It’s Time For Common Sense Pit Bull Regulation

The anti-pit bull crowd counters the owners’ cute pictures with data showing the breed to be responsible for nearly two-thirds of all dog-bite fatalities in spite of only comprising six percent of America’s dog population.

I summarized this vicious debate with a tweet Sunday — which also generated animated discussion.


This subject always opens up an interesting discussion. Keep your comments civil, please.

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60 Responses to It’s Time For Common Sense Pit Bull Regulation

  1. Gryphon says:

    No Bad Dogs, Cats, Horses, Birds, Just Bad Owners and Bad Training. Lots of People just plain shouldn’t Own an Animal, period.
    And I’ll bet that a lot of Dog Bites are simply because the Bite-ee had approached the Dog in a threatening (as seen by the Dog) Way, or reached out and grabbed/touched it. Reaching for an Animal’s Face is the problem, even My Horse gives Me the Ears Back and Teeth Bared if I Move a Hand suddenly to its Nose.

    • Ragnar says:

      Concur. My pitt is 1 1/2 years old. Big boy. Well trained (at least I think so). Loves to play. Barks at and chases squirrels and rabbits. No issues with me, my girlfriend or her kids. Gotta’ call BS on the author. More loony left ban this ban that ban the other thing. Never hear them calling for a ban on forks from fat asses.

      • Pit bulls are loved by the lower demographic where abuse goes hand and hand…and the dogs are being abused or trained to attack people.
        In my opinion, anyone who has been charged with certain crimes should not be allowed to have pit bulls at all.

        • Winston Smith says:

          Nature + Nurture. EVERYTHING is a Bell curve.
          Blame and prosecute negligent owners.

        • snuffy says:

          Lower demographic? I don’t own one, but who am I, or who are you to label anyone who does? You sound like Hillary labeling the deplorables .

          • Chris Mallory says:

            Lower demographic = Ghetto Rats.
            They are known for abusing women, children and animals.

            • MauserMedic says:

              Which is where we got our Staffordshire from, four houses down. Didn’t give him back the second time he was here trying to find something to eat, since they never bothered to feed him. He’s a great dog, now that his heartworms are killed off and his broken/rotten teeth have been removed by our vet. But I do see a lot of trash (yes, I judge people- it’s a good way to avoid trouble) who keep them for intimidation, to have something to beat on or to run fights for cash.

          • Ragnar says:

            Thank you. Was going to reply myself, but with a bit more ire. I’m a retired naval officer with two trips to the sand box under my belt. Masters degree from NPS. He needs to put his broad brush away.

            • R&M says:

              I agree with you Ragnar. I had a not so nice reply to this comment as well. My husband and I are not in the “lower demographic” by any stretch of the imagination. My step-son is a fireman and his wife is a respiratory therapist which I hardly think makes them “lower demographic”. Both of our families have pits. They neither one have attacked anyone or anything. Including our children, grandchildren, other dogs and cats. Unless you count squishing us when they flop down on our laps.

              • Andy says:

                I apologize in advance for what I am about to say and for going off topic from Pits, BUT,

                I fucking can’t stand anyone that judges someone on their appearance and automatically deduced that that person is a “lower demographic”. Does that mean that one of my grandsons, who’s mother is black, is any less of a human because of that? Or, is she more of a human because she had a child with a white man? Whoever started this train of non-thinking on this thread is seriously flawed and should keep their opinions to themselves. Or, in other words as explained to a neighbor that implied a threat to my grandson’s mom when I told him that as long as he kept that attitude on the outside of my fence and off my property I won’t shoot him. Haven’t seen the asshole since.

                Bottom line up front – try judging on character instead of color.

                All this from me, a guy that once almost joined the KKK until a black man saved my life and reversed my thinking.

  2. czechsix says:

    Well, let’s see….take an animal breed that’s optimized for fighting, make sure every idiot rapper has a few of them, and see what happens with the fan base. idea where that might lead.

    But it would be pretty funny if the idiot rappers had Betta fish instead (yeah, I know they do…just not in the U.S.A.).

    • bogsidebunny says:

      Batta fish? Betta than what? Piranhas?

      • Herb says:

        Betta Splendens – commonly known aas Siamese Fighting Fish.

      • Andrew says:

        Oh, that was good. Points for you!

        Had a friend who had piranhas. Someone challenged him, saying his Oscar was more deadly. Sure enough, when put in the tank, the piranhas got sucked up by the Oscar. A few minutes later, the piranhas age their way out. Winner, winner, Oscar dinner.

  3. kevinH says:

    Any breed can be dangerous, I read an article yesterday where a pack of Dachshund mix dogs killed someone. Raise them right, and pits can be some of the sweetest dogs there are, of course their size and strength can make them exceedingly dangerous if they do snap.

  4. Inventive says:

    It’s the whole nature vs. nurture thing, and I think they both play a big role. Pit bulls and rotts fit a stereotype, so they’re more likely to be trained or forced to be a certain way, but I think they’re also bred to behave that way too, so much more likely to be aggressive to begin with. If you can breed retrievers, and hounds, and herding dogs, you can breed aggression.

  5. Trib says:

    My wife and her friends went and saw the Pitbull when he was in Dallas. They said it was a great concert.

  6. anthony kingsford says:

    The Pitt Bull is a noble breed.Not his fault that criminals,gangsters,drug lords own him ,abuse him ,use him in fights.Think of the great Sgt.Stubby of WW1.Whe have 8 Kangols looking after 4000 sheep,only humans they see are our 3 Herdsman and me.They take care of vermin trying to attack the herd,thats their work.You do nat have bad dogs,just stupid humans trying to do what the dog knows is not right.

  7. rayvet says:

    If I walk into an exam room and there’s a pit bull in one corner and a German Shepherd in the other corners, which one do you think I’m most likely to get bit by? The German Shepherd, without a doubt.
    If I walk into the same room and someone says, you have to LET one of those dogs bite you, which one are you going to let do it? The German Shepherd without a doubt.

    • Andy says:

      Having had two German Shephards at the same time, I can attest to this Rayvet. I can also tell anyone that Shephards have more biting force than Pits do. The difference is Pits can lock their jaw. Hell, at one point, Cocker Spaniels had more bites attributed to them than all other breeds combined.
      Personally, I think the bias comes from the fact that Pits are most likely to be used as fighters for no other reason than the locking jaw thing and that creates the stigma the breed suffers today. So I guess we can make up a new term and call them “Assault Dogs”? Between my sons and I we are on our 5th PIt and they are the most loving breed I have ever had. As with any dog, if you establish yourself as the Alpha, you are less likely to have problems from your dog. If your’e not taking care of and training your dogs, well you can just go………

      Never mind, Kenny said be civil.

      • Wirecutter says:

        I can remember a time when Beagles were #1 on the bite list. Coincidentally, it was right about the time when Beagles were the #1 pet dog – that might tell you something.

        The civility remark was directed to those that either really love pits or really hate them. It seems to be a passionate subject for both groups.

      • John Deaux says:

        Pit Bulls don’t lock their jaws, there’s nothing in the structure of the head or jaw for this to happen.
        A determined Bulldog can hold as long as and turn loose anytime, it wants to, the key work is want,. A Bulldog is not a grab and turn loose, slashing type of breed, it is a work to a hold and hang on to it breed.
        Different styles, different mechanics involved.
        I’ve been around hundreds of them, some are just goofy around people some are aggressive, just like any other breed of dog..
        No better, no worse.
        Just is……

        • Andy says:

          Thanks for the correction.

        • Chet says:

          Years ago when a Pit locked down on my dog who was on a leash, I found the key to unlocking the Pit’s jaws was to slap it in the head with a brick. It did the trick.

  8. sigh.. says:

    I was attacked by a pitbull just last week.
    it was wandering the street with no collar or leashe, only a blue bandana.. no owners in sight.. it went straight from pissin on a phone pole to rushing me and biting at my legs.
    I did nothing aggravating, I was just walking down the sidewalk at a casual pace, hands at my sides in plain view.
    even after he went apeshit, I continued to do nothing aggravating, I stopped for a moment (he ran behind me so retreat was not an option) then carried on as casually as I could.. even after I was blocks away he was still barking mad with no owners in sight.
    this was one block away from a supermarket, and a major residential thoroughfare for mothers walking with their children.
    sure you could say “the owners were shitty” but its also clear the dog’s basic temprament is the core issue.
    it was not a young dog. and I know the difference between a dog’s playgrowl and fuckoff growl

  9. Rob says:

    The dogs just get all that bad publicity every time they eat a kid, neighbor or owner.

  10. Most of the problem is that white and black trash adore the dog. You go to a place that’s absolute shit with shitty people and they have multiple pit bulls.

    • Wirecutter says:

      And chihuahuas. Don’t forget the chihuahuas. We all know how dangerous they are.

      • Chris Mallory says:

        Chihuahuas are the number one dog for leaving tiny little tooth prints in jackboot leather. No wonder the cops shoot them on sight.

      • Nemo says:

        One of my neighbors has three chihuahuas. Every time she walks them and I am in the yard, the dogs go ape shit barking and lunging at me from te end of their leashes. Once one of them got away from her, charging at me from over 50 feet away. I was able to keep it at bay with a broom without hurting the dog until the woman was able to corral it. I would have liked to just swat the little shit, but restrained myself.

  11. Hillbilly says:

    I’m not a big fan of Pit’s but I agree with everyone else here, training is 90% of it. There are a few dogs that go a different road. Had a Blue tic hound when I was newly married, 35 years ago. Meanest dog I’ve known, didn’t train him to be that way. Very protective over family and me, but again I never trained him to be so, just was. When it came to hunting…. FEARLESS! He got killed south of Hollister Ca, by a couple wild pigs. We were not on a hunt by the way, just ranching.

  12. Barton Cantor says:

    The American Negro makes up about 12.5% of the general population, yet is responsible for about 70% of the violent crime. They have a violent crime rate of over 8 times the white population for murder, and over 9 times for robbery.

    Methinks that pit bulls’ violence is not inherent in the breed, but has a high correlation coefficient to the race of their owners. Maybe we should have some common sense American Negro regulations.

    • MN Steel says:

      That was successfully tried, but then some big-nos… errr, big-shots from big cities riled ’em up, they got uppity, and soon enough, were lowering property values across this once great nation.

  13. Dan Patterson says:

    I don’t know so much about the training, no-bad-dogs-only-bad-people, etc. What do you make of the 60% of bites from 6% of the dog population statistic?

    • John Deaux says:

      I make of it the same as political poles, basically skewed and mostly untruthful. If a dog has a blocky head or is muscular it’s a Pit in the minds of many. Have no idea what kinda dog bit someone., it’s gotta be a Pit.
      They are no better or worse than any other breed of dog out there.

    • JeremyR says:

      It isn’t 60% of bites, it is 60% of fatal attacks. Dogs bite. It is a fact of their nature. Pitbulls, once they begin an attack rarely stop until the target is dead.

  14. .45ACP+P says:

    There are too many pit bull incidents. I propose: No restrictions on owning pit bulls or mixes. They are frequently very sweet dogs. Stop making more. $10,000 fine for breeding one or allowing it to breed on your property. $1000 fine for selling one. Penalty to the home owner so it cannot be dodged. Adoption through SPCA, etc. no penalty. Problem fixed in 10 years.

  15. Pointy End Out says:

    Retreivers by nature retreive.
    Herders by nature herd.
    Pointers by nature point
    Trackers by nature scent track.
    Pit bulls by nature fight.

    • Daniel K Day says:

      And here is the answer! Damn, why has no one ev-ver thought of this before?
      Get them decent training in pitting when they’re young, and they’ll be of great use in fruit processing facilities.

  16. Twostrokejunkie says:

    Young adult black males are only 3% of the population and commit of 50% of all crime, and 80% of all murders. Just sayin. And i like most dogs more than most people. Sooooo…..

  17. Mike G. says:

    Nurture doesn’t overcome nature. Dogs sre not a blank slate. Greyhounds are born to run. Labs are born to hunt, swim, and retrieve. Shepherds are born to group, drive, and protect. Terriers are born to chase and kill varmints. Toy dogs are born to look pretty and be worthless assholes. And pit bulls are born to fight.

  18. Chris Mallory says:

    “Pit Bull” is not a breed of dog. It is a type of dog.

    “The Federation Cynologique Internationale currently only recognizes three breeds: the Bull Terrier, the Miniature Bull Terrier, and the Staffordshier Bull Terrier.[18] The Canadian Kennel Club also recognizes these breeds, as well as the American Staffordshire Terrier.[19] The American Kennel Club recognizes the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the Miniature Bull Terrier, and the Bull Terrier as breeds also”

    • John Deaux says:

      What does all that have to do with a breed of dog that predates all those registerises.
      The registration organizations only exist to fluff the feathers of the people who believe in them.
      Doubt me, look at what the AKC has done to the German Shepherd breed, most GS registered with them are show dogs with unnaturally long backs and weak hips. The German Standard laughs at those AKC dogs and will not allow them to be bred or registered in Germany.
      Another breed to look at is the Collie, Lassie type not border type, the head has been so narrowed in the AKC standard the dog suffers from sight problems.
      Registration relies on the honesty of the breeders to have what they say they do and the organization to have realistic standards for the breeds it’s registering. Unfortunately neither happen very often.

  19. Learned the hard way says:

    Why would anyone need a gaboon viper?

  20. Andrew says:

    Haven’t dealt much with pits, but right now my right leg is being crushed by a Rottweiler (while she’s laying on it snoring) so I’ll toss this in.

    Yes, there are dogs that are born vicious, just like people. Sometimes genetically the ‘vicious’ switch is turned on in some individuals, just as the ‘complete fuckup’ gene is switched on in some individuals of any species.

    Chihuahuas, often being overbred and improperly bred, tend to exhibit this a lot. Badly bred Chihuahuas (does anyone else here pronounce it like Les Nesman did on “WKRP”?) tend to exhibit both the vicious and the fuck-up genes, sometimes in combination, but in those little rat-dogs people think ‘it’s cute.’ No, no it isn’t.

    Cocker Spaniels were over- and badly-bred, and there’s whole generations of those little piss-factories that, at the sound of anything louder than an ant-fart, freak out, piss all over and bite their owners. Again, people see it as ‘cute.’ No, no it isn’t.

    Rottweilers have a reputation for being mean, shitty dogs. For the most part, no, they are not. They were bred for independent thinking for herding purposes (let the dog take the flock and watch it unsupervised) and for farm work (pulling plows and carts) and for protection. There’s even a whole competition system based on this (Schutzhund, really friggin amazing to watch.)

    So. To get to the point, Rotties are bread to be big, protective, self-activating marshmallows. Some people have taken the size and the potential viciousness of the dog and made their dogs ‘mean.’ By beating them and mistreating them and doing everything wrong with them.

    My dog, the leg and chest crushing black-and-tan blob that’s cropdusting me right now? My wife got her from a rescue. First thing this dog did when she saw my wife in her powered chair wasn’t to freak out, nor to bark, but to walk calmy over to my wife and put her big Rottie head in the center of my wife’s chest and look up at my wife’s face. And then with no training, walked nicely by the side of the chair. 2 other dogs freaked at the chair. Dogs we’ve met on the street have freaked over the chair. But not this one dog, the first time, with no training.

    So, after a course in dog training my wife has a wonderful service dog. Safe, loves kids, has protected my wife from several hood-dogs, and is a fully wonderful sweet member of the family.

    And then, a year after getting her, the rescue service called us. Seems she, the dog, was taken from some asshat that tried to beat her into viciousness. (Which explains some of the bone scars she has.)

    So, wrapping it up. A ‘mean dog breed’, raised by an asshat to be vicious, but isn’t because she’s a good dog and we’re good owners.

    Same with many of the pitbulls out there. Decent dogs (genetically), decent owners means nice, stable, friendly dog. But bad dog (genetically) combined with mediocre owners or bad owners spells trouble. Good dog with bad owners spells trouble.

    Solution? Other than shooting bad dog owners? Don’t know. Breed-restrictions don’t work. Someone will always fuck up a perfectly good dog because they’re an asshat. Some otherwise perfectly good dogs are just, well, fucking unsafe to be around. (Saw one on “The Incredible Dr. Pol”, a trained bloodhound who just refused to allow the handler to touch its ears or face, and when injured, bit the owner. A case of ‘bad’ dog, even though a good owner.)

    By the way, if your house or insurance agency has a problem with Rottweilers, USAA doesn’t, as of last year, have breed restrictions on their policies.

  21. Volchek says:

    A number of years ago a deputy I worked with had a couple of pit puppies he was trying to find homes for. I went to see them. They were playing and one went berzerko when the other pup picked up a toy. It latched on to the other pup’s cheek, blood gushing everywhere. It would not let the other pup go. Even after being sprayed with ice cold water (it was mid December in the low 40’s) from a garden hose it still did not let go. After 10 minutes of being latched onto the other pup the aggressor finally let go. The attacked pup, IIRC, needed to be taken to the vet for stitches.

    The pit bull pups were 7 WEEKS OLD.

    A few months ago I was walking our 17lb Shih Tzu/Pekingnese mix rescue. Sweet dog, and smart. And not aggressive.
    The local hood rats around the curve on my street had let their 50+ lb pit bull breeding bitch loose. It came off the front porch and zeroed in on my dog. I drew my Walther P22 (which I carry in the neighborhood because if idiot dog owners letting their dogs run loose against city ordinance), clicked the safety off, yelled at the pit, which hesitated for a couple of seconds before starting at my dog again.

    I shot at the pavement in front of the pit, the hollow point stinger shattering and peppering the pit, which immediately turned tail and ran behind the house. if it hadn’t stopped I would’ve shot it as many times as it took to kill it.

    Training/nurturing my ass. Pits, Chows, and Shar Pei’s were fucking bred to kill shit. It’s in their DNA.

    Bad Owners are one thing, I can’t stand to see any animal treated inhumanely. And some people shouldn’t have pets.. or kids for that matter because they are shitbags from the word go.

    But pits are a fucking attack waiting to happen. Anything can set them off. There is NO WAY I’d let one around my kid, trained or not.

    • Handy N Hansom says:


    • John Deaux says:

      So what about the good loving gentle family pet lab up the street from me that killed 2 dogs and went affer a young girl on her bicycle a couple weeks ago. Are labs fucking attack machines waiting to go off to, hmm
      Personally I don’t believe anything you wrote but hey I’m a jaded asshole so

    • Andrew says:

      I think the operative phrase in your (Volchek) statement above is ‘hood rats’. Ghetto Guerillas, or Ghetto Gorillas, or some really bad names I am not going to use.

      I’ve been around a lot of Pits, and have found them to (in most cases) as normal and stable as any other breed. Yes, like in that patch of puppies, there are some that are born bad. Some are born good. The in-between ones? Those can be bad or good depending on the environment, which means if you see one running around with a boat chain around their neck, you can guess the owners are assholes. Maybe not the dog, but the owners are.

      As to shih tzus and Pekinese, those are the only dogs that I have consistently been attacked and bitten by. Way more than Chihuahuas or various terrier breeds. And people absolutely freak when you take a whack at one of those little fur-covered rats. Oh, sure, they’ll grab and tear a pair of jeans, but they’ll savage fingers and toes like, well, a rat. And for the most part it is the owner’s fault for not training their damned dogs.

      Like guns. Everyone is careful around that MG-42 or that Barrett .50 cal, but I’ve literally seen people tossing a Raven .25 around because it’s cuuute. (And I left when that happened. Didn’t want to get bit by the rat of the gun world (still responsible for more deaths than AR-15s)

  22. pigpen51 says:

    My son went on the road playing music for a couple of years, and one of the jobs that they did to earn money was at a pitbull rescue place, in AZ. They had like 150 pitbulls, and one Chow. He said that they could get on the ground and play with the pitbulls, roll around and they all acted like big puppies. But the one dog that they didn’t dare turn their back on was that Chow.
    They played music from Michigan, down to the southern coast, and across, did hurricane relief in Galveston, Texas. Hit LA, and played at the Whiskey a Go Go. Then played up the state of California and ended up in San Luis Obispo.
    He worked for a couple of years for a company that made jewelry out of decomissioned nuclear materials. He got married, and moved his bride to back to Michigan. First thing he did when getting back home, was buy an AK 47, after he was legal.
    I do have to say, when I was playing music, I wish I had bought a motor home and hit the road for a couple of years playing music. They had an adventure that they will never forget.

  23. Tsgt Joe says:

    Since we are on the subject of dogs. Wife and I, mainly wife, are looking for a small dog that will travel well. A genial disposition and under 25 pounds are important. Me personally, I would stick with our old cat, he’s quiet till meal time then he’ll motor mouth. In fact, right now he’s letting me know he wants his 10 pm snack. Anybody have breed suggestions?

  24. JeremyR says:

    Anybody heard from Bethany Lynn Stephens? she might have a think or three to tell us about pitbulls and whether they are safe friendly and trustworthy.

  25. Jeffersonian says:

    I’ve known good Pitbull owners. And I’ve known bad ones. Some pitbulls are quite lovable and friendly. But they are powerful dogs bred through instinct to be ferocious fighters and will resort to that instinct if they feel threatened. I remember an incident from around thirty years ago when I went with my future ex wife to meet a friend of hers. I was sitting on her couch petting and playing with her (the friends) pitbull puppy when the boyfriend came home. He grabbed the pup, took it outside and killed it. when he came back, quite agitated, he explained that he didn’t buy it to be a friendly dog. Said we ruined it and we owed him money for it. I told him to fornicate with himself and we left. We never went back. No. I didn’t report it.

  26. George Patton says:

    Horses and Cows are the number one cause of people’s death by animals in the US. Bees and Wasps are number two. Dogs are a distant third. Even then, last year, there were a total of 31 deaths by dog bites. California had 6 of them. Florida, North Carolina and Texas had three each. 18 of 31 in only four states. Lots of BS about something that happens 31 times out of 350 million people. Pit bulls are only 22. Over a ten year period, it averages out to one person killed by a pit bull every 17 days. 31 dog bite deaths a year. 565 people died last year by slipping, tripping or stumbling. Let’s ban walking. Heck, let’s ban eating. 744 people died from choking while eating.

  27. Thomas Doan says:

    1. All dogs bite.
    2. All dogs have ROM memory , they were bred for a job.
    3. Do not get in the way of the ROM.
    4. 100 years of lap dog replacement training is not enough, see number 2.
    I am surrounded by Pits and Rotties all sweet dogs until they snap then they are on ROM memory and your yelling, water hose, 2×4 is not going to stop them. Training is how to move the breaking point but it is always there, see number 1.

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