Talk:Pit bull/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

The justification for removing some links but not others with the justification "Wikipedia is not a directory" is not clear to me. There really needs to be a better-defined standard for what links "pass" and which don't, before pulling out links.

Particularly removing Diane Jessup's page on The Working Pit Bull and Bandog Dread, which is one of THE big ones. --twestgard 13:00 Oct 05, 2006 (CST)

In the Urban myths section you attempt to debunk the claims that the pitbull is the "only dog to display (insert negative charecteristic)" by then pointing out that the German Shepherd and Rottweiler also have these negative traits. I dont think this effectively debunks the myth's since Rottweilers and German Shepherds are also considered viscous breeds who have legislation passed against them.

Why no 'Negative Press' section? (You have a 'Positive Press' section).

Please remember that this isn't a Pit Bull fanclub. This is just supposed to be facts...without POV. So if you list an entire section of postive press, I think it also deserves a similar section on it's negative press (apart from the debate section).

Reads way, way too much like a 'poor misunderstood dog' article IMO.


Overview of Controversy

In the PBT controversy, there are apparently several diverse opinions:

  1. that pit bulls are perfectly nice, acceptable animals and should not be banned or restricted in any way;
  2. that pit bulls are inherently vicious and are too dangerous to be around people;
  3. that pit bulls are themselves responsible for attacking humans, and should therefore be restricted or even banned;
  4. that some owners of pit bulls train the dogs to be extra vicious, and therefore the owners should be held accountable when their dog attacks a human;

I think there may be some overlap here, especially between #2 & #3. I personally adhere to #4 (with a mild overlay of #2). A lot of people who disagree with #2 or #3 or both, adhere to #1.

If there's a controversy, let's NOT TRY to get to the bottom of it, let alone have Wikipedia take a position on it. Instead, let's describe the views which the various adherents espouse. --Uncle Ed 14:55 Apr 14, 2003 (UTC)

Ed, I don't think that we have had disagreement over any of the above yet. That is, the article is it has stood has refrained from saying point blank that "pit bulls are good" or "pit bulls are bad". The disagreement has been over phrasing things that different parties believe in a NPOV way. Here are some key differences in the latest versions of the article:
Tannin: In Australia, pit bull terriers have been responsible for four of the seven dog attacks in Australia in which people have died between 1991 and 2002.
º¡º: According to The Age, pit bull terriers have been responsible for four of the seven dog attacks in Australia in which people have died between 1991 and 2002.
Tannin: In Australia, there is general agreement as to how many injuries or deaths can be attributed to pit bulls.
º¡º: In Australia, there is disagreement as to how many injuries or deaths can be attributed to pit bulls.
Tannin: The "Endangered Dog Breeds Association of Australia, a pit bull lobby group, ...
º¡º: The "Endangered Dog Breeds Association of Australia", a breed protection group, ...
In other words, we don't appear to be disagreeing over what was said, we seem to be disagreeing over how to represent what was said. -º¡º

I'm glad that we can have a peaceful, amiable discussion about dogs that have been called dangerous and violently aggressive. --Uncle Ed

Can you provide a citation for that? -º¡º
A citation proving that we can have a peaceful, amiable discussion? Hmm, I'm not sure. Maybe this talk page, eventually :-) --Uncle Ed

BFB, taking those three in order, and for the sake of simplicity just accepting your phrasing above as is:

  • #1: I prefer my version, as it ain't just the Age, it's 'most everyone except the PBT lobby. But your version is fine, provided only that is phrased exactly as above.
  • #2: Here, your version is quite unacceptable. It's nowhere near true. However, I would not object to simply leaving the entire sentence out completely. We already know how many deaths PBTs have caused, so there is no real need to discuss what people say about that - the entry is supposed to be about the dogs, and if anyone wants to write about the public debates and media spin and lobby groups and BSL and such, then some other article would be a better place for that.
  • #3 The euphemisim "breed protection group" is inferior to the plain, tell-it-like-it-is phrase "pit bull lobby". Seeing the group's web site is linked to, however, perhaps there is no need to describe them at all. WTF? With a single click, interested readers can see for themselves - and if it comes to that, the ridiculous figures the EDBA quote in the face of the numbers everyone else accepts speak for themselves.

That would give us this:

  • According to The Age, pit bull terriers have been responsible for four of the seven dog attacks in which Australians have died between 1991 and 2002. Most state governments have introduced new legislation to deal with the problem. The Endangered Dog Breeds Association of Australia, however, denies these figures, and claims that pit bull terriers have caused no known fatalities, and that only 8 of 750 investigated bitings involved this breed.
      • I'm having a hard time believing that pit bulls were "responsible" for the attacks when they are a dog. Dogs don't plan and carry out premeditated attacks on humans. Humans, however, have the capability to comprehend the necessary care and control a dog needs to be safe in human society. Someone bred, raised and trained (or didn't) the dogs that bit. Why aren't *they* considered responsible for their dog's actions? - Bravewolf***

(On the "most state governments" thing: Queensland, WA, NSW and Victoria have all acted in the last year or two. I'm not sure about SA and Tas. The Herald-Sun article can just be linked to in the external links section, if it isn't already.) Tannin

A quick afterthought. On reading that over, it doesn't make the main point clear - that the figures per Age are widely accepted, and not controversial. Needs to be rephrased. But not tonight. Bedtime! Tannin

Nice going guys. Someone had to protect this page because you all are going at each other like a pack of vicious dogs. I would laugh at the irony, but you are all BETTER than this! Please try to get along, please?

I'm unprotecting the page now, so try to act human -- or at least humane... --Uncle Ed 20:42 Apr 15, 2003 (UTC)

Tannin, sort of as closure, and sort of to establish a baseline before editing the article further, I wonder if we can state the heart of the disagreement as clearly as possible. Here is what I think it was:

You want to state "4 out of 7" as a fact, while I want to state that "so-and-so says 4 out of 7" as a fact.

Close? -º¡º

You don't need to. Just provided a reliable external link at the bottom (acceptable) or even a hyperlink near the statistic itself (ideal). You only really need to clarify that if it was an indenpendent test conducted by The Age. If it is a recognised statistic, or an undisputed statistic provided by an appropriate organisation (in this case the RSPCA) then you don't need to cite ownership of the figure. eg: I don't need to say "The Age claims that approximately 50% of the population is male"

Close, but no cigar. You are misrepresenting me when you put it like that, BFB. (I'm sure that you did not intend to do so, but it amounts to a misreprentation just the same.) The trouble with saying "so and so says X" in this instance is that to simply say "The Age said X" clearly implies that it was only The Age that said it, where we know for 100% certain that it was also the RSPCA and various of the Murdoch papers (the Herald-Sun and the Courier Mail as an irreducable bare minimum), and though we have no direct evidence for or against, we can very confidently assume that the other papers in those two stables picked the story up as well (which is to say all of the major metropolitan dailys in Australia), and further assume, seeing as the Herald-Sun story came from AAP, that it went to as many of the regional papers, radio stations, and national TV networks as cared to carry it. Certainly it came as no surprise at all to me, and I generally don't read newspapers, and never watch TV news or current affairs, so I almost certainly first learned of it via ABC radio - which would make sense, as there was quite a fuss about pit bulls not too long ago (after a couple of particularly gruesome attacks, the details of which escape me), and all the media outlets were carrying stories about them.
We also know that there has been no response to that particular statement from anyone except the pit bull lobby (i.e., it is generally accepted), and that every major media outlet which we know about, and every politician that we know about, has either carried the 4 out of 7 number, or expressed other views that amount to more or less the same thing.
So what we really need to do is find a way of expressing the simple facts of the matter briefly and precisely: i.e., that The Age said 4 out of 7 and almost everyone accepts that, except for the EDBA who dispute it.
At present, we have a tiny minority group's version of the facts accounting for more space than the generally accepted and uncontroversial account. That is not a reasonable and fair summing up of the matter. Tannin 15:24 Apr 19, 2003 (UTC)

As a general rule, statistics should not be cited from secondary sources. Newspapers are not primary sources unless they've conducted the study themselves (even if no other citation is available). Editorials that argue strongly for a particular POV are especially unsuitable for use as the basis of an encyclopedia article statistic.

Obviously there is a great deal of dispute on this particular "4 out of 7" statistic, despite your presentation of it as generally accepted. The fact that any group disputes it (notwithstanding your characterization of such as a "pit bull lobby") in and of itself warrants presenting the numbers as sourced (i.e. "X, Y, and Z say 4 out of 7, whereas A, B, and C say 2 out of 100 [or whatever]") rather than as undisputed fact.

We also know that there has been no response to that particular statement from anyone except the pit bull lobby (i.e., it is generally accepted)

That nobody involved in this discussion has yet found a particular response to that statement from anyone but the 'pit bull lobby' (which you seem to be defining as "any group that is not in favor of immediately euthanizing all pit bulls") does not imply that it is generally accepted, nor that there are no other responses.

Major media outlets and politicians, despite any prestige they may otherwise carry, do not somehow assume infallible status when they pronounce on pit bull related deaths. It may even surprise you to learn that major media outlets and politicians have been known to fabricate statistics at various points in the past to suit their purposes. -kwertii

Kwerti, the fact remains that the figure has gone unchallenged anywhere we know about. Mate, I live here: I'm not completely bloody blind you know. No-one (except the pit bull lobby) has disputed the figure. Everyone (except the pit bull lobby) regards PBTs as a public safety problem. (Whether this near-universal belief is right or wrong is a seperate question, of course.) For your ridiculous statement: Obviously there is a great deal of dispute on this particular "4 out of 7" statistic you have not the slightest shred of evidence aside from the pit bull lobby's website. If you tried a bit harder you could find the pit bull lobby's press releases, and the pit bull lobby's publications, and you would still not have any evidence. The fact remains that the entry as it currently stands does not fairly reflect the state of affairs. Tannin
Thanks for all the response above, tannin. I'm not ignoring you, I'll reply soon, but I'm not wiking much today. -º¡º
Me neither, mate. It's Easter so I don't have to work, and someone up there likes us, because evey day so far has been perfect: 20-something degrees, no wind to speak of, clear skies with just a few puffy white clouds. When it's like this, only a mug would wiki before the sun sets. ;) --Tannin

Kwertii is persistently imposing a biased point of view on the Pit bull entry by editing out relevant, factual, referenced, information that does not support his beliefs. This has not quite reached the point of being outright vandalisim, but it is getting very close. Tannin 14:14 Apr 10, 2003 (UTC)

Nonsense; I was removing Tannin's heavily biased anti-pit bull rants. Tannin refused to acknowledge that the question of "are all pit bulls inherently public dangers?" is a matter of opinion, not fact, and spent quite some time making edits to pit bull along the lines of "All pit bulls are inherently dangerous and should be immediately destroyed". Tannin backed up these assertions by repeating variations of "I'm right! It's a well known fact that all pit bulls are dangerous and must be destroyed! Stop denying well known facts!" over and over again. When pressed, Tannin (much later) offered as "references" [1] a newspaper editorial on how dangerous pit bulls are, and [2] the personal homepage of a lawyer whose primary practice seems to be suing pit bull owners -- not exactly unbiased primary sources.
Fortunately, Tannin seems to have quieted down a bit since the page was temporarily locked, and has even found a primary source for cited statistics. In the (admittedly rather unlikely) event that anyone is interested, I trust that the page histories of pit bull, Talk:Pit bull/archive1, and Talk:Pit bull will speak for themselves. kwertii
Indeed they do speak for themselves, as does your determination to misrepresent the facts of the matter, Kwerti. Even in your second sentence above (never mind the PBT entry and its talk page) you repeat and compoud the untruths. I have never said "should be" anything in that context - that would be an opinion as opposed to a fact (and, further, an opinion I don't happen to hold), and I invite readers to check this for themselves. The facts you are so keen to bury under an avalanche of personal abuse (as I have said all along) are widely available and uncontroversial. Their general thrust is contested only by a tiny, self-confessed lobby group. Time you got with the real world and stopped making up untruths about other contributors. Tannin 04:56 Apr 29, 2003 (UTC)
By the way, you have also mangled the the sequence of events in your post above. One can only assume that this is deliberate dishonesty. Tannin
I do not keep a logbook on my desk of interactions with the various wikipedia articles; I recreated the sequence of events from memory, and apologize for any specific inaccuracy. The general theme remains the same, however.
You also will note the use of the words "along the lines of"; I realize you did not use the exact indicated words specifically, but that was the gist; hence that qualifier.
I am still not sure just what the "pit bull lobby" you keep referring to is; I'm certainly not a part of it, so I can assure you that people other than the "pit bull lobby" disagree with your views. The fact that a view is widely held does not serve to make it a fact. So what if most people whom you know in Australia (or even most people in general) think that pit bulls are a public danger? This does not somehow translate that opinion into a fact.
You almost religiously kept inserting statements to the effect that "Pit bulls are a public danger" into the article. You repeatedly removed my and others' edits that changed it to something more NPOV like "Many people perceive pit bulls as a public danger," terming this NPOV recasting as "misleading apologia."
When others and myself removed your statistics of dubious veracity (the aforementioned anti-pit bull newspaper editorial and the homepage of the pit bull owner-suing personal injury attorney were presented as NPOV sources), you accused us of "POV censorship" and claimed that statistics backed by these sources were "verifiable, properly referenced, relevant facts". When another user presented you a link that contradicted the statistics in the anti-pit bull editorial in The Age, you summarily dismissed it as biased and being the work of the "pit bull lobby".
Your edit summaries and talk-page explanations to rationalize your determination to remove NPOV from the article and cast the statement "pit bulls are a public danger" as an etched-in-stone fact of nature again consisted largely of chest-beating and summaries such as (stop trying to pretend that the danger is a matter of opinion. It is F A C T fact.) and (It's a fact. Deal with it.)
You have repeatedly immediately ripped into several other users who presented sources contrary to your opinion with comments such as (Stop pretending that you have documented your claims - they are demonstrably biased, AS I HAVE DEMONSTRATED OVER AND OVER AGAIN IN TALK AND IN THE ENTRY), while at the same time ignoring other users who pointed out to you the inherently biased nature of your sources by dismissively attributing any contradictory information to the mysterious "pit bull lobby".
Perhaps they'll have us both as "annoying users" after this. Again, I find it unlikely that anyone else is much interested in the details of this dispute (and incidentally, your emotional attachment to your position is remarkably strange), but I wanted to place both sides of the issue here.
Oh, so the Pit bull abuse is over here now? I'm siding with kwertii here and my opinion is that Tannin was in the wrong. Kwertii has captured some good Tannin quotes above, and in what he writes above Tannin shows his tendency to insult editors he agrees with ("Time you got with the real world..."). -º¡º
Once again, we see a determination to distort the record from the fanatics. I imagine anyone that is interested has reviewed the page history and seen for themselves by now. Kwerti, I do indeed have an emotional attachment: however, it is not to a particular point of view on PBTs - there are matters I care much more about - it is to accuracy and against naked distortion of fact. These "statistics of doubtful veracity" as you describe them are something that you have been entirely unable to discredit despite a sustained and singleminded effort (which is no surprise, as they are univerally accepted outside of a tiny lobby group) - indeed, your search (or BFB's, I forget which) only succeeded in turning up further instances. (As documented both in the talk page and in the edit history of the article.) Had it not been for the determination of the PBT fanatics here to ruthlessly censor the entry in the first place, they need not have appeared in the entry at all. Tannin

I've been trying to locate the American Canine Temperament Testing Association for quite some time. The organization seems to exist on the web solely in relation to their supposed finding that "95% of pit bulls are groovy" or whatever. I happen to think the breed probably *is* gentle by nature, but this unverifiable statistic detracts significantly from the argument. I suggest removing this paragraph from the Wikipedia page. -- Anonymous dog lover

above from problem users. If someone could refactor it, and the rest of this page, to be in greater accordance with feng shui, then I would be most pleased. WikiLove to you all. Martin 10:57 May 14, 2003 (UTC)

In order to reach the American Temperament Test Society you can either map: American Temperament Test Society, Inc. P.O. Box 906 Jackson, GA 30233 Call: (770) 354-2102 Email: or simply visit their page at and access those apparently slipery databases on every breed, wheter recognized by the AKC or not. Kaskir

I'm having a hard time believing that pit bulls were "responsible" for attacks when they are a dog. Dogs don't plan and carry out premeditated attacks on humans. Humans, however, have the capability to comprehend the necessary care and control a dog needs to be safe in human society. Someone bred, raised and trained (or didn't) the dogs that bit. Why aren't *they* considered responsible for their dog's actions? - Bravewolf

The article on pitbulls is increadibly innacurate and misleading. There are many credible sources online and in print by breeders and government agencies. Newspapers are not credible sources of information. Firstly, the pitbull terrier is not a terrier at all but a hound. The staffordshire is simply the english version bred along different lines. The bull terrier and other bull breeds have virtually no relation to the pitbull. In Australia, there has been only one fatality (up to 1999)proved where a pitbull was responsible for the attack. The highest number of dog attacks has been by the Australian blue heeler. Most people wouldn't be able to tell a pitbull from a staffyX or a mastiff X as breed identification is not an exact science. Also consider that after centuries of careful breeding and that the dog is used for fighting, the dogs that were dangerous to man systematically culled as it would be difficult to handle such a dog in the pit. That's why pitbulls have such a stable temperment. Do the research, find out the facts for yourself.

For my part, I don't understand why credibility should be attached to the claim that news organizations generally mislabel attacking dogs as "pit bulls." In fact, to the extent that pit bulls may get a bum rap, they come under heightened scrutiny and there's an increased awareness of which breed, exactly, is involved. So far from pit bulls suffering from general mistakes about breed, pit bulls are more likely to be vindicated the greater the mythos of their ferocity, if indeed their rep is unwarranted. For my part, I don't care what a dog's breed is; if it attacks some kid in my presence, I'll break its freaking back with a baseball bat. Or hit a home run if it's a chihuahua.  ;-)

Deficient in NPOV

This article fails to comply with Wikipedia's NPOV policy. It reads like a defense, not a factual source. At a glance, more than 2/3 of the article consists of a one-sided discussion of the issue of the breed's safety and breed-banning, and less than 1/3 comprises facts about the breed. The discussion constantly uses "weasel words", always an indication of an agenda. According to the Board, "Application of a weasel word can give the illusion of neutral point of view: 'Some people say Montreal is the nicest city in the world.' "

I'm tagging it with an NPOV violation and if we can't get it fully neutral, I'm going to propose that we take out everything but the facts. I would rather leave a section on the debate in the article, though. But a sentence or two taken from the cited argument in JAVMA (2000) is enough. (Even this article is mischaracterized as a study done "for" HHS.) Wikipedia is a factual source, not a bully pulpit.

Split personality

How can you say that they arent an ideal pet and great with children... all 7 of the pits in my family are ideal pets and great with children. Every person i know who owns a pit bull says their an ideal pet and great with children... what makes you so special that you feel obligated to take that section out?

Just because an article says something, that makes it true? Wow... it must be nice to be that ignorant... just read it and believe it.... it makes life so much easier... Perhaps ill go get mauled by my pit bull because Im bored reading your article... Oh wait, my pit bull is asleep in my bed... ill have to wake her up to maul me...

Also could it be, there are so many pit bull bites because tehre are SO MANY PIT BULLS? 70% of dogs in shelters are pits. Most abused dogs are pits... any correlation?

If you want to get the scum bags to stop having pit bulls, out law chaining dogs outside, mandate required spay/neutering of all dogs, get rid of back yard dog breeders... I guarantee you do this, dog bites by pits goes down!

I took out the section where it said it is an ideal family pet and great with children. Especially since this seems very much untrue and is in direct opposition to the quotation right in the article:

Many jurisdictions have outlawed the possession of pit bulls, either the pit bull breed specifically, or in addition to other breeds that are regarded as dangerous.

As well, ontario has just banned pit bulls since, as the news suggested, the majority of dog bites occurs from pit bulls. It would be useful to find facts to clearly state how dangerous this dog breed is. --ShaunMacPherson 10:05, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Saying that because something is outlawed it is inherently bad, or evil makes little logical sense. Many laws are passed based on media hysteria around attacks. As the article points out, people have a tendency to identify many different breeds as "pit bulls." The media publicizes a dog attack as a pit bull attack, someone decides pit bulls are dangerous, overreacts, and pushes for legislation. A public assumption doesn't prove fact. ie: world is flat, native americans were uncivilized, earth is center of solar system.

-Anonymous Texture

ideal pets

The AKC does consider the pit bull breeds to be very good family pets. Well-bred pits are exceptionally good with children, and have historically been. Please consider all of the information available. I can't deny that the ratio of pitbull bites to other breeds is high, but not all pit bulls are bad, and most actually aren't. [[User:Lachatdelarue|Lachatdelarue (talk)]] 12:37, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Isn't the AKC a biased organization? It would be useful to have some neutral party give their opinion. I agree with you and think we should include some moderation language as you say, saying that the majority of pit bulls do not harm people, however pit bulls are nevertheless severely/very much/substantially over represented as a population for dog bites / attacks (need some statistics, from a neutral third party).
I also do not think that 'ideal' is the best word to describe a dog breed that appears to be the #1 instigator of serious dog bites. If anything the term should not be on the 'better' side of neutral but on the cautious side. If worse comes to worse, and we agree that AKC is biased, perhaps a statement like "The AKC, which many consider a biased source of information, considers pit bulls an 'ideal pet' despite the fact that pit pulls are over represented as a population for server dog bites." --ShaunMacPherson 00:10, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Until very recent decades, the pit bull type was considered to be the all-american ideal family pet. The problem with all of this is that it's very hard to come up with useful statistics. What we need is something like, "xx% of pit bulls are trained/taught to fight/attack/be aggressive (or simply "are not properly socialized"); of all bites and attacks by pit bulls, yy% come from these dogs." personally I would expect it to be something like 10%/90%. But I have no info to back that up, and what dog owner is going to admit that he/she treats the dog this way? Because they have become so popular as fighting dogs, one has to be very careful about where one obtains one's family pet. From a reputable ,carefully researched breeder, probably a good idea. From someone found in the newspaper, probably a bad idea. Elf | Talk 00:21, 26 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I don't think it's reasonable to state that the poor pit bull is over represented vis a vis severe dog bites. It might be correct to state that they're over reported severe dog bites in some municipalities. People don't necessarily report the bites of small white fluffies. If someone goes to the hospital emergency room with an infected dog bite, will it be reported as 'dog bite' or 'bite from adorable small fluffy family pooch'? It seems to me that not reporting the whys and wherefores is rather like saying that Black American men are inherently dangerous.
This dangerous dog thing is subjective and blown out of proportion. For instance, the Doberman Pinscher was the big bad dog in the US when I was young, but has no such reputation in Australia, where they are undocked and uncropped and look much more genial. Corgis are banned as dangerous in some municipalities in Italy. Corgis?? Cut me some slack! Quill 23:52, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Actually, corgis are widely known for having nasty temperaments. They have a tendancy toward biting--they're a little herding dog that was bred to be nippy enough to keep a sheep moving. They could bite a toddler on the face pretty easily, if they felt so inclined. However, that doesn't validate banning them, and that's exactly the point. A well-trained corgi with the right owner can be a perfectly amicable pet, just like a well-trained pit bull can. --Krishva 07:49, Apr 24, 2005 (UTC)
Oh, I agree it's way out of proportion. Banning specific breeds or dogs that someone thinks might look sort of like a mix of certain breeds is the ultimate in overreaction. I'd liken it to apartheid but *that's* probably overreaction. :-) And you make a good point about what's reported vs. what actually happens. Just reinforces my belief that there are no accurate statistics available. Elf | Talk 21:21, 30 Oct 2004 (UTC)

To be accurate, the AKC does not recommend all "pit bulls" because only three of the breeds usually associated with the term are accepted by the AKC. The American Staffordshire, Staffordshire Bull, and the Bull Terrier are the only ones accepted by the AKC; the American Pit Bull Terrier is not even in consideration yet and mixed breeds do not fall under the AKC. There are many books, however, that do agree that the APBT is a recommended playmate for children, though not young children perhaps. If we are going on "ideal pets," there was an incident where a Pomeranian killed an infant while he was sleeping. This was no "suffocate the child accidentally," this was a mauling that killed the infant painfully. The uncle had left the two alone and the Pomeranian mauled the infant to death for no apparent reason. There is always a responsibility that comes with a pet, no matter what breed the dog is. Never leave any child alone with a dog, no matter how "good" you think they are. --RJ

Research on dog-induced fatalities in the U.S.

This is an interesting report [3] on what breeds killed people over a 20-year period in the U.S. It does show that "pit bull types" and "rottweiler types" caused 2/3 of the deaths, but it also raises some of the same questions about over-reporting deaths by certain breeds because the breeds have a reputation of being viscious, when in fact the breed might not be what was indicated (or not known), for example in the case of mixed breed dogs. The study didn't even include a third of the deaths because the breed couldn't be identified.

I thought it was also interesting that Saint Bernards and Great Danes, which in my experience (and by reputation) are quite gentle animals, were among the high numbers of caused deaths--and there's even one by Cocker Spaniel (which are NOT in my experience gentle animals). Anyway, the study comes out saying that breed-specific regulation is a bunch of hooey and regulating behavior would be a much more effective thing to do. But read the report yourself. Elf | Talk 21:39, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)

And here's another interesting one related to "what is a pit bull anyway"--it's a find-the-pit-bull quiz! For those of us who are very familiar with many breeds, it's not too hard to tell. But think about your average person who's trying to identify what kind of dog bit him-- Find the pit bull. Elf | Talk 21:51, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It was, too, hard! Or I'm a dunce--had to blow up a couple of pictures just to see the dogs clearly. Breed-specific legislation is a lot of hooey--just ask 'em over in Queensland, Australia, where they've got pit bull 'guidelines' that a whole range of breeds fit into! It's ridiculous.Quill 00:10, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Heck, I'm a pit-owner and pit-lover, and I was wrong the first two times! (those were the Dogo Argentino and the Presa Canario, not being able to tell relative size made it a bit harder for me). But it proves a point, there were a lot of dogs on that page that look like pit bulls, that aren't at all. [[User:Lachatdelarue|Lachatdelarue (talk)]] 14:17, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

It should be taken into account that the CDC states that it used the media for many dog attacks and reported what the media claimed as "newsworthy" fatalities. It also states that "even experts may disagree on the breed of a particular dog" and that "DBRF may be differentially ascirbed to breeds with a reputation for aggression" (pg. 3). That means that if the people disgareed on the type of dog, it could've been transferred to the "pit bull" category. It should also be taken into account that there has been a reported death by a Pomeranian recently. An uncle left an infant on a bed while the family dog was with her. The uncle came back to find the Pomeranian mauling the child. She died later in the hospital. Also, there was an attack by a Dachshund and a Dalmatian (the Dalmatian ripped open a child's face), both of them family pets. It seems the real problem is parents leaving children alone with dogs, not really the breed.

Also, if we go about this mathematically, the numbers do not begin to consider the entire population. Going by AKC registration numbers in 2004, there were 4,490 dogs registered under AmStaffs, Staffies, Bull Terriers, and Mini Bull Terriers (no numbers for APBT were found, the APBT can be substituted with both varieties of Bull Terriers though). Assuming that 15% of the puppies born in 2004 were not registered, that brings the number to 5,099. An average litter size is about three puppies so for every three puppies, there is one mother. One father most likely sired two litters when considering that many breeders use the same male dog or buy semen from other breeders (so for every two mothers, there is one father). For every puppy born, there are ten dogs spayed, neutered, or not breeding. This brings the number up to around 53,465 dogs. Also, assuming that the number of attacks remains consistent, there should be about 25 attacks in 2004. When put into a percentage, it turns out to be 0.047% of the purebred "pit bulls" in the U.S. have killed someone. This number doesn't even begin to describe what the other 99.953% of the dogs do. By focusing on what less than one percent of the dogs have done or do, we eliminate all thoughts that maybe these breeds are being projected wrongly. We focus on either the bad or the good of what certain breeds do instead of the gray area where people need to use common sense and any skills to figure out that yes, this breed does seem to kill more often than any other. But those that kill only represent a very small number of the dogs living today. Yes, the media is wrong at times in identifying breeds but sometimes that was a "pit bull" that attacked. Yes, sometimes these breeds suddenly snap for no reason but other breeds do as well. No breed of dog can escape from abuse or awful breeding. Just make sure that the breeder is responsible and you might have a decent dog. --RJ

RJ: Going by fatility numbers alone gives far from a complete picture too. Look at the numbers about the number of dog bite injuries in the US. 368,245 persons were treated in U.S. hospitals for nonfatal dog bites in 2001, and 2% of the U.S. population are attacked by dogs per year. They are much larger numbers. If it turned out that 50% of pit bulls had bitten a human even if only 0.047% had ever killed someone, that's still a problem. Unfortunately I can't seem to locate dog bite/non-fatal injury numbers broken down by breed, only in aggregate. Gigs 16:31, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

That's the problem. There is no data on just dog bite attacks. It would help me a lot more if I could find some but there isn't. I also made an error in my calculations as I assumed there wre around 20 purebred pit bull type deaths in the most recent year. There were only 6 deaths. I have updated this calculation to be about 8 deaths and the number came out to be 0.015% of purebred pit bull types have killed a person.

Now, the average percentages in deaths of pit bull types is 36.91% of deaths are caused by pit bull types in the CDC chart. Going that this number drops when other breeds' deaths are counted, we'll say it is about 34.5% of deaths are caused by pit bull types. If this number is true to bite attacks as it is to deaths (which it probably isn't seeing as many small breeds of dogs cannot really kill a larger child but can leave serious wounds), I calculated about 20% of the purebred pit bull types in the U.S. have bitten someone. I do not know if I did the calculation right to begin with but that's fairly reasonable. It still accounts less than a fourth of the population but about this many dogs in any breed attack people for a good number reasons (or none at all) but many people do not seek healthcare for it, causing numbers to be inflated or less dependable. It still shows that yes, this breed can be a danger but can't any dog be a danger to society no matter what breed? --RJ

The CDC article in question does NOT say there are 199 dog related fatalities between 1979 and 1996. The very first line of the article states "From 1979 through 1994, attacks by dogs resulted in 279 deaths of humans in the United States." The last line of the tabular data towards the bottom is not a summation of the above numbers. Mattieshoes 00:11, 11 May 2006 (UTC)


Not at all sure why this article rates a doesn-not-cite-references message. Considering how many sources and external links are listed and how poor some other Wikipedia articles are...? Quill 07:32, 3 May 2005 (UTC)


In this article, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are listed as pit bulls, but the staffie article states in two places that they are not. I'm not a pit bull expert; needs someone who knows to clarify. Quill 07:40, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

Technically staffies aren't pit bulls, since pit bulls are considered to be an American creation, but becuase staffies look like smaller, stockier APBT's, many people still refer to them as "pit bulls'. I wanted to fix this in the article, but wasn't sure exactly how to work it in... Lachatdelarue (talk) 13:41, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

the elmination of the word probably

"While it is clear that pit bulls can be mistaken for other breeds, In all publicized cases I have come across and in the publicized cases cited in the article, the breed of the dog was not in question. Thus, these well publicized cases involved pit bulls and did not probably involve pit bulls. The fact that pit bulls can be difficult to identify is stated in two places in the article and this point still gets across without the probably."

The problem is that these attacks are often misreported. The dogs that are responsible for the attacks are often not pit bulls, but mixed breeds and are initially reported as pit bulls. The media reports the first but often doesnt print a retraction or correction. Something else to consider...In all of the attacks where I have seen pictures or video of the dogs in question, none of the dogs have been well bred dogs, and most of them appear to be mixes. The problem does not lie with responsible breeders and well bred dogs. It lies with backyard breeders, and people who dont have any business owning a pet rock, let alone a dog, and also the ignorance about dogs in the general public.

One of the things ( but certainly not the only one) that bothers me about BSL is how wide sweeping it is. I have boxers. Most of the bans on pit bulls are worded in such a way that my dogs are targeted as well. ~~Dawn

Dead people having trouble identifying breed that killed them.

The article has the following, which doesn't make sense:

"Of the 199 dog-attack fatalities in the USA between 1979 and 1996, dogs identified as pit bulls were responsible for 60 attacks—just under a third. The next most-dangerous group was Rottweilers, responsible for 29 attacks (statistics from the CDC). These statistics are tainted by the fact that the breed recorded as responsible for the attack is obtained from the report of the person attacked, and many people incorrectly identify other kinds of dogs (such as boxers) as pit bulls."

Now it refers to "the report of the person attacked". Umm, we're talking about fatalities. That means the person attacked is dead. They don't report anything. Even when talking about attacks that leave surviving witnesses, mis-identification of breed can happen in both directions. I doubt all pit bull owners, upon having their dog just kill somebody, make a point of ensuring the breed is identified correctly. And I'm sure if somebody's dog attacked somebody and it wasn't a pit bull (but called a pit bull), they would want to clarify that it's not. Owning a viscious breed of animal increases your liability, and it's in your interest to not be accused of knowingly having such a breed. As the victim is dead, the killer's owner is the person most likely to influence any reporting. Anyway, my basic point is that it's wrong to suggest the pit bull percentage is too high or low. We just don't know. --rob 13:23, 27 August 2005 (UTC)

Huh. I might have written that section earlier--don't remember clearly. But clearly I or someone was confusing a couple of sources of info. It is usually true that Dead men tell no tales. Elf | Talk 22:01, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Actually, the editor probably took the two points from the same CDC source, which is understandable. Ironically, the researchers used fatality statistics, instead of non-fatal injuries, for the very reason, that they wished to avoid the problem of misidentification that exists with survivors. Essentially, they ignored over 99% of Pit Bull attacks, to avoid the misidentification issues. But, now the article mentions both the fatalities, and separately the problem of misdentification of pit bulls. So, it should be ok now. --rob 22:18, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

Is this guy for real?

In this article [4] Michael O'Sullivan, executive director of the Humane Society of Canada, is quoted as saying "There is no such thing as a pit bull, They don't exist as a species."

Is this really true? and if it is, do we really need a page on a species that doesn't exist? -- Auric 23:44, September 3, 2005 (UTC)

The article never suggested that "pit bull" was a species. However, huge differences obviously exist between breeds, so it makes little sense to toss all breeds together in one article for the species. It does address the issue of misidentification. So, I don't see any problem. --rob 00:16, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
Are we using "species" synonymously with "dog breed"? The term pit bull used in the sense it is in this article, is a dog breed category, like mastiff or retriever, and so a general article on the characteristics and commonalities of the breeds that form the group makes a great deal of sense. Quill 04:41, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I see where you're going. Thanks for clearing this up for me. Auric 19:36, September 4, 2005 (UTC)
Ridiculous. Pit bull is a single breed, like "beagle," not a category like retriever. The only possible confusion is between the American Pit Bull Terrier, traditionally bred for performance, and the AmStaff, which has been bred for decades for conformation. Some dogs are dual-registered with the AKC (as AmStaffs) and UKC (as American Pit Bull Terriers). There are some experts who believe the two breeds are now distinct, while other authorities hold they are the same. Given the fairish amount of variation that characterizes any breed, I'd say they are still more-or-less the same breed. The larger category that pits fall into would be "fighting dogs," a group that might claim Bandogs, Staffies, etc., or sometimes "bull breeds."
Also, the media INCORRECTLY labels any well-muscled dog that happens to bite someone as a "pit bull." This carelessness does not mean that the original term lacks clarity. Again, pit bull refers to a single breed. - pitbulldogfan
You must learn to distinguish between opinion, even strong or arguably accurate opinion, and fact. Your sentence beginning "The only possible confusion...." is enough to make the article correct as written. As for "more-or-less the same breed"--do you have any idea how many breed arguments there are over that very topic?
I don't think anyone on the Dog Project would argue with the beginning of your second paragraph, but your final sentence establishes your opinion, not necessarily the prevailing one.
Quill 22:17, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

The term "pit bull" applies, like Quill said, as a large category. It usually includes the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Stafforshire Bull Terrier, Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, and mixed breeds. Now, however, many people can claim that Dogo Argentinos, Presa Canarios, some Mastiffs, Ca de Bous, any variation of Bulldogs, Cane Corsos, and any dog that bears resemblance to a "pit bull" are dangerous, even though statistically, if all of these dogs are included in the CDC report under "pit bull," it would put the dogs near the bottom of the list and not the top. --RJ

The term "pit bull" applies to a single breed. The animals that are repeatedly mentioned as "pit bulls" are not. They are "bully breeds" or "fighting dogs." The American Pit Bull Terrier is THE "pit bull." The people in this thread must learn to distinguish between their opinion and fact, such as that espoused by Richard Stratton, an expert in this area. Zuzim 21:54, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

It may apply to the APBT but the AmStaff is also called the Pit Bull Terrier at times (as well as APBTs are registered in the UKC under the AmStaff breed). That and many breeds are now associated with the term "pit bull," it is much easier to call the breed by it's official name (such as American Staffordshire Terrier or American Pit Bull Terrier) or an abbreviation (such as APBT or AmStaff). In all honesty, it's like calling a Border Collie just a collie. It gives no real definition of what the breed really is. --RJ

History of the breed inaccurate.

It is ridiculous to state that the American Pit Bull Terrier descended from the English Bulldog, an animal whose smushy face and weak jaws would make it useless in fighting a bull or bear. The latter dogs are barely able to breath when they are lying down. The truth is that both dogs have a common mastiff ancestor and the "bull dog" was bred for its comical looks with the pit was bred for performance.m - pitbulldogfan

Please read something about the history of the Bulldog, this will help you understand that today's offspring of the late English Bulldog is a weak shadow of what were his ancestors. The early bull dog was game bread (not just bulk like nowadays) and did not show any of the weaknesses that they are now know off. A Bulldog brought down a bull by bullbaiting, one after another. The American Bulldog is the best living example of what a "bulldog" used to be, but it isn't quite there yet.ShotokanTuning 06:21, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I am extremely conversant in the history of the bulldog and wager to guess I've read far more extensively on the subject than you. There is an excellent argument to be made that the pitbull WAS the bulldog, in the sense of being the dog that was pitted against bulls. The American Bulldog is a sort of historical recreation based on someone's guess of what the original bulldog (sometimes "bulldogge") was like; however, it is still based on the assumption that the smushy-faced bulldog is somehow a living phenotype of the original. The AB was originally just a pitbull bred to an English Bulldog. Dr. Richard Stratton's "Fighting Dogs" books discuss this line of reasoning in detail. In my opinion, the English Bulldog fancy has appropriated the geneology of the pit. I am also of the opinion, as is Stratton, that the American Pit Bull Terrier came over from Britain in exactly the form he now assumes, and that there is nothing "American" about it. - pitbulldogfan
You are extremely conversant in the history of the bulldog, you must know the pit bull descended from the Old English Bulldog. Telling us you read much, is always good, but what's stated above isn't just an excellent argument, it's also a fact. I hope this helped you. ShotokanTuning at your service.ShotokanTuning 13:01, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
I have owned pit bulls and currently own two (modern) English bulldogs. Those two are very tough. effective and skilled fighters-when they want to be. The reason most modern English Bulldogs come across as weak cream puffs is that most of those that you do actually run across are obese to morbidly obese. You cannot ignore this difference in *nurture* when comparing the modern English bulldog with either the modern pitbull or the ancient bulldog. When it is kept thin and exercised heavily (as in the case of mine, because one of them has to remain thin due to a potential weakness at the hips) it is a very different dog: much more energetic, engaging and tough. Its courage in a fight is without question (I have seen that personally when a much larger and very aggressive dog came after my wife). I have been surprised by my need to occassionally punish aggression and serious rough housing on their part, and have heard much the same from several others I have met with lean bulldogs. In discussions with me, my vet has said more or less the same: its hard to separate the true underlying nature of the modern English Bulldog from the fact that most of them are really very overweight. By the way, from what I have seen a Pit Bull becomes quite a creampuff as well if it gets fat. Even the famous breathing problems of the English Bulldog are great exacerbated by obesity-ask any vet worth his salt.
Certainly you are right that the modern English bulldog is not the bulldog from baiting days, but it is a pit or bull-type dog, and when they are thin a very different creature emerges. How we treat these dogs matters.
Finally, when its kept active, the English Bulldog does not have weak jaws. It is among the harder biting dogs, just like the Pit.
I really am more struck by the similarities than differences between the two breeds, once you keep physical conditioning constant.
While the (modern) English Bulldog is an ancestor of the Old English Bulldog, hence share many similarities, they differ completely in purpose which affects their performance severely. No offence meant. This is a comment based on "History of the breed inaccurate." which I rectified as false. This was not meant to disgrace the modern English Bulldog in any way, just states the fact that they have changed severely over time. This is when developments like the Olde Englishe Bulldogge happen, which serves yet another purpose and so is yet another dog. ShotokanTuning 07:56, 4 November 2005 (UTC)
No offence taken. My only point is that I don't think the differences between the *modern* pit bull and bull dog are as pronounced as people think (though both are admittedly a huge departure from their ancestor). Different types of people keep the two types of dogs. You have to admit that both the "showing" standard and the physical conditioning of the typical modern English bulldog are generally in the obese range. Take that away, exercise it as hard as many pits are exercised and, finally and regrettably, expose it to the negative reinforcement that many pits experience, and you have a very, very different dog. In some sense I am offering a defense of the pit: people behave as if it is destined for terror, whereas the English Bulldog is a teddy bear. But treat English bulldogs as Pit Bulls are treated too often, and you would have the same public menace. The pitbull's problems are at least as much about nurture as nature, and I just feel that the English bulldog is a particularly good illustration of this. I agree with you that most of the bulldogs that you run across are marshmallows. But I assure you that mine, and others who are kept in a more vigorous physical condition, are not. My male bulldog is something like 6-0 against other dogs, including 2 pits and a chow, all of whom outweighed him. (And no: I do not encourage fighting. These were spontaneous eruptions with neighborhood dogs and I broke it up as quickly as I could. My assessment is simply based on who was obviously 'winning' at that point.) And the female is the really tough one. When thin, fit and trained to fight, I would wager that the English Bulldog can give the typical Pit a run for its money. As an aside, my neighbor had two Staffordshire Terriers, and basically the only card they could play against my bulldogs was to run when the play got too rough.
Let me put it this way: in terms of fighting capacity, the differences between a *fit* bulldog and pitbull (each of 50 lbs) are rather marginal and trivial compared with the difference between either and an 80 lb retriever.
That last part is a given, lol. One of the reasons is the pain factor, a retriever fears pain. A retriever will much more likely bite at a child, if it feels pain possibly caused by the child or anything else making the child seem as the causer of the dog's pain. While a pit bull will much more likely just 'accept' the pain. ShotokanTuning 09:37, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

Its really true what you are saying about pain. My pits have suffered a few really painful injuries and just soldiered through it. A few years ago, my male English bulldog suffered a terrible (it could have been crippling) smashed paw. It was awful to look at. But he still insisted on walking under his own power into the vet's office (he was limping terribly) and the vet actually called in a few vet students who were interning there to see this and he told them that among the small to medium sized dogs you will only see this kind of stoicism in pit bulls, English bull dogs, bull terriers and, to a lesser extent, the Staffordshire terrier. He actually said to them "with these sorts of dogs, they will function with an injury that will make other dogs pass out from pain." By the by, the dog made a full recovery. One thing I can tell you, however, is that both pits and bulldogs are good adaptive actors: once they realize that when we think they've been injured they will get attention, sympathy, maybe even a biscuit, they kind of ham it up on those occasions where they do sense that we think they have been injured or are in pain. My female pit and female bulldog have or had (in the case of the now deceased pit) mastered this completely.

Anyway, it was good talking to you.


Random comment, in the section of the article that cites the CDC statistics on fatalities by breed, there is caveat offered: "In addition, these statistics can be taken out of context--for example, were the number of attacks between 1979 and 1996 increasing or decreasing? Was the total number of dogs of each breed during increasing periods also increasing?"

The first sentence is completely irrelevant to the context of the section. The overall number of fatal attacks that took place during the recorded period isn't what's under discussion, but rather, the % of those attacks that involved pit bulls.

The second point is a relevant one, but it would seem that an encyclopedia should be a place for answers, not questions. There are resources for measuring dog populations by breeds, right? It is glaringly obvious that unless pit bulls make up 30% of the total dog population, they are responsible for a disproportionate number of fatal attacks. That being said, if you are going to pose a hypothetical statement to rebut a verifiable data point, you need to provide data. Otherwise, the statement appears biased.

That technical point being made, let me just say that I've never understood the argument that Pit Bulls are only fatal because they are poorly handled/trained by their owners, so therefore a pit bull in the hands of a responsible owner is the same thing as a golden retreiver. That makes about as much sense in saying that guns don't kill people, people kill people, so therefore owning a .22 rifle is the same as owning a modified AR-15 assault rifle with a 100 round clip. I guess pit bull apologists just like playing with fire.


Fixed it, I agree that an encyclopedia article is no place for such rhetorical questions. Gigs 23:41, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

--The issue isnt only with having a skilled handler and good environment for the dog to be reared in. It is also breeding. The pit bulls who have gained media attention are not well bred dogs. They are the product of backyard breeding. People breeding to make money, not breeding to better the breed. They are not breeding dogs that meet the standard in any way shape or form. There are also a lot of nasty golden retrievers out there from backyard breeders. They dont make the media because they are not a sensational news story. ~~Dawn

Farmboy, since you are so quick to dismiss the possibility that a properly trained and cared-for pitbull is safe, I have one question for you; Have you ever seen or known a pitbull who was provided with love, care, and attention suddenly "snap" and attack a person? I haven't. I have, however, known several inattentive and irresposible dog owners (of several different breeds including pitbull) who did not provide their pet with an ample amount of love and discipline and these dog subsequently attacked people. Whoermaster 02:13, 28 December 2005 (UTC)Whoermaster 19:37, 27 December 2005 (UTC)Whoermaster

Whoremaster, why did you take out the part about Spuds Mackenzie being an English Bull Terrier? Surely he's the most famous pit bull there is. Gigs 15:40, 30 December 2005 (UTC)
While the Bull Terrier is a "bully breed," it's not really a Pit Bull. [5]. Jasmol 16:41, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

In response to Farmboy's illogical analogy: It's not at all a matter of owning an illegal weapon with 100 rounds. What you're suggesting is more akin to "If he weighs x amount of pounds or is of x ethnicity, then he's more likely to act out negatively," which in a context of humans would most certain make you a bigot. These dogs are not weapons, and it's quite sad that they are bred as such, but no pit bull, at least any I've encountered, has had a say in their upbringing. They have strong legs and powerful jaws so they're bred to fight. Instead of vilifying the entire breed, why not focus your energies into a more productive outlet. To get back to your gun analogy, more than the gun and the owner of the gun, most responsible is the one who fashioned it, which is this case would be the owners (who are either neglectful or doing so for a the purpose of training them to fight). -mr

The reason I put an NPOV warning on this article

At the time that I put the warning on the article, it described pit bulls as "sweet and loveable animals", which was clearly not an appropriate point of view. Why oh why a state would outlaw a "sweet and loveable" animal because it was known for being violent is beyond me. Now it has a point of view that's bias to a completely opposite degree. Almost the entire article needs to be rewritten to only provide facts and not opinions. This is an encyclopedia, not a forum, for God's sake. At the very least, the "Positive Press" section should be expanded. --agf

agf, it doesn't seem to me that the bias is the opposite way now. I have just now committed some NPOV edits that remove some emotional appeals and attempt to detach the article from the debate further. Let me know what you think. Remember "Fair and Balanced" might make for good ratings for FOX news, but we aren't aiming for ratings, we want to report facts, not provide a forum for pundits to make their cases. Gigs 00:04, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm confused on the part about the AKC supposedly recommending the "Pit Bull" for children, a quick browse of the AKC site shows that they don't even consider the American Pit Bull Terrier to be a valid breed. They list a bull terrier and mastaff.. but no breed with pit anything in the name. Gigs 00:04, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

The American Pit Bull Terrier is not an AKC registered breed as of yet, nor is it accepted by the Foundation Stock Service. To be technical, neither the American Pit Bull nor the American Staffordshire Terrier are accepted or for consideration in the UKC. The only breed known to be accepted is the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The breeds that are being talked about that are registered with the AKC are the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. By nature, AmStaffs and Staffies are a recommended playmate for children but must be watched as all dogs should around kids. Any dog can not like what the kid is doing and bite to correct them. --RJ

Just to mention this, The American Pit Bull Terrier by UKC standards is the same as the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier in AKC standards. If you read at all about the history, you would know that the UKC was the first kennels to recognize the breed in 1898 and that it's founder, C. Z. Bennett, registered his APBT, Bennetts Ring, as registration no. 1 for the breed. Some years later, the AKC accepted the breed, but as the American Staffordshire Terrier. This was due to the surge of popularity in the breed during the early 20th century in the US. The dog became prevalently featured in American pop culture, including a wartime posters from WWI, and starring in popular television shows (Petey from "The Little Rascals" was a pit bull). Hell, the breed even became a war hero (a dog named Sgt. Stubby saved several American soldiers lives and even captured a german spy during WWI). As of today, AKC will only allow dogs that have AST parrents to be registered as AST. However, if a dog is registered as AST by the AKC, it can still be registered as APBT by the UKC and ADBA. I pulled all of this off of two sites and; both of which I found by googling "pit bull history"- GH

The American Pit Bull Terrier is not accepted by the UKC. It is not on their official website in either Terriers, Working, or Utility breeds. The only "pit bull" breeds accepted by the UKC are the Bull Terrier (both regular and miniature) and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The American Staffordshire Terrier is only called a "Pit Bull," it has no real relation anymore to the American Pit Bull Terrier. The APBT is much larger than the AmStaff (APBT weights range from 30-80 lbs while AmStaffs are 40-50 lbs). Though some sites may claim that the APBT is recognized by the UKC, it is not on their official web site anywhere (neither under Breeds nor under the Puppy Sales). AmStaffs were first registered under Staffordshire Bull Terriers as were APBTs before they became a distinct breed but have not been accepted under AKC yet. These facts came from the UKC's official website and the AKC's official website. --RJ

In regards to RJ: Check your shit. Go to UKC's official site. This is Go to the Breeds section. Go to the Terriers group. American Pit Bull Terrier is the third named from the top of the list in the left column. I provided manual directions as I had to pull the link from the pages source. This is the best link to that page as I could find, as the page is opened up in frames:

Like I had said before, THE FIRST UKC APBT TO BE REGISTERED WAS OWNED BY THE ORGANIZATIONS FOUNDER!!!! This was one of the biggest intentions for the formation of the UKC, as the AKC didn't want to have anything to do with the breed. I wasn't pulling that out of my ass. As for your description of AKC's AmStaff, please show me a link that tells it's weight. On AKC's homesight, I saw nothing mentioning a specific weight range, only an approximated height. The site only mentioned weight in a single vague instance:

"Height and weight should be in proportion."

I will however agree to this: it has become much more populuar to breed bigger pit bulls. I personally feel that this is diversion from the standard that needs to be carefully watched. It may come to actually seperating into it's own breed. As for the difference in AmStaffs and pits, I feel it is only a basis for the dogs purpose. The "AmStaff strain" of the breed is the show dog. The Pit Bull is the working/fighting dog. In the end, I still feel they came from the same bloodlines, although they do seem to be getting further and further apart. You are correct in that it is not mentioned on either AKC or UKC's sites that the dogs are in fact of the same "breed". I blame this more on AKC, as they are the only of the 3 major US kennels that does not allow registration from other kennels, while both ADBA and UKC will gladdly accept and AmStaff into registration as an APBT.

(((Just to let you know, I happen to be the owner of an AKC AmStaff that is also registered to UKC as an APBT ;). There is no fudging of the papers or anything; the registration with UKC went just as smoothly as registration with AKC.))) GH

To be honest, I had no idea that such a site ever existed but that is not the official site. It is a commercial site. This is the official site. It is called only the Kennel Club as it is considered to be the first. The APBT or AmStaff is not mentioned on this site at all (to get to Breeds, click Discover Dogs and it should appear on the left side). The book I have gives an ideal weight range (but sadly does not mention any club recognitions). --RJ

RJ, That is not the UKC. That is simply The Kennel Club, which is a completely different body. It was formed in Brittain and is probably the model for all American kennel organizations. The UKC is an American body, and is not directly affiliated with The Kennel Club. The UKC was formed in 1898, and was second only to the AKC, which was formed in 1884. The Kennel Club UK was formed in 1873. Check out the history for each club (((The UKC site I presented is the official site))). Note that UKC and The Kennel Club are completely different.



Kennel Club UK -


The book I have been using does not acknowledge the UKC as a dog club for some reason or another (fairly recent as well, copyright is 1994 and reprinted in 2004) but recognizes the KC(GB) which I had assumed was the UKC. I though cannot believe that such a large organization such as the UKC does not get an organization website. They probably have some funding and getting a .org site would make it much easier on people, like me, who do not completely trust commercial sites (such as the one they have now). I have actually been looking for them for some time but, because they did not have a .org site, I couldn't say it was an official website. The only one remotely close was the KC's website which I assumed was what the UKC was sometimes called. I am sorry for the confusion though I really wish the UKC would make their site more legitimate if it was an organization website. --RJ

I can assure you that APBTs are classified as such by the UKC. I own two of them and I have official papers stating what they are by the UKC. ----Norm

Pit Bulls Have a Highly Exaggerated and Undeserved Reputation

I did not read the comments posted by others so if this one happens to be similar to other posts, it is not intentional. I am an animal lover and I especially love dogs and I cannot understand the bad press that any dog with the classification "pit bull." The fact of the matter is the quantity of these attacks are highly exaggerated to make people believe they happen on a regular basis, similar to shark attacks when in fact there is probably only a handful of attacks each year if that many. More people die from being struck by lightning than attacks by these dogs and shark bites combined. Furthermore, nobody seems to take into account how the animal that supposedly attacked a person was treated. It is a fact that most of the pit bulls that have attacked or killed a human were in fact abused, neglected or raised in such a brutal fashion (usually for fighting) that its no wonder the animal attacked, having a rough backround would leave it bitter with humans and quite frankly not knowing anything else. However no one seems to take in account the dog's backround of how it was raised; its the dog's fault because it was born, it’s the dog‘s fault because the owner takes advantage of the dog‘s reputation for their usually illegal projects. This scenario is not much different than a child who's parent neglect or abuse them that they tend to be rather bitter and have a negative point of view of the world based on his/her experiences or they turn to a life of crime whether its drug use, theft or in some cases murder sometimes even mass murder. For some reason it appears that when an animal (any animal) attacks a human despite being mentally inferior to humans working solely on instinct that SOMEHOW upon killing a human it is supposed to know better and a result the animal is usually destroyed along with many others for being that species. If animals could hold grudges like that against us for every time we hunted or killed one of them, humans would have probably been extinct a long time ago. Anyways I kind of drifted off topic. Nobody seems to seems to realize the fact that if the dog is raised and treated a certain ways that its going to come out a certain way just like a person would. THE AKC highly recommends the breed and I think I can safely say they have a high say and actually know the facts from myths. There is a myth that a pit bull has a bite of 30,000 PSI. That has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. A crocodile who has one of the strongest bites in the animal kingdom has an average bite of 3,000 PSI and you are going to convince me that an 85 lb dog can bite harder than a 2,000 lb crocodile? I don’t think so. I’ve seen too many families own a pit bull who treat their animal properly and the animal is more gentle than you can imagine to just sit by and watch this dog be unjustly prosecuted usually based on limited or ignored facts and highly exaggerated myths. The media, just like any other problem s in this world take something that maybe accounts for 1% of a whole and flip it around to where the negative image supposedly accounts for nearly 100% of the whole. A perfect example of how the statistics are flipped around would be the issue of teens who supposedly kill because of watching a movie or playing a game when 99% of young people who may be exposed to violence/sex in entertainment turn into law biding citizens despite the media tries so hard to portray the opposite and its unfair that a law biding society has to yield because maybe the 1% will take something the wrong way and do something bad. This is a great comparison to the position the pit bull is in; how the whole breed suffers an exaggerated and pretty much false reputation for incidents that portray to less than 1% of the pit bull population. Even those who are responsible for injuring or even killing someone I fail to understand how that can possibly reflect then tire breed. Its like saying if a white man murders someone for no apparent reason that all white men are potential killers based on that one incident. But we do categorize white men based on that incident because we know that would be flat out ludicrous. So why do we do it to animals? Pit bulls are not bad dogs. If raised and trained properly they are the ideal household pet a fact again also acknowledged by the AKC who again knows more about dog breeds than just about anyone else on the planet. I have shared this viewpoint with numerous people and its amazing the folks with two brain cells in between them seem to acknowledge the facts while the ignorant who honestly cannot back up their position with facts or even an argument of any kind besides saying “because”. Thank you for reading this I apologize for the long length and possibly going off topic once or twice in order to make some comparisons. I just hope some folks will read what I wrote and maybe learn something about this breed that may allow them to shift their viewpoint (This section contributed by user

Amen! I'm willing to guess that of the people who comment on what an awful and dangerous breed pit bulls are, 95% have probably had little to no personal experience with these wonderful, loyal, and loving dogs. I find it amazing how many people are willing to falsely chastise and villify this breed; I guess our only recourse, as Pit-bull "advocates" is to spread the truth about this breed; the truth being, that if raised properly, a pit-bull is one of the most affectionate, well- behaved canines. Furthermore, the character assassination of this breed is reminiscent of those who have said that certain ethnicities/races of people are innately bad, which of course is total nonsense. The same is true for pit-bulls. Whoermaster 23:08, 12 January 2006 (UTC)Whoermaster

My neighbor's pit bull escaped last night and tried to attack me. It has always tried to attack me through the fence every day for over a year. No provocation is required; the dog hates the simple presence of anyone that is not its owner. So I can say for certain that at least some pit bulls are vicious animals that have no place in cities. CalgaryWikifan 13:19, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

(to the above post) In this case The owner has most deffinitly trained the dog to be this way!!! NOT the fault of the dog BUT really the fault of the owner and how the owner has rased it. Yes this dog is obviously vicious and dangerous now if it is trying to attack random people but the owner is responsible for this and should be held accountable! So in this case I think it would be safe to say that your neighbor has no business owning a pit bull if this is the result of their training.  ;-)

There is no proof that a dog's personality is any more determined by genetics than a human's is. Assuming most or all pit bulls are violent and aggressive because a few are violent and aggressive would be similar to assuming that most or all humans are violent and aggressive because a few are violent and aggressive. Upbringing and socialization would have to be completely neglected in order to reach that conclusion.

Totally Disputed?!?

It looks to me that the recent set of edits are very good edits. This article is become more and more factual and encyclopedic. Regardless of the personal feelings of the pro- or anti-pitbull people, if no one steps up to challenge specific facts or statements then I don't see why this article should stay classified as totally disputed. Gigs 18:12, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Funny, I was thinking the same thing earlier tonight. OhnoitsJamieTalk 07:28, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Pit bull breeds?

The Pit bull is a breed of terrier, not a "pit bull breed"!

Then again, Bull Terrier refers to a specific breed that's significantly different from an American Pit Bull. How about "bully breed"? That's seems to be a more accepted term which typically includes the American Staffordshire Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, Bull Terrier, American Bulldog, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Agentine Dogo (among others). OhnoitsJamieTalk 19:42, 22 January 2006 (UTC)

actually, pit bulls are a breed of bull terrier, so wouldnt 'bully breed' be a little presumptuous?

Many people find "bully breeds" as offensive as "pit bull" breeds nowadays because of the way the word 'bully' is used in speech. The thing is, the Argentino Dogo is not much of a "bully breed" because the term is meant for dogs who used to bull bait. The Argentino Dogo was orginally bred for hunting cougars and dog fighting. The Presa Canario is sometimes group with "pit bull" breeds but it isn't a "bully breed" because it was never used for bull baiting. The Bulldog, however, would fit into the "bully group" as being one of the original bull baiting dogs. Even "fighting breeds" has a problem point as this means ALL dogs bred for fighting at one time would be thrown in. This includes the Chinese Shar-Pei, some Northern breeds, many Mastiffs (including the Mastiff, Bullmastiff, and Dogue de Bordeaux), all Bulldog variations, and basically a lot of Terriers because many won't back down from a fight. --RJ

SirIsaacBrock, we had a mid-air collision, and I couldn't tell what difference there was in your version. I looked at the diff for a good minute and couldn't tell what you changed. Feel free to make whatever change you made again, since I went with my version. Sorry if I reverted something useful. Gigs 02:10, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Why do you have american bulldog listed as a pitbull, when it is not?

"A pit bull is a member of any of a number of breeds of dogs developed from the Old English Bulldog. Breeds recognized as pit bulls include the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier, although the name is also often used to refer to other breeds of similar characteristics, such as the American Bulldog and Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and mixed breeds that include any of these breeds."

This is incorrect in relation to the American Bulldog. Pit bull is a group of dogs that includes the American Staffordshire Terrier, Stafforshire Bull Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Notice these are all Terriers. The American Bulldog is not a "pit bull" because it does not contain any Terrier, it is a Bulldog. You can confer with any American Bulldog Breeders, Registries and Groups and you will soon find that the American Bulldog is considered a Bulldog, not a Terrier and not a "pit bull".

You answered your question in the paragraph. "although the name is also often used to refer to other breeds of similar characteristics." It's not saying that the American Bulldog is always a "pit bull." It just says it has similar characteristics which give it a "pit bull" look. There are about 25 breeds that can fall into a "pit bull" category at anytime, some include the Dogo Argentino, the Presa Canario, and the Cane Corso. They are not technically a "pit bull" but they share similar characteristics with "pit bull" types. --RJ

Well-stated. My sister-in-law has one, and it looks very similar to a APBT (except that it's quite a bit larger). Apparently some folks object to calling those 25 or so breeds "bully breeds," but most of those dogs do have some common lineage. OhNoitsJamieTalk 04:15, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

I am wondering how, if you take ALL of the dog-bite fatalities worldwide, you can come up with a statistic of any significance? ...compared with say, alcohol-related fatalities, driving-related fatalities... cigarette-related fatalities... bathroom fatalities. Fundamentally, all animal-related injuries and fatalities are largely completely avoidable and mostly irrelevant in the scheme of things. It appears to me that what most we see in the news is alarmism and an aggravation of that alarmism.

Recent edits of Re: ATTS testing

Looks like someone is trying to edit pro-pit bias back into this article. I had put a caveat a while back that the ATTS testing had little to do with overall breed agression, testing dogs on tasks like walking on thin planks and unsteady surfaces, with only one category even touching on agression. This person has edited misleading ATTS statistics back into the article, and my text has been lost over many edits.

To avoid an edit war I ask another Wikipedian to step in on this particular subsection regarding ATTS testing, please check out the ATTS web page and come to your own conclusions about how the data should be presented, if at all. Another user has questioned whether the ATTS only exists as a shill organization to promote the pit-bull breed, I have not seen evidence of this but it may be something to investigate to see if a source can be found to support that assertion. Gigs 00:04, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

It seems to me that the one trying to put a bias is you, as you sistematically ignore the psychological effects of the 10 sub-tests in the dogs. These tests are designed to study the primary response on the body language of the dog when confronted with new situations. As any dog behaviorist would tell you, new situations are stressful situations for any breed. However, the genetic makeup of different breeds will influence how a dog reacts to these stressful stimuli.

For instance, while a herding dog might have the impulse to control and direct the handler (an agressive-dominant trait, since the one in control should be the handler), it might also simply go behind the handler and offer the least surface exposure to the stimulus (a dangerous trait too, since it demonstrates unstability and distrust on the leading capacity of the handler which usually leads to fear-induced attacks). A well bred dog should simply stand by the side of the handler and wait for further instruccions as to how to react to the stimulus. The capacity of the individual dog to show these traits is computed as the temperament of the dog, and the average of all dogs of the same breed is the breed temperament.

Your confusion, if such is the case, seems to lay on the same missconception that you can still see in Animal Planet's Funniest Animals (and programs like that)in which a dog is seen either growling or baring its fangs to the face of the owner and its deemed "cute" just because it happens to belong to a toy breed. Those little behaviors that we so dreamely tend to ignore are the warning signs that the behaviorist will tell you were a clear, bright beacon of an aproaching bite.

Thin planks and steady surfaces might be as destabilizing psychologically to a dog as a severed head would be for a three year old (the average inteligence equivalence for dogs. As for the existence of the ATTS as a lobbying group for pitbulls, my opinion is that it is not logical to publish the statistic results for many breeds in order to push the well being of only one. On the other hand, the statistical value of some of these results are highly questionable (specially when only a small sample population has been tested). Kaskir

I have owned APBT's for the last 10 years. During the time I have owned these dogs, I have also had at least three cats living in the house with them at the same time, and the animals were often left in the house together with no human supervision. Both dogs were adopted as adults after being abandoned. The dogs have never injured any of the cats, and the cats have on numerous occasions eaten from the dog's bowls while the dog was present. During this same period my daughter has grown from the age of 1 year to 11 years. Not only was she often alone with the dogs, but her friends were as well. Except for several cases where a child was pushed over by a dog licking it aggressively, there were no incidents of "aggression". I find many of the entries in this discussion very sad.

A Bit of Common Sense

This discussion is getting a bit heated with “facts” and “statistics” being tossed about by both sides. I hope to highlight some basic facts that I feel any rational person should not object to.

  1. “Pit Bull” has become a generic term that refers several breeds.
  2. Among “Pit Bulls” there can be found both friendly and aggressive individuals.
  3. In any dog breed there can be found both friendly and aggressive individuals.
  4. “Pit Bulls” are powerful animals
  5. An aggressive “Pit Bull” is more dangerous than an aggressive Pomeranian
  6. An aggressive Pomeranian is more dangerous than a friendly “Pit Bull”
  7. Temperament is the result of both breeding and environment
  8. The owner of any dog is responsible for its actions

Now let’s discuss rights for a moment

  1. An individual has no legal right to own a Pit Bull
  2. An individual has no legal right to own or use a handgun
  3. An individual has no legal right to own or operate car
  4. An individual has no legal right to buy or consume alcohol

Let’s move on to privilege

  1. Most Americans may own a Pit Bull if they wish to
  2. Most Americans may own a handgun if they wish to
  3. Most Americans may own a car if they wish to
  4. Most Americans may consume alcohol if they wish to

Now let’s discuss responsibility

  1. Pit Bulls can be dangerous, if you can’t control one then don’t get one
  2. Handguns can be dangerous, if you can’t control one then don’t get one
  3. Cars can be dangerous, if you can’t control one then don’t drive
  4. Drinking can de dangerous, if you can’t control yourself…get help

Let’s discuss respect. You might not like Pit Bulls, but some people do. Before you go on a crusade to ban something that someone else loves see if the following statement applies to you. “I am not willing to give up my (gun, car, beer, or anything else) even though it can be deadly in the wrong hands because I am a responsible individual. However, I do want responsible owners of Pit Bulls to give up their pets because of the actions of irresponsible owners.” If this is you, please look up hypocrisy, Wikipedia has an article.

Re: A Bit of Common Sense

Equating ownership of so-called Pit Bulls with ownership of guns is a frivolous use of the sanctity of the Constitution. Many Americans, I would think, agree that it is acceptable to 'own' a gun. Yet, I believe these same people would suggest that owning a gun and carrying a gun while walking down the street are two different things. Also, a gun does not, in and of itself, have mobility, while a dog certainly does. You can rest assured that a gun will not leap over a fence or dash out the front door and hurt you. Also, while most Americans would agree that owning a gun is fine, owning a machine gun is not. So, a pistol is not a machine gun and a Pomeranian is not a Pit Bull.

Now, in fairness, any dog can bite. But, large dogs bite harder and are more of a problem in that way. Specifically, the dogs referred by most people as 'Pit Bulls' were bred to be strong and have powerful bites. So, even though if properly trained they can be great pets and wouldn't hurt a fly, improper training and irresponsible owners cast a pall on the entire breed.

So, I would agree to a ban on any animal that the public perceives as a threat. Lions, Bears, Rattlesnakes shouldn't be allowed to be walked down the street. Properly trained they may be fine, but who can guarantee to me that my child is approaching an animal that has been 'properly' trained.

There should be a grandfather clause in that current owners can keep their dogs, but that breeding and importation stops.

Finally, yes, Wikipedia has an article on hypocrisy, but that is an incorrect use of the term.

-- 13:24, 2 July 2006 (UTC)Frank

Staffordshires NOT the "Pit Bull" that Kills People!

Very Important: Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers are NOT the same breed, and should not all be lumped together under the stigmatized term "Pit Bull."

When the Media reports on a deadly "Pit Bull" attack, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is never the culprit. Why? Because there are no documented accounts of a human death by Staffordshire Bull Terriers in North America. Ever! The breed catches unfounded blame because the term "Pit Bull" is used so loosely to describe the dogs carrying out the attacks, and because people are lumping several completely different breeds together under that term.

The Staffie does share common ancient history with the other breeds referred to as "Pit Bulls," but it has been bred into them never to attack humans. In fact, they are only one of a few breeds where the suitability for children is mentioned in ther breed standards. They actually make lousy guard dogs because they are so affectionate toward people. I have owned many different breeds of dogs over the years, and acquired about a year ago my first Staffordshire Bull Terrier (which I refer to as an English Staffordshire Bull Terrier so people won't confuse it with other breeds). I have since acquired another, and have begun raising puppies. Their reputation for being affectionate toward humans, and especially children, is extremely accurate from everything I have observed directly and researched. In fact, it is downright bizarre to see just how loving they are toward children. Its almost spooky to watch, especially when you consider that this trait has been bred into them.

This breed makes a lousy guard dog because they simply won't defend property against intruders. The intruder may see a large one and immediately believe that it is a vicious pit bull, but the dog would most likely lick the intruder to death before attacking him. Because of their loyalty to their owner, they might bite an intruder if that person attacks a family member, but other than that, they would likely show affection toward that intruder as if he was a family friend. Also, they are not inclined to bark very much. In fact, our largest Staffie, will pretend that it wasn't him if we observe him barking at a squirrerl in the back yard. Over the course of a year, he has never barked in our direct presence. This falls in line with common descriptions of the breed which tout their "off-duty" quiteness.

Staffies are no longer popular as pit-fighting or "gaming dogs" because of their loving nature. Due to their strength and agility, they could certainly take down the vast majority of other dogs, according to what I have repeatedly read, but they are far more inclined to play than to fight. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT), including cross-mixes with it, is the dog most likely to find its way into a fighting pit. Too many unscrupulous breeders have raised APBT's as fighters or vicious guard dogs, and that has led to what is considered by many a wonder breed to develop a bad reputation. Unfortunately, because people, out of ignorance, don't realize the difference between the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and it's cousins, and lump them all into the category of "Pit Bull" the Staffies and other non-violent breeds will continue to be wrongfully stigmatized.

Yes to your first point, but, under the AKC and UKC, the American Staffordshire Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier are one and the same. They are separate breeds but incredibly hard to tell apart with pedigree checks. APBT are descended from the Staffie as well, making them distantly related but more closely related than a Chihuahua and an APBT. They were used as fighting dogs and, in certain areas of the world, are still used today. They do make horrible guard dogs but, if trained right, will attack. I can see the Staffie being used as a smaller guard dog, one who's lower to the ground and faster. There are still fighting lines of Staffies in the world today, even if APBT are more popular.

But there are documented attacks by a recognized Staffordshire Bull Terriers. By saying there aren't any is a lie in itself. There are attacks by dogs of all breeds and denying that one breed could never attack another dog or human is a huge lie. There may not be many but there are Staffie attacks. Some people should never own such a dog as they can be animal aggressive, which runs in their nature. Terriers are often guilty of animal aggression which includes anything from Airedales to Foxes. The most recent attack I've sesn said the Staffie was the more aggressive one when it attacked another dog and had the heeler cross by the neck. Another Staffie attacked a boy and was put down. There is also a documented fatal attack by a Staffie. The dog attacked his owner when he went into an epiletic fit, biting the man's windpipe several times and killing him.

And I'm very confused of your argument. Are you protesting breed bans or just protesting that Staffies be taken off of the list while APBTs stay on? - RJ

This Article is Advocacy, Not Fact

Much of this article appears to advocate the view point that pit bulls are misunderstood, and are actually wonderful pets. Wikipedia is not a forum for one to express opinion. This article needs to focus more on facts and should when stating an opinion, it should be labled an opinion.

If the writer believes that pit bulls are misunderstood and are actually wonderful pets, he should write that "some people" or "many pit bull owners believe that pit bulls are misunderstood and are actually wonderful pets," rather than stating his or her opinion as if it were as objectively true as the "the Earth orbits the Sun," "germs cause disease" or "humans and chimpanzees share a common anscestor."

I see you rather present the general opinion as a fact. For example: "humans and chimpanzees share a common anscestor." Things can be facts even if most people don't know it or don't want to know it.

A "pit bull" is a specific breed.

Namely the American Pit Bull Terrier.

This article is very clearly -- and embarassingly -- the work of persons who know nothing about the breed. BulldogPete 22:44, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

BulldogPete, I think you're missing the point of the article. You are obviously correct in that there is a specific breed called the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT). That breed has it's own article here on Wikipedia. However, the term "pit bull" has become a term for any dog reminiscing the APBT. Also, mixed breeds exist. That's why you read about someone being attacked by a "pit bull" when it really was a bullmastiff (just an example). That's the point of the article - the term "pit bull" as used by the layman. An expert wouldn't use "pit bull" in the way you hint at - he would use "American Pit Bull Terrier" or any of the other breeds acknowledged by the AKC/UKC. --Zmagic 05:54, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
One reads about "pit bulls" having attacked -- when the animal in question is some other bully breed or admixture -- through the ignorance of the general public and the press. An ignorance that is fostered by inaccurate articles such as this one. BulldogPete 13:30, 27 May 2006 (UTC)
I doubt many people are going to be able to identify an American Pit Bull Terrier from an American Staffordshire Terrier without papers since even experts disagree on the breed of a dog. Or spend the time arguing about it. DNA tests don't work and sight tests don't work either. From the front, my Labrador looks like a "pit bull" because of the way her legs are set. Border Collies have been classified as "pit bulls" before. The only way to tell a breed from another is papers but, even then, APBT/Mastiff mixes are being sold as purebred APBTs.
If anything, the media is the blame, not the common people. They see "pit bull attacks child" and immeditaley think of this savage dog when it may have been some strange Blue Heeler mutt. I've seen the media print out a white Rottweiler/Pit Bull cross. The problem? A Rottweiler/Pit Bull cross would not be white according to genetics. It would be some dark color like black or dark brown. I doubt the media truly knows what a "pit bull" is supposed to look like at all.
Although this article has several breeds in it, it is true. American Staffordshires were the original "pit bull" breed and are still called it sometimes today. "Pit bull" is like the term collie or sighthound, it's just a general term to represent many breeds that once or still do perform a certain task at hand. A bad term maybe, but still general enough to include more than just bully breeds and their mixes (Shar-Peis, Mastiffs, Tosa Inus, etc.). --RJ

Hip Hop Influence

I think we should have a section for the influence of rappers and other celebrities contributing to the recent spike in Pit Bull ownership. I've seen a lot of instances where people with no knowledge of the breed get a Pit Bull and can't handle it, all because some guy on a CD cover has two of them. This has contributed as much as anything to the problems the breed has faced.


Pit Bull is not a specific breed of dog, but rather a term used to describe several breeds of dogs with similar physical characteristics. The American Pit Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier commonly fall under the category of "Pit Bull." There are several other breeds that can fall under the rubric of “pit bull,” including: the Argentine Dogo, the English Bull Terrier, the American Bulldog, Perro de Presa Canario and the Boxer. These breeds are usually not included by breed name in any Breed Specific Legislation (see below), but are usually ensnared because of a broad definition, and confusion as to what a “pit bull” actually is. Again, there is no breed of dog called “pit bull” but the term can be the nickname for the American Pit Bull Terrier.

A 'Pit bull' is the shortened version of American Pit Bull Terrier, so no other bully breed can fall under 'pit bull' 19:34, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

Actually, the term "pit bull" means, as quoted from The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, "a powerful, compact, short-haired dog developed for fighting." This puts several breeds of dog under the term then, including Shar-Peis and breeds of mastiffs. However, the media term is, basically, "a dog that looks like the American Pit Bull Terrier." While Pit Bull is a nickname for the American Pit Bull Terrier, the term pit bull is used differently and a little too widely in the world now. --RJ

Actually, pit bulls weren't bred for fighting. The were actually bred for catching bulls, pigs, and boars. 2) the full name is "American pit bull terrier dog", so, that means that, it only makes sense that the "american pit bull terrier dog", can be called "pit bull" 22:51, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Pit bulls were developed for fighting. 'Bull baiting' is where the bull part comes from as their ancestors were used to bait bulls, not hunt them. It became a popular sport before it was banned. The American Pit Bull Terrier (when it was classified as the American Staffordshire Terrier) has had little bull-dog interaction and was brought into the States to fight in pits.
Unfortunately, the American Staffie is often referred to as the Pit Bull Terrier, which makes for breed confusion when one talks about a "pit bull."

1) "bull baiting" was were the pits would try to catch the bull, not fight it. 2) bull baiting was outlawed, because of the cruelty inflicted towards the bull, to make the bull angrier, which resulted in many dogs being hurt. 18:08, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Use as Intimidation

A lot of street gangs/hoodlems take their pit bull out on walks just so they can legally display what is basically a weapon. I see this a lot, theres got to be articles about it. Seeing as how 'dog fighting' isnt really seen by the public, this use of the dog is probly more important to mention.


This may only be part true. Many in the "gang culture" walk their pit bulls in such a way because it is a show of status, or even marketing. Depending on their lineage, pure bred pits can be EXTREMELY expensive. Also, many who dabble in "hustlin'" also make side income from selling the offspring of their dogs.


Insurance Problems section needs citation or editing

This section says, "Pit bulls are also most responsible for the number of fatal dog attacks," and then almost immediately follows saying, "While breed-specific statistics were not collected in this particular study, the Pit Bull Terrier and Rottweiler in particular are often considered to contribute the most to the serious injuries caused by dog attacks and are the most common breeds that insurance companies will refuse to insure."

That's fine if he has a statistic to toss in there, but you can't say pitbulls are most responsible for dangerous attacks and then say no breed specific statistics were collected.

What's with the quotes?

The interchangeable, sporadic use of the terms "pit bull" and pit bull are condescending, as if the readers must constantly be reminded that a "pit bull" is some loosely based, inaccurate term invented by the media. No, we get it. I know what an American Staffordshire Terrier is. But this article is not about American Staffordshire Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers or any other legitimate breed of dog. It's not even about "pit bulls" (as the quoteless title clearly indicates). It's about pit bulls, which is indeed a loose term meant to describe the plethora of ill-bred, iron-jawed dogs who resemble the purebred AST, APBT, SBT and are responsible for a disproportionate number of dog bite fatalities in this country. The whole entry is too defensive. I would expect some arguments against breed specific legislation but the entire thing sounds like it was written by someone with a pit bull and a chip on their shoulder over negative attention. The quotes are just icing on the cake.


Please don't use capital letters to make your comment look more important. Eventually everyone will be using them and the whole thing will get out of hand and be more difficult to read.

While I agree that pit bulls get negative press and wholly support education on the positive aspects of this breed, I don't think that this article is unbiased enough to be quoted as "fact" to those doing research to benefit pit bull owners. The article appears to spend too much time pointing out the debate and the positive aspects, that encyclopedia based facts are lacking.

A proper history, that includes the true negative nature of the dog's breeding, statistics on temperment v/s other dogs, bite/fatality statistics (available from the CDC), and only external links to the debate would help clean up this article and provide a more neutral point of view. Possibly even creating a second article devoted to the legislative ban of dog breeds would help. Reducing the information provided may also be the answer, because the simpler the statement, the closer it is to the truth.