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Are Dobermans, Bulldogs, and other ferocious dogs mean because it is in their genes or because the way they are brought up and treated?

Submitted by Blanca 

Jackson, MS

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I have had 2 pitts. They are the best. They smile, laugh and protect! Very smart dogs.

Lexington, Alabama

Hi, I have experience working with all kinds of dogs and the worst ever seen is not even a pitt bull; it smaller dog like winnie dogs, chihuahuas Min. Pins. I also have a couple of pitt bulls and one of them is hyper and jumps on people the first reaction to them is to run, but all he wants to do is play. My other one is nice and very friendly great with kids in are family, but when we take him out to parks we take percautions because he is not the best with others. He doesn't know, but we know better. I say punish the deed not the breed.

----Jessica Lopez
Houston, Texas

I have a rednose pitbull. He is sweet and obedient; he is two years old. I think pits only want to protect their owners; they love so much.


I have 2 Rottweilers and they are the best dogs!! My fiance's best friend has a pit bull and my best friend has a rottweiler. They are a VERY loveable bunch. All four of these dogs have been properly socialized. Now, as far as bad behavior goes, its just like a child. If you don't discipline your PUPPY, your DOG will be a out of control. Also understand that they (dogs) are territorial. If you go inside a fence with a Rottweiler or a Pit bull, and they don't know you...expect to get bitten. And Always ask before petting someone elses dog!! Common Knowledge people!! My name's Rip and I thank you for your time.





Just wanted to say thanks to all the people who had wonderful things (to say) about the beautiful pittbull.

Reading, PA


I think that people are the ones to blame for how pitts, doberman, or other fercious dogs (behave). I have two pitts right now and they act as if they were golden retrievers. It's how you treat them, their blood line isn't what made them fercious. All dogs could attack another do or person. All dogs have the potential to be a persons best friend. My pitts our like my children.


I think dogs can become aggressive through their "training." For example, right now I have a pitbull on my back porch. I found her in my yard today. Most likely, she was a fighting dog. (I can tell by the rings around her tail which is her mark as a fighter, and the scatches and blood all over her), she wasn't winning enough and someone dropped her close to my farm and she wandered up. I saw her and was automatically frightened because of the reputation pitt bulls have, but since she wasn't aggressive toward my neighbors dogs and wasn't aggressive toward me, though I didn't try to pet her; I decided to help her. I gave her half a ham I had leftover from christmas and a bucket of water. Ever since, she has been sitting on my backporch on a rug guarding my house. So you see, even though this dog was probably abused and no doubt deprived of the love and attention she needs, she is still trying to trust me. Pitt bulls aren't always what they seem, and even though I have to give her up to the animal shelter, she has taught me a valuable lesson.

Shreveport, LA


My newlywed husband and I went to the animal shelter 3 months ago, and found a beautiful brindle/white pitt - she's the best thing to happen to either one of us! I honestly couldn't have asked for a better, more loveable, friendly dog. I'll never own another kind of dog again!

----Lindsey Bengtsen
Beale AFB, CA


I don't think pittbulls are bad at all; they are the best! I love them very much. I have three and I love them very much. Yeah, they get a bad rap, but it doesn't matter. People can say what they want it isn't true; it is determined how they are treated too. I hate people who say stuff about them. I love mine sooo much! I might be young, but i don't think it's right!!!

Douglassville, PA


I have had all three types of the breeds mentioned in my lifetime and found it's not the breed in them, it's how they were treated from their first breath. Human cruety to animals is like a kid dealing with child abuse. You can show them love and hope that one day that you will give you the love back. It's a shame.

Southern Pines, NC


I think pittbulls aren't mean in any way. I think its those ghetto rats who give the breed "pittbull" a bad name. I own a pittbull myself, and it's the best dog I have ever had in my entire life. I've had all sorts of dogs like bull terrier, labs, boxers, beagles and a lot more. Still out of all those dogs the American Pittbull Terrier was by far the best dog I ever had in my life.

Providence, RI



Hello. I was looking at animal things and came across this page. I think animal cruelity goes deeper than just abused animals. I recently had an experience, and let me tell you about it. I had a dog over 3/4 pit bull. I had her ever since she was a baby. She was a part of our family; we loved her and showed her a GREAT LIFE. She gave birth to several puppies. We tried to confine them so they puppies wouldn't get out, but they did. Our dog never crossed anyone with a bad mood. She loved and trusted people, as we raised her. I have 4 kids. She was a big part of our family. Well, the puppies got loose and a new homeowner next to us had called the dog warden. He came and took them and our dog. She will be put to sleep in three days, for what??? Because she had the wrong blood in her and so did the puppies?? I felt like I betrayed her; she was a loyal friend and family member, and all in all she was hunted like a Jew in the Nazi days, sentenced to death is her price for her breed and her puppies breed! So now, she and her puppies are waiting to executed and for nothing they did, just for who they are. Isn't that cruelty?? She will be missed and cried over, by kids and adults, BY HER FAMILY. So my question is, what is cruelty? Why do a few make all bad? Why did she have to pay for what bad people trained other to do?? I feel she is like a Jew being led to execution and there is nothing I can say or do. But hope she remembers that her family loved her! They led her away not even being able to say bye.



I believe that these dogs are taught to be mean. Look at it this way. If you were being hit everyday by the same person, wouldn't you turn and hit back after a while? It is only nature to want to protect yourself from whatever it is hurting you.

---- Jessica



---- ANGEL


Although they are breeds for guarding and attacking, correct environment and training these dogs will for the majority make these dogs family pets.

---- Lacey
Mankato, MN


I think the only way a dog could be mean is how it was brought up and treated.

---- Amber
Ypsilanti, Michigan


I think that a dog's behavior mostly becomes the way it is by the way the dog was raised and treated. But, I also believe that certain breeds have tendencies to be more aggressive, and these breeds have built these negative characteristics over time--- due to the way the animal was treated by humans through the development of the breed. So I guess you could say I think it is a mixture of genes and environment.

Newark, Delaware


I own a Dob. and know a few Rots. and I must say that it is the way they are trained/not trained that makes them mean. You look at your toy dogs if you want to see some really nasty dogs.

---- "mom"
Glenview, IL


I think that pitt bulls are wonderful dogs; they are fun and outgoing not mean. It is NOT pitt bulls that are vicious; it is because of the owners stupidty for wanting to fight animals like that and that gives a pitt bull terrier a bad name --- NOT because they are bad breeds because they have the wrong owners.

----Kellie T.
Murray Ky


I think that any breed of dog can be dangerous, if raised cruelly. It depends on how they were raised and treated. My mom has two pitt bulls and they are very loving and sweet dogs. The dog learns just like a child learns from their parents. So if the owner is cruel and the dog maybe mean, but not always. I have heard the best dog to get is one that has been abandoned and abused. It may take a bit to get there trust but doesn't a dog desire love and care too?

Independence, MO


We feed, give shelter too, love, and groom them, it only makes sense that a dog is only a refection of its owners.

----Joan Adams
Irvine, California


I feel that though tendencies may be genetic as to personality traits.
The bulk of the behavior is a result of their environment. Like with a
humans, most become a product of their environment. 

Reelsville, IN


It is blatenly obvious in almost all cases a dog is vicious because of the way it has been raised.

---- Brandy Hestand
Lawrence, KS


I owned an english bulldog for 10 years and found him to be an
extremely quiet, loving and loyal dog.

---- James Gomes
Cambridge, MA


I think "ferocious" dogs are only mean because of how they are brought
up by their owners. For example, my 4 year old nephew has a pitbull named Mac, and it is the sweetest thing you will ever see. He can pull its tail, jump on it whatever and it won't do anything. Also,my dog is half wolf and she is a sweetheart. How can you say they are meant to be mean? It's not right.

---- Kayla
Peterborough, Ontario


     What would make a decent animal turn vicious? Well, truthfully, there are some mental issues that are even apparent in animals that would allow the animal to turn. In this case, these traits would be more prominant in certain breeds of dog. HOWEVER, as a breeder, trainer and rescuer I will tell you from my experience.
     A few years ago I saved a dog that was due to be destroyed because it attacked a child. I begged the warden to let me take this dog, and eventually he did as a great favor to me. It was a 5 year old Rottweiler and I could see the hatred in this animals eyes, yet I had hope.
     Myself, I had a 5 year old child (the same age as the child that the dog had attacked) so I was VERY nervous about introducing my child to this animal. Patiently and lovingly, I cared for this animal. Then one day decided it was time to introduce my child. This once vicious animal was loving and caring... One of the best dogs we ever had.
     The sad truth is that most people buy these specific breeds for the purpose of making them mean, and this is exactly what happens. No animal is born to hate, it is the owners that make the animal mean.
     BTW, I later learned in my case with the Rottweiler that the animal was living in the back end of someone's pickup truck, tethered, forgotten, never fed, and the owner used to allow the 5 year old child to beat her with a plastic bat.
     I hope that my thoughts can persuade the disbelievers out there.

---- Katrina Wogoman
Urbana, Illinois


My opinion is both: some dogs are naturally aggressive; most are taught to be mean.

---- Carol Shows
Mendenhall, MS

I think it is the way a dog is brought up and treated that determines the dog's personality.  I have a very small dog and she adores Rotties and Pitt Bulls.  I find it sad when I will take her to pet shops and she meets a "vicious breed of dog." If they are not frightened of her and they start playing, others will come by and comment that I need to take my dog away from the other one because it will attack. I have even been told I am a bad owner for letting her greet and play with these types dogs.

---- Michelle
Orange Park, FL

Which animal do you think deserves to be
"The Animal of the Century" and why?

I think wolves should definitely be the animal of the century because they can be as cuddly & nice as a puppy. When I'm older, I want to bring wolves into schools & show people how nice they really are.

---- Ashley 

Lake Los Angeles, CA


The cat has become "the pet of the century"; most people have cats because of their relatively easy care (litter box, etc.); there're cat lovers, detective cats, shrinks for cats, furniture for cats, etc. In the '50s, many people thought that cats were evil, that they ate with their eyes closed because they were ungrateful; people were afraid of black cats. Nowadays, most people see cats as adorable, strong-willed, whimsical creatures. And, the most important thing is that we've accepted that cats are our masters.

---- Blanca 

Jackson, MS


I was reading what everybody else had to say and most of them said dog or wolf and I think both of them should, Because technically they are the same just one of them is feared by everybody but I don't know why I mean so the wolf kills but the only kill to stay alive and we do the same thing. But in my opinion if people weren't afraid of the wolf they would be our best friends. So if you ask me the wolf and the dog should both be the animal of the century. I hope you feel the same way.

---- Justy Keenen
New York


I believe the bacteria should be the animal of the century. Although not commonly considered an animal, bacteria are a type of an animal. They have saved the lives of billions of people. Where would be be without insulin? The vast majority of insulin is derived from bacterial sources (E.Coli to be precise). And, without bacteria, we would be one giant yeast infection. Oh, the delicate balance of yeast and bacteria...

----Tony Paton
San Luis Obispo, CA

The rat should be the animal of the century. Billions have died in labs to try and save the human race.

---- Dan

                              Elmira, NY                  



THE FERRET!!! smart, loving, adorable, and best of all fun! If you've ever had one, they're impossible not to love, they are charismatic little pals and will make friends with anyone and anything. They live for fun and love and deserve "Animal of the Century" for brightening up the world with their antics!!!!

---- Kim Crane

Alexandria, VA


I feel that the wolf should be the animal of the century. They have endured so much through the past years that we owe them respect. The reason I say respect is because they have been teaching us through the centuries what it is like to have real family values. There is no other animal that teaches this as well as they do. They also hold so much mystery & mystic when you TRULY look into their eyes. If only all of mankind could see deep into their eyes, would they realize what they have taught us and endured. They have endured countless times of pain, sorrow & suffering from mankind and it is now time to show them respect for what they have given us.

The following poem describes their life, I hope you enjoy it !

Life is a journey through many terrains,
From gardens of pleasure to deserts of pain,
From an ocean of love to a jungle of hate
From mountains of glory to canyons of fate
There's a highway for joy and a highway for sorrow,
A road for today and a road for tomorrow
So choose your path wisely and walk it with care
If you follow your heart, you'll find your way there
I've been to the garden and planted seeds there,
I've been to the desert and felt the despair
I've swum in the ocean and drunk of it's wine,
I've ran through the jungle and hung from a vine
I climbed up the mountain to touch the sky
I went to the canyon and started to cry
I've travelled both highways, both today and tomorrow
I've basked in the joy and wallowed in sorrow
My Path has been chosen and
I've walked it with care I followed my heart and I'm
on my way there
So I'll just keep walking till I find what I'm after
To mountains and oceans and gardens of laughter


Thank You for giving me this chance to give the wolves a chance!

GentleWind ~


Anoka, Minnesota


I think that the dog should be the animal of the century because they are cudly.

----Matthew Lee

Empire, Colorado


Normally, I would say the horse since they have given and still give so much to we humans. But I would have to actually say the dog. Not only are they our family companions and protectors, they have given so much to research for our health needs in the training practices of our doctors and surgeons. The medical testing that is done on them for our medications & the medical field using the (k9s) dogs to practice their surgical techniques in med schools so the MDs can do surgery & take care of the fellow human. These animals have given their lives for us over and over, time and time again through out the ages! They have endured along with the wolf so many decades and centuries of human short comings.  Bravo!!! to the canine species!

----Lydia Hall

Blanchester, OH



We believe that the Bison should be chosen as "The Animal of the Century", because it is a true symbol of the American Spirit and yet hundreds of bison are slaughtered every winter near Yellowstone National Park by the Montana Dept. Of Livestock because the bison wander out of the protection of the park, in search of food. If the bison were chosen to be "The Animal of the Century", then maybe it would receive the attention and protection that it so richly deserves.

----David & Lani Adams

Palmdale, CA


I think the Wolf should be the Animal of the century. It is the most misunderstood animal there is. The world needs to be educated on how fantastic this animal really is.

---- Darla Barnshaw

Morton, Pa.


 The animal of the century should be the wolf. Wolves have had to endure unbelievable hardships at the hands of man even though they are intelligent, loving animals. Our most loved companions, our dogs, are essentially domesticated wolves in different clothing. Whatever we love most about our dogs, their unquestioning love, their courage, their fidelity has been passed down from their wild counterpart the wolf. Wolves have suffered many injustices at the hands of humans and it is about time that we honor them and respect them for the wonderful creatures that they are.

---- Kathy Herman

Sandia Park, NM


CATS; have proven to be (found to be) extremely loving, loyal, much more intelligent than popularly thought, trainable to some degree, and, of course, are easier to care for and DON'T BARK/YAP. They're more "sophisticated", can do amazing things, are amazing "miracle animals", physiologically. +, they are silky, cuddly, and purr.

---- Fred Siedow

Houston, TX



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