pit bull attack

bkay2000November 11, 2010

I'm increasingly afraid of a pit bull attack. It has happened once already and the situation is likely. I was walking my two dogs a couple of years ago and they were attacked by pit bulls. Luckily, the owners immediately tackled their dogs, told me to run and I did. No one was hurt.

My dogs are Dan and Bitsy. Dan is a 90 lb. mixed breed, rescued (best guess, chow, german shepherd and lab) neutered male who is about 7 years old. He seems to reflect the other dog. If they are not aggressive, neither is he. If they are aggressive, so is he. Bitsy is a rat terrier who is about 16 years old and weighs about 20 lbs. She's old, slow and deaf, but doesn't know it. She was pretty aggressive when she was young, but seems to have mellowed.

Within my block, there are numerous tethered pit bulls that are or seem to be dog aggessive. There's one blue pit bull female that can climb the fence and is not tethered. Luckily, she has not been very aggressive. She's climbed the fence on numerous occasions when we are near, but has submitted to Dan and "visits" with Bitsy. Meanwhile, I'm having a heart attack. I envision horrible damage and huge vet bills. (A dog was killed in front of this house, which also has two tethered dogs, a couple of weeks ago. The owner blamed the bird dog across the street.)

My whole neigborhood is full of similar dogs. Who knows which ones are aggressive and which ones are not? How do you protect your dogs from this menace? Do you just assume that all pit bull looking dogs that are loose are agressive? That has been the way I've handled it in the past. If I see some loose dogs, I go the other way. With the gray female, she was impossible to evade, as she came over the fence when we went by.

Of course, these dogs are loose. My dogs are on leash. If a fight were to ensue, my dogs are at a disadvantage. Do I let them loose?

I carry pepper spray, but will it work? How about a golf club? That's not easy to carry, as I have a leash in each hand. I have a concealed carry permit, but I'm not sure I could shoot the right dog. I've never carried a gun on a walk, but again, I'm worried. Pit Bulls can be so viscious and they are common in my neighborhood.

Of course, I will continue to avoid the situation if I see it in advance. I just worry about not seeing it in advance. I don't think I'm overly paranoid. I was walking with them down the street last week, and a pit bull was trying to dig out of his yard, clearly very aggressive. I knocked on the door and told the owner. They stuck a concrete block on the spot the dog was digging. How long will it take to find another spot. What if he gets out?

I've done searches on the internet on how to protect yourself from attacks, but they are usually geared to dogs attacking people. There's nothing I can find about how to protect yourself and your dogs from loose pit bulls.

Am I overly paranoid? Anyone have any ideas? I'm always worried when I go by the house where the dog was killed. I always pause and make sure the gate is closed. It wasn't once and the gray female came out and was somewhat aggressive. I pulled Dan away and made him go on down the road.

I wish my city would outlaw them.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Does you city not have a leash law?

Do you have a car? I would take my dogs elsewhere and not expose them to a possible attack.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 9:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would look into whether there's a leash law and report every dog that's roaming or not reliably contained. Your neighborhood sounds completely out of control. It's outrageous that the owners of the dogs that attacked you could only grab the dogs and then tell you to run! Those dogs are certainly not under any level of control, so are very dangerous.

I also agree with annz that you should drive the dogs elsewhere for walks if possible. Maybe there's a dog park or walking trail nearby.

I wouldn't let the dogs loose if a dog comes after them, because they won't stand a chance of getting away, especially the old one, and no one would have any chance of grabbing the attackers if you did that.

If your only option is to continue walking in that area and under those conditions, I would advise carrying the spray they sell that protects against bears and I'd have it ready to use if needed. If a dog charges yours, you can't wait to determine their intentions. By then, it may be too late.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Outlawing a breed seldom works. Pits and pit mixes have been illegal in KC, Ks. for many years.I see them constantly.

If you are afraid of missing a dog with a hand gun, pepper spray is harder to direct, so it may well be useless. A golf club or big stick is usually equally useless. That is one technique used to toughen a fighting pit.

Going somewhere else is the safest way to avoid a confrontation. I'd prefer to carry a hand gun, since it is my right to walk in my neighborhood. I am a bit bull headed, tho.

Document each episode you can remember after each walk for two weeks. Count the number of aggressive pit type. Count the other breeds that are aggressive as well. Go to city council meetings. Make sure you know the procedure to get put on the agenda to speak---different councils have different methods.

Get active. You get well known enough, some folks will put their dogs up more. But, others might actually turn theirs loose---so carrying that hand gun might be a good idea.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 9:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First, try and get a grip on your fear - dogs can sense fear and you will only end up attracting them. Be confident - practice confidence. I dont think you are being overly paranoid - people who do not take the time to train their dogs or properly exercise them are just asking for trouble especially when pitts are involved.
Dont be afraid to use your voice. I once stopped a wolf hybrid in his tracks just by saying HEY KNOCK IT OFF.LEAVE IT - The hybrid was stalking a man and his dog in a shopping center parking lot -- no owner around. (figures) The hybrid stopped eyeballing and following the man and his dog and turned to stare at me. I followed up by yelling GO HOME with a deep and as forceful voice as I could muster - it worked, the hybrid walked off.
The pepper spray is a great idea - I have had no occasion to use it, but I do believe it is what the post office carriers use. When I was at the dog park with my dog, a lady was walking a dog that did not belong to her, she was constantly yelling at it, and of course it was ignoring her. The dog started harrassing my dog, I told the lady to get the dog but she ignored me...I dropped the leash of my dog (the other dog was running free) and I tackled that dog and threw the dog which was harrassing my dog on its back in one fell swoop. That dog was so startled all it did was lay there not moving. Then it bit me. I did not care. I would rather get bit myself than have to pay for vet bills and have my dog suffer all that trauma. The dog had all its shots and all, so I was not worried about it. That lady never showed up at the park with that dog again and I learned later on, that same dog bit the gardner that same morning. While she was freaking out after all the dust settled, that dog just laid right where it was not daring to move.
As for your permit, I dont know if you have ever had to fire it, but I have been shot at and have shot at others in my profession - it changes you forever. Those shootings are unlike a dog fight. I would think you might end up hitting one of your dogs or someone else. Unless you go to the range on a regular basis and are really really proficient with your aim and control - I would not recommend using a gun to break up a dog fight.
Most dog fights happen in seconds when a dog or pack of dogs sees an opportunity to overcome another dog or person they see as prey or as an submissive figure. Most people never see them coming and when they do they freeze - much like in a vehicle accident. Practice asserting yourself, walk with confidence. If you see a dog in the street - keep an eye on it, if it starts moving towards you, command it to leave - in your deepest voice you can muster. Dont run, stand your ground, take your pepper spray out and fire away. Be sure to get the time of the incident and the dog involved and report it immediately. I also recommend you walk your dog at odd hours if you can, when the chance of other dogs being out or getting out is less. You might also carry a high density flashlight like a Streamlight with you now that it is getting dark. You can temporarily blind an attacker - dog or human by shining it right in their eyes..then fire the spray. There is a tool called the TIGER T100 which has a flashlight on one side and the spray on another, it fits right into your hand and you wont have to worry about juggling the leashes.
The person who does not get attacked is the one who is paying attention to their surroundings and is showing the canine kingdom that you are a dominant being without fear. Good luck. I dont envy the situation you are in, but I do know if you give into fear or show fear the likelyhood of your getting attacked is higher. Good luck hope this helps

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 2:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Pitbull attacks are a huge fear of mine, too. We have a lot of them in our neighborhood, but it sounds like you have a very large population. I am so tired of the old saw about its the owners not the breed, if I hear of anymore innocent people _often owners themselves_ killed by these dogs, I will feed the next person who says that to a pitbull.
Animal control can only do so much, they're not going to be there to prevent an attack, just help you clean up afterwards. One of our dogs was attacked and almost kiiled by a pit mix 10 yrs ago, believe me when I say I still have nightmares about it.
Not being afraid does help your dog so it doesn't sense your fear, but that isn't going to stop the attack from happening. I wish I did carry a gun sometimes, handymac is right, it's our right to walk in our own neighborhoods. But dear old dad used to say you can be Dead Right, and I don't want to be dead right in this situation.
I've been thinking more & more of going to our township board mtgs and getting involved, as well as talking to our animal control officers, but I also fear that a ban won't do much good.
I am going to look into the bear spray for myself. Luckily, our Shelties are extremly docile towards other dogs, they do not engage with other dogs when they're on walks.
OP, I wish you luck, you're in a bad situation in your neighborhood.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 10:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
murraysmom Zone 6 OH

mazer, I agree with your way of dealing with these situations. I, too, have several dogs (no pits, thank goodness) that come out in the street after us on occasion. I make myself as large as possible and start yelling at them to "stop" and "get away". I figure that maybe the neighbors or even the dog's owner will look to see what the commotion is about. Years ago, when I got my beloved Murray, a neighbor had a german shepherd that she let out the front door to run. (She had a fenced in backyard). The dog ran right over to us and starting attacking Murray. He was screaming and so was I and I jumped in and grabbed that german shepherd and slammed it to the ground and tried to beat it to death. I only got a couple of good punches in when the owner came out and got her dog. She paid the vet bills, but that really wasn't good enough in my mind. She never did let that dog out to run again while I lived there. My dogs have never been aggressive, thank goodness, but then they are always socialized and have many dog friends. It's usually the dogs that never get any attention that are the problem. OP, your neighborhood sounds dangerous and I am sorry that you have that situation. I, too, would recommend the pepper spray and would actually carry a big stick. I know it would be difficult with two dogs, but if you could manage it, it would make you feel better. Good luck with your situation. I hope you never have to use either.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 3:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I live in Dallas. There are many areas here that have worse problems than we have. I live in an older neighborhood where we have many recent, spanish-speaking immigrants. They aren't very good about keeping their dogs up, neutered or vaccinated. The younger ones are into macho and dog fighting, so pit bulls fit their image of themselves perfectly. And to be honest, the problem is probably not as bad as I've made it sound. I just don't have a plan, other than the pepper spray. I know that there are lots of pitbulls in the area. I know that they're good at climbing fences and digging out.

We have a leash law. We have an anti-tethering law. We have a law that requires pet breeders to be licensed. All pets are supposed to be neutered unless they belong to licensed breeders. We have a pooper scooper law. None are enforced. You can turn them in all day and nothing happens. If I call my city council person and complain, I'll get a call from someone at city hall who says, "just call me". Then their phone is always on voice mail and they never return calls. We had a $200 million shortfall in the budget this year, so adding dog catchers is probably not in the budget.

Dan doesn't like the dog park. He gets all "foamy" around his mouth, which I interpret as anxiety. So, we don't go to the dog park anymore. I didn't care for it too much either, as not everyone cleans up after their dog.

I've practiced with my gun some. Probably not often enough though. We usually go to the range a couple of times a year. Most of my experience is in "can plinking" with a rifle, not a handgun. I've never shot any living thing, so I don't know how good I would be at it.

Thanks for the support.


    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 4:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's tough, but like Mazer says, you have to project confidence. You're doing the right thing by checking gates and if the coast is clear before walking, and I also think the pepper spray is a good idea. But you really can't trust any loose dog, no matter what breed.

My old dog was attacked by a pit or pit mix once, a friend had her standard poodle almost killed, and another friends pomeranian was killed as she walked him down the street - a loose pit shot out of a yard, grabbed it and shook it violently before my friend could react. The poodle has lasting eye damage and has to have eyedrops several times a day. All of our dogs were on 6' leashes on quiet suburban streets, all of the pits were loose.

My neighbor in the mountians rescued a pit recently, and they have no clue how to deal with him. You can't expect them to be controlled with soft baby-talk. (sigh) I know if he gets over the fence into our yard, my dogs would be dead, so therefore, I can't ever let them out alone.

I know some Pitbulls can be wonderful, loving family dogs - so I don't really want to breed-bash. There's just too much potential for dog aggression in an extremely powerful breed so they need to be socialized well and watched closely.

Good luck to you, and no, after my experiences, you're not paranoid.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 6:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Please dont carry a big (OR ANY OTHER SIZED) stick, dogs can see that as a reason to attack. You CAN carry some tennis balls though, and when you see another dog that is unattended, throw the ball the opposite way you are walking and hope the ball attracts the attention of the dog...

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Stop and thing about a dog fight that you've seen--it is blazingly fast and vicious, and I think it highly unlikely that you would be effective with either a stick or a gun. Pepper spray--well. Just be sure of which way the wind is going, and aren't you likely to get your own dog along with the other one? What is the general opinion of cattle prods or tasers/stun guns? I don't think there's a good answer for this, except maybe going for a walk with a tiger!, which would carry a whole other set of problems. It's just a shame that irresponsible pet owners cause so many problems.

Oh, and that city hall "call me" person? GO see them in person and camp outside their office until you do see them.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 1:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm going to do some research on the different pepper sprays, cattle prods and stun guns. I'll get back when I have more info.

If it stopped the attack, it wouldn't hurt to spray my dog, too. It's uncomfortable, but not life threating. (My DH pointed that out already).


    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 5:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Sorry mazer, I didn't mean to suggest that you advocated carrying a big stick to be effective. I think it is. I used one successfully on a number of occasions when I lived in Baltimore. Just acting aggressively TOWARD an approaching dog can get them to back off in a hurry. True, a stick will not stop a dog that means to attack you no matter what, but in my experience most dogs are just challenging you and will back off if you present the bigger challenge. As it was said before, an attack happens so fast that trying to get a gun, stun gun, pepper spray in a position to stop it seems futile. It is a difficult problem that has no easy solution. I find that animal control problems are very low on the public officials list of things to address. Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 8:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I would get in the car and walk somewhere else. Not all fear is unwarranted, it's a protection device.
It would only take one attack and I don't think that's worth walking in your own neighborhood unfortunately.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 9:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love big, powerful dogs, but because of that, I hate it that they are so popular. Go to any animal shelter around here and you can see the fad dog of the decade sitting behind bars waiting to be put down. The last few years pit bulls have been the victim. Before that it was labs. Before that it was rotties and dobes. Before that GSDs. Throw in a dane or ridgeback here and there and a mastiff or two.

They are animals for the most responsible of owners, who have the money to vet them and feed them and provide security for them. Add time to exercise them and train them and make them dog and human social. But, it doesn't work that way....does it? If you go to the most economically depressed areas of the nearby town, they're in every other yard, chained out and taking shelter in old 55 gallon barrels or under a make-shift lean-to. Seldom are the yards even fenced, and if they are it's likely to be a do-it-yourself fence of chicken wire and stakes.

My very first adult job was as a mail carrier. I could write books on dogs and attacks. I only had one really serious encounter myself, however and it was with a GSD who the owner tethered outside her front door in the range of the mailbox. When the dog went after me, I tried to mace it. Ha! It was a very cold day and the mace just ran down my arm in a trickle and the dog leaped and was on me. I had a roll of magazines bound with a leather strap and I tried to swat at the teeth coming at me. The owner ran from her house screaming "Don't you hurt my Ringo!"

I wasn't to hurt her Ringo? So the next day I didn't deliver mail there because she had tied her dog again within reach of the mail box. So, she complained to the postmaster and he called me on the carpet. He asked me if she didn't have her dog tied, and I replied "Yes, to the mailbox pole". She finally quit tying her dog out when she had to drive to the post office to get mail.

Dog licenses should be conditional and on a sliding scale fee. Neutering and spaying will decrease the fee. All owners of large and potentially threatening breeds should have to cough up proof of a suitable containment area and shelter each time they renew the license as well as proof of rabies vaccinations. Make owning breeds like this difficult but not necessarily any more expensive than what the dog's humane treatment dictates. Put the expense on fines and don't wait until the animal maims another dog or a human.

Any dog caught out of it's safe confinement and not under direct human control gets a high fine or yanked from the home situation unless reported immediately as lost and proof of shots/appropriate shelter is provided. It's a privilege and a responsibility to own these dogs, it's not a right. Animal laws are not enforced if they are arbitrary or poorly written. They can be more easily enforced if the necessary screening is done when licenses are applied for and making the owners pay with fines and loss of the animal for infractions.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 3:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have no personal experience with Pits but from what I've read and seen trainers talk about on TV a person could make the problem even worse by using something that causes more pain on a dog that is already in attack mode and fighting.

I own guns but what scares me about carrying one around for dog protection in a neighborhood is the possibility that a bullet ricochets or you misfire and end up hitting a person who could be sitting in their home.

I'd work more on getting your dog relaxed at a dog park, or as I've already mentioned, drive to another neighborhood. Surely there are parks nearby that you can use.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 5:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I feel for you. I live in an area of Southern CA where we have lots of problems with pitbulls. They are everywhere and many of the people who keep them are blatantly negligent when it comes to proper care and control. I stopped walking my dog in my neighborhood several years before she passed away because being rushed at or even attacked by pitbull breeds was becoming alarmingly common- and I live in a nicer part of our area too- but the stupidity seems to know no barriers. I stopped walking completely after 2 particularly bad attacks and then about a mile from my house, a woman was killed by a pitbull while she was walking- that was it for me.

I would drive my dog out to a local park and walk her. We don't have dog parks here, but some of the local parks allow dogs, so that is what we did when we wanted to get out. I hated that we had to get in the car and go, but it was a much more secure environment and much more relaxing.

If I had the option to carry a concealed handgun while walking, I would. As hard as you might think it would be to kill a dog, I suspect once it was attacking you or your dogs, you would feel differently. But if for any reason you do not feel comfortable with that, then it's definitely not the right choice.

My mother's dog was attacked by a pitbull a couple years back while they were walking. It was a vicious attack that required a lot of stitches on her border collie mix. She had pepper spray with her and that worked to stop him and send him on his way- we were all a bit surprised that it did the trick to be honest. I've heard conflicting stories that both pepper spray and tasers can be ineffective against pits because they have been bred to endure a lot of pain. Research those options and make sure you get something that is powerful enough to stop a dog in a frenzy- it always seemed to me that one of those pepper sprays that are made to deter bears should work against a pit, but I don't know because I never got to the point of researching that myself before my old girl left this world.

Good luck, I feel frustrated for you in talking about my experiences with something similar. I don't know whether I became more frustrated with feeling like I couldn't just step outside my own door and take a walk, or with the blatant stupidity and negligence of people who owned these dogs.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2010 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For some time a neighbor while walking his small dog found himself and his dog being constantly threatened by another neighbor's large mixed breed.dog The neighbor had a conceal and carry permit which is very common in Texas. One afternoon the dog came after both of them. The man picked up his dog to protect him but then the agressive dog attacked both of them. The neighbor shot the attacking dog dead on the spot.

The owner of the agressive dog called 911 and told the police some one had shot his dog. The police issued a citation to the owner for not controlling his dog. Seems many other neighbors had filed complaints.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 3:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, feed me to a pit because I'm one who says it's the owner, not the breed. We've had many beagles over the years and the only time I've been attacked walking them was by an Airdale, and the only dog that's ever bitten me was a beagle. (He was a rescue from a horrible situation. He's a sweetheart now...mostly :))

Having said that, I wonder if you're fixating extreme anxiety on the pits and potentially disregarding other breeds that may pose a danger. Just something to think about.

I strongly advocate using a walking stick. When you walk confidently you look bigger, and adding a walking stick (carried in a non-menacing way) makes you seem bigger still. Remember, preventing an attack in the first place is the goal! Yes, the stick can be used defensively if needed but that isn't its primary purpose. If you need it, it's also a great barrier between you/your dogs, and ANY threat.

Have you read any of Cesar Millan's books or watched The Dog Whisperer? I know not everyone is a fan, but his methods have been a lifesaver in this house. I wish we had known about them sooner.

I feel for you; it's tough enough being a responsible pet owner without feeling like your own neighborhood is laced with landmines. Just keep in mind that dogs digging under fences or running toward you are not all aggressive - sometimes they're just bored or overly excited. But your anxiety and fear feed theirs and can make the situation worse. As others have said, practice confidence and work on controlling your fear!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 10:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One of the greatr things about dogs is how easy it is to change them. A new breed can be created in as short a time as seven generations. That can be about 20 years.

Now, most people, thankfully, do not have the money/facilities to do that. And, with most breeds, there is no reason nor profit in doing so.

I am and always have been a proponent of Ban the Owner, Not the Breed.

Except for fighting dogs. Every Joe, Tom, or Clyde can breed pits and some idiot will buy the offspring. That has created a huge population of pit type dogs that have no lineage traceable and people have no idea what kinds of dogs were in the lineage.

Breeders of fighting dogs have less compunction for killing timid or otherwise useless dogs than more responsible breeders.

So, that has produced literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of pit type dogs with no control over breeding. And, since many of the breeding dogs were aggression and willingness to fight, those traits are endemic in that population of animals.

The puredred breeds, Am Staffs,English Bulls, Cane Corsos, Bull Terriers, and so on are still responsibly bred and can be verified as safe.

Example. My neighbor was keeping two nice pits for his friend. The dogs were well trained and responded to voice commands well. However, whenm the dogs were loose in the yard, and my grandchildren weere playing in our yard, I noticed the two pits were tracking the kids. Constantly. They never ignored them and were always moving back and forth as the kids moved. There was no overt aggressive moves. But, a constant tracking and watching.

I called his attention to that behavior and told him to check with other folks about such behavior.

He did so. And found their behavior was prey drive behavior. The dogs were treating my grandchildren as potential prey. There was a 6 foot chain link fence between our yards. Plus, I would periodically divert them by ordering them into the open garage. They always obeyed, even with me on the other side of the fence. But, soon, they were back out and stalking again.

The neighbor decided their behavior was too dangerous and the dogs disappeared. He told me later his friend had sold them. Back into the fighting underground from where they were rescued.

That is the problem. Even with great owners, some pits have too much inbred aggression. That is seldom a problem when the dog is under control. But once the dog(s) get loose---they revert to their instincts---and that is a HUGE problem.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 1:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

we have leash law in our town and pit bulls are outlawed. however we have an off leash dog park, this one was to be for small dogs, puppies and senior dogs, i think the height is about 16 inches or so. well you guessed it, the people who have large dogs basically took over this park and the little ones were given a small fenced off part. then this pit bull killed a chuawowa (sorry about the spelling, but you know what i mean)right in the park infront of many onlookers --apparently if you say sanything to this large dog owners you are yelled at, swore at or just ignored. the poor thing passed away right there. this dog was put in quarintine until midnight on last sunday -- this is the by law of this "fine" city i live in. on wed. the people who own this dog have to go to court to find out if they have to put their dog down. (what a stupid waste of time, the people weren't even sad that their dog did this!). to top things off -- there is apparently a facebook page to "save gus"-- give me a break, think of this poor 4 pound dog and it's owners! i took my little one there 2 times both times we sat in the stands (it was a baseball diamond at one time) and we never did make it into the park.

4 inches of snow on the ground and more on the way in northern canada

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 4:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Julietspeaks is the first Post that has some common sense. I never knew anything but negativity about Pittbulls until I lived with someone that had one. "Khan" was the sweetest, funniest dog I've ever met. He LOVED everyone and he was an abused dog. He never barked except when you would turn on a flashlite and move it around on the ground.It was the silliest thing. Then I too learned about Ceasar Milan " The Dog Whisperer". He is very knowledgable about every breed, but especially Pitts and he has a huge area that is fenced, with all different breeds of dogs including Pitts. People need to learn more about the breed and stop "Stereo-typing Pitts. Please, do yourself a favor and Google Ceasar Milan. You will learn alot about dogs and their behaviors.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 10:29AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with Julietspeaks and earthygal52. I love watching the Dog Whisperer, so much of his information is based on experience working with and observing how dogs behave around one another. He had a wonderful episode where a man who was terribly afraid of dogs, all dogs, because he was savagely attacked by one when he was young (him and his friends teased the dog). Cesar gives this man a stick and 5 pitbulls and has the man walk around the neighbourhood where there are many off-lease dogs and pitbulls. He shows how you use the stick to make yourself seem larger and more powerful and how you can show the other dog(s) that you are a confident pack-leader. The episode is called 'Fear of Dogs' http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/dog-whisperer/3262/Overview and I hope you'll watch it. Cesar shows this man what behaviour and barks/growls mean what and how to stand your ground and when to walk away.

Another amazing episode is 'Duke & Lulu and Sparky' http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/series/dog-whisperer/2497/Overview where a woman suffering from Panic disorder needs help to get her dog certified as a service dog but she herself is a bit afraid of dogs (pit-bulls). The change in this woman is obvious and at the end she says she went to Cesar to get help to make her dog a service dog and in the process she practically doesn't need one anymore. She shows up in the 100th episode and she's even more amazing, able to leave her house and instructing other people about dog handling. I really enjoyed his 100th episode because everyone and their dogs who were there were completely transformed from the episode they appeared on (for curiosity's sake I googled to see if I could find any owners from Dog Whisperer episodes who said Cesar never helped or that their dog's were worse after the experience and I didn't find a single one).

You can watch episodes of the Dog Whisperer online (also that site I linked) in the US, Canada NatGeoTV doesn't like us :(

It was Cesar's show that made me really curious about the who pitbull ban thing, our city has one in effect, so I looked around on the internet and found an interesting article called 'Interesting Facts About BSL' (I've provided a link down below). Surprisingly one of the more frequent, sometimes number one, bite-offender is...Labrador Retrievers. Denver, Colorado has had a pitbull ban in effect for almost 20 years but they can't even be sure if the ban is effective. "People ask me a whole bunch whether the pit bull ordinance is effective, and my answer is, I don't know," said Doug Kelley, Denver's director of animal control.

I truly believe that it is the owner and not the dog. Have a pitbull from an abusive/negligent environment swap places with a happy-go lucky lab from a good home and see how much they will both change.

When you look at a dog to see if its dangerous don't look at its breed, look at its behaviour. Look at the way its stands, walks, the position of the tail, are they trying to know your dog with their nose or with their eyes? Even if that dog is aggressive it will not attack a weak target with a strong pack-leader next to it. Think of wolves in the wild and you'll see many behaviours in our dogs that can be credited to their wild ancestors. Cesar has some instructional videos you can get that aren't whole episodes but instructions to small audience, with videos footage to illustrate his point. I have the first one and it is quite good and I hope to get more when I can.

Here is a link that might be useful: Facts about BSL

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 3:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

handymac, I have to take exception with what you said about some breeds having certifiable lineages, while fighting dogs don't. This is untrue. It is possible to find pits with traceable lineages...but it is probable that in most houses in the US with dogs, those dogs do NOT have a responsible pedigree. At least two of my beagles were puppy mill puppies, and one of those was fairly aggressive. The other three beagles in my life (past and present) are of unknown parentage, and one of those is a fearful biter. The more popular the breed, the more likely indiscriminate breeding (including horrible inbreeding) is to have occurred that can make the offspring not only sick, but also psychologically unstable from a) neurological problems, and/or b) improper socialization.

Meanwhile, I'm not at all a fan of some of the AKC-approved breeding methods for fully pedigreed lineages, and some of those dogs turn out to have big issues, too. Did you know the Rhodesian Ridgeback's distinctive characteristic is actually a spinal deformity, and that puppies in the breed are routinely destroyed when they DON'T have it?

That last was a little off-topic I guess, but I still think scaring oneself half to death with hype can only make things worse - first by making one blind to the potential dangers posed by dogs of "nice" breeds, and second one's own fear can only make a situation with any dog much more dangerous. When a happy dog meets you and senses that YOU are unstable, and because of your fear YOUR dog is ALSO unstable, your fears can easily become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Especially if you attack the dog with pepper spray or a taser!

Just more food for thought.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2010 at 9:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Julietspeaks - I really agree about the horrors of puppymill dogs, and am so glad you have given a good home to some of them.

But just to clarify, the ridge on a Ridgeback is hair that grows the opposite way, not a spinal deformity. It is true that the dogs with ridges have a higher incidence of dermoid sinus (DS - a deformity) but the ridge itself is not the deformity. There has been a lot of misinformation about it.

All breeds have had some breeders that have "culled" rejects - or puppies that don't have the characteristics the breeder wants. Sad, but true. Do I approve, no. Would I do it, no. Most responsible breeders raise, fix, then give those puppies to a good pet home but not all - it's not breed specific.

Um, who said anything about attacking a dog with pepper spray? Would I use it if I or my dog WERE BEING ATTACKED? YES. I wish I had some when my old dog was attacked - kicking and yelling was about all I could do until the owner finally showed up.

And to some of the Whisperer fans - do you really think that if I had watched the DVD's my dog wouldn't have been attacked? By me watching a show my neighbor's dog will magically stop stalking my dogs and rushing the chainlink fence? The people who really need to understand aggressive dog training and rehabilitation are the OWNERS of those dogs - not me. And owners of aggressive, unsocialized, and unrestrained dogs are rarely Ceasar Milan fans. But even if it is the owner's fault, the DOG is still a problem and I have every right to defend myself and my dogs if we are attacked. (And aggressive Pitt bulls usually attack other dogs, not people.) Sitting down and watching a show while my dogs are being shredded is not my idea of protecting them.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ridgebacks

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 10:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've done some research now. A taser will work on a dog, but you have to hit them with both "probes". (A taser is the one that shoots out the two wires.) If you hit with just one wire, it won't work. A stun gun will not work on a dog. For some reason, dogs are not affected by them.

I have been unable to find reliable information on the cattle probe. Next time I go to the country, I will go to the feed store and find out about a cattle prods. I'll also ask people who work cows about them.

As far as the debate, owner or dog, I say it's both. The dog is bred to be powerful and agressive. Most of the people who choose them are not social beings. They choose the dogs for some reason the rest of us don't understand - to look tough, to draw attention - who knows? They stick the dogs in the back yard and ignore them most of the time.

It's a sad situation. I dont' think the dogs that attacked mine were poorly socialized. They were in the house, not stuck in the yard. The guys who owned them were the tatoo'd type. They were young, white, short haired and tatoo'd. The dogs were clearly not abused dogs. I don't think the dogs were fighting dogs. These were just young guys who didn't know how to raise dogs or to deal with the instincts of a pit bull. They were just young and dumb guys who wanted to look tough. They weren't bad kids. They just had dogs they couldn't handle. It's a common situation. It seems like they are either young and dumb or leave them tethered in the back yard.

I think the breed should be eliminated by not breeding anymore of them. No one needs pit bulls for any legitimate purpose. They can't herd. They can't hunt. They can't be left alone with children. They don't do water retrieval. They can't be trusted. They serve no legitimate purpose. Their only purpose is for blood sport. IMHO, the world would be better without pitbulls. At least, my city would be.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 10:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bkay - don't you think that's a little harsh? My dog trainer has the sweetest, most well behaved pit bill that is a great example of the breed. He's our local ambassador for pit bulls - and has the cutest grin! Ed helps teach other dogs in class how to behave on a leash and sit calmly while the owners chat. But then again, she has worked with Ed since he was 8 weeks old.

I have a BC mix that doesn't herd, retrieve, hunt, and with her fears/skittishness and abuse history, I wouldn't leave her unsupervised around small children etiher - but my world is definitely better since she entered it! (The other one retrieves, so I guess I'll keep him.) LOL

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 11:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"The breed should be eliminated" - WHOA, what about the pitt in the Little Rascals? Never saw that dog or heard about that dog going after anyone....it is sad that the attitudes towards certain breeds are getting like this. In Germany they have had talks about outlawing Rottweillers, German Shephards and Pitt Bulls - when does it stop? I have been bitten by more dogs weighing less than 30 pounds (both mixed breeds and pure breds) than ever by bigger breeds or breeds considered dangerous.
People need to be educated about dogs and how they react to their environment and their history. Not only of dogs in general but of the breed as well. Did you know that it was not until the Victorian Era that we started brining dogs inside? Dogs were specifically bred for helping us with our rough lives and we as people - who created this animal need to take into consideration that they are not toys or dolls or stuffed animals, they are not for fighting or abusing, that they need certain things to help them feel fulfilled in their everyday lives. It is the ignorance of the humans not the dogs that has caused this environment to occur in the first place, that being said this post is probably starting to gear more towards being in the DEBATES thread and not here.
Bottom line, there is only so much you can do to protect yourself against any outside force. Being aware of your surroundings and holding your ground speaking in a deep voice and not running or screaming, getting between another dog and your dog are all going to help thwart an attack - if the dog is rabid, nothing will help, no matter what you do...But being aware of your surroundings is key to surviving much of what life throws at you especially the unexpected.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2010 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

cal_dreamer said: And to some of the Whisperer fans - do you really think that if I had watched the DVD's my dog wouldn't have been attacked? By me watching a show my neighbor's dog will magically stop stalking my dogs and rushing the chainlink fence? The people who really need to understand aggressive dog training and rehabilitation are the OWNERS of those dogs - not me. And owners of aggressive, unsocialized, and unrestrained dogs are rarely Ceasar Milan fans. But even if it is the owner's fault, the DOG is still a problem and I have every right to defend myself and my dogs if we are attacked. (And aggressive Pitt bulls usually attack other dogs, not people.) Sitting down and watching a show while my dogs are being shredded is not my idea of protecting them.

You are missing the point. Cesar Millan's principles have more to do with YOU than with dogs - yours or someone else's. Dogs will follow you and your attitude, and you can stop an attack long before it happens by learning how to control your pack AND be a calm and assertive force in your environment. It takes practice and it isn't easy for everyone, but it DOES work. You just have to be willing to do more than watch a video, and you really have to stop believing these dogs are causing all your problems. I'd be willing to bet my house that YOU are a large part of the problem by being nervous, fearful and panicky whenever you see another dog!

Our rescue Charlie gets growl-y and is prone to biting me when I'm stressed, tense, highly emotional or anxious about something. When I'm calm and assertive, he's perfect. Literally. If I'm upset I just steer clear of him until I'm calmer. I cannot stress this enough - the connection between your mental state and the behavior of ALL of the animals around you is HUGELY important!

If you are walking out in your neighborhood projecting a weak, fearful attitude and panicking whenever you see another dog, you WILL invite attacks from dogs that want to dominate your "pack" and establish dominance in their - or even your - territory. If you aren't willing to learn how to be the boss, one of these dogs WILL take advantage of that.

Yes, if you panic and pepper spray a dog who is just excited and not aggressive, that is an attack on the dog. It will defend itself, and you will lose. Don't blame the dog for that one - as I said, not all dogs digging under fences are trying to kill you. (But maybe some dogs are, and you need to learn the difference so you can defend yourself properly in the case of a REAL attack.)

I'm honestly kind of afraid for you and your dog. If that sounds harsh...well, I'm okay with that. Right now you are making your environment MORE dangerous instead of less, and that can't end well for anyone. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so please, educate and retrain YOURSELF, and the rest will be much easier to handle!

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 2:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

bkay said:
I think the breed should be eliminated by not breeding anymore of them. No one needs pit bulls for any legitimate purpose. They can't herd. They can't hunt. They can't be left alone with children. They don't do water retrieval. They can't be trusted. They serve no legitimate purpose. Their only purpose is for blood sport. IMHO, the world would be better without pitbulls. At least, my city would be.

A huge percentage of the dogs in the US are nothing but couch potatoes, including mine. Should we stop allowing house dogs? What about show dogs who don't hunt/herd/blah blah blah, only look pretty and then create MORE dogs who don't hunt/herd/blah blah blah? Do we get rid of those?

You know, loads of PEOPLE also fit your description. Should we sterilize them, too? What about house cats? Should we eliminate house paint? Or aquarium fish? What about carpet? Doughnuts? Ice cream? Hair color? Indoor plumbing?

Just because you don't recognize that something has a purpose, doesn't mean it doesn't have a purpose. Comfort of the owner is a perfectly valid reason to have something.

[For the record, anyone who leaves ANY dog, of ANY breed, alone with young children is a moron. Simple as.]

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 6:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Julietspeaks - if you are talking to me, you are way off base. Since you quoted my post above, I'll assume you are - and no, I don't want your house, and this will be my last post on this particular thread.

I am not afraid of dogs, never have been. No-one that knows me would ever say I am nervous or fearful. I didn't even panic when my 14 year old dog was attacked out of the blue with NO notice - I didn't even see the dog coming out from the bushes, so when would I have had time to stop it?. The blood coming out of my dog's shoulder gave me a real clue the pitt wasn't "just excited" to see us. I immediately went to work kicking the pitt and shoving him away with my foot until the owner came and body tackled his dog.

My dogs are walked often, and we go to dog parks. Strange dogs come up to us all the time, and it's no big deal - usually. My huband was the one who freaked out when the very intimidating mastiff down the street got loose and I walked up to her, grabbed her collar, and told her to "go home" and put her back in the gate thet got knocked loose. (My heart was in my throat the whole time, but I didn't want her to get hit by a car!)

The problem is that some aggressive dogs need intensive rehabilitation, training, and behavior modification. It's naive to think otherwise. It's also naive to think that I - or anyone else - can provide that rehabilitation for a dog I don't own or happen to randomly encounter on the street. Some dogs are killers, plain and simple. Don't believe it if you don't want to. If the owners do not take the time to properly train, restrain or control those dogs, and the dogs are deemed dangerous, they should be put down if a proper rehab home is not found for it.

I almost adopted an aggressive dog once, and returned it to the rescue because he was too much for me. (People aggressive). I couldn't take the risk he would attack someone because I work full-time and did not feel I have the time or skills to fix what seemed to be a very deep-set behavior issue.

My current pack is just fine, thank you. One has some fear issues from past abuse we are working on, but we'll get there. It's rather insulting that you think I'm making things worse, but like I said before, you don't know me. I do think that by not believing some dogs (of any breed) are dangerous, some people may get a false sense of security - and mastering some leadership skills may help, but it's not a guarantee that some fighting dog will therefore not attack you or your dog. But that is just my opinion.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 6:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

A HUGE part of the problem with pit bulls is where they live and who they live with.

I live in the city of Cleveland an unfortunately, even though they are illegal, many people own them. And, also unfortunately, it seems to be the most ignorant and stupid people that own them. It's usually the tough ghetto guys that own them and then chain them in a yard, or train them to fight. Or something similar along those lines. It's not a huge problem in my neighborhood, but in some in the city it is.

Ignorant people + a powerful dog = not good. We could go back and forth about pit bulls as a breed. The fact is that they are large and will clamp down and not let go which is part of why they are so dangerous. But most of the time it's the ignorant owners who lead to the problems.

i.e. they are too lazy to keep their gates shut, or too poor or cheap to put up a taller fence. Or juts don't care if their dog gets loose and terrorizes the neighborhood.

We have to be on constant guard when we are out in our yard walking our two beagles and foxhound. We don't take them for walks at night because we wouldn't be able to see a loose dog running up and trying to attack us.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 12:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It is really ignorant for anyone to say that because a Specific Breed of a dog attacked me that means they're all that way. I feel sorry for people that are so narrow minded and won't budge from their belief. It's called education and if you google any breed of dog, you can find out alot about them. Dogs act out because they were never socialized from the beginning and THAT is the problem!!! So when I hear someone say that Pittbulls are agressive I just want to SCREAM. There's also a good show on Sat. night on Animal Planet called "Pittbulls and Parolees". Watch it!!! This is another amazing person that is doing everything she can to help abused Pittbulls.She re-habilitates them and adopts them out. But does a home visit to make sure the dog is getting the best home possible.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 6:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
spedigrees z4VT

The trouble with pit bulls is that they were bred specifically to fight with other dogs. Trying to train them not to do what they were genetically programmed to do is like trying to train a herding dog not to want to chase things that move. Not all herding dogs chase cars, but in all the potential is there and the will is strong. Many are prevented from chasing by fences, leashes, and training, but their owners must always be watchful of this. I know this, having owned herding breed dogs all my life.

Ditto with pit bulls. Not all of them attack other dogs for the same reasons that not all herding dogs chase cars, but all have an in-bred motivation to do so. Pit bulls have had the normal warning signals selectively bred out of them, because a fighting dog who attacks without any warning has the edge over his opponent.

I've heard pit bull owners say "oh my pitty isn't like that, he's so gentle." but the fact is that this breed was molded to be tractable by humans to facilitate handling them at the ring. One of my friends believed in the docility of her adopted pit bull, until it attacked and killed one of her other dogs, an elderly beagle, with no apparent provokation and no warning. Her pit bull was simply doing what had been bred into its lineage for generations.

It is tragic that this breed was developed with such a sinister purpose in mind, but the fact is that it was. Dogs of this breed are not to blame for their genetic programming; those who bred them are. PBs are victims, but they are also a potential danger to other dogs.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 9:40AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Home World News Latest Articles Escape Hatch Topics Free eCards Endless Buzz

The Pitbull Dog: A Good Puppy With A Bad Rap
It's unfortunate how the news portrays the Pit Bull as a breed that can't wait to attack. It really is a kind and lovable breed when raised and trained in a loving environment, rather than abused by breeders and dog fighters only for financial gain. You owe it to yourself to check this breed out before buying into the media hype, when looking for new pet.
Over the past few years, the Pit Bull dog has taken a lot of heat from the media about being a dog breed that's more bite than bark. The misconception that this breeds a man eater is reinforced by it's amazing, muscular build.

Unfortunately, over breeding, abusive owners, and the fighting circles have caused this pooch to be maligned unfairly. Sure, it's a naturally strong willed breed, but with the right training and owner, they can be a loyal, loving friend.
Here's more about this dog to help you understand this misunderstood breed�

History: Most sources trace the Pit Bull, or American Pit Bull Terrier back to England, but the exact date of their origination is constantly a source of controversy. Most Pit Bull experts agree they were bred between the late 18th and early 19th centuries and are most likely a mixture of a Bulldog and Mastiffs, although some sources suggest other breeds were part of their crossbreeding. All sources agree that the breed was used for bull baiting and fighting. This has a great deal to do with the tendency to label them as aggressive dogs, because they were bred for aggression from the beginning.

The breed became known as a fighting and bull baiting dog in England and Ireland during the late 19th and early 20th century. Around the mid-1900s they were introduced to the United States as herding and cattle catching dogs instead of fighting and performance dogs. Around this time, their appearance changed slightly, becoming larger and longer in the legs than their Irish and English ancestors. The American version weighed an average of 50-55 pounds, whereas the English version only weighed 25-30 pounds. The American Pitbull Terrier became recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936, although they eventually diverged into the American Staffordshire Terrier. The UKC still refers to this breed as the American Pitbull Terrier, but all other Kennel Clubs now refer to them as the Staffordshire Terrier. Until the 1980s, the Pit Bull was barely recognizable by most of the public and only became popular in the last twenty years.

Description: It is often difficult to correctly pick out Pitbull dogs, as their weight range fluctuates from 35-75 pounds. Some are even known for being smaller or larger than this weight range. Almost all are similar in height, though, standing fairly low to the ground at between 18-22 inches tall. This gives them an extremely stocky, muscular, and compact appearance. This particular breed has also has a powerful stance, a broad chest and muscular legs.

Pit Bulls are known for having very strong, wide heads, perky ears, and incredibly powerful looking jaw. Although it used to be common to dock the tail of a Pit Bull puppy, they are now often left with long, straight tails. Most dogs will have a good portion of white coloring on their bodies, but will never be completely white. They may also have mixture of brown or black or even be completely brindle as well.

Breed Temperament: Remember when it comes to Pit Bull dogs, it is all in how they are raised and handled. Over breeding and fighting circles have caused Pit Bulls to have a bad reputation in recent years. For those who are willing to overlook the media hype on the danger of this breed, these animals can and do make excellent pets, because they are fiercely loyal, loving and obedient once properly trained. Add this with their strong appearance and they will make an excellent watch dog and guard dog for your family as well.

Because of their strong personalities, need for exercise and aggressive tendencies, this breed is not meant for a first time dog owner. They will do best with an owner that has experience handling dogs. Once properly trained, many actually have the temperament of teddy bears who love lounging around with the family.

Life Span: 12-14 years

Common Ailments: This breed is known for being hardy, but may be prone to hip dysplasia, skin allergies and cataracts.

Suitability with Children: Yes, but will need firm handling as a puppy

Suitability with Other Pets: No, have a tendency towards aggression with other animals

Living Conditions: Will do best in a home with a large yard and regular, daily exercise

Trainability: Need a firm handler because of their tendency towards a dominant personality, as well as their innate, aggressive instincts.

Exercise Requirements: High

Maintenance Costs: Low

As you can see, the Pit Bull isn't anything to be afraid of. With proper training and a lot of loving care, this breed can make for an excellent family pet.

When Richard Livitski isn't busy digging up Pit Bull information, he's working on his dog names website http://www.dog-names-and-more.com where dog names and puppy names in all shapes and sizes can be found.
By Richard Livitski

Read Comments Discuss Email Article

Use the feedback form below to submit your comments.
Your Comments:
Your Name:

Use the form below to email this article to your friends.
Recipient Email Address:
Separate multiple email addresses by ;
Your Name:
Your Email Address:

Pitbull Dogs - American Pitbull Terrier
Best Dog Food for Pitbulls
Red Nose Pitbulls
Pit Bull Terrier Mix
Black Pitbulls
Pitbull Ear Cropping
How to Train a Pitbull
Underdawgz: Working to Change the Pit Bull�s Image
Tosa Inu � Fighting Dog of Japan
Training a Pitbull
Pit Bulls: Can This Dog Breed Be Trained To Look After Sheep?
All The Secrets About Black Pitbulls
All The Secrets Of The American Red Nose Pitbull!
All The Amazing Secrets Of Pitbulls
Pitbulls Fighting History: Some Background into the Unfair Portrayal of this Fine Breed
Dog Fighting Made a Felony in West Virginia
Top 10 Dog Breeds
Dog Breeds That Don't Shed
Small Dog Breeds That Make Excellent House Dogs And Companions
3 Favorite Small Dog Breeds - The Pomeranian, The Pug and The Papillon
Guide To The Most Popular Dog breeds
Small Dog Breeds: Small Bodies, Big Hearts
Animals & Pets � Animals & Pets Articles

Custom Search .Topics
Dog Fights
Dog Bites
Dog Breeds
Dog Barking
Dog Behavior
Dog Care
Dog Health
Dog Trainers
Dog Training
Author Login : Become An Author : Advertising Info : RSS Feeds : Articles : About Buzzle : Privacy Policy : Message Boards
�2000-2009, 2010 Buzzle.com� � All rights reserved.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 10:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I really don't think that some of you folks arguing the Pit or No Pit question are talking about the same dogs. Breed specific legislation is very problematic. I do believe that both Cal Dreamer and Krycek can both tell the difference between happy bully dogs that want to play and a dangerous dog. Listen to them - their neighborhoods are not safe for them and they are tired of it. And I am certain that they can tell an Airedale attacker from a bully breed. Given that their neighbors are not harboring cute little nanny dogs with rings painted around one eye, they have a right to their opinions.

A town near me has an interesting dangerous dog ordinance. It requires licenses. It requires enclosures - with tops. It does not give one free bite. It is broad in its description of what specific breeds automatically fall into this category and it specifies that any dog that has been reported as dangerous and investigators believe may be potentially dangerous also has to have the enclosure with a top - no matter the breed. Taking the dog - even if a bully breed - to classes and earning the Canine Good Citizen Certificate and maintaining licenses and maintaining a good reputation means that a dog - even a bully breed - is exempt from the enclosure law. Does it unfairly make bully dogs meet a high standard? Yes. Does it give people and dogs around those bully breeds peace of mind - it may if it is justly enforced. It does not ban any breed outright. The local adult ed classes offer the CGC class for something like $30, I think.

Nothing is going to be perfect, but I think this town thought long and hard on how to give people protection without being reactionary, and that is a step in the right direction. I do not remember all of the ins and outs of the ordinance, and do not know how well it is working.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 12:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In my city they have labelled certain breeds including pit bulls and pit bull crosses as "dangerous breeds". This came after enough incidents where certain breeds of dogs were reported or destroyed for attacking people or other pets. Any of the listed dangerous breeds must be contained properly in their yards, can not be in public unless someone over 18 years is in charge of them, and they must be leashed and muzzled in public.

I would be worried if there was one pit bull roaming where I walk my dogs never mind more of them. They are strong, they have powerful jaws and they have been bred to fight, it's in their genes.

I wouldn't walk my dogs if I knew I was going to encounter pit bulls, I would drive my dogs somewhere safer and exercise them, it's that simple.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 8:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nancy, what town is that you're referring to? I would be interested in knowing how its working out.
As for 'Some Background into the Unfair Portrayal of this Fine Breed' if one studies the issue of pitbulls and other bully breeds it quickly becomes clear that they are the most frequent fatal attackers and do the most damage to the victims. An interesting take on the statistics was on this website;

The author does note that any dog can be trained or mistreated and attack, and bully breeds can be trained to be trustworthy however, the takeaway is this line....'According to Clifton study, pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios and their mixes were responsible for 65% of the canine homicides that occurred during a period of 24 years in the USA.' They go on to discuss the difference between dog bite numbers (which bully breeds come out okay on that list due to sheer number of other breeds in US) and the more important statistic, breeds responsible for fatal maulings, that's where the bully breeds show their true potential.
I've known, trusted and liked several pitbulls in my life. I do not trust pitbulls loose on the street, or on a walk with someone who can barely control them.
Even the CDC has published studies showing bully breeds are the attacker in the VAST majority of deaths and serious injuries.

So yes, all breeds can and do bite, but my chances of surviving a bite are much better with my Sheltie than with that intact male pit trying to get out of his yard and come after us while I walk my dogs.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dog attacks 1982-2006, US & Canada

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 11:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

JoMuir, it is Mt. Clemens Michigan. The local paper is titled the Macomb Daily. It has a website if you want to do a search. The ordinance is only a year or a few years old, so I do not know how it is working. In addition, the city had to close down their own police force and ask the county Sheriff to take over law enforcement in the town. It is the county seat and there are so many government buildings, schools, churches, and other acres of land that they cannot charge property tax on that the city is short of money. Add the eroding tax base because of the plummeting home values (my house worth $160k in 2005 is worth maybe $75k now) and you have a city with no money. They may not be doing much in way of their ordinance enforcement.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 10:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love dogs, and I am the world's worst about wanting to pet any dog I meet. (no, I don't just rush up going "Doggie!!) That said, I've had more run ins with small dogs and have never yet had the misfortune of meeting an agressive large dog.

Yes, I do think some breeds of dogs are inherently more dangerous. Well--really--have you ever heard of a golden retriever sold as a watchdog? And I read once of a S Am breed called a Fila Brasileros (probably mispelled that) which is so agressive that it isn't considered a fault if the animal tries to bite a show ring judge. (Don't think these are shown in the AKC!) For that matter boxers, which are considered wonderful family pets, were once bred as fighting dogs. When dog fighting fell out of vogue in the late Victorian times, breed fanciers deliberately began breeding for temperament in order to save the breed. It is our misfortune to live in times when the pit is favored by a group of the population that aren't exactly what we call responsible pet owners. When I was in college, it was the Rotty that was always being maligned.

Personally, I feel that early socialization, and proper training of the dog and the owner are key, no matter what breed you have. I also think we need to do something about unmonitored breeding of all animals. It infuriates me when I hear someone say oh so casually that they just got a new pure bred ------- and they plan to breed her a couple of times so they can get back what they paid for the pup. ARGH! They probably know nothing about the dog's breed issues, or personal genetics! I think all pet owners (cats too!) should be required to show proof of neutering unless they have--and have paid well to have--a breeding license. ANd to get that license, there should be some serious regulations, of facilities, participation in some sort of breeder's training etc. There are currently dogs running loose in my neighborhood bec the owner couldn't afford to get the mother spayed and let her breed.

It's never the dog's fault. Even when it is an unprovoked attack, the dog is doing what people bred it to do. The shame is that the dog is the one that will pay for it.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2010 at 3:01PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
cats - non regenerative anemia
My 10 month old cat was diagnosed on Friday with severe...
How Do I Get Smell Out Of Pet Bed?
I got a really nice clean looking orthopedic pet bed...
ACL tear in dog's knee
Hi everyone, Our dog Maggie was just diagnosed with...
What cute/funny things do your cats do?
I have one cat who fetches and will bring me toys asking...
skunky zoo smell on my cats
We brought our 5 outdoor cats with us when we moved...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™