Dogs are good for kids. They help children learn responsibilities and are even good for preventing allergies. Considering they are one of the most popular breeds, are pitbulls good for kids?
Below are things you should consider before adopting a pitbull in a family with little kids.
Before you learn are pitbulls good with kids, we should have a brief overview of this race. When people say ‘pitbull’, they typically mean The American Pitbull Terrier.
They are a medium-sized breed, but they are strong, muscular, and powerful. Males are approximately 18-21 inches in height, and they weigh up to 60 pounds.
Females are somewhat smaller and rarely weigh over 50 pounds.
This breed was initially bred to ‘bait’ bulls, which is how their name was made. Bull baiting was a sport that involved tying a grown bull to an iron stake.
This would allow the bull a radius of only 30-feet or less to move. The animal would then be enraged by blowing pepper on its nose. Then, dogs were set on it to kill or immobilize it to amuse the audience.
When bull-baiting was banned, the breed evolved into a farm dog. Pitbulls were later moved inside the comfort of the house. This was actually made so they could be ‘nanny dogs’, as the breed was very kind with children.
Despite pitbulls being purebred dogs, you can find many of them in the shelters. Many owners abandon their pitbulls, fearing their rumored aggression.
So you probably asked yourself are pitbulls good with kids?
Truth is, pitbulls will rarely be aggressive towards humans. On the contrary, they are less likely to attack a human than most other breeds, including Chihuahuas or German shepherds.
However, they have to be trained from puppyhood, so they aren’t aggressive towards other animals. Pitbulls are incredibly territorial, and it can be a problem if they don’t learn who the pack leader is.
They are very dependent on their owners, and they need constant affection. At the same time, they are rather confident but not as stubborn as some other breeds.
Pitbulls were considered a calm farm breed for ages. They guarded the home, hunted, and kept children safe. In the 1990s, however, their reputation changed as they became popular at dog-fighting rings.
As these dog fights became popular once again, many people trained their pitbulls to be aggressive and dangerous. This led to the bad reputation this breed has today. Despite all of this, pitbulls aren’t aggressive towards humans.
There were many studies, but not a single one proved that this breed is any more aggressive than others.
However, pitbulls were bred for years to be fight dogs. This doesn’t necessarily make them aggressive towards other dogs. Still, they need to be socialized more than average puppies.
You have to make sure they overcome their genome by teaching them to interact with other animals on time. So, in a way, yes, pitbulls can be dangerous towards other animals.
Of course, every dog is an individual. This doesn’t mean that every pitbull is necessarily aggressive towards other canines. Also, pitbulls can attack humans, just like any other dog who isn’t socialized.
This is especially true for neglected or abused dogs, but this is the same for any breed out there.
In short, it is entirely an owner’s responsibility whether their pitbull will be aggressive or not. They are genetically more dangerous for other pets than other breeds, but this isn’t true for human aggression.
Are Pitbulls Good with Kids?
So now that we have learned a lot about this breed, are pitbulls good with kids?
As we’ve already stated, pitbulls were considered ‘nanny dogs’ for a very long time. They are bred to be good with kids, and children are typically safe around them.
However, there are some precautionary measures you should take if you have very young kids, and they include:
- Monitor all interactions
- Teach your child to behave around a dog
- Put away any items dog is protective about
- Allow your pitbull a place to escape
- Take your dog to obedience classes
What to Watch Out For
It goes without saying that pitbulls are large, muscular dogs. Even if they aren’t aggressive, they can hurt your child by accident. You should never leave your dog alone with your kid, no matter what breed they are.
Even if your dog is just a puppy, they might snap at a child out of fear or surprise. No matter how well behaved your pitbull is, he might still hurt a kid on accident.
Also, but pitbulls might knock a child over during their mutual plays.
This is why you must monitor all interactions between children and your dog.
Not just this, but kids should also know how to behave around the dog. Your child has to learn how not to harm or irritate a dog by accident. Teach them not to pull the dog’s tail or ears.
Kids shouldn’t grab their four-legged companion’s face or put fingers in their eyes or around their anus. Scared or hurt pitbull might show aggressive-like behavior and snap at a kid out of self-defense.
Kids have to learn to respect other animals, to protect both sides from unintentional harm.
Also, pitbulls are territorial. They might be over-protective with the items they prize, such as food bowls, toys, or treats. A properly trained dog will never attack a child, even if they mess with their food.
However, they might play a bit too rough, trying to take back their favorite toy. This may result in a nipped finger on accident. While this usually isn’t too dangerous, it would be best to hide these items during playtime.
Pitbulls can get tired from all the play, or they might feel intimidated by your kid’s energy. To prevent animosity, you should allow your dog a place to escape.
Getting the right dog crate for pitbull is a great way to create a safe haven. This way, your canine friend will have a place to be alone, without disruptions.
Of course, this also means your kid has to learn not to touch a dog who is resting in his crate. Also, never force your furry pet to interact with people he might not like.
This won’t end up in a good way, and someone might get hurt.
Lastly, you should take your pitbull to obedience classes. This isn’t necessary, but it can help every party in this situation. Obedience classes can help your dog socialize while also learning about leadership.
Puppies love training, and they will enjoy working with a trainer. This is also good if your pup is experiencing some dog mood swings. You have to learn your pitbull to obey you when he needs to.
For example, if the play is getting out of hand, you have to calm him down with just one word.
Some Things You Should Consider
If you still wonder are pitbulls good with kids, we can give you a simple, short answer. Pitbulls are one of the best dog breeds to have around children – but they have to be appropriately trained.
If you are considering getting a pitbull, here are some additional things you need to have in mind.
- Pitbulls can get annoyed easily if treated without respect.
- You have to teach your kid they should never attack or hit your pitbull, even in play.
- Pitbulls are very protective; they will do anything possible to protect a child if they fear something might harm them.
- If a pitbull didn’t grow up with kids, chances are they won’t like them.
- Abused pitbulls might show aggression if they’re frightened or triggered.
- You should never leave kids younger than seven with a dog unsupervised.
If all these rules are followed, pitbulls will make great companions for your kids. Your children will have a protector and teach respect.
At the same time, your dog will have someone to shower them with affection the whole day.
All in all, are pitbulls good with kids? Overall – yes, they are. Properly trained pitbulls are great nanny dogs, and they will love your children.
However, you have to make sure they are adequately trained, so no harm can happen to anyone. Pitbulls need to be trained, and your child has to know when to leave him alone.
Also, you have to consider pitbull’s nature before getting one if you have little kids. A dog who didn’t grow up with children might not feel comfortable around them.
Abused or neglected dogs aren’t a good choice, as well. Some kids are too hyperactive for a dog that demands privacy from time to time, as well.
The most important thing, however, is that pitbulls’ bad reputation is entirely false.
They won’t be aggressive towards kids, and they are no more unpredictable than any other breed. Pitbulls are a mirror of how their owner trained them.