Pit bulls are strong, beautiful, and loyal dogs that have been companions to man for hundreds of years.
These dogs have been scrutinized many times over the years due to a number of fatal attacks, but many of these can be attributed to negligence from the owner rather than the breed of the dog.
The fact remains that these loyal companions are very smart and highly trainable, meaning that they can be taught to behave just as well as any other breed of dog.
There is one question that comes up very often in relation to pit bulls: Will a pit bull protect its owner in times of need?
As mentioned, Pit bulls are extremely loyal and become very attached to their owners quite easily.
This means that yes, a pit bull will protect their owner if they sense that they are in danger.
This doesn’t mean that they will become violent and viciously maul anybody who poses a threat to the owner, however.
What it means is that they are very social animals who desire to be around people and care very much for those who raise them.
Because of this, they want to make sure that their owner is safe and sound at all times, so if they notice any signs of distress, they’ll be right by the owner’s side immediately.
Are Pit Bulls Naturally Violent?
Unfortunately, many pit bulls have been used in dog fighting circles across the United States due to their immense strength and strong grip.
This is a brutal, illegal practice that exploits the abilities of these caring, compassionate dogs.
However, this should not be viewed as the normal case for pit bulls anywhere.
The people who engage in these activities are not raising these dogs in the correct way, and these pit bulls have been neglected and specifically trained to resort to violence.
Pit Bulls are naturally social and compassionate, so if they are raised in a loving home, they are no more likely to attack somebody than any other breed.
They will come to their owner’s side if they believe he or she needs help, but they won’t have an immediate instinct to attack the other person in front of them.
Instead, they may use intimidation practices and begin to bark loudly to fend off any potential attackers and alert others around them that the situation may not be right.
Many pit bulls are actually known for being too friendly, greeting everyone at the door and asking for hugs and kisses without discrimination. This is due to being highly socialized and becoming part of the family.
Some owners joke that their dog couldn’t protect them from a home invasion because they would be too busy getting pets from the criminals.
This shows that pit bulls are often a product of their environment and are not likely to attack humans unless they have been trained to do so.
Does This Mean Pit Bulls Aren’t Good Guard Dogs?
Because of their high sociability and affinity for people, Pit Bulls do not make the greatest guard dogs for every situation.
If a burglar were to sneak into the house only to steal something, the dog would most likely only look for pets and treats rather than attacking him.
However, certain pit bulls might bark for affection, which could wake the owner and alert them to the situation.
But they will not be attacking or mauling the perpetrator.
When it comes to violence against their owners, pit bulls may become more aggressive, especially if they have been trained.
Their fierce loyalty means that they see their owner as an integral part of their pack – the owner is their provider, caretaker, and best friend.
Much like many animals will instinctively protect their young against predators, pit bulls will do what they can to keep their owner safe from violent offenders.
This doesn’t always mean that they will resort to biting and clawing, but they may jump between the two people in order to move the attacker away from the owner.
They have strong, muscular, solid bodies that provide quite a force when combined with forward momentum, so they are able to knock people over and restrain them without attacking them violently.
As an intelligent breed of dog, pit bulls can be trained to become better guard dogs and in unfortunate cases may be poorly trained by bad owners to use physical violence.
This type of behavior should be strongly discouraged.
People shouldn’t be buying pit bulls solely for protection – they should be pets who are lifelong companions that will come to their aid in times of need.
Pit bulls are naturally athletic and known for their hunting abilities, so they are very useful in protecting their owners from animal attacks.
Because they are bigger and stronger than many other dogs or animals that would be found in rural or urban areas, they act as a deterrent from these potential predators.
If the animals do happen to be bold enough to attack, a pit bull is just as good as any dog to protect their owner from the harm that they can inflict.
Can Pit Bulls Save Your Life?
Pit bulls can certainly save lives, and there are many examples of them doing so.
Take, for example, a Pit bull from Virginia named Lefty.
Four intruders broke into her owner’s home, attempting to shoot the father of the family.
The courageous dog jumped in front of the owner and towards the attackers, taking a bullet to her right shoulder.
Miraculously, Lefty survived the shot and was taken to the animal hospital where surgery was performed.
The vets were unable to save her leg, but she came back happy and healthy, ready to continue to protect her family.
In another instance, a pit bull named Mercey from Edmonton, Alberta.
In a similar situation to Lefty’s, three men broke into the home of her owner and became physically violent.
Mercey jumped between her owner and the men, taking several blows from a machete that the men employed as a weapon.
The owner was able to remain unharmed as Mercey took the abuse for her. Fortunately, vets were able to save Mercey through intensive surgery.
There are many reports of pit bulls chasing both human and animal attackers away from children in order to save them.
In 2009 in Denver, a 9-year-old boy was playing in his backyard as a stranger attempted to pull him over the fence.
His dog Destiny, a pit bull, immediately reacted and charged the stranger.
The assailant let go of the boy and fled.
In another instance in Massachusetts, a 4-year-old girl was grabbed in the leg by an aggressive fox when her pit bull Abby and Bassett hound Callie came to her rescue.
The dogs chased after the fox, sending it running far away, saving the girl before the animal could cause any serious injuries.
The girl suffered only a small cut thanks to the reflexes and protection of her dogs.
Pit Bulls As a Service Dog
Pit bulls don’t only have to protect with physical power or intimidation.
Some pit bulls can be used as service dogs for people who suffer from seizures.
They have an uncanny ability to sense when a seizure is coming and are smart enough to retrieve a cell phone and dial 911 for emergency service.
This exact thing happened to an Afghanistan war veteran who suffered seizures as a result of PTSD.
When he collapsed, his dog Major was able to quickly call 911 and get an ambulance to service his unconscious owner!
In addition to life-saving tasks like the above, pit bulls are well known for being service dogs who can help those with anxiety or depression and provide entertainment and companionship for those who have been through traumatic experiences.
The services that they provide are vital for helping these people live normal, happy lives and to adjust to the world after their difficult occurrences.
In this way, they act as protectors not in a physical sense but in a mental, emotional, and psychological way.
This can be just as important as the ability to fend off attackers or other bodily threats.
Pit bulls are highly intelligent, friendly, and emotional dogs that require attention and care.
They thrive on human attention and will do everything they can to please their owners.
They can be dangerous in the hands of the wrong people, but a properly trained pit bull can be an excellent pet who will remain loyal and loving from the beginning to the end.
In times of emergency, they are very capable of coming to the rescue of their owner, fending off attackers or helping the owner recover from a physical ailment or seizure.
These dogs want to show all of their love and will go to great lengths to prove it.