Originally Posted by Vier
This is the biggest myth.
A true american pit bull terrier bred to their original standard IS to fight other dogs. That is their nature. They aren't following orders, they don't have to be trained to do it. They fight and can't be forced to.
It does not mean they aren't good dogs, but there is a lot of misleading when people spout 'oh its all in how you raise them'. A lot of it has nothing to do with their environment and all in their temperament and management.
There was a big dog fighting bust recently. Should all those dogs be put down because they were raised "wrong"? No. What about all those dogs in the shelters that came from "bad" families? Some of those dogs can never be in a family home because of how hot they are with other dogs or animals. And some vary. But many are completely fine as pets because along with backyard breeding, theyve been led away from dog aggression along the years.
These guys have been selected against human aggression for years, which is why pro-pit people praise them and say how loving they are. Dog aggression is a real thing that is completely unrelated, and does exist in a lot of pits. Its wrong to say they are vicious because of that, and its also wrong to say they are completely harmless with other dogs. Still! Gotta reiterate that all dogs are different and they vary in temperament.
I agree with you for the most part. But, it's not all of them who are willing to fight. There are many who are, absolutely, trained to do it, and still others used as bait dogs and "teaching" dogs because they *won't* fight. Furthermore, when they are abused, beaten, and starved into their aggression, THAT is conditioning them to fight. If they only way they get to eat that week is to fight to the death, then they'll do it. Of course they will. It's not something that is part of their everyday nature, it's been brought out of them. Now, I do completely agree that some are just dog aggressive, and it's part of who they are, no training, no coaxing, it's just *there*. And it's not just with pits. I've known a lot of other breeds of dogs, cocker spaniels, some huskies, chows, some shepherds, lots of terrier types, etc. who *also* have serious dog-aggression issues. Some of it is handling and socialization, but a big part of it is just the dogs and the breeds themselves. They're not bad dogs, but they do need to be "only" dogs, and they need to be in the right sorts of homes. They're perfectly safe with people, but they're NOT safe with other dogs.
I have two dogs like this, both are feist/mountain curr (big terriers bred to kill BEAR...) x ??? mutt mixes (45-50lbs each because of their heavy musculature, stand about the same size as a large cocker spaniel or a very small springer spaniel), and they can only live with each other. They are littermates, and they are seriously dog aggressive despite socialization when they were puppies. Benny is terrified of all other dogs, and Chase is going to get the other dog to a) protect his brother b) protect me c) protect himself, because if he "gets" the other dog before it "gets" him, then he's safe.
They cannot go to dog parks, I am *always* on the lookout for loose and off-leash dogs, (if I had a dollar for the number of time I've literally turned and RUN from bichons and Yorkies and their owners yelling "but he's friendly, why are you running away?!" as I drag my barking, jumping, foaming dogs behind me...) and I am very selective about who can walk them and about their harnesses/leashes. Everything has to be in good working order, harnesses must be secure, leashes must be strong and well-made, and the person involved with the walking must be strong enough to control them when they start bouncing up and down and freaking out about the poodle across the road who is TOTALLY going to eat them. (At least in their minds...the poor poodle is now absolutely terrified of these snarling creatures who are out to get him.) ;)
What bothers me so much are the absolutely false reports perpetrated by the media, and outright prejudice *against* an ENTIRE BREED OF DOG. (Don't get me started on BSL...) This is, to put it plainly, stupid. It's just as bad as being prejudiced against another person because of where they grew up, their skin color, ethnicity, or any other surface attribute. It's just WRONG.
Chows, shepherds, akitas, airedales, rotties, dobies, cocker spaniels (ever heard of Cocker Rage? It's very, very real), all of these dogs have ingrained aggressive tendencies. And yet they are not called out the pitties are. And that just bugs the crap out of me. If we're going to call a spade a spade, then let's call ALL the spades spades. It's not right to harp on one when there are so many others with the same issues.