Are pit bulls mean dogs? We ask the president of a pit bull association

The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners is currently looking into the possibility of adjusting its ordinances to help curb dog attacks in the town. This comes on the heels of a recent attack in Mint Hill in which a young boy was severely injured, and an attack in Waxhaw that killed a young girl.
Several supporters of animals, and particular pit bulls, spoke at Thursday’s meeting. Kathy Minter of Mint Hill gave a passionate speech about protecting the animals from unnecessarily strict laws.
“Keep in mind there are no bad dogs,” she told the board during the public comments time of the meeting. “There are only bad owners.”
She also told the board that if a resolution or bill gets passed that it should be for the benefit of the dog and that owners need to be held more responsible.
Also speaking at the meeting was Michael Davis, the President of the National American Pit Bull Terrier Association.

The Mint Hill Times

Michael's dog Chilli

Davis lives in Charlotte.
The Mint Hill Times caught up with Davis later to ask him about pit bulls. Are they really “mean” dogs?

Q. You are the President of the National American Pit Bull Terrier Association. What do you love so much about pit bulls?
A. I found them to be the dog breed that I took to most. I found them to be a very misunderstood breed with a huge discrepancy between what I’ve experienced with them and how they are portrayed. They are a very loving, loyal breed of dog and want nothing more than to please.  Unfortunately,  people have used those traits for the wrong reasons.

Q. There have been several recent high profile pit bull attacks in the area. Are pit bulls more prone than other dogs to attack?
A. No, they are no more prone to attack than any other breed of dog.  There are many other breeds of dogs that have incidents happen but they are not reported as sensationally.  The ‘pit bull,’ because of their fighting history, was specifically bred to be Non-human aggressive since the owners had to be able to go and pick up their injured dogs and a dog is most likely to bite when scared or injured.  Any human aggression in the breed has been put there by their owner either through poor breeding or lack or training and socialization.  But that is true of any breed.  Any dog of any breed not properly socialized or trained to behave in a way that adheres to the rules we  place upon them has the potential to bite.

Q. Do pit bulls need any more special training than the average dog?
A. No, they are just like any other dog; every dog needs to have some form of training.  Dogs do not come home like Lassie and Rin Tin Tin.  You can’t expect it to come home and already know all the rules.  Just like a child, from the day they are old enough to understand we start teaching them right from wrong. We praise them for the good and scold them for the bad.  The same is required when you get a puppy. Think of them as a four legged child. They don’t know where to potty, not to nip, bite or bark. We have to teach them. We own/co-own titled dogs in Agility, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Dock Diving, Conformation, and Weight Pulling and a number of them are certified Therapy Dogs as well. This is a breed that is eager to please but most of all very smart and loyal.  Obedience training by itself does not prevent the development of behavior problems.  Socialization is key to any dog.  A properly socialized/trained dog will learn to respond to people with confidence and not out of fear.  We also need to train the dog owners.  Teaching owners how to train their dogs and teaching children and parents proper behavior around dogs (whether their own or someone else’s) is important given the frequent contact with dog’s in our society.

Q. What would you recommend the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners do about people who own violent dogs? Should there be stricter laws?
A. First, enforce the laws you  currently have. If that’s not working then look into Dangerous Animal Laws.  Ordinances that don’t single out a breed but focus on the owner and actions of a specific dog’s behavior.  It’s the responsibility of the owner to make sure that their dog /animal is trained, socialized and civilized when out in public places.

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15 comments on “Are pit bulls mean dogs? We ask the president of a pit bull association
  1. Sorry I do not agree, these dogs are bred to be aggressive and are vicious …. This past Oct I was playing golf with my son and two other players when a Pit Bull ran from the upper deck of his house down a flight of stairs across a yard out on to the golf course and attacked my son who was walking on the cart path. My son was bitten several times but was fortunate that his riding partner, who was close by, grabed a club and beat the dog off of him. This attack was totally unprovoked. When the police and a representative of the golf course arrived it was discovered that this was the second time this dog had attacked a golfer. When asked about this the dog’s owner really didn’t seem to give a hoot. The result was the owner was fined for violating the town’s animal control law and was ordered to erect a fence to control his dog. Personnally I would have prefered that the dog be put down … This dog has attacked twice and unfortunately odds are there will be a third time.

  2. I have no idea why anyone would want to own a pitbull other than the fact for the reputation of the breed. They are some one of the least intelligent breed of dogs.

  3. Read the article again….it is the most misunderstood breed of dogs. I have worked in rescue and have seen so many sweet loving Pits. It is that too many are bred and their are overbred. It all goes back to the breeder and the owners!!!!! I will prove it to you if you want to go with me and watch at the rescue. They can be very protective if trained to be. but just like kids, they have to be trained and shown love. kids also need to be taught how to approach animals and how to act around them. again this is the parents job. I say punish the owners but not the breed…..dogs spelled backwards is GOD….God would not create an animal to kill or do harm. It is all in the training and owners.

  4. I have 2 pits and a jack russell…My jack russell is much more aggresive than our pits…the pits are not and they LOVE people…you want get bit but u may get licked to death..Its the owners NOT the dogs..with any dog they should be a fence area or when outside on a leash no matter what kind of dog. Pits have a bad rep because of all the people like Mike Vick! I had never been around pits and was a lil scared of them til i actually owned one and now i love them! So for the most part the people who thinks they are all bad dogs have never had one or been around one with good owners!

  5. I agree, Pit Bulls are not dangerous. They just like any other dog could be aggressive if the owners want them to be or if they are no attended to and trained properly. I am a veterinary technican and I would be much more afraid of what a chihuahua or pomeranian would do than a I would a pit anyday. They normally do not attack unless they are provoked or being protective of their owners. They are very loyal to their owners and most of the time would lick someone to death. I believe the owners are responsible for most of the problems with pits due to fighting them and lack of obedience training. They need the appropriate attention just like a child does. If the owners would do their jobs and there wouldn’t be as much “back yard breeding” there would never be a problem. There are several other breed attacks that happen, but yet not mentioned in the news. If all attacks were reported, the statistics would be much higher on other breeds. Pits can do more damage due to their jaw pressure. Thank you and I hope people will take this in consideration when they are calling pits a “bad breed”.

  6. I believe I read an article that listed the stats on dog attacks. Pits came in at 7 or 8 while the labrador came in at number 1. I believe North Carolina already has a law that if you own a dog that is listed in the aggressive 10 you can not have the dog on rented property. I am not sure if it is more of an insurance law or a criminal law. As far as far as how hard the dog bites it is also below the top 5 in that category with the Rottweiler taking number one. Pitts just keep biting once they start unlike others that mostly just bite once.

  7. Totally disagree with the President of the Pit Bull Association. Each of his answers are based solely on ‘his opinion’ rather than ‘fact’. The fact is that pit bulls ARE more prone to attacks than almost any other breed. This fact can be backed up with statistical data and research that indicates that most dog attacks (and we’re talking of the harmful / life-threatening kind) are from pit bulls.

  8. I been around pits and they are so sweet. it is the owners fault that they are mean. they do love to lick you to death. just like Kim D said.

  9. I do not own a pit, but I would not be afraid to own one, IF, I raised it from a puppy. I do own a Pom that I got from the Humane Society when he was 5 years old. He had been taken from his owners because they kept him chained to a tree in their back yard with no house, no food or water. Think about it ,,,,a 10 lb. dog, chained outside that is truly an inside dog. He developed some bad traits because of this. He trusted no one and would literally bite anyone, including me, that came near him. I have worked with him for the past 7 years and slowly he has come around, but if he is sleeping and is touched,more than likely, he will bite. I have other dogs (all small) that are also rescues, but they were not chained and were not abused, just not wanted. They are all sweet and loving. My Pom does not socialize with any of them. I imagine that Pits are just like my Pom. Raise them right or abuse and chain them and see what you get. While I would never approach a grown pit without someone with me, I would never leave my child alone with my Pom. I’ve worked hard with him, but he still remembers his bad traits. Chaining a dog or letting a dog run loose is asking for a disaster, no matter what the breed.

  10. are pit bulls mean dogs? no, not inherently. are lions mean cats? are wolves mean canines? are sharks mean fish? no, but they are all driven by their natural urges….just ask sigfried and roy

  11. Shanna get your facts straight. Pit bulls are NOT human aggressive and that IS a fact. Did you know that this breed use to be America’s number 1 family pet?? Do you remember the dog on the Little Rascals?? Yep, it was a pit. I guarantee when and if (which I hope will never be the case) this breed is no longer around, there will be another “aggressive” breed to take it’s place….maybe the lab? Why not since America’s number 1 family pet has now become America’s most agressive and dangerous pet.
    I’m so sick of ignorant fools spewing garbage, especially when they don’t have a friggin’ clue. Maybe if we held PEOPLE accountable for their pets actions, instead of blaming a creature who only wants to please it’s owner, there will be fewer attacks. Oh and I also would bet most of these attacks aren’t even from pure bred pits!

  12. This breed is not aggressive I’ve had a pit nd has never turned on me she so nice nd play full nd lazy so it’s sad how people say their all mean

  13. I love my pitt <3. Best dog I have owned.
    My two jack russells would bite you first. I agree with the person that said if you have them chained up and not taken care of. Any dog can be mean. Maybe every aggressive person should be put in a 10 x 10 cage with a concrete floor and then surrended with a six foot fence. Then you should take their family and do the same, cause they come from the same bloodline.

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