If you are a Pit Bull owner and a parent at the same time, you may be concerned about your pet and your kids getting along well. I was curious about this information too. So I did some research and, fortunately, I found some good answers.
Are Pit Bulls good with kids and babies? Yes, Pit Bulls are incredibly kid-friendly dogs! There’s a popular belief that this kind of dog is aggressive and dangerous, especially for children, but the reality is completely the opposite. Being energetic and loyal dogs, Pit Bulls are one of the best companions your kids can have.
For the best experience possible, you should first have some considerations in mind. So, in this post, I’m going to show you everything you need to know about the relationship between Pit Bulls and kids.
The Misconception That Pit Bulls Are Dangerous
You probably may have heard this comment multiple times. Many people argue that Pit Bulls are the most dangerous type of dogs. However, that’s a false piece of information that, unfortunately, is widely spread.
The first reason why people say Pit Bulls are a danger is because of their appearance. This kind of dog is strong and has a highly muscular body.
Yes, they’re quite muscular dogs, but it never means that they are more aggressive and harmful than any other dog.
We can never forget that, even though these animals are categorized into breeds, they’re all still dogs! At the end of the day, all of them belong to the same species, have the same origins, and, therefore, share basically the same behavioral style.
I honestly don’t know where do people take information to create these conceptions. However, I have some theories. The first one is related to Pit Bulls’ attitude towards other dogs.
This kind of dog does behave quite aggressively with other pets. That’s mostly because of their background. Most terriers were originally trained to engage in fights with other dogs.
In addition to it, they also have a very stubborn attitude and wish to dominate local areas.
Another wrong concept that many people believe in is some statistics. Some studies indicate that Pit Bulls are the most involved type of dog in accidents related to bites and other attacks in the United States in recent years. They are correct, but there’s also a catch that most people don’t get.
The fact is that Pit Bulls are also the most common type of dog in the country. Therefore, they’re more exposed to accidents than any other kind of dog!
For comparison purposes, think about cars. If a company sells ten thousand units of a model, this car will be way more likely to be involved in accidents than a car sold only a thousand times, for example. These numbers alone don’t say anything about the cars’ security.
The next time you go to the street, try to note this. Look at how many Pit Bulls you will find in comparison to the most popular breed in the country, the Labrador Retriever. The difference is enormous.
Why Are Pit Bulls the Perfect Companion for Kids?
As I previously said, we already know that Pit Bulls are inclined to be gentle with humans. However, there are some characteristics which, blended with that, make this kind of dogs even more suitable for kids.
In the first place, Pit Bulls are incredibly active and energetic. Many dogs are lazy and would prefer to stay at home the whole day. However, if your furry friend is lively, he will make an excellent playmate for your kids!
Both he and the children will love to spend their time together playing in the yard. And if they are mature enough, why not let them go for a walk by themselves?
The next point in that Pit Bulls can be amazing with kids is in the name of guarding. Many parents use them as “nannies” for their little kids in the moments they can’t be present. Although they aren’t suitable for replacing a full-time nanny, they can be very useful on certain occasions.
If you have a toddler or a baby and you want to take a casual short break during the day, your dog may be extremely helpful in this case.
However, as with any other dog type, you must take adequate precautions to avoid any troubles. It will require you to make them used to each other, and maybe some training.
Considerations Before Leaving Kids and Pit Bulls Together
Just because Pit Bulls are amazing with kids, that doesn’t mean you can just leave them together without any prior preparation. You must consider some things before letting them have any relationship.
In the first moment, I advise you not to let them completely alone for a long time. This not only applies to Pit Bulls but also for any other dog type, breed, or age. In most of the dog attacks in which kids are involved, they’re usually unaccompanied by adults.
With that being said, always supervise small children when playing or doing any other activity with your pet. This is basically common sense. A small kid wouldn’t have the maturity to know what is right or wrong when dealing with a dog.
The main danger is not the pet wanting to attack your children, but rather the opposite. In an attempt to be playful with their furry friend, small kids can be way too aggressive. If they hardly hit the dog’s body, he may not like it.
Older children may also generate troubles. If, for some reason, they are discontent with anything, be it related to the animal or not, they may still discount their rage on him.
If your kid’s aggression is powerful enough, it can definitely harm your Pit Bull. In addition to it, your dog will obviously try to defend himself from the attack. And in those cases, things can turn even darker.
His counter-attack may not be limited by barking. He will probably go for a physical defense, which means he may even bite. I think you can figure out the mayhem that will happen next.
Due to that, you always need to monitor your children and interrupt wrong actions. If you identify that a chaotic situation is about to start, react instantly.
How to Get Kids and Pit Bulls Together?
Letting your children and your dog together without any supervision is something a bit more complicated. Since you won’t be there to maintain a peaceful environment, their mindsets must be developed enough to keep perfect conditions.
Before starting anything, ensure your children are taught to treat your Pit Bull adequately. As I previously stated, they are the principal root of problems involving dogs.
Don’t allow your kids to pull on your pet’s ears or tail. These are exceptionally sensitive areas. Dogs get very furious if someone messes with them, and will probably go for physical defense on these occasions.
This applies mostly to very young children with innocent thoughts. If your kids are a bit more grown-up, they are probably going to identify that attitude as inappropriate.
In addition to that, they should also avoid approaching the dog if he is sleeping or eating. These are moments in that dogs want privacy, just like humans!
Imagine being interrupted by your children during a meal. That’s quite disturbing, isn’t it? Dogs think the same way, and their animal instinct can make their reactions dangerous.
The same thing happens when they’re sleeping. But a factor that makes disturbing your Pit Bull in a nap an even bigger problem is scaring him.
If he is quietly sleeping and someone scares him, his first reaction will obviously be to bite the thing that disturbed him.
The dog won’t think twice to determine that what chilled his blood is an enemy, especially if the act happens at night.
In addition to all of that, the kids need to know the basic rules of dealing with a dog. When they’re capable of doing so, you can finally think about leaving them together without keeping an eye on the situation.
It’s crucial to educate your children, but you can never forget to prepare your dog for the encounter as well.
An excellent attitude would be to let him take obedience classes. It’s important for your Pit Bull to know the fragilities of children, and especially babies. Ensure he is trained to stay as calm as possible next to them even in stressful moments and that he knows basic commands.
Your furry friend’s treats and toys should also be put away. Tell your children not to pick and use them when alone with the dog.
Your Pit Bull can easily become attracted to it, and in the attempt of stealing the item, he may nip your kid’s hand.
The Ideal Age to Let Kids and Pit Bulls Together
The adequate timing to let your pet and your children alone greatly depends on each case. As I said before, everything is defined by the level of knowledge both your kids and your Pit Bull have.
Nevertheless, I dare to give an estimation. I advise you to let children with an adult dog only if they’re at least 7 years old. However, this number isn’t too strict if your pooch is still a puppy. Five or six years is a pretty acceptable age in the latter scenario.
It’s your task to analyze and judge whether the situation is reasonable or not. Everything I said until now applies to the average Pit Bull, but not for all of them.
For example, there are cases of Pit Bulls that act aggressively towards kids. Although very uncommon, they may be your situation! And you shouldn’t panic, because every dog has its own style, and a slight difference isn’t a thing to worry too much about.
My Final Thoughts
I hope this article clarified things a little bit better and ended your concerns about your Pit Bull being violent with your kids. This type of dog is actually one of the most friendly ones with people and one of the best companies for little kids and babies.
Unfortunately, many ignorant people insist on saying that Pit Bulls are brutal. That’s a total misconception, based only on their appearance and their past.
The best time to let your dog and your kids together should be determined solely by you. When you feel that they’re fully used to each other and they can deal well with the situation, just let it go! Before that point, however, always be present to prevent lousy things from happening.
References & Citations
- Peter Caine Dog Training
- Timothy J. Ryan & Associates