Monday, 30 November 2009

Another Dog Attack

It is with frightening regularity that the news has a story about a child being mauled by a dog.
A four year old boy was killed today by a 'pit-bull type' dog and the arguments start up again about it could have been any type of dog etc etc.
My argument is that whilst it is true that any breed of dog is capable of turning and i also agree to an extent that it is how a dog is raised that is a major factor, but the truth is that it is a certain breed of dog that seems to crop up as the killers.
Whilst a Chihuahua will obviously do less damage to a child than a German Shepherd if it attacked, it just emphasises the point that it is crazy to have a powerful dog around young children.
An American study conducted into dog attacks from 1982 to 2006 showed that pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios and their mixes are responsible for 74% of all attacks in the States, 65% of the deaths, and 68% of the maimings. The conclusion they reached is: 'Pit bulls and Rottweilers are accordingly dogs who not only must be handled with special precautions, but also must be regulated with the risk they may pose to the public and other animals, if they are to be kept at all.'
A large, powerful dog bought to protect and guard property is one thing. A lovable, family dog is another but mixing the two is a tragedy waiting to happen. Why would anyone want to have an animal around their loved ones that 'poses a risk' and has to be 'handled with special precautions'.
I dare say that there are many owners of these breed of dogs who will argue the point that theirs would not attack and it is the fault of irresponsible owners and they may be right but how many times do we hear those exact words from the owners after the event and then it's too late.


Anonymous said...


first you want to get rid of guns, now badass dogs... you are no fun...


Anonymous said...

while i agree, 'pitbulls' are potentially dangerous, that's not the issue here.

i know you don't want to hear it, but it all boils down to how the dog was raised.
pitbulls are one of the most loyal breeds you can get, all they want to do is make master happy; which is why they are perfect fighting dogs. if you want your pittie to tear another dog apart, he will die trying. if you want your dog to defend your house, he will. if you want him to be a family dog, and you train him as such, he will be a family dog.

due to the selective breeding done during legalized pit fighting, pitbulls are naturally dog aggressive, but are not human aggressive; they are taught that. in a dog fight, both owners are in the ring, sometimes on hands and knees, inches from the carnage shouting out orders. needless to say, a fighter won't profit from a dog that turns and takes his nose off. any dog that turns on a human, either in the ring or at the kennel, is immediately "disposed of". (as a disclaimer, i am not condoning dog fighting in any shape or form. but you can't ignore how the dog evolved into what it is today.)

blaming and banning the breed is not the solution. people get pitbulls to appear tough, they want an animal no one will mess with...and nine times out of ten they have no idea what they're doing. at my kennel, i require potential buyers to prove to me that they have knowledge of the breed, and have training or experience working with pitbulls before i even consider selling a dog to them.

it's not the dog's fault, it's the human ego.

-responsible pitbull breeder

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, responsible pit bull breeder! One has to make the distinction between animal aggression and human aggression. Pit bulls are notorious for naturally being non human aggressive. There is a reason why they were know to be the nanny dogs. Any dog will start to attack if it is hungry, neglected, abused and trained to attack. Responsible owners don't do that. Even the statistics taken regarding dog bites don't clearly explain whether a majority of the pit bull related bites are from dogs that were trained to protect the homes using aggression, were dogs trained to guard and attack for drug trafficking purposes, dogs that mistook for the nearby houses as their own that they were trained to protect, etc. Plus, their is always the issue of whether or not the dog is actually a pit bull or not. Now you may scoff and say that its easy to tell a pit bull, but a large majority of people, long practicing vets even, cannot correctly identify an American Pit Bull Terrier. In fact, there was a case where an owner who was the target of BSL decided to spend the money to have his dog DNA tested so he could keep his pet after an animal expert identified his dog as a pit bull. Go figure the DNA testing proved that expert wrong.

Banning a breed is only addressing a symptom of the real problem. And it is allowing bad legislation, expensive bans, and taking away Constitutional rights of people. Bottom line is this: If you take a dog and beat it, torture it, starve it, force it to fight, attack, and train it to act aggressively, you will have a dangerous animal. But if you take that same dog and feed it, give it a home, train it, exercise it, love it and make it a part of your family, you will have a loving, loyal, harmless family member. Sure it has physical qualities that can make it dangerous, but only if its TRAINED TO DO SO. Heck, automobiles cause more injuries and death in the United States than dog attacks, maybe we should ban those too...oh, that's right, they aren't dangerous until a human behind the wheel. Something to consider, yes?

Anne said...

I'm a cat person, myself.

Falling on a bruise said...

I don't disagree with either of you responsible pitbull breeder or anon and i don't want to see a ban. I'd prefer a licence system.
My point is that if you want a dog for protection, you would go for a certain type of breed. If you want a family dog you would go for another type. It is when the two come together that we get problems and what i am saying in the post.
Natural instincts must play a part. Pitbulls would be more naturally inclined to attack, or have a lower threshold before attacking, than a dalmation for example. Possibly, this is why there are more of these type of attacks by these breeds of dogs and why they were picked as fighting and guard dogs in the first place.

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