Are American Pit Bull Terriers Aggressive?

No, American pit bull terriers are not aggressive. Contrary to their controversial reputation American pit bull terriers are actually friendly dogs. In fact, they don’t make great guard dogs because they’re typically too happy to greet and make friends with strangers.

However, American pit bull terriers do have a strong prey drive. When they see an animal running away from them, they instinctively want to chase it. This doesn’t mean they’re being aggressive, but this is alarming to those watching, as well as frightening for those racing to escape.

While most American pit bull terriers are sociable and playful, if challenged they may not back away from a fight. And because they’re a powerful, muscular breed, the other dog may come off worse which leaves you to deal with a distraught owner, vets bills, and potential legal liability to cope with.

No matter how goofy and affectionate it is around your family, it’s important to keep your American pit bull on a leash and under control whenever you’re in public places. In many areas, American pit bull terriers and those of similar breeds are required to wear a basket muzzle in public.