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Are Pit Bulls Dangerous?

muzzled pit bullWhen someone asks "Are pit bulls dangerous?", my first inclination is to say something like "Define dangerous". I know it sounds kind of evasive. But seriously, look up the word dangerous in the dictionary. What you'll find is: ". . able or likely to cause physical injury . .". And in this context, "able" and "likely" are worlds apart.

There is no doubt that pit bulls are "able" to cause physical injury. Indeed, any dog with teeth and claws is capable of inflicting injury.

According to the CDC, about 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs each year. And 20% of those have an injury serious enough to prompt them to seek medical attention. And yet, nearly 40% of American households own at least one dog. So, how scared are we, really?

Do you think pit bulls are dangerous or not? Join the discussion.


Apparently, we're not very scared at all when it comes to dogs in general. But what about pit bulls? Are pit bulls dangerous--or likely to be? Back in 2000, the CDC released a report that cast a negative light on pit bulls and rottweilers involving fatal dog bites. They later added a disclaimer to their conclusions acknowledging that the sample was very small (.00001 percent of all dog bites) and that some of their presumptions weren't based on actual data, but on assumptions that couldn't be verified.

Unfortunately, like the newspaper retraction that gets buried on page 34 when the original inaccuracy was a front page headline, more people read and cite the report than the disclaimer. And I think it is this along with some very biased and flawed reporting by the media in general that has led some otherwise reasonable, intelligent people to conclude that pit bulls aren't like regular dogs. They are some kind of monstrous aberration.

Chris Rock even made a joke on Jay Leno to this effect saying that Michael Vick's punishment was too harsh. To quote: "What the hell did Michael Vick do, man? A dog, a pit bull ain’t even a real dog. A pit bull, that’s the white stuff. Dogs are white mans best friend – dogs have never been good to black people." And the audience laughed. They thought it was funny.
Sidebar
A lot of people mistakenly think that NFL quarterback Michael Vick spent nearly 2 years in prison for animal cruelty. That's not quite true. In 2007, Vick was convicted on a federal conspiracy charge related to his dogfighting operation. During the course of the trial, it came to light that Vick and others executed "underperforming" dogs by drowning, electrocution, hanging, shooting and in one instance, slamming a dog to the ground breaking its bones. While there was certainly public outcry when this was uncovered, it was not what sent him to prison. His prison term was in connection with the conspiracy charge.

Are pit bulls dangerous? There's no undisputed evidence that pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs. Even the CDC now says they have never compiled a list of dog breeds that are considered the most dangerous or most likely to bite.

But, there is a profile of characteristics of dogs that are most frequently involved in bite incidents. And, it's a profile that it seems everyone who has seriously studied dog bites agrees with. Top of list? Guess what--it has nothing to do with breed. It's an unneutered male that is left chained in its yard.

Now It's Your Turn to Speak Out

Are pit bulls dangerous? Why or why not? What, if anything, do you think should be done? Your thoughts and feelings are important. Ultimately, public opinion will shape the fate of these dogs.

Give your piece a title

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to read contributions from other visitors to this page...

Former Non-Fan of Pit Bulls 
I had never been a fan of Pit Bulls. I had always bought into the media hype about their aggressive and mean nature. It's what I'd heard & read. We …

A Whole New Scary World 
Ive always been a huge animal lover. I've rescued and fostered many animals of all types and breeds. I truly believe in walking dogs, my dog everyday. …

Is It The Dog Or Is It The Human? 
I have admired the Pit bull for years. They are a remarkably smart K-9 and want nothing more than to please their owner. Having said this, I believe …

It's the Owners/Breeders... 
Pitbulls are no more vicious/aggressive or dangerous than any other dog! It's all in how they are treated or handled by their owners or those that breed …

So Loveable 
I had no experience with pit bulls except all of the negative comments. And I knew someone who had one that wanted the dog to be mean. When we …

Pitbull's are loveable  
In my opinion Pit's are absolutely adorable; we have three of them and they just brighten up our days. They are just like any other dog; they love playing, …

My Pitbull is a PANSY! 
I love Ishizu. My family & I have raised her since she was a pup. At first we were a little leery of the fact that she was pit. But when my mother & I …

Pitbulls Aren't Dangerous, People Are! 
My little pitbull is the best friend I've ever had! He is brave, intuitive, loyal, emotionally perceptive, very good looking & has a brilliant sense of …

I love my pitties 
I own three pits and love them to death. Everyone sees them as vicious beasts that will tear strangers apart, but that's not the truth. If someone …

The Most Amazing Dog in the World 
After 24 yrs of wanting a dog I finally got one last year. I was inspired by Cesar Milan's dog Daddy and then started watching Pit Bulls and Parolees and …

WARNING: You may end up with a loyal new best friend in a Pit! 
I have grown up with dogs of all different kinds all of my life. Most of them were mixes, mutts, and the occasional unidentifiable "heinz 57". The …

Family Friendly 
Ive had pitbulls my entire life.As a family man u reap what you sow. My current pitbull has been in my family for 5 years now .She has grown up with all …

Polemics..let go and move into conscousness.  
Hello, I have trained Pit Bulls for 15 years now. One of the oldest techniques in the world for unconscious non-compassionate communication, is using polemics …

Why does the media single out pit bulls? 
If 4.5 million people are bit a year, then why is it the news only shows the ones that have to do with a pitbull? I mean really, come on! I own 2 pits …

My baby boy 
OK, I've had my pit-bull since I was really little, I am now 13. I know my dog better then anyone in the house. He's so sweet and is so loyal its …

My sister's dog 
My sister's dog,which is a beagle/cocker spaniel mix,is more aggressive than my pit bull. Jellie Beyne,which is my sister's dog, has almost bitten …

My Lucy... 
I have a loving APBT named "Lucy" and I could not ask for a more loving and sweet dog! When we decided we would adopt a pitbull, we were well aware …

Some "Owners" of pit bulls are dangerous 
I have always had big dogs during my life. I had a 10th generation Rottweiler that was gracious as a butterfly and just as harmless. I grew up with this …

Venting about 'pit bull horror stories' 
I have always been an animal person. I never cared if I had got hurt by any kind of animal, I would just assume it was having a bad day and go say, "Hi" …

Yes - Pit Bulls are dangerous! 
Beware of these dogs! You find an abandoned and abused (starved to a skeleton, beaten almost to death, shot, and left to die in the snow in the middle …

First time owning a pit and loving it 
Not going to lie and say that i wasnt scared to own a pit bull, i grew up being told that the neighbors dog was bad and that it needed to be shot. …

Sick and Tired 
I'm so sick and tired of having to defend this breed over and over again. Just mentioning this breed in public can spark a huge and usually nasty debate. …

Dont be a stereotype and judge something because of what other people say..  
There is no reason to put blame on a defenseless animal its not the animal's fault who or what type of situation it has been placed in. It can not choose …

Any breed can be aggressive 
Any breed can be aggressive. I could go on about this forever, but I will try not to. I have to say first off, that in my experience, you are more likely …

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Wishes  
I am an ex-animal control officer. in the 4 years i worked in this field, i wish i would have had the privilege of working with this breed more. I …

not the dog 
It doesn't matter what type of dog u have.any dog can bite.I think its how you train a dog and how much you do with them--have them around kids and other …

Stop The Bull 
The first time I had close contact with a pitbull I was volunteering at my local animal shelter. Although, Rocky, as they called him was a Pitbull/Boxer …

Are Pit Bulls Dangerous--Maybe To Themselves...lol 
I have a rescued fighter, his name is Beacephus - but everybody calls him Beau. I found Beau one day on the side of the road in front of my house, half …

Anectodal Evidence Means Nothing 
So, some people have a story about a pit bull that caused harm? I nearly had my armed ripped off by a yellow lab. I'm sure I could find other people who …

Nope, only dogs with bad owners are dangerous. 
I can only speak from my own experience in life. First of all I have known many people that have been bitten by dogs, and other animals. Not one of them …

Pit Bulls Are Just Like Any Dog 
Pit bulls are like any dog. I have 5 pit bulls and the oldest is 5 and they are big lap dogs. They sleep with me and my boyfriend and my daughter loves …

Who are the "Dangerous Dogs" 
I am a pet care professional. I have dealt with many an aggressive dog. I have experienced injuries from aggressive behaviors in dogs that have occurred …

Pit Bulls are Viciously Loving dogs  
Pit bulls are sooo dangerous that they give my pitbull/german shepherd MIX a "bad dog" reputation because he LOVES to give kisses and wiggle dance his …

Pit bulls "can be" dangerous just like any human can 
Thanks for the interesting article about the same question that has been in the back of my mind...are pit bulls dangerous? and up until now I really didn't …

Helpful, Not Harmful 
My neighbour was mauled by a chow when she was two. Over 50 years later, she had never pet a dog and was terrified of all canines. She decided to try to …

Pitbulls are as Dangerous or as Loveable as Any Other Dog 
I've always thought pit bulls were gentle creatures portrayed as the villains of the canine world (along with rottweilers). That is simply NOT TRUE. Dogs …

pit bulls may be dangerous--but what about people? 
pit bulls may be dangerous, but so are cocker spaniels which is the breed that inflicts the most bites. it is the owner and the breeder (inbreeding) …

My pitbull horror story 
I was about 14 years old, at my home talking on the phone to one of my friends.. being a teen. Suddenly, I heard dogs barking, and people screaming …

Alexis – the Sweetest Pit Bull in Texas 
I’ve always been a bit hesitant around pit bulls. Not that I thought they were inherently bad. But, I was always somewhat guarded upon encountering one. …

Let's cut the BS about pitbulls 
Pitbulls have the POTENTIAL to be far more dangerous than other breeds. There are a number of reasons for this. Regardless of what our wishful thinking …

Punish the DEED..Not the BREED....!!!! 
People need to start realizing, if it has teeth, it can bite. And if it does, the fault is on the other end of the leash 99% of the time. My Pit is one …

Every dog adopted out by a shelter or a breeder... 
Here's what every dog adopted out by a shelter or a breeder should have: 1. documented proof of successful temperament training Or.. 2. an enforceable …

WHEN bulldogs lose control 
YES- Pitbulls and some other bulldogs ARE dangerous. I JUST experienced it. It has NOTHING to do with how well they are bred OR raised. The whole point …

My Pit Bull Experience Not rated yet
All my life I have been around these amazing creatures. People say I'm lucky that I have never been bitten by a pit bull out of pure aggression. But I …

Pitbulls are Big Goobers Not rated yet
I've been involved in dog rescue for over 32 years. My main focus has been on Collies and Siberian Huskies, but will help any dog in need. I've gone …

Couldn't Live Without My Two Pitties Not rated yet
I have two pitbull pups from the same litter, WIllie Nelson and Zoey. They are just a year old. My neighbors have terrorized us and my dogs because of …

Grow Up Sissies Not rated yet
My wife fought with me for years about a pitbull in the house because of what she heard. Before I over-rode her decision last year she had no idea. Now …

Staffies are wonderful dogs Not rated yet
One year ago I found a little female clearly abused. She was roaming around a parking lot. I picked her up, took her home, gave her a bath, took …

Dangerous Not rated yet
I have had quite a few dogs. And I have lived around livestock of all types and I have had a few cats. I tell you this to give some qualification to …

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Irresponsible owners should not have a pet  Not rated yet
In most cases it is never the dogs fault. You always hear about a pitbull biting somebody or a child. What about the owner who made the dog aggressive …

BORED, Unmanaged Dogs are the MOST Dangerous! Not rated yet
Dogs are dangerous, big dogs are more dangerous and BORED, Unmanaged Dogs are the MOST dangerous I love dogs, I love my pitbull, I also LOVE MY 4 BEAGLES! …

Bad Owners, Not Bad Pitbulls  Not rated yet
A pit bull is only dangerous if the owner does not treat them right. If they are trained to attack they're ganna attack!!!!! But if u treat the …

A Sheep In Wolfs Clothing Not rated yet
Hi, I live in britain & rescued my 1st pit at 20 years old. I also had a rescued staffie then too, but when I rescued this dog he was on his way to be …

Zeke Not rated yet
I have a pitbull and he is the most loving dog I've ever had, and I've had alot of dogs over the years. I still think it depends on the owner, they …

I argue about this with my mom like EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Not rated yet
I defend them btw. I have wanted to adopt a pitbull forever! But no, my mom is scared of them cause she was bitten by this stray when she was little. …

Pit Bulls aren't always mean. Not rated yet
Pit bulls aren't always mean dogs. I know a bunch of people with pit bulls and they have never made any sort of vicious move towards anybody. They …

Owner responsiblity Not rated yet
I believe that Pit bulls are like any other dog, and that people who choose to own a pit bull or any other dog should be willing to be a responsible owner. …

Dangerous breed my a$$ Not rated yet
Any dog that believes its the alpha dog or top dog because of lack of training or a rough beginning to life scares me more than any pit-bull could …

Pitbulls Not rated yet
Pitbulls are dangerous just like any other animal, but it seems like only pitbulls are being punished. When I was little, my sister had a poodle and her …

"I would never own a Pit Bull" Not rated yet
This is what i would always say. Until my 19 year old daughter came home and said, "Mom, we have to save Sally, Shes soooooo skinny and they are mean to …

No! Pitbulls are not Dangerous! Not rated yet
I own a female pitbull she is the gentlest dog I have ever had out of all the dogs I had in my life. I believe it is the owners that are the ones who need …

No, pit bulls are not dangerous!!!! Not rated yet
I have an 8 year old Pit that I would trust with my life and the lives of my children. Now here is a little story, that dog has only bitten one person. …

Some people are soo blind when it comes to pit bulls Not rated yet
No pit bulls aren't dangerous . I've had 2 of em and the 1 I have now isn't. I've had her since she was 3 weeks old . Ninety-nine percent of people …

Any dog is CAPABLE of being dangerouse! Not rated yet
I have owned 2 pit bulls and they both have been the best dogs that me or anybody could have if you give them a chance. I am 18 years old and they have …

All Pitbulls need is love to prosper Not rated yet
All I can say about pit bulls are I love them and if you show them love. They will repay that with all the love you would ever need from a dog. Now …

No more or less dangerous than anything else. Not rated yet
I happen to own a beautiful red-nosed pit bull who is going on 4 years old now. My family absolutely adores him and treats him like royalty. There …

My two cents Not rated yet
Why is there such a witch hunt mentality towards these animals? I truly don't get it, seems only the backwoods idiots and thugs that fight them are the …

My pittie is a therapy visitation dog and a reading therapy dog! Not rated yet
I was blessed with Fenny three years ago! He is my sweet love and my constant companion. Where ever he goes, he spreads love and is such a genuine gentlemen! …

Not that many people take time to get to know a pit. Not rated yet
I have a pit bull. she is eight months and i love her a lot. she has never ever tried to bite anybody or hurt anything. i have seen more small dogs hurt …

ITS A DISGRACE Not rated yet
ITS A DISGRACE how naive people are. I personally am a proud mommy to FIVE very loving and affectionate PIT BULLS that NEVER caused ANY harm to each other, …

Ignorance Not rated yet
So many people are completely ignorant when it comes to this breed. Any dog can be vicious. So many little dogs are vicious but no one cares or they …

My first pitbull Not rated yet
My first dog is a pit bull. He is the most kind and gentle dog I've ever come across. They are just like people,if you treat them right they will treat …

My pitties rock my world! Not rated yet
At 48 I never had a dog in my life. Was always a cat person. Not that I had anything against dogs rather just had no experience with them. Enter …

The most ignorant breed.... Not rated yet
Is the breed called humans. One of the most ironic truths about pitbulls is that the majority of the general public doesn't know them when they see them. …

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My Dogs Not rated yet
I raised my pit bulls in my home with my 5 children and they are wonderful pets! I raised them and trained them to be what they are. If you raise any dog …

In the wrong hands Not rated yet
In the wrong hands a common pencil can be dangerous. I think there are dogs in general that are pre-disposed to violence (just like people) but in the …

It's a dog, but really I don't care
if it was a lion
 Not rated yet
A dog in general is able to bite but it's up to people to show them not to. I have two pit bulls--one bully breed blue nose and an all American red nose. …

Sammy - A Beautiful Pit Bull Not rated yet
I met a beautiful pit bull in Oregon about 10 years ago. We were neighbors, and this dog had a boy and a girl. She loved her boy and girl and she feel …

Dogs Aren't Dangerous... People Are Not rated yet
Dogs have been bred for centuries to work and live alongside men. No dog is, by its very nature, a violent dangerous animal (except the rare exceptions, …

Are pit bulls dangerous....
They're not if they're treated properly
 Not rated yet
Pit Bulls are extremely loyal dogs and so smart! If they are told to do something, they will do it to prove to their owners that they respect them. It's …

Diesel, Our road dog. Not rated yet
Diesel has been with us since he was 6 weeks old. He is now almost 4 years old. He has been going over the road in a 18 wheeler since he was about 3 months …

our pit is a big baby Not rated yet
I have a 2 1/2 yr old staffordshire terrier/mastiff mix. She is the most loving animal I have ever had. We had a border collie that died of old age at …

No bad dogs, just bad owners. Not rated yet
I was a Letter Carrier for 23 years and I know that given the right situation any dog can bite. Whether it's protecting a bone or it's territory, a dog …

My dog is the neighborhood's favorite dog unanimously Not rated yet
It's all about how you treat your dog. My girlfriend and I socialize Trigger (our dog) with every dog and willing individual wherever we go and everybody …

No such thing as... Not rated yet
...a DANGEROUS PIT BULL. Just owners who are irresponsible a**holes. I'm not a pit owner, but I do own a LAB, but PIT BULLS pretty much catch the blame …

For Pitties sake, it's not the dog. It's the OWNER. Not rated yet
Am I in denial that Pit Bulls have killed? No. I am quite aware that it has happened and will continue to happen although it CAN be prevented. Pit …

pitbulls are dangerous if you make them dangerous just like any other dog. Not rated yet
Pitbulls are one of the smartest most loveable dogs out there. I have yet to come across a mean one and i have met and been around tons of them. I …

im a big pit lover Not rated yet
I have 2 pit bulls and they r trained to the t. If u treat them rt then u will not have any problems. My dogs have never bit anybody and when my son …

my experiences Not rated yet
I've done dog rescue for 25 years. I'm careful whenever I bring new dogs in, making sure they meet the others in a safe manner. I have had dog fights I …

Yes Pitbulls are VERY dangerous Not rated yet
Our pit puts everyone at extreme risk of being kissed to death! We have to put her in her crate whenever company arrives because she just can't keep …

Has Society Really Gone to The Dogs Not rated yet
I believe that we all, humans and animals have an innate sense of survival. We all react to the way we have been taught to react. If you were to visit …

Pit bulls dangerous--I think not. Not rated yet
Any dog can injury anyone, but I believe that the human behind the dog is the problem. Dogs love their owners and would do anything to make their humans …

Pitbulls have feelings too Not rated yet
No I don't think pitbulls are dangerous! I think it's the way they're treated the way they're raised. If you're treated with love you treat others with …

Bullies are the Mutts Nutz Not rated yet
Pitbulls are not even close to dangerous. In the UK they are banned, although they seem to be everywhere now which is mostly due to the authorities not …

Are pit bulls dangerous--I thought so once too Not rated yet
All the articles here that I read have good points. I agree that its an owners job/duty to be a good owner. All dogs have the ability/potential to go bad. …

Humans are More Dangerous and Vicious than any Breed of Dog ! Not rated yet
Dog are the product of their environment, regardless of breed. Just like children are a product of their environment regardless of nationality, race, ethnic …

Dogs are only as dangerous as the people who raise them Not rated yet
We have a one year pit and he is the biggest baby I have ever seen. If licking you to death when he sees you and cuddling up to you is dangerous - then …

My Pitbulls Not rated yet
Pitbulls are not dangerous. Its all about how they are raised. I own two purebred pitbulls and I have had one for 5 years since a pup and the other for …

Really...saying that ALL Pit Bulls are bad?  Not rated yet
Apparently they have never gotten close to one. How can someone say that a dog is "born" mean? No animal is born mean...it is the environment in which …

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MY Little Pitbull--Hemi. Not rated yet
I've had a pitbull named Hemi, and yes he did have a TEMPERAMENT as a puppy, he snapped a couple times, but never got ahold of me. The temperament went …

Wake Up! There Are No Dangerous Breeds Not rated yet
There are no dangerous breeds of dogs out there. They are what we make them. I could make a toy poodle the meanest dog you've ever seen and at the same …

I love pits. am staffs. apbt. what ever you want to call them i love them Not rated yet
I am a vet tech in louisiana.. I deal with dogs of every breed,color,size, and weight... One of the most loving and high spirited dogs i have come across …

Lovely pit bulls Not rated yet
I own a pit bull and it is the best dog i ever had. Noble, smart and always learning new tricks, friendly to everybody even the mail man. So, I don't …

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