The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
3 Points

Pit Bull Stereotypes

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/16/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 873 times Debate No: 68453
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




I feel pit bulls are taking a lot more hate than they should be. It's not the dog that's mean, it's the owner. The reason this is happening is because pit bulls are big, strong dogs and people use them in dog fights. Owners train them to mean. I had a red-nose named Kaos and he was the nicest dog I've ever had. You know why? We taught him to be that way. We taught him that violence was unacceptable and he would be punished for being mean. But he would also be rewarded for being good. I haven't seen him in a long time but I know that as long as he's alive he will be good. I feel the Pit Bull stereotypes are stupid. you wouldn't judge the whole family because of one person who did something wrong. you wouldn't judge the whole family because of one alcoholic or one druggie, would you? Why judge the whole pit bull population because of what a few poorly trained dogs did? Think about it.


I accept. As it was not stated who the burden of proof lies with, I will say that I'm willing to either share or take full burden of proof. I will be arguing that saying that owners make pitbulls aggressive by putting them in fights or bringing them up in any other way as to encourage aggressive behaviour (to be the ultimate bodyguards and/or guard dogs for example) puts the cart before the horse because it's precisely because they have tendencies towards aggression in the first place that owners like to use that breed for such activities. As it wasn't stated whether round 1 was just for acceptance or for making arguments, I'll refrain from making any just in case CON wants to go first making their case and/or expanding properly on things stated in round 1.
Debate Round No. 1


Skeletonman1999 forfeited this round.


I hope CON is ok and that the reason for forfeiting was due to being too busy or simply forgetfulness rather than something serious happening in their lives. In any case, I'll now pose my arguments.

My argument for the proposition takes 3 main steps:

1. Establish that tendencies towards aggressive behaviour in dogs is inherent.
2. Provide the data on pit bull attacks specifically that has given them their fierce reputation.
3. Give good reason for why there's a causal link between the two.

Tendencies towards aggressive behaviour in dogs is inherent

Big differences in gene expression in aggressive and non-aggressive dogs have been observed [1]. This is not to say that aggressive behaviour is exclusively genetic but it puts to rest the myth that bad dogs automatically mean a bad owner and that the dog can't be blamed (at least insofar as you can really 'blame' a dog for its genetic makeup). It also doesn't mean to say that a dog that has a predisposition towards aggression can't make a perfectly good pet. It's just that the dog needs to be trained out of that natural behaviour, much like most dog owners train their dogs out of many of its natural behaviours that they find inconvenient and/or undesirable (including - but not limited to - their tendency towards digging holes in the garden to store bones, their tendency towards barking to warn them of people approaching the property and warn the approachers to stay away and their tendency towards finding something like the owner's leg to grind on in the absence of a bitch to mate with). While I'm not being specific to pit bulls yet, it's worth noting at this point that CON freely admits to this point with regards to pit bulls, specifically their own pet. In saying that their pit bull was the nicest dog they've ever had because they taught him to be that way, they are (possibly unintentionally and unknowingly) conceding that non-aggression is not the dog's natural state. CON does go on to say that they know that the training will last for the rest of the dog's life (in effect, making the trained behaviour its new natural state) but I would ask how CON can possibly know this given that it's not uncommon for dogs that have been trained professionally and that have no prior bite history to suddenly attack children apropos of nothing [2]. As I've stated, I would agree with CON that it's perfectly possible for a dog trained out of its natural behaviour to make a perfectly good pet (that is to say, never shows aggression for as long as it lives). Indeed, this is demonstrably true. But you can't be certain that it will never occur. These things are unpredictable.

Pit bull attacks

Between 1982 and 2014 in the US and Canada, pit bulls have been second only to labrador mixes in the percentage of a particular dog breed that have attacked (and in some cases, killed) humans [3]. As this is on a per capita basis and dogs trained to fight by their owners were emitted from the results, the cause cannot be down to either the sheer number of pit bulls due to their popularity or down to bad owners (the latter of which being what CON is arguing). So, what then is the cause?


To understand how the two main points I've made so far are linked, it is necessary to understand the history of the pit bull. Pit bulls were originally bred in England for traits that made them suitable for attacking large animals like bulls and bears. Bull baiting was then banned and in the early 19th century, owners began to breed them for fighting each other instead by making them smaller and more agile but retaining the aggression bred into them for attacking bulls and bears. They then made their way to America and formed the pit bull we know today [4]. With the knowledge that selective breeding of dogs through artificial selection has been a very effective way to breed favoured traits into a dog's genes for thousands of years [5], the knowledge that pit bulls were bred for fighting and the knowledge that such a high percentage of pit bulls - whose owners have kept them as pets rather than trained them as fighters - have attacked humans, I would argue that it's reasonable to infer that while a bad owner of a pit bull will certainly result in a bad dog, a good owner of a pit bull does not necessarily result in a good dog as it is the genes of the dog that are the root cause of the problem. Thus, CON's examples of alcoholics and druggies are rendered false analogies and the pit bull is deserving of its reputation.

I look forward to hearing my opponent's response. There's still a chance for a good debate to be had in round 3.

[4] Stainer, J. (n.d.). Medical & Genetic Aspects of Purebred Dogs (p. 27) (R. Clark, Ed.)
Debate Round No. 2


I just don't see why every pit bull I've ever had and my friends' pit bulls were all calm and gentle. sure every dog can get aggressive but what separates them from pit bulls. What about Dobermans or rottweilers. I just don't see the difference.


RobertSine forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Skeletonman1999 1 year ago
thanks. I had to forfeit cause I was busy as well. good luck to you to.
Posted by RobertSine 1 year ago
Sorry for the forfeit. I've been busy preparing for another debate. I thought I had until tonight to complete round 3 of this one. It escaped from me. Good luck with the voting :-)
Posted by Infinity406 1 year ago
I think this is an amazing debate. I would be Con if I could. Amazing!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Both sides FF'd, but con dropped all of Pro's statistical arguments in R2. He proved pit bulls are inherintly more violent. Con offers anecdotal evidence. Pro wins