Pit Bull Study – Aggressive Behavior in Pitbull Shelter Dogs

Anna MacNeil posted an interesting pit bull study on Stubby Dog. The study had interesting results after monitoring 82 shelter dogs that were categorized as either “pit bull” or other breeds (of similar size)- the control group.

Throughout the study, she studied aggressive behavior at three points: 1) in the shelter, 2) return rate for aggression and 3) across ten aggression-stimulating scenarios.

The people in the study did not know the basis of comparing the pit bull dogs to the other breeds.

The pit bull owners provided the same environment as the other breed adopters. The dogs were companions, housed indoors and left home alone for less than four hours a day. All of the dogs, regardless of breed, received regular play and exercise. But, MacNeil found that the pit bull adopters were more likely to take their dogs to the dog park when compared to the other dog adopters.

The results of the study showed that the pit bull dogs were no more aggressive than the other breeds. They were more likely to sleep on the bed and more likely to cuddle with their owners. The pit bulls were less likely to show aggression to their owners. They were more likely to pull on the leash.

The study did not show any major differences between the pit bull group and the other dog group when it came to dogs being euthanized due to aggression, nor did the study show huge differences between aggressive behavior to strangers, kids, cats, joggers, food, etc.

However, more dogs in the other breed group were returned to the shelter for aggression, and there was a slight trend in the remaining dogs in the “other group” to show aggression toward their owners at home.

Out of the 82 original dogs in the study, seven inflicted bites- one caused by a pit bull (did not break the skin), two by the other dog breeds (that did not break the skin) and four from the other dog breed (did break the skin).

To read more details about the pit bull study, check out the full report.