The Truth About Pit Bulls

Cesar Millan often says, “A breed is like a suit of clothes, it doesn’t tell you anything about the dog inside.” In Leader of the Pack, Cesar works to rehabilitate dogs and train people, which is the best way to help others understand that it isn’t any particular breed that causes problems, but the way a dog is trained. There is a “good” dog inside of almost every dog. This is certainly true of the most misunderstood breed, the pit bull.

Pit bulls receive horrible press and the internet is full of misconceptions and untruths about this normally sweet and gorgeous breed of dog. They are also a breed with which Cesar has a personal connection. One of the most beloved members of Cesar’s pack, Daddy was a pit bull that originally belonged to rapper Redman. When the pit bull was four months old, Redman didn’t feel he could care for him properly in his environment. He sought a trainer and, through a referral, found Cesar. Daddy became a member of Cesar’s family and helped Cesar educate people on the true nature of his breed. It turned out that the public has a lot to learn about pit bulls!

The Truth About Pit Bulls

When Pit Bulls Were America’s Darling

There was a time when reports of pit bull attacks were nonexistent. The sight of a pit bull walking down the street didn’t evoke terror, but rather reminded people of beloved dogs they had seen in the movies and in the media. An American favorite, the pit bull was featured in army recruitment posters during World War I and there were several famous pit bulls that served in the American military. They were a dog that was seen as a protector, a friend and an athlete, the sort of dog Americans aspired to have by their side. In fact, sports teams in the 1930s used the image of the pit bull to depict an admirable competitor and sportsman. To be called a “pit bull” was a compliment!

Pit bulls were also seen as a child’s best friend. On the silver screen the pit bull was a constant companion to the adorable kids in the Our Gang comedies, as well as with Buster Brown. The breed was also the corporate mascot for the Buster Brown shoe company. And who doesn’t think fondly of the pit bull terrier depicted sitting next to a gramophone in the famous RCA Victor image. For a good portion of American history the breed was beloved. Then in the 1980’s the way the public felt about pit bulls changed.

Demonizing the Dog

The big shift in American sentiment toward pit bulls began in earnest in the 1980s. By 1986 over thirty communities had instituted or were considering breed specific legislation that targeted banning pit bulls. It wasn’t the breed itself that had communities in an uproar, but the way humans were choosing to train and work with these dogs. Dog fighting, although illegal, had made a comeback and pit bulls were the fighter of choice. Drug dealers, gang members and other criminals seeking protection began training pit bulls as guard dogs. In 1987 when a pit bull guarding a marijuana crop mauled and killed a two-year-old boy in California, Americans were outraged. Rather than focusing on the real problem, which was any breed of dog trained to be aggressive toward people, the knee-jerk reaction was to strike out at the breeds chosen to be trained to attack. In Tijeras, New Mexico, just outside of Albuquerque, the toughest pit bull ban of the time was instituted, allowing animal control officers to seize and destroy them on sight without compensation to the owner. From darling to demon, how times change!

Today, public perception of pit bulls is starting to shift back, but there is still a great deal of work to do to help people understand the true nature of these dogs. You can help by educating yourself with the truth about the breed and sharing it with others. There is no breed of dog that is inherently bad.

Cesar continues to try to help educate people and tonight on Leader of the Pack he tells the story of Turbo, a misunderstood mutt that never had a chance at freedom. He was chained up for his whole life, and now in the shelter he is aggressive when others pass his cage. Can Cesar rehabilitate him and find a family that is up to the task of learning how encourage Turbo to be a well-adjusted family pet? Tune into Leader of the Pack tonight, Tuesday March 19 at 8pm et/pt and find out!

Comments

  1. Marie
    March 20, 2013, 4:39 pm

    Just a few things you should fix in your meme…

    1898–> “breeds that for not” should be “breeds that were not”

    “then to be fatally attacked by a pit bull” should be “than to be fatally attacked by a pit bull” .. using then means you will die by coconut falling on your head and then you will be fatally attacked by a pit bull :)

  2. randy
    utah
    March 20, 2013, 4:40 pm

    know that alie a bout the pit bulls

  3. Chris
    New York
    March 20, 2013, 7:14 pm

    Thanks Marie for the Grammar lesson, especially for a reputable organization such as NatGeo.

    Other than that, thanks NatGeo for setting it straight. Unfortunately the deniers will continue to deny, hate, and admonish no matter how much education, information or examples in the news of pit bulls saving and protecting lives. Guess it’s like Climate Change and it’s acceleration due to DIRECT human cause.

  4. Kerin
    March 20, 2013, 7:30 pm

    Your 82.5% figure doesn’t make sense.
    The current ATTS figure for APBTs (Feb 2013; http://atts.org/breed-statistics/) is that 86.8% of APBTs that take the test pass, which is a higher percentage than for GSDs (84.8%) and Golden Retrievers (95/2%). The numbers are up for Labs at 92%.
    There are some other typos as well. I hate to nit-pick such a well intentioned poster, but when one finds numbers off or wording misleading, it casts doubt on the whole piece, which is not at all what you want.

  5. John Fisher
    Louisiana
    March 20, 2013, 8:31 pm

    Great dogs have had the pleasure of owning many since tne young age of 18. One of the smartest breeds I have ever been around..

  6. Tom Hamlett
    United States
    March 21, 2013, 8:12 am

    As others have said, the typos unfortunately detract from the overall message. A simple editing job would do wonders. In addition to the mistakes mentioned by Marie, at the top it says, “40% of dogs all dogs.”

    Other than those tiny mistakes, great infographic.

  7. Rene
    Florida
    March 21, 2013, 9:32 am

    The RCA Dog is a Jack Russell terrier, Identical to my Jack Russell Terrier Mickey, same brown ear long legs and white body as the RCA dog.

  8. Shirley
    Florida
    March 21, 2013, 9:55 am

    UKC was not solely formed to recognize the breeds that AKC does not accept. My dog is registered with UKC as a pit bull, he is registered with AKC as an Am Staff (American Staffordshire). The breed is one and the same imo.
    Either way they are wonderful dogs, I will always own a pit bull!

  9. Meghan Gleason
    March 21, 2013, 10:03 am

    Hey everyone, apologies for the unedited version! The post has been updated with the revised infographic. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Michelle
    Mississippi
    March 21, 2013, 10:08 am

    The updated version of this is much appreciated, though I will be getting rid of the dogsbite.org link before passing it around. That website should not be on anything associated with Pit Bulls. The person who runs that site is no expert on anything but lying and posting false statistics.

  11. jenn
    north carolina
    March 21, 2013, 10:11 am

    actually rene from florida nipper the RCA dog was part bull terrier and part fox terrier not a jack Russell.

  12. John Rosa
    New Jersey
    March 21, 2013, 10:31 am

    The test percentage is still wrong, and it doesn’t specify it is APBT dogs TESTED, not all APBTs.

  13. PttieMom
    March 21, 2013, 11:19 am

    Thanks for the info! It is so helpful in advocating for these dogs to have easily digestible facts that you can tell people to help educate them without resorting to emotional arguments that just don’t work to change people’s minds.

  14. Collette Gillian
    March 21, 2013, 11:28 am

    Hi Meghan! Thanks for this terrific graphic! It needs one more small correction though, please:

    APBTs passed the ATTS test with an 86.8% passing rate, not an 82.5% rate.

    http://atts.org/breed-statistics/statistics-page1/

    Thanks!

  15. The Truth About Pit Bulls
    March 21, 2013, 2:01 pm

    [...] Courtesy of National Geographic [...]

  16. Steve Barker
    Victoria, British Columbia
    March 22, 2013, 12:35 am

    Why is it necessary to post “bite strength” numbers? There are NO scientifically valid studies of bite strength for ANY breed.

    Unless you have a different source, I believe the numbers you’re quoting came from ONE guy testing THREE dogs (three different breeds) on a bite sleeve for a TELEVISION program!

    There is no way to accurately and scientifically measure bite strength in dogs. Here’s why:

    1. How do you get a dog to bite as hard as it can? Protection dog trainers are constantly having to adjust and fine tune their training with individual dogs precisely because they don’t bite as hard as they should or they multi-bite instead of bite and hold. It’s a NORMAL thing for a dog to NOT bite as hard as it can.

    2. Biting a bite sleeve is a far different thing from biting a person or another animal. And again, this will depend on the individual dog, their prey or fight drive, and their previous experience with success in biting.

    3. Even if you’re using purebred dogs and even if you could accurately measure bite strength, the range of body types and sizes within the American Pit Bull Terrier is the most extreme of any purebred breed on the planet. I know purebred registered American Pit Bull Terriers that are 25 and 30 pounds and purebred registered American Pit Bull Terriers that are over 100 pounds! You cannot then just pick a single dog out of that range and say “here’s your bite strength for the breed”.

    Why do any of us feel we have to counter blatantly false numbers (the conveniently rounded 1200, 1600, 2000, and 2500 PSI that are bandied around the web) with just as false numbers? Why not just say that it is scientifically impossible to measure bite strength and that is why those numbers are wrong?

    I don’t think we do ourselves any favours when we use “data” that has not been proven and is not valid.

  17. Steve Barker
    Victoria, British Columbia
    March 22, 2013, 4:16 am

    We could even take this further and say that “except for statistics dealing only with dogs that are registered with recognized purebred registries, any statistic, anywhere, for any reason, that mentions breed is a guess. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just a guess. Population. Bites. Causes of human deaths. Numbers in shelters. Numbers killed in shelters. Numbers killed because of breed-specific legislation. Yes, even temperament tests.

    Why are they just guesses?

    Because the breed identification is a guess. Usually done by veterinarians, shelter personnel, animal control officers, police officers, and even NEIGHBOURS and VICTIMS, none of it is consistent, none of it can be proven, and many times it is just plain wrong.

    This is one of the main arguments against breed-specific legislation, that the supposed-breed “pit bull” technically does not exist and cannot be identified consistently and accurately by law enforcement personnel nor by the average member of the public.

    So putting it bluntly, any time you see anyone quoting any type of numbers regarding “pit bulls”, just remember that it’s all guesswork. Maybe sometimes it’s more educated guesswork than other times, but it’s all just guesswork.

    On those temperament tests, dog #1 could be a purebred American Pit Bull Terrier show and performance dog with a genealogy dating back 50 or more years and the dog following him could be a floppy-eared, long-nosed, slightly big-headed, somewhat short-coated, lanky, skinny mutt from a rescue or backyard breeder. They both may be lovely dogs with solid temperaments, but they both just got called “pit bulls” on the test.

    NOBODY KNOWS THE REAL NUMBERS. NOBODY. ANYWHERE.

    Not the government. Not the shelters. Not the animal control people. Not the scientists and statisticians.

    Nobody.

  18. CJ
    il
    March 22, 2013, 8:47 am

    I’ve had a pit – a rescue dog. He was the sweetest and funniest dog I’ve ever had. He was onery too, but loving. He had a back injury and had to be put down and I still really miss him.
    You have to train them to be mean. thanks to all that love Pits.

  19. Dennis Baker
    United States
    March 22, 2013, 11:44 am

    RANDALL LOCKWOOD, PhD
    Randall Lockwood, who said he has witnessed the best and worst of pit bulls, said illegal dog-fighting is perpetuating dogs that are hazards to humans and other animals. Shaped by dog-fight enthusiasts, they are “a perversion of everything normal dogs should do. What they’ve created is a canine psychopath.”

    “Fighting dogs lie all the time. I experienced it first hand when I was investigating three pit bulls that killed a little boy in Georgia. When I went up to do an initial evaluation of the dog’s behavior, the dog came up to the front of the fence, gave me a nice little tail wag and a “play bow” — a little solicitation, a little greeting. As I got closer, he lunged for my face.”

    The pit bull, in its purebred or mixed form, has been responsible for most of the fatal dog attacks on humans in the last two years. In 1987, there were eight deaths from dog attacks in the country, and seven involved pit bulls. In 1986, there were 13 deaths, seven involving pit bulls. But pit bulls have been victimized by hype.

    The dogs are no strangers to ordinances. A pit bull ban was passed in London in the 1400s.

    These dogs can be canine crocodiles. They have a dark and bloody history.

    In the United States, pets are considered property in the eyes of the law. And one of the most hotly defended rights of the individual is the right to own anything, no matter how stupid or dangerous the choice — even when what someone wants to own is a threat to them, their family, and the community around them.

  20. Dennis Baker
    March 22, 2013, 11:47 am

    FRANKLIN LOEW, dean of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine
    I’m not aware of any other breed of animal that has ever been singled out this way. This is man biting dog.

    HUGH WIRTH, veterinarian
    RSPCA Victoria president Dr Hugh Wirth said the dogs were a menace and were not suitable as pets for anyone.

    “They are time bombs waiting for the right circumstances.”

    “The American pit bull terrier is lethal because it was a breed that was developed purely for dog fighting, in other words killing the opposition.

    “They should never have been allowed into the country. They are an absolute menace.”

    “The fact of life is that the community doesn’t want American pit bull terriers. They’ve said it loud and clear over and over again – they want them banned.”

  21. [...] pit bulls by human misinformation, rather than earned through behavior. As Rebecca O’Connor writes for National Geographic, pit bulls used to be America’s darling [...]

  22. James Austin
    March 22, 2013, 4:07 pm

    Quote a source. Dr. Franklin Loew, dean of Tufts Veterinary School, who opposes efforts to legislate against pit bull terriers and believes the breed is the victim of “canine racism.” Loew adds, “The pit bull does seem to respond more than other dogs to people trying to bring out aggressiveness. But everything I know professionally tells me that this is not a dog problem, but a problem of dog ownership.”
    July 27, 1987
    The Pit Bull Friend And Killer
    IS THE PIT BULL A FINE ANIMAL, AS ITS ADMIRERS CLAIM, OR IS IT A VICIOUS DOG, UNFIT FOR SOCIETY?

    Absolutely a people problem.

  23. Danielle A
    Greenville sc
    March 23, 2013, 12:11 am

    Dennis I bet you’ve never been around one. You don’t know what your talking about. I don’t believe any of that crap. I’m around dogs Daily I have been bit by 5 dogs in that past year. Not one of them was from a pit bull. Every pit I’m around is great. They are the best. I will always have one.. one pit just saved a family from a burning house, it carried the animals in its mouth outside. If you don’t like the dogs fine but don’t write stupid ass idiotic comments on a site that is for the breed. A lab near my town last year ripped a baby’s arm clear off her body and chewed it up.

  24. Jaloney
    USA
    March 23, 2013, 1:32 am

    Who am I?
    I promote propaganda from sources with conflicts of interests $$$
    I promote overbreeding and euthanizations
    I promote random violence and death of innocent humans (and pets)
    I protect wealthy dog fighters and help hide their crimes.
    I help keep gangs that love to have dog fights alive and biting in my neighborhood.
    I help erode property values in my neighborhood and raise local taxes.
    I help keep the manufacturers of rape stands in business.
    I spread the words of the wealthy dog fighters international propaganda machine.
    I fight any laws to stop the abuse, overbreeding and constant euthanizations of one million pitbulls.
    It was so easy to pick up their slogans and believe them. I kept hearing the same things again and again so they must be true, right?
    Who am I? I am a pawn.
    I am the pitbull’s worst enemy: I am a pitbull advocate.

  25. TKO
    Louisiana
    March 24, 2013, 11:06 am

    Dennis, I can tell from your comments you like to empress people by what you have been told instead of what you have experienced. I say unless someone has experience about a subject they should keep their 2 cents out of it. To prove my point, you say, “I’m not aware of any other breed of animal that has ever been singled out this way.” FACT… The Chow, Rottweiler, Germain Sheppard, Doberman as well as other breeds have been singled out for extermination by people whose knowledge is as limited as yours.

  26. Lisbeth
    Baltimore
    March 25, 2013, 4:14 am

    You forgot to tell that Millan also said this about the pit type dog:

    “Yeah, but this is a different breed…the power that comes behind the bull dog, pit bull, presa canario, the fighting breed – They have an extra boost, they can go into a zone, they don’t feel the pain anymore. … So if you are trying to create submission in a fighting breed, it’s not going to happen. They would rather die than surrender. If you add pain, it only infuriates them…to them pain is that adrenaline rush, they are looking forward to that, they are addicted to it… That’s why they are such great fighters. Especially with fighting breeds, you’re going to have these explosions over and over because there’s no limits in their brain.”

  27. velvet
    usa
    March 26, 2013, 8:11 am

    The pit bull was not to be. Family dog! Its way to dangerous to be around children and other dogs!.

  28. Friday Finds: March 30th, 2013
    March 29, 2013, 7:59 pm

    [...] The Truth About Pit Bulls A great infograph from National Geographic’s website on pitties. [...]

  29. [...] for being a dangerous breed, but are they really that dangerous? This infographic presented by National Geographic provides a deeper look at the breed. Check it out below to learn [...]

  30. [...] portrays them unfairly, or do you think there’s truth to the accusations? Check out this infographic for surprising facts about the dogs, and be sure to make your voice heard in the [...]

  31. alan d. harris jr.
    portland me.
    April 3, 2013, 8:39 pm

    a woman the other day went out of her way to come over to me just to tell me she didn’t like me dog. i was offended that this woman would just approach me with that. fact. all dogs bite. i’ve seen dogs of all breeds suddenly fight. the golden rule in my house is if your pushing the dog off of the couch don’t push it on top of the other one. when i was growing up i got the crap bitten out of me by my mongrel mutt. so today even though i trust my pitbull implicitly, i watch him when he’s playing with my children. i’m a responsible parent and dog owner. which means i watch them as closely as i watch my dog. be aware of whats in front of you, and stop vilifying this wonderful animal.

  32. Maggie
    New York City
    April 3, 2013, 8:42 pm

    I adopted my pit 9 1/2 years ago. He’s 11 now, thinks he’s still a puppy and is suffering from old age and arthritis. He is nothing but a big baby. He loves kids and is so well behaved that my little mini pin and cats can steal is food and my pit wont do anything. It is ALL in how you raise and train them. Period. if you have never raised a pitbull, then you have no business attempting to speak about it. It’s the same as person who has never raised a child trying to tell someone else how to be a parent, You have NO idea, so keep your “opinions” to yourself.

  33. Dakota
    April 3, 2013, 8:48 pm

    I just want to say that I myself was once afraid of the pit bull breed today I own one who is my best friend. They are the most loyal loving companions and are wonderful family pets. My dog has never bitten my two young children even when they try to ride him and he has cancer and is very sick at times. His temperament never changes.

  34. Romy
    Missouri
    April 3, 2013, 9:14 pm

    I have a Husky that was deemed too dangerous to be around small children and other animals. I have had her for 10 yrs. now. She was starved when I got her, had a gimpy leg, and an attitude. If you don’t mess with her food dish, she will tolerate anything else. She has saved 2 children (took them in her dog house and they fell asleep). (How? can parents ‘lose’ their child? easy if they walk off and you don’t see them!) She has raised orphan kittens. And? in being her 3rd foster parent? I am proud to have found & explored her ‘softer’ side. It is not just pitbulls that are badmouthed. I have a Boston Terrier/Lab (33#), very athletic! She was adopted to me as a Pitbull/mix. Sent off her DNA, she has not one spec of Pit–But? The FedEx driver thought she was and when she came to greet him? He smash her face with his door! Then a sub-UPS driver maced her, because he thought she was a pitbull. This is the first dog I have ever owned that I had to protect from the general public. Loving, happy dog–now becoming very leery of strangers because of what they have done to her, not what she has done to them. It is not the dog, it is the owners–they need to be called to task and the dog rehabed. My husky is a good example. Just had to communicate. Every dog is unique, just like people–you cannot clump a breed, for there is always an exception.

  35. Bev McIntyre
    Ohio
    April 3, 2013, 9:25 pm

    I have four [kids] dogs. Two dachshunds 12 and 16 years old, a mutt and a pity. Of all my dogs, the 16 yrs dachshund would bite you in a heartbeat, if you crossed him. As for the pity, he would lick you then roll over for a belly rub. He is the smartest, sweetest dog I have ever owned . Any dog can be a fighter .if you train them to be.

  36. jerry del
    nj
    April 4, 2013, 5:07 am

    Are family has owned many breeds and our current “pit bull” is a gentle, loving, devoted dog, and great with the kids!!

  37. mayasmom
    Colorado Springs
    April 4, 2013, 11:22 am

    Pitbulls I have 3 and they are the bst dogs ever if you raise them right . My have been foster parents for undersocialized Puppies and underage Puppies and Kittens.They are one of the oldest Dogbreeds and only wanna be loves .I have worked many year in an animal shelter and I have nevermeet one that was vicious or aggressive to Humans . I have seen and meet more small Breed Dogs and Labs .Its about time someone told the truth about this beautiful and loving breed of dog,they have been given a bad rap for so long. Hopefully ,people will get over thier stupid and unfounded prejudice and accept these incredible dogs as the friendly and loyal animals

  38. Tim Watson
    Florida
    April 4, 2013, 1:21 pm

    All anyone has to do to see the temperament of a mean bulldog is just watch the original series of the little rascal, then come back here and explain how mean those dogs are when raised properly

  39. Tim Watson
    Florida
    April 4, 2013, 4:14 pm

    All anyone has to do to see the temperament of a bulldog is just watch the original series of the little rascal, then come back here and explain how mean those dogs are when raised properly

  40. Paul Bijelonic
    April 8, 2013, 12:18 am

    I’ve had dobermans that were the best family dogs. N friends with pit bulls. They r truely a reflection of their owner. Any animal brought up in a human setting deserves a real chance. Never once have they let me down. But people always did.”they learn what we teach them just like a child”

  41. Paul Bijelonic
    April 8, 2013, 12:34 am

    Daushounds. Bulldogies-brits or english, pits, shepards, huskies, yorkies, labs both choc n blk, chi wawas, maltese r great family companions n the surgen general should recomend them all.n my all time favorite the doberman pinscher n mini included. Love both my boys zues n rocky 4ever. Sorry I know I foegot a lot of them

  42. Heesun Andes
    New York, New York
    April 13, 2013, 9:48 pm

    I have had three American Pit bull Terriers in my life and never had issues. This breed is sweet, loving, and naturally gentle around children. A dog’s behavior is a direct reflection of the human who owns it. Unfortunately, many people who own pit bulls intentionally raise them to be aggressive in order to project an image of strength to others and/or they lack basic knowledge on dog psychology. Before owning any powerful breed of dog such as a labrador, Great Dane, St. Bernard, APBT, bull dog, rotweiler and the like, one must first be knowledgable about how to set boundaries and limitations for the animal. Without exercise and discipline, a powerful dog or any dog, for that matter can become a menace to their family and to the community. Pit bulls and all dogs have the potential to be great family dogs for people who understand the fundamental needs of a dog. Education is the key and the solution. Blaming animals provides a scape goat but not a solution. I have the utmost respect for Cesar Milan and other canine advocates who take a proactive role in providing the real solution: Education to the world.

  43. Ashley McTucker
    Redding, Ca
    April 15, 2013, 12:08 pm

    I have raised 3 pit bulls in my life and I will never ever own another breed. I saved 1 and the other 2 were from breeders I know. They are LOVING, loyal and the smartest dogs I’ve ever encountered. Just as children, the way you raise a dog will depict the character. HUMANS make the call, not the other way around. Pit bulls need this bad name removed because its only the uneducated and media that portrays the breed to be so bad by using stories of people who RAISE THEM TO FIGHT and be violent.

  44. Jojo Sarteano
    United Kingdom
    April 16, 2013, 2:46 am

    I rescue abandoned dogs, neglected dogs and abused dogs i have done since i was 18 years old i am now 25. I have had many different breeds of dogs come in and out of my home and have many different experiences with each one. There was this one dog half Jack Russel half Corgi 9 years old called Arnie who was abandoned on the side of the motorway. When he was brought to me bit battered and bruised i did what i always do i take them to the vets check them out and do what i must to care for them and bring them back into shape and happiness. At first he was one of the most loving and caring dogs i have known he never left my side, i walked him off lead he was so obedient. Then i will never forget the day It was 3 years ago 15th may 2010. I did what i always do i walked him before i left for wok and then again when i returned as i had for the past year or so. I was laying on the sofa and he started to play around spinning in circles letting me know he wanted to play. As i came down and sat on the floor for unknown reasons to this day he then went straight for my face. A little bit shocked at first i told him off and thought i may have moved to quick or something to startle him. As the evening went on i went to let him out into the garden for a midnight wee before bedtime, as i called him to the back door he came charging in as normal as i opened the door the next thing i knew i was on the floor in absolute agony. i must of passed out from shock or something but when i came back round i just remember the blood every where. i looked at my leg to see a chunk had been taken out of my calf and part still hanged off too. i rang 999 and called my dad to come round to help in the meantime. i was rushed to hospital and to cut a long story short i ended up in surgery where they did what they could to fix my leg to the best of their ability. i was told i was very lucky that i could have almost died if i continued to loose anymore blood. well 37 stitches later and still on going problems i will never fully recovery from it. However on the other hand this never stopped me loving animals especially dogs i continued to rescue them. Now Sasha a beautiful red nose pit that came across my path she was 6 when she was given to me by a friend. She had runaway or been let go not so sure to this day. Sasha well when she was brought to me if you could see the before and after it would be enough to break your heart and cry is what i did when i saw her. She was being used in dog fights in brixton as found out after inquiring from the owner on her micro chip which i found out she had been stolen from them. She had half and ear gone punctures all over her body and a gammy leg under fed and well all she did was soil herself. When i took her to the vets i was told she may not last the night. In total i had to pay £9,825.25 to get this dog back to health. Yes i have been asked wouldn’t it of been cheaper to have her put down but that’s never an option unless i am told by the professionals themselves. They all have a right to lead a happy life. Well I spent everyday every minuet i could with her she would come with me where ever i went lucky for me even to work as i am part of the family business. I have heard the horror stories from what these dogs can do but there are many others that can do as much damage if they really want to or are trained to as i found out myself. My dad has never liked these dogs and has had personal experiences with them as a child. I was warned by him as many others had too especially considering the background she came from. Well…… Sasha i hold a special place for her always. I have had some of the best memories in my life with her. despite what she had gone through she was loyal loving and never even did so much as growl or show her teeth towards another human dog child etc. I had that dog around children everyday my nieces and nephews and god children. They used to swing on her sit on her chase her untill they were knackered. i witnessed my 8 yr old niece subject that dog to fancy dress time and tea time with the teddy bare family she would put make up on the dog tie hair bands on her tail pull her around with her when ever she was over and still Sasha never turned on her growled at her at any given time. It came to the day when i was comfortable to leave Sasha for a whole two weeks when i went on holiday and i asked my dad to look after her. He wasnt happy at first but he understood as i wanted to visit my brother in Australia. Well by the time i came home he had fallen head over heels for her. He was Like a big kid at Christmas. He took pictures of all there adventures as he said to me. The one that makes me giggle to this very day regardless of my mood is when they were both in the bath tub with bubbles on there head and Sasha with her tongue out. i might add this was the only way she would let you wash her as she was frightened of water. Unfortunately she passed away this year from cancer. But my point even though she started with the shittest start possible and was brought up to fight She NEVER once bit mauled growled or even bared her teeth at anyone. You appear to seem small minded if you believe that we as humans have no influence over how these dogs turn out. They shouldnt be banned they should be given to responsible owners just as any dog should but if people really want to own these dogs then they should be licenced to do so and proven to be worthy owners and carers for this breed as in the wrong hands yes they can be a force to be reckoned with. But you must look at the main cause for this and im afraid to say this is us. My advice would be if you wish to own these type of dogs make sure you understand and seek knowledge on how to train these dogs as not all methods apply to all just like us. Also i would advise having them from a puppy and if u have children or expecting or planning on and puppy is a must do and be sure they interact with children as they get startled or taken off guard as we would if they have never known or introduced to that way of life or living.

  45. Michaela Bigham
    Montana
    May 3, 2013, 7:28 pm

    I need to site this as a television source for a persuasive paper I am writting for one of my classes. I need the Day the episode that had this information was aired and the title of the program.

  46. Nicole H.
    Georgia
    May 16, 2013, 7:36 pm

    I have never in my life raised a pitbull, but they are a favorite of mine. Even though I’ve seen the news coverage of a pitbull who mauled a toddler recently after the mother left the child and the dog unattended to use the bathroom. But the fault isn’t supposed to be placed on the dog, but the idiot of a parent who left a breed of dog who has aggressive tendancies alone with a child. Of course the dog was put down and there was never any talk of charging the woman with neglect. But again, not all pitbulls have aggression. My mom’s mixed breed pekenese would take someone’s fingers off if they got in her face or just messed with her. And children are known for tail and ear pulling. Butter (My mom’s dog) even bit the snot out of my ex boyfriend as he walked by because he loved to tease her until she got aggressive. He wasn’t teasing her then, but she remembered all the times he had. I was bit by a terrier mix as I was shooing a neighbor’s dog away from him. This dog was playful, sweet and belonged to my other neighbor. He was tied out, as he so often was when they were away. He was going for the other dog, who was a young german shepard. I still have the scar on the inside of my lower leg were he bit me. He imediately recognized my discomfort (He knew what ‘Ow’ meant. Rough play was his favorite, but he always knew when to stop) and whined at me. It’s like he knew what he had did, because he rolled to his back, which he only did for tummy rubs, and wouldn’t move even though the other dog was still in his yard. He may not have been a pitbull, but he had the look of a minature one. He had been raised properly and he knew he had done something he wasn’t supposed to do. But back to pitbulls, our shelter will put down any animal that resembles one. Snickers (My neighbor’s dog who bit me) was almost seized by the police when their house burnt down becuase they thought he was a pit puppy. Since he was full grown at 20 pounds of pure muscle and as big as my mom’s peke, they decided not to take him. I saved him from that fire. He was tied by the house and had wrapped himself up in a bunch of briars trying to escape the danger. When I finally freed him and ran off after him, five seconds later, the window we had been standing by busted. We would’ve both been killed had I waited a minute longer to free him, or been even a few seconds late. The only ‘animal’ that didn’t make it out was a spider my neighbor had bought that I didn’t know about. Which was a good thing. I friggin’ hate spiders. ._.

    Pitbulls were given a bad repulation because people wanted entertainment in the form of dog fighting. Also, normal people get a dog from a breeder who could have been inbreeding aggression into their dogs. A friend of mine had a dog who would take your hand off without warning. When he got the dog as a pup, he didn’t know the dog was inbred and it also caused mental instability as well as the dog to have other brain development damage. To but it bluntly, the dog was stupid. But it wasn’t the dog’s fault, nor was it my friend’s fault. And he can’t bare to put him down, after he found all this out in later years. He just keeps him away from people he doesn’t know, and the dog is allowed no contact with small children.

    I guess my whole point is, it’s not always the people who raised a dog, and it’s never the dog. All factors should be considered as to why the dog reacted the way it did in this certain situation. Personality traits. Breed. Aggressive tendencies. Possible inbreeding. History of dog fighting. Dislike for males/females/children. The tone a person spoke in around the dog (Deep voice, mean voice, ect). If the person has on a hat (Butter hates hats). Threatening posture. Eye contact. All are possible reasons for a dog to react aggressively, or even in defence. A dog could feel as if your going to hit them or their owner if you raise your hand in a certain way. It all depends on a variety of factors that should really be considered when a dog bites or attacks a person. My belief is there is no bad dog, but bad situations and bad people.

  47. Nick
    washington
    May 20, 2013, 12:56 pm

    Pitbulls for life, I will never own another breed other than a pit bull. Untill you raise them yourself, you have no right to be ignorant. But we all know that wont happen, so please continue to watch misleading news and follow the media because we all know those haters out there have nothing better to do than gripe about this beautful breed, Trust me, this breed is far better than your rat or lap dog!

  48. Jack
    Los Luna's, N M
    May 23, 2013, 7:30 pm

    I have owned three pity’s and believe they are the best dogs on Earth. They have all been females. My others died at my home, and Ruby will too. I feel sorry for those people who miss out on the pleasure of owning one or more of these majestic animals. They have protected my family and property without ever harming anyone. I love pittys.

  49. Lucille
    Texas
    May 29, 2013, 4:44 pm

    There are people out there that make ridiculous claims to attempt explanations and excuses for the sometimes-violent behavior of pit bulls, portraying their dogs as tenderly innocent as newborn babes, which is just not true.
    Then there is the other side
    http://cravendesires.blogspot.com
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pit%20nutter

    I’ve come to the conclusion that there are some things that one is going to have a difficult time discussing almost anywhere even if one has a stake in the outcome.
    I think I’d probably have a better chance of having an unbiased talk about pornography in the Vatican than having a reasonable, well thought out discussion anywhere about pit bulls.

  50. Lucille
    Texas
    May 30, 2013, 12:54 pm

    Perhaps I’m right, a discussion is not possible. Here I’m being told that getting people together to have them talk is not cool. I thought dialogue was a way to help resolve differences. Should we all merely have our viewpoints and be quiet?

    http://www.discussdogs.com/forum/f48/sometimes-its-hard-find-truth-when-you-walk-into-middle-battlefield-10443/

  51. Draco
    Texas
    June 2, 2013, 12:32 am

    I own a pitbull and she is the sweetest thing that I have ever seen in my life.
    She found me, on a bike ride. She followed me all over the place. I have never been afraid of any dogs. I know how to read their body language, so I know what they are going to do. That helped me out. There were many people that were taking their kids inside as we rode past them. I was really surprised about how they were acting. She didn’t even look at them. When we got home, I took her inside and showed her to my dad. He didn’t trust her. He made her stay outside for over a month. We put up posters and no one came for her.
    She was abused and was, obviously, a fight dog. I knew that she was and I watched her around my younger siblings and little cousins. The only reason that she took one of them to the ground, was to lick the peanut butter and jelly off of their face. My girlfriend was scared of her, but no the two of them take “selfies” together.
    I knew that she was good with people and I do a lot of volunteer work. She and I took classes and she became a certified therapy dog, for the retirement home. She and I will go over there every week. The people there, love her.
    My pitbull was attacked by the neighbor, one day. He came over and started to beat her with a pipe. I ran out there and had to stop him. When he started to hit me, she then attacked him. She was protecting me. The police suggested taking her in to have her be put down. Luckily, there were people that caught it on camera. He was put in jail for animal abuse and a couple of other charges.
    I almost lost my best friend that day. I don’t know what I would have done if they actually took her.
    I wish that more people would realize that they are a reflection on the owner. If you are sweet to them, they will be sweet. I hope that one day, all dogs will be accepted.

  52. Jasmine
    London
    June 10, 2013, 10:59 am

    Hi.Pitbulls are very dangerous animals. They sometimes attack people and i wouldnt get one if i was you they are terrible dogs that bite if you go near them. If you do have one before the news said they are banned animals its fine becase they are proberly trained. But dont bring them out the house thanks for doing a website on that see you.

  53. orderlylogic
    USA
    June 10, 2013, 11:27 pm

    APBTs as a rule are constantly on alert as to whether or not everything is okay. It’s just part of their temperament, a normal trait. Thus, there is a potential for any new situation to cause agitation. Problems arise if uneducated or careless owners don’t socialize their dogs–socialize meaning, expose the dog from a young age to as many different situations as possible. The presence of a strange animal or a strange person, the movement of a motorcycle or bicycle, the sound of a diesel engine or a leaf blower–common occurrences to us, but a dog needs to be acclimated to them. One of the simplest ways to socialize a dog is to WALK THEM.

  54. Ellie
    June 29, 2013, 3:16 pm

    Pit bulls were not created to hurt people in any way and history wise they were bred for bull baiting which is when the dog holds down a bull while the hunter kills it not till that was illeagle was dog fighting introduced pit bulls dog fighters had to be able to get in the middle of the fight and stop it and a people aggressive dog would be killed so pit bulls were never historically bred to hurt a human the only problem with pit bulls are dog aggression but if raised with dogs will be just fine last but not least the number of pit bull heroes heavily out way the number of pit bull attacks

  55. Julie B
    California
    July 15, 2013, 8:33 am

    I grew up with a pitbull and now that I’m older there’s no other dog I would trust my 2 girls around, including my 18 month old who loves our eldest pit pistol and gives Hey lavish attention by wrapping her little arms around her neck and kissing her. I trust my pitties around my girls 100%, I trust no other dog around them including my mother in laws pomeranian who grew up around kids and is known for having bit my 18 month old for trying to hug and kiss her, and my mother’s Chihuahua who non stop growls at my girls the moment we come into her house. As a general rule with my family we never touch another dog unless we know the owners well and can determine the dogs temperament. Pit lover for life, curbing a new generation of responsible pit owners.

  56. Kaitlin
    Canada
    August 2, 2013, 1:10 pm

    Excellent article. Espeically considering the grievious misinformation National Geographic spreads in The Science of Dogs (http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/episodes/science-of-dogs/). I belive they say something along the lines of pit bulls being mild mannered around humans, but aggressive around other dogs, then cut to a video of an illegal dog fight. Horribly misguided and just plain untrue, not to mention that fact that “pit bull” isn’t even a breed.

    It’s available on Netflix if you want to see what I’m talking about.

  57. gary n
    australia
    August 14, 2013, 5:11 am

    if 60% of all dogs are put down, and 60% of those are pit bulls, then pit bulls make up 36% of the dogs in shelters are pit bulls, not 30%. would have to be one of the worst written articles I’ve seen to date…. and fabricated statistics to boot. fact is its not the aggression alone that makes these dogs dangerous. it is the power in the dog. its like comparing a house cat with a mountain lion. the house cat can have a real bad attitude, but without the body of a mountain lion, the worst it can do is draw blood.

  58. Kelsey Stewart
    August 15, 2013, 3:34 am

    I have a year old red nose pitbull names karma. She is absolutely perfect I love her so much. She is very well trained and behaved. She’s very sweet and just wants to play or.go.on.a.car ride. She would never attack someone although she’s very protective and if I tell her its okay she goes right up with her toys in her mouth drops her toys right in front of there feet and just wants to play. Now if I were getting robbed or hurt things would prolly go a different way and it you think under any circumstances of me being hurt my dog is supposed to.sit there and watch your an idiot. I respect my dog for that. I wouldn’t trade her for the world.she is absolutely everything to me. I wish they would just give pitbulls a chance

  59. Kayla
    Ocoee
    August 26, 2013, 10:32 am

    This is exactly what people should know and have a better understanding of. Everyone gives the pit bull “group” a bad reputation because all you here is negativity and the media constantly blame them for all the attacks and things that take place. This was perfectly stated.

  60. Gabrel
    Hollywood CA
    September 26, 2013, 6:11 pm

    More of a question than a comment. No other dog seems to have the natural killer instinct or ability of a Pit Bull for the given pupose. My question, why is this breed chosen above any other for fighting?

  61. Dale
    Atlanta
    September 27, 2013, 3:35 am

    Pit Bulls are a menace. There are reasons why drug dealers pick these dogs to be the villain. They are more suited than other breeds. They are also very unpredictable. Which is something external influences can rarely control- good or bad. The truth is theirs unpredictable acts are rarely those of kindness but of destruction. I see many people who own pit bulls and there are close calls all of the time. These aren’t dog fighters and drug dealers having these issues, these are people who simply raised a pit bull and the animals are by nature menacing. Pits should be an excluded breed whenever possible. It is unfortunate they were cross bred in the first place. It isn’t the pits fault but they are what they are…unpredictable and often deadly. There are many great choices for people wanting to own a dog….stay away from pits.

  62. Kayla
    September 27, 2013, 10:31 am

    Lisbeth, WRONG even if he said that THEY DON’T NOT FEEL PAIN! Everyone, and Every creature feels pain, they may continue to keep fighting but they feel they pain.

  63. Kayla
    September 27, 2013, 10:39 am

    Ignorance. Thats what it is. No one breed of dog is more aggressive than another, according to the ASPCA. Any dog can be aggressive, and baffles me how everyone will sit around spreading false negative rumors about the pitbull. To be honest, you al just look so ignorant, yea pitbulls have attacked people and are used to fight, but IF YOU WOULD DO YOUR RESEARCH PROPERLY you would see that pitbulls are not the only breed with such accusations. You all say not to get pitbulls, and blah blah blah because of the things you HEAR about them. Everyone recognized the negative things, and that is about anything. If i have a BMW and I get into a car accident, its not because of the car.. I was doing something wrong, It was the owners fault. ALL DOGS CAN BE TRAINED TO BE AGGRESSIVE, just like every child can be taught to cuss. Everyone on here is so hard headed and can only see and focus on the negativity. Its ignorance, and the failure to want to learn and understand anything. Its the lack of education. WOW! Im baffled!

  64. Kayla
    September 27, 2013, 10:43 am

    Dale, YOU WOULD SAY THAT ABOUT ANY BREED THEY CHOSE. Shoot if they chose Yorkshire Terriers you would still be there saying “Yorkies are a menace, there are a reason drug dealers pick these dogs to be the villain. They are more suited than other breeds. They are also very unpredictable. Which is something external influences can rarely control- good or bad.” YOU WOULD SAY THAT ABOUT ANY BREED THAT WAS CHOSEN TO BE USED FOR SUCH THINGS. Open your eyes a little and stop criticizing the pitbull.. if pitbulls were completely destroyed of the face of the planet.. another breed of dogs would take their place in being the “mean, menace, fierce, agressive dog… and all the other rumors going around about them”. You people need to do better research and learn, get educated on other things beside the negative subjects you seem to “know”.

  65. Kayla
    September 27, 2013, 10:48 am

    Gabrel, thats just the breed chosen. In other countries they use other breeds such as the Akita. Pitbulls are highly intelligent, and learn extremely fast, they strive for companionship, they are people pleasers. They can become very built and muscular, and look fierce with docked tails and cropped ears. I believe this is why people choose this breed to pick-on and train for such things as fighting. Thats just the way some people (ignorant ones) wish to use these wonderful breeds. Their are so many other competitive “sports” pitbulls can be used for that are both fun and healthy for handler and animal (if not misused), such as weight pulling. Its really amazing you should check it out. Some pitbulls can drag over 600 pounds!!

  66. Laz
    Oz
    October 16, 2013, 3:55 am

    A lot of “inconvenient” facts are being ignored here. The reason why Pitbulls are hard to identify is because they are so variable, being a mix of several breeds. Pitbull isn’t actually a breed, it’s a type descended from crosses of bull, pit, and ratting dogs with other breeds. Any dog resulting from certain crosses is correctly classed as what we know as a pit bull. Whether you agree that it doesn’t look right or whatever is opinion only.
    How often a breed nips, or even bites is interesting, but far less important than their intention and tenacity at that time. In the USA where 5% of dogs are Pitbulls, over 50% of dog bite hospitalizations are the result of attacks by Pitbulls. Pitbulls are also known for not giving warning before attacking (such as growling) like other dogs do, what appears as a placid temperament is actually a trait bred into the ancestors of these dogs to surprise their opponent. So far this year Pitbulls have inflicted 93% of all dog bite fatalities in the USA.
    You’re all kidding yourselves if you think these are safe family pets.
    https://www.causes.com/actions/1753697-fatal-pit-bull-attacks-sharply-rise-in-2013

  67. OHL
    October 29, 2013, 10:35 pm

    I’m wondering if there are any studies that compare the environments killer pitt bulls (or killer dogs in general) have been raised in and if there is evidence showing a disproportionate amount being raised in environments that foster a killer instinct. We take human circumstances into cobsideration when they are put on trial, so the same should be extended to dogs who have less capacity for free thought.

    Just anecdotally, I have seen noted that large, fierce looking dogs like Pitts, Rotties etc are owned by young people who want to took tough and don’t know much about dogs and, people who want to protect their homes. Many are kept leashed up outside and not properly socialized. Whether it is lack of knowledge or an intent to encourage fiercer natural instincts, these are the environments that many dogs are coming from. I know I have felt much more threatened by a poorly socialized Pomeranian snapping at my face and growling than by well trained, more poorly regarded dog breeds (although i realize one would inflict significantly more damage)

    Rather than condemning dogs with statistically high fatality rates, we should consider making them a breed with limited ownership-ensure that owners are perhaps people who are not first time dog owners, attend training and information sessions first etc. If guns are still allowed in homes, these living creatures at least deserve the same opportunity!

  68. OCpitOwner
    Orange, CA
    November 19, 2013, 1:16 am

    Hello
    I am not sure who can help me. I have an 11 month old well trained blue nose pitbull puppy. I recently purchased a condo in Orange County. In a matter of a few weeks living in my community and certain neighbors seeing my dog, I’ve seen extremely bizarre behavior from the neighbors. I thought nothing of it in the beginning, but now I have been contacted by my HOA about complaints of non-compliance reported. All the reports were false. Anonymous reports were submitted about my dog wandering around the community without a leash. Which is impossible because I am at work from 7:30am – 5:30pm. Also, there was a complaint that he was caught swimming in the community pool. Which is completely false and lately repeatedly accused of failure to pick up after him, again false. People have been lying in order for me to get rid of my dog and these complaints are even being submitted when I am out of town, my dog with me and it’s obvious that there is no way that I could of committed these allegations. I have advised the HOA numerous times that these were false but complaints keep coming in; and they keep accusing me as well. When I walk with my dog people basically run inside their homes and/or pick up their pet in utter fear. My dog doesn’t even bark and I feel lost as I have been consistently harassed for over a month now. I also feel horrible for my poor dog and feel so sad that I basically have to hide him from everyone and can’t even live a normal life. I don’t know what to do or who to go to as far as pitbull support from people that are fearful and hateful for no reason. I am so distort that my puppy and I are being discriminated against. Please help.

  69. whypit
    washington
    November 22, 2013, 1:30 am

    So many affectionate dogs that are great companions that won’t tear people or pets to shreds if they “go off.” How many times must we hear “he was such a sweet dog, I don’t know what happened…” Pure delusion to equate a pitbull to other breeds that do not have the capacity to kill and maul like this breed. Pure unmitigated selfishness to expose people and their pets to this potential.

  70. […] have a smaller bite force then the current average for all dogs. More facts like these can be found here, and they effectively dispel a good number of rumors floating around about pit […]

  71. Stop the Myth
    December 8, 2013, 6:27 am

    “There was a time when reports of pit bull attacks were nonexistent.”

    Your article is full of non truths such as the statement above.
    1844 newspaper article reporting a death by pit bull. It’s been the same story throughout history. These dogs have been maiming and killing humans and other animals for a long time and little has changed. If you read the stories many of these dogs were raised in loving caring homes. Shame on you for perpetuating the myth. These dogs are being pushed on unsuspecting people from all directions by embellishing their greatness and diminishing their dangers. It’s like being in denial about an iceberg in front of a cruise ship posing a problem. We need to pass laws on strict ownership of this breed. They don’t belong in our communities in the number they do. The statistics are piling up. It’s undeniable if you care to really educate yourself to reality.

  72. Comment to the above comment
    holland Mi
    December 11, 2013, 1:43 pm

    stop what myth, pit bulls are great dogs, you cant judge one pit bull for what others do. Thats like saying your a murder because one of your kind killed another. All dogs can be dangerous, dont just say pit bulls are. Its because of us that made these dogs this way, not them. I bet you (above comment) never had a pit bull… so you cant comment on things you dont know. Get to know one and you will change. I love pit bulls.

  73. grasspress
    December 13, 2013, 6:28 pm

    this article is simply an attempt to resuscitate the deserved poor reputation of so-called ‘pit bulls’. i’m sorry, but these dogs also represent over 90% of deaths by dog attack despite their bite being less per square inch than other dogs (which don’t lock down and hold on until someone bashes them in the head with a baseball bat).

    sure, there are many well managed ‘pit bulls’ and i’ve been around a few, and it’s a terrible shame that the poor reputation these dogs have acquired comes from half-wit ghetto gangsters and drug dealers that buy them, chain them, mistreat them, forget to feed them or care for them, and then let them run loose in the neighborhood. they scare the crap out of me and for good reason!

  74. Carolina
    United States
    December 29, 2013, 2:57 pm

    I can say I understand why people still dislike pitbulls. I live in a part where people love owning pitbulls. The issue is that they are pretty much a menace. I met and seen probably 50 dogs in my neighborhood from Chihuahua to Golden Retrievers, Dachshund and Pitbull and only 8 were Pitbulls. Out of those 8 only one of them was a sweet little thing her name was Ginger she loved everyone and never went crazy. Then there’s the other 7 those were all awful and a menace to the neighborhood. Actually, one of the those bit a child arm, a different one bit a car tire.

    So while many you of them say they are sweet. You got consider that a lot of bad things have happened. Most people don’t discriminate against the dogs but are wary. Just because my neighbor’s Ginger was sweet does that mean that the dog can’t do no wrong.

    So based on personal experience I can say I wouldn’t own a pitbull . But I’ll tell you that that I will always miss Ginger. But if you want the perception of the dog to change you are going to have to have the good outweigh the bad. You have to make sure that your dog respect the neighbors. Just because the dog loves you and does nothing to you doesn’t mean it isn’t doesn’t react to a neighbor. And yes, all dogs react when the see strangers but some more vicious than others. If you are going to have a pitbull train your dog well. So yes Ginger around helped a little to change some of my views of pitbulls but it’s not enough.

  75. 10 Best Infographics of 2013
    January 2, 10:41 am

    […] NatGeo Wild […]

  76. dog
    united kingdom
    February 3, 5:47 pm

    pit bulls are the worst dog ever and i am a dog person

  77. Tania
    February 26, 12:08 pm

    In 1977, Alfons Ertel designed the American Temperament Test in hopes of creating a uniform temperament test for dogs. Of the 75 million dogs that populate the U.S. today,20 about 933 are tested per year (0.001% of all dogs). The temperament data published by the group is not based upon scientific random sampling of any dog breed. It seems it would be virtually impossible to develop such a reliable study, as the base population source group is unidentifiable.
    Due to the temperament data being objectively statistically unreliable, it is also highly misleading. Pit bull advocates frequently use this misleading data to point to the breed’s good temperament and to advocate against breed-specific laws (“Pit bulls pass the ATTS test more often than beagles!”). Yet anyone one who has a minimal understanding of critical statistical analysis should be able to see that the ATTS “breed statistics” temperament data21 is essentially valueless.
    The 12-minute test stimulates a casual walk through a park with a range of encounters. The test focuses on stability, shyness, aggressiveness and a few other factors. According to the group, the overall pass rate (the combination of all breeds) is 81.6%.22 Unlike the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen test, no part of the ATTS test is performed without the dog owner present. It also fails to evaluate the most basic scenario that leads to aggression: How a dog reacts when it sees another dog.

  78. Cara Manns
    Warsaw Indiana
    March 11, 9:38 am

    I own a pit bull/boxer mix and pure breed pit bull, they’re both loving and sweet animals. They’re both girls, Zada and Lexi. Zada is almost 8 and Lexi just turned 2. Pit bulls act out on how they are raised and the environment they live in. Not due to genetic inheritance. The worst I’ve ever seen my dogs do is try to eat falling snow, or accidently get to rough when playing with each other. They’ve never bitten anyone or tried to hurt anyone. They’re amazing animals, society just has to try to get to know them.

  79. […] According to a National Geographic survey, 30% of dogs in shelters are labeled as pit bulls and 86.7% of those dogs end up being euthanized. […]

  80. […] Source:  National Geographic […]

  81. […] onto pit bulls by human misinformation, rather than earned through behavior. As Rebecca O’Connor writes for National Geographic, pit bulls used to be America’s darling […]

  82. […] 5% of all the dogs in United States are declared as pit bulls and 40% of all the dogs in animal shelters are classified as bully breeds. 86.8% of pit bulls have crossed state temperament test. Source […]

  83. James
    Knoxville, TN
    April 21, 11:08 am

    One stat conveniently left out is how pit bulls account for only 5% of all dogs in the U.S., yet they account for around 70% of all human fatalities caused by canines. What a biased infographic. Truth should not be censored in order to further an agenda.

  84. bob
    Lake Orion
    April 22, 5:47 pm

    Good article.. except for the whole pitbulls killing people thing.

    Pitbulls are not the next yellow lab.. until yellow labs start killing people.

    I have personally been attacked by a well trained “nice” pitbull.

    http://www.dogsbite.org/dangerous-dogs-pit-bull-myths.php

  85. Richard Jefferies
    April 23, 3:31 pm

    While all of that might be true, there is a certain lie of omission when you don’t have the pretty pie chart that shows in the last 8 years pit bull breeds make up a disproportionate number of dog attack fatalities. 78% in 2013.

  86. Pheintz
    May 8, 12:20 am

    I’m really surprised that National Geographic would ignore the actual data on the high rate of fatalities from pit bull breeds. It just boggles the mind that there’s no mention of this important fact anywhere in their info graphic! A dangerous omission by what used to be a knowledgeable publication.

  87. Wilbur
    June 16, 2:03 am

    If pit bulls are so great, why is it ALWAYS a pit bull killing someone? You never read about a pack of poodles killing anyone. Doesn’t make any sense denying the self-evident truth, or risking human lives so some people can own a specific breed. Pit bull owners sound a lot like NRA members claiming guns aren’t dangerous and don’t have anything to do with killing anyone. Yeah, pit bulls and guns, no danger there…..

  88. otto
    June 16, 9:30 am

    If you dare, google image search “pitbull fatalities”

    Then you will laugh at articles like this which dont mention how many children pitbulls kill every year.

  89. David
    Wisconsin
    June 19, 7:25 pm

    Just came back from a pit bull attack across the street. Lady walking her little dog, Pit Bull pushes door open, attacks and kills dog, then attacks and severely bites the woman.
    She was taken to the hospital, and was heart broken from losing a long time friend. Tell her what great dogs these killers are.
    The owner: “He isn’t vicious’ Well, Pit Bulls only killed 25 children in 2013, not many, unless one of them is your child.

  90. Lee
    July 16, 10:56 am

    The TRUTH is that pit bulls are responsible for more human deaths than ALL other dog breeds combined. That’s the ONLY thing that should be considered. Not this pit bull lobby propaganda.

  91. […] shelters, according to National Geographic, pit bulls account for 30 percent of dogs admitted, and 60 percent of dogs euthanized. Persing is doing what she can to lower these startling […]

  92. […] shelters, according to National Geographic, pit bulls account for 30 percent of dogs admitted, and 60 percent of dogs euthanized. Persing is doing what she can to lower these startling […]

  93. […] shelters, according to National Geographic, pit bulls account for 30 percent of dogs admitted, and 60 percent of dogs euthanized. Persing is doing what she can to lower these startling […]

  94. […] shelters, according to National Geographic, pit bulls account for 30 percent of dogs admitted, and 60 percent of dogs euthanized. Persing is doing what she can to lower these startling […]

  95. […] shelters, according to National Geographic, pit bulls account for 30 percent of dogs admitted, and 60 percent of dogs euthanized. Persing is doing what she can to lower these startling […]

  96. AMB
    Miami
    August 10, 2:02 pm

    I adopted a 4 month old pit bull from a shelter in 2007. Very timid and not well socialized at the time. Raising and training him to follow commands and submit to me was a challenging process that took years. Luckily, he’s grown up to be a gentle and awesome dog – loves kids as well as other dogs.

    Pit bulls and other large breeds ARE dangerous! They have massive muscles and jaws that evolved to tear animals apart and crush bone. My 60 pound dog could easily kill someone, especially a child or elderly adult (who unfortunately make up the vast majority of dog bite victims). Would he kill someone? I very seriously doubt he would ever harm a person, but I never allow him into situations where he could.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatal_dog_attacks_in_the_United_States

    Go here and read through the descriptions of fatal attacks. Do “pit bulls” or pit bull mixes or what someone assumes to be a pit bull make up a large percent of the dogs responsible? Unfortunately, they do. The CDC has issued evidence-based recommendations on how to prevent dog bites based on decades of study. Tragically, when one reads through the Wiki list of fatalities they’ll see in that over 90 percent of cases, these attacks were PREVENTABLE. Abused dogs, chained dogs, packs of dogs, children and dogs left unsupervised.

    Guns are dangerous as hell. They kill thousands of people and children every year. An irresponsible gun owner can get people killed just as quickly and easily as an irresponsible owner of large, powerful dogs can get people killed.

    I’m biased but I don’t blame these dogs. I blame the people who failed them as owners and never realized how potentially dangerous a big dog can be.

  97. […] Thirty percent of the total dogs admitted to U.S. animal shelters are labeled as pit bulls, and 86.7 percent of pit bulls admitted to open admission shelters end up being killed. With her fairy-tale photos of dreamy eyed dogs, Sophie Gamand wants to give these dogs another chance. (Via Fast Company) […]

  98. Ms. V
    August 17, 3:10 am

    I think some of the pit bulls are beautiful and muscular. But what I have seen on videos, pit bulls killing their owners and children, I would never buy one of those things no matter what. I would never take a chance with one of those things in my life. Not after what I have seen owners saying, it is not worth it There are too many other breeds out there you could have. They kill anything they can kill , children, their owners, dogs. They just don’t bite you, they eat you. Who would have such a terrible dog, a crazy person. Go to dogsbite.org and ready all of the bad stories peoples have told about pit bulls. Go to goole and type in brazillian man being mauled by its pit bull, and click on that, you will see a man being eaten by his pit bull. Who would give a pit bull that type of chance once you see all the videos and people stories, telling how they were mauled by their own pit bull .