As they say, "don't hate the breed, hate the deed". ALL dogs learn from us. Not just pit bulls. ALL dogs can be aggressive, depending on how they are raised and their situation.
My dog Myan was dumped twice at the shelter. First by her previous owners because she was just "too much to handle". Second by her foster family because she snapped at their son. But they also admitted their son was tormenting Myan.
I looked beyond all this. When I first met her, she was a bit obnoxious. Just barking stupidly, but I see my surroundings. I just took her out of a kennel she had been cooped up in all day. There are dogs in kennels all over, barking. She was excited.
I took her to my van and she jumped in and laid down, like she's been in that van for years. Got her home and after about a hour of just searching the house and seeing all the new things, she was a lump. She is just a big lump. She barks when people come in, but is friendly to everyone, friends and strangers alike.
One day I saw my cousin (who I can't stand), poking Myan in the face, I told her to knock it off or she'll get bit. Sure enough, Myan snapped at her. But it wasn't anything. I saw it all. She mouthed her hand and then walked away. No growl, no bark, no blood. Myan has a lot of restraint.
One thing I noticed at first, she was dog aggressive. She doesn't try and kill them, she is just a big bully. After months of training and socializing, she is much better. She'll try and bully sometimes, but if the other dog bullies back, she gets all submissive. As I said, bully. All talk, no action. But I do wonder if she could have been a bad dog in the wrong hands. She's defended my daughter, my home, and myself before.
A great example on the whole, "I won't hate the breed, no matter what.". I took Myan and my daughter for a walk around the block. Myan was on a 6ft leash, my daughter in a stroller. As we passed by a house, I saw a big black pit bull in a yard by itself and it did not appear to be leashed. Knowing Myan can be obnoxious and bark at other dogs, I didn't want her starting something. So I got her to heel on the opposite side and she didn't notice. Out of the corner of my eye as we walked by, I saw the dog rise. I continued to pretend I was ignoring it. And then I saw it charging. I put my daughter behind me and turned around to face it. Figuring this was it. Either Myan or I were going to be hurt. Or both. I didn't even want to consider what would happen to my daughter. Myan at that point saw the dog and started being aggressive back as it was coming at us. I started screaming, "The dog is attacking me! Call 911!", but screaming it AT the dog. I had heard facing down an attacking dog is much more likely to save you then running from it. It got withing 3 feet of us and stopped. Seeming to reconsider the situation and looking Myan and I up and down. Perhaps it was a bluff charge, I'll never know, but the dog walked away and then the owner called it inside. And then I proceeded to scream every 4-letter word at the guy about what a terrible dog owner he is. I got home and called animal control to have a talk with the guy. I'm good friends with the officers. That day, they had a new officer I never met. He talked to the owner and then came to talk with me. And tried to imply that I have a thing against pit bulls. He told me it wasn't a pit bull, it was a lab mix. He must have missed the huge yellow sign on the fence that said "Pit Bull on Guard". But okayfine, so I replied, "I don't care if it was a pit bull, a lab, or a freakin chihuahua. The dog was offleash and charged at my daughter, my dog and I. It's not the breed I am worried about, it's the fact that an aggressive dog is off leash down the street from me."
They moved out a week later. And a few doors down, another pit bull just moved in. Sweetheart of a dog too. I love her. Big coward is what she is though.
Another time, someone tried to break into the house and Myan was ready to attack them and stopped them from breaking through my daughter's window.
And I'll tell you, my two big dogs are MUCH easier to handle then the little ones. If I tell my dogs to lay down or go to their house, they do. While my grandmother's chihuahua, who also lives with me is a Hell Hound. The household is one big doggie experiment. Myan and Willow both had a tough early life. But with love and training, they are AWESOME dogs. Now my grandmother's chihuahua, Bambi, never had training and is spoiled to the core. To the point that he is one mean bastard. For instance, my grandmother had this knack of thinking she was "calming him down". When Bambi bit someone, she would give him a treat, to "calm him down". And guess what? He's bitten everyone in this house. After a huge, and long explantion that she was training her dog to attack by rewarding him and that HE doesn't see that as a calming aide, she knocked it off. But after 10 years of doing it, it hasn't stopped him. Myan and Willow have NEVER bit my daughter or I. But Bambi has bit her twice and me...more times then I can count.
And one last story, for now...I got a million of them
....My sister went to the E.R. one night and saw a girl there with her hand wrapped in a red towel...but with a closer look, it was a white towel covered in blood. They rushed her inside, and then a few moments later, a girl comes running inside the E.R. with a ziplock baggie. Inside the bag was ice and a severed finger. A little while later, my sister saw the family again and they all started talking together. Come to find out...The girl owns a chihuahua and a doberman. The two dogs got into a fight. She feared for the chihuahua's safetly and tried to break it up. But instead, she had her finger clean bitten off......Guess which dog bit off her finger?.......The chihuahua!! After 6 years of working in a grooming shop and 10 in an animal shelter, I've learned it's the little dogs who have the steel-jaw traps.