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Father Sparks Parenting Debate After Showing Off How His Pit Bull Is Trained To Protect His Baby

Photo: Christian Bowen and Arttu Päivinen via Unsplash / Tanya Leclair via Canva
pitbull sitting next to baby

An Italian TikToker named Massi has built his entire presence around his life with his pet pit bull, Mino, but he’s more recently sparked a parenting debate (read: controversy) surrounding the safety and parenting decisions he’s made for his newborn daughter.

His daughter, Sophie, is a newborn that has been featured in his videos quite a bit recently — probably due to his excitement about being a new father. However, people in the comments have noted the potential dangers surrounding how close he’s letting Mino get to Sophie.

The new dad has 'trained' his pit bull to protect his baby daughter.

In a video that's since become a viral phenomenon, there’s no surprise as to why it has caused so much division and conversation. Massi writes in the caption, “Mino difende la sua sorellina come un vero fratellone,” which is Italian for “Mino defends his baby sister like a true big brother.” In the short, 18-second video, Massi appears to show off the way in which he trained Mino to protect Sophie.



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Massi, at the start of the video, pretends to swing his arm in a hitting motion toward his daughter, without actually hitting her of course. Mino lays on the bed watching for the first swing, but once Massi brings his arm back up and pretends like he’s going to do it again, Mino gets up, growls, and reaches to put Massi’s hand in his mouth.

Now, the pit bull isn’t actively trying to cause harm to Massi, but he’s letting him know that he will not tolerate the hitting of his “baby sister.” For the rest of the video, Massi continues to pretend like he’s going to hit his daughter, while Mino continues to playfully bite at his hands and growl.

While it may seem as though he’s done a good job of training Mino, many people in the comments were shocked by what they were seeing — noting that not only was this dog being allowed incredibly close to a newborn, but he was also being taught aggressive behavior.

People are worried about Massi letting the pit bull so close to his newborn daughter.

“Good training. He trusts you but watch out!” one person warned. “Mino will protect the baby … be careful,” someone else warned. “So dangerous to play like that next to the baby,” a third wrote.

One person suggested that this could potentially lead to a dangerous misunderstanding. “God next time dog will think [the] baby is trying to attack him [and] he will attack [the] baby,” they wrote.



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Others opened the comments to discuss how dangerous they view owning pit bulls in general. According to data from DogsBite.org, via the Charlotte Observer, pit bulls accounted for 66% (346) of the 521 Americans killed from 2005 to 2019.

Pit bulls are not inherently aggressive and are no more naturally dangerous than any other breed of dog, according to WebMD. Most of the myth comes from neglectful and harmful owners that encourage that kind of violent and aggressive behavior. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) actually gives them an endorsement akin to golden retrievers, saying “A well-socialized and well-trained pit bull is one of the most delightful, intelligent, and gentle dogs imaginable.”

In general, they aren’t aggressive toward people, but they are “less tolerant” of other dog breeds, according to vice president of the ASPCA’s Animal Behavior Center in New York, Pamela Reid, Ph.D, via WebMD.



Despite all of the research that has been done to steer people away from the misinformation about pit bulls — above all else, Mino is still a dog. It’s an animal, and allowing him to be so close to newborn human life is concerning for many, but Massi doesn’t seem to mind.

He hasn’t responded to the concerns and controversy from the public, but he has continued to make posts of both Mino and Sophie hanging out together. Maybe they can truly operate as best buds, but many others said they would never let their dog get that close to their kid.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.