Originally Posted by Steve4192
I agree and disagree on Pit Bulls.
IMHO, Pit Bulls are NOT any more aggressive than any other breed. However, they are MUCH more likely to be trained to be aggressive than any other breed.
Properly trained, Pits are just as friendly and docile as any other breed of dog. Like with any other breed, proper trainning takes a lot of work. You have to (1) suppress their natural territorial behavior (2) discourage aggression of any kind and (3) make it painfully clear that aggression towards humans is unacceptable.
Which leads us to the second (and more important IMO) problem with Pit Bulls. Many Pit Bull owners don't train them to be aggressive, but they also don't do anything to curb the natural aggresive insticts that exist in all breeds. Take any big breed (Doberman, Rottweiler, German Sheppard) and leave it completely untrained and you will have a dangerous pooch on your hands.
Unfortunately, Pits are the 'pet' of choice for many negligent dog owners, and the results are pretty clear.
I agree with your points about properly trained pit bulls being perfectly acceptable pets. I also agree that they are often the pet of choice for negligent owners.
However, pit bulls are inherently more dangerous than most other types of dogs. Pit bulls were bred for bloodsport. Left to their own devices, they will be aggressive. Also, when a pit bull attacks, they latch on and shake like crazy. It is almost impossible to get them to let go. In addition, the structure of their head and jaws allows them to exert an extreme amount of jaw force.
Herding breeds, such as German Shepards, Heelers, and Border Collies will often be territorially aggressive if not trained otherwise. However, when they attack, they tend to bit and back off. Their intent is to "herd" the trespasser out of their territory, not to kill it.
At the far end of the spectrum are retrievers. It is darn hard to MAKE them aggressive. Left alone, they will be friendly fellows.
And then there are Chihuahuas. Devil's spawn, these little buggers. Only their diminutive size has kept them from being outlawed or taking over the world.