While pit bulls have a reputation as fierce, aggressive dogs, historically they were known to be gentle and good with children. However, early socialization and training are crucial for pit bulls. To minimize risk of injury, children should be taught how to interact positively with dogs and always be supervised.
When allowing a child and a pit bull to interact, teach the child to respect the dog's space and property. Even though a well-bred and socialized pit bull rarely bites when provoked, a child can still accidentally hurt or frighten him. Do not force a dog into a situation it is uncomfortable in, paying attention to its body language and growls.
Spaying or neutering a dog decreases instances of male or territorial aggression. When raising a pit bull puppy, early socialization is the key to a happy and well-adjusted dog. Positive and consistent exposure with children, people and other dogs teaches a pit bull how to behave.
Pit bulls are heavily stigmatized because of their presence in dog fighting rings. Socialized pit bulls are rarely aggressive towards humans, craving attention and approval. However, they can also be less tolerant of other dogs. Some people theorize that their love of people has contributed to their bad reputations, as they are easy to train for nearly any task, including fighting.