A lot about raising dogs and just being around them has to do with YOUR temperament and demeanor around dogs. Dogs really do have a 6th sense around people. Its one reason why children are attacked so frequently, dogs know they are dominant over children. A dog's world revolves around dominance, who is and who isn't. I've had dogs my entire life and have never had any problems..although I've always opted for mutts from the local shelter. My 3 yr old has already learned to portray his dominance over both of our dogs...he handles them very well and both dogs behave for him. Its sorta funny... I most definitely believe that dogs 'smell' fear as well as 'non-fear'. My niece and nephew are extremely afraid of dogs (got this from their parents)...when they come to my house I have to put my 2 dogs (60 and 45 lbs) outside, although my 2 dogs are sweeties. My dogs can 'smell' that fear on those kids a mile away. On the opposite end, my sitter just recently adopted a golden lab puppy. He never approaches anyone except for my hubby and myself. He loves us and my sitter can't figure it out. I told her its because he knows we absolutely love dogs. He can 'smell' it. I've always said that people that are afraid of dogs are more likely to get attacked or bitten. I've tried to tell this to my niece and nephew, how important it is for them to get over that fear so that they can have that sense of dominance. I don't know about pit bulls, don't have any experience with them but I do believe there are dogs and/or breeds that just naturally want to be dominant and won't take kindly to being submissive to anyone. Just my opinion....
"If you never settle for anything but the best, you very often get it"