A win-win alternative to breed banning

quirkyquercusOctober 3, 2006

I am neither for nor against breed banning and the reason I am not against the concept is because there are irresponsible dog owners specifically seeking out dog breeds that are the most prone to become dangerous. That is my belief so I'd rather be safe than sorry at the expense of all the responsible dog owners that love their breed.

So why not put into effect a licensing requirement where prospective breed owners would be required to take a general knowledge exam about pet care basics and responsible pet ownership and and also require the dogs to pass CGC or similar, watered down obedience test. I think all breeds should be subject to to this but it's a good place to start. Some other requirements would be the dog would need to be kept inside or in a sturdy shelter of some kind, not a dog house and not tied to a tree, staked in the ground or anything like that.

Revenues generated from license and exam fees could pay for an additional animal control officer(s) for enforcement and also to help with regular animal control stuff during times of peak activity.

Similar to an all out ban, there will be n'er-do-wells who slip through the cracks but I think making an attempt to educate people would be a good first step.

This concept goes against my somewhat libertarian viewpoints but when it comes to safety and wellbeing of both humans and animals, I am anything but libertarian.

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Okay, I'll take the bait.. First, please detail a little more fully who we are talking about when you reference breed banning? Is it only purebred owners who are not fit?? In my experience, people who have purebred dogs are the people who have paid for the breed of dog they think will fit best into their family situation?? My breeder has a "class session" on pick up day (the entire litter goes home on the same day) when you get your pup from her. At first it seemed a little much, but I guess there are some people out there who are getting a pup for the first time. Point is, there are breeders who do like mine and give tips, recommended reading material, potty training advice as well as an open question and answer session before you get to leave with your puppy. My breeder emphasizes the committment needed to raise a good natured, well behaved dog. Most pure bred pet owners for the most part, do their best to train their dogs, take them to the vet for vaccinations and the like. I say this after consulting my vet, whom I just called to bounce this idea because I am just wondering if you are joking. He confirmed what I thought about purebred dog/cat owners. How many purebreds do you see at the shelters? Not many, I've been to them. They may be called a this breed or that breed, but I can tell you that they are not carrying the paperwork of a purebred from a reputable breeder. I am fully aware of the various rescue groups around the Country. I have a collegue who rescues golden retreivers. Guess what, a great percentage of golden rescues are not purebred goldens. Who exactly is going to be doing the licensing, training, etc? IMHO this idea is just ridiculous to say the least. What, next people will have to take a test to have children? Some things in life are choices, yes, whether you agree or not there are still CHOICES. I am glad I live in a Country that gives me choices. I can have my own opinions, speak freely, vote, worship as I wish or not if I chose. As far as I know, everyone has their own style of raising their children, it goes for pets as well. What you may think is a great pet owner may be a little extreme to someone else. I found this out when I got involved in the whole outside cat forum. Not even gonna go there. Look how well licensing motor vehicle drivers has gone. There are more moving violations as well as drunk driving tickets written now then ever before in the history of my State. I am forever behind or next to someone talking on a cell phone while driving despite the law that bans it in this State. Who is going to enforce this licensing of prospective pet owners? And if we are going to require people to attain a license to be qualified to own a dog, what about cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, horses, etc. Where will it end????

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 2:53PM
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I think that would go over just about as well as having someone sign a contract stating that the cat they are adopting won't be let outside! How would you possibly be able to enforce it and as Labmomma said,where will it end?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 6:58PM
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Don't you think that people who are breeding dogs for fighting and to be ferocious are only going to be selling puppies to the same type of people and for the same purpose? What gets me is that when these dogs are found they are put down, but the human who is the cause of the problem gets a fine and keeps his life. Unfair.

I guess you are talking about dogs that suddenly turn? A loving, gentle family pet who suddenly snaps out?

Of course in our litigious, money-talks society, it is the insurance companies who are causing people to make decisions. Some of them won't insure your home if you have a dangerous breed on the premises for fear they will bite someone and you'll be sued. I can't say I blame them.

It would be nice to have the training system in place, but who would fund it? Who would monitor it? And if the breed is dangerous enough to merit such special training maybe banning the breed is not such a wrong idea. If you drink and drive and kill someone, that is still considered manslaughter. If you have a dog that you know is labeled as a dangerous breed and it kills someone, are you then guilty of manslaughter? I mean, if you have a loaded gun in your house and one of your children's playmates shots himself, is it your fault for having a loaded gun where he could reach it?

No matter where you stand in this debate, the bottom line is that once more animals are suffering because of human ignorance-interference-manipulation-barbarism-?

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 7:56PM
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I don't know if you all have followed my ordeal with the pit bull puppy tied to a tree in a backyard of irresponsible ignoramouses. And then there is a quasi-resposible neighbor of mine with a pit mix what was bitten by his dog in his own house as it was fighting with another dog who was visitng (required stitches)
Then of course there was a thing on the news last week about some dude who just had to have a pit bull and didn't care too well for it and it attacked a little girl.

Insurance companies must be putting pressure on municipalities to ban certain breeds and the responsible folks are the ones screaming bloody murder. I just can't help but think a thorough dousing of education in pet management will teach certain people about the needs of the dogs and what can happen if those needs are not fulfilled. Had it not been for books and internet I would be a pet dummy making a lot of mistakes. Not everyone reads books or has internet access. So get a study guide, learn the basics, take the test, pass it, get a license to own a puppy. Get annual renewals by performing basic obedience commands, showing proof of having a fenced yard, vaccines etc. Some breeder participation would be helpful but that's wishful thinking.

I will spend more time reading through the replies a little later. I have to go to the grocery store before they close.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 9:24PM
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I know this is getting off the subject, quirkyquercus, but how did the pitbull puppy survive this summer? That is heart wrenching. I don't even pretend to know the answer to people's irresponsibility, but I grieve over the suffering of animals. Seems the more civilized we get the more barbaric we become. So Sad... I do what I can at our Animal Rescue but it is never enough. Something needs to be done. But, what.....

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 11:25PM
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"So get a study guide, learn the basics, take the test, pass it, get a license to own a puppy. Get annual renewals by performing basic obedience commands, showing proof of having a fenced yard, vaccines etc."
Even that wouldn't insure that the animal is actually being taken care of properly or that the owner is following the rules.People lie and if they want to get around this stuff they will find a way! I totally agree that people need to be more responsible for their pets and that only responsible people should own them but I don't see this being the answer.I wish I knew the answer but I don't and obviously nobody else does either.....Lillie

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 2:10AM
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I love my dog but we are talking about ANIMALS here. Some cultures see dogs as a food item.
Enforcing animal control laws to protect us from irresponsible owners is important. Creating restrictive laws for all pet owners is not appropriate in a free country.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 8:38AM
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I have never been in agreement with breed banning because in my opinion it's the owners, not the dogs. As Quirky has had some horrible experiences with low-life, ignorant pit bull owners I can understand her desire for someone to do something. In my opinion, breed banning and new laws are not the answer, ENFORCING current laws and harsher punishment for the owners may wake those idiots up.

I have to admit, if they are going to test for pet ownership qualifications, I would LOVE for them to do the same before prospective parents produce ;~).

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 11:30AM
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My theory isn't going to be at all popular. I think all people who own dogs should carry insurance on them just like we have to on cars. The insurance company uses statistics to decide the premium. Breeds with a history of attacking require large ins premiums. Breeds that statistically seldom bite get small premiums. Further, there are deductions--just like with a car. House dogs exercised only onleash get a big discount. Dogs outside in a fenced yard are a hazard because they escape--that will cost extra. K-9 Good Citizen Certificate gets a discount. Service dogs not included.

Of course the insurance then pays for the plastic surgery on kids faces ripped apart or for the vet bills of poodles attacked by large dogs. No insurance? big fine, dog impounded. Owning a dog is a big responsibility on several levels. If people aren't responsible, instead for a price the insurance company is responsible.

So, if you really wanted a pitbull or rotty it might cost you $100 a year to insure him. If you had a border collie it might cost $10--whatever.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 4:17PM
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You do carry insurance on your pet liability if you carry homeowner's insurance. If you have ever filled out an application it does ask if you own a dog. In the event your dog bites or attacks someone your homeowner's insurance covers it (liability). No, they don't pay the medical bills. The person who sustains the bite is covered by their own medical insurance. This is the way it works. You cannot change the way insurance covers things, which insurance is primary, etc. Their insurance pays for their medical treatment and then depending on whether they sue you or their medical insurance carrier looks to your homeowner's for reimbursement of their payments, the homeowner coverage is for that. Why would you want separate insurance? And what the heck is a K9 Good Citizen Certificate?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 7:05PM
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If you check out some of the animal rescue sites, their criteria for adopting one of their animals is much higher than an SPCA. The animal shelters are desperate for adoptions. Our local one has several pit bulls right now. I doubt that they do any kind of educating before letting them go.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 9:43PM
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beancounter - my purebred border collie was a nipper and a biter and my rotti/shephard/mastiff is a lover. So I think breed specific insurance prices wouldn't work.

It would be nice to make it mandatory that all registered dog owners attend some sort of training or obedience class with their dog. Although it isn't the registered dogs we see bite and attack the most is it?

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 11:40PM
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"Although it isn't the registered dogs we see bite and attack the most is it"?
Schoor-You are joking,right? if notI think that is a totally irresponsible statement. All breeds of dogs will bite and attack,registered or not.Why in the world would that make any difference? I guess the registered ones know they aren't suppose to behave that way because they are registered.Ridiculous!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 3:29AM
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labmomma, yes homeowners insurance does cover some things. My insurance plan would cover all medical and property damage caused by every dog. AKC offers certificates for K-9 Good Citizenship--google it.

schoor, I'm not saying collies don't bite in fact they are noted for nipping. I am saying that there are statistics on which breeds cause the most damage when they attack. Mixed breed dogs could be classed by appearence and probably by blood testing if necessary. Collies don't kill small children nor do they often attack smaller pets and kill them.

And the primary reason for this insurance, other than to pay the bills of poor people who are victims would be this:
1. Insurance would make people identify and probably implant their dog with id chips 2. Big insurance premium discounts would give incentive for obedience schooling. 3. People would become aware of which breeds most frequently cause problems. 4. Folks might be less likely to leave dogs unsupervised. 5. Again, cheaper premiums for neutered dogs.

Check out the 20 year study done on fatal dog attacks--very interesting. Details on who gets attacked, where and by which dogs. schnoor, sorry collies didn't make the list of killer dogs. btw, I was surprised that St Bernards and St crosses were responsible for about 8 fatal attacks. Unidentified mixed breeds 12 attacks resulting in deaths.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fatal dog attack details

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 9:01AM
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Yeah but you buy insurance with the hopes of never having to use it. You don't buy car insurance en lieu of learning how to drive!

Like I said people will slip through the cracks but thousands of people will learn some basics about pet care and would be openminded to it. For example, even if they didn't do anything right, if the dog was barking out of boredom, tied up in the back yard, the licensee could then recall learning about reasons why dogs bark out of boredom and possibly make changes.

2 or 3 days after I called the animal cops the second time, I reported that the dog was no longer in the yard and the doghouse was gone....
Well that's because they moved out! I guess they got tired of nosey neighbors meddling. I later learned from another neighbor that they were glad to see that outcome.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 10:30AM
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beancounter - the idea of this "pet insurance" still doesn't address the fact that the insurance laws make homeowner's insurance policy primary in the event of a dog bite. If you think you can change the way the insurance industry/legislation works, best of luck to you. With regard to the breeds that are/cause problems. The problems can be caused by ANY BREED if that particular dog is not raised properly. While I am not a fan of the pit bull, I have seen people who raise them and they are as gentle as my harmless labradors - so that argument of particular breeds theory goes out the window. As for the K-9 certificate from AKC - are you joking??? The AKC has turned into a revenue driven registration outlet, nothing more. As for chipping your pet - everyone should do it. In the event your pet gets away - despite the best effort by all pet owners, most vets and shelters now first check for the chip. The only caveat to chipping is that you have to update any change of address of phone number with the company who registers your dog/cat's chip. Also, why cheaper premiums for neutered dogs?? Don't understand your thinking there.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 11:15AM
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labmomma, not everyone with a dog owns a home. And just because something is covered by homeowners today, doesnt mean it will be covered tomorrow. Every year I get notices with my premiums of what insurance no longer covers, has limited coverage on, or must be clarified. Transferring liability would not be a problem.

I donÂt intend to dispute which dogs bite, why dogs bite or who dogs bite. Because dogs do bite and because certain breeds have killed children in my community, our ever-vigilant lawmakers are talking about breed banning. While mandatory insurance would not ban any breed, it would certainly make owners pay dearly for the privilege of owning dangerous dogs. It would also set some guidelines on the responsibility of owning dangerous dogs. After all itÂs always about the money. The police and animal control wonÂt enforce the animal laws, but the insurance industry would because itÂs about the money.

DonÂt know what your complaint with AKC is. They donÂt police obedience trials; they are just the record keepers. Some local clubs are better than others, but IÂve never seen a bad one. And thatÂs because the club members are doing it all for love, not for revenue.

All dogs would need a chip. No chip, no insurance. No insurance, big $$$$$ fine. Think of the good things that would come from this. Landlords would rent to dog owners because they would have the insurance certificate to guarantee damages would be covered. If your sheltie bites your own kid in the face and your husband just lost his job and his health careÂthe kid still gets medical treatment. If your cocker goes next door and commits suicide by Doberman, insurance pays for a new (smarter) cocker. If my border collie goes psycho and grabs a bicycler by the throat, well, no happy ending but the family will be able to send the kids to college on what they recover from the insurance.

Oh and neutered dogs bite less. Statistic. Also much less likely to attack other dogs.

As I said before, everybody has unalienable rights but no body has responsibilities. ThatÂs fine--for a price the insurance company is happy to take over all our responsibilities.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 2:18PM
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beancounter: If you read my post I direct the homeowner insurance to people have homes. Of course, if you don't have a home you would not have homeowners. Your policy of homeowners insuarnce is a one year contract and of course, renewal may bring changes. That's the nature of the beast. Please clarify "transferring liability would not be a problem". Do you mean that you can decide which policy of insurance would be primary, if that is the case, you are wrong. It is not an option of a policyholder to decide what insurance is going to be primary. I challenge you to find an insurance company that would write policies for specfic liability dog insurance. Just not going to happen. Not even if you chip your dog, train your dog, get an K9 Good whatever certificate, etc. When you find an insurer who will write you a liability policy for what you are proposing, please post the name of the carrier, as I am quite interested. Are the police going to go door to door to check if the dogs have a chip which would trigger the "big $$$$ fine" you propose? If not are you saying the insurance companies are going to hire people to police its policyholders? ALSO how does a cocker spaniel commit suicide by doberman? Your statements are really strange. Where are you getting your stats on unneutered dogs. Please post, I am further interested in that statement.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 4:29PM
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Remember this is a "debate" forum.

Things like microchipping can be proven with a reciept from the vet or from the microchip database company. I don't suspect any discount on premiums would be all that substancial but this proof of insurance could be required to renew dog licenses. Spot checking of homes of licenses not renewed could be done as fines and registration fees would pay for enforcement. But in my original solution, it really wouldn't matter all that much if the license was not renewed, it still accomplised something by the very first license issue. If you could combine the aggression liability with health coverage, I'd sign up in a heartbeat.

I could also envision more off-leash parks being opened if such insurance coverage was required on all breeds.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 4:55PM
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Im happy to give you the source of my statistics. The Center for Disease Control CDC did the 20-year study on dog bites. All my information on dog bites and fatalities comes from that study. They call the incidence of dog attacks an epidemic. Their study shows who gets bit, ages, what part of the body, where the bites occure. Most bites occure in the home by your own dog. Kids (boys) under 14 most at risk. Head bites for little kids most common. Unneutered male dogs much more likely to bite. 68-million dogs est. in the US, 4.7-million bites annually. NOT GOOD!!!




Now about the insurance. Dog bite law website: http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/insurance.htm#insover
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal summed up the problem this way:
Some big insurers, including Allstate and Farmers Insurance Group, won't cover homes in some states if residents own certain breeds. Others exclude some breeds from liability coverage, or charge extra for it. The so-called vicious-breed lists include German shepherds, Akitas and Siberian huskies, along with Alaskan Malamutes, Chow Chows, Doberman Pinschers, American pit bull terriers and their cousins. (M.P. McQueen, "Snarling at Insurers," Wall Street Journal, July 18, 2006.)
The insurance industry also is quietly revising homeowner policies that protected dog owners when they originally bought those policies. Homeowners must carefully read all of the short slips of paper and other notices sent from insurers, in case they eliminate coverage for accidents caused by dogs. If that happens, a dog owner must get a different policy or an umbrella that provides both the coverage plus higher limits of protection. For all these reasons, dog owners need to learn about insurance.
The fines would come in the same manner as they do when drivers dont have insurance. Example: Someone calls the police because the neighbors dog is running loose, barking at 3:00am, nipped a person, is harassing the mail carrier etc.

Suicide by GSD in my opinion would be going into the yard of a chained GSD and harassing him within the reach of his chain. Very poor judgment or a death wish.

There are always carriers who will write policies on anything. The article in Dog Law advises calling around to find an insurer who will write the policy.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 5:26PM
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Just to clarify my position - I see many dogbite cases in the firm I work for. In every case the owner is held responsible. Now if the dog owner has homeowners, the homeowners insurance pays. If the dog owner is a renter then the victim sues the landlord. The landlord's homeowners insurance pays these claims.

I am still having trouble with alot of your proposal, but the main thing is who is going to enforce these licenses. In a motor vehicle setting, it is the police. In the case of a dog continually barking, it is the police who are called and then if the complaintant so wishes, he/she can either take the case to a Neighborhood Resolution Commitee (if the town has one) or take the offender/owner to court. The licensing and insuring of dogs is a different matter. I still want to know how and who is going to do the legwork to enforce such a thing. I get what you are saying, but IMHO it is not practical. I did briefly look at dogbitelaw.com. It is clear that the site owner surely wants dogbite insurance. He is a personal injury attorney specializing in dog bite cases. That, in my opinion is not the most objective viewpoint regarding this issue. I thank you for posting the other sites and look forward to looking at the content as well as who is behind the site. As you know, anyone can have a website. I usually stick with the objective ones, such as CDC as you posted regarding dog bite statistics.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2006 at 6:34PM
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Labmomma, not sure what part of the country you are in and I'm sure it varies from place to place but where I am a rather large percent of dogs in rescues and shelters are purebred. On top of that you also see purebreds with "papers" that are obviously mixed or even another breed from what the owner thinks it is. Groomed a cue little "Maltese" today but I guarentee you this pups mama was very good friends with a Westie.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2006 at 8:17PM
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One reason so many bites are by Rottweilers and Pitbulls is because they are so popular. There are more Pits in the USA than many other breeds of dogs put together. Most are not registered so there is no way to track how many but look around and on Animal Planet reality shows and you can easily see that they outnumber other breeds.

Rottweilers and Pitbulls were not common years ago. German Shepards and Chows were the so called dangerous dogs then.
I don't think I saw a Rottweiler outside of a book until the late '80s and his owner paid thousands for him. Goliath was an awesome dog who never bit anyone BTW. He was a novelty. People whould stop his owner and ask what he was. He was imported from Germany. Now they are hugely popular and far too many are being bred. Any breed that gets popular suffers from it.

The only dog that ever attacked me in my life was a purebred St. Bernard.

All dog owners should be responsible.

Almost all dogs should be spayed or neutered. There are far too many dogs being bred. People should adopt and not support puppy mills/pet shops.

Children should be taught how to behave around dogs, theirs or strangers.

Any dog can bite, big dogs are stronger and can bite more seriously but any dog can bite.

When I was young, Cocker Spaniels were notorious biters. Many herding dogs nip and many toys do too.

I do not agree with breed specific legislation/regulation

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 3:45PM
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My daughter and i live next door to each other on 30 acres in a national forest. Between us we have 4 rescued dogs, all mixed breeds. 2 chiwaiwai (can't spell) mixed. Mine a pug and chiwaiwai mix. The other two are hound and lab and mine hound and blue heeler mix. They receive vet exams once a year. They have pens abt a quarter acre fenced with a 6 ft high fence and doggie doors into our homes. The fence is to protect our dogs from bears and hunters. The lab-hound mix would'nt hesitate to bite someone who threatened us in our home. We would not discourage him. All 4 dogs are neutered. As with
the majority of problems in this world the underlying problem is human not otherwise. Just a point of view. I admit to being an ornary breed.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 6:15PM
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RE homeowners insurance and what would happen if you did not own a home. When we rented, we had renters insurance. Just because you do not own the building does not mean you shouldn't insure your possessions and protect yourself in case of liability issues. We learned this the hard way, AFTER the ceiling collaped in an apartment we were renting and we got not one cent to replace furniture,electronics, clothes, etc. that were ruined.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2006 at 9:56PM
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We adopted a pitbull five years ago when we lived in NH from the SPCA. We were questioned as to where the dog would be kept when we weren't home, we replied in unision in the house. They suggested we should call our insurance agent due to the fact Peati is a pitbull. I called the agent on Monday let them know we were now the proud owners of a pitbull. I received a call back later in the day to tell us that our carrier would not renew our policy that they did not cover pitbulls. Our policy expired in Sept. so I called in July to get the agent working on a new policy for us, the gal was not interested in doing her job to find us new company. I reminded her that my family had been doing business with her agency for of 75 years and she must help me. She reluctantly said she would. Three days later she called to tell me she found that Chubb would insure us but it would be an additional $400 per year. I sent her a thank you note from Peati with her picture to thank her for working so hard to get her insured.
I wouldn't trade Peati for anything. She goes to work with us everyday. She greets the customers and they bring her treats and some love her almost as much as we do.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 11:20AM
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You are right about saying their is no difference on breeds, all can be dangerous, I have a 6 lb Shih-Tzu. he is long haired fluffy and looks like a sweet animal to pick up and cuddle, and they are SUPPOSE to be gentle nice temperment dogs. Mine is NOT. Hates children, any children and even some small adults, I have to be very careful with him. he doesn't mind my children and they know not to bother him, but when their friends come over he has to go into our bedroom, the thought of him hurting a child and the thought of having to dispose of him is enough for us
to take certain measures, what I don't understand is someone who owns a dog that may be potentially dangerous to others why they don't take measures as well? If they don't love the animal enough to take care, why own it?
We had a Police German Shepard (150 lb) that we just adored, he was perimeiter trained and only understood German commands, it was very scary, we had to keep him in any time we went anywhere.
I think the whole point being made here is, if all pet owners had to pay for liscensing (not just papered pets) there would be more money in place for Animal Control to be able to MAKE the laws work. Right now they are just spread so thin, they can't take care of every complaint made.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 11:43AM
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I worked for a vet while in high school and have had/raised/trained dogs all my life. The problem with dogs is not the dogs, it is people. Too many people want a dog for the wrong reason. Replacement of a loved one, misguided attempt to rescue a mistreated dog---misguided because many dog owners have no knowlege of how dogs behave naturally, and other reasons. Add to that is the fact most dogs do not get the right kind of exercise---exercise with the pack leader----walking/working together.

My last two dogs were a chihuahua/terrier mix---had cancer at 20 and we had to put him down, and a lab/chow mix that was our watch/companion dog that had a stroke at 15 and we also put him down. The most difficult of the two to raise was the terrier mix.

Our two new dogs---always have two because dogs are pack animals and are more stable in a pack----our pack consisting of myself, wife, kids, and grandkids---and the two dogs. I am the pack leader. Period. However, my 1 year old granddaughter is also higher in the pack than either dog---both of whom outweigh her. That fact is reinforced every time they visit. There is a strict system in force---the dogs do not get attention until they are calm is the first step---every time. No exceptions. Thgey can get excited at seeing us---but no attention---no eye contact, no voice contact, nothing until they are calm. Reason? One dog is a rescued Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix---very excitable and out of control when we got him at 1 year old. So excitable he would bite himself. A year later, the granddaughter can point and he goes to the ground. The other dog was supposed to be a lab/Border collie mix, according to the owner of the chocolate lab mom of the litter. Pup was black and white, six weeks old, and looked like a lab puppy. Turns out as he got older it became obvious dad was a pit bull---and the pup---at 1---looks more like his dad than his mom---and weight 80 pounds. This dog does not get to play anything but soccer---and he actually dribbles and blocks shots----with the kids. He and I play tug of war---but he stops IMMEDIATELY on command and will ignore the rope on command---in other words, he nevcer is allowed any chance of being out of control. He loves the kids and they play a lot---just no agressive play at all. Period. Any sign andf he is put down on the ground until he submits and calms down. Why? Because he has shown tendencies to play too hard and without limits. If I see a GK playing too rough with him---the kid is in trouble first.

All that is to illustrate how people have to interact with dogs---on the dogs level. We have to know how the dog expects to be treated---as a pack member---and do that.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2006 at 1:45PM
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I completely agree with handymac and that is why we have two dogs apeice. and we are pack leaders and we know our dogs and their limits. Glad to hear your views.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 3:54AM
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Have had animals all my life
Animal rescue for the past 9 years
During that time, have worked very closely with my vets
Have fostered approximately 250 dogs/cats
Have taught dog obedience and continue to train foster dogs
Etc, etc...

One needs to consider that simply asserting one's self as Pack master or Alpha to dogs does not mean they will treat other people the same (especially children).

Early, continuous and intense socialization is the only way to teach them respect for the "packs" outside your territory. Even then, you are not guaranteed a socially safe dog.

Most purebred dogs were developed to perform a specific task. Small terriers (Jack Russell, Schnauzer, etc.) were designed to go after rodents and other small animals...and even while most are not used to perform this duty in today's world, they still have the instinct to chase and/or kill anything that is small and moves/scurries quickly.

Husky/Malamute breeds were bred for pulling sleds over miles of tundra...generally not a confined breed. I would say the majority of Huskies/Malamutes in the shelters today are there because they have the instinct to roam. I haven't met one yet that didn't have that tendency.

The Great White Pyrenees also have this tendency...they were bred to follow the sheep across miles of pasture land. Confinement to a small territory does not satisfy them...if perceived danger lies beyond the fence, they will go beyond the fence.

Keeping that in mind, there are a few breeds which were 'created' for violent tasks.

The American Staffordshire Terrier (a Pit Bull Terrier) is one of these breeds. The only difference between the two is the permission of nose colors. The AKC website doesn't even list a temperament description for this dog (normally they do). This dog was bred for pit fighting...usually bulls, and for protection of and high devotion to the family. Specifically they were trained to have high hostility for anyone outside the family unit.

This is a main reason that many Pit Bull attacks have occurred...it is simply in their blood. Not many people who own this breed have the intentions or, possibly, the time to satisfactorily socialize the dog enough to calm the aggressive tendencies. There have been many cases where the dog has been a loving family member for the first two years of its life, at which stage, it reaches maturity and "challenges" the weakest members of the pack...generally the children or neighbors or surrounding dogs. They have been termed "time bombs" in our area (Kansas City) since we can never be completely comfortable with one. We have seen a few in rescue that were deemed perfectly safe, and we even believed this to be the case for a time. Then, just like the phrase, the time bomb went off. There is no warning, no way to predict the behavior change, simply instincts coming forth at an unfortunate time.

Another factor which persists in our area is that of irresponsibly breeding aggressive dogs. Puppies are highly impressionable and WILL learn from their mothers. Many of these puppies are sold/given away to people who desire those traits. Others are given to unwitting people who want to "prove" that a proper upbringing can solve the issue. These will be your 'time bomb' dogs....what they learned from their parents could surface once they reach maturity.

Don't get me wrong, I am sad that the breed was not directed off this violent course, that it continues to fall into the hands of people who appreciate and encourage these tendencies, but it is entirely too much to "ask" these dogs to do what we want them to do..."please be nice to everyone"...it just isn't going to happen unless we ban them. Doing so would allow truly responsible breeders to continue in their quest for creating a more stable breed.

If we are not prepared to accept the liabilities associated with what the dog was "designed" for, we should not insist on owning that particular breed.

My two cents.....sorry if there were typos...I was typing fast....

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 10:03AM
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Are you saying American Staffordshire Terior (pitbulls should be banned breed)?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 12:23PM
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Yes, I am.

In our area, of course...I can't and won't speak for other areas of the country. It is a true problem here...people are dying or getting maimed.

I will repeat in summary of what I previously stated, the breeding of these dogs needs to be left in the hands of truly responsible breeders.

The following page contains a pamphlet to download (.pdf format) from The Humane Society of The United States:

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 12:52PM
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I strongly disagree with breed specific legislation but would love to see neutering, socialization and training of all pet dogs mandated.

A neutered, socialized and trained Pitbull is less of a public menance than an intact, untrained, unsocialized Poodle.

Millions of dogbites occur in the USA alone. Most are by the family pet or a close friends or neighbors. Most are to children and most are by dogs that are not neutered.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 3:22PM
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I also agree that all pets should be spayed/neutered.

You mentioned "...but would love to see neutering, socialization and training of all pet dogs mandated".

Could you please share your ideas of how cities/counties could implement/enforce this?

Also, when was the last time you heard of someone dying because of a Poodle bite? The dogs in our area are designed to KILL, not simply give warning bites. You simply can not compare the two situations.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 7:15PM
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i think the idea of banning any breed altogether because of our society's views of that particular breed is a very slippery slope. i can think of a non-animal situation in which a very intelligent, persuasive, powerful man in another country decided that a certain religious affiliation didn't deserve to walk the earth. i think we need to be very careful here about how much we think we know about a breed. i have known many people that have owned pits that have lived their entire lives never hurting a soul. it is all in how the animal is raised. i don't agree that a particular breed is born to kill. i agree there is a certain stigma associated with the pit breed and I too am guilty of maybe crossing the street if one is around - only because I don't kno who is raising the animal. when you get into the more urban low income areas in our area you see more of the vicious type pit. it was my understanding that these people who have the vicious pits are training them to fight. i know a woman who is a vet tech who rescued a pit pup long ago. She has three young children, pet sits my parents dogs often at her house. never had a problem. she's had this dog for 10 years. I just don't agree that you can ban a breed. it makes me crazy that you think you are qualified to say that this or that breed should be eliminated. i would also say that your qualifications would not in my estimation make you an expert on breeds they just give you an opinion on breeds. JMHO.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 6:42AM
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I am sorry, I seemed to have missed your qualifications...

You mentioned: "i can think of a non-animal situation in which a very intelligent, persuasive, powerful man in another country decided that a certain religious affiliation didn't deserve to walk the earth."

Maybe I read that wrong, but are you comparing a group of people with the same religious affliction to a breed of dog? I will chalk that one up to a weak analogy.

And this: "when you get into the more urban low income areas in our area you see more of the vicious type pit."

This statement appears to be stereotyping the breed's owners. In fact, attacks in our area have been more prevalent in our suburbs, not our inner cities.

This: "i know a woman who is a vet tech who rescued a pit pup...never had a problem"

Yes, I have also known a few that have never had a problem...that would be a generalization.

One more thing: "I just don't agree that you can ban a breed."

You don't need to drive yourself crazy thinking that my qualifications are enough to ban this breed, the people have already spoken and the bans have been set.

Like I have said before (this will be the third time, now)...the breeding of this dog should be left in the hands of responsible breeders. To allow them to continue as they have WILL result in many more maimings/deaths.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 7:14AM
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I dont feel the need to list my "qualifications". BTW - I am not driving myself crazy. I just have different opinions than you.

New Websters Dictionary - definition of analogy. analogy, n.pl., gies. An agreement or likeness between things in some circumstances and effects but not in others; parallelism; likeness; correspondence in function or appearance, but not in structure and origin." So my analogy is not weak.

When you say "the people have already spoken and the bans have been set" what exactly are those bans.

You state that I am generalizing. Aren't you generalizing also when speaking of these breeds and their tendencies you have posted?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 8:44AM
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I do not condone any nasty behavior from dogs but BSL is not the answer. A lot of the stronger dogs are being bred by drug dealers NOT RESPONSIBLE BREEDERS to be aggressive and nasty. They are breeding nasty temperaments purposely. None of us should be subjected to these animals but do some research on the states that have adopted BSL. It is to open to individual interpretation and a lot of loveable pets have been killed in some states based only on the opinion of some law enforcement said dog may resemble a specific breed. The BSL is being written and adopted by individual States and Towns much too loosely and open to individual interpretation. I could be breeding toy poodles and make an enemy of someone in a town that has adopted BSL, the enemy could file a complaint about my dogs and the town could have the power to add my breed to the list of BSL, confiscate and euthanize my dogs. It started with pit bulls but if you do some research you will see lots of breeds have been added and no temperament test on individual dogs. I dont know what the answer is but BSL isnt it. All owners should take full responsibility for their animals for sure.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 4:04PM
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eandhl - I don't mean to sound dumb but was is BSL short for? I think that above poster was saying about certain urban/poorer areas more susceptible to this pit breeding for fighting and such because that is where alot of the drug activity goes on in that setting (at least in our area, can't say don't know where the above poster lives). Could you give me a link so I could learn more about BSL? Thanks for your information.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 4:16PM
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Breed Specific Legislation

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 4:36PM
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FYI: Definition of a Weak Analogy (used in Logical Reasoning/Debate):

Weak analogy:
Committed when the analogy (an argument in which the conclusion depends on the existence of an analogy, or similarity, between two things or situations) is not strong enough to support the conslusion that is drawn.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 5:35PM
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Jeeze Webkat. Talk about generalizations and stereotypes. "Ticking time bombs"?? The support of destroying/eliminating various breeds of pit type dogs is the biggest generalization there is. Its frightening that one can support extermination based on nothing more than what - sensationalized news coverage?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 10:34PM
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A ban does not equal mass extermination....where in my statements have I mentioned that? I don't appreciate words being put into my mouth.

They truly are 'time bombs' in this area....that is the only way to describe a dog that is said to be "the perfect family member...we had no idea it was violent". Then it maims someone almost beyond recognition.

By the way, we just had another attack yesterday....and yes it was another Pit Bull....one in a banned zone, too. The owner of this dog is due to face serious charges.
I am just glad the victim wasn't another grandmother or child. The owner's excuse? The dog was 'doing it's job'.

I still haven't heard an alternate solution presented during this debate that has been spelled out and seems guaranteed to work.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 6:46AM
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Webcat and quirkyquercus, unfortunately breed banning is BSL and in many cases it is destroying the animals, all the animals of the breed. Again I state I don't know what the answer is other than making the owner completely responsible (if a dog get loose, attacks the owner is arrested for the attack just like he/she did the attack himself.) I don't think anyone should be subjected to agressive/nasty dogs but I don't think the way BSL is written in most areas is the answer.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 11:36AM
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lillie1441: I think Schoor meant registered with the town or county, not registered as in purebred.

We have our two dogs registered because it is the law and we want our boys back if they ever get away.
Obviously people who are evading the law (or maybe doing illegal things) would not register their dogs. I think that these people may also have dogs for protection rather than a pet too. However there are a large number of cheap or just lazy people who do not register their dogs either.

Not sure if all localities require this. Also we have animal control where I live. I personally love the idea of having dog insurance. Why not?? This would keep better track of animals. Maybe having an insured dog would help me get discounts on things like vet care or training also?

However if people didn't have to worry about paying for medical care and the sorts would that make them less responsable to properly train their dog or taking precautions when young children visit??

I just think that any small fees would make people stop and think before they purchase a pet. It is FAR too easy to get an animal. I don't think their should be breed banning but maybe there should be either insurance or some sort of waiting period for dogs. That will make people think a bit longer about it. If you were not allowed to buy a dog the same day you saw it then I bet a large portion of the people would not come back the second day to buy the dog because they thought about it or were too lazy! Of course the people who want dogs for protection will find a way to get them anyways.

It is kind of like the gun control problem. Most shooting are done by an unregistered gun. Only the honest people (non criminals) will register the gun.

So creating more barriers only prevents honest people from getting their pet.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 1:01PM
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Are you kidding me, registering your dog with your town or city or community is not doing anything for you except putting a few dollars from each pet owner in the township's pocket. I once asked the gal at the registration, what does this do for me? Her response - well it registers that you have a dog. Yeah, no kidding, but it doesn't matter if I register it or not, my homeowners insurance is who is going to pay if one of my pets bites someone. Pure and simple. Also, doesn't ensure I will get my pet back if the pet gets loose and takes off and is picked up by the County. In my case, I would get my pet back because they are chipped and in our area everyone checks for chips now. Some of the ideas in theory sound great but are not at all feasible. Waiting period, what are you waiting for, if someone is going to get a pitbull to teach it to fight it won't matter if they have to wait. Yes, we too had a recent mauling of a pit owner by his pet on the news. You know what he was doing with the pet, training it to fight! I guess he got what he wanted out of the dog. As for breed banning webcat - no one is putting words in your mouth. You are the one saying this breed has this problem and so on. You answered a direct question - "Are you saying American Staffordshire Terrier (pitbull) should be banned breed". Your response - "Yes I am". Maybe you need to go back and read your rant. And just in case you don't understand, despite your rather prestigious list of qualifications you feel make you an expert on what breeds should be banned, even your breed banning is not a guaranteed solution. JMHO:)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 3:06PM
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Ummmm...am I missing part of my posts somewhere?? If so, please direct me to it.

You mention "You answered a direct question - "Are you saying American Staffordshire Terrier (pitbull) should be banned breed". Your response - "Yes I am". Maybe you need to go back and read your rant."

The accusation in question was that of my suggesting an extermination of the breed. (Which I did NOT say)

I am not quite sure what being supportive of our area's ban has to do with your regurgitation of what I said.

This is a debate forum, not a slam session. Are we incapable of that? It certainly isn't necessary to slam an individual for their beliefs, is it? JMHR. In fact, for one to do so, makes them appear less credible.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 3:36PM
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I think it was someone else who accused you of extermination so I will leave that to them to respond. I simply pointed out what you posted in your own words regarding banning pitbuls. In case you didn't get it, I don't support your area's breed banning so I am not sure what you are referencing by my "regurgitating". Not slamming you, simply stating my opinion. I see that you recommended someone go back to the pet forum because on the debate forum opinions vary greatly and things get heated, blunt statements are made. Not slams. Perhaps it would be helpful if you would post the "standard debate rules" we should be following so that I don't violate any of those. Lastly, I really don't care if you think my opinons, arguments and beliefs are credible. I am simply participating in this particular debate.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 4:13PM
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registering pays for our animal control and it is required.
it doesn't promise that I will get my dog back but it helps.
nothing is perfect. Our town doesn't check for chips yet.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 5:11PM
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And when they ban pit bulls which breed is the unscruplious person who is currently fighting these dogs or using then to guard drugs going to turn to next? Maybe my Dobermans? Or how about Chihuahuas? One of the little buggers tried to take a finger off me last week. Bans are not the answer but making someone really responsible for the actions of their animals with maybe stiff fines and long jail time might work. But then in our society where a lot of people have no respect for anyone or anything and think they are "entitled" to things instead of having to earn it then who knows.

I'm not sure how much many of you know about dog fighting but since I've been aquainted with some of thefighters then lets talk about it. Today you have basically two types of "fighters" the above mentioned people who have no respect for anything and the old style fighter. The old style guys are more along the types that developed these dogs into fighters at the turn of the century. The dogs aggression was channeled strictly toward other dogs. Aggression toward people was not , WAS NOT, tolerated. The dogs have to be handled and even while in the pits there is a "referee" in there with the fighting dogs. Dogs were rarely fought to the death, once there was an obvious looser the dogs are separated and go on to fight another day.

A lot of the young fighters today don't operate like that. In todays society you have to have bigger, faster, meaner in order to think you are somebody. It's trouble waiting to happen. But the ones that will really pay if a breed is banned will be the responsible owners with good dogs and the dogs themselves.


    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 10:30PM
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When you talked about the recent attack by a pitbull, you mentioned a "banned zone." Has the government banned pitbulls, but only in some neighborhoods? I cannot imagine how that could work at all, or hold up to any challenges to the ban's legality.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 10:20PM
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Some breeds like Pitbulls are a really big problem. it doesn't suprise me that they are being banned. I agree with it and also disagree. A majority of those dogs probably do have a mean streak. They are known (even ones bred well and raised in a good family setting) to just bite people out of the blue. I have a neighbor though who has the SWEETEST pit though. His dog comes running out his yard with his tail wagging everytime he sees me on walks. It is startling seeing this animal with a massive head running up, but he only comes looking for love.

Banning all breeds will never happen. Breeding breeds is bad for the quality of the offspring because of inbreeding, but good for us. We have found breeds that shed less, bark differently, are more loyal, make better hunters, make good lap dogs, make good family additions, good jogging partners, good racers, great guard dogs, and great laid back and gently dogs. Looking up a breed will give anyone an idea of what to expect out of the dog.Maybe not a hundred percent of what the dog will be because even dogs of the same breed differe here and there, but an overall generalization of what is to be adopted.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 11:19PM
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Each separate city within the KC Metro area have created their own ordinances. The city where this latest attack occurred only recently placed the ban after several attacks in a row. One of them was a severe maiming...

The grandmother that was killed by her neighbor's two Pit Bulls was in a different city within the Metro. Ironically, they already had restrictions set in place (since the early 1990's, I think) for this breed; however, they apparently haven't had problems since that time until this killing. At that point, it becomes manslaughter in the eyes of many people. The same as driving drunk. It is against the law to drive your car while intoxicated so you will be charged with manslaughter if you kill someone with that car.

I do find it very interesting that a definite stigma has certainly been attached to anyone who owns this breed (in this area). People wonder why there is such a fuss over this breed when taking into consideration all that has happened and all of the other breeds/types of dogs that are available.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 1:34AM
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webcat, you stated - "At that point, it becomes manslaughter in the eyes of many people." I think it should be manslaughter in the eyes of the law.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 9:33AM
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Whenever a debate about savage dogs come up a few people always repeat: Its not the dogs fault it the owner. We need to make owners socialize their dogs. Or they say all dogs are equally vicious.

Earth to people. If there was a way to make an individual a better parent, pet owner, citizen, whatever, somebody would have done it. Thats not possible and it oversimplifies a complex problem. We cant make them better but we can make them responsibleor most of them anyway. Todays laws punish owners whose dogs attackIF we can identify the owner. But thats not enough. The victims must receive some compensation. My dog insurance idea would be a part of the registration, micro-chipping, vaccinating laws that are already on the books. In addition it would provide some help for victims. No help for them now unless they get a lawyer and try to sue. (Good luck with that.) Owning a dog would be very much like owning a car. Must have all required registrations; provide required maintenance (vet care, vaccinations); proof of insurance; a clear title or chain of ownership. Nobodys dog gets banned but it might cost a lot to insure it if its one of the problem breeds and it doesnt have obedience/temperament testing. And just like certain cars get insurance breaks, dogs could earn those breaks too. It was hard to get everyone with a car to get insurance, but eventually most have.

Some of you don't agree with my theory that dogs with obedience and temperment training should get discounts. This demonstrates at least two important aspects of dog ownership. 1. The commintment to spend time and money to create a good K9 citizen and a good pet. 2. The knowledge and ability to control the dog. Those things should be rewarded and lack of those should be penalized. We can't make people better but we can make them pay for being irresponsible.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 2:09PM
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Earth to beancounter - here we go again. Haven't you read the posts. What you are proposing is not at all feasible. All this was hashed over and over again.

People can sue with or without lawyers and believe me when they sue with lawyers they definitely are compensated for their injuries when a dog attacks. When lawyers take cases like those of victims of dog bites, they are taken on a contingency basis, i.e.; they get 1/3 of the settlement in payment for their services rendered. Now do you really think lawyers are going to take their time and money to prosecute a case and not receive their own compensation for their time, guess again. Victims are receiving compensation even if they are attacked by a random dog with no owner. Its called a special victims fund. Believe me when I tell you that in my State, if you are wronged and you go to the extent of suing or trying to get compensated, you usally get paid.

I refer you back to several posts I have written regarding same.

I don't think there's any disagrement that a in a perfect world everyone would be a repsonsible pet owner. Reality is another matter.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 3:53PM
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You know what labmomma, there just ain't no victims compensation in my state. Oh wait yeah, we call them fundraisers and we hold them at church and collect maybe $500-1000. A fundraiser to reconstruct the face of the little girl who had it rearranged by a pitbull. $1000 didn't go far. Oh and the owner of the pit bull, well she had no money. Living in a rented house driving a beater. Are you familiar with the old "can't get blood from a stone" adage? Hopefully some plastic surgeons will donate some time to try to repair her little face. What is your problem with making pet owners responsible? Maybe you are a breed banner like the forum suggests? Or are you just one of those people who always says "cant" whenever solutions are offered? I don't have much patience with "can't" people. Propose a solution if you have one.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 4:10PM
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Pardon my sarcasm, but....

Oh, sure, I don't think anyone would mind their own insurance rates rising to keep paying the victims of dog attacks that could have been prevented in the first place.

Yea...just let them do whatever they please...insurance will take care of it....

Give me a break!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 5:23PM
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1. I am not for breed banning - totally against read the posts I've written.

2. No I "aint" one of those people who just says can't whenever solutions are offered. If it is a good solution I am all for it. To be a good solution it has to be able to work properly and effectively. This insurance for pet owners is not going to work. It can't be enforced properly. I have set forth my opinions above.

I will not continue to debate with a person with such an attitude read: "you know labmomma there just aint no victims compensation in my state". I am sorry that there isn't in your state, however, this has nothing to do with me or my opinions and knowledge of how these claims for dog bites work.

I don't appreciate your vile attitude. I responded to this debate to shed some light as to the way things really work in the real world not in some fictional perfect society.

3. I don't have a solution. I don't think because I don't have one that I should make some riduculous idea that sounds good in theory and then keep making recommendations for things to support my theory that are in no way reasonable or enforceable.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 6:19PM
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Exterminate "to drive out or away; to expel". To further clarify, the etymology of the word you take offence with - Latin extermin re, extermin t-, to drive out : ex-, ex- + termin re, to mark boundaries (from terminus, boundary marker). That was my meaning and your areas ban does this.

In reality dog bite fatalities are miniscule steady at about 20-30 a year (even though the pit population is growing big time) and since there no national or regional standard for analyzing and collecting dog bite data, and since breed of dog identified is subject at best and since we cant know the numbers of any dog - I cant see how you know "it is a true problem here" unless you are relying on sensational media coverage.

"Victims are receiving compensation even if they are attacked by a random dog with no owner. Its called a special victims fund." Please provide additional information on this fund. Ive not heard of this and could not find anything in my searches other than the Crime Victims Fund Act, which would not address the above situation,

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 8:24PM
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webcat, I also live in the KC area. Those attacks are terrible.

However, all of the pit bull attacks in the KC metro area about which I have read are cases of owner neglect or incompetence. Pit bulls are not the normal family pet dog and most families should bever be allowed to oen one. Especially the owners of the dogs involved in those cases. I favor jail time for every owner involved.

Now, the Leavenworth, Kansas city council just decided some new ordinances concerning dog ownership and responsibility. They did not ban any breed. They have instituted a much more strict program of responsibility required by dog owners---and are putting inspectors in place to enforce those ordinances.

I now own a lab/bull mix. I also have a Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix. Both males. I have new rules for anyone interacting with these dogs---due to their breed and individual characteristics. I have five grandchildren who spend a lot of time at our house---and a lot of time playing with these dogs. These rules are different than any I have needed before for previous dogs.

No chasing---by the person or the dog.
No wrestling. Period.
The kids are monitored when they play with the dogs---to verify they follow those rules. The dogs know the rules, thay get several times a day reminders. The kids forget.

The youngset grandchild is one year old. She can---and does---command either dog to stop and drop.

The kids go home to completely different dogs---a Golden Retriever pup they can lay on and wrestle with and an almost human cocker mix who is a babysitter.

Point is that different dogs have different characteristics and need different handling. It is the owners fault if that is not provided. The dog is only reacting to it's environment.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 1:30AM
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I didn't need the definition of 'exterminate', I was being compared to Hitler as if I was using his definition of extermination (in a subtle, cheeky, borderline name-calling manner) and that was what I was referring to. Thanks, though.


The grandmother that was maimed beyond recognition and killed was quietly working in her garden. Her neighbors' dogs came over the fence to get her. The only neglect that would be present was if the owner KNEW their dogs had this tendency for such blatantly overt aggression.

You mention: "I favor jail time for every owner involved." I thoroughly agree! But, then you open another can of worms....do you also apply that to the dogs who simply give warning bites (one bite and they are done)? Pit Bulls don't do this...they generally go for vital organs, face or throat, drag or maim, which is why they are being targeted for banning.

Your mixes are probably just fine...those are some fairly good combos. Hopefully the Lab in there was one of the good tempered ones and not the "Jekyll and Hyde" Labs we have been seeing. They are most likely a result of overbreeding/backyard breeding but snap aggression is, unbelievable but true, becoming a problem.

This leads me to my original "grand scheme" solution. Breeding of pure-bred dogs should be left to the truly responsible breeders (this does NOT include puppy mills or anyone who uses a middleman). Those who will guarantee health, temperment, DNA, lines, overall quality of the breed and who will show their dogs in order to insure conformation will be the ones to continue the lines. They will also continue to insure negative traits do not surface in the breed.

Puppies can be spayed and neutered at 8 weeks, this should be done by the breeder prior to a sale. Using a contract for this "requirement" is not enough, it must be done prior to sale. Doing so will eliminate backyard breeding of purebreds, will eliminate registration issues, will eliminate drastic temperment swings within the breed, will eliminate overages of any particular breed (they end up in the shelters), etc....

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 6:03AM
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Breed banning is being discussed in our area like it is in many areas. Another attack in the next year or so will push it over and Pit Bulls and Rot types will be banned. It's sad for the owners of most of these dogs, but you know how the public reacts to high profile stories. They become frightened for their children. Telling them dog attacks are almost as rare as lightening strikes is pointless. The attacks are sometimes pretty gruesome and the newspapers go into a frenzy over these stories. If I had one of these dogs, I don't know what I'd do. I would wish there was an alternative to either getting rid of the dog or moving.

In this area, bullies are also the dog of choice for drug dealers. That doesn't help their image. Lately our police have taken to shooting them when they encounter one in the yard or home of a suspect/witness. The police always claim the dogs were attacking viciously and the shooting had to be done. Im skeptical but thats more bad press for the dogs.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 4:37PM
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In 2001, an estimated 368,245 persons were treated for dog bites in Emergency Rooms.

In 2001, an approximate 300-400 people were struck by lightning.

Yes, more died from the lightning than the dog bites, but the lightning isn't getting any worse or less predictable, the dog bites are getting worse and are harder to predict.

Just a thought.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 4:54PM
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And yet more is done about educating the public about the dangers of lightning than educating prospective dog owners about repsonsible pet care.

I would liken the registration/licensing more to drivers licenses instead of guns. You have to learn how to drive before you can get a license and also have to demonstrate that knowledge. You also need to provide insurance and proof of vaccinations and vet care. Similar to car ownership. Not so with guns.

And to the people getting all upset this is a debate forum. As in making structured arguments and presenting facts to one another. If you give an opinion and get insulted when someone argues why that opinion is crap please remember you can argue back and present facts to support your stance but whatever you do don't get insulted. I love run-on sentences. Find out when your local high school has its next debate team competition and see if you can go watch. It's a lot of fun.

One nitpick about the statistics posted and some of those mentioned. I can't help but wonder what percentage of dog bites are from people breaking in or trespassing. That kind of changes things, doesn't it? Little story...
I went to get a haircut last weekend and my regular stylist wasn't there so I got somebody else. To make some small talk I asked do you have any pets. She said she has cats but would like to get a "big rottweiler or some other big mean dog". I laughed and said why the hell would you want a mean dog? She said "so nobody messes with me and do you think a robber is going to break in with a big rottweiler there?"

Those are some great reasons to get a dog.... Na-na-Not!
Unforuntunately a lot of our society is hardwired to desire such a bodyguard. I am one of them however I had a stronger desire for a funloving shaggy mop head... Thankfully. If only someone told this stylist that the desired effect of a dog during a robbery in most cases is simply barking/growling. And even a funloving flying wad of hair does that. Then the rest of the time you've got a loving and enjoyable pet not some mean, out of control guard dog. Even if someone is attacked by a dog while robbing your house they can sue. I seem to remember seeing that on the news. Or am I thinking about border patrol agents. Hmmm

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 4:20PM
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quirkyquercus, I did some research some time ago on dog bites. The most frequently bitten are owners or more specifically the children of owners. Statistics show boy children get bitten most often. Women and girls considerably less often.

Work related bites are very common. Mailmen, shelter workers, vet clinic workers.

People get bitten in situations they cannot foresee. For example one ill woman got bitten by her own dog when the paramedics were trying to remove the woman from her home. The dog went for the paramedic; the woman grabbed the dog and was bitten. Hard to prepare for that.

If you havent visited this site, you will probably find it interesting.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 4:48PM
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The problem with dog laws, just like any other laws like gun laws, and having proof of insurance for your car, is that the biggest losers have no regard for those laws. No regard at all, these people are broke and having nothing to lose. Felons can't have guns, yet many own stolen guns purchased from some under the counter dealer.

Unfortunately their children and other children in the neighborhood are the ones that mostly suffer. A child here in Chicagoland recently was mauled severely by two rottweilers. The stepmother had left the young child alone with them. DUH! People will just continue to be idiots.

There is no good solution and never will be. The only solution is to avoid the dogs and carry pepper spray if you jog. (Sorry massachussettes people, you can't carry pepper spray without a permit because of your laws) And even that might not stop a pit bull in attack mode.

Most city dog pounds automatically euthanize those "prone to be dangerous" breeds if they are found. They cannot chance adopting one out and having it be found to be vicious because it was abused.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 12:14PM
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It is not any particular breed that needs banned, it is the backyard breeders and puppy mills that need shut down and banned. That's all thier is to it!
When any of you can figure out how to do that, then this matter would be resolved, period! Governing bodies have not been able to figure that one out yet.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 10:07AM
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Laws don't work on people with no regard for laws!!!!
But they will work on people who do obey laws and just don't know anybetter. Just like the (sorry to keep using this example) driver education. Once I read that little handbook I had some foundation for getting behind the wheel.

I've got another statistic for ya. My neighbs across the street have a golden/pit mix. Unsocialized, underexcercised. Had another dog go into the house and flipped out and accidently bit the owner requiring stiches. They still have the dog and viewed it as an "accident" because of course he meant to bite the other dog not the owner. ay ay ay.

I had a little chat with a pitbull breeder (nice older lady) in a department store because I was there with my new puppy (At the time) and he was taking a little nap on the checkout counter if you can believe that. I was explaining that I was taking him out to places that allow dogs to expose him to all kinds of people and all kinds of dogs. Of course my pup looks like a stuffed animal and is extremely sweet so she said "oh this puppy doesn't need socialization!". I think she was sort of kidding or implying that I was going overboard (which is my specialty) but clearly her pit bulls have different requirements and I think if they are exposed to as many people as my dogs are then they will think that every human and dog that walks the earth is friendly and will give them treats. Only the risk is far greater if they don't.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 11:11AM
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Oakleif...says Between us we have 4 rescued dogs, all mixed breeds. 2 chiwaiwai (can't spell) mixed. Mine a pug and chiwaiwai mix.
I'm no where's near reading through this thread. Just wanted to tell Oaklief there is an easy way to remember how to spell Chihuahua. Just say it in your head like it is spelled. CHI-HUA-HUA sounds cuter than chiwhawha anyway or whatever spelling:-)

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 9:00PM
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It's a shame when a community feels that they have no alternative but to ban a particular breed of dog. I am not a dog owner, but there was a time in the City where I live that not a week went by without a news item about another Pit Bull attack. The City Council finally enacted a Pit Bull ordinance. Only time will tell if it will do any good. I feel that it's not a dog problem, but a people problem. Responsible dog owners always suffer for the sins of the irresponsible ones. There seems to be a sub culture in our community of people who own vicious dogs in order to intimidate others. I am copying our Pit Bull ordinance here for your information. If any of you have a similar problem in your community, you may find this information helpful. I am not speaking pro or con. This is for informational purposes only.

Sec. 14-75. Unlawful keeping of pit bulls or restricted breed of dog.
(a) Prohibited . It shall be unlawful for any person to have, own, possess, keep, exercise control over, maintain, harbor, transport, or sell within the city any pit bull or restricted breed of dog.
(b) Definitions.
(1) "Immediate family" for purposes of this chapter, includes the owner's spouse, child, parent or sibling.
(2) "Muzzle" for purposes of this chapter, shall mean a restraining device made of metal, plastic, leather, cloth or a combination of these materials that, when fitted and fastened over a snout/mouth/head, prevents the dog from biting but allows room for the dog to breath and pant. The muzzle must be made in a manner that will not cause injury to the dog or interfere with its vision or respiration, but must prevent it from biting any person or animal.
(3) "Pit bull" for purposes of this chapter, is defined as any dog that is an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of the above breeds, or any dog exhibiting those distinguishing characteristics which substantially conform to the standards established by the American Kennel Club or United Kennel Club for any of the above breeds.
(4) "Restricted breed of dog" shall mean any American Bulldog (Old Country Bulldog), Dogo Argentino, Canary Dog (Canary Island Dog, Presa Canario, Perro De Presa Canario), Presa Mallorquin (Pero De Presa Mallorquin, Ca De Bou), Tosa Inu (Tosa Fighting Dog, Japanese Fighting Dog, Japanese Mastiff), Cane Corso (Cane Di Macellaio, Sicilian Branchiero), Fila Brasileiro or any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of the above breeds.
(5) "Secure temporary enclosure" for purposes of this chapter, is a secure enclosure used for purposes of transporting a pit bull or restricted breed of dog and which includes a top and bottom permanently attached to the sides except for a "door" for removal of the pit bull or restricted breed of dog. Such enclosure must be of such material and secured with a keyed or combination lock so that the pit bull or restricted breed of dog cannot exit the enclosure on its own.
(6) "Secure pen or enclosure" for the purposes of this chapter, shall mean a six-sided structure designed to prevent entry of a child or escape of a pit bull or restricted breed of dog. Such pen or structure must have minimum dimensions of five-feet by ten-feet per animal housed within and must have secure chain-link sides, a secured top and a secure bottom. The enclosure must provide protection from the elements for the dog. All structures erected to house a pit bull or restricted breed of dog must comply withall zoning and building ordinances and regulations of the city and shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition. The gate of the pen or enclosure shall be secured with a keyed or combination lock.
(c) Exceptions. The prohibition in subsection (a) shall not apply in the following enumerated circumstances. Failure by the owner to comply and remain in compliance with all of the terms of any applicable exception shall subject the pit bull or restricted breed of dog to immediate impoundment and disposition.
(1) The owner of a pit bull or restricted breed of dog who has applied for and received a pit bull or restricted breed of dog license within 60 days of the effective date of this section in accordance with subsection (d) of this section, and who maintains the pit bull or restricted breed of dog at all times in compliance with the pit bull or restricted breed of dog license requirements of subsection (d) of this section and all other applicable requirements of this chapter, may keep a pit bull or restricted breed of dog within the city.
(2) The animal care division may temporarily transport and harbor any pit bull or restricted breed of dog for purposes of enforcing the provisions of this chapter.
(3) Any veterinarian while treating or grooming a pit bull or restricted breed of dog, or holding such pit bull or restricted breed of dog after treatment until claimed by the owner or released to an animal care officer.
(4) A person may temporarily transport into and hold in the city a pit bull or restricted breed of dog only for the purpose of showing such pit bull or restricted breed of dog in a place of public exhibition, contest or show sponsored by a dog club association or similar organization. However, the sponsor of the exhibition, contest, or show must receive written permission from the city manager or designee, must obtain any other permits or licenses required by city ordinance, and must provide protective measuresadequate to prevent pit bulls or restricted breeds from escaping or injuring the public. The person who transports and holds a pit bull or restricted breed of dog for showing shall, at all times when the pit bull or restricted breed of dog is being transported within the city to and from the place of exhibition, contest, or show, keep the pit bull or restricted breed of dog confined in a secure temporary enclosure locked with a keyed or combination lock and bearing a caution sign affixed in a conspicuous location warning people a pit bull or restricted breed of dog is confined within.
(5) The owner of a pit bull or restricted breed of dog may temporarily transport the pit bull or restricted breed of dog through the city. During such transport the owner may not stop within the city for any reason not reasonably related to and necessary for travel. During such travel, the owner shall keep the pit bull or restricted breed of dog muzzled and either in a secure temporary enclosure or securely leashed with a leash no longer than four feet in length held by someone 21 years of age or older who is capable of effectively controlling the dog. Extension-style leashes may not be used. Leashes may not be attached to inanimate objects.
(d) License. The owner of a pit bull or restricted breed of dog who has applied for and received a pit bull or restricted breed of dog license within 60 days of the effective date of this section, shall be allowed to keep such pit bull or restricted breed of dog within the city. As a condition of issuance of a pit bull or restricted breed of dog license, the owner shall at the time of application, comply with or otherwise provide sufficient evidence that the owner is in compliance with all of the following regulations:
(1) The owner of the pit bull or restricted breed of dog shall provide proof of a current rabies vaccination and shall pay an annual pit bull or restricted breed of dog license fee to be set by city council.
(2) The owner of the pit bull or restricted breed of dog shall keep current the license for such pit bull or restricted breed of dog through annual renewal. Such license is not transferable or renewable except by the holder of the license or by a member of the immediate family of such licensee. A pit bull or restricted breed of dog license tag will be issued to the owner at the time of issuance of the license. Such license tag shall be attached to the pit bull or restricted breed of dog by means of a collar orharness which must be worn by the animal at all times, clearly visible, and shall not be attached to any pit bull or restricted breed of dog other than the pit bull or restricted breed of dog for which the license was issued.
(3) The owner must be at least 21 years of age.
(4) The owner shall present to the city manager or designee proof that the owner has homeowner's or renter's insurance with a minimum of $100,000.00 for liability coverage which will cover any damage or injury caused by a pit bull or restricted breed of dog during the twelve month period covered by the pit bull or restricted breed of dog license.
(5) The owner shall, at the owner's own expense, have the pit bull or restricted breed of dog spayed or neutered and shall present to the city manager or designee documentary proof from a licensed veterinarian that this sterilization has been performed.
(6) The owner shall, at the owner's own expense, have a microchip containing an identification number implanted into the pit bull or restricted breed of dog. The city manager or designee shall maintain a file containing the registration numbers and names of the pit bull or restricted breed of dog and the names and addresses of the owners. The owner shall notify the city manager or designee of any change of address.
(7) At all times when a pit bull or restricted breed of dog is at the property of the owner, the owner shall keep the pit bull or restricted breed of dog confined. When outdoors, all pit bulls or restricted breed of dogs shall be confined in a locked secure pen or enclosure or with an adult at least 21 years of age in the rear yard with the dog, and the rear yard enclosed by a six foot fence maintained in accordance with chapter 146 of this Code. A warning sign shall be affixed to the gate of the structure notifying people a pit bull or restricted breed of dog is contained within.
(8) No pit bull or restricted breed of dog may be kept on a porch, patio or in any part of a house or structure that would allow the dog to exit such building on its own volition.
(9) At all times when a pit bull or restricted breed of dog is away from the property of the owner, the owner shall keep the pit bull or restricted breed of dog muzzled and either in a secure temporary enclosure or securely leashed with a leash no longer than four feet in length held by someone 21 years of age or older who is capable of effectively controlling the dog. Extension-style leashes may not be used. Leashes may not be attached to inanimate objects.
(10) The owner shall not sell or otherwise transfer the pit bull or restricted breed of dog to any person residing within the city except a member of the owner's immediate family who will then become the owner and will be subject to all of the provisions of this section.
(11) The owner shall immediately notify the city manager or designee in the event that the pit bull or restricted breed is loose, stolen, at-large, unconfined, has mauled, bitten, attacked, threatened, or in any way menaced another animal or human, or has died.
(12) The owner shall have posted at the front door entrance to the owner's property where the pit bull or restricted breed is kept a conspicuous and clearly legible pit bull or restricted breed warning sign obtained from the animal care division.
(13) No person applying for a pit bull or restricted breed of dog license shall be granted a litter or fancier's permit pursuant to section 14-42 of this section for such pit bull or restricted breed of dog.
(14) Failure to comply with any of these conditions shall result in a revocation of the license, impoundment and disposition pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.
(e) Impoundment. The animal care division is authorized to immediately impound any pit bull or restricted breed of dog found within the city limits which does not fall within the exceptions listed in subsection (c) or (d), subject to a pre-trial hearing pursuant to section 14-4 of this Code. If the dog is found to be a pit bull or restricted breed of dog, it shall be destroyed unless the owner produces evidence deemed sufficient by the court that the pit bull or restricted breed of dog is to be permanently taken out of thecity. Sufficient evidence must include, but is not limited to, a notarized agreement from the person taking custody of the animal containing an address and date of transfer. Additionally, the owner must consent to an in-home inspection by the animal care division within 30 days of release for the purpose of verifying the dog's removal from the city. Prior to release, the owner must pay the cost of impoundment and microchip the dog pursuant to subsection (d)(6) of this section. If the dog is found not to bea pit bull or restricted breed of dog, the dog shall be released to the owner.
(f) Penalty. Any person found guilty of violating this section shall, upon conviction, be subject to the payment of a fine of not less than $700.00. In addition to the fines stated in this subsection, a person convicted under this section may be subject to not more than one year in jail. None of the minimum monetary fines in this subsection shall be suspended by the municipal court and the penalties in this subsection may be imposed in addition to the court-ordered destruction provided for in section 14-4.
(Ord. No. 2005-84, § 1, 10-24-2005)
Secs. 14-76--14-100. Reserved.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2006 at 12:48AM
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I'm with you, webkat. Pits have been bred for thousands and thousands of generations to kill or maim. That's what the breed was originated to do...that's what they do.

Why would anyone want something like that in their house, around their families? Why not just leave a loaded gun laying around? You don't have to feed it or take it for a walk.

Fully 70% of the dogs in the local no-kill shelter are pit bull/pit bull mixes. Most have been returned multiple times. They will never have a home. It's really sad.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 12:14AM
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