In a word, yes.
Pit Bulls can be safe with kids.
As an owner of two female pit bulls I am aware that having them around kids is a big responsibility. And not for the reasons you may be thinking.
I am not worried my dogs will attack a child. Not in the least, what I am worried about is the situation itself can lead to many problems. Let me explain…
Say for example a young kid, we’ll say 8 years old is playing with one of my dogs. My dogs being active pit bulls that love to play can get quite excited. What happens when one of my dogs knocks the child over or trips them and they scrape their arm?
Odds are their parents are not going to be happy, even when I asked for okay to let their kid play with my dog. They might understand it was an accident, but that doesn’t’ change the fact that a pit bull hurt a kid.
How do I know they haven’t recently read some articles of pit bull attacks?
I don’t. And neither do you.
Pit Bulls can be safe with kids under the correct conditions. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind when having your dog around children.
Five Tips to keep your Pit Bull and children safe while playing together
Always supervise interaction pit bulls and kids
NEVER leave a child alone with a dog. This goes for any dog. Even if it’s a puppy. This is for both the child’s and the dogs safety.
If you read through articles of pit bull attacks online where children were hurt, maimed or worse, killed by a Pit Bull you will notice that in 99% of the cases they were left alone with the dog or dogs involved.
This should be a rule rather than a tip. Use common sense and care. Small children especially should never be unsupervised around dogs.
- Watch the child’s behaviour
Watch the children’s behaviour. This tip is more for the dogs safety than the child’s. Children can be brutal and even in the face of such harsh treatment, well bred, responsibly owned Pit Bulls are not prone to biting or “attacking” in defense.
Make sure every child that plays with your dog understands how to behave around them. They should know to respect your dog and it’s space and other things like toys, food, water, or their special bed.
- Make sure all your dogs prized items are put away
Ah, nothing like a kid running around with a dried bully stick in their hands. lol. Not only is this nasty, your dog will want their bully stick back and attempt to get it. And in the process they could nip a finger or two.
Put all your dogs favorite toys and treats away and where children can’t get a hold of them to be on the safe side.
To clarify, it wouldn’t’ be out of malice or viciousness the dog would get a finger or two. It would be by accident, an accident that can easily be avoided by putting such things away.
- Start taking Obedience classes
If you’re not already training your dog in basic obedience. Start as soon as possible.
Having an obedient Pit Bull will help when kids are around. Not to mention adults as well.
Teaching your dog to sit so they can be pet, laying down when things get a bit to rowdy, or to do a silly trick to lighten the tension of an over cautious parent is always a great idea.
- Never Force your dog into a situation that makes them uncomfortable
Some dogs simply get weird around certain people. Don’t force the issue and make your dog say “hello” or play with someone they are showing signs of apprehension around.
However, I have seen very few Pit Bulls get weird around people. Almost none now that I think about it. Since they are extremely people oriented it is quite rare to see them become skittish.
However it does happen, so be aware of how your dog is reacting to people and if they do get weird, take them somewhere quiet they can hang out or continue on with your walk.
Pit Bulls can be safe with kids despite what all the articles of pit bull attacks suggest.Using common sense, watching your dogs behaviour, and keeping an eye on all interactions between kids and your pit bull will go a long way to preventing any possible accidents or problems.
And finally, Pit Bulls love kids and the two make a perfect combination. High energy wired up kid + high energy wired up Pit Bull = loads of fun and laughter for all involved.