What Should Parents Know About Pit Bulls?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 11/07/22 •  4 min read
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What Should Parents Know About Pit Bulls?

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Pit bulls are tragically often in the news, and for all the wrong reasons. Recently, two pit bulls were euthanized after two children were killed, and their mother was hospitalized in Tennessee. 

Kristi Jane Bennard, 30, was severely injured when she tried to pull the family’s pit bulls off her 5-month-old son and two-year-old daughter, both of whom were killed in the attack. Her husband told the media that his wife tried to put her body on top of her children to protect them, and both dogs started attacking her. The attack went on for ten minutes, with the children dying at the scene. 

The dogs had been with the family for eight years. 

It’s important for families with children to learn as much as they can about pit bulls. Many advocates feel that pit bulls can be family pets, but opponents say they’re an unpredictable dog breed that shouldn’t be around children. 

Along with the physical safety risks that can come with pit bull ownership, there are also potential legal liabilities that owners can face if they have a dog that bites someone. 

With those things in mind, the following are key facts and considerations for families with pit bulls or perhaps considering adding a pit bull to their home. 

Pit Bulls Can Be Aggressive and Territorial

Any dog can be aggressive and territorial, but pit bulls can be very unpredictable compared to other breeds. There’s not necessarily a good or bad breed of dog, but it can be true that a pit bull may simply not be the right fit for your lifestyle and household. 

A pit bull may turn especially aggressive when feeling threatened. The things that can make a pit bull feel threatened could be actions a child does without realizing it’s a problem. Even inviting a friend over or going outside and not taking them with you can make them feel threatened. 

Pit bulls did come into existence because they were bred by dog fighters to be as aggressive as possible. 

A pit bull can be treated for less aggressive behavior, but even so, it needs to be well-supervised. 

Pit bulls can be territorial about almost anything, such as a corner where he typically sleeps or a place where he feeds. 

They’re Powerful

A pit bull is going to be powerful and muscular, and they do have a high prey drive. 

There are often dog breeds that we could technically consider being just as aggressive as a pit bull—for example, Shih Tzus are very aggressive. The issue is that a Shih Tzu isn’t going to be able to cause the damage that a pit bull can because they’re not as big or strong. 

They Can Be Destructive

Along with physical safety risks, pit bulls can be destructive to your home, especially when they’re anxious. Destructive chewing can be a major issue. This can be due to not only anxiety but stress, loneliness, boredom, a lack of exercise, and poor training. 

Pent-Up Aggression

Sometimes pit bulls are characterized as snapping and attacking out of nowhere, but experts say that there are situations where they’re acting out because of pent-up aggression or trauma. If you adopt a pit bull, you may not know the dog’s full history, and that can also be a problem, especially if you have children at home. 

If you were to get an adult pit bull from a trainer, unless you’re prepared to be a perfect dog trainer, you may have to expect problems, including aggression, among others. As cruel and unfortunate as it may sound, you are taking a major risk if you adopt an adult pit bull. 

If someone gets a pit bull as a puppy, they have more control over training and socializing him. 

Families with children have to think long and hard about getting a pit bull. They require a lot of time and energy to train and socialize. They need continuous exercise and attention throughout their lives, and you have to be both patient and strict with these dogs. 

These are intimidating dogs, and they can be affectionate and lovable, but having this type of dog can also lead to tragic outcomes. 

There are often families who think they have what it takes to give pit bull training and attention, but when you have kids at home, this just isn’t the reality. You also have to worry about what could happen if your kids have friends over, and that could lead to stress and anxiety for your dog, creating, again, a possibly tragic outcome. 

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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