Pit Bulls are notorious for their “Locking Jaws” and “Vicious” personalities, but in actuality that isn’t fair at all. Just like you can’t say one segment of people are a certain way, you can’t say all Pit Bulls are a certain way either. So, Are Pitbulls safe with kids? The quick answer: Yes, they can be!
There is a saying, that “there are no bad dogs only bad people.” Many Pit Bull owners trust their dogs around their children of all ages even babies in some cases. However, just because the dog is good around kids that doesn’t mean certain precautions shouldn’t be taken.
Precautions for Pit Bulls Being Around Kids
Below you’ll see a list of recommended precautions that will make it safer for children to be around your beloved Pit Bull.
One of the fundamental building blocks for having a well behaved Pit Bulls is simple obedience training. Does you dog know simple commands like sit, stay, lay down, heel, and no? Teaching these basic commands to your pup can save you a lot of headaches. Having a trained Pit Bull will ease the tension from parents of children and even adults who are suspicious of our beloved dogs.
When it comes to training, it doesn’t have to be formal or take place in a class room setting. There are tons of training resources online, that work just fine. What obedience training really relies on in the time and effort put into it. If you are willing to invest time in to your dog it will respond, this will be pay off big time down the road. Image being able to tell you dog to stop and come back if it were able to get off leash one day. Give yourself and others peace of mind, train your Pit!
Never Leave Them Alone
One way to prevent accidents and make sure children are safe around your Pit Bull, is always supervising. In the majority of attack cases, one thing is consistent…the child and the dog were alone together. Be proactive and avoid scenarios where any young child are left alone with your dog. There should be no exceptions! Think of this as a rule of thumb when it comes to your dog. This will keep you, your dog, and the children safe from any accidents. For us we apply this rule of thumb even when it comes to puppies.
Put Away All Toys
While it seems perfectly kosher to send the neighbors kids out with your Pit Bull to play fetch or tug of war, this could in actuality be a terrible idea! I’m sure you know from experience how your dog can get all riled up and excited during play. This is a good thing when you and your dog are playing together, but for a smaller child (who isn’t viewed higher in the pecking order) this could transform into a nightmare quickly.
Even items that aren’t necessarily toys but are viewed as “theirs”/owned by the Pit Bull should also be secured and put away.
Consider Not Feeding
By nature most dogs including Pit Bulls get on the defensive when someone messes with their food. When bring up dogs in my experience we always put our hand in their bowls while they were eating. Starting this routine, really relaxes the puppy and teaches them from a young age, that we aren’t competing with them for food. When kids are around, especially foreign kids (kids not your own) it’s wise to put away all foods including large bones and bully sticks. We want to avoid any injuries that could result from our dog tackling or forcefully taking their belongings from the child.
Never Force Interaction
Because we know and love our Pit Bulls, we wan’t others to feel the same way and relax around our dogs. However, we need to be careful NOT to force people to pet or interact with our dogs. Dog’s are known for sometimes just not liking certain people. If your Pit Bull is ever hesitant to approach or interact with someone, just walk away. Don’t make the person approach the dog and vice versa. Making such a judgement call, could be the difference between everyone walking away happy or a terrible experience, that heaps more dirt on our beloved breeds name.
So Are Pit Bulls Safe or Not?
Yes! Pitbulls just like any dog can be safe around kids. Don’t believe all the urban myths that paint these amazing dogs out to be monsters. Remember the above precautions, get your Pit Bull into obedience training early, put their toys away, don’t feed them, don’t force any interactions and above all else never leave children unsupervised with your dog.
Pitbulls are great dogs that are great around kids under the right circumstances.