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Pit bulls DISCUSSION, SAD, no flames pls - Page 2

post #21 of 78
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I remember way back when first German Shepherds, then Dobermans, then Chows were 'known' to be unstable, aggressive, 'mean', and highly likely to turn on their owners. The pit thing has stuck longer than the others. I am scared to see what the next targeted breed will be.
Don't forget the Rottweiler. Don't you know they are vicious and attack children with no warning

A few months back a man in my city was bitten by two dogs. "rottweilers" he claimed. One was all black and one was light tan......not like any rottie I have ever seen. Turns out they were labs, but since they were aggressive he just assumed they were rotties. The media happily printed the story with no interest in the facts.

Can you tell we have a Rottweiler? He is so sweet and friendly. He licks people like crazy, tolerates all kind of "love" from my 2 year old, happily plays with the kids in the yard, and is lovingly concerned whenever the 3 month old cries.

He is a shelter dog. I wanted to adopt him from the moment I saw him, but wanted to think about it to be sure that I was making the right decision. A young guy came into the shelter inquiring if they had any "tough breeds" and the animal control officer told him they had a rottie. He thought that would be COOL. I adopted him on the spot because I was concerned about such a sweet dog going into a situation where he would be a status symbol and not a pet. I am glad I did, he is great.

I have always had a slight fear of pits because my uncle had one. He loved her like crazy, but often, because he bounced from one friend/relatives couch to another, he left her tied up outside. She became rather scary and aggressive toward people she didn't know. Since adopting our "scary dog" I now am interested in looking beyond those stereotypes and have learned so much more about dogs and how they think.

I wish more people were interested in being a good dog owner and less interested in having a cool new accessory (big or small) when deciding to add a dog to their family.
post #22 of 78
As a dog person, I object wholeheartedly to any ban on specific breeds, but I also get a little nervous when people refer to ANY breed as "big goofy babies" or similar. Any breed, and any dog within any breed, can demonstrate major behavior issues if they are not trained properly or they have no leadership at home. Even something like a Newfoundland, which are generally so NON-aggressive as to be more like couches than dogs, can become very dangerous if it is misunderstood.

Pits and the pit-type breeds (there are a bunch of them, probably a dozen) have traditionally been bred to be *more* reliable with people than the average dog. However, there are a huge number of people who are breeding them to be testicles on a leash, meaning that they are encouraging aggression toward people. So at this point I would no more assume that a pit is going to be non-aggressive than I would assume that any dog was.

Pits are also MARKEDLY dog-aggressive and have a high prey drive. This is a normal part of the proper temperament, and should never be described as a negative. But pits are not designed to be around other dogs, to live in packs, or to be friendly to cats. Even cats they have lived with for years may trigger a predation movement if they run past or mew oddly or do something that wakes up the prey instinct in the dog's mind.

I love many, many things about pits. But I do think that they need to be respected--as do all dogs--and their unique needs and requirements must be met. Saying that they're all harmless babies does them even less good than saying that they're all dangerous man-eaters.
post #23 of 78
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Originally Posted by skyastara View Post
I completely disagree with this statement. Well, it is true for an unstable dog, but for a normal dog this is not true. If you get bitten and don't know why, it is because you didn't know how to interact with the dog- you either instigated the bite or you ignored (didn't see) warning signs, or both.
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post #24 of 78
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Originally Posted by mothragirl View Post
i don't really like dogs, but pit bulls don't scare me at all. most dogs i know have at least a little bit in them anyway. i'm much more nervous around purple tongued dogs and nervous looking dogs.

Purple tongued/black tongued dogs
would be chow or part chow, and they are as undeserving of the rep as pit bulls. I had a chow who was the biggest pussycat on the planet. loved kids, gentle with everyone, but could put on a scary face if someone threatened my safety. Never bit anyone, ever. Lived to be 20 and I wish I could have had him cloned.

I had another chow that was inbred and crazy. That was not the fault of the breed, but the breeder. When I finally had her put down after years of medicine, training and constant supervision to keep her from hurting anyone, they found many things wrong with her that could only be the result of bad breeding. I'm extremely lucky I didn't have children around when I had her. She was supposed to be a companion for the other chow originally, but he was around for years after she was gone.

Nervous dogs, I agree. But any time you single out a breed as 'bad,' you're falling for some bad press, or you've encountered too many bad breeders and bad trainers/owners.
post #25 of 78
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Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
But any time you single out a breed as 'bad,' you're falling for some bad press, or you've encountered too many bad breeders and bad trainers/owners.
I agree. Or, that particular breed has traits which you can't make sense of, so that breed seems unpredictable to you. Sometimes a little research about a breed's history, what it was developed for, or just reading its traits can help to overcome this.

For instance, I think the reason that a lot of people have a bad opinion of chows is because they are standoffish compared to say, a lab so they don't act the way that people feel is 'normal' for dogs. Also, they are dominant even off of their territory- or put another way, they feel that ALL territory is theirs, so a chow who lives 2 miles down the road may appear in your yard and bark at you as if you are in its yard.

As far as Rotts, I thought they started being feared right after Damien: Omen 2 came out- that movie features a pretty scary scene with a couple of Rottweilers. This is another breed which is frequently mishandled though, because their thought processes are not what people think that they are.
post #26 of 78
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Originally Posted by skyastara View Post

For instance, I think the reason that a lot of people have a bad opinion of chows is because they are standoffish compared to say, a lab so they don't act the way that people feel is 'normal' for dogs. Also, they are dominant even off of their territory- or put another way, they feel that ALL territory is theirs, so a chow who lives 2 miles down the road may appear in your yard and bark at you as if you are in its yard.

Even that is a misconception. My chow knew what yard was his, and even off a leash would not leave the yard if the gate was left open by accident. Granted they're less all over a new person than a lab would be, but I have seen plenty of dogs who didn't seem to know where their property line was, from chihuahuas to cockers to bassett hounds.
post #27 of 78
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Originally Posted by bigeyes View Post
I have seen plenty of dogs who didn't seem to know where their property line was, from chihuahuas to cockers to bassett hounds.
Well that is true, I am not saying that 100% of any breed acts exactly the same way. However, it is a breed trait. Just like barking a lot is a Great Pyrenees trait, yet there are notable exceptions, and there are plenty of other dogs that are not Pyrs who bark a lot.
post #28 of 78
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Originally Posted by skyastara View Post
Well that is true, I am not saying that 100% of any breed acts exactly the same way. However, it is a breed trait. Just like barking a lot is a Great Pyrenees trait, yet there are notable exceptions, and there are plenty of other dogs that are not Pyrs who bark a lot.
That's another new one for me. I must have lived around weird dogs.

Of course, Chows are very territorial of their house and yard, but I can't imagine anyone letting one run loose so they could have a chance to become confused about their boundaries. And that is true of any dog that runs loose. It always comes back to the owners, imo.
post #29 of 78
Yet it is true

In fact, Pyrs were bred TO bark all night long along the borders of their territory. As you know, they are livestock guardians. Different LGDs have been bred historically to approach this task differently, depending upon the geographical area and usual predators in their respective areas.

In the case of Pyrs, they were bred to patrol the territorial boundaries, barking deeply, all night in order to warn and deter the predators from moving in on the sheep. They are still, to this day, used in this manner. Some of the highest-winning show dogs are busy guarding herds in between shows. The breeders of these dogs will not sell to a home which does not firmly understand the barking issue. It is NOT a negative issue in Pyrs, it is correct behavior and can not be trained out of most of these dogs.

In another example, a dog called a Caucasian Owzcarek guards by silently keeping track, and if an intruder approaches they silently run toward it, surprising and scaring it by roaring (it sounds like a roar, not a bark, I have heard this firsthand) and will readily attack.

If you get a Border Collie, expect herding behavior. If you get a Pyr, expect guarding behavior (I do not mean aggressiveness) and barking outside, especially at night. If you get a Lab, expect fetch and a love for water. If you get a Chow, expect standoffishness. If you get a pit, expect prey drive, dog aggressiveness (this also applies to a lot of Pyrs) and a loving nature.

There is no guarantee that your dog will behave within breed standards, but it is a likelihood.
post #30 of 78
I own 1 and a mix (see pics in siggy) ... They are wonderful dogs wth people but they are naturally dog aggressive. My 2 absolutly cant be with each other. They both have sassy pants and we ended up with a big mess last January because they got into a fight. So your family needs to realize that they have to be very careful where to bring her. I would never bring mine to the dog park (unlike my catahoulas) ... or any place with alot of dogs where there may be one they dont like. They need to realize how serious something like that can be ... anyway that all aside they are the best dogs. I love them so much .. so sweet with the kids and family ...
post #31 of 78
I don't know any actual stats on dog attacks, but I do feel like I read about pit bull maulings more than any other breed. Is that just selective reporting (ie, pit bulls make a good story since some people are afraid of them anyway)? Is it because they're so strong that injuries tend to be more severe and newsworthy? Or do you think there really are more pit bull attacks than other dog attacks, for whatever reason (bad owners, etc)?
post #32 of 78
It's because it makes a more sensational story. I mean really, how many people are going to get up in arms one way or the other over, "poodle attacks child" like they would over "pit bull attacks child?"

I was raised around "big dangerous dogs." In 31 years, I have met only 2 who had issues and were people-aggressive. One was beaten by his owner, who wanted to fight him and consequently went after any male adult. The other had issues because she'd had like 6 homes in less than a year. People wanting a pit but not bothering to take the time to learn about the dog. They jump, take precautions... don't beat them for it, y'know?

The whole issue breaks my heart. In my county, pits are not picked up by animal control and taken to the pound or a shelter. If animal control is called on a pit, they're shot on sight. Years ago when our rotti was staying with our in-laws during our move, he got loose and parked his butt on the porch a few doors down. The lady called animal control, they came and got him, called me, and made jokes about my "killer dog" because he was so well behaved. Now, sometimes they're shot also. They leave the decision up to the dogcatcher. And would you believe that I have scars on my face, from being bit as a child? By a bassett hound.
post #33 of 78
It really is the owners that are the issue in all of this. I made the mistake of watching an animal cops show on Animal Planet and ended up bawling after seeing what was done to a poor dog 5 minutes in to the show. We don't currently have any pets as I don't feel we are in a situation where we could take care of them in a way they need. I find the lab reference amusing as my bil has a lab, had 2 before one of them passed. The one that has now passed was a total guard dog. Never trained to be that way, it was just his personality. Anyone or anything he didn't know getting too close to his packs space was seen as a personal threat and he would not allow it. We were visiting with them and stayed to wait for the phone person to show up one time. We had to put the dogs in the garage before the phone guy would get near the house. I really couldn't blame him as 2 100lb black labs barking at you really can be a frightening sight. On the other hand we have friends that took in a tiger stripe pit bull. I don't think they have ever heard that dog bark or act aggressive towards people or other animals. Wait no he likes to chase a squirrel in the back yard. I have no problems at all letting the kids play with him, but keep them away from their other dog which isn't a breed people expect to attack. However the other dog is older and has had 2 surgeries on his hips. I know I can't keep both kids being careful enough around him not to hurt him so they aren't allowed near him. I can't blame a dog for snapping when they are hurt even if the person didn't intend to hurt them.
post #34 of 78
My inlaws had a PitBull mix dog I adored her I thought she was the sweetest dog and every time we visited I wanted to take her home with me. When my DD was 16 months old we visited them their "sweet" dog that I loved attacked my daughter for the carrot she had in her hand. She tore her face up. Her eyelid was torn and she needed staples in her scalp. It was horrifying and yes I now have a bad opinion of Pit Bulls. I am sure there are some very nice ones out there but seeing my baby torn apart and remembering the smell of the blood I can never change my mind. The dog terrified me after that we would visit and they would promise to kennel her while we were there and they never did so I had to go out and buy a muzzle because I was never taking that chance again. Honestly I dont trust any dogs after that I dont even trust my own dog and keep her with me at all times away from the kids unattended you just never know.
post #35 of 78
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Originally Posted by suearoo22 View Post
Honestly I don't trust any dogs after that I don't even trust my own dog and keep her with me at all times away from the kids unattended you just never know.
I think this is key right here: regardless of breed you just never know, especially with children in the mix. I think it's responsible that you keep your dog with you - I wish more dog owners took dog owning as serious as you.

ETA: I am so sorry for your babe. How terrifying for everyone!
post #36 of 78
We had many pitbulls when I was growing up. We were very responsible pet owners, though. We took them to obedience classes regularly from the time they were puppies. We kept them in a fenced yard and they were only off leash in our home. I don't think they are any more dangerous than any other large dogs w/ irresponsible owners.
post #37 of 78
What bothers me is that people assume that certain breeds are dangerous, while others are "safe." Any dog can be provoked into aggression. We have to remember that they are animals. I've known sweet, docile pit bulls, and I've known vicious, aggressive poodles. I think dogs are as individual as people, and we should always be aware of any animal's potential for aggression.
post #38 of 78
Obviously not all pitt bulls are a problem, however I have to say that I have known some that have had serious agression issues. And, sadly, some are bred specifically to be agressive. : Obviously, not by reputable breeders.

But, other breeds as well have been bred to have such tendencies as well.

Either way, I am EXTREMEMLY cautious around dogs with my children. Both my mom, sister and nephew were bitten by dogs. I know quite a few people bitten by dogs...dogs of all shapes and sizes. And, personally although my sister tells me that her dog would have no issues with children (he's a pit mix) he has no problem killing animals (cats, squirrels, possums whatever) outside and he's done that frequently. And, I wouldn't want a dog that killed other animals on a regular basis around my child. :
post #39 of 78
I feel bad when certain dogs are banned. Not all of that breed are mean, and not even most of them. My parents have had 4 rottweilers over the years, each of them raised differently. (first well socialized and lots of love/attention, second slightly socialized, third well socialized lots of love/attention/ 4th no socialization) They are/were all different. The first and 3rd would NEVER bite anyone. The second is a fear biter. The 4th? My goodness, don't go in their yard if you don't know him. All are big "babies" to family. I think a dogs temperment is all in how you raise them.

Now, I am terrified of little dogs. My dh was bit by 2 in the last year. The first was a little terrior (the kind on Fraiser) and last thursday he was bit by a little white poodle. The dog CAME AFTER him for no reason, he wasn't even on the same side of the street as the dog. It broke his skin and all. People need to be responsible pet owners regardless of the breed and size. Keep your dog(s) in the house or in a fenced yard or on a leash that won't break. THen we won't have as many problems with biting!
post #40 of 78
I don't agree with banning any breed of dog. Any dog can bite. My brother was bit on the face by a cockerspaniel. My inlaw's golden retriever bit a child on the face.
My mom and dad have a pitbull. They've had her since she was a pup. I thought she was the cutest dog ever. I don't think she was socialized like she needed to be. Once when my parents went to visit my aunt and uncle (who also owned a pit) my parent's dog jumped out of their van and bolted for my aunt and uncle's dog and literally chomped on it's neck. Both my 6ft 250lb uncle and my dad couldn't get her off the dog. It was really scary. THe dog survived but had to get stiches. Ever since then I've been kind of scared of her. I know she attacked a dog and not a person but when a dog shows aggression like that for no reason it freaks me out. When we visit my parents I always make them put a muzzle on her when my dd is around. I'm not taking any chances. My mom always pitys the dog saying "oh I know it's not nice to wear that thing but everyone's afraid 'cause you're a pitbull". I told her that I'm not afraid that she's a pitpull, it's the fact that it has attacked another animal and I don't want to risk my child getting bit.
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