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Pit bulls DISCUSSION, SAD, no flames pls - Page 3

post #41 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by HannahsMomma View Post
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.
I don't blame you about the muzzle. That must have been scarey, regardless of the type of dog. I wouldn't want to take any chances, either.
post #42 of 78
Well, I seem to be in the minority here, but I AM more scared of pit bulls than of other breeds of dogs. I am careful around all dogs, including our golden retriever, because they deserve respect and are animals, worthy of good care and love. And any dog can bite (hard) and worse if provoked (though some dogs will take more provocation than others).

But I DO think that pit bulls, by nature and possibly breeding, are, in general, more aggressive than other dogs. Or possibly not more aggressive all the time, but more vicious when angry than other dogs. They seem to be more persistent (and harder to ward off in an attack), and incredibly strong (as are some other dogs, of course).

The Chicago Tribune recently (well, maybe a year or so ago) ran a big story on pit bull attacks, and it was scary. A kid was seriously mauled by a neighbor's dog, just because he rang the doorbell and the dog got out. Within the past few years, a woman jogger in the Chicago area was attacked and killed by a pit bull. Yes, there may be more media attention given to pit bull attacks. But I have NEVER heard of a poodle attacking and killing a grown human in the news, and I'm sure if it had happened recently, it would have made the news. There may be more bites by other breeds, but violent attacks? I'd take my chances with a different breed way before I'd fight a pit bull.
post #43 of 78
I really think the wider reportage is because the injuries are more severe, too. Some pit bulls may have been trained (by bad owners) to "finish the job" and when they attack, even if it is a provoked fear reaction, they may have an instinct to keep it up.

I admit to being more scared of pit bulls than of other dogs too. But truthfully, I'm kind of scared of dogs in general (cat person all the way). I know quite a few well-trained dogs that I like, but I don't trust any dog 100%. Kind of sad, really.
post #44 of 78
Thank you for starting this thread and to everyone who has participated in it!!

I have had a rough morning. I work weekends at the hospital and am not home on the weekends. But DP took our pit puppy to the park saturday and sunday. While certain people loved her, he told me both days he got alot of dirty looks and one kid had his mom drag him away from playing with DS after she saw our puppy. I have also gotten the looks from other pet owners at the vet and I have been feeling really bad and guilty and unsure of my situation.

She is sooo loving and sweet. But just a puppy right now. And so smart. Every time we get a hard time about her from people in public I start second guessing myself for letting my family keep her.

I think I wrote this on another thread about her but I notice that she is never treated in public like "just a dog", either people are tripping over themselves in love with her and gushing over her or they are backing away while giving Ben and/or me nasty looks.

And I am also glad to hear the myth explained about the "locking jaw", I was wondering about that.

Thanks again everyone!!!

I'm going to put a pic of her in my siggie. She is a cutie pie.
post #45 of 78
The "problem" with pits - like another poster mentioned - is that they can be highly dog aggressive. Not saying all are, but I know that owning multiple pits can be a major juggling act. Someone I knew online who owned mutiple Pitbulls had two that simply could not be in the same room together, so it was a constant rotation between them to avoid conflict. But again - some are like this, others are perfectly fine. But if I were to be afraid of a Pit, I would be more worried about my dog than me.

As for dogs who attack people randomly... most of the time when I read those articles I am absolutely stunned by the stupidity of the owners. Most dogs don't just "suddenly snap" - they tend to have a personality trait. My first dog was very fear-aggressive. Our current German Shepherd has guarding issues. And if some stranger walked into our house they could easily "trigger" aggression without knowing what they did, but it's the owner's responsibility to know darn well what those triggers are and to prevent anything from happening. I get absolutely disgusted by people who own known aggressive dogs and either fail to recognize that it IS a problem, or fail to properly contain the dog. I don't remember the details, but I remember reading a news article of an attack that had me absolutely furious.

I know people who keep and love a dog with issues... whether it's people aggression or dog aggression. But the good owners know darnwell what their dog can and will do and they take the necessary precautions.

I certainly thing negligent owners should be punished more harshly. Not only are they putting their dog's life at risk (if their dog bites someone, it's their dog who will suffer), but they are perpetuating the public fear of whatever breed it is.
post #46 of 78
I think you always have to watch dogs with kids; no matter what breed. We're very careful with the kids- dog bites can scare and disfigure a person forever. That said, we still keep a dog, a rottweiler, and will never be without a dog. Dogs can always be hard to predict, no matter what the breed and how well you know them. It is very sad that some breeds are used for nasty, mean purposes. To the OP- what is done to pit bulls is awful. Also the other popular 'aggressive' breeds.
post #47 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangebird View Post
Thank you for starting this thread and to everyone who has participated in it!!

I have had a rough morning. I work weekends at the hospital and am not home on the weekends. But DP took our pit puppy to the park saturday and sunday. While certain people loved her, he told me both days he got alot of dirty looks and one kid had his mom drag him away from playing with DS after she saw our puppy. I have also gotten the looks from other pet owners at the vet and I have been feeling really bad and guilty and unsure of my situation.
One of the best things you can do, starting NOW, is to get her in a puppy K class. She needs exposure to other dogs and other people NOW, as a little puppy, before her dog-aggression instincts wake up. If she is steadily socialized and trained in the presence of other dogs and with as many people as you can possibly find and as many strange situations as you can come up with (for example, imagine that she's hurt someday and needs to be carried to the car to get to the vet--put her on a blanket now, as a baby, and carry her places; her brain won't forget), she will be much safer as an adult. You will ALWAYS have to be vigilant around other dogs, but you'll set yourself up for a lifetime of happy interactions rather than a lifetime of shutting her in the back yard.

By the way, just because I'm thinking of it, MANY breeds are more instinctively dog-reactive than not. I had Danes for ten years, still co-own half a dozen, and we tell people not to take them to dog parks. They are not dog park dogs. They tend to live beautifully with other Danes and other giant breeds, and they'll do fine when introduced nicely to smaller dogs, but they DO NOT like being jumped by boisterous dogs, they don't like cocky small dogs, and if they get into a fight they will of course do substantially more damage than the other dog. And Danes are a breed that is generally very gentle and absolutely great in a family situation. But you CANNOT generalize from "she's so great with my toddler" to "she won't yank me off my feet and go attack that Malamute."
post #48 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangebird View Post

I think I wrote this on another thread about her but I notice that she is never treated in public like "just a dog", either people are tripping over themselves in love with her and gushing over her or they are backing away while giving Ben and/or me nasty looks.
I have noticed this with my rott; it's so annoying. I have learned that I have to be just like a parent regarding my dog's personal space. Nigel (the dog) does not like it when some unknown person (usually male) comes into his space and wants to touch him a lot. I have found I need to say 'yes, he is a great dog, but please back off.'
post #49 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by thekimballs View Post
One of the best things you can do, starting NOW, is to get her in a puppy K class. She needs exposure to other dogs and other people NOW, as a little puppy, before her dog-aggression instincts wake up. If she is steadily socialized and trained in the presence of other dogs and with as many people as you can possibly find and as many strange situations as you can come up with (for example, imagine that she's hurt someday and needs to be carried to the car to get to the vet--put her on a blanket now, as a baby, and carry her places; her brain won't forget), she will be much safer as an adult. You will ALWAYS have to be vigilant around other dogs, but you'll set yourself up for a lifetime of happy interactions rather than a lifetime of shutting her in the back yard.

By the way, just because I'm thinking of it, MANY breeds are more instinctively dog-reactive than not. I had Danes for ten years, still co-own half a dozen, and we tell people not to take them to dog parks. They are not dog park dogs. They tend to live beautifully with other Danes and other giant breeds, and they'll do fine when introduced nicely to smaller dogs, but they DO NOT like being jumped by boisterous dogs, they don't like cocky small dogs, and if they get into a fight they will of course do substantially more damage than the other dog. And Danes are a breed that is generally very gentle and absolutely great in a family situation. But you CANNOT generalize from "she's so great with my toddler" to "she won't yank me off my feet and go attack that Malamute."
Oh yes, we are already on top of that! Definitely. She even worked with a trainer this weekend
post #50 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomama View Post
I am sitting here bawling my eyes out. My sister and her dh have gotten involved with a pit rescue group so this has become something that I want to know more about. I've been researching this breed and I am HORRIFIED. My dd has posted videos on her website of the reality of what happens to some of these dogs and what people do to them. I can't stop crying...

Yesterday, my sis and her dh brought the dog that they're going to adopt (as soon as they move because where they live there is a pit ban) over to my house. She is the sweetest thing ever. When she was rescued she was so starved that she could hardly stand. She is the dog that they use for temperament testing at the kennel. She looks kinda' scary, but the reality is that she is really a wonderful dog. I'll be honest, I've always been afraid of them, they look intimidating to me. But I suppose any big dog, until we get to know one another, is intimidating to me.

After looking into this, I am so heart broken that I can't ignore it. I have known people who have pits and they were the biggest babies in the world, they would never harm anyone in a vicious unprovoked action, no more than my insignificant weiner dog would. I can't believe that good pet owners with good pets are being discriminated against because of the breed. There have been several news stories recently close to me where innocent animals have been seized because of this. I really don't get why PEOPLE are not held entirely responsible for this atrocity. Banning the breed seems like overkill.

Anyway, I just want some other opinions on this... Owners of pits? People who have had issues with them? Dog lovers? Or even people who don't like dogs?
Well, I don't live very far from you and pits are banned where I live.

Dog fighting has been very prevalent around here, mostly across the state line. I haven't seen any sign of it where I live now but I did when I lived in town.

As much as I believe they are lovely animals, I would hesitate about rescuing pits around here. I would be VERY hesitant about doing pit rescue with kids, not because that pits are bad, they aren't they are really great dogs. However in this area... there are bad things going on and I would be worried about the pit's history.
post #51 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by greeny View Post
Well, I seem to be in the minority here, but I AM more scared of pit bulls than of other breeds of dogs. I am careful around all dogs, including our golden retriever, because they deserve respect and are animals, worthy of good care and love. And any dog can bite (hard) and worse if provoked (though some dogs will take more provocation than others).

But I DO think that pit bulls, by nature and possibly breeding, are, in general, more aggressive than other dogs. Or possibly not more aggressive all the time, but more vicious when angry than other dogs. They seem to be more persistent (and harder to ward off in an attack), and incredibly strong (as are some other dogs, of course).

The Chicago Tribune recently (well, maybe a year or so ago) ran a big story on pit bull attacks, and it was scary. A kid was seriously mauled by a neighbor's dog, just because he rang the doorbell and the dog got out. Within the past few years, a woman jogger in the Chicago area was attacked and killed by a pit bull. Yes, there may be more media attention given to pit bull attacks. But I have NEVER heard of a poodle attacking and killing a grown human in the news, and I'm sure if it had happened recently, it would have made the news. There may be more bites by other breeds, but violent attacks? I'd take my chances with a different breed way before I'd fight a pit bull.

Some pits are bread to fight, and that is tragedy to be sure. Banning a breed or hating it because of media hype only drives the dog fighters and irresponsible owners underground. This is only perpetuates poor breeding and hurts responsible pet owners.

A few stats on dog breed temperaments:

GOLDEN RETRIEVER (# tested) 687 (# passed) 576 (# failed) 111 (%
passed) 83.8%

AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER 542 456 86 84.1% (Slightly better than the Golden)

MINIATURE POODLE 64 49 15 76.6% (Much worse than Pits or Goldens)

Many small breeds come out in the 60% - 75% range.

http://www.atts.org/index.html

Now, all strong breed dogs (All dogs, really) should have a responsible owner which is why it's SO important to not over hype their attacks in the media OR ban them. Pitts aren't going anywhere so they may as well be in the best home possible.
post #52 of 78
I also feel compelled to post some great informational sites for those who feel like expanding their pitt knowledge, or sharing some with loved ones who may be unaware of what a pitt bull truly is, and what their true purpose and temperaments are like.

http://www.workingpitbull.com/amstaffpit.htm

http://www.austinlostpets.com/kidsko...20Pit%20Bulls:

I haven't looked at this one thoroughly, but it looks pretty good. There are so many great sites out there as more and more people stand up for this grossly misunderstood breed.

http://www.pitbulls-fighting-for-their-lives.com/
post #53 of 78
My opinion on "pit bulls" (in quotes since it's not a breed) is that any irresponsibly bred animal is more likely to have unpredictable problems (behavior and physical) and pit bulls, bully breeds, and other "protection" or fighting type dogs are even more likely to suffer from behavior problems because of the intentional breeding of more aggressive dogs. It's a sad situation, absolutely. Many can be saved, but not all. And of course, irresponsible pet purchases and ownership is equally to blame.

Both of my dogs could be a danger to other people, especially small children, if not properly trained and handled. My dogs are never off-leash except in our fenced backyard and I warn people when walking them to stay away (everyone wants to come up and pet the dog, or let their dog jump all over my dog - you don't want to do that - my dog may teach your dog an unfortunate lesson). People should ensure their dogs have good manners and not inflict their animals on others without their permission.

Irresponsibility in breeding and ownership (and outright abuse, as well, of course) leads to an abundance of problems. And of course, it's never the dog's fault - though some dogs will have to be euthanized if they are too dangerous and cannot be saved. It is one of my least favorite aspects of rescue - the ones you just can't save.

Overall, these problems are true of all dogs, but the bully breeds and other breeds sought for protection/aggression may be a disproportionate percentage of the total because of so much specific breeding - and training - for negative temperament traits. That said, in the past 5 years two of the child/infant killing stories I read about in the news were (1) standard poodle and (2) golden retriever. The other 2-3 stories were pit bull type dogs. In all cases, parents left the dog unattended with child(ren) or infant.
post #54 of 78
I am going to add a tale of something awful, but first let me say that Pits are what their owners make of them. If raised with love, they are some of the BEST dogs in the world. If raised with abuse and hate, or stolen and abused to make them fight, they become psychotic - as does any living creature (humans, elephants, etc). They get more press (as do other banned breeds) because they are percieved as more dangerous due to a combination of their strength and the fact that they are appealing to dog fight promoters (and therefore thieves).

That said, there is something awful happening near where my mom lives (rural southern central IL, an hour or so east of St Louis). There is a large pack of dogs/coyotes mauling animals in her area (especailly other dogs - they have killed both dogs belonging to my mothers immediate neighbor and tried to kill mom's dog two days ago). Some are clearly feral former fighting dogs that were dumped by dog fight promoters. At least one is a pit.

They will have to be hunted down and killed, or captured and euthanized - these dogs are too dangerous. I am guessing that Fish and Game will opt for a sponsored hunt, unless the ASPCA or Humane Society become interested.

I think there should be heavier fines for those who take dogs and abuse them for profit, for stealing beloved dogs that "look tough" and putting them in that culture, for "training" them, for abandoning them, for the whole fetid mess. I do not think that there should be a ban. That solves nothing.

Bans can be responsible for dogs ending up feral. And dead when the fereal dog population gets too scary. No dog deserves that.

That's all I have to say.

Maura
post #55 of 78
Maura, I completely agree that there needs to be FAR stiffer penalties for dog fighting and general animal cruelty. It is sickening what is done to these animals. It literally makes me cry when I think about stories like you just shared. I was a mess when reading what Michael Vick did to "his" dogs. Which reminds me that I still need to order my MV chew toy
post #56 of 78
Thread Starter 
My goodness, so much to respond to here, thanks to all who have replied. Honestly, I did not expect positive responses to this. I do trust that when something is brought up at MDC that there will be a good cross section of opinions seeing how there are so many of us, from so many places, with so many different experiences.

Animal cruelty is something that I just can't handle. Like child abuse, when I hear about it or see it, I feel like my heart is being torn to shreds. I guess I'm one of those people who wants desperately to protect the innocent and those who have no voice. For a breed to be targeted by bad people, thus leading to being targeted by everyone, sickens me.

abimommy, I definitely wouldn't let my kids around the dogs being rehabilitated-or maybe even after, for that matter. Socializing puppies is one thing, but considering the circumstances that some rescue dogs have been raised in... That does something to them that can't be undone entirely, just like it would a human. Yeah, it is unreal to me how prevalent dog fighting is around here. Sick sick sick.

orangebird, congratulations on your new baby! She is darling!! I'm so glad that you take having a puppy seriously. So many people don't and, well, that leads to discussions like this. I think if more people were educated, really about dogs in general, you might get fewer dirty looks at the dog park.

suearoo22, that is absolutely awful. I am so sorry that happened. I can't believe that you had to get a muzzle because they wouldn't kennel the dog during visits. Further testament to how dumb people can be.

It irritates me to no end that people try to "humanize" animals. THEY ARE NOT PEOPLE! IMO, if you're not well educated about any pet, then you just flat shouldn't have one.
post #57 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by shroomama View Post

abimommy, I definitely wouldn't let my kids around the dogs being rehabilitated-or maybe even after, for that matter. Socializing puppies is one thing, but considering the circumstances that some rescue dogs have been raised in... That does something to them that can't be undone entirely, just like it would a human. Yeah, it is unreal to me how prevalent dog fighting is around here. Sick sick sick.
It is heartbreaking
post #58 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by skyastara View Post
Yeah, it's a little like banning cars because people have been hurt and killed by them, or banning the mail because of a few postal workers who have 'gone postal'.
Or banning assault rifles. They're only dangerous in the wrong human hands, and they do far more damage more rapidly than a pistol.
post #59 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by boingo82 View Post
Or banning assault rifles. They're only dangerous in the wrong human hands, and they do far more damage more rapidly than a pistol.
Or fast food. In the wrong hands it kills millions.
post #60 of 78
As for an actual solution to the Pit Bull and vicious dog problem in general, here are my ideas:

Strict laws against backyard breeders and selling dogs without a breeding license. If you're not a licensed breeder or the humane society, you are ONLY allowed to GIVE dogs away. No money may change hands. If you give away more than 2 litters from the same dog, they fix your dog.

IF you own a vicious dog that seriously injures or kills a person, especially without provocation, you don't get any more dogs. Period.

If you are a breeder and a certain number of your dogs end up in the hands of neglectful or abusive owners, or the dogs end up attacking people, you're done breeding dogs.
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