How to Kill a Pit Bull

Brief Summary (If a Pit Bull is Attacking)

  • Tell somebody to call 911
  • Don’t waste your time kicking, punching, or stabbing at a pit bull
  • Keep one arm between your throat and the dog
  • Jump on the dog — throw your body weight on him
  • If he has a collar, pull it to choke him
  • Gouge his eyes out


Considering probabilities, you should not waste too much time on this topic unless you have mastered defensive driving, healthy eating, and first aid!

However, that does not weaken the observations that:

  • pit bulls are dangerous, especially the sweet ones who earn the trust of their owners;
  • it is lunacy that these beasts are legal — a machine gun would not be tolerated on a side-walk, even if the owner muzzled and leashed it;
  • you can reasonably expect a pit bull to emotionally terrorize your children or yourself at least once in your lifetime.

I have never seen my kids disappear so fast (into moving traffic) as when we were walking in a parking lot and a muzzled pit bull suddenly gnashed and barked through an open window inside a truck. If a man wearing a muzzle hid in a truck and suddenly gnashed and screamed at a passing child, that man could expect to find himself in handcuffs fairly quickly. How is it somehow less frightening or abusive to a child if the face behind the muzzle is more hairy, more ugly, and has larger fangs?

I do not let my kids watch horror movies, but these dogs, especially when wearing the cage-type muzzle, are more frightening than Hannibal Lecter. The foamy muzzles, however, are a comedy! They deflate the macho image of the dog. They look like brown diapers with legs.


  • Anybody’s advice should never trump a strategy that keeps the professionals at the front of emergencies. Somebody (within shouting distance) should phone 911! If a dog is running at you, and you have your cell phone in hand, dial 911 and set the phone on the ground before you face the hostility;
  • This article is not about first aid; it is not about treating dog bite wounds. If you want to have knowledge and awareness, you should consider a comprehensive strategy, including first aid; and
  • Though I have contacted many, I am not a dog handler, a zoologist, a criminal, a pit bull owner, or a police officer — discern everything I say — your safety and the safety of our children is of utmost importance. My intention in writing this article is to provoke all of us to think about this situation, including some of the ethical concerns, but more-so the practical realities for people like me who live in cities where many residents worship dogs and despise children.

About me

I have two children; like most people, I have experienced and observed dog hostility, prompting this research:

  • a Scottie dog untied my shoelace, the little booger!
  • I watched a pit bull terrorize two boys with skateboards, and spent some unfortunate time with the residents of that neighborhood afterward, all of them crippled by fear of the dog owners, living like slaves in subjection to Nazis;
  • a pit bull attacked me while I was walking in a park with my camera.

I hope you enjoy some of my research — some from papers, and some from experience.

Visual Recognition

Regardless of various titles and confusing names, if a dog looks like a short-haired block-headed turtlenecked broad-chested beady-eyed prostrate Hershey kiss, then it’s a pit bull or a pit bull mix. It has the stance of its father, the English bulldog, and the tenacity of its mother, the terrier. They have thick skulls and tapered wiggle-butts. Some have cropped/trimmed ears, but some don’t. Their short fur is not always brindle.

Look at photos; you will be able to spot them; (search the web to view some of the deformities). If you experience nausea, simply look away from your display.

There is no practical reason to trust anything that resembles a pit bull. The pit bull mixes can be just as unpredictable.

Look at photos of bull dogs — they look different.

Look at photos of boxers — they look different.

Unneutered male pit bulls are the most likely to attack.

Prevention and readiness

Talk to your children about dogs — tell them that they should to try their best not to run away from any dog, whether it is attacking or not. Explain that if they run, a dog is more likely to chase them.

Tell your kids that if a dog attacks, they should stand behind you, facing the dog. Whenever possible, they should dial 9-1-1. Forget “stranger danger” hype mythology — in cases of emergency, your child must run to a stranger’s car or house and knock on the door.

Practice the behaviors, at least in your head. Remind yourself of the possibilities, and the behaviors you must engage if something like this happens. (More below.)

A can of mace or bear spray is a wise investment, though it is often not effective against pit bulls. If you do buy one, do not neglect to prepare for the worst anyway.

Avoid interaction of any sort with any pit bull

We should not make friends with any unknown dogs; they may be frightened, and they may be territorial. Also, some owners may not like it.

That said, if you have a sense of people and dogs, you might discern that an owner is fine with your approach, and a dog is indeed not frightened, but rather eager to interact. You can trust the signals of dogs — who has regretted approaching a pug, hound, or retriever that is signaling comfort with the approach? Just go slow, do not surprise him, and keep your hands lower than his mouth. Build some trust before petting or hugging. If you aren’t experienced with reading dogs signals, then just leave them alone, for their sake and yours.

But no matter how much you know about dogs, do not attempt any sort of interaction with a pit bull. Though it would almost always not be a problem, do not bend down or try to be friendly. Do not trust their friendly signals. Pit bulls have a track record of responding to a person’s cues of submission with a friendly head-nodding reply, wagging their tail… and then possibly attempting to spill that person’s intestines and blood, while swallowing their tissues.

Many pit bulls are super friendly, but do not let this fact tempt you to become another statistic where everybody was surprised that such a “friendly” dog with such a “great” owner suddenly became a killer.

Do not listen to the propaganda spewing out the owner’s mouth. If a Muslim is peaceful, then he does not need to keep insisting that he is peaceful. If a pit bull is harmless, then the incessant defense provided by their owner is nothing but a reason to be suspicious.

The lie always makes something more dangerous. A seedy, unshaven, and dirty fellow is not trusted from the start; however, a gentle, kind, and clean man is more likely to be trusted, which makes him much more dangerous if he happens to have evil motivations that are not tattooed to his forehead. Look up “psychopath” — they are the most charming and flattering people.

Do not assume it will attack, but do not assume it won’t

If there is a pit bull near you, continue what you were doing, but:

  • have your cell phone in your hand, in case you need to dial 9-1-1;
  • steady your mind, and bring your children closer — preferably holding their hands to prevent them from bolting;
  • Do not look directly at the dog or the owner, but keep watch with your peripheral vision.

Do not look it in the eyes, but pay attention.

Do not run away

If the beast starts heading your way at any speed, you must not run away. Stand still, arms down. Do not crouch. Do not let your children run; direct them behind you.

Yell at it, clap your hands, and stomp your feet. If it isn’t the gamiest fighting dog, it might back off.

Prepare to be bitten; you must expect this so that you do not become a dysfunctional mess when this does happen.

If you have time, drape a coat or blanket over your un-preferred forearm; (i.e., your left arm, if you are right-handed).

Do not kick or punch

These animals are very good at taking a beating without being discouraged. Pit bulls have little reaction to pain, and outstanding tenacity, particularly with those strong jaws that pride themselves in “hanging in there.” Obviously, these are beneficial traits for dogs bred to win a fight.

The practical human advantages over this dog are:

  1. most adults are heavier than a pit bull — think about how this might apply to falling on the animal instead of dancing around and punching while it removes pieces of your flesh;
  2. human beings have nifty little fingers that can poke, grasp, and pull — with regards to a pit bull, think about how this might apply to their eyes and to the collar around their throat, if they have a collar.

Do not play the dog’s game; do not fight the dog’s fight; you will lose.

Bring the match into your arena, where your skills are beneficial. The pit bull is a killing machine, but it has limitations, not the least of which are its:

  • stupidity;
  • squat posture;
  • collapsible chest cavity; and
  • soft little eyeballs that fingers can pluck out.

If the pit bull is jogging toward you

(When attacking, a pit bull will often approach you in a leisurely fashion .)

Place your children, and possibly yourself, in a higher place — stand on a bench, a car, or any sort of higher ground.

Holler at people, “somebody phone 911.” Hopefully only one person will take on this task while any others come to help. The 911 caller can join the scuffle after the call, if the operator somehow lets him go, or he hangs up anyway.

As mentioned before: stand still, do not look at the animal, and do not run away. If your children run, place yourself directly between the dog and your children, facing the dog , not your kids.

Never attack a dog, but…

… if the attacking dog is within lunging distance, you should already be emotionally and physically prepared.

Some experts assert that at this point, you should lay down and curl up in a ball. This is excellent theory, but it is impossible. Have you ever met a human being that is drenched in adrenaline and has a heart rate of 190 bpm who has the composure to lay down and find a comfortable fetal position when a monster is attacking? We are not turtles! Our instincts will not allow this behavior. We have learned about the “fight or flight” instinct. We have never heard of “fight, flight, or turn into a baby and suck your thumb” instinct.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that a pit bull will exit the scene if you are in the fetal position. (I have only read of one story where somebody managed the fetal position — a 14-year-old girl in Australia in September 2010 — and the two pit bulls continued to chew on her. While her throat was not exposed, the dogs could still have torn open the arteries in her neck. It is difficult to guess what might have happened if a neighbor had not come to her assistance.)

To overcome your urge to run away will be marvel enough — focus on achieving that. If you are a Zen master, then decide whether to curl up and have a nap. But if you are a human being, work now to protect yourself. You will need every bit of energy you have, so do not waste it swatting or kicking at the dog, or jumping around. Don’t waste your energy trying to avoid a bite. Focus your energy instead on disabling the dog.

If there happens to be a javelin nearby, then grab it to distract the dog; otherwise, ignore this “expert” advice to look around for large poles and boulders! I didn’t notice any nearby when the pit bull attacked me.

Your children should be behind you. Your knees should be flexed and your (less desirable!) forearm in front of you, as if a shield. If you happen to have a coat or baby blanket on that arm, that’s super, but do not lose your focus looking for coats. You can can get through this with a naked arm! Just remind yourself that you will experience pain and you will see blood and you will hear crunching and ripping, but this will NOT kill you. Your inattention and undue concern about that particular arm might contribute to a very special hospital bed in the intensive care unit.

If a pit bull attacks your dog

This advice is rather difficult to consider, and I do not wish to upset anybody here, but the preservation of human life is motivating me here.

If a pit bull is having his way with your pet, then let him have his way, and use that time to get any persons to safety and to phone 9-1-1.

It is prudent to love and protect our pets; however, there are too many stories about owners being hurt while trying to save their pet. If the pit bull is the size of a rabbit, then stomp on it to save your dog; otherwise, I beg you to exit the situation and call for help.

The undesired event

I do pray that you never reach this point, but if you do, you must be bold and swift. Emotions work against you — do not be shy about violence, guts, or killing now. Do not run away now!

Make sure the forearm is the most available part of your body for the dog. If you’re thinking of it as a shield, prioritize guarding your throat and face.

As the terrier sinks into your forearm, use your other (preferred) hand to grab the dog’s opposite leg. If you are right-handed, offer your left forearm, and use your right hand to grab the dog’s own right front leg — that’s the leg to your left as you are looking at him! Picture it, and run this through your mind a few times.

If you are left-handed, offer your right forearm for the bite, and grab the dog’s left front arm (which is to your right as you face the dog!) with your good left hand.

Let’s pause to remind ourselves that our intention is to convert this into a human battle instead of a dog battle — that is, a fight where you will have the advantages. This means that instead of just the dog holding you and being free to release and re-attach, ripping more and more pieces out of you:

  1. you must pin/hold/lock the dog — you do not have jaws like he does, but you have a hand that can grasp his leg and hold on tight;
  2. you must bring the dog down to the ground — pinned and unable to jump — preferably crushed / having difficulty breathing — if the dog is on the ground upside-down , all the better; and
  3. you need to take advantage of those adept fingers of yours — but you cannot use them until your good hand is free to let go without the dog escaping.

If the dog bit you somewhere than the expected forearm, or is biting repeatedly and not holding a particular bite, keep up the general strategy of (1) grabbing the dog and twisting its body so that you can (2) crush it and rip its eyes out.

Flip, crush, strangle, and gouge

Recall — the dog has a grip on your forearm; you have a grip on his front leg opposite your good arm.

Now crank the steering wheel. Using the leverage between both of your arms, ROTATE/flip the dog upside-down. If he’s too heavy, do not pause to cry — continue with the next step.

[Supposedly, the flipping job may cause his ribs to pierce his heart , but I would not count on it, even if it is likely. It is certainly preferable to make the mistake of over-doing the job, turning the dog into hamburger, than to leave him half-capable of doing more harm.]

Get on top of him with all your weight. If you manage to heave yourself on him, focusing the weight on his chest, that’s even better. Sit on him, kneel on him, lay on him, bounce on him… and when he weasels away, get back on him. Flip him again. Hold his arms. Don’t let go. When you lose your grip, grab another leg — don’t worry about which of the four legs; keep holding, flipping, and sitting on him. Do not give up — he won’t!

Whenever the opportunity presents, grab his collar and persist in pulling and twisting it to strangle him — if this is working, continue the strategy. Otherwise, work also to stab fingers and/or a thumb into his eyes. Do not just poke here and there — we are not playing marbles today. Utterly gouge his eyes out — dig, stab, rip, and do not stop until strings are hanging out and blood is welling up in both eye sockets.

If he is blind and he has no more grip on your arm, get away from him and get help. Don’t let your emotions keep you in the fight — you need medical attention. Somebody else can stave the blind dog off.

If you have blinded him but he still has a bite hold on you, continue using your weight to crush him, and think about cutting off his breath: press your arm into his windpipe — yes, even that chewed up bare-bone arm, if it’s handy. When the dog goes still, do not release. Maintain the pressure until the dog is beyond consciousness — at least half a minute. Then get up and get help.

If he’s still latched to one forearm, you may also “hug” him by putting the other arm around his neck and giving him a really tight *choke* hug.

Hopefully somebody else is around and might relieve you of your dog-disabling duties sooner than this point while you get help.

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