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Assassin_15's avatar

Why do people hate pitbulls so much?

Asked by Assassin_15 (222points) May 1st, 2011

I have a pitbull and she is the sweetest dog I’ve ever had

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42 Answers

Blondesjon's avatar

For the same reason folks hate anything anymore, bad press.

The media doesn’t do stories about sweet pitbulls. The only images many people see in relation to the breed are images of rabid dogs and mauled children. Couple this with the fact that a large proportion of the population are news outlet fed sheep and you have all the makings of a very successful smear campaign.

Folks need to get it through their heads that it’s not a specific breed that is dangerous. It’s the person raising the breed that is.

DominicX's avatar

Because, like it or not, pit-bulls are responsible for an inordinate amount of attacks on humans. According to this data: http://dogbitelaw.com/images/pdf/breeds-causing-DBRFs.pdf, pit-bulls and rottweilers are responsible for 67% of deaths by dog attacks, with pit-bulls being responsible for more than rottweilers.

That does not mean that every single pit-bull is dangerous and would kill a person, I’m sure that many pit-bulls are perfectly friendly, but data like this does give some validity to people’s fears about them.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

We have a pitbull who is the sweetest, gentlest and most polite of our three dogs- 99% of the time. 1% of the time she turns into a vicious killer who is near impossible to stop once into an attack. These dogs are so incredible powerful in the body and bite that if they feel they are protecting, they won’t stop.

After our pit is gone, we will never have another. She can’t tell the difference between other dogs play wrestling or if they are fighting, she will immediately jump in to protect the dog she’s closer to as if he’s being viciously attacked. She has tried to kill my little doggie and can’t be trusted to be alone where he is. I really feel if we were walking with her in public and she perceived a stranger to shout at us or make aggressive body movements towards us then she would attack. We choose not to put her in situations where her instinct and force can be triggered.

Berserker's avatar

I don’t hate them, they’re splendid looking dogs. But I am scared of them, although not so much for their given image on ferocity rather than I’m dead scared of all dogs. Even small ones.
Although generally, as was already stated, pits can do severe damage on someone, probably a lot more than even bigger dogs, so that can scare a lot of people. I’m not entirely sure that a pit bull is anymore psychotic than say a German Shepperd though, like most dogs, it probably has to do with how you raise it. Don’t quote me. I’ve often heard people say that pits will go mental for no reason at all, and given how that breed came to exist, that might be true. Then again maybe not. I’m not very informed on the subject, but all the statistics and gory news people come across is enough to make them single out a certain breed, I guess?

marinelife's avatar

Because it is easy to stigmatize by breed. Pitbulls are very sweet-natured, but if thye bite, they can do terrible damage because of the way their jaw is bred to lock on.

ragingloli's avatar

I find them to be ugly animals.

AstroChuck's avatar

Hate is a strong word. But if you carried mail for a living, as I do, you wouldn’t have to ask this question.

rock4ever's avatar

They are know to be viscous attack dogs even though that is suck a stereotype. Poodles attack people more often than pittys

mazingerz88's avatar

Hate sometimes is a result of Fear. I fear pit bulls but hated their owners more like Michael Vick. But I really do hate those two pit bulls who ripped and slaughtered that poor young woman in San Francisco in an apartment hallway. The owner was acquitted but I can’t help wondering whether she could have prevented that savage killing. I was traumatized by that news so I fear these dogs.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@rock4ever: The difference is a poodle can be grabbed and tossed aside whereas a pitt will knocked over a 100lb person, not be budged by a 200lb person, jaws will lock and and super strong muscled neck with thrash with deadly force anything stuck in it’s teeth.

Both my fiancée and I wrestled with our dog to stop killing my little doggie with no impact. He picked up a barstool and repeatedly beat on her with it, again no impact as the stool just bounced off her tensed muscled body. It took my guy bonking her on the head with a garden spade to distract her long enough for her jaws to release so we could pry my dog loose. She has no canines but is so powerful with her jaws that even the rest of her teeth punctured and did damage.

For most people, I think this breed of dog is just too much to handle unless they have no other animals in “the pack”, the pitt has never before been abused and you consciously make mind to not put the pitt in any situation where it’s prey or protect mode can go off catching the owner unprepared.

tinyfaery's avatar

Because people do not have control of their animals and allow the pitt to be dominate. A dog who thinks it’s the boss will act out aggressively.

Some breeds need very assertive owners, owners that are willing and able to be top dog.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@tinyfaery: We refuse to chain our pitt when we’re not at home. She is absolutely obedient the rest of the time, we just can’t figure out what triggers her to attack. I’m not sure how much more we can dominate her since she already has a strict household where what’s expected of her is the same as the other dogs and she complies. People like you crack me up, I’d like to see you try to figure out why an otherwise loving dog, so polite and delicate just goes off and decides to eat up your other pets.

Our only consolation is our home and yard are large, so far the dogs respect the indoor gates even though they could easily hop them or knock them down and the pit will die sooner than the little dogs. We can’t stomach having her put down as the vet and family have suggested to us but that’s until the next attack if there is one. I might consider it then.

woodcutter's avatar

@mazingerz88 I remember that killing if I recall the same one. But wasn’t that dog a presa canario? http://www.sanderskennels.com/Presa_Male_Imports.htm
Too many people get those kinds of dogs for that following, that they tend to be aggressive so they will get the respect….or respeck, that they otherwise feel they are lacking in their lives. They treat them like mauling machines and people wonder why they attack. Bad ones are like land sharks with those huge locking jowls. Sure, poodles are biters but they can be removed. The decision to get a pit bull should not be taken lightly.

Carly's avatar

In my experience they can be unpredictable. We have a pitbull, half the time he’s the laziest and sweetest dog in the world, then something, anything really can set him off. He has flipped out over squirrels, loud cars, other dogs, even family members who happen to be too tall. There are other times when we thought he would be aggressive and he wasn’t (ex: when there were raccoons in our backyard and when we had movers inside out house).

Our other dog’s behaviors are more predictable.. but we’re still wondering if it’s the breed or the personality.

EricaAnn824's avatar

Sad but true some pits are nice and sweet, but every pitbull I have come in contact with has been very aggressive and hyper and I even had a boyfriend that had one, and it would knock my kids down all the time, and I just disliked it, cause it wasn’t well behaved. So to get to a story fast, I have an older daughter that stayed with her Dad for a little while. There for awhile I was in school, and her dad lost contact with me for quite sometime. So I got a lawyer and well,during the time period he moved, got his phone disconnected. I was so upset. So him and his girlfriend had three pitbulls. One night my daughter got attacked by one. His jaw locked, and she had a hole in her face, and passed out and everything, she had to get her face reconstructed. She is now 9 years old. Her Dad still has two pitbulls, and I think he is just stupid for having kept them after what happened. I was so very upset! Extremely Upset! I am sorry, but these dogs they have, were very sweet and friendly, and that one turned on My Daughter! The others have killed other pets also that they have in the home.

Moegitto's avatar

Theres alot of different things that go along with a bite related incident. When an incident happens, you have to describe the dog by visual remembrance. If you say black and tan, one person might say it’s a doberman and another person might say it was a rottweiler. Not to mention the different mixed breeds out there. But then again, people are throwing all these reports out there saying how one dog is more dangerous than the next. I read a report that stated how german shepards were topping the charts on dog bites, with golden retrievers coming in third because of poor breeding making the breeds “stupid” and unruly. He’s a link that describes aggressive breeds http://www.ehow.com/list_6011449_top-10-aggressive-dogs.html. Here’s another http://dogobedienceadvice.com/which_dog_breeds_are_most_aggressive.php. 2 different opinions from 2 different people. It’s all about perception…

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Carly: It’s so sad, we love our dog and she doesn’t seem to care about the cat, birds, the pool guy or the yard guy but in her head she does have a pecking order among the dogs in our house, my dog being the expendable one.

srtlhill's avatar

Dogs are like people, some are gentle always and some can hurt you real bad when they tweak out and go nutso.
Pit bulls from my small knowledge have been gentle but I would still rather have a poodle attack. Many breeds will nip and run pit bulls hang on TIGHT with a thick skull also. I also feel it’s the foundation of how an animal acts is based on who raised them. Some people by way of dog fights have helped with the bad press. A pit bull is a killer in a dog fight arena. Sad but true. It’s not the dogs fault it’s the person training the pooch.
I own a 15 year old jack Russell. He’s the greatest dog to me. Good luck

Meego's avatar

The poor pitbull has been scrutinized for years now. I.Hate.That.
We fight so hard to keep animals from going extinct, but to the innocent animals we are basically becoming the enemy, rendering them useless to live in the wild even while we try to save them from our own kind. It’s kind of an oxy moron. I love all the fur babies even my own, but I do believe life should of been left alone in it’s simplest form otherwise things like this happen…

JLeslie's avatar

@Meego OMG what does that barbaric act have to do with pitbulls? And, pitbulls have been bread by some to be aggressive and violent, worrying about the more violent ones dying off does not bother me. Maybe if they are now bread to continue the lines of the well behaved less aggressive pitbulls the feelings about them would change.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I love Pit Bulls (I love all of the bully breeds). I hate the idiots that use them as status symbols and encourage the dog to be agressive in order to prove something to their aquaintances. Apart from rapists and child abusers, I hate those people more than any other.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@JLeslie brought up something I’ve suspected. Before our dog, I never paid much attention to pit bulls being sold, noticing them in neighborhoods or what not but since living in an actual house and in suburbs then I do notice them. I believe a lot of owners are irresponsible breeders, mating their pets with someone else’s they think is a good pet or super big/strong/reactive and the quality of pups being sold (or given to rescue) suffers.

Our pit was a rescue dog by my fiancee’s ex who was “into pits” probably for the image thing of them being “badass” more than anything. When they divorced then he took one of the pits who is now one of our blended pet family dogs. We think since she was an a formerly abused dog and used for fighting/breeding then she should have gone on to be a one pet family dog so she wouldn’t be provoked by others- it just didn’t work out that way though.

There are probably lots of owners like us who have former rescue dogs who think safety, security, attention and love will cancel out the past aggression but maybe we should consider breeding in animals is a strong determinate of personality and how much breed instinct is dominant.

Meego's avatar

@JLeslie the link itself doesn’t really have to do with the pitbull breed, but my point was more about how human beings use innocennce as a claim to fame similar to @Leanne1986‘s comment. Pit-bulls and dogs have been and will continue to be used and the expense for them being loyal to the hand that feeds them or even in micheal vicks case being loyal while he abused them, the answer is possible total breed annihilation. it just doest fit together for me. Something else could be done they aren’t bad because they are born bad it’s the way they are raised, it’s not their fault it’s ours, we let it happen.

JLeslie's avatar

@Meego I think it is pretty much an accepted fact that certain breeds have certain traits. It might be humans who enhanced these things by artificially breeding for specific traits, but that is where we are at now. I have been around calm, game, friendly pitbulls, but I have been scared to death by them too. I have never been scared by a lab or golden retriever.

An owners denial that their dog won’t bite, or when they fail to see that aggressive behavior is scary to others, even if it is a fact the dog is unikely to bite, no what the breed, pisses me off to no end. I am not saying you are like this, but it happens constantly.

One house in my neighborhood has pitbulls and when I walk buy they run to the edge of the lawn and bark like crazy. Scares the shit out of me, I no longer walk there, I called the property manager and the city to see if possiby there was a rule about fencing. Theyprobably have an invisible fence, but that does not make me feel any better. One of the great things about dogs is they will take on pain to protect their owners. I think aggressive breeds should be required to be fenced in with a proper fence personally. Where I used to live they were not allowed in the community at all. I prefer it like that. So, I guess I am pretty biased.

I will agree humans have some culpability, that I am willing to concede. I am disgusted that there are aggressive human beings out there who like to watch and create vilence and death, and it seems sometimes dogs get caught up in that, which saddens me greatly. i hate to see anyone or animal suffer or be mistreated.

Moegitto's avatar

Another interesting fact is how people stereotype dogs. Most states actually allow you to have “bully breed” dogs, but not “Pitbull” breed dogs. Most people think that just because it looks like a bully breed it’s automatically gonna be a killer or it was born to be a killer. Over 70% of bully breeds are born just for status symbols, and they get violent like any other dog that’s not socialized. Another funny fact, the Bulldog was the actual dog that was created JUST to fight other dogs and the Great Dane breed were created by the Romans as war dogs (Dogs that viciously protect their master, who was normally someone high ranking in the Roman army).

Neizvestnaya's avatar

@Moegitto: When we were look for a rental house then none of the nice neighborhoods would allow them, not just the landlords’ preferences but actual HOA statutes. We ended up declaring our dog as a lab/boxer mix.

JLeslie's avatar

@Neizvestnaya Every community I lived in in FL did not allow them. They also limited how large a dog could be sometimes, and how many dogs an owner could have.

Meego's avatar

@JLeslie you mentioned about the pit-bulls running around without a fence…I think that no matter what animal anyone has if it is in a yard it should be in a fenced yard if it’s not tethered. I don’t really agree with the invisible fence. There are many other scary dogs out there for instance on my routine walk their is a Rottweiler he is full muscle and 125lbs his name is Rocky he stand silent behind the fence and then when he sees fit even when you don’t know he’s there he’s starts barking then he body checks the fence while barking spitting and baring teeth. I find Rottweilers more scary and aggressive than pit-bulls. I was on my way to school when I was younger and came across a rottweiler getting into the garbage. I had to walk by and the dog was making it very clear I was not going to get by I thought don’t look walk by calm, well he came at me, I ran luckily for me he ran back for the garbage…I got the message LOUD AND CLEAR
I’ve never had a run in with a pit-bull. Where I live if they are a pit-bull breed the law states they must wear a muzzle no matter what. Getting rid of the breed will only start other bigger breeds like this which scare me

JLeslie's avatar

@Meego Don’t worry, the community I lived in previously did not allow rottweilers either.

So, the state law might be the dogs need to be muzzled even when behind an electric fence?

mattbrowne's avatar

Was sweet-naturedness the main criterion for the selective breeding of pitbulls? I find that hard to believe.

JustJessica's avatar

A pit killed my cat day before yesterday, I really think it could have been any breed. I’ve known this dog for five years and it had never been aggressive in the least. My best friend almost got her arm ripped off by a pit that she had known all it’s life. I’m not saying it’s just pits but those are the only dogs I’ve ever seen “turn”. I’m just sayin…

I’ve always liked pits but I’m starting to change my mind, but I wouldn’t say I hate all pits just the one that killed my sweet baby kitty!!!

Meego's avatar

OMG @JustJessica I’m so sorry about that :(

@JLeslie I live in Canada so maybe pit bull laws are a bit different for me

We also have an Anti-cruelty law

JLeslie's avatar

I just noticed the OP’s username. Nice. Just to fit in with the stereotype of who loves aggressive dogs.

Blondesjon's avatar

@JLeslie . . . uh, i think the username is more of a video game kinda thing

Berserker's avatar

Yeah, when you look at his avatar, it’s the main character from a video game called Assassin’s Creed. I’m pretty sure that has nothing to do with this question.

Meego's avatar

I don’t get it maybe I’m slow but how does assassin fit in?? :/

JLeslie's avatar

Um, violence? It isn’t that I am saying the OP is aggressive or violent, all I am saying is it doesn’t help the sterotype of people who like pitbulls. Since she writes he is the sweetest dog, I doubt the OP is actually aggressive or violent.

Assassin_15's avatar

@JLeslie I love Assassin’s Creed.. I can’t help it =)

Moegitto's avatar

Let’s just agree to disagree. This is like arguing about Racism, fingers always point towards the other party and no one admits the wrong they’re doing.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Lots of lurve for @mattbrowne‘s answer.

@JustJessica: I’m so sorry about your kitty :(
Out pit doesn’t pay our own kitty much mind but she will chase and kill a stranger cat if she can catch it.

Our put has torn my fiancee’s daughter’s thumb from her palm before. Apparently the wailing in pain of the person she’s supposed to protect didn’t stop her fast enough- the daughter was trying to pry the dog’s mouth off another dog they used to own.

blueberry_kid's avatar

They’re scary, man! I was walking down the street and was almost attacked by my neighbors. I think it traces back to the guy (a few years ago) who got arrested for mistreating them, or something like that. I can’t remember specifically. Plus, it traces back into the bloodline and history of the dogs “ancestors”. The dog itself was a viscous dog when mistreated, and still is. It’s the way you treat the dog that makes him go wacko.

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