Originally Posted by Laurelin
Maybe it didn't make the headlines but it definitely affects the breed negatively in SOME way. It is not just a neutral thing that happened.
I am extremely wary of pit bulls these days for this very reason. I have personally seen too many maul another dog, heard 'responsible pit owners' talk about their dogs killing other dogs, and had too many friends whose dogs were attacked by pit bulls and injured through no fault of their own. My trainer's dog was the most recent case- attacked at a dog show while in the hotel on a leash. They were simply walking out their door and the dog started mauling him. My cousin's pit killed a golden a few years ago. I watched a pit take off half a mastiff's ear and they had to choke him off. Both dogs in that instance were leashed. I know several owners on forums who have admitted their dogs have killed other dogs (and almost with a badge of honor- well my dog is SUPER DA but he's so great with people!). And I could go on. And on.
That kind of stuff definitely has shaped my feelings towards the breed and the way the owners seem to be failing to manage that DA... I have known other dog breeds where individuals have injured/fought with other dogs, but not to the same extent. The end result is that I don't really trust the breed at all. I am so much more aware when around a pit bull and so much more cautious than with most other breeds. It has zip to do with media perception and everything to do with how many bad experiences I've had.
Personally, I would MUCH rather deal with a dog with a somewhat spooky temperament than one who was 'stable with people' that's instincts were to kill other dogs. I'm not sure I'd call that a 'stable dog'. I don't think stability simply has to do with how the dog reacts towards people. A dog that goes off the hilt at another dog for simply being? Not on the top of my list when it comes to stability and safety.
And I hear other people with the same thoughts too, it's not just me. My trainer won't go anywhere without mace and a cattle prod now.
I've had the same experiences and it's very sad. Because I've never been one to be prejudiced towards ANY breed, and I will usually always stand up for a Pit Bull, but I am extremely cautious around them and won't let my little dog go say hello to a Pit Bull that I don't know. And that probably makes me look like 'THAT' person, or a snob, but I can't risk my dogs life after what I've seen some Pit Bulls do, and how I've seen them act in the dog parks around here. There are a lot of "it's all how you raise them" people that attend our dog park who probably make a worse name for pits. But I've seen some very scary body language going on in a lot of pits I see around other dogs.
I have to say that I've never seen a HA pit though. I don't worry about them for my own sake, more just my dog. I am not sure what I would do if my dog was that unpredictable AND a pitbull. I definitely don't envy your situation and feel for the OP.