Thursday, November 03, 2005

ANALYSIS: "Pit Bull Dogs" Maul 10 Year Old Boy

A 10-year-old Aurora boy is clinging to life after his family's three pit bulls mauled him Wednesday afternoon as he was trying to get into his home.

If this story accurately describes this dog attack, then these dogs should be put down (put to death). We always have to question the first reports of any story in the news. As this story develops over the next few days, we will know more details. This blog isn’t to point the finger at anyone in this story, and everyone, including the dogs, have to be considered innocent until proven guilty. But, for the sake of discussion, let’s assume the reported story is accurate…

Dogs should NOT attack family members, especially children.

A dog which attacks a family member unprovoked, with no prior history of that family member abusing the dog, is “vicious”. That is the true definition of “vicious”. A vicious dog has a screw loose, and should not be bred, and should be put down.

I am all for dogs protecting themselves and their families. That is normal and should be allowed by law. But, there are times when dogs are sick in the head and are dangerous. These dogs, by all accounts I’ve read, look to be vicious.

I do find it curious that the owners had been previously cited for letting their dogs run loose, and for having too many dogs. Were these dogs bred and trained for pit fighting at some point, and were these the dogs that they kept after being cited by the law? If I was investigating this case, I’d want to know that.

This kind of attack is NOT normal “pit bull” behavior. It isn’t normal for any breed of dog.

Just remember this… a “pit bull” is still just a dog. It isn’t a monster, and the same rules for breeding, training, supervision, socialization, and containment apply for them as with any other dog. When attacks like this happen, one or more of those factors will have gone wrong.

What is a Pit Bull Dog?

I have trained many pit bull dogs of various breeds... MOST ARE NICE DOGS, a few were nasty (and that would true concerning ANY breed of dog). The nice ones are typical of the pit fighting breeds. The nasty ones were usually made that way because of a ruined puppyhood (neglect, teasing, lack of socialization, abuse, etc.) or because of backyard breeding (poor/ questionable genetics). A properly socialized and trained pit bull dog is a fine companion for children and adults AND IS SAFE TO OWN. I believe that almost EVERY pit bull attack could be prevented by a.) Only purchasing a dog from a good breeder; b.) Proper socialization of the puppies; c.) Proper training of the dogs; d.) Proper supervision by responsible adults; and e.) Proper containment when not supervised. THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE FOLKS!!! This is true for all dogs, not just this one breed. When a breed gets a bad reputation for biting, these same principles apply. It is foolish, and foolhardy, to focus on the breed instead of proper dog breeding and management techniques.

WHAT IS A PIT BULL TERRIER?
(Never forget: It is just a dog, not a monster or a weapon... it is a pet)
  1. A cross between a bulldog and a terrier

  2. The Bulldog was used for it’s physical toughness, courage and tenacity

  3. The terrier was used for it’s desire to fight, speed and endurance

  4. Was used to subdue cattle for butchers – was bred to work with animals – was a "bull-baiter", small & fast enough to grab a bull by the nose (for slaughter) without being stomped or kicked to death in the process. Europeans didn’t have cowboys, so they used bulldogs to grab the bull, so the butcher could club it to death.

  5. Shouldn't be fearful of people, other dogs or other animals

  6. Will be harmed psychologically if it has been abused, teased, and/or neglected

  7. Will have emotional problems if poorly socialized

  8. Not able to be rehabilitated after being wrecked; this isn't a pit bull problem, however... it is an abuse problem... the abusers should be penalized!

  9. People train them to be nasty by purposely neglecting them, making them fight for their lives, giving them drugs, abusing them, etc. You can wreck ANY puppy by doing this.

  10. It’s the dog of choice for drug dealers, so they wreck the dogs, and breed them, to make money and to protect them from raids and gang attacks

  11. Backyard breeders don’t know what they are doing: they breed for quick bucks instead of using good breeding practices, so we end up with dogs with weak temperaments.

  12. Buyers of the dogs don’t know how to pick the right dog, and they don’t know how to raise the dog properly. You have to be just as selective as you would with any other breed.

  13. Not the right breed for personal protection; the dogs were created for animal work (bull baiting)

  14. Able to climb trees (so can other dogs!)

  15. Highly trainable

  16. Generally good with people, other animals, and other dogs, PROVIDED that they were raised properly

  17. No hard evidence that pit bulls bite more people than any other breed; it is a myth that this breed is inherently vicious! DON'T BELIEVE THE DOG HATERS!!!

  18. They aren’t born "mean" or "unpredictable" (though, any breed will have individuals that are wacky... that is just the way genetics works)

  19. No evidence that they bite harder than any other breed of dog

  20. They don’t have a double jointed, locking jaw

  21. They don’t become mean if they taste blood

  22. There are a lot of "look alike" breeds, and mongrels, that are not really "pit bull terriers"; lots of so-called "pit bulls" are mixed bred dogs, oftentimes without any pit bull in the dog!

  23. Cities with Pit Bull or breed-ban laws in Washington State: Algona, Buckley, Enumclaw, Everett, Inland, Kenniwick, King Co, Kirkland, Moxee, Neah Bay (has BANNED ROTTWEILERS), Oak Harbor, Prosser, Pullman, Seatac, Sunnyside (has restricted 'pit bulls'), Toppenosh, Yakima (has BANNED 'pit bulls'). BREED BANS ARE IMMORAL AND UNCONSTITUTIONAL.... SO FIGHT BREED SPECIFIC BANS IN THE COURTS AND IN THE LEGISLATURES!!!

  24. Good with children

  25. They give a warning before they attack, just like any other dog. Usually, if you see a Pit Bull Terrier that’s snarling and lunging at someone or another animal, it’s a dog that’s AFRAID and a FEAR BITER. Watch for raised hair on the back and a stiff tail. If you are unsure, ask the owner if you can pet their dog, just like you would with any other dog.

  26. People friendly breed

  27. Loyal, active, intelligent, and highly trainable

  28. Very strong

  29. Typically not very territorial with people, but territorial with other animals. Like most dogs, they will chase cats, squirrels, birds, and rodents. Many pit bull terriers are stolen from houses and vehicles... because they won't protect themselves. They are NOT good protection dogs (and don't let anyone tell you otherwise). Why is it that you don't see them on police forces or doing military scout work? Because they aren't suited for protection! Watch what the professionals do... not what some wacko, novice dog breeder tells you. Stick with the doers... not the talkers. Get this dog as a PET, not a weapon. If you need protection, you should ask yourself: Do I really need a dog to protect me?

  30. Gameness, which isn’t the same as dog aggression. It’s a dog that will keep working at a task without quitting, such as at weight pulling, tracking, working obedience into heat exhaustion, etc. or other trained tasks.

Suitable for the following tasks

  1. Companion dog

  2. Therapy Dog

  3. Search & Rescue [** WORKING PEDIGREE]

  4. Dog sports like high level obedience competition, Schutzhund, or French Ringsport are good for this breed (but they are NOT suitable for true protection work) [** WORKING PEDIGREE]

  5. Narcotics detection... many would be good for this kind of job [** WORKING PEDIGREE]

  6. Boar/ wild hog hunting

  7. Weight pulling competition
IF I WAS TO PURCHASE A PIT BULL, I WOULDN'T GET ONE UNLESS THE PEDIGREE WAS FULL OF DOGS THAT HAD PROVEN WORKING BACKGROUND IN ONE OR MORE OF THE HIGHLIGHTED AREAS (MEANING THE ONES I HAVE ASTERISKED = **). TOO MANY PIT BULLS ARE BEING BRED BY "BACKYARD BREEDERS", WHO ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY OR THE GLORY, AND DON'T KNOW OR DON'T CARE THAT THEY ARE WRECKING THE BREED. Even though it is good to get a dog that has good references as being a companion, therapy, hunting or weight pulling dog... those tasks aren't demanding enough to indicate you have a well bred dog. (I DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS MORAL TO USE DOGS TO FIGHT IN A PIT. It is unnatural for animals of any kind to fight like this to the death. Pit fighting serves no useful purpose, either to mankind or to nature or the dogs involved. It is no different than trophy hunting. I have no problem with hunting, provided you eat what you kill. But to kill, for killing's sake, is wrong. It is sick. It is unnatural. It is evil, twisted, perverted and pathological. It is one thing to let a dog become part of your family, and protect you from attack. That IS natural. But to force fights on animals like this is sick. We don't even allow people to fight to the death, except in war... and that is only justified in very specific circumstances... otherwise it is considered criminal. SO, DON'T BUY DOGS THAT COME FROM PIT FIGHTING BREEDERS. YOU ARE FINANCING AN IMMORAL AND UNNATURAL BLOOD SPORT THAT IS RESULTING IN SOCIETY WANTING TO DESTROY THE PIT FIGHTING BREEDS and MANY OTHER BREEDS, SUCH AS ROTTWEILERS. IF YOU LOVE THE BREED, YOU WILL HATE THE BLOOD FIGHTING SPORT.)
Other Thoughts

  1. Too many good examples of the breed to ban the breed because of the few dogs that people wreck

  2. It’s just a dog

  3. If you ban the pit bulls, people will switch to another breed and wreck it (which is what is happening to the Rottweiler, Presa Canario, and other breeds) – are you then going to ban those breeds, too? Where will it stop?

  4. If properly socialized and trained, they are great dogs, capable of great devotion, affection, and companionship

  5. There is a difference between a "pit bull", a Pit Bull Terrier, an American Staffordshire Terrier, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and a Pit Bulldog. One is a mongrel, the others are pure bred dogs. THERE ARE MANY PIT FIGHTING BREEDS. If you destroyed every pit fighting breed in existence, it would be relatively easy to start crossbreeding dogs to create a new pit bull terrier. That is why it is folly to start banning the ownership and breeding of these dogs. People can and will either switch to owning other breeds, or will create new ones. How do you think these breeds were created in the first place?

  6. Most pit bull terriers are never fought, and are just companion dogs... and good ones at that


The Best Way To Avoid Being Bitten By A Pit Bull Terrier:

Don’t be involved with people that treat their pit bulls as weapons instead of as companions

Don’t pet dogs that you don’t know to be friendly... the same rules you should apply to ALL dogs

Don’t tease the dog or make it people aggressive

Raise it as a companion dog: socialize, train, & supervise

Discourage unstable people from getting a dog of any breed

1 comment:

Ms.L said...

One of our favourite dogs is a pitbull,Annie.She's not even ours,but belongs to a neighbor out here in the country and often comes to play with my seven year old.She loves us adults too,but she's IN love with the kids.
We know about dogs and my kids have no problem establishing their place with her,she listens to them and is a fun cheerful friend.Not one aggresive bone in her body,the biggest chicken you could ever meet.
When I think of her,it's hard to imagine how anyone could fear or hate her breed and it scares the hell out of me that they are being banned.They are even banned in Ontario.Like you say,what breed are they going to start in on next?
AS the human mum of a rotti cross that terrifies me...