I was watching Judge Judy the other night.
I’m not ashamed to admit I love Judge Judy. I love her no-nonsense approach to some of the charlatans that wind up in her courtroom. I’ll record several episodes in a row and plop down to watch them in the evening as I relax.
So this one episode I was watching was particularly intriguing to me because it involved a case where a Pitbull had attacked another small dog and wound up killing it. The small dog owners were suing the Pitbull owners for vet bills and suffering.
Apparently what had happened is that the Pitbull owner was walking the Pitbull. When the dog had done its business in the grass, the owner was picking up the poo but didn’t have control of the leash. In that moment, the Pitbull saw the other dog coming around the corner being walked by its owner. It charged over, grabbed the dog by its neck, and shook it like a rag doll, killing the dog.
Judge Judy ultimately ended up siding with the small dog owners.
In her judgement, she actually pulled out a newspaper article that someone had sent her. It was an article summarizing the results of a comprehensive, multi-year study about dog aggression.
The study found that Pitbulls were the most likely dog to attack another dog.
She then concluded by saying you’d have to be “crazy and stupid” to own a Pitbull.
Not having seen the study myself, I can’t comment on the methodology or conclusions behind it.
What I do have, though, is 12 years of dog training experience training all sorts of aggressive dogs, and in that 12 years I haven’t found Pitbulls to be any more aggressive than any other breed of dog.
Sure, I’ve seen a few aggressive Pitbulls, but I’ve also seen plenty of aggressive Golden Retrievers, Miniature Pinschers, Shih Tzhus, and Shepherds.
I do believe it’s true the saying that “There are no bad dogs, just bad owners”. And that’s not to say that the owners are bad people — by and large most are not — but some are just clueless.
Pitbulls are very powerful dogs. Pound for pound, they’re one of the strongest dogs out there.
When a small Yorkie nips or bites someone, it’s most likely not going to inflict severe damage. But when a Pitbull bites, they have extremely powerful jaws and a tendency to not let go, so damage will be much more severe.
Therefore, while I know of many incredibly sweet Pitbulls that wouldn’t hurt a fly, it’s imperative for an owner to know what their dog is capable of. The potential for harm is far greater with a Pitbull so it’s that much more important that the owner establish him/herself as a strong leader and is able to maintain control of their Pitbull at all times (Bark Busters has plenty of techniques to show you how).
This might be one of the few times I disagree with Judge Judy. While her area of expertise is the law, my expertise is in dogs and dog behavior.
Bottom line is, I haven’t found Pitbulls to be any more aggressive than other breeds, but the results can be more harmful when they do attack.
If you’re concerned about an aggressive dog, we at Bark Busters can help. We train any dog, any age, and any problem, Pitbulls included!
P.S. In case you missed it, don’t forget to check out my latest blog article: