New Pit Bull Bite Rules Could Spell Death for More Family Dogs

One time, my neighbor found a young pit bull tied to our building's fence. She took him in and I volunteered to walk him during the day while she was at work. He had different color eyes -- one brown, one blue -- that made him look kind of crazy. But he was the sweetest gosh darned dog ever. However, a new court ruling could mean that sweet pitties like him would remain tied to the fence post forever.

The high court in Maryland has ruled that pit bulls are "inherently dangerous." Let's face it, all dogs can bite. Shih-tzus bite. Chihuahuas bite. If they get you in the wrong place -- like maybe your eye -- they can do a lot of damage for a little guy. ALL dogs are "inherently dangerous" because they have teeth, okay? And they bite. But they are not "inherently dangerous" in the legal sense. In the legal sense, if a dog bites someone, and that person sues, he has to prove that the owner was negligent.

But not with pit bulls in Maryland. Basically, if you've got a pit bull, and it bites, you're responsible. Yeah, even if someone was pulling on your pittie's tail and hitting it on the head with a frying pan. It bites in self-defense? Too bad.

Pit bull owners already face higher home insurance costs and buildings that don't allow them. One owner was so distraught after putting his pet pit bull to sleep because his building outlawed his pet that he then killed himself.

Various states have begun enacting anti-pit bull laws, making it more difficult for owners to keep this breed, which used to be known as the "nanny dog" for its sweet disposition with children.

Any pet poses somewhat of a risk to the general population. As with every animal, what it needs is a caring, responsible, and intelligent owner. With this new law, pit bulls, even those that are already family pets, could pay with their lives.

What do you think of this new ruling?


Image via DigitalJayy/Flickr

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Anne DeYoung Nowicki

I'm sorry, but after my dog and I were walking down the street and were attacked by a pit bull, I am most definitely not a fan of that breed. They have super powerful jaws that "lock" when they bite, and are classified as a "bully breed". I'm sure there are some sweet pits out there , just as there are mean dogs of other breeds. But there is a reason why these dogs are known as mean and vicious.

nonmember avatar Brittany

No, No, NO!!! Pit bulls are the sweetest pups ever- mine is wonderful with adults and children alike. The breed is not the problem; it's people's misuse of the breed.

Sierr... SierraLynn

No pit bull is born a "bully". It's HUMANS who make them that way. Treat them badly and fight them then get rid of them. It's sad and heart wrenching. It's not the dogs fault it wasn't treated well and loved.

I personally love pit bulls, they are the most misunderstood breed. I wish I could have one, but we live in military housing.

Flori... Floridamom96

Anne, how were you attacked? What exactly did the dog do to you?

Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers are NOT inherently dangerous dogs. Breed specific laws are not supported by any animal agency anywhere because they don't actually address the problem. Pit bulls are not dangerous breeds. Their jaws don't lock when they bite. Pits and pit-type dogs are inherently sweet tempered. Many studies have proven them to be the best child/family dogs. Don't be ignorant. Educate yourselves. Temperament testing has AmStaffs to have the best temperate for a family dog. The reason these dogs are known as mean and vicious is because they are mistreated and abused by the Michael Vick's of the world. I have an American Staffordshire Terrier that looks almost exactly like the dog pictured with the article. BEST. DOG. EVER! Heck, he's afraid of my Chihuahua.

nonmember avatar Lilac

Back in the 1920 the pit bull was the best house dog ever and great with kids. HOWEVER as time has passed people of low quality have breed this breed to be dangerous inherently. Pit bulls from the 1920 barely look like the breed today that's how selectively they have been breed for viciousness.

Torra... TorranceMom

I know we've all heard this a million times before but there are no bad dogs, just bad owners.

nonmember avatar Kelly

@Anne DeYoung Nowicki - While I absolutely understand your fear of pit bulls after that experience, I want to dispel a prominent rumor about the breed. They do NOT have locking jaws. No dogs have a jaw that locks. They do have powerful jaws, so if they latch on it can be difficult to break, but that is true for any dog who is attacking. The locking jaw myth is just that-a myth. Same goes for "if they taste blood they snap." not true. We have a pit mix. Sweetest, most affectionate, loving lap-dog in the world.

In regards to the article - My pit mix and I were attacked last week by a lhasa apso. My dog ended up pushing me out of the way of the lhasa and took it while this dog bit him on his legs. He never attacked back, but he protected me. So ANY dog can snap and is inherently dangerous. Just because pits happen to be larger and have a abd name, they get breed bans and laws against them. First it was Dobermans, then german shepards, then rottweilers, now the pit bull. Whats next?

katmom7 katmom7

We have a pit bull mix. We got her from the Humane Society and we were told she was part lab and part beagle.  We were very surprised when we took her to the vet and he told us she was part lab and pit! But  she is the sweetest thing in the world and is very nervous when she can't see the kids.  She is a "nanny dog"!  We have had jack russell's and poodles more dangerous than she is.  Plus, she is a great watch dog.

nonmember avatar Cat

I am so sick of reading stuff like this. My pit is a Safe Humane Ambassador (meaning we go to grade schools all the time where she's, obviously, around tons of kids), she visits retirement homes as a therapy dog, and she is all-around fabulous and awesome.

Anyone who crosses the street when they see us coming-GOOD. Cross the street. You don't deserve any of her love or affection.

Maevelyn Maevelyn

I worked as a dog groomer by far the most "vicious" natured breeds were Chihuahuas, laugh if you want but w/o proper discipline they become very aggressive and territorial. The worst bites I have seen were from Labs, Cocker Spaniels IMO are the most likely to  bite bc they are irritated or annoyed. The thing is NOBODY report Chihuahua bites, Cockers are not big enough to be fatal but pitbulls are. As Kelly said "First it was Dobermans, then German shepherds, then rottweilers, now the pit bull."  That is the order in which these breeds became popular since we became lawsuit crazy. My bet it would be Golden Retrievers, larg "doodle" mixes or Mastiffs (probably English Mastiffs) next bc more and more are popping up. 

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