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22 thoughts on “What Are Pit Bulls Good At?

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  1. Thank you, Boni, for your time, expertise and effort to explain that an individual specimen of a fighting breed dog that appears to be behaviorally normal can be reasonably expected to unpredictably snap into its primary bred drive to kill or maim any other animal or any other person, and therefore, if this function is not desired when choosing a dog for any reason, breeds that were bred to fight to the death should not be chosen. Especially when non fight-to-death breeds can do everything else with much greater proficiency. Thank you for explaining that the primary bred drive can not be trained out.

  2. Pit bull owners love the “high” of having a dangerous animal. To them it’s the same as walking down the street with a bengal tiger on your leash. It makes the owner feel “big” and important.

    The purpose of a civilized society is to PREVENT low-life idiots, like pitbull owners, from doing stupid things like owning tigers or other dangerous animals as pets. They aren’t pets. They are dangerous animals. That’s why states and cities have laws against owning wild animals as pets. That’s why European nations have mostly outlawed pitbulls and other fighting breeds. They are not pets.

    The only solution is to ban pit bulls completely, except for people who have special training and enclosures. Again, just treat them like other wild animals.

    • I agree. Anyone with a pit bull should have the same containment and insurance as a wild animal would require.
      I witnessed a close call today. A woman with three small kids walked past a neighbor’s gate and their pit bull, a dog the homeowner admitted to me is vicious, slammed into the gate as they walked by. Sometimes the homeowner uses this gate. It’s only a matter of time before they don’t latch it quite right and the dog *somehow* gets out.

    • I’ve also met owners who get dogs, including pitbulls, for the *worst* reason–which is, they feel sorry for it. They buy the sob story without looking at the basic temperament of the dog.

      These are the absolute worst dog owners IMO. They have zero understanding of what a dog is or what a caring relationship with a dog feels like. They have zero understanding of how stressful it will be, living with a dog that is utterly untrustworthy and they either don’t understand dog training, or they they lack the experience to implement anything useful they may have learned because their “pity mode” sets in (aka “I know my dog better than any trainer” mode or their “That’s just too mean to my pupperino mode) as they undo any progress the trainer might otherwise have made.

      They also have zero understanding that while they might feel sorry for their he11 beast, the rest of the community is not beholden to grant their animal consideration for it’s often fictional, “tragic past”. They think every pitbull is a bait dog–which is utterly laughable because if it was, it would be dead already. Plus, bait dogs are usually some poor fluffy housepet because primo fighting pitbulls are expensive and nobody is risking their expensive pitbull against another large pitbull.

      They’re in way over their heads and they just keep digging in deeper until tragedy strikes.

      And it’s the rest of society that pays for it.

  3. What are pit bulls good at? What they were BRED for. Bite-grip-shake.
    It’s not controversial for people who don’t have a vested interest in avoiding reality.

  4. I often see pit owners being understandably asked “why did you choose a pit bull?” Some of their responses?
    “I wanted a sweet family dog.”
    “I wanted a guard dog.”
    “I wanted a jogging buddy.”
    “I wanted a big dog so my kids couldn’t hurt it.”
    “I wanted a dog to scare people.”

    Notice how none of those are what pits were bred for. Aside from the last one, all of those things can be done by other, non-fighting breeds. Pits have NO purpose in society. All they were ever meant to do is kill, and that’s the only thing they do well.

  5. These are excellent points! Meanwhile, AFF scours the entire nation looking for the 2 or 3 failed pit bulls with the temperament of a lab so they can take years teaching them to be service dogs to prove a point. There is no evidence they end up being stellar service dogs either.

    Like the adorable corgi and the determined basset, I’ve seen a single golden retriever trained in schutzhund, though it was not very good and would never win a competition. There really is a good reason dogs are purpose bred for specific jobs. It just is silly to think that a purpose-bred fighting dog could be a reliable companion.

  6. Very good article. I have two extremely silly, lovable dogs, a rat terrier and a chihuahua mix. I have no interest in dog sports competitions. I am not interested in working a dog. I do not need a dog for protection. I do not want a hunting dog. I just want four legged friends to love and take good care of. I am certain many dog owners share my feelings.

    My dogs do not disappoint me in their companionship, but they also act true to their breeds. My rat terrier is not a “failed” rat terrier. She will terrorize and try to tree every squirrel we see on our walks in the park. I do, however, believe myself to be a “failed” rat terrier owner because I have no desire to take my rat terrier squirrel hunting or rat hunting for that matter. My chihuahua mix is not a “failed” chihuahua. She is inclined to protect her house 24-7 and barks her head off if someone walks up to it. I think her barking is obnoxious, so in certain situations, like the postal worker’s case, we use the barkx buddy. I consider myself, therefore, a “failed” chihuahua owner because I don’t want her being protective all the time. Am I causing my chihuahua mix stress by not allowing her to guard my house 24-7 as if it were a Mayan temple? Am I causing my rat terrier stress by not taking her on squirrel hunts or allowing her to break a few rats’ necks now and then? I don’t know the answer.

    There are certainly breeds out there I could have chosen that are probably just as silly and lovable but not as inclined to hunt or protect. But I did not want other breeds. Humans, like me, choose dogs for very selfish reasons. I chose these dogs because of their small size and their look. So in that respect, I am no different from a person who might have chosen a pit bull because of the way it looks.

    My rat terrier will always tree squirrels. My chihuahua mix will always bark her head off to protect her house. But innate behaviors like treeing squirrels and obnoxious barking are far different from the instinct to grip, bite, and shake until dead. I really don’t know what a dog like this is good for other than, well, killing. People who seek out pit bulls because they adore their pibble faces and just want to love and care for them are already failed pit bull owners. Just pray the pit bull is also “failed.”

  7. Great article.
    I would have went with Eminem in stead of Black Sabbath T shirts but that’s becase I actually like Black Sabbath : )

    Pit worship seems to cross all boundaries so I am sure there are Sabbath fans with pits just like there are opera fans with pits.

    As much as we would all like to think no one with our world view would advocate for a child slaughtering monster the fact is there are liberals, conservatives, anarchists, communists, neo nazis, free love hippies and every thing else and in between that all advocate for pits.

    I don’t know how Best Friends was so successful convincing pepole that pits are the “underdog” worth fighting for but they have sold that lie to people of various backgrounds and beliefs. They really should be covered in marketing textbooks.

    • The secret to the success of Best Fiends? I’ll sum it up in two words:

      Dog Worship

      It’s widespread in our society.

      And, yes, I misspelled the organization’s name on purpose.

    • You are absolutely right. I’ve been stunned to see the cross-section of humanity parading around pits and fighting for them on social media. All of the subcultures you’ve named, and countless in-between.

    • Throw enough money at a campaign and people will buy it–for awhile.

      But whoa betide those caught in the backlash when people start questioning how those dollars were obtained and spent.

      Just ask Jim Baker.

  8. Great article Boni! I always read and enjoy your regular comments here on DogsBite… also to all other regulars, l appreciate all you folks have to say 😊 an incredibly intelligent bunch of people on this site, thanks guys

  9. Thanks for the lovely feedback folks. And much kudos to Colleen that due to so many links…really had her editing work cut out for her on this one!

    You know, I *wish* it was dog worship only. While I’m against dog worship over humanism–pitbull cultists are a whole other level of crazy.

    Every day, at least a half a dozen times on North American social media, there’s traumatised dog owners bawling over the mangled bodies of their beloved dogs–dogs mangled and murdered by pitbulls. There’s another dozen stories of “Oh whoa is me, my pitbull bit my aunt, wife, ate my cat, destroyed my livestock, my poor pibble is fear-biting, reactionary etc etc,”

    For anyone who follows all these stories it’s heart-wrenching.

    Even many pitbull owners are locked into this con job where they think they can fix this animal, if only they love it enough. It’s like listening to an abused spouse justify living with their abuser.

    Very few honest pitbull owners will tell them, “This is what a pitbull IS. THIS is how you will spend the rest of your time with this dog, as long as you live with it” and if an honest trainer/owner comes along and tells them the truth–they are textually battered or doxxed into silence.

    The good news, if there is any–is how many of these stories are still getting out, even past the abuse that the documenters of these events, suffer compared to say, two years ago.

    In the age of the internet, while it gives rise to the people spreading fallacious information–when the tide turns to the truth, that tide can be mighty indeed. And I think that tide is starting to arrive.

  10. I think that is one thing that helps keep the pit cult going. It is a gold mine for
    “disciples” of Cesar Millan (people who have seen one or 2 episodes and realize what a profitable con this can be or even worse, actual true believers).

    You can charge owners a lot of money and just tell them they have to be the “pack leader”. If it doesn’t work you just tell them they aren’t doing it right.

    I can not imagine having a carnivore in the house that my only hope of keeping it from mauling me and my family to death is me convincing it that I am a more dominant dog than it is. I can’t imagine spending so much time and energy trying to impress your dog. The tragic thing is IT DOESN’T WORK!

    You could dress up in a dog costume and do every dominance display known to man and that won’t stop a pit from going pit. If anything all the macho dog posturing probably makes an attack more likley.

    Never forget that one of Cesar’s “rehabbed” pits pit part of a man’s penis off becase the guy got too close to the dog after Cesar told him the dog would not bite.

    That should have been the end of him and all of his followers but just like the nanny dog myth keeps going no matter how many children are mauled somehow people still think Cesar is someone they should listen to.

    I fear big tech is going to clamp down on anything that goes against the “all how they are raised” and “pittys are the best dogs” myths. It has pretty well been established big tech can unperson anyone they want, hide any content they want and behave in an anticompetitive manner towards any potential competitors.

    Many people who should have sounded the alarm (ACLU and others) have been silent becase so far they disagree with the people being deplatformed. At some point big tech will come for them and then it will be too late to do anything about it.

    • I’d be more inclined to blame “Pitbulls and Parolees” (I nearly wretched each hate-watched episode because the dog handling is so clearly incompetent) although Cesar did pitbulls no favours. He did however, tell numerous owners that they were in no position to keep their dogs as the dog was a threat. But per usual, a few of those idiot owners decided to *keep their dogs* even after he offered to keep them for life. And don’t get me started on Victoria-I-don’t-even-own-a-dog model on the sheer lunacy of “redirecting” an attacking dog with chicken livers.

      Household management and proper will help some dogs understand that life is not their oyster or calm down a frightened dog. It’s labour intensive. What it can’t do, is stop a behaviour as self-rewarding for a pitbull as attacking and gripping. It’s also time-consuming and takes a fair bit of skill and education. That’s not your average pet owner.

      I suspect some corporate social media access providers will come down on one side of the debate because they’re shilling for pitbulls and others, who have been the victims will lean towards BSL.

      And much as there are a few people I had a chuckle at getting deplatformed, when social media sites have so many millions using them as the town square, allowing anything more than a basic TOS and legislating criminal charges for threats, doxxing, vengeance porn etc. I’m with you–it sets a dangerous future precedent where corporations are setting the limitations on public debate.

    • Since you chose to make this a political issue, the person de-platformed is the human equivalent of a Pibble. It is up to civilized society to decide what civilized is, and since our government could not deal with the situation, I am (for once) grateful for the business people who said…”not on my platform can you incite attacks on your own government when you have a temper tantrum.” If we don’t re-work presidential powers, this can happen again.

  11. Hello Boni,
    I, too, think that Pitbulls and Parolees is the worst show on TV. Tia and crew are so incompetent. Years ago I sent her an email questioning her handling of an incident, and also asked why so many of her dogs are intact. She lashed out at me, called me all kinds of names, taunted me, and was just as low and trashy as she appears on her show. My email was very polite and she blew up. She continued to email me for weeks. I never responded. I’m not on FB or I’m sure she would have had a field day.
    I wish there was a way to see stats on the dogs that she places. I think it would be frightening.
    I strongly feel that breeds are created for a purpose, and PB’s are very good at what they were bred for-KILLING. They should quietly fade away as a breed.

  12. “Never forget that one of Cesar’s “rehabbed” pits pit part of a man’s penis off becase the guy got too close to the dog after Cesar told him the dog would not bite.”


  13. And the real problem is, because pitbull owners are often the most irresponsible of owners, they don’t fix their pitbulls, they let their pitbulls run wild… is almost impossible to find a dog in an animal shelter that isn’t at least half pit-bull. I just checked my local no-kill shelter, and the only dogs that aren’t clearly pit-bulls, are ages 12+. So pitbulls–the dogs with skills that are a detriment to families and the vast majority of homeowners, are quickly becoming the only affordable option for people who want to adopt a dog.
    I agree completely with the editorial here, I just fear it is advice that is to late for most areas of the US.

  14. Sorry I got the wrong dog con man.

    As far as “making this political” people have been getting deplatformed for years for all kinds of reasons.

    A company saying “You will not use our platform to say things we don’t like” sounds a lot like they have assumed the role of editor and therefore should be responsible for what it posted on their page. Somehow they have immunity from that saying it would be impossible to police comments while they police comments for people who disagree with their pet projects.

    Try talking about pit bulls honestly on facebook. You will have your posts deleted, possibly get suspended. Meanwhile the pro pit side will send vile threats to you and facebook will do nothing about them.

  15. Wow! This was such an amazingly well-written article packed with learning and even-handed argumentation. I’m not a dog owner, because I have to travel quite a bit, but I grew up around dogs and horses and live on a farm, so I enjoy reading about animals. I spend so much time with humans that is so frustrating, it led me to research pit bulls. I learned so much from your writing. Pit bulls are the sociopaths and psychopaths of the animal world. I once lived for a year in an apartment above a pit bull. My natural instinct was to be afraid. I think this natural instinct has also been dampened in humans who are no longer raised to respect nature, and that is one of the reasons why humans decide that they can handle the superior fighting force that a pit bull represents. A pit bull is a force of nature that comes from God which I cannot hope to fathom. Bless your heart.

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