Pitbulls The Nanny Dog Myth Debunked

Pitbulls, also known as American Pit Bull Terriers, have a controversial reputation. Some people believe that they are aggressive and dangerous dogs, while others consider them to be loving and loyal pets. However, there is a long-standing belief that pitbulls are the perfect family dog and that they make excellent “nanny dogs” for children.

This belief stems from the breed’s history as a working dog.

Pitbulls were originally bred for bull-baiting and dog fighting, but they also had other jobs, such as protecting the family and their property.

In the early 1900s, pitbulls were often referred to as “nanny dogs” because they were known for their gentle and protective nature towards children. This reputation has persisted over the years, and many people still believe that pitbulls are the a great breed for families with young children.

The truth about Pit Bulls
The truth about Pitbulls is… they can be majestic perfect dogs

History of Pit Bulls

Pit bulls have a long and complex history that dates back to the 19th century. The breed was originally created in England by crossing bulldogs with terriers to produce a dog that was strong, agile, and tenacious.

This new breed was used for bull-baiting, a popular sport at the time where dogs were set upon a tethered bull. The dog that could bring down the bull the fastest was the winner.

When bull-baiting was outlawed in England in 1835, pit bulls were no longer used for this purpose. However, they continued to be bred for their fighting ability and were brought to America in the late 1800s. Pit bulls were used in dog fighting rings, where they were pitted against each other or other breeds of dogs.

Despite their reputation for aggression, pit bulls were also known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners. In fact, they were often referred to as “nanny dogs” because of their gentle nature towards children.

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In the early 1900s, the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the American Pit Bull Terrier as a breed and established a breed standard. The breed was also recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1936, but under the name American Staffordshire Terrier.

Today, pit bulls are still a controversial breed due to their history of being bred for fighting and their reputation for aggression. However, many pit bull breeders and owners argue that the breed is misunderstood and that with proper training and socialization, pit bulls can make loving and loyal pets.

Despite the controversy surrounding the breed, pit bulls remain a popular choice for many dog owners. Whether you are looking for a loyal companion or a working dog, pit bulls have a long and fascinating history that makes them a unique and interesting breed to own.

rescue pitbull los angeles

Pit Bulls as Nanny Dogs

Pit Bulls have been known as “nanny dogs” for decades, and for a good reason. These dogs are incredibly loyal and protective of their families, especially children. Pit Bulls have been known to protect children from harm, and they sometimes make excellent playmates for kids.

While some people may be hesitant to have a Pit Bull around their children, due to the statistics showing that Pitbulls are often involved in biting and serious attacks. Pit Bulls are gentle and loving dogs that are great with kids. They are also very patient and can tolerate a lot of rough play.

In fact, Pit Bulls have been used as therapy dogs in hospitals and nursing homes because of their gentle and nurturing nature.

Pit Bulls are also very intelligent dogs and can be trained to do a variety of tasks. They can be taught to fetch, play hide and seek, and even help with household chores. They are also great at providing emotional support and can be a source of comfort for children who are going through a tough time.

Misconceptions and Negative Reputation

matching brown pitbulls
Amazing matching brown Pitbull coats!

Pit bulls have gained a negative reputation over the years, particularly in the media, where they are often portrayed as vicious and aggressive dogs. However, this reputation is largely based on myths and misunderstandings about the breed.

One of the most common misconceptions about pit bulls is that they are inherently dangerous and mean. This is simply not true. Like any other breed of dog, pit bulls can be aggressive if they are not properly trained or socialized. However, with proper training and socialization, pit bulls can make wonderful family pets.

Another misconception about pit bulls is that they are vicious and aggressive towards humans. While pit bulls have been involved in some high-profile attacks on humans, these incidents are the exception rather than the rule. In fact, pit bulls are no more likely to be aggressive towards humans than any other breed of dog.

Unfortunately, the negative reputation of pit bulls has led to a stigma against the breed. Many people are afraid of pit bulls simply because of their reputation, even if they have never had any negative experiences with the breed.

This stigma has been perpetuated by media hype, which often sensationalizes pit bull attacks and portrays the breed as inherently dangerous. In reality, most pit bulls are loving and affectionate dogs that make great pets.

In some places, such as California, pit bulls and other so-called “dangerous” breeds have been outlawed through breed-specific legislation. However, many animal rights activists and organizations, such as the ASPCA, argue that breed-specific legislation is ineffective and unfair.

Ultimately, the negative reputation of pit bulls is largely based on myths and misunderstandings about the breed. It is important to judge each dog as an individual, rather than making assumptions based on breed stereotypes.

two gorgebous sibling pitbulls
Two gorgeous sibling Pit Bull dogs

Training and Socialization

Pit bulls have a reputation for being aggressive and dangerous, but this is largely due to a lack of proper training and socialization. In fact, pit bulls were once known as “nanny dogs” because of their gentle, loyal, and affectionate nature towards children.

Training a pit bull is essential to ensure that they grow up to be well-behaved family companions. Positive reinforcement training methods are highly recommended, as they encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior without the need for punishment. This type of training involves rewarding the dog for good behavior, such as sitting on command, and ignoring or redirecting bad behavior, such as jumping on people.

Socialization is also important for pit bulls. This involves exposing them to a variety of people, animals, and environments from a young age. This helps them learn how to interact with others in a positive and non-threatening way. Socialization can be done through puppy classes, playdates with other dogs, and regular outings to new places.

It’s important to note that pit bulls are protective by nature, which can be a good thing when trained properly. They make excellent watchdogs and will protect their family if they sense a threat. However, this protective instinct can also lead to aggression if not properly managed.

Proper training and socialization can help prevent aggression in pit bulls. It’s important to start training and socializing them as early as possible, ideally when they are still puppies. This will help ensure that they grow up to be well-behaved family companions.

In conclusion, pit bulls can make excellent family companions when properly trained and socialized. Their loyal and affectionate nature makes them great with children, and their protective instincts can make them excellent watchdogs. With the right upbringing, pit bulls can be loving and gentle pets that bring joy to their families.

Health and Genetics

Pit bulls are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Some common health concerns for pit bulls include hip dysplasia, allergies, and skin issues. It’s important for pit bull owners to take their dogs for regular checkups and to stay up-to-date on vaccinations and preventative care.

Two rescue Pit bulls. Pitbull dogs are massively over represented in rescues.
Two rescue Pit bulls. Pitbull dogs are massively over represented in rescues.

When it comes to genetics, pit bulls have been the subject of much controversy. Some people believe that pit bulls are inherently aggressive and dangerous, while others argue that any dog can be aggressive if they are not properly trained and socialized.

One thing that is clear is that genetics play a role in a dog’s behavior and temperament. However, it’s important to remember that genetics are not the only factor that determines a dog’s behavior. Environment, training, and socialization all play a crucial role in shaping a dog’s personality and behavior.

Unfortunately, pit bulls have been the target of breed-specific legislation (BSL) in many areas. BSL is a type of law that restricts or bans certain breeds of dogs based on their appearance, rather than their behavior. This type of legislation is controversial and has been shown to be ineffective at reducing dog bites and attacks.

When looking for a pit bull breeder, it’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs. A good breeder will conduct genetic testing on their breeding dogs to screen for any potential health issues and will provide proper socialization and training for their puppies.

In conclusion, while genetics do play a role in a pit bull’s behavior and temperament, it’s important to remember that environment, training, and socialization are also important factors. Pit bulls are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they can be prone to certain health issues. Breed-specific legislation is controversial and ineffective, and finding a reputable breeder is important for the health and well-being of your pit bull.


In conclusion, the idea of pit bulls as “nanny dogs” is a myth that has been perpetuated over time. While pit bulls can be loving and loyal pets, they are not inherently better with children than any other breed.

It is important to remember that any dog can be dangerous if not properly trained and socialized. Pit bulls, like any other breed, require responsible ownership and training to ensure they are safe around children and other animals.

While the idea of a “nanny dog” may be appealing, it is important to approach dog ownership with a realistic mindset. Dogs are animals and can be unpredictable, so it is important to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of both the dog and those around them.

In the end, the decision to bring a pit bull into your home should be based on careful consideration and research, rather than relying on myths and stereotypes. With proper training and socialization, pit bulls can make wonderful pets, but they are not a substitute for responsible parenting or supervision.

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