I agree with Granberry on all that, and also hope more people stand up for sensible laws that apply to all dog owners.
But as to this thread's original point and title - I think it's really short sighted to say "these dogs are hated for no reason" when attacks happen all the time. There's hundreds of people who are dead, maimed and traumatised due to pit bulls. Yes, other breeds bite too, yadda yadda, but I am addressing the OP's specific topic and thread title here.
Just check out how many of those reports concern "family dogs". And think about those people, those kids, and the pain and trauma they must have gone through. I can see some pretty darned compelling reasons for people to dislike the breed.
A bit of balance is needed on both sides of the debate.
I also think (I didn't read the comment about it until just now) anyone posing a newborn baby with any kind of large animal for a photo is completely mental. Because really? Risking your baby's wellbeing, no matter how small you believe that risk to be, is a such a fantastic way to show the world what a good animal owner/parent you are?
ETA: This just takes the cake for stupid (not a pit bull! but a great example of stupid and skewed priorities in dog owners, anyway - and I am even more horrified that this idiot is an Australian): http://blog.dogsbite.org/2008/01/nom...r-of-year.html
UPDATE 1/30/08: The mother who vowed to keep the family dog that attacked her toddler says she is not a bad mom, and people should realize that dogs have feelings too. She continues to blame her two-year-old son for the attack, which happened after the toddler tugged on the animal's ears.
"The dog was trying to protect herself, she's got feelings too, just like Noah does," Ms Cottier said.
What's wrong with keeping the dog then? What difference would it make if it was euthanized or given away if the kid now knows not to pull on the dog's ears? When I was a little kid I pulled on my cat's tail and I got scratched. My parents didn't get rid of the cat. I just learned to respect animals.
That website is incredibly biased and you should find neutral information and information from the other point of view too before believing everything you read.
Eh, I guess it's individual choice. If I had a child and I cared about it and my dog attacked it for no reason, then I would get rid of the dog. But if the kid was doing something to hurt, frighten, or annoy the dog, I would have seen the warning signs and told the kid to stop, but if I hadn't, and the dog snapped at the kid to tell it to back off, then there's a reason and the problem wouldn't be that the dog is aggressive, it would be that there wasn't proper supervision and you just have to make sure you're paying attention when the kid and dog are together.
I just don't think that it's completely fair to call the owner stupid when you don't know the circumstances.
Just like politics and religion, there are going to be controversial and heated discussions about this breed.
I personally wouldn't take the chance of owning one with a baby in the house. And that stems from my first hand experience of friends who had quote "the sweetest dog on the planet" until it attacked their baby who was in a playpen at the time so baby wasn't tugging it's tail or pulling it's ears.
And no, I don't blame the dog because it's well.... a dog. We can't ask it what made it snap or what provoked it into attack mode.
Can that happen with any other breed? Yup. But when you have personal knowledge of the scenarios like the one I mentioned, it's going to be a losing battle trying to convince me that I would be ok to own one with a newborn baby or toddler around. It will just never happen.
I wouldn't want one as a pet. I feel like they require a very experienced dog owner. I'm frankly a bit afraid of all large dogs (even labs and other 'friendly' breeds). Unfortunately I don't think that pit bulls are all safe. I do believe that so many have been bred for aggression that it isn't reasonable to say that they are 'safe'. I don't think they are all killers either. But I personally stay away from them because you never know, and they are definitely strong enough to kill.
I used to live beside someone who owned a pit bull. They kept it chained outside a lot. It was NOT friendly. I would not walk on the street in front of their house after that. The chain was attached to a cinder block and the dog could move if it really wanted to. I was glad when they moved away, as I was afraid for myself and my small dog. I keep my dog on a leash at all times, but I was always on the lookout for the pitbull in case it got loose. :/
I don't 'hate' these dogs. And I know there are nice ones out there. I just wouldn't want one as a pet and I am nervous of them.
I can understand how a negative experience would make people nervous about Pitbulls. Not everyone has to like them. There was an incident in the city I live in. A man was just standing in a parking lot and was attacked by a few Pits that got loose. It put our small, town-like city into a big debate, because suddenly people came out of the wood work wanting to ban the breed.
One Pit that was with the group when the attack happened didn't take part in the mauling, so many folks like myself felt he shouldn't be euthanized like the others. Tia Torris from Villalobos Rescue Center (Pit bulls and Parolees) went to court to rescue him. She was allowed to save him, but he was put on the dog version of "probation". Last I heard he was finally able to be adopted.
That's totally normal. It's a powerful breed that has been over abused in the past.
Pit bulls are ***** cats compared to some dog breeds. Dogo Argentino, Caucasian Ovcharka, tosa inus, fila braselieros. The fila braseliero is the only dog breed where the judge is not allowed to touch the dog AT ALL. That is how they should be around strangers. Dogos and Filas can and will kill jaguars in their native lands, the cat with the most powerful bite force. Filas are left to babysit young children in Brazil. Intensely loyal dogs. Tosa Inu used to be the "pit bulls" of Japan, bred to fight for entertainment. These are huge powerful dogs. The difference is that these are rare breeds, and NO breeder would sell them to an idiot who can't handle one. I feel like this is how pit bulls should be treated. Sadly, there are so many, and mixes of them, that this really isn't possible without serious action from the government. And I doubt the government is going to go through all this just so people can have a dog they want. Until dog fighting stops completely, there isn't much hope, since they will continue to be bred for aggressiveness. Many once aggressive breeds, like Dobies, have been bred down back to calm family pets to be more welcome in the modern day. I think breeders of pure registered pits should (and I'm sure they all do) have this as their main focus. :/