Every time an attack happens (every day), pit bull owners and advocates will constantly state that it’s because of irresponsible owners. Any time someone talks about the dangers of pit bulls, apologists will cry that it’s irresponsible owners who give pit bulls a bad name. You see variations of this in “it’s all how they’re raised”, “look at the other end of the leash”, and “it’s humans who do this”. Then they go on a mauling thread and proudly share pictures like this:
You know, the kind of stuff that literally every dog trainer and pediatrician would tell you don’t do, even with safer dog breeds. No, for the section of pit bull owners who do this, they think they’re doing 100% right and are surprised when the dog rips the child’s face off and everyone says they were an irresponsible owner. And these folks are 100% too irresponsible to have any dog, let alone a pit bull.
Even many pit bull advocates would agree with me that those people are being incredibly irresponsible, but they use that irresponsibility to try and say “look, it is the owners”. Not realizing they’re also an irresponsible owner. Every pit bull owner is, because there is no responsible way to own a pit bull.
You’ll notice two main things when pit bull advocates decry “irresponsible owners” and claim the issue would be solved with responsible ownership. First, they never actually define what responsible ownership of a pit bull would look like. It’s always some mix of training and loving the dog, but never anything of any solid metric (and those two qualifiers have never prevented an attack). And second, they resist any sort of common sense low-level BSL that would restrict ownership or force owners to be more responsible.
What would the bare minimum of responsible ownership look like? It would mean a number of things 99% of pit bull owners would refuse to do.
- Always muzzle your pit bull in public.
- Always have and carry a break stick that you know how to properly use.
- Purchase a large liability insurance policy and make sure it would sufficiently cover an attack from your pit bull.
- Have a six-sided, reenforced dog kennel/dog run for both inside and outside use.
- Not have any children in the home and never allow any children to come in to contact with your pit bull.
- Not own other animals.
- Not take off from the scene of a crime when your pit bull attacks someone/someone else’s pet.
- Never have your pit bull off leash, even in a fenced in yard.
- Never bring your pit bull to a dog park.
- Never breed your pit bull.
- If your pit bull is aggressive and you’re aware of that, euthanize it.
The vast majority of pit bull owners might do a few of these things, but they certainly wouldn’t do them all. Doing these things would require pit bull owners to recognize and acknowledge that their dogs are inherently more dangerous than other dogs, and most of them balk at that assertion. They’re so convinced their “training” and “love” can override a dog’s genetics or deny that those genetics exist in the first place and they have a safe dog. It isn’t until their pit bulls attacks that they realize how wrong they are, and even then some still don’t.
But even if a pit bull owner is willing to take all of those precautions, it still doesn’t mean that their pit bull wont attack. There have been multiple cases of pit bulls jumping from upper floor windows and balconies just to attack a passerby. Some pit bulls have been known to be able to pull over 5000lbs. Some pit bulls can scale a 30ft wall, most pit bulls can easily get over a 6ft fence. Pit bulls can and will hang on to something for hours. These are all things bred into them to make them better and more deadly fighters. Even dogmen who knew what these dogs were and took precautions with them still had human fatalities on their hands. No one is error proof, and to responsibly own a pit bull, you need to be.
When you have a dog that is bred to take down bulls, fight to the death with other dogs, view large mammals as prey, and not give up no mater what, there just isn’t a way to responsibly own that kind of dog. You could do everything right, but if a pit bull decides to attack, even the most well prepared owners aren’t always capable of stopping it. But most owners aren’t willing to take those precautions, they aren’t even willing to admit that their pit bull is capable of it. The vast overwhelming majority of pit bull owners who read thinks their dog would never hurt anyone and they have control over their dog.
A lot of it is ego. A lot of it is people so steeped in propaganda they can’t tell which way is up. But regardless of where it stems from, it doesn’t change the fact that many of them wont see it until it’s too late. Every single pit bull owner and advocate truly believes that they’re a responsible owner, and every single one of them are wrong, because there is no way to own a pit bull responsibly.