Do Pit Bulls Deserve their Reputation?

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Do Pit Bulls Deserve their Reputation?

Audrey Thompson, Opinion Editor

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People tend to view the dog breed known as pit bulls in different ways. Either as an aggressive attack dog or a caring, gentle family dog. Which way is accurate, though? Pit bulls do have a pretty bad reputation for attacking, hurting, and in some cases, killing people. Unfortunately, while many of these dogs are amazing family dogs, there are too many instances of them suddenly snapping and attacking people to not see an issue.

Now before you start disagreeing, try to keep an open mind. You might have a pit bull at home that is the sweetest dog in the world. I’m not saying that your dog isn’t sweet and I’m not saying that your dog is aggressive. Yes, dogs should be treated as individuals but when a lot of those individuals have a common pattern such as attacking, it’s obvious they are going to gain a reputation. After all, things get reputations for a reason. I personally have had experiences with many sweet, gentle pit bulls, and I also have had experiences with aggressive pit bulls. The problem is not having met a nice pit bull but having met an aggressive one. This is because I haven’t met that many. The fact that in the small number of pit bulls I have met, there have been aggressive ones. This shows just how common the aggressiveness in this breed is. Also, whenever there is a dog attack by a pit bull, the headlines say “pit bull attack”, but when there is a dog attack from another breed the headlines say “dog attack”. Perhaps this is because of the common attacks from pit bulls. Furthermore, even though pit bulls only account for about 6.5% of the U.S. dog population, they are still responsible for the most fatal dog attacks in the U.S. Over a 12-year period from 2005 to 2017, pit bulls have killed about 284 people in the U.S and are responsible for 66% of human fatalities caused by dog attacks.

In addition to having a high rate of attacking people, pit bulls also tend to snap on their owners. One instance of this is when a woman in Virginia went on a walk in the woods with her two dogs. Her dogs were pit bulls and they attacked her. Sadly, this attack was fatal and the dogs were euthanized. There was no specific reason found for why the dogs would attack her. She had raised the dogs since they were puppies and her family and friends said the dogs were very affectionate. She was also said to have a strong bond with her dogs. This is not the only time pit bulls have snapped on their owners, though. A woman brought her two pit bulls to an animal hospital to be quarantined for rabies. The animal hospital required the woman to walk her dogs, though because of their aggressive behavior. She walked her dogs for a week without any problems until Saturday, March 23rd of this year. She let her dogs out in the backyard and was fatally attacked. Unfortunately, pit bulls turning on their owners is way too common and these are only a few instances of it happening. It just adds on to the reasons why they deserve their reputation.

Honestly, before researching, I thought there was no way pit bulls deserved their reputation as vicious dogs. It was only after looking at a lot of different articles that I changed my opinion. Even though there are sweet, affectionate pit bulls, there are many aggressive ones that are the cause of the most fatal dog attacks. I love all dogs and I am not saying to hate pit bulls. It is best to just be cautious around pit bulls, as well as other dogs, that you don’t know. Sadly, it is pretty clear that pit bulls do deserve their reputation. The only question that remains now is: what is the cause of this aggression?