The pit bull's reputation has gotten so bad that a state representative from Grosse Point wants to ban all breeding of the dog, and in 10 years, order everyone in Michigan to get rid of them.
The law has yet to get a hearing, but many of us are afraid of pit bulls.
A study sponsored by the U.S Centers for Disease Control found that pit bulls cause one-third of all dog bite-related fatalities. That's the most of any breed.
Why? Their pedigree. They were bred to have strong jaws for fights.
"They just have big, strong muscles on their jaw so they can carry things a lot easier than other dogs," said Dr. Tim Hunt, a veterinarian at Bayshore Veterinary Hospital. "They're just Arnold Schwarzenegger in the mouth department."
Not only that but they can be easily taught and trained.
"They're just a trainable dog, so we can encourage those negative attributes to them if given the chance," Dr. Hunt said.
But the controversial canine can also be trained to be docile. Lauren Beyer posted on our Facebook, "Mean dogs are made, not born."
Exhibit A: Rex and Gi-Gi. Ishpeming's Kristi Jiotto raised her pits with positive reinforcement to encourage good behavior.
"Yea, this is the big, horrible, mean pit bull that everybody talks about; my big 80 pound lap dog is what he is," said Jiotto.
Still, many prefer to play it safe and buy another breed.
So is there any reason to get a pit bull if they have such a bad reputation? Is there any positive aspect to them? Jiotto says they're actually people pleasers, and they're very owner loyal. In fact pit bulls used to have a positive reputation--they were once dubbed "nanny dogs" who watched over children. And remember Petey from the 'Little Rascals?' He was a pit bull!
Bottom line: know what you TMre getting when you acquire a pit bull, and train him or her appropriately. If you're thinking about getting a pit, vets say it TMs best to get them as a puppy so you and your family influence its temperament.