As a personist, I am much more concerned about stereotypes against people than against dogs. But as an animal caregiver, I care about four-legged critters as well.
Pit bulls have gotten a reputation as a vicious breed. While race in human beings is not biological but socially defined, in dog breeds, “race” is biological. For example, as far as I know the largest healthy adult chihuahua is smaller than the smallest healthy adult rottweiler.
So does the pit bull breed have a definite tendency to attack people? No. According to the online Encyclopædia Britannica:
“Although these dogs were originally bred and trained to display aggression against other dogs, aggression against human was not encouraged because, even while fighting, the dogs had to be handled by their trainers.”
The dogs had to be responsive enough that, even when engaged in a deadly battle with another dog, they would not attack any of the intervening humans. But viciousness was looked for, so problems were caused by “irresponsible breeders encouraging such traits in their animals and mistreating them in order to induce a vicious temperament.”
In my personal experience, I not only took care of hundreds of dogs, including pit bulls, as a journalist I covered dog bites. The local police station’s log either listed “dog bite” or “pit bull bite.” Pit bull terriers were the only breed they pointed out in the headings of their police log in a type of “dog racial profiling.”
A dog of any breed that’s irresponsibly handled can be a problem. If well handled, they can be like the original Pete the Pup, the friendly pit bull dog loved by the kids on Our Gang comedies, aka The Little Rascals.
Image from Our Gang is in the public domain.
An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.