There are numerous dog breeds in the world, which are either banned due to their aggression towards humans, or they appear intimidating to most people, and they maintain their distance from them; however, none of the breeds have earned such a bad reputation, along with inducing fear in millions like the Pitbull Terrier. Not a single month goes by without hearing a report of these muscular dogs attacking or worst, mauling people. This begs the question, why exactly are Pitbulls so aggressive? Well, as always humans are to blame for it.
Why Pitbulls Are So Aggressive?
While no breed is called Pitbull, there are Staffordshire Terriers and American Pitbull Terriers. These breeds, along with American Bulldog are often referred to as the Bully breeds, and to say that these are misunderstood, would be an understatement. As mentioned previously, the media is filled with reports of attacks by Pitbulls, and to understand why these become hostile, knowing their history becomes essential. Highland Canine
Before the breed Pitbull ever existed, Bulldogs were exclusively used in blood sports of bear and bull baiting. In these gruesome sports, usually, a bull or sometimes a bear was pitted against two dogs in a gladiator-style match, and therefore, people needed a powerful dog that could take down such large animals. At the time, Bulldogs used to be much larger, and these were used because of their muscular build and biting power. Of course, people used to bet huge amounts of money on either dogs or bulls, and this sport was a tradition for thousands of years. In 1835, the British government finally put a stop to these blood sports by banning them, but this didn’t stop people from illegally organizing events. As you can imagine, concealing such a large-scale event was proving extremely difficult, so people decided to forsake it, and they developed a more sickening sport.
At this point, people started making dogs fight each other, but Bulldogs were ferocious, they would attack the people who went in to stop the fights, and also, they were not proving effective in the new cruel game. Therefore, breeders crossbred Bulldogs with English Terrier to develop a breed that would be agile like the Terrier, but powerful like the Bulldog, and have high bite tolerance for humans, hence, the Pitbull breed was born.
While this breed was proving its worth in the dogfighting rings, it was still an underground breed, and the mass populace was unaware of it. By the start of the 20th century, Britishers started introducing Pitbulls in the United States, and they appealed to the public a little too much, and they became one of the most popular breeds in the United States because of their high resistance to pain. Soon these dogs found themselves working as catch dogs, and they were also used to drive livestock.
Despite their fighting prowess, Pitbulls were specifically created to be less hostile towards humans, so a person could enter the ring and separate two dogs without getting bitten. Still, the aggression is hard-wired into their brain, and a docile Pitbull can turn aggressive, even after years of training, but in the past, things were a little different. In those times, if a dog showed even a slight hostility towards humans, it was not allowed to breed or would even be culled. This all changed when the people who had no clue how to handle a dog started keeping these hounds, just because they appeared intimidating. The greatest factor that contributed to building the present image of this breed was backyard breeding. Unlicensed breeders took the liberty to breed Pitbulls while ignoring the fact that previously only dogs with high tolerance towards humans were allowed to breed, this gave birth to Pitbulls that were difficult to work with and were easily aggravated towards humans. With each generation, more aggressive Pitbulls were populating the dog market, and if that was not bad enough, people would go to these breeders, and buy the most aggressive pup in the litter, just because it feeds their ego, and they never bother to train them.
Now, you have an overly aggressive dog, which is hard-wired to attack, owned by someone who has no clue how to handle a dog, and this results in all the incidents of dogs attacking or even mauling people and children. For this reason, Pitbulls are banned in 11 different countries, but to blame the breed itself, wouldn’t be right, as these are just doing what they were bred to do in the first place. Humans have created such a breed that they cannot handle themselves anymore.