Pitbulls And Babies: Are Pitbulls Safe Around Babies?

Pitbulls And Babies

You’ve probably seen mixed opinions online regarding Pitbulls And Babies and whether or not Pitbulls are safe around babies. Many pediatricians advised dog owners not to have Pitbulls around their babies and kids, but Pitbull owners and parents to newborn babies beg to disagree. One thing Pitbull owners do agree is that babies with allergy sensitivities should stay away from Pitbulls since this dog breed is not hypoallergenic.

Pitbulls And Babies? While some argue that Pitbulls are dangerous and can accidentally maul or bite your babies, others disagree and say that well-trained and mannered Pitbulls are a great part of the family because they are loving and protective of their babies. Regardless of which side you are on, we can all agree that you should never leave your babies unattended no matter how much you trust your Pitbulls.

It’s also important to note that each dog is different and we should avoid generalizing the entire Pitbull dog breed.

Pitbulls And Babies: Are Pit Bulls good with babies?

When it comes to whether Pitbulls are good with babies, we believe that there are always two sides to this argument. Let’s explore both sides in detail so that you can decide for yourself what’s best for your family and whether your Pitbulls can be with your babies.

Let’s start with the side that supports having Pitbulls around babies first.

Are Pitbulls safe around babies?

pitbulls and newborn babies
cute pitbulls and babies

Many vet and dog owners will tell you that it’s best to introduce your Pitbulls to new pets or people slowly and then based on the Pitbulls’ response, you can determine whether you trust having the Pitbulls around your babies. 

For example, if you just had a newborn baby and you’re coming home with your new precious baby, be sure to spend at least an hour of quality time with your Pitbulls first. Have your spouse or significant other keep the baby in a separate room while you spend your quality time with your pooch. This will show your Pitbulls that they are still important and loved.

When you feel ready, lay your newborn babies’ blankets and clothes on the ground and let your Pitbulls sniff them. This will get your Pitties to get familiar with the smell of your newborn babies. At this point, your Pitbulls may have an idea of what’s going on. They may start to pace around the room and whine. This is all normal because Pitbulls may pace in anticipation. 

You can then bring your babies into the room and introduce your babies to your Pitbulls and see how they react. Some Pitbulls will immediately lay down next to the baby.

Again, never assume that the job is done here. No matter which type of dog breeds you have, whether it is Pitbull or other types of dogs, a responsible dog owner or parent should always keep a close eye on the babies when they are both together.

Are Pitbulls safe around babies? Yes!

Here’s why some Pitbull owners say that Pitbulls are safe around babies:

Pitbulls make a great companion

Pitbulls like to please their human (big or small). In this case, Pitbulls like to please the babies. Pitbulls don’t mind the loud crying or wailing sound. You can find plenty of pictures online of cute babies sprawling out on the bed with their Pitbulls brother or sister next to them or sniffing them. 

You may even find pictures of babies sleeping next to the Pitbull’s face and drooling on the Pitties’ ears. Some caption of the photos refers to the Pitbulls as nanny dogs, which totally makes sense. 

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If you’re questioning that the photos are real, you’ll be glad to know that they are. Pitbulls do in fact get along with babies, toddlers, and kids and do make great canine companions. 

Although Pitbulls have a vicious history in which they were bred for a violent sport called bull-baiting and later dog fighting. Fortunately, that cruel game was banned in the late 19th century. Today, Pitbulls are bred not for any type of sports but to be canine companions to humans. Many argue that Pitbulls have successfully accomplished that. 

According to the United Kennel Club (UKC), Pitbulls are described as full of enthusiasm, loyal, always wanting to please their owners, and full of life. UKC also noted that Pitbulls love children and are a great addition to the family. This information came from years and years of observation and experience with Pitbulls being very close to babies. 

Keep in mind that just like other dog breeds, Pitbulls’ temperament and personality come from a combination of their environment and their genetics. When it comes to personality development, thankfully, the environment plays a more major role than genetics.

So how Pitbull owners treat their Pitbulls and how the Pitbulls are trained and raised will affect their temperament and personality. Both training and the environment heavily impact whether Pitbulls will get along with other dogs, animals, and people around them.   

Due to this, it’s crucial for Pitbull owners to socialize their Pitbull puppies early. Additionally, proper and humane treatment is key. As the saying goes, treat others how you would like to be treated. During the Pitbulls’ puppyhood years, make sure they are trained as well. 

All of this will help them be great companions to babies. 

As you can see, the environment plays a crucial role in a dog’s behavior and personality. This is why we should never generalize one group of dog breeds. Instead, we need to assess each Pitbull dog individually.

Are Pitbulls safe around babies? No!

Now, let’s discuss the side that isn’t in favor of having Pitbulls around babies.

Pitbull Dog bite statistics

The argument on this side of the Pitbulls and babies debate is that Pitbulls should not be around babies because they may bite and cause serious injury to your vulnerable and defenseless babies. 

There’s no denying that Pitbulls bites do make up more fatalities and death than other dog breeds. More recently in 2018, a pediatrician named Laura Marusinec wrote in the Herald-Tribune that there are many studies which show that Pitbulls make up a great percentage of dog bites in babies and children. 

In her professional opinion, she believes parents should not have Pitbulls if they are expecting a baby soon or have babies or children in the home. While every Pitbulls are different, she stated that the medical studies clearly indicated that half of the damaging injuries in children were caused by the Pitbull dog.

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Compared to other dog breeds bites, the injuries caused by Pitbulls were the most severe. She also stated that it’s hard to tell which Pitbull dogs will attack until they do. You may think that your Pitbulls are fine with children until it happens and one second is all it takes to cause death to your kid. 

Injuries could disfigure your children for life or cause them scars and pains. Some children grow up and carry the emotional trauma throughout their lives.    

According to DogsBite.org (link below), the site for dog bite statistics and safety guides, it stated that Pitbulls account for more than half of deadly dog attacks here in America. In fact, ⅔ of tragic dog attacks in the USA are due to Pitbulls. 

DogsBite.org also shares news of victims and how they were attacked. They stay up to date on dog bites so it’s hard to argue with their findings and statistics.

Can Pit Bulls Be Made to Be Safe Around Babies and Toddlers?

pitbull and baby grow up together
pitbull and kids

The good news is that Pitbulls can be made safe around babies. Let’s go over some of the ways: 

Socializing your Pitbulls

Before you lay your baby next to your Pitbulls, there are certain steps you should take first. You’ll want to socialize your Pitbulls and expose them to your babies’ clothes, blankets, beds, toys, and of course your babies.  

Doing so allows the Pitbull to become more familiar with your babies. The socialization process should be a gradual one and not something to rush through. It takes time for Pitbulls to learn your babies’ smell. By taking the time, your Pitbulls don’t feel rushed, forced, or bombarded with someone new in their lives. Socializing your Pitbulls also lets them know what’s to come so they are in the mood of anticipation.  

Since it’s inevitable that babies are loud and noisy with crying and laughter, it’s important to allow your Pitbull to get used to your babies at their own pace. Pitbulls will also sniff a lot and get used to your babies’ smell. And don’t worry if your babies smell funny to them, Pitbulls are just associating the scent with the person (and in this case, your babies). 

Babies also make sudden movements quite a lot. Pitbulls that haven’t seen this before will take time to slowly get used to your babies’ behavior. 

Never try to force your babies onto your Pitbulls. This is not a good idea. Your Pitbulls may feel uncomfortable and forced and their anxiety or fear can lead to aggressive behaviors that we want to avoid (especially around our babies).

Training your Pitbulls

Introducing your Pitbulls to your babies is just the first step. Next, you’ll want to train your Pitties to react properly to your babies’ behavior. When they are being gentle with kind with your babies, be sure to reward them with praise. 

It’s best if your Pitbulls already know some basic commands before introducing them to your babies such as down! Or sit!

Exercise to prevent pent-up energy in Pitbulls

Pitbulls need exercise because they are such active dogs. When dogs have too much pent-up energy, they may act out or resort to bad behaviors like aggression. Therefore, it’s best for Pitbulls to expend that energy by exercising. Exercising also provides Pitbulls with physical stimulation. 

Before allowing your Pitbulls to meet your babies for the first time, make sure they’ve had their daily exercise. This way, they won’t have too much pent-up energy and will stay calm when meeting your precious babies. 

Provide your Pitbulls with chew toys, bones, walks, and your full attention. 

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Are Pitbulls Good With Babies?

It depends since all dogs are different. Within any dog breed, some dogs will not like babies while other dogs love babies. It really depends.   

Again, it depends on how you raised your Pitbulls, whether they are well-trained or not, and the environment they were raised in. 

We’ve provided several tips to help keep your babies safe if you allow them to be around your Pitbulls.

Supervise, supervise, supervise!

Anytime your Pitbulls and babies are together, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on them. So, if you have babies or little kids in your house and they are playing with your Pitbulls, always supervise. 

Like humans, our Pitbulls also have a limit when it comes to humans such as toddlers tugging at their tails or pulling at their hair. The good news is that babies tend to sleep all day so although they are next to your Pitbulls, there’s not much interaction between them going on. 

If you have a toddler or a young child that is playing next to your Pitbulls or are crawling on the floor, make sure you are nearby to supervise them. Toddlers are known to test boundaries and they will do the same to your Pitbulls so you’ll need to stay nearby to intervene when you need to.

Train your children proper dog handling etiquette

Training your children at a young age on how to handle the dog in the house is essential. Your babies and toddlers are still exploring and learning the world so they may not know that punching, hitting, kicking, or stepping on the dog is not acceptable.

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, only you know your Pit bulls the best so only you can decide whether you want your Pitbulls around your babies. While there are many horror stories out there of Pitbulls causing fatal injuries to children, there are also tons of touching and heartwarming stories of great relationships between Pitbulls and babies. 

Each dog is different so it’s best not to generalize a whole group of dog breeds. If dog owners spend time properly training and socializing their Pitbulls as well as their babies and children on how to interact with dogs, then you’ve lowered the risk. 

Always ensure that the introduction is calm, gradual, stress-free, and slow. Both the dog and the babies will need time to get familiar with one another.

Resources:

https://www.aspca.org/about-us/aspca-policy-and-position-statements/position-statement-pit-bulls

https://www.dogsbite.org/

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