The Pit Bull is probably the most controversial breed of dog at present. Several states and countries have enacted legislation against the breed, believing that it is inherently dangerous.
The animal rights community believes that breed discrimination is wrong. Any breed of dog can become gentle or dangerous according to the genetic selection and training of the breeders and handlers.
Pit Bull Terriers were originally created for “sports” such as bull baiting, ratting and dog fighting. They can be very formidable fighters against other animals. The breed was also created to be incredibly docile with humans and wonderful with children.
During the 1950’s the Pit Bull Terrier was dubbed the “Nanny Dog” because they were so gentle and watchful over children. In fact, one of the reasons that Pit Bulls are predominantly used for dog fighting is that they are really the only breed that will tolerate the abuse and rough handling of the humans who engage in dog fighting.
Almost all Pit Bulls are wonderful family pets and are easy to train and gentle with humans. Because they have been historically bred for fighting with other animals, they aren’t great candidates for dog parks or households with cats. Pit Bull owners need to be aware of the high energy level and extreme athleticism of their dogs and provide them with good training and sufficient exercise.
Just as with people, dogs are individuals and need to be judged on their own specific temperaments. Pit Bulls that have been bred and trained for fighting can certainly be dangerous, but the majority of them are sweet and loving family members.