This term is used by Maul Talkers to deny a pit bull’s responsibility after an attack. The pit bull “didn’t know its own strength,” therefore the child’s torn off fingers are only a byproduct of a playful dog. Unless threatened, a normal socialized dog exercises “precision control” over how hard it bites. In The 100 Silliest Things People Say About Dogs, Alexandra Semyonova writes, “A dog can aim his teeth with the same precision, and he can move them five times quicker than we can move our hands, without losing in his aim.” Semyonova’s point is that dogs are not haphazard when delivering bites.

As another twist on the theme, don’t blame the dog, some respondents focused on their dogs’ lack of awareness about their own strength. This common refrain was voiced by one woman who owns two pit bulls: “They don’t know their own strength really. ” Echoing this observation, another owner said, “[My dog] doesn’t really know her strength, I think. That’s what I worry about, beca use she is really strong.” – Managing the Stigma of Outlaw Breeds
We certainly did not demand that the animal be put down, but we all did learn something. This was a docile animal but he simply didn’t know his own strength. – Rabbithorns
I agree that pit bulls probably shouldn’t be around small children, but not because they’re mean dogs….because they’re very stout and powerful, and sometimes don’t know their own strengthNasyet

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