Pit Bulls Unleashed

Pit Bulls Unleashed

2017, Society  -   56 Comments
Ratings: 7.54/10 from 48 users.

Are pit bulls a predatory menace or merely the most misunderstood breed of dogs? Pit Bulls Unleashed explores this polarizing issue with impassioned figures on both sides of the debate.

The film's narrative piggybacks off an unspeakable tragedy. A young woman adopts two pit bulls and raises them as her household pets with no incidents of disobedience. Then, without warning, the dogs maul her as she holds a 14-month old baby. They tear the child from her arms and proceed to devour and kill it.

Is there something bred into pit bulls that makes them prone to violence? When a horrific mauling or death occurs, advocates of the breed work quickly to exercise their significant lobbying power. Violent outbursts are only isolated incidents, they argue, and many are hyped by the media to inspire false hysteria. In their view, there are unstable dogs in every breed just as there are in the human race. To promote their cause, these advocacy groups mount appealing and persuasive advertising campaigns to brand pit bulls as the ideal family-friendly pet. They've been successful in halting state bans of the breed.

Statistics may tell a different story. According to one researcher interviewed in the film, pit bulls are responsible for a majority of dog attacks against children and other pets. Graphic post-attack photos and parent testimonials provide further evidence of this.

An animal shelter whistleblower speaks of dishonest tactics employed by the industry. In some cases, aggressive pit bulls might be shipped to different states and have all recorded offenses against humans erased from their paper trail.

There are also figures in the debate who advocate for a compromise of sorts. They argue that many of these mauling incidents arise from irresponsible ownership, and propose a licensing system much like the process consumers must go through when purchasing a gun.

Are proposed bans of pit bulls a form of canine racism or a logical step towards ensuring human safety? This is the contentious question that dominates the film.

Produced by The Fifth Estate, Pit Bulls Unleashed challenges the viewer by admirably zig-zagging between opposing viewpoints.

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9 months ago

Yesss, im pleating for a lisence system also. I cannot walk on the street with a gun in my country but any hole can have a killing machine on 4 legs which is a recipe for disaster. And so true that its always the owner whom things up so no need to kill the breed.....but prove you are worthy and not only showing of because ur insecurity,those kinda are the real problem, go seek out a psych!!!

Jack Rollens
1 year ago

This so called "Documentary" is so bias it is unreal. I have volunteered at numerous shelters. People are the problem.

3 years ago

Even within a breed, individual lineages can vary in temperament. I think this breed needs further selective breeding to make its temperament more stable and consistent throughout the breed. People saying "ban the breed" are engaging in essentialist thinking.

3 years ago

This may be the most deeply racist film I have ever seen.

4 years ago

I am not sure why anyone owns this type of dog. There's a reason why most shelters have 5 times as many of this type than any other breed. People can't handle them and no one wants to adopt them. So rescues pull these dogs out that their original owner didn't want and rehome them? That's insane. I don't care why this dog tends to bite more or do more damage. They don't need doggies shrinks, they need to not exist. Make it illegal to breed them with a huge fine and get a poodle.

5 years ago

As most documentaries, this is rather one-sided. I feel the same as the commenter Heidi. The doc leaves many questions unanswered; such as why do they attack? Where are the case studies that indicate 'why'. Some are random, some are provoked, some are due to neglect, and so on. Without understanding the reason why, we cannot begin to fix the problems. Giving a blanket solution, such as breed specific bans, is not the answer.

That being said, the doc did give me some food for thought. The one volunteer trying to re-home a a pit bull to a family "pit bulls make the best family dog, I always recommend them". I believe that is ignorance. The reason this bothers me so much is that most of these shelter dogs largely have no history, as mentioned in the documentary. I had never thought about that much before. The documentary made a very good point in this. Aside from just never knowing when an animal may get aggressive, previous events can be an indicator. Completely ignoring this and offering a dog to a family is ignorant.
I do own pit bull cross dogs. They are sweet, never aggressive, but that does not mean I would ever trust them around children. That goes for any dog. Pit bulls, along with other larger breeds, just do more damage. This is responsible ownership. Any dog, animal, can turn at any time. Who knows what the trigger may be.
This documentary would have been more well rounded had it included actual experts on both sides.

5 years ago

This documentary includes no interviews or studies from actual dog behaviourists or scientists. A plastic surgeon, a vet tech and some people from different organisations are apparently "good enough" for The Fifth Estate. Alrighty then. Everything is addressed in an annoyingly superficial way; Just tell, tell, tell and avoid explaining anything properly. For example, there's talk about bans, restrictions and laws but we're never told what these bans/restrictions/laws would be exactly. Why? Not juicy enough? We also have civilians on both sides, commenting on dog behaviour, as if they were experts. Are any of these people trained in the field? Do they understand the basic calming signals of dogs? Why isn't there an actual dog behaviourist addressing these issues as well? Am I supposed to believe that they couldn't find any properly educated specialists within the whole United States of America? Way too many "whys" here for my taste. I'm not a bloody robot, I understand and appreciate the emotions on both sides. However this documentary relies too heavily on emotion and personal experiences and not nearly enough on properly explained, well conducted research and well based facts. Didn't convince me one way or another. Instead of watching this, I suggest you go out for a walk and ask random strangers about their opinions and experiences concerning pit bulls. You'll pretty much get the same level of expertise, but as a bonus you'll also get some fresh air... and possibly some opinions about a rapper.

My brain hurts...

5 years ago

Pits should be outlawed. Yes, any dog can bite but not many have the ability to kill so efficiently. Huge penalties for the owners.

5 years ago

My final comment as I have finished the film. I personally would not buy or rescue a pit bull because I think a person that does is taking a great risk until someone finds out the reason pit bulls and all dogs attack. Please don' t have them around infants or children.

5 years ago

I see children treating dogs of all breeds in inappropriate ways. Sitting on them, pulling their body parts, kicking them. Does anyone have knowledge of what is happening the instant before they attack. As I said in a previos post, maybe any dog can be set off by certain activities, noise, or treatment.

5 years ago

..and what about that syndrome or science about people who "lose their mind" because of an unfound virus or something wrong in their brain as portrayed in "Brain on Fire". Could this be something to look into?

Ann G
5 years ago

Has anyone studied whether the certain pitch or tone of a child crying or yelling could set them off?

5 years ago

I'm not sure I buy the story of the woman who claims to have had that poor child ripped from her arms. No tears during the retelling of her ordeal. No pictures of the bite marks on her arms while she fended off the dogs as they supposedly ripped the baby from her arms. I don't doubt for a minute that the dogs attacked the child. But I doubt that baby was ripped from her arms.

Mark Gaboury
5 years ago

The dad whose kid was killed by the beasts: "the owner did nothing wrong." She owned pitbulls! and you thought she'd made a good babysitter! You didn't know that pitbulls need bullets whispered into their brains?! And you still don't know it?! Please don't have any more kids.

dog lover_really
5 years ago

I have had two negative encounters with pit bulls. The first one was a friends dog who was several years old and had never shown any aggression other than barking in the yard at strangers approaching the house. One day during a family get together, the dog owner walked into the family room and the dog jumped on a 2 year old and bit her badly in the face. The dog had been around all these people many times. It just reacted and reacted badly.
The other incident happened when I was walking my dog along a side walk. A pit came running up from a sunken yard and broke through the fence trying to attack my dog. My dog was only 28 pounds so I pulled him up and over my head. The dog continually jumped up on me trying to get the dog and bit my calf. There was no provocation.
I am for banning them. My home insurance does not insure this breed and it is a well known national company.
In the town I live in, a 4 year old was mauled and killed by her family dog that she had been around since birth. This dog did not show aggressive behavior prior to this.
These dogs are unpredictable and must be banned. They are aggressive by nature and built for destruction.
As for the really rude comments I have read here in this post, you are out of control yourself.
There is a general psychosis about dogs these days. They are not your "Children" they are animals. They are not human and should not be fantasized as such. These dogs have been shown to be dangerous . I agree that people are losing their grip on reality when they can no longer see the value of a child's life in comparison to a dogs. These are animals, that are Do you need your child or your person to be injured before you wake up?

5 years ago

Subjected to moments of nervous tension particularly in closed flats, they're dangerous and can attack and kill, that's why here in my own town of Porto (Portugal) a baby was killed in a flat.

John smith
5 years ago

hhmm 29 minutes into the video Having cookies in your hand and saying these dogs are safe around people doesn't really fit.Look at the dogs carefully..as long as they think they are getting fed then all is ok,Prove it my making them upset or angry or denying food and see what happens, then I'll believe they are safe.

5 years ago

hi i am 55 years old and a first time dog owner ..i hired a person to find me a pure breed pit bull..i got her at 7 weeks old this dog is exceptional smart powefull loyal and now she is one year old..i permote theese dogs for single owners not as family pets..never hit your pit bull you will regret it..pit bulls need one one love training and trust..i love. really love my pure breed pit bull..

Tom O'Brien
5 years ago

The final statement by the former Pitbull owner whose dogs attacked and killed a 14-month-old child is the bottom line: how can you discern which Pitbull is aggressive and which is not. That risk alone de-legitimizes all the skewed, fervent arguments for allowing this breed to exist. Unfortunately, like gun control, this is such a polarizing issue and the loudest voices wagging the dog are those of the advocates for a cause that yields both potential and statistically verified violence. Why does freedom so often get attached to my right to do what I want at your risk.

5 years ago

Why not look at the owners of these dogs. Pitbulls are good dogs just like any other breed, it only takes one bad owner who makes these dogs dangerous. Dalmatian breed are much worse the temperament are very much unpredictable. There are Shepards that are not friendly and I should know, I was attacked by Shepards and people that have told me their stories about German Shepherds biting them.....why only look at one breed when other breeds are much more dangerous....look at the owners and their home first!!! I have a pitbull/boxer mix and she loves people and other dogs no matter the size. It's not falr to the responsible pitty owners or the breed.

Bob Cameron
5 years ago

In my mind these dogs are like firearms. In and of themselves they may inflict no harm BUT with the wrong owner or neglect they can cause untold grief. The owners of these dogs should be held to a higher degree of legal responsibility for their dog's actions, and should have to prove ongoing public liability insurance. If I accidentally shoot someone I am responsible not the gun.

5 years ago

I am a owner of a pitbull and I am really sorry for what happened to this woman but I can say my pitbull is like my own child she is a very plasit and loving dog she protects my granddaughter and I fully support pitbulls again we as pitbull owners have to stress how the dog is brought up by the owners

Sabrina Bimbolino
5 years ago

As an advocate for Breed Specific Legislation I have been involved with victims of severe and fatal dog attacks since 2012. I fully understand the dangers that this (these) lethal dog breeds present. Unfortunately those who haven’t had the experience of facing a man eater will either continue to doubt and enjoy their dog that luckily has had their DNA culled, experience an attack and join our advocacy or lose their lives. It’s that dramatic a difference between good and bad bloodlines. Ignorance or denial of the issue only continues to get people and pets killed. If you are a victim of these dogs you can find us on Facebook at the National Victims of Canine Attacks Support Network and shoot us an email. Please understand that due to increased numbers of rescued malignant dogs and transported rescue pits that numbers of victims are increasing. We will get back with you within three days. If you live in Texas and want to be part of the statewide movement for BSL please contact us at The Texas Coalition for Dogbite Law Reform.
These dogs will continue to attack until they’re stopped. Be part of stopping them. God Bless the victims.

5 years ago

Its past time victims of pits get noticed and the pit lobby gets exposed. Thank you for sharing!! Keep up the good work!

5 years ago

Living in America can some times make you scratch your head, only america,, an I'm a veteran, this said it's the same old B.s., do we exterminate people, an ban them for doing crimes against are fellow man, mostly no, not the way we do dogs, for everything that happens, it happens for a reason, like it or not, example, I have a 90 pound shepard/cow mix, I've had this dog for a long time, an it's never took a bit out of anything, but at times I'll let my dog walk without the lease, yet people will become terrified at times, so I'll tell them this dog won't shoot you, Rob you, or rape you, but the next Peron you come across could, my point is, 95 % of the times all dogs are loving an well behaved, now I can't say that about people, first, let's deal with all these nuts we deal with daily, then come back to this dog issue, or should I say non-issue

5 years ago

Ban these unstable, dangerous dogs! There have been too many "unreported" pit bull attacks on people and children. They should not be pets - they are aggressive when unleashed or loose - growling and bearing their teeth. We've all seen it. "They were good dogs...yet she says they attacked her and tore a kid's face off".

5 years ago

Wow - what a powerful story - I have always been really wary of these dogs, but mainly because they LOOK DANGEROUS - they have very heavy built bodies & jaws & a way of staring at you with menace - that would be enough for me ! Something is wrong with their psyche - maybe what they were bred to do in the first place ? It looks as if it's not easy to know what actually will set them off - nobody appears to know !
I think they should be gradually got rid of - by sterilizing them all. That's the kindest way to do it, no actual killing, but disallowing breeding of this dog. You know something is very wrong when they have to become deceitful to get them adopted, and for anyone that believes in no-kill of any life - how many are too many of anything - humans, dogs, cats, mice, fleas ??? There IS a point at which you too will object to the numbers !!!

Don Duncan
5 years ago

The solution, no matter the problem, is personal choice. No problem has a "one size fits all" solution, e.g., force one opinion on everyone by coercive laws. Let freedom reign! Live & let live! I know this goes against the worldwide use of violence inflicted on all by laws. Note: Laws contradict from country to country and time to time in the same country. City, county, state, and national laws contradict each other. This is social/civic chaos. Isn't the govt. touted to us as a "necessary evil"? We are told to pay and obey or be fined, imprisoned, or killed. Why? To avoid social chaos! So we do, and we have social chaos.

5 years ago

Humans should not have to live in fear of a dog. Licenseingblike a gun is a partial solution. Does this help when a pitbull turns on you and mails you to death?