Pit Bulls and Rottweilers not advised near children - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Pit Bulls and Rottweilers not advised near children

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –What you consider a safe pet, others may consider a dangerous animal.

Many people in south Georgia own dogs that some call dangerous breeds that shouldn't be around children.

According to the Clifton study, Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios and their mixes are responsible for 74 percent of attacks and 68 percent of the attacks are upon children.

Even thought it is most of these dogs first attack, experts say there are certain precautions you should take if you chose to bring these animals up around children.

The dog may look sweet, but can a Pit Bull be trusted around children?

"The Rottweiller has a natural tendency for protection and the Pit Bull has a natural tendency for aggression towards other animals," said Dr. Jennifer Daniel.

They may have a bad rap, but hundreds of people in south Georgia are proud owners of Pit Bulls and Rottweilers.

"You take on a huge responsibility because of their size and they are so powerful and they can do so much damage sometimes not even meaning to," said Daniel.

But some experts say these dogs do not belong around children.

"I think the reason we see attacks with young children is the child, not knowing any better, does something the dog sees as a threat and also children are more likely to approach a dog and want to hug it," said Daniel.

Lee County animal control officer Jackie Griggs agrees, and doesn't even adopt out full size Pit Bulls.

"Most of the time it is the Pit Bull dogs that will bite and most of the time it is the family dog," said Griggs.

Today she euthanized a Pit Bull that bit a 7-year old little boy last month.

While the family pet may not be aggressive normally, its behavior is unpredictable especially around young kids who may not take caution.

"If you chose to have a dog of that breed, especially with toddlers, don't let them have access to the dog, get one as a puppy raise one in a situation where they are used to children," said Daniel.

Dr. Jennifer Daniel owns a Rotweiller mix and understands the precautions that come with the breed.

"If we know someone is coming to the house to do some work I remove her from the whole area, or I'll take her to work with me," said Daniel.

These breeds require a lot of care and must be kept secure, because if not, trouble may ensue.

If you do wish to own one of these breeds veterinarians recommend getting one as a puppy, and socialize it and train it early on.

Also, fully understand your pets genetics which will help you make decisions when it comes to social situations.

If you know kids will want to play with the dog, you would probably be better off getting a less aggressive breed rather than taking the risk.

Every year, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs. On average, 16 people die every year from dog attacks.

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