The world’s most beloved canine is proving a magnet for social anxiety.
Researchers say that pitbulls are among the most commonly-identified dogs for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
While they can be affectionate and loyal, they’re also at high risk of aggression and aggression towards other dogs.
While a lot of research has been done on the relationship between pitbull owners and their dogs, this is the first study that specifically looks at the prevalence of aggression towards dogs and their owners.
The researchers say their study could help doctors better understand the etiology of autism spectrum disorder.
“We were interested to see whether we could find any evidence of an association between the severity of the ASD and the level of pitbull ownership,” said lead researcher and autism researcher, Daniela Zilberbaum from the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Science in Germany.
“Our results show that, while many dogs are considered more aggressive, owners of pit bull dogs are more likely to be aggressive towards their dogs than owners of other breeds,” Dr Zilbergbaum said.
“Pitbull owners are less likely to treat their dogs with care than other owners, which might be because pitbull dogs are not socially conditioned to behave with care in the home.”
The reason for this is that owners of the pit bull are also less likely than other dog owners to have experienced social interaction with other dogs, which could explain the lack of social interaction between the pit bulls.””
Although we didn’t find any clear association between pit bull ownership and aggression against dogs, owners are also more likely than owners from other breeds to have witnessed aggression toward other dogs,” Dr Nelissen said.
The findings are published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.
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