Of all the breeds of dog, Pitbulls are less or not inherently aggressive. But, why is it in every news, this type is used to be the cause of most reported dog attacks? This is the reason why some cities and towns have banned this dog. However, before jumping into any conclusion and throwing all the blame to those Pits, let us first identify what causes a Pitbull to attack?
As a pet owner, it is part of your responsibility to be aware of the signs a Pitbull will attack. Having and owning a Pitbull should not be taken lightly. However, also keep in mind that there are things that people do that makes a Pitbull attack you. It is not just the Pitbull alone.
What causes a Pitbull to attack
1. Poor breeding
There are many breeders now that mostly produces poorly bred dogs. According to a study years ago, to be able to produce a fearful puppy, breeders should breed fearful Pointers with fearful Pointers. This means that some dog’s characteristics like fearfulness can be inherited. If fearful Pitbulls have been bred, puppies will be more likely to be fearful. It is said that fear is one of the factors that trigger a Pitbull to bite.
However, there are breeders that often mate the so-called good breeds with dogs that shouldn’t be bred. This people-created problem is included in what causes a Pitbull to attack.
2. Medical problems
One of the behaviours of Pitbulls is to defend itself if they are not feeling well. Unlike humans, dogs can’t help if they are in pain, sick or injured. Being a responsible pet owner, it is your accountability to keep your Pitbull medically well.
Some low life Pitbulls who are usually in gangs who are used for dog fighting are the ones without such medical care and assistance. They are the one who has also been infected with bacteria and parasites, unhealed wounds, and almost lack of vaccination.
3. Lack of socialization
Many pet owners do not allow their Pitbull to socialize and mingle with other dogs. These Pitbulls do not experience to be in training classes or to have in a behavioural session. Pitbulls that are not socialized are the one who is usually afraid of other people and other dogs. This behaviour of being afraid is also a triggering factor of dog biting. This is also what causes a Pitbull to attack.
Neglecting animals such as your Pitbull is very cruel to them. And not letting your Pitbull socialize is a form of animal neglect. This is also another people-created problem that what causes a Pitbull to attack. So another reason for not throwing all the blame to those pity animal.
This is somehow very self-explanatory. If your Pitbull has abused by people definitely they will defend themselves. As usual, as part of their self-defence, they will bite and attack those who abuse them.
And for whatever reason, Pitbulls have a higher percentage of animal abuse. They have been used and abused by drug gangs for dog fighting and make an illegal gambling profit. Sometimes, these abused Pitbulls are also used to cover illegal drug operations. This is another cause of the people-created problem.
Pitbull or most dogs, in general, have this behaviour of being territorial. They are always thinking and behaving that whatever they have and wherever they are, that is their territory and it all belongs to them. Pitbull usually protects their bonds to their competitors. Strange people and animals are considered unwelcome competitors.
Most attacks reported are made on or near the premises on people that they are not bonded with or they are not familiar to. It is very unusual to Pitbull to attack someone they know. If so, this is probably because they are sick. What causes a Pitbull to attack is mostly because of protecting their territory.
Pitbull allowed living in a backyard without human guidance tends to become highly territorial. Most of the Pitbull attacks usually involved a stranger that is entering the house or intruding the backyard. Or, it could also be a Pitbull escaping the backyard.
This breed of dog used to be a “junkyard dog” if you leave them in the backyard and don’t tend to socialize with them. Because of this, they will treat the whole yard as their property and tend to protect it. Allowing your Pitbull to socialize eliminates the problem of entering a friend or a friendly stranger inside the house.
Socialized Pitbull is friendly to people. If a dog is not socialized, then the possibility of attacks is very high. Leaving your Pitbull in the yard unsocialized has a high possibility to escape. That’s why many Pitbull attacks are due to dogs escaping in the yard. They escape and tend to attack people and animals near their territory.
Nowadays, the idea of leaving your dog in the yard and having your Pits to guard the house is not already a good one. Leaving them in the yard gives no benefit at all. Otherwise, giving you much more of the risk.
Again, territorial attacks are a people-created problem. Pitbull that can’t escape the yard doesn’t tend to attack people. Strangers that surprise a Pitbull by jumping into the yard or entering the house uninvited generally provoke a Pitbull to attack and bite them. Strangers that tease a Pitbull inside the fence usually provoke the dog to escape and go out to bite them.
6. Predator instinct
Dogs have inborn predator behaviour which is generally developed through experience. Pitbull sees other animals as their prey, chase them, grab them, and kill them. However, they don’t eat the prey that they killed.
7. Mood state
Once upset, Pitbull is more likely to defend themselves. Canine in an upset mode is usually in panic and escape mode and will definitely protect itself. Pitbull who gets upset also needs some time to unwind.
Another animal behaviour that we need to respect and understand is when they are in danger. Usually, during this state, they remain in an agitated state in preparation for a new danger that might possibly come. In this state, they are more alert and more likely to defend themselves.
Being a responsible pet owner it is our responsibility to monitor and manage their mood. Keep them apart from others when we notice that they are upset, until such time that they get back to their happy state.
8. Lack of training
Proper training is crucial to have a well-behaved dog. Training reduces the chance of unwanted aggression as well as gives you the chance to control your pet. Training your Pitbull is also a part of the socialization process. This also makes your pooch a functional part of the family.
Pitbull also like other breeds
In general, Pitbull is also treated like other dogs that have a poor breeding, that is neglected, abused, and not well supervised will more likely to bite. Sad to say, most people always treat Pitbull this way. Analyzing this acts, it shows that Pitbull attacks are most likely a people problem and not a dog problem.
All dog bites and attacks are very much preventable, whatever breed it is. Pitbull is not inherently dangerous. What makes it inherently dangerous is the improper management of these dog breed.
Signs a Pitbull will attack
To protect yourself and other people from a Pitbull attack, it is very crucial to know the warning signs a Pitbull will attack. However, many Pitbull almost learned to mask noticeable indicators of biting. They almost learn to suppress these signs but not the bite. If a Pitbull is trained this way, a bite may come from “out of nowhere”.
Because of this, you need to know the different warning signs that a Pitbull might bite. Some of the most common signs a Pitbull will attack are the following:
1. Direct eye contact
This common sign that a Pitbull will attack is a direct threat from that breed.
2. Stiffly wagging the tail up
A wagging tail of a Pitbull may mean more than one thing. The meaning of wagging tail of a Pitbull may mean that he is happy or he likes you. But that doesn’t always mean that way. Pitbull’s wagging tail also indicates high energy.
3. Legs apart and thrown out chest
This is another sign a Pitbull will attack you. A Pitbull is trying to look big when you notice this indicator.
4. Ears up or perked
5. Low rumbling growl
6. Showing front teeth
A Pitbull that shows his front teeth is another sign that a Pitbull will attack. “Short mouth” is another term of showing of front teeth of dogs. Also, this indicator shows a clear intention of a Pitbull to bite.
If any of the indicators listed above is noticeable to a Pitbull, keep in mind that he will suddenly attack and bite. An excellent thing to do is to back away slowly.
What to do during an attack
∗ Need to make contact
→ Approach the dog slowly but not directly.
→ Be aware of your own body language and all the signals that you are giving your Pits.
→ Keep your hands low so that your Pitbull won’t be threatened.
→ Speak calmly and softly.
→ Do not make any direct eye contact.
→ Do not try to elevate your body over your Pitbull, he will be threatened by your height.
∗ The Pitbull moves to attack
→ First and foremost, protect yourself.
→ Don’t ever make yourself a target of your Pit.
→ Grab and put anything in the dog’s mouth before he may reach your arm, leg or face.
→ Shove anything in the Pitbull’s mouth when he opens it like a purse or backpack that you are carrying. In this event, the Pitbull will probably let go and try to attack and bite you again. Once again, he has to open his mouth to get to you. What you need to do is just put your purse back in his mouth.
∗ The Pitbull bites you
→ Do not panic.
→ Never get yourself out from a Pitbull’s mouth. This may provoke the Pitbull to bite you down a bit harder and might cause tearing.
→ Do not hit the dog or harm him physically. This will usually cause him to be angrier and will do more harm.
→ Stick something in your Pitbull’s mouth. This is the best thing to do in this situation. A gag like this will definitely work for your pooch and he might let you go.
→ Go to the doctor immediately, even if it’s a minor bite. The Pitbull’s mouth can be dirty, and there is a higher possibility of infection so a medical assistance is necessary.
Preventing the problem
A good training program and allowing your Pits to socialize can be a great help way to manage or resolve these dog behaviour. There is no absolute way to prevent your Pitbull’s aggression. However, there are helpful tips that you might consider to decrease the chances your Pits will develop a problem.
∗ Socialize your puppy
Allow your Pits to play with other dogs in a play park. Encourage your pooch to interact with well-mannered adult dogs who can teach your puppy how to behave and act in an acceptable way.
∗ Neuter or spray your Pits
It is advisable to have your Pitbull neutered as early as possible. Based on studies, neutering your pooch will reduce aggression of Pitbull.
∗ Be kind and respect your Pitbull
Always use positive reinforcement in treating your Pitbull.
Managing your Pitbull properly is an absolute help to prevent this kind of accident. Give and treat your pooch with kindness, respect, and a fair chance to experience a good life. That way you can prevent your canine friend from being dangerous.
Provoking Pitbull will usually result in attacking and biting people. Better to keep away from an unfamiliar Pitbull and just leave them alone. Pitbull can’t do it themselves. So, stop throwing all the blame to that breed. Generally, people create this problem and they are the ultimate responsible for what happens.