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Despite being known as a dangerous breed, pit bulls are sought-after by many people who believe these dogs are simply wonderful. But the majority of Americans think otherwise – besides, the statistics don’t lie. In the past decade, pit bulls accounted for 203 out of 326 fatal dog attacks in the United States. Because of this, many states across the nation are adopting pit bull bans. Those who are in favor of pit bulls are protesting, stating that this is discrimination. They believe that the owners are the ones who should be blamed for attacks, not the breed.

States such as Wisconsin have proposed to ban breeds such as American Staffordshire terriers, American pit bull terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, and mixes of those breeds. However, that proposal was shot down due to strong opposition from pit bull owners. Owners claim that such bans affect all pit bull owners, including those who are responsible and have well-trained dogs. A ban would also endorse the unnecessary killing of dogs, many who would make great family pets with the right training and socialization.

As dog bite lawyers in Central California, we have handled hundreds of dog bite claims. Unfortunately, the majority of our dog bite clients were attacked by a pit bull. The majority of our dog bite victim clients are minor children.

Many pit bull owners believe that pit bulls are similar to children, in that they behave according to how they are raised. If the dog is poorly trained and cannot distinguish right from wrong, then it’s the owner’s fault, not the dog’s. The American Veterinary Medical Association is in agreement, stating that any dog has the ability to bite, and all breeds are equal in this regard.

While the right owner may make a difference in behavior, the pit bull’s genetic traits make it more dangerous than other breeds. Pit bulls have a hold and shake biting style and a locking jaw that prevents them from letting go, causing disfigurement. They are also known for their tenacity and tendency to attack unpredictably.

Also, in looking at the statistics even further, in many cases, the victim of pit bull attacks are the dog’s very owner or a family member. Of the 203 people killed by pit bulls between 2005 and 2014, 53 percent involved a person with a pit bull in the household.