The great debate over laws concerning pitbull bites

Pitbull Puppy Training

A vast number of cities and states in recent months have adopted laws and ordinances geared towards significantly decreasing or eliminating pitbull bites, either by banning ownership of the breed itself, or by some form of muzzling.

Incidents of pitbull bites have certainly been on the rise, but is it really the fault of the dogs themselves? Consider the case against NFL quarterback Michael Vick and his conviction for sponsoring illegal dog fighting. Of the 51 dogs that were rescued from Vick’s property, many of them pitbulls, 47 of them not only survived, but a vast majority of them have been rehabilitated and adopted by loving families.

Pitbull bites have been on the rise because humans have specifically bred the species to be fighting dogs. Originally, pitbulls were bred to be family farm dogs, and were considered very loving, especially around children. Incidents of pitbull bites were rare then, because the breed had not yet been subjected to the whims of trainers intent on turning them into vicious predators.

The laws that have been enacted in several states concerning pitbull bites are now being challenged on the federal level, as arguments being made that breed-specific legislation is considered unlawful and unconstitutional.

A recent study was conducted by National Geographic, in which pitbull bites was the focus. It tested the theory, or myth, that pitbulls were considered to have the most bite pressure. According to the study, conducted by Dr. Brady Barr, the pitbull had the least amount of bite pressure when compared to German Shepherds and Rottweilers.

While pitbull bites have certainly been in the news, the real news should concern the humans who control them. The thoughtless custody and need to breed the pitbull as an aggressive dog is where the focus should be, and not on the pitbull itself.

Understanding puppy temperament to determine personality

Pitbull Puppy Training

When embarking on a search for a puppy, most families will look a dog that gets along well with children, can be trained easily and has a happy disposition. Puppy temperament is the biggest factor for families when choosing the right family dog. But what are the signs to look for?

There are many different tests that can determine puppy temperament. In general, there are four factors to watch out for:

Social attraction: When visiting a local pound, or even responding to a newspaper ad for a litter of puppies, social attraction is a major factor in determining puppy temperament. A puppy who aggressively races up to you and starts nipping at your ankles may probably have a more dominant disposition and may not be suitable around children.

Reaction to sound: It’s inevitable that with children in a house, it’s liable to get loud at times. A good test is to toss your keys on the ground near the puppy and watch its reaction. If the dog approaches the keys normally and starts playing with them, it’s a good sign that strange or loud noises won’t affect them negatively. Understanding noises and their reaction to them is vital to puppy temperament.

Dominance/submission: Dominant dogs will constantly challenge your authority. Put a prospective puppy in your lap. If it stays and reacts positively to your petting and stroking, you’ve got a puppy with a slightly submissive personality and perfect for children. Overly submissive puppies won’t work either, as they will often shy away from any type of consistent training. Puppy temperament is greatly affected by this trait.

Independence: A puppy that acts indifferent to a child’s attention or affection will definitely be a key in determining puppy temperament. Definitely bring at least one of your children with you to test the dog’s reaction around them.

Determining puppy temperament and exactly what to look for will make your decision easier, and give your children years of happiness with their new best friend.