Why Are Pit Bulls So Popular When the Stats Are So Bad?
An American Pit Bull Terrier may not be the best choice for a family pet, but they remain very popular. The logical question is why? Even if you can ignore the bad press this breed of dog receives, statistics don’t lie. There must be a reason why many homeowner’s insurance companies won’t cover a Pit. Owners swear by the breed, stating that that they have a history of having a loving and loyal disposition.
People are, and should be, very cautious of the American Pit Bull. Cities, states and countries around the world are beginning to become aware of the need to restrict this dog, due in large part for it’s ferocity. This canine breed has a background in fighting and aggression, particularly in fights. This reputation comes in part from dog fighting rings, often used as sport and involved in gambling by disreputable owners. However; many Pit Bull owners swear that that their dog is extremely loving and faithful, having been raised and trained by a caring and responsible family. Some say they only become aggressive when they have been trained to act that way.
According to the American Temperament Test Society, Inc. (ATTS), which is a professional organization who independently tests the temperaments of over 25,000 dogs across 200 breeds, Pit Bulls are among a group of dogs known as “bully breeds”. They found this breed of terrier to rank in the mid-80th to low-90th percentile in terms of friendly disposition. They sight them to be on par with such beloved dogs as Beagles and Australian Shepherds. However, if you look at fatalities from dog attacks Pit Bulls sit right at the top. According to DogsBite.org, there were 31 fatal dog attacks which occurred in the United States in 2011. Pit bulls led these fatal dog attacks. the were responsible for 71% (22) of the deaths, but it should be noted that they are less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population.
While the numbers regarding dog attacks and dog maulings are very clear, dog owners continue to be loyal to their pets, claiming them to be among the most loyal and loving of canine breeds. These owners often hold the position that the dogs themselves are indeed victims. The dogs are victimized, so say these owners, by myths which are untrue or exaggerated by the media to capitalize on the latest news item involving an attack. Another way these loving and docile dogs are victimized is by an overly aggressive person who wants to show off a tough guy image.
Dogs bites are common among any breeds, and having a pet means you are responsible for their actions. Being the owner of a Pit dog means you must be ever vigilant to ensure the safety of those who will be around your dog. Owning a poodle is much less of a risk than being the owner of a “bully breed”.