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Why Pit Bulls Are Called The Nanny Dog

February 14, 2021

Many people, especially parents with small children, are afraid to consider a Pit Bull as their choice for a family pet.

Some organizations would have you believe that Pit Bulls are the most dangerous breed, not a suitable companion for an adult and certainly not a trustworthy pet for children.

In fact, several cities have bans or restrictions on this beautiful breed.

Hopefully, I can put your mind at rest today. Even if you are a parent, a Pit Bull, also known as The Nanny Dog, would make a great addition to your family for many different reasons.

“So, WHEN is this crazy kid’s bed time??

The Nanny Dog nickname…

So, you may be wondering how this strong, large dog got the nickname The Nanny Dog?

  • The dog’s natural disposition of being loyal, faithful, and patient was noted as early as the 1900s. Throughout the centuries, these dogs were utilized as guards for families. In a stark contrast to their large, boxy, strong body frame – Pit bulls are generally gentle, patient, cuddly, and not hyper at all.
  • The most common type of Pitbull is actually a cross between a Bulldog and a Terrier, two wonderful breeds. It was people who exploited these amazing dogs, using them for dog fighting and other violent activities. Early on, the media would report the various good deeds and heroics these wonderful dogs performed. Many historical figures were fans of the breed.
  • There are several old photos of Pit Bulls with children, though these are under debate as to whether they are actual proof of ‘Nanny Dogs’.

A Few Words About Children and Dogs… and Anti-Pitbull Groups

Regardless of these good things, it’s important to never leave a small child alone with ANY dog. All interactions between dogs and young children should be supervised.

Teach your children to approach new dogs with caution and appropriate levels of touch. If a child is too excitable, wait for them to calm down before introducing them to a new dog.  Research the breed for yourself and don’t believe the hype of special interest groups.

Many other large dog breeds such as German Shepherds and Rottweilers also have a bad rap for similar reasons, but Pit Bulls are the ones who seem to garner the majority of the attention.

Some anti-Pit Bull groups have claimed that the Nanny Dog label for this breed is merely a myth. However, keep in mind, there is a definite bias with the preconceived notion that all Pit Bulls are bred for fighting, naturally aggressive, and hold little to no redeeming qualities as pets.  Their view is a very one-sided, broad brush perspective, and this is something you should take into account before believing what anti-Pit Bull groups have to say.

Is a Pit Bull Right for Your Family?

The only way to know if a Pit Bull is the right dog for your family is to go and spend time with them. All dogs are great, but not every dog is a fit for each person or family. Dogs are individuals too! While there will always be general breed traits, every dog is unique. I hope after reading this you understand where the term The Nanny Dog comes from, and that you learned some of the more positive things about this amazing breed.