can come up with verifiable proof all you're doing is spreading salacious rumours. Current day society's problems with APBTs began with the hate campaign of intentional misinformation orchestrated by the HSUS beginning with an episode of the "Lou Grant Show" in the late 1970's when they acted as technical advisors on an inner-city dog-fighting episode, much of what is quoted as fact in today's investigative manuals dates back to that one TV-drama and its sensationalism. Did you know that the HSUS promotes the euthanasia of newborn APBTs simply because they are all born bad, or that they raised $34 million dollars claiming to have Micheal Vicks dogs *which they didn't have*, that they claimed should be destroyed, however now they use Micheal Vick as a fund raising tool and think he should have another dog.
There is no one-size-fits-all breed of dog regardless of what people want to believe, each home has its own set of issues, so yes research and an honest look at ones situation before considering getting a dog, cat, bird, fish tank...is the prudent thing to do.
History of the Pit Bull
Unfortunately what you are saying is a military killing "pitbull" is it's ancestory, just as all canids only differ from wolves in their mitochondrial DNA by .04% hence had to be reclassified as Canid Lupus instead of Canid Familiaris. It would the same as me saying you are a neanderthal or cro magnon simply because you live & breathe and are hominid. We have a BIG problem in our society, we see killing machine pitbulls everywhere when indeed they just aren't. As I said before there is a concerted effort over the past 30yrs to destroy a type of dog that has done nothing in and of itself, and in the campaign to destroy it the MYTHS and LIES that have grown around it have become truths all to satisfy a financial agenda to separate us from our animals, because it's easy to believe in evil killing dogs & dog fighters first, especially coming from a pastor connected to the new progress church & best friends...
Graeme245, How many pit bulls have you owned in your lifetime?
I have owned around 100 and possibly more pit bulls in my lifetime, that's why I know a little about the breed.
I've owned a few pit bulls that I was actually afraid of because when they were working they would bite anything or anyone that was close by.
I have also owned a few pit bulls that no other humans could be around, not even my wife or family members.
My pit bulls were trained to work and hunt not to attack humans so explain to me why some of my dogs could not be around anyone but me.
I think ANY dog that bites, or mauls a human should be put down. NO second chances.
BTW IKY, how or why did you own so many pit bulls? Just curious.
IKY did you post-mortem all your dogs upon their passing? Did you have Michigan State Thyroid Tests or HemoPet Thyroid Tests run on all of your dogs as hyperthyroidism is not unusual in aggressive dogs of any breed.
I work with The Georgia Canine Coalition as a researcher, we advocate for common sense legislation concerning man's best friend in the state of Georgia, not only at the capital but also at the local level.
My personal experience with "pitbulls" sets me up to not be an advocate for them, my husband was mauled by 2 unattended pitbulls and required hospitalization, the pitbulls were tracked down by local AC & police and shot, heads were sent off for rabies testing as no owner was available to produce any records. To this day I hold caregivers responsible for the attack, not the dogs.
I put my first working/training title on a dog 50yrs ago and haven't stopped...as I age I've turned my energies to protecting what has served me best in my lifetime. I shudder at the LIES about APBTs and other breeds of dogs that have done nothing other than become the chiene de jour, the massacure of Floyd Boudreaux's dogs perpetuated by HSUS.
Jimmy Mack put it well, "a dog that bites or mauls" and that was why the Ga Canine Coalition fought so hard for the passing of HB 685. Yes it sounds very tired but this isn't about the breed it's about the deed, ANY large dog can do damage to a healthy adult, any dog with teeth can do damage to a defenseless baby. It's time to drop the "Walt Disneyland Animals" attitude and make people responsible for the actions of their animals...gee maybe then we can make them responsible for their human offspring too ;)
Amen Graeme245. If Fido hurts humans that are not threatening his family (pack) of humans then he\she need to be scrutinized with his\her fate being held in the balance.
Bite and bark at the home intruder but leave the baby and the baby's friends alone.
JimmyMack, I started hog hunting with dogs since I was 17 years old and owned hog dogs for over 20 years. As some people know hog hunting is very dangerous. I have lost as many as 10 dogs in one year to bad hogs. I also bought and traded dogs on a regular basis so I probably went through well over 100 dogs in my career.
When this kind of "news" keeps hitting the headlines, it's tough for the public at large to have much sympathy for the breed:
Even though the article says that the dogs "included a pit bull" and that "all of the dogs were euthanized," you can bet you bottom dollar on which dog most readers will believe killed the college student.