Are Pit Bulls Naturally Aggressive Pt3 | Dog Behavior Trainer Breed Info

Experience vs Perception

The Dog Whisperer of MN, Robert Cole 

Continuing from “Are Pit Bulls Aggressive Pt2 | Dog Behavior Trainer Breed Info

It is important because of perpetuated notions or conditioned ideas develop through a lack of understanding or blatant ignorance. This data is important because it is not singling out a breed as aggressive or not. It includes many breeds and has a decently high sample size as well as testing dogs from variable backgrounds, blood-lines and combining both pure bred dogs and cross or mix-bred dogs of the same “breed”. Also, as a side note, with cities, communities are becoming more and more rigid about breed bans/declaration-consequences etc. also because of breed-specific dog legislation and negative publicity associated with many breeds of dogs, temperament testing has assumed an important role for today’s dog fancier. The American Temperament Test provides breeders a means for evaluating temperament and gives pet owners insight into their dog’s behavior. It can have an impact on breeding programs and in educating owners about their dog’s behavioral strengths and weaknesses as well as providing a positive influence on dog legislation. Below are some experienced based and statistical facts regarding the Pit Bull and similar “type breeds”


Breed Temperament Testing Result Information: Updated from March of 2011

American Pit Bull Terrier: 804 tested; 86.4% passed
American Staffordshire Terrier: 627 tested; 84.2% passed
Staffordshire Bull Terrier: 117 tested; 89.7% passed
Total: 1548 tested; 85.8% passed

To add perspective and Qualify Pit Bull and similar “Bully Breeds” as not inately aggressive or dangerous
Of all the breeds tested: 83% passed (Totalling 30,876 dogs)

Honorable Mention (Common Family Dogs Today)

Collie: 856 tested; 79.9% passed

Cocker Spaniel: 227 tested; 81.9% passed

Australian Cattle Dog: 187 tested; 79.1% passed

Beagle: 72 tested; 80.6% passed

Golden Retriever: 764 tested; 84.9% passed

2009 was the year of the previous study

2009 spanning through 6/2010

Pit Bulls and similar “Bully Breeds” achieved a combined passing score of 85.7%.

Some Specific breeds outlines below:

American Pit Bull Terrier:  772 tested; 86% passed

American Staffordshire Terrier:  608 tested; 83.9% passed

Staffordshire Bull Terrier:  115 tested; 89.6% passed

Total Bully Breeds Tested: 1,495; 85.4% passed

For additional perspective, consider the following:

Total Dogs Tested:  30,468; 82.4% earned a pass

Chihuahua:  38 tested; 71.1% passed

Dachshund:  181 tested; 77.8% passed

Collie:  846 tested:  79.7% passed

Golden Retriever:  746 tested; 84.6% passed

Things that make you go, Hmmmm.

Pit Bull breeds, earned a better score based on the tests from the previous study two years in a row. Golden Retrievers went up in overall score; 84.9% in 2011 from 84.6% in 2009. Pit Bull Breeds went up as well from 2009 at 85.7% to 85.8%.

More Specifically, American Pit Bull Terriers: 2009: 86% to 2011: 86.4% | American Staff Terriers: 2009: 83.9% to 2011: 84.2%.

Both of these popular breeds for fighting, scored higher in the temperament test than the Average of all dogs tested. Note that this is during the “Pit Bull Fighting Phenomenon” In 2011 they even scored higher than America’s beloved Golden Retriever. Still a great dog, don’t get me wrong. Just a point to consider.


Now some fun facts and perceptions of this horribly misrepresented breed of dog.

*Do know that this type of information and even some more in-depth information can be found all over the internet by doing a little research. This is just a small list.

FactNo conclusive research exists that implicates breed (or breed mix) as a cause of dog bites. In most bite cases, it is impossible to distinguish the dog’s background based on appearance. When breed is unclear, it’s all-too-easy to apply an arbitrary label for dramatic effect.

FactAll dogs, including Pit Bulls are 99% the same genetically. Chihuahuas included.

FactPit Bulls are among other things: tenacious, loyal, sensitive to human energy and will give 1000% to accomplish what they perceive their job to be. No matter what the job is.

FactThe fact above is the reason why Pit Bulls are used for fighting. Not because they are more dangerous then another dog. A Boerboel could probably kill a Pit Bull Easily.

Fact: With all the intensity inherent within the breed, the personality of a balanced Pit Bull is calm, relaxed and at times even lazy. Only jumping to excitement when being called upon to accomplish a goal/do a job.

FactDog Bites are at an all-time low.There are around 78 million pet dogs in the US, and an average of 30 dog-related fatalities per year. According to studies (more information below), a person is more likely to be killed by a human family member

Fact: Pomeranians and Shi Tzus have put more people into the hospital over the last several years then Pit Bull and similar breeds.

Fact: Tan, unfixed Male English Cocker Spaniels have more reports of injuring people based on police reports at the time of hospital intake. Putting them atop the “most dangerous dog list” source: Applied Animal Behavior Science Report Published by: Anthony L. Podberscek and James A. Serpell

Fun FactThere are around 78 million pet dogs in the US, and an average of 30 dog-related fatalities per year. According to studies (more information below), a person is more likely to be killed…

– by a falling coconut

– in a bedroom slipper-related accident
– choking on a marble
– drowning in a 5-gallon bucket
– getting struck by lightning

…than by a dog of any breed.

And for the other sides’ common and popular beliefs of Pit Bull Type Breeds, are as follows:

Pit Bull Breeds Bite Force/Power is over 2000 psi

Pit Bulls are naturally more aggressive than any other breed of dog

Once a Pit Bull becomes aggressive, it can never be changed

Pit bulls have locking jaws.

A pit bull is more likely to bite me than another dog.

Pit bulls do not get along with cats.

Pit bulls do not get along with other dogs.

Pit bulls are not good with children.

Reality Check:

Who’s really responsible for dog bites? Humans. In almost every case where a person died because of a dog bite, there were steps that someone could have taken to prevent it. Responsible ownership influences good behavior, and every dog deserves to be set up for success!

More resource information:

dog behavior training in mn for your Pit Bull, The Dog Whisperer of MN is here to help!

Smiley Pit Bull says: “Life is about equal chances to impress potential owners, not by the shape of our heads, but by the shape of our character!”

Don’t take my word for it though. take a day to volunteer for a local bully rescue and see what your time with them will teach you about this breed. A rescue pit bull is a handful, but with patience, can be the dog it was meant to be. Like all dogs, they are meant to have rules and boundaries enforced on a consistent basis to provide a suitable environment for developing or maintaining limitations. Pit Bulls and the similar breeds should be owned by someone with experience in handling dogs. It is not a breed for the “first time dog owner” no matter how pure the persons intentions. It takes a firm level of control and direction giving to ensure the proper development and understanding of their role socially, otherwise you can have a pit bull breed that is very similar to the ones that the “haters” incorrigibly project to anyone willing to listen, developing a negative sense of what this breed represents.

Allow a DOG a chance to feel Love and live Life as a well trained and balanced family member! Pit to Pom. 

Information compiled by ATT, learn more about the  American Temperament Test Society testing and results, please visit

Also visit for charts of past years and more great Pit Bull information.


7 thoughts on “Are Pit Bulls Naturally Aggressive Pt3 | Dog Behavior Trainer Breed Info

  1. Pingback: Getting The Children Involved With Coaching The Newest Dog «

  2. Thanks for your dedication to changing public perception of pits. I wake up most mornings with the sweetest dog in the world next to me. My father in law (who has never met her) refers to her as that vicious dog, I will send him your article.

  3. Thank you so much for your very useful article! You ruin wrong stereotypes about Pitbulls and this is a really great deal! You`re quite right, that a person could likely be killed of a various reasons than of dog bites. I agree that we, people, are responsible for dog`s behaviour and and dog`s agression depends on our upbringing.

    • Thank you. All dogs can be great. All dogs can be aggressive. Some dogs have the physical ability to do great harm. Us as owners are the ones to give direction and set boundaries, we are liable for our dogs as their protectors, not the other way around. Thank you for reading!

  4. Pingback: Are Pit Bulls Naturally Aggressive Pt2 | Dog Behavior Trainer Breed Info | Dog Behavior Training MN | The Dog Whisperer MN

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