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Question by kodak
Submitted on 5/20/2004
Related FAQ: rec.pets.dogs: American Pit Bull Terriers Breed-FAQ, Part 2/3
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where can i find dog bite statistics and the breakdown by breed? i love pittys and i'mtrying to show my mother that pit bulls are not what the media has made them out to be. she wants a german sheapard or a
DOTTSAND! what is she thinking? anyhow any info will help. thanks everyone.

Answer by CH
Submitted on 7/6/2004
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I'm not sure about dog bite statistics but 77% (approximately) of all dogs pass the temperment test, while a whopping 95% of pitbulls pass.  As a breed the pitbull does better on the temperment test than retrievers, labs, dalmations, and almost any other "family friendly" breed there is.  Please inform your mother that the german shepherd is bred to ATTACK PEOPLE while the pitbull is bred to attack DOGS.  Oh, and expain that the reason that pits rarely bite people is BECAUSE OF not in spite of their selective breeding for fighting purposes.  Tell her how a human-aggressive pit couldn't be safely fought and would be put down, so almost every trace of "human aggressive genes" was wiped out from this breed at one point.  Oh, and look up that printout on the internet that has a picture of about 15 different breeds of purebred dogs and asks you to identify the pitbull.  No one ever gets it right on the first try.  Breed mis-identification is one of the 3 biggest problems facing our breed.  And in spite of the fact that every flea-bag with a patch on its eye, or some scars, or a big head is labled a pit bull when it bites someone there still aren't numbers to back up the mindless sensationalistic propaganda spewed by our wonderful liberal media.


Answer by bjsvec
Submitted on 8/19/2004
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I'd add that a lot of stats I see about dog bites are about _fatalities_ from dog bites.  This is only an indication that a Pit or Rott are more liley to actually _kill_ a person than a pomeranian or minuture schnauzer..  I too would like to see some stats that show actual number of dog bites per breed, as I am certain there must be more retreiver and lab bites, simply based on the fact that there must be more of them in peoples homes then Pits or Rotts..


Answer by smc
Submitted on 8/25/2004
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I'm curious where you get the information that german shepherd were bred to attack humans?  and where you get the information that there is something called a "human attack gene"  there are levels aggression but there is no such thing as a "human attack gene"  How the dog is raised and how threatened the dog feels determine whether or not it will bite.  What makes a dog breed get the reputation it does is the response of idiots who want a "tough" or "fierce" dog to the media portrayal of  certain breeds.  Shar Peis (wrinkle dogs) were bred as pit fighters long before the breed "pit bull" came about and have the same heavy strong body type but they don't make the "dangerous breeds" lists because the media hype isn't there for this as yet unknown breed. Because of this, the type of Jackass who goes out and buys himself a 'mean dog' so that he can feel macho about himself will ignore a sharpei and get something that he can brag about as a mean dog like a pit bull or a german shepherd.  These same jerks get tough sounding dogs and either train or abuse them to be mean and contribute to the statistics


Answer by Mac
Submitted on 8/29/2004
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Pit Bulls need to be banned - case closed


Answer by matt
Submitted on 9/8/2004
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go hear and look at everything then show her...i have the same stupid thing goin on with me and my dad right now!!....www.badrap.org/rescue/index.cfm


Answer by kwalsky
Submitted on 9/21/2004
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the pit bull is listed by the CDC as 50% responsible along with Rotweillers for all fatal dog attacks.  I am not sure I agree with them. I agree with the breed misidentification.  As a former vet tech, I would rather treat a pit bull than a cocker spaniel.  You can loose your home owners insurance if they find out you have a pit.


Answer by Dog Dr.
Submitted on 9/22/2004
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I think any breed you chose is fine if you chose to be a RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNER.
KNOW THE FACTS --NOT OPINIONS SUCH AS THE ANSWER FROM CH!!  This person obviously loves the breed so much that they spew unsubstantiated garbage and made up false statistics about temperament to get their point across and then blame it on the media. I would not consider CH a RESPONSIBLE PIT BULL OWNER because this person can't take the time to be informed about a breed that yes, Iíll admit it- HAS A BAD WRAP!

CH is stating opinion rather than fact.  It is not only the so-called "liberal media" that perpetuate dangerous versus docile crap but uninformed ignorant people like CH who don't take the time to check the facts.


Please contact the CDC and the AVMA for information about breeds and dog bite incidences as well as guidelines for being a RESPONSIBLE DOG OWNER.  

1.Responsible breeders of ALL BREEDS do not
breed dogs to be aggressive if they are selling dogs as companion/ family animals.  

2.Dogs cannot be selected to be bred based on their ability to attack humans versus attacking dogs.  They can only be selectively bred based on temperament and then by utilizing that trait (aggressiveness),
the dogs can be trained to attack.  

3.A dog does not have the ability to reason like humans.  Therefore, ANY BREED OF DOG who chooses to be aggressive cannot discern between humans, dogs or other animals.  


5.Given facts 3 & 4, please remember that dogs were once wild animals whose survival was based on attacking and killing prey as well as defending their den (territory) and pack (family).  Physical boundaries such as property lines and fences that humans can reason as limits do not exist for dogs. That is an "instinct" in all breeds of dogs.  So regardless of selective breeding for temperament and training, ANY DOG can chose to attack or be aggressive at any time regardless of past behavior.

6.Some breeds have less ability to control acting on those instincts.  This is much like a person who has ADHD- they are wired as such that they cannot control behavior that other people can.

7.Children are most often the victim of unprovoked attacks especially those that are under the age of 5. The majority of bites or attacks to children by dogs occurred in appropriate places for children to be- their home, sidewalks and play areas. Dogs view children in the same light as other small animals- as prey.  Activities of young children mimic play and movements that dogs  "INSTINCTUALLY" might attack in the wild.

8. Temperament and Instinct are NOT THE SAME!! You can select for temperament but instinct is innate and cannot be changed.

9.There is no such thing as the "human aggressiveness gene".

My opinions:
1. "Pit bulls" (American Staffordshire Terrier- per AKC) are wonderful dogs as pets in the hands of responsible dog owners.  The majority of pit bulls do have great temperaments and make fabulous companions.  Once again, I see the best pit bulls with responsible owners who understand that they cannot change the instinct of their dog if they choose to attack.

2. Yes, pit bulls do have a bad wrap in public perception but do not blame that on the media- blame it on other pit bull owners who didn't take the time to know the facts or take the time to be a responsible owner.

3. If you chose to be an owner of a pit bull- PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE- take time to get the facts through reliable sources such as those stated above.

4.Responsible owners of Pit Bulls:
--Become informed about the breed history
--Research responsible breeders
--Interview breeders about reasons for breeding dogs (because he/she was such a nice dog or we wanted to show our kids puppies are not responsible breeders), do they show the dogs, can they tell the difference or are aware of different quality types of puppies/dogs- (show quality, breeding quality, pet quality), are they interested in dispelling any misconceptions about the breed
--Be aware of all laws regarding pet ownership at the state, county and local levels and especially any law that pertains to Pit bulls.  These include leash laws, containment/fence laws, nuisance laws and liability laws
--Be aware that electric fences do not always work. Dogs that have their mind on leaving your property do not care about a little electric shock.  I have seen dogs who owners were confident in the fences abilities to contain their dog if only they could raise the amount of shock.  Consequently, the dogs came to my office with large burns in the their necks.

5.Owning a pit bull that leaves your property and attacks/bites or intimidates people leaves you wide open for being sued.  From personal experience, all summer long my family has been intimidated by two pit bulls owned by a neighbor's son.  I have three small children under the age of five who love to play outside- riding bikes and playing basketball in our front yard.  Our back yard is fenced and yes we do have a dog (13yrs old, one eye removed and blind in the other and losing her hearing- I still do not leave her alone with my children and she is a German Short-haired Pointer!)  Every time we were outside, the dogs were released on their "property" to run freely.  My husband, sitter and I had to move the children to the back yard and so all summer long, my children could not play in our driveway on our property for fear of these dogs.

Last evening, the owner released the dogs without supervision, just as my children and I were getting the mail at the end of our driveway (on our property). The two pit bulls made a mad dash across the road onto our property and began an assault on us.  My children instinctually wanted to run, which I knew would only make it worse.  It was all I could do to gather my children in a huddle and shield over them as I was yelling to the owner to get control of his dogs.  The owner came over to my house to apologize and begged me not to call the authorities on them.  He gave me a bunch of excuses such as "my dogs are not aggressive, they are friendly" and "we have an electric fence but I didn't change out the collars because they were on our property".  
I explained to him how we have been terrorized all summer, how our sitter quit because she was afraid they would harm the children while in her care and we were forced to send them to daycare all due to him being a negligent and irresponsible owner.  He replied he had the permit for these dogs.  I explained to him the law and the permit does not protect him from being negligent as their owner.  An owner who has the permit has no legal recourse if he was negligent in protecting other living creatures from harm or fear. If his dog never left the property before and then did for the first time last night is not going to save him from prosecution.

To get a better understanding of this concept I tried to use this "hypothetical" example:  I bought a gun and obtained the appropriate permit.  I took the gun, loaded normally with what I thought were blanks, out everyday on my property and started pulling the trigger not paying attention to where I was shooting. One day I am out pulling the trigger and his father falls to the ground and has been shot with a real bullet while he was on their property.  When the police come they are going to arrest me.  I say to the officer "Gee officer, I have a permit for this gun and the gun is loaded with blanks normally and I am not legally responsible because I was using the gun on my property". That is not how the legal system is going to see it.  I was the owner of the gun and had a permit but it was my responsibility to have checked the gun for blanks and pay attention to the safety of others regardless of being on our property.

The moral of the story is:
Owning a pit bull is like owning a gun.  It is the owner's responsibility to have control and safety in mind even if in the past the dog's behavior is like blank bullets.  Just because past behavior has been a blank bullet in the past doesn't mean that the next time it will be a real bullet.  You are responsible to make sure there never is a next time!!!


Answer by Iggy
Submitted on 10/5/2004
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"Oh, and look up that printout on the internet that has a picture of about 15 different breeds of purebred dogs and asks you to identify the pitbull.  No one ever gets it right on the first try."


(By the way, I got it on my first try.)


Answer by jennybobapple
Submitted on 10/14/2004
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if pit bulls are so friendly why do they account for many fatal attacks? german shepherds were NOT bred to attack people they were bred to herd sheep and later for police and search and rescue.pit bulls cant tell the difference between if it was going to attack. so tell your mom that pits are aggressive and untrustworthy dogs.by the way dogfighters wont put down a people aggressive dog.they want it to be aggressive


Answer by Shenzi
Submitted on 11/6/2004
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Excuse me? German Shepherds are NOT bred to attack people. You know, that goes to show how much you know about the breed. I have owned 3 German Shepherds, all came from the pound and never bit or showed aggression towards anyone. The German Shepherd was bred to HERD, notice how its in the HERDING group? They are NOT bred to attack or kill anyone. German Shepherds that bite are most likely not raised correctly or are a result of bad breeding. Perhaps you should go do some research before you claim German Shepherds are bred to attack people. Its people like you that don't know what your talking about and post false information that gives breeds a bad reputation. As for you Kodak, there are many terrific APBT's in the shelters and I'm sure you won't have any trouble finding a perfect pet for you. German Shepherds make wonderful family pets for those who are familiar with the breed. Doxies are also great family pets when properly socialized and trained correctly.


Answer by Nikki
Submitted on 11/11/2004
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Yeah, Pitbulls and Rottweilers are responsible for over 50% of serious human injury.  don't get one- they are labeled as the most dangerous dog.


Answer by Alain
Submitted on 12/17/2004
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"In the United States, pit bulls make up one to three per cent of the overall dog population and cause more than 50 per cent of serious attacks."


Answer by Child of Adonai
Submitted on 12/28/2004
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I know this is months later but...... We just had a Dachund visit us and he bit my daughter 3 times!!!! Where as my boxer (one of those bull-dog types) has NEVER even jumped on my children! WOW


Answer by matt
Submitted on 1/30/2005
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this doesn't show bite statistic but it does show tempermant statistics. And the pitbull(83.9)scored higher than the german shepard(82.6)there is 6 types of dachhounds so whatever. its ATTS.org go there and click on breed statistics.


Answer by Harmony
Submitted on 3/4/2005
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The site with the quiz to pick out the pit is http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html. It's a hard one!

PS I have a pit and he is the sweetest baby alive!!!!!!!!


Answer by EJ
Submitted on 3/6/2005
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Answer by hawthornecali
Submitted on 5/1/2005
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yeah i jus got my little pitbull puppy, female, she has great temprament towards people, you know how when people try and make the dog bark or growl on purpose by grabbing her head and whatnot she does not react you can slap her around if u want and she will just sit there but i leave her in my backyard playing with my cockard spaniel and she loves to play with her as in play i mean like try and bite at her ears and stuff. Pits have very good temprament with people but not so good temprament with other dogs, make sure your dog has no way out of the yard so that no dogs can come in and get hurt or no dog can leave and get bit by ur dog.


Answer by JT
Submitted on 5/18/2005
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Answer by JT
Submitted on 5/18/2005
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Answer by into pits
Submitted on 5/23/2005
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Answer by merriterrier
Submitted on 5/30/2005
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Yes Yes Yes!  CH is right (not the hoo ha about the liberal media, but we can argue that point another time)!  Pit Bulls might be dog aggressive (some Not all!, Socialize socialize!!!)  But they are NOT naturally people aggressive.  Ask my mom!  She loves her pit, and uses her as a therapy dog with abused and develop mentally disabled children.  Point:
We had to break up a fight between my moms pit and my rat terrier last weekend.  my rat repeatedly instigated(stupid little dog).  my husband grabbed the pit mid attack and lifted her off the ground.  He didn't even get nicked, but I had a nasty bite from my little rat terrier.


Answer by The Devast8r
Submitted on 6/2/2005
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Answer by family man
Submitted on 6/21/2005
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pit bulls kill it is a proven fact


Answer by dont show your mom
Submitted on 9/16/2005
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Sorry to say but pitbull and pitbull mixes make up 51% of dog bite fatalities in the U.S. each year.  Usually children and old people.  This is because many people who own that type of dog want to have a vicous dog so they raise it to be a killer and when it gets out of the yard it kills things.  Too bad to see a good breed treated like that, its sad but true.


Answer by keenan
Submitted on 9/21/2005
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I'm thinking of getting a pitbull puppy. Can you tell me where to look to read up on their temperment? Thank you


Answer by dewey
Submitted on 10/12/2005
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I dont really have a qustion but i seen some stats online that might help that guy convince his mom that pits are good dogs.  Pit bulls only make up less then 2% of dog bites that occur and are fourth from the bottom of dog that are most likly to bite humans.


Answer by twista
Submitted on 12/16/2005
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i love pitbulls


Answer by s1ng4me2
Submitted on 12/17/2005
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Yeah for the pitbull!  I have 3!  And I also have a one year old and a four year old child.  Both of which are active and absolutely adore our furry friends.  Pitbulls are highly tolerant of children and very patient.  Please consider adopting one and open your minds before judging the wonderful breed.


Answer by saddlebred16
Submitted on 1/30/2006
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I don't think I have ever seen a statement that is so wrong. German Shepherds were bred and originated as HERDING dogs, hence the title, SHEPHERD in their name. It is their ability to "grip" sheep that made people first use them as police and guard dogs. They were in no way, shape or form bred to attack humans.


Answer by Bo
Submitted on 2/10/2006
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see http://www.dogbitelaw.com/breeds-causing-DBRFs.pdf


Answer by CC
Submitted on 2/23/2006
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Agreed.  I've encountered a number of aggressive dogs, none of which were pitts.  And I've lived in some pretty bad neighborhoods where everyone and their mama seems to surround their house with a rot iron fence and a pitt or two.  


Answer by Eddie Fischer
Submitted on 5/7/2006
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You are so out of it. Pitbulls, Rotties make up for well over 90% of all fatal dog attacks.
The pitbull being the worst of the two.


Answer by rodney
Submitted on 5/16/2006
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to the first question. google search pit bull problem and watch the movie. that will give all of the info needed


Answer by Susan
Submitted on 6/5/2006
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Well, I have 3 small kids, and one large pitbull.  I have had the dog now for 4 years and some of the kids that long too.  Cookie doesn't know that she is a dog. When I got her as a pup, I treated her like a baby. She didn't bark until she was 3.  The dog next door (small dog) barks up a storm and cookie barked and scared herself.  She doesn't really bark too much, she moans and whines like the girls do.  My girls have poked pencils and crayons in her eyes and ears, the dog cried.  She is wonderful and would not trade her for any other dog.  Sometimes when she plays with the small ones she knocks them down because she doesn't know she is powerful and big.  she trys to sleep with my daughters, I won't let her cause she will roll on them and hurt them by accident.  Only one thing I do regret, I never socialized her around other dogs.  She will harm any dog that comes around.  She attacked 2 dobermans last summer because the guy stopped to talk to me in front of my house.  However, she never harmed the man or anyone that helped stop the dogs from fighting.  She just needs to be top dog.  It is how you bring up the dog. Lots of love and some toast with jelly every morning does the trick in my house.


Answer by PS
Submitted on 7/6/2006
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You're an idiot if you think Pit Bulls have good temperaments.  Pit bulls are responsible for 1/3 of all dog bites in the US, but are only a fraction of the dog population.  Just contact the humane society for stats. Any dog that is bread to fight (dogs or humans) should be eliminated.  This is why they're becoming illegal in many states.  And anyone that owns one has a major insecurity issue in their manhood.  i just don't "get" these people.


Answer by Redneck Rampage
Submitted on 8/9/2006
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In a study reported by a retired professor from California State University at Chino, Robert Plum, it was found that one dog in 55 will bite someone seriously during the course of a year. With respect to breed differences in the tendency to inflict serious injury, Plumb estimates that when a pit bull bites a human, one in 16 (e.g. 1/16) will inflict serious injury; this contrasts with a ratio of 1/296 Dobermans, and 1/156 German shepherds.


Answer by Shelley
Submitted on 10/31/2006
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Also it is illegal for pit bulls to fight  each other . It's  the people's  fault because they want to fight them for drugs and  money.


Answer by dogloover
Submitted on 1/7/2007
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ch is right! people judge the dogs to harshly and why should all dogs have to pay the price when a dog attack happened because the dogs owner didn't treat it right?????????


Answer by bgarfield
Submitted on 3/2/2007
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You cant be breed to attack people or dogs.  There is no gene you can select for that controls "human attacking" vs "dog attacking".  Those dogs are breed to select for genes that make the shepherd more aggressive, defensive, protective, loyal, and the Pit to make it more muscular, jaw size, aggression, confidence, etc.  I hope that wasnt your intention so suggest that you can breed dogs to attack different species, training does that, not breeding.  


Answer by pitbullmommie
Submitted on 3/19/2007
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I have owned APBT'sfor several years now and to my amazement have had human issues with ANY of my dogs!! They are far more likely to knock you down to kiss you than to ever bite!! Now that is in the house in THEIR backyard for a stranger to approach would be a mistake.. The breed is more comfortable when meeting people that they do not know in your home, as with ANY BREED!! If you need more proof go to the ATTS.org... They do temperment testing and would be of more assistance to you!!
~*~ a pit bull mommie~*~


Answer by stephanyb
Submitted on 3/22/2007
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Actually German Shephards, Chow Chows, and Labs account for most bites.  Go to www.dogexpert.com it shows a lot of statistics.


Answer by My 2 Cents
Submitted on 4/13/2007
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Here is a site for you...


"Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios and their mixes are responsible for 74%" of bites.  Enjoy your dog!


Answer by COK9
Submitted on 4/18/2007
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CH, you need to run spell check when you post something the entire world may look at.  Second, every dog has bite potential regardless of breed.  Keep in mind, dogs are animals and as such will behave like animals no matter how they are bred and not matter how much we treat them like family.  Stuff happens so just deal with it.  I have no bad feelings against you, just please try to state facts in evidence.


Answer by DJ
Submitted on 5/28/2007
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First off your question is easily answered.  67% of all dog attacks are at the fangs of pit bull or rottwiler.  Who ever CH is is full of dog poo and all the gas that goes with it.   People love to come up with contrary to truth theories and evidence to make themselves self appointed know it alls.

No one, I mean no one, has bred out the human attack factor in any dog.  Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes are no exception.  In fact the Pit Bull Mix actually is a more dangerous animal on this point.

German Shepards by the way, were replaced as the leading assailant in dog attacks on humans, by the Pitts and Rotties.  They still rank up there though along with the Chow and a few others.

My suggestion, a golden lab.


Answer by Blursd
Submitted on 6/16/2007
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The CDC plublishes yearly reports on non-fatal and fatal dog attach statistics (from information provided by the Humane Society of the United States).  That information will not likely be beneficial to you if you're looking for information to encourage Pit Bull ownership.  According to the CDC and HSUS Pit Bulls account for over 60% of fatal and non-fatal attacks on Humans, and represent a little over 1% of the dog population in the United States.  In fact, the Pit Bull has statistics twice as high as the next closest dog on the reports (Rotweiller).  

Also, I assume the temperament statistics the previous respondent is referring to is the Dog Temperament Testing Society -- their stasticts don't mean much.  While it is true the Pit Bull recieved a 84% passing rate what they don't tell you is they tested about 900 Pit Bulls, while other breeds have over 9,000 and some other have less than 10.  Is it really fair to compare five Kerry Blue Terriers to 9,500 German Shepherd's results.  Thats basically what these statistics are good for ... this is beyond the fact their resuslts are far from scientific.  


Answer by po
Submitted on 6/21/2007
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I see from CH's answer that it seems to be ok to have a dog that's only purpose of breed is to attack, fight and or kill other dogs. You're my hero.


Answer by Derek
Submitted on 7/5/2007
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Sensationalistic propaganda?  You guys should read the stats before leveling that claim:


Pit bulls are 17x more likely to bite than a German shepherd.  Pit bulls are blacklisted for a reason.


Answer by Roger
Submitted on 7/19/2007
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