Dog/animal aggression is fairly common in pit bulls, but just because a dog is aggressive towards other animals/dogs, doesn't mean it will be the same towards people. The two traits are not linked in any way in this breed. Pit bull owners need to accept the fact that their dog may show aggression towards other animals at some point in their life, and they need to be prepared to deal with it. The aggression can range from tolerating other dogs until openly attacked, to screaming their heads off in their eagerness to get at a dog 500 ft down the road (this is a pretty extreme case). They may never be aggressive towards other animals at all in their life, but the owner has to be aware of the chance. When they do get into a real fight, they mean business, they usually don't respond to "submissive signals" from other dogs, because their ancestors have been bred for centuries to ignore such signals and keep fighting. Their ancestors have also been bred to not show aggression towards humans in any way. When they were used in bull/bear baiting contests, the bull would often toss them through the air, and the dog's handler would try to break their fall by catching the dog across their back. Many of the dogs had sustained horrible injuries (some had even been disemboweled by horns and claws) by that point, but they still didn't bite the people. When pit bulls were (are?) fought, their handlers were in the pit with them, oftentimes inches away from their face as they fought. The dogs had to be washed by the opponent's handler before each fight (to make sure there were no bad tasting substances on them), so they had to tolerate strangers washing/drying them. Their history, although gruesome, has helped to make the breed stable towards people. Dog aggression, though a pain sometimes, can be controlled, but it's up to the owner to act responsibly.
bgoosewood, where were you when your dog was attacked, and were the dogs on leash? Just curious.
Quinn, it's a little hard to tell in that picture, but she looks to have some sort of "pit bull-ishness" in her, Probably either AmStaff or APBT. Do you have any more pictures of her?
...I am not anti-pitbull/staffordshire/etc., and it's definitely true that you are more likely to be bitten by a small dog, but consider this:
A toy poodle can bite your hand, but he is not physically capable of ripping your arm off.
So, as sweet as the big blocky-headed dogs may be (my friend has a pitbull mix, and I loff him! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] ), I won't ever own one. It's not IF the dog will bite, it's the damage it could do if it DID bite. I was awakened to this reality when I worked for a small animal vet/boarding kennel, and had the jaws of a 100 lb+ German Shepherd clamped around my lower arm. Thankfully, he was only playing. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img] If he HADN'T been "only playing," I could be missing an arm right now. That incident scared the living crap out of me, and reminded me of just how dangerous the big dogs CAN be. You just don't know what could set them off, and accidents DO happen. I don't think my friend's pitbull mix would hesitate to rip someone apart if he thought she was in danger. Good for her...but perhaps not so good for the person that he, in all his doggy wisdom, thinks is threatening her.
It's just a tough call no matter how you look at it.
"If you can't dazzle 'em with brilliance, baffle 'em with bull." -Bart Simpson
Member of the Dirt Divers 78th Airborne Unit, ATH Squadron
What is the issue with forbidding breeding and letting the breed dissapear? If drug lords etc.. get caught the dogs can be sterilized or depending on degree on aggresiveness humanely put to sleep. I dont understand even taking a chance on a breed that when it snaps can create such damage. I think people who like pit bulls see themselves as special souls who see things others cannot--we cant all be that enlightned! It is typical PCness that this thread about an attacked horse would turn into a defense of the attacker.
Any large dog can cause immense damage to a person/other animal if they want to. If you look at some statistics, you'll see that you're more likely to get killed by lightning than you are to be killed by a pit bull. Furthermore, if you compare the number of fatal attacks caused by "pit bulls", to the number of "pit bulls", you'll find that the percentage of pit bulls that have attacked people is actually about the same as other breeds. I would (try to) never put my dog in a position where she had to defend me, pit bull or not. A good owner decides what to do with a "threat", and doesn't leave it up to the dog to decide. Dogs view things differently than people, and react according to what they interpret. When left to their own devices, they make their own decisions, and oftentimes they're wrong (wrong to us, but the dog thinks it did what was right). That's why it all comes down to the owner, and how they care for the dog(s).
Carolinela, there have been breed bans enacted in some areas in the US, in an effort to stop vicious dog attacks. They have failed miserably. The ban in Prince George's County, MD has resulted in tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars going to waste, thousands of innocent dogs dying, and more dog attacks than before. See, once the pit bulls are banned, those people who actually care about the law (who don't want to take the chance of getting caught) simply dump the pit bull off at the shelter or it "accidentally" dies somehow. Then they go out and get another dog, and the ones they're getting now are the large guardian breeds. Dogs of breeds like Presa Canarios, Cane Corsos, Neopolitan Mastiffs and Fila Brasileiros. These dogs have natural protection/guarding instincts, and generally weigh from 80-200 lbs. They can make great dogs if owned by responsible people who want to put the time and commitment into them, but the ex-pit bull owners who are getting them now are definitely not such owners. Of course, we're assuming that these people will follow the law, right? The irresponsible people who own pit bulls (these are usually the dogs that end up biting people) aren't going to comply with a law that says they have to give up their dog. Many are already wanted on other charges, so what's one more? I forgot to mention also that there are more "pit bulls" in Prince George's County now then there were when the ban was placed. Even if pit bulls were successfully obliterated, the irresponsible owners would simply find another breed to suit their needs. More breeds will "cease to exist", then more, then more, until there are none left. Dogs don't just "snap", there are warnings, it's just that most people don't notice until it's too late, then they carry on about how they never knew, and there was no warning. If people would just follow simple laws that are already in place (leash laws, generic dangerous dog laws, etc) then vicious dogs wouldn't be a problem.
Kinsella, I have that book [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by gooeydog:
Dog/animal aggression is fairly common in pit bulls, but just because a dog is aggressive towards other animals/dogs, doesn't mean it will be the same towards people. The two traits are not linked in any way in this breed. Pit bull owners need to accept the fact that their dog may show aggression towards other animals at some point in their life, and they need to be prepared to deal with it<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
THANK YOU, that's my exact point!! For people, especially pit bull owners, to not ignore those facts. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]
I've told this story before, but when my dog was attacked, we were jogging out on a nature preserve type place. We were always the only ones there, so we let our dog go off leash. She's a greyhound, very passive, very non-agressive. The pitbull lived at the sancutary headquarters, and had been tied (I think to the car while owner was unloading packages) and got loose and ran up to us (I think he still had his leash on). I recognized him immediately as being a pitbull, but I always thought they were such cool dogs. I started patting him and he was so cute. The owner came up within minutes. We were just standing there talking (mostly about what a good dog the pit bull was.) The owner assumed this dog was safe, but as we were standing there, the switch flipped and his dog attacked ours. I guess she "eyeballed" him....whatever. He could have easily killed her, he had her by the belly (he wasn't even all that big) he was incredibly strong & quick, but my husband reached in and pulled him off. The owner just kept saying....I don't understand, he's so good, he's so friendly. Like you said, the dog was good with people, but not with strange dogs and the owner didn't know this. SO, for me to protect my dog, if I see a pit bull, even if he is on his leash, I really have to assume that the dog may attack. YES, all breeds could attack, but the big-jawed fighting dogs can do damage FAST. My Greyhound can defend herself from a JRT or even a Collie, but not a Pit bull. Incidently, we encountered a lab mix a few weeks later that was loose and was growling & threatening. Chloe ran home so fast....she knows her best defense RUN [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] Every woman for herself! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
I never said they should be banned, and I still think they are cool dogs. I just hope that their owners understand their power.
The truth is rarely pure, and never simple. Oscar Wilde
Ummmm.....Has anyone CONFIRMED this is really a pit bull? For one thing, these kinds of injuries are not really suited to the way a pit bull fights. They latch on and hang on (no, their jaws do NOT LOCK). These stories are often blamed on pits only to find out that the dog is a much more aggressive dog.
As for not liking pitbulls, well, I say you have not met the right ones. I have a lovely Amstaff (of the pit bull type) who is the smartest dog I have ever owned.
The pit bull argument sounds like the gun argument, gun dont kill people, people kill people. So I am clear, I would not advocate systematic destruction of pit bulls, I love animals and I think that those alive should be loved and cared for. But I think this breed, like the canary presario (spel?) are too dangerous for the average owner and that having pit bull become extinguish as a breed would not leave the world a worth place for it.
It would be impossible to "extinguish" a breed. The responsible, law abiding people will stay away from the breed if it's banned (maybe), but they're not the real problem here. They're not the ones who abuse their dogs, set them on fire, fight them, "train" them on other people's pets, hack them up with machetes, put living dogs in trash bags and throw them in dumpsters, or whatever else they feel like doing just because "they can". These people couldn't care less about a law that says they can't have pit bulls. (Often their dogs aren't even "pit bulls", but rather mixes that have pit bull of some sort in their lineage, but to these people, that's all it needs to be a "fullblooded pit".) They'll just get a little better at hiding them. And they'll keep breeding the unstable mongrels that they call pit bulls, which will continue to bite people. I'm not sure if you checked the links I posted earlier in this thread, but the American Pit Bull Terrier actually has a higher passing rate for the American Temperment test then the Golden Retriever does. See, due to poor indiscriminant breeding, the "nice" breeds are starting to lose their "niceness". Unstable, unfriendly, even aggressive labs and goldens are becoming more and more common, because people are breeding their dogs with no regard to temperment. Letting pit bulls become extinct may not make the world a worse place, but it certainly wouldn't make it any better. It would make some people's lives a lot worse, such as the people who have pit bulls or pit bull mixes as service dogs, or the people in nursing homes/hospitals who are visited by pit bull therapy dogs, how about the people who have been saved by the pit bull search and rescue dogs? Would their lives be better? What, to you, makes pit bulls more dangerous than other breeds, and why do you feel that they should be allowed to become extinct?
bgoosewood, I agree with you that more people need to realize the facts... when you think about it, every dog has some sort of "downfall" (some are more obvious or "bigger" than others, I'll admit), it's up to the owners to realize that, accept it, and make sure they accomodate(sp?) for it. Sorry you and your dog had to go through that, and I hope she was ok. Honestly though, if that dog's owner had been more aware of the possibility of dog aggression in the breed, it might not have happened. I think that education is the key to solving the "dangerous dog problem". Educating dog owners/fanciers, as well as the "general public". Our Mini Dachshund does volunteer work at a nearby park (she wears a life jacket and we talk to kids about wearing their life jackets, since we live near the water, there are a lot of drownings... don't know if it's worked, but we're trying anyway), and I've never seen so many kids running up and petting a dog without asking in my life. They would just zoom up and cram their hand into her face. This dog used to hate kids (she was deathly afraid of them), but I've done a lot of work with her, and now she'll tolerate pretty much anything. I kept thinking that if this is how kids act around strange dogs they pass on the street, then it's no wonder there are so many dog bites. I'm working on getting some sort of "dog safety" program figured out, one that can be presented at school and such. Some dog owners are also pretty ignorant, but I don't know what can be done about them.
Purebred pits seem to be fairly uncommon anymore, now you get all these crosses which may or may not have inherited the relatively predictable and equitable pit-bull temperment.
And btw, I'd NEVER run up and pet a strange dachshund, those things BITE! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]
Read an interesting article in the paper the other day: the most dangerous domestic animal apparently is the vicious and fierce: Household Cat. Mostly due to wounds getting infected, they put thousands into the hospital every year in serious condition from bites. I knew there was a reason I won't have cats [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]
MaggyMay, I don't know where you are getting your information. However, there are plenty of reputable breeders breeding pure bred APBT and AmStaffs. No, I am not one of them. It is statements such as yours that wind up blowing out of proportion. It has NOTHING to do with the breed so much as it has to do with the ease of training this breed. They are smart, quick to learn and very loyal to their owners. If the owner decides to train it to be vicious, then it will be vicious. If the responsible owner decides to train it to be a Canine Good Citizen, it will be that. I made the decision to make Sadie, my Amstaff a Canine Good Citizen and she recently won that. It's all about training and less than ever about breeding.