The Pit Bull’s Dilemma: Why Do Some Of Them Attack Young Children?
I am a dog lover to the bottom of my heart, from head to toe. And regardless of what you read or hear about pit bull attacks, I have nothing against pit bull breeds. Maia, my black lab mix, is 1/4 pit bull and is the most loving and sensitive dog I have ever owned. I got it when I was 2 years old and it had obviously been raised properly with training and socialization. It has some of the characteristics of pit bulls, such as a broad face and muscular body, and the intense prey drive of small animals such as chickens and cats. However, he has totally accepted my cat and although he tries to get the cat to play and wants a good chase, the cat does not obey, stands his ground and Maia gives up. But any cat outside my house is fair game. Therefore, she is never off leash with other cats.
But for the life of me, I can’t understand why, after all the media attention that pit bull breeds have received due to these dogs’ attacks on young children, families continue to adopt them into their homes where there are young children. , and then they leave. get away even for a few moments leaving them alone with the new dog. What are you thinking
It is one thing if the dog was raised by the family from a puppy with proper training and socialization and the dog understands and respects the fact that each member of the family is the leader of the pack and therefore the dog. It is not a threat. But these folks who adopt a pit bull they don’t know anything about take him home to become a member of the family and then leave him alone with his 2-3 years. The old boy must be crazy! Are they trying to prove something? Do you think that if you give the dog enough love it will not hurt anyone?
These breeds were bred to fight bulls and bears. Once that was no longer an option, they were raised to fight each other. Why do you suppose these breeds of American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers are the main breeds used in illegal dogfighting arenas? Because that’s what they have been bred for for generations. They are extremely strong and when they bite they will not let go until the other dog is defeated. From their size, I am sure they are the strongest dogs of all breeds.
However, the fact that they were raised to fight other animals does not explain why they are attacking children. When they were originally bred to fight each other, the owners were in the rings with them, separating them at intervals. Any dog that bit its owner or anyone else was euthanized. They were not bred to attack people. At some point along the line, something has changed in her brood. The characteristic of aggression towards humans is not a normal characteristic of this breed. They are affectionate dogs, but they need training, exercise, and socialization with many different people when they are puppies.
So why are they attacking young children? I realize that there are other individual dogs within breeds, such as Rottweilers, that have also attacked young children in particular, but the ones we hear or read the most are pit bulls. Do more people own pit bulls than other types of dogs? I know that within my hometown, I have seen more pit bulls or pit bull mixes than any other breed. Naturally, when you have a large population of anything, there will be problems within that population. But that still doesn’t really answer the question of why they are attacking children.
Dogs know the difference between humans and other dogs or animals. When they fight with another dog, that dog defends itself and they are “justified” in their actions, protecting themselves. But when they attack a small child who is in a baby chair or playing alone outside and the child cannot defend himself, what is causing the dog to want to kill the child? Don’t you know that the child is a human being?
It could be the prey instinct of an unsocialized puppy dog to know that small humans are NOT actually prey. He may not have been raised with young children and sees them as something totally different than the adult versions. You may feel like you are protecting your possessions, like a toy that a child has picked up. You may “protect” yourself from a child pulling your tail or ear. It can be many things, but it all comes down to no one knowing for sure. We can make all kinds of assumptions and excuses, but without getting into the psyche of every attacking dog, we can’t say for sure.
If you are adopting a pit bull, understand that the dog will be your total responsibility, whether it is a wonderful and safe dog or if it bites or attacks a family member or another person. It is your responsibility to keep your children safe. It is not the responsibility of the dog to be a good dog. You are their leader, provider, trainer, and socializer. Never leave a pit bull terrier alone with another dog he doesn’t know because many pit bulls are unpredictable around other dogs. And never leave a child alone with a pit bull. Be responsible as the owner of any dog.