Over the past few years, many owners of pit bulls have tried to put a more friendly face on the dog breed. They show pictures of pit bulls cuddled up with babies, bunnies and kittens. Without a doubt, pit bulls do exist that bond well with their owners, adjust well in homes and cause no harm to those around them. Some truly are the sweetest dogs an individual could ever encounter.
However, there is no denying the dog’s history and related statistics. People may also have a hard time parting mental ways with the news stories of gruesome attacks against not just perfect strangers but the owners of these dogs.
The statistics on dog bites
Forbes reports that as early as the mid-1990s, the CDC reviewed data on dog bites from 1979 to 1996. Even during this time, pit bulls topped the list for dog bites. To this day, pit bulls still account for the most fatal attacks in America. The breed accounts for 66% of dog fatalities and killed 284 people over a 13-year period. Compare this to the fact that the breed accounts for only 6.5% of the dog population in America.
The ASPCA’s position on pit bulls
The ASCPA acknowledges that breeders develop dogs for specific purposes. When it comes to pit bulls, breeders developed them primarily for fighting. It can make pit bulls more likely to engage in aggressive behavior. This may occur against not just other dogs but humans, as well. The ASPCA does, however, caution people against believing that all pit bulls are aggressive. In fact, it believes that owners can properly socialize pit bulls not to behave aggressively.
Unfortunately, the people outside of pit bull households may not know the breed background of the dog or the owners’ commitment to socializing against aggression. Because of this, it is sometimes better to give pit bulls a wide berth when encountered.