This article appeared as a comment in a discussion of a news article and we felt it was worthy of bringing up again, since it addresses a number of points which the pit bull advocacy would rather you not think about.
I was an upper middle-class pit bull owner just like you. My husband is a doctor and I am a stay-at-home soccer mom and we live in a lovely suburban neighbourhood. We got our dog as a puppy from a reputable breeder and put her through puppy classes and basic obedience. She was spayed and properly vaccinated, stayed indoors and was very loved. I used to defend the breed to everyone I met, just like you. I used to think I knew my dog inside and out, and I was sure she would never, ever hurt my child.
Then my dog turned 3 and, literally overnight, her dog-aggression came out. She tried to attack the neighbour's poodle through the backyard fence (she had been in a fenced yard beside this same dog literally thousands of times with no show of aggression). When my 8 year old daughter tried to pull her away from the fence, our pit bull locked onto her forearm (she only got her forearm because my daughter threw it up to protect her face, she was going for the face) and it took 8 minutes for my husband to beat her off, he eventually wound up using the weed whacker, after a baseball bat broke over the dog's back without even being noticed by her. My daughter lost partial use of her right arm and she is still relearning all of the basic skills with her left. Her life will never be the same.
We have been accused of being at fault for not "being there to call off the dog". Well, we were there, we were sitting on patio chairs watching my daughter throw a ball for our pet, who she had spent three years playing with and which had never shown so much as a lip lift to anyone or anything up to that point. We couldn't, physically, call off the dog. We couldn't physically BEAT off the dog for over 5 minutes. After the dog was off my daughter, my husband was on the ground struggling with it to keep it from going at her again as I pulled her into the house. There was so much blood that I kept sliding on it and falling down. There are still blood stains on the patio almost 2 years later. All the dog wanted was to get back on my daughter and finish the job. The dog didn't make any noise while she was attacking and her tail was wagging faster and harder than it had ever wagged before. I believed then, and I believe now, that that dog was the happiest it had ever been when it was locked onto my daughter and trying to kill her.
Let me tell you, you have no idea - none - how completely different pit bulls are from normal pet dogs. When that dog was triggered she went from being a goofy pet and companion to being a cold-blooded predator in a millisecond. You cannot imagine what it is like knowing that your dog is trying to kill your child and knowing that it might just succeed because it is stronger than you are. There is nothing like it in the world.
There was no news coverage of my dog's attack on my daughter. None. So much for the overhyped media aspect, huh?
You are insane to own a fighting dog when you have children. Absolutely insane. I wish we had been protected from our own stupidity by legislation. What is worse is that you are also, by your own admission of a picket fence the dog could easily escape over, putting other people's children at risk. Fighting dogs are not pets and we need laws in place to protect people from them.
Many thanks to Craven Desires for their efforts towards raising public awareness of the pit bull problem. The original comment, in context, was found here