When you hear about a dog attack, chances are good that a pit bull was involved. Pit bulls can be dangerous. But they are not the only dog breed that attacks.
The media, however, often points out when an attack was from a pit bull because that makes news. Attacks from other breeds might not make news coverage at all.
There’s an old saying, “Dog bites a man is not news. Man bites a dog is news.” That phrase could be updated to “Pit bull bites a man gets media attention.”
Are pit bulls more prone to attack?
What characterize a particular breed of dog are its physical and behavioral attributes. Pit bulls were bred to fight other dogs, so they are more likely than other breeds to attack dogs. Pit bulls, however, are not more likely than other dogs to attack people. People who bred pit bulls to fight other animals didn’t allow aggression to be directed at them.
What factors make dogs more prone to attack?
Improper socialization: The reason a pit bull attacks a person is typically from having early negative experiences and not being socialized properly. Chaining a pit bull or any other dog breed outside or keeping that dog locked in a room away from family members makes a dog more prone to attack or to bite when a person does come around.
They’re trained to: Pit bulls are the dogs of choice for drug dealers and gang members who often train their dogs to attack people.
Abuse: Pit bulls are used for the cruel and sadistic activity of dog fighting. Pit bulls are bred and trained to fight in a small, enclosed area, often until one dog dies. Dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states.
Unneutered: Intact male dogs are usually more aggressive toward other intact male dogs. When two such dogs encounter each other, they are more likely to fight. This behavior is not specific to pit bulls.
How do I socialize a pit bull?
You socialize a pit bull the same way you socialize any other dog. If you don’t know how to train dogs yourself, go to training classes with your pit bull or hire a trainer to show you what to do.
The prime socialization period for dogs is between 3 and 12 weeks old. It’s more difficult to socialize a dog older than 18 weeks. Expose your puppy to people, other dogs and different places. You can also look for puppy classes that allow off-leash play with other puppies.
If you rescued a pit bull and need to start socialization after the puppy period is over, start taking the dog on daily walks. Walking and exercising makes dogs calmer and more submissive. Use a muzzle. That way, you can let your pit bull socialize with other dogs without worrying about him biting.