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Are some dogs just too dangerous?


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I worked in veterinary medicine for nearly 20 years, and worked as a dog trainer including with aggression cases. I also, like MANY veterinary professionals, have a soft spot for pit bulls. I think th

I feel about dogs the way I do about snakes. Some animals are too dangerous for me to keep in my house, given the age of my daughter and the other kids who are around regularly and my skill and experi

Equating breed restrictions to slavery or the holocaust . . Or the differences between human races, religions, or ethnicities to the differences between dog breeds, or whatever analogy you are attempt

 There are similar stats from the CDC. 

 

Given everyone here is saying the problem is the owner, not the dog, how do you propose controlling owners ? Are 'those' type of owners going to engage in education of their own accord ? I don't think so.

 

I am tired of dealing with people's sense of entitlement over dogs. We have education, and leash laws etc, and yet dog owners consistently ignore the rules - put in place to protect HUMANS - because they are too lazy, or think it's unfair to the dogs.

 

I don't even dislike dogs. I grew up with dogs. 

 

I just don't like the sense, in this thread, that injuries and even fatalities are unfortunate, but 'not our business'. Well, whose blooming business is it ? The 'bad' owners who don't give a crap ? Good owners ? Local council ? Government ?

 

I mean, for goodness sake. It's a public health issue. Somebody needs to deal with it.

 

You are all chuffed up about an outrage that only exists in your head.

 

Bill

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 How would you make sure that laws re dogs are enforced ? I don't know what it's like in the US, but animal control is pretty hopeless here. 

 

The same way a breed ban would be enforced. Not sure how that would work, but those that want a breed ban must think enforcement is possible. 

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 I said I'd like a breed ban, not that I think it would work.

 

If i could click my fingers and all 'those' dogs could disappear as if they'd never been, and the world was full of small to medium size sweeties, I'd do it. 

 

But actually I don't think a ban would work.

 

I think dog owners and animal control taking the issue more seriously would definitely help. Plus a combination of strong laws, a culture of reporting dangerous animals, led by the responsible owners, education and restrictions on breeding.

 

I get the feeling that some owners think that is too much ? You can correct me if you think that's wrong. I'm happy to discuss and learn from someone who knows more than me and is willing to consider that there is a problem.

 

Sounds like you don't want a breed ban, you want a size ban...dogs over a certain size? At least that makes more sense. Banning one breed, like most call for and several cities have already done, just means that the gangs and such switch to a new big breed and try to ruin it. 

 

And yes, some owners feel that is too much, but I don't really care, lol. They can get smaller dogs then, or not have a dog. I think the big problem would be with the rescue groups and shelters who are trying to get dogs moved out into homes, and now would have a harder time doing that. But they could offer the obedience training/education as part of the adoption process. Some already do. And I'm all for restrictions on breeding...my home town has one now I think, or at least tried to pass one. Where you had to be a registered kennel, get a license (pay for it) and such to breed. Fine by me. 

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What about the fact that there are many benefits to owning dogs, including many that cannot be gained by having a "small little sweetie"?  Dogs actually save lives.  Yes, even large dogs.  Well, probably mostly large dogs.

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 I said I'd like a breed ban, not that I think it would work.

 

If i could click my fingers and all 'those' dogs could disappear as if they'd never been, and the world was full of small to medium size sweeties, I'd do it. 

 

But actually I don't think a ban would work.

 

I think dog owners and animal control taking the issue more seriously would definitely help. Plus a combination of strong laws, a culture of reporting dangerous animals, led by the responsible owners, education and restrictions on breeding.

 

I get the feeling that some owners think that is too much ? You can correct me if you think that's wrong. I'm happy to discuss and learn from someone who knows more than me and is willing to consider that there is a problem.

Yes, many owners would think this is too much. The same people who are irresponsible with their dogs will be the ones that squawk.

 

Those of us like Krgtok, Spycar, and self, are for accountability because we are responsible owners.

 

It is always the bad eggs, the ones that will never admit they have a problem on their hands - half the time being the problem themselves - who fight reasonable laws and restrictions on behalf of public safety.

 

I truly do understand your feelings. Vicious dog attacks are gruesome, scary, and stick with you forever. So while I am not supportive of breed bans because they really wouldn't do any good, I am all for throwing the book at irresponsible owners and breeders, and that could include criminal charges and severe civil penalties for serious attacks combined with the possibility of required training to own a big breed, and then more robust resources for animal control.

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Also, there are lots of muscular dogs who are small.  They might not be able to kill a man, but they could maul a small child if they had mental problems.

 

I think the whole "I'd like to see all big dogs disappear and the world would be a better place" is patently irrational.  No wonder people here aren't saying what you want to hear.

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lol, if the world was populated by lap dogs, I'd have more of a choice of places to live and walk. That would make me happier!

 

Did you miss the three times I've said that I understand a ban wouldn't work ?

 

is pepper-spray legal where you live? Having some might increase your sense of security on walks.

 

Bill

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lol, if the world was populated by lap dogs, I'd have more of a choice of places to live and walk. That would make me happier!

 

Did you miss the three times I've said that I understand a ban wouldn't work ?

 

Well you make me wonder what it's like living in your neck of the woods.  I have never had any trouble walking anywhere.  And I've been on 5 continents.  (Australia #6 is in our near future plans.)

 

As mentioned before, I've only ever been attacked by a tiny dog.  I was riding my bike down the street and it chased me and bit my ankle.  Crazy thing.  I am so glad people have other options when it comes to choosing a dog for a pet, LOL.  Big dogs don't scare me.  Almost all of them are quite mellow, especially compared to little nippers.

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 I said I'd like a breed ban, not that I think it would work.

 

If i could click my fingers and all 'those' dogs could disappear as if they'd never been, and the world was full of small to medium size sweeties, I'd do it. 

 

But actually I don't think a ban would work.

 

I think dog owners and animal control taking the issue more seriously would definitely help. Plus a combination of strong laws, a culture of reporting dangerous animals, led by the responsible owners, education and restrictions on breeding.

 

I get the feeling that some owners think that is too much ? You can correct me if you think that's wrong. I'm happy to discuss and learn from someone who knows more than me and is willing to consider that there is a problem.

 

I understand your fear, Sadie, and my heart goes out to everyone on this thread who has been attacked or has had loved ones attacked by dogs.

 

I know you say that you'd like to only see small and medium sized sweeties :) but I so wish you could meet Jack.  I wish everyone who was afraid of large dogs could meet Jack.  He's a very large, powerful animal - and I never, never forget that - but he is the best dog I've ever seen with small animals, children, people with disabilities, etc.  I know - it may not help for those who suffer trauma from an attack.  And I'm definitely not saying he's perfect - he's a Great Pyrenees/Akbash mix (7/8 Pyr and 1/8 Akbash), he weighs around 150 lbs. with no excess fat on him, and he's not exactly an obedience champ.  His "come" is relative to the importance of whatever he feels he needs to check out at the time - which is why he is never, ever off leash unless we are on our 160 acre property.  When he's out and about on leash, it's not one of those ridiculous retractable leashes, either.  I seriously wish THOSE were banned - for ALL dogs.  But he is the kindest, gentlest, most patient dog I've ever seen and I wish everyone could have the chance to meet him, pet him, and just have him stand or sit quietly next to you.  Just being next to him feels calming for me.  And I don't say that about very many dogs - I'm actually more of a cat person. :)

 

Here's Jack and his friend, Max, the cat (note - the cat is also large and very fluffy - probably around 13 or 14 lbs. for comparison sake):

 

 

 

Here's Jack, his sister, Addy, and Max:
 
 
I suppose I'm saying I'd be sad if there were no big dogs in the world. :(  But I can understand why you're saying what you're saying.
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Slightly OT on the breed ban- there was a state 7-8ish years ago that wanted to make a state registry for dangerous and wild animals. Sounds ok so far and they wanted to have the owners of these animal pay 100 (or it was 150 as I don't remember the exact fee) per animal. Problem was that the great minds included on that list was rabbits and Guinea pigs.

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I have a sweet little guy that we rescued from the pound about 3 years ago. He is a mix of some sort, maybe between a chihuahua and a dachshund. While I love him and trust with with my girls, I do not trust him with anyone else. He may not bite them, but I don't want to take that chance. The neighbors know not to come in the house unless he is in the back yard and vise versa. I have also told the parents too. I have a sign posted on my fence gate and on my front door. Just wanted to remind everyone that the little dogs can be very aggressive too.

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I know and like some big dogs.

 

It's not just size. 

 

Please understand, I am not out in the world agitating for the mass slaughter of big dogs.

 

I do understand. :)

 

I don't know what the answer is.  This thread has discussed all kinds of options.  I think a big part of the answer has got to be education, first and foremost, and to get rid of this trend of anthropomorphizing animals.  I may ruffle some feathers here but I really don't like when people refer to their dogs as "fur babies" or they call themselves the animal's "mommy" or "daddy".  I think it sets up all the wrong expectations in those peoples' minds in terms of how their animals will act and react.  I love animals - I do - and my vet tells me that I have some of the best cared for animals he's ever seen.  But they are not my fur babies and I don't expect them to act or react like a human child would.  Maybe it comes from having animals in a rural setting instead of in an urban one - I don't know.

 

Again - I apologize if I've ruffled feathers but the continuing trend that I see of some folks treating their dogs as though they were just furry humans (and expecting them to act and react as such) is a sore spot for me.  I think it's causing many health and behavioural problems for animals that could otherwise be avoided.

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Well you make me wonder what it's like living in your neck of the woods. I have never had any trouble walking anywhere. And I've been on 5 continents. (Australia #6 is in our near future plans.)

 

As mentioned before, I've only ever been attacked by a tiny dog. I was riding my bike down the street and it chased me and bit my ankle. Crazy thing. I am so glad people have other options when it comes to choosing a dog for a pet, LOL. Big dogs don't scare me. Almost all of them are quite mellow, especially compared to little nippers.

I have definitely left playgrounds (designed for human children) and beaches because someone let a large dog run near my young children.

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I'm in Aus and have never experienced a dog attack and have found most dog owners to be lovely polite and caring. Maybe a location thing. I did have one bad experience with a jack Russell jumping up snapping near my little kids face which is why I have an objection to size as a factor. The recent ban on dogs in Bunnings was due to jack Russell attack. Often big dogs tend to be calmer (not always).

 

As far as benefits go (aside from proven stress relief), we had an awesome outing to a hearing dog centre where dogs are trained to identify door knocks, phone rings, smoke alarms etc. therapy dogs for disabled people are great. Also I love that no one walks onto our property without us knowing thanks to our dog barking. Our previous dog woke us up when someone set fire to a car in the bush near us so we were able to call the fire brigade and prevent it turning potentially into a bush fire. They do great work for customs and police search and rescue and are even having medical roles for their ability to detect certain illnesses by smell.

 

I love my dogs. I think the answer to irresponsible dog owners is the same as firearms and vehicles. Educate as much as possible,legislate where necessary and penalise the heck out of people who are really doing the wrong thing, so the message gets through that it's not going to be let go.

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I don't think anyone is worried about therapy dogs, or guide dogs or hearing dogs. Or police dogs or army dogs.

 

And I'm pretty sure no-one needs a pitbull or a rottweiler or a staffy to provide love, company or waking in case of fire.

 

I honestly don't understand why people chose those breeds as pets.

Because they have characteristics and attributes that other breeds of dogs don't have. Steadiness calmness, loyalty. I miss our staffy ðŸ™. He gave a level of love that a load of people could learn from.

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I don't think anyone is worried about therapy dogs, or guide dogs or hearing dogs. Or police dogs or army dogs.

 

And I'm pretty sure no-one needs a pitbull or a rottweiler or a staffy to provide love, company or waking in case of fire. 

 

I honestly don't understand why people chose those breeds as pets. 

 

Well, I like pitbulls because they don't shed a ton, are intelligent, easy to train, looks big and tough enough to discourage a criminal (dogs are a big deterrent), and are very pain tolerant, so less likely than most breeds to snap at a child if they get tripped over/stepped on/etc. Obviously I try to prevent that, but knowing they are stoic about pain is a good thing just in case. And yes, they are big and strong and in the worst case could do more damage than a smaller dog, but the truth is a cocker spaniel or jack russell or chihuahua is much more likely to bite a child in my experience. MUCH. And yes, they probably won't kill the child, but they certainlycould leave lifelong scars if they get the child's face. Since kids are shorter that does happen more than you would think. So a calm, sweet, easy going, frustration tolerant, pain tolerant big muscular dog is less of a risk, in my educated and experienced opinion (remember, 20 years of working in animal hospitals, many years working as a dog trainer, many many continuing education hours attending veterinary behavior seminars) than many/most smaller dogs. And those smaller dogs don't offer much deterrent when I'm home alone with the kids if someone came to the door. 

 

Again, I'll say that many of the veterinary professionals, including veterinary behaviorists, own pit bulls or pit mixes. There is a reason for that. They make great family dogs and are easy to train. 

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And while dog attacks causing serious injury are horrible, the are still incredibly rare.  When you say "it's a public health issue," I guess I wonder what your criterion is.  I guess you could say that parents are a "public health issue" since there are times when they beat their children to death.  We could all probably list 100 non-banned things in every child's environment that easily cause more deaths and injuries than pit bulls.  We deal with these via education and regulations, rarely via bans.

 

Yeah, this is what I am wondering - there are many things that are much more common that we don't freak out about.

 

ETA - as in, people are far more likely to be injured by another human being than seriously injured by a dog, even accounting for population.

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Well, I like pitbulls because they don't shed a ton, are intelligent, easy to train, looks big and tough enough to discourage a criminal (dogs are a big deterrent), and are very pain tolerant, so less likely than most breeds to snap at a child if they get tripped over/stepped on/etc. Obviously I try to prevent that, but knowing they are stoic about pain is a good thing just in case. And yes, they are big and strong and in the worst case could do more damage than a smaller dog, but the truth is a cocker spaniel or jack russell or chihuahua is much more likely to bite a child in my experience. MUCH. And yes, they probably won't kill the child, but they certainlycould leave lifelong scars if they get the child's face. Since kids are shorter that does happen more than you would think. So a calm, sweet, easy going, frustration tolerant, pain tolerant big muscular dog is less of a risk, in my educated and experienced opinion (remember, 20 years of working in animal hospitals, many years working as a dog trainer, many many continuing education hours attending veterinary behavior seminars) than many/most smaller dogs. And those smaller dogs don't offer much deterrent when I'm home alone with the kids if someone came to the door. 

 

Again, I'll say that many of the veterinary professionals, including veterinary behaviorists, own pit bulls or pit mixes. There is a reason for that. They make great family dogs and are easy to train. 

 

I really appreciate this explanation.  You're the first person I've ever heard lay out reasonable arguments for liking pit bulls.  Everyone else I've heard just says some variation of "pitties are just the biggest sweeties ever!"  Makes it hard for me to take them seriously.

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I have a giant dog-- he's a Saint Bernard. I'd be worried that any legislation against really big dogs would sweep gentle big babies like mine up in it. He's closer to 200 lbs than 100, but he's also been a gentle "mother" to newborn kittens and unfailingly sweet with my kids.  I <3 my giant dog. 

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I suppose I'm saying I'd be sad if there were no big dogs in the world. :(  But I can understand why you're saying what you're saying.

 

 

 

I have a giant dog-- he's a Saint Bernard. I'd be worried that any legislation against really big dogs would sweep gentle big babies like mine up in it. He's closer to 200 lbs than 100, but he's also been a gentle "mother" to newborn kittens and unfailingly sweet with my kids.  I <3 my giant dog. 

 

I don't have a dog right now, but my mom's St Bernard was the best dog I've ever known.  Ever.  

 

I do think though that what I have read about certain breeds and their ability to lock on with a bite would keep me from having those breeds or wanting to be around them.  I would be in favor of having to go through more restrictions/education to own one.  Or even restrictions to own a big dog in general I would be okay with.  It shouldn't really bother a responsible pet owner.

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I don't have a dog right now, but my mom's St Bernard was the best dog I've ever known.  Ever.  

 

I do think though that what I have read about certain breeds and their ability to lock on with a bite would keep me from having those breeds or wanting to be around them.  I would be in favor of having to go through more restrictions/education to own one.  Or even restrictions to own a big dog in general I would be okay with.  It shouldn't really bother a responsible pet owner.

 

The "lock on" bit is a myth.  Any strong dog can have a strong bite, but they don't lock on, their jaws work just like other dog's do.

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The "lock on" bit is a myth.  Any strong dog can have a strong bite, but they don't lock on, their jaws work just like other dog's do.

 

I just meant the characteristic of keeping the bite closed no matter what else is happening, and people not having the strength to pry it open or get the animal to disengage.  Probably used the wrong word.

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I just meant the characteristic of keeping the bite closed no matter what else is happening, and people not having the strength to pry it open or get the animal to disengage.  Probably used the wrong word.

 

Honestly, pretty much any dog is strong enough to do that. Dogs just have really strong jaws. Big dogs are stronger, and dogs with big strong neck and jaw muscles yes. And pits are less bothered by pain. But really, I don't think I could pry something out of my border collie's mouth if he didn't want me to, and he's not very big. 

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I've seen dogs with birds in their mouths that dropped it as soon as the owner bopped it on the nose.  I've seen a husky with a very strong prey instinct get a groundhog, which my then 70 year old mother pried out of his mouth while yelling at him.  (Not saying that's wise...)

 

But, is it not true that one of the reasons certain breeds were chosen to be fighters is because of that quality, that they won't let go of their prey?  It seems to be a pretty common thread in the stories about pit attacks.  That doesn't seem made up or coincidental.  I'm sure some other dogs do also, but I'm talking about breed characteristics.  There are always exceptions obviously.

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It seems disingenuous to me that people go on about how important breeding is, because it stresses certain temperments, etc.  But then when it comes to dogs that were bred for aggressive purposes, then it's all owner training and not the breeding.  

 

I've seen herding dogs that herded little kids and animals from the time they are puppies, with zero training.  Why is it surprising that a breed that was bred for aggressive purposes sometimes displays aggression without anyone training them to do that?  And why should we pretend that's not a possibility?

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It seems disingenuous to me that people go on about how important breeding is, because it stresses certain temperments, etc. But then when it comes to dogs that were bred for aggressive purposes, then it's all owner training and not the breeding.

 

I've seen herding dogs that herded little kids and animals from the time they are puppies, with zero training. Why is it surprising that a breed that was bred for aggressive purposes sometimes displays aggression without anyone training them to do that? And why should we pretend that's not a possibility?

That's would be why I'll never own an Akita. And why I keep mulling whether I can be a good fit for a working breed. There are good and bad dogs in every breed in terms of temperament but even the best dog still has their centuries of genetics and breeding giving them certain traits that might make them a better or worse fit for a family.

 

I still say lazy owners are a big part of the problem, and some dogs are just slightly deranged and there is no helping it. But a good fit for a given owner and active, ongoing play and training is just crucial to keeping the dog at its most active and sociable - it's hard to have a good temper when you bored, restless, or nervous because of a lack of dog and human socialization.

 

And we as a family have been very slow to pull the trigger on a pet precisely because they deserve our best and we haven't been in a time or financial position lately to be the best home we can for a dog, whatever the breed.

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Honestly, pretty much any dog is strong enough to do that. Dogs just have really strong jaws. Big dogs are stronger, and dogs with big strong neck and jaw muscles yes. And pits are less bothered by pain. But really, I don't think I could pry something out of my border collie's mouth if he didn't want me to, and he's not very big. 

Yep.  Not restricted to pitties or necessarily big dogs.  A few years ago, I wrote about an incident at the shelter where I volunteered.  A blue heeler attacked a yorkie and it took 3 people to pry the dogs jaws open to try to rescue that poor yorkie.  It was a small miracle that none of the humans were injured in the process. 

 

It seems disingenuous to me that people go on about how important breeding is, because it stresses certain temperments, etc.  But then when it comes to dogs that were bred for aggressive purposes, then it's all owner training and not the breeding.  

 

I've seen herding dogs that herded little kids and animals from the time they are puppies, with zero training.  Why is it surprising that a breed that was bred for aggressive purposes sometimes displays aggression without anyone training them to do that?  And why should we pretend that's not a possibility?

If you are talking pit bulls, the dogs bred for fighting are bred for dog aggression, not people aggression.  Dogs who were people aggressive would have been put down since it would not have served their purposes. Having worked in a shelter, we saw lots of dogs that were rescued from fighting situations.  The truly aggressive dogs didn't get to our shelter, but were probably put down before we got them.  All dogs went through temperament testing before being put up for adoption.  Some of the sweetest dogs we saw were used as bait dogs for fighting.  They were scarred and scared.  But they responded beautifully to the care they received in the shelter and in foster homes. They often had the softest mouths when it came to hand-feeding or giving treats.  Some of these dogs did not like other dogs and were only adopted out to homes without other dogs and to properly vetted homes.  

 

I respect the fear that many people have of dogs, especially big powerful dogs.  However, singling out specific breeds or only by size creates a false sense of security.  Caution around all strange dogs is a better policy. 

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It seems disingenuous to me that people go on about how important breeding is, because it stresses certain temperments, etc. But then when it comes to dogs that were bred for aggressive purposes, then it's all owner training and not the breeding.

 

I've seen herding dogs that herded little kids and animals from the time they are puppies, with zero training. Why is it surprising that a breed that was bred for aggressive purposes sometimes displays aggression without anyone training them to do that? And why should we pretend that's not a possibility?

It's an interesting point. I do think some breeds are more prone to aggressive tendencies towards people but not always the ones people think of commonly.

 

What I think is possible where careful breeding is used is for breeders to maintain the strong positive qualities of the breed and eliminate the negative ones. Bull terriers for example, were originally bred to show aggression to bulls but to reign the aggression in 100pc to people. Unfortunately certain breeds now have appeal with people who want the dogs to seem unpredictable and tough to people. So they will continue to breed the dogs with aggression issues. responsible breeders who value calm reliable temperament over appearance are a huge part of the solution to this problem.

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If you are talking pit bulls, the dogs bred for fighting are bred for dog aggression, not people aggression.  Dogs who were people aggressive would have been put down since it would not have served their purposes.

 

That certainly may have been the case, and the intention.  And yet, we have a description of the dogs used as "bull biters" long ago...

 

Trained to latch onto a bull’s nose and not let go until the animal was subdued, these dogs were the only way that humans could regain control when a bull became agitated. Unfortunately, this practical if dubious use eventually led to the “sport†of bull-baiting, where dogs were put in a pit with an intentionally riled-up bull and spectators placed bets on which dog would hold on the longest, or bring the bull down. 

 

Do we really think it's coincidence that is exactly what we see happening in most of the pit bull attacks?  That it is all owner responsibility and not any inbred characteristics?  

 

No, I'm not saying "all pit bulls" and "no other dogs".  I'm just talking about inbred characteristics that even though they are no longer desired may still show up, even in spite of a responsible owner.  

 

I'm not saying breed bans are the answer, but I don't think it helps (or is safe) to deny the reality of it. 

 

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If you are talking pit bulls, the dogs bred for fighting are bred for dog aggression, not people aggression.  Dogs who were people aggressive would have been put down since it would not have served their purposes. 

 

What evidence is there to support the idea that man biting pitbulls were culled?  Mrs. Tudor (have to read to understand) got bitten a lot.

 

 

http://thetruthaboutpitbulls.blogspot.com/2012/01/culling-manbiters-and-desecrating-truth.html

 

http://www.dogsbite.org/pdf/dogmen-conversations-about-man-biters.pdf

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I've seen dogs with birds in their mouths that dropped it as soon as the owner bopped it on the nose.  I've seen a husky with a very strong prey instinct get a groundhog, which my then 70 year old mother pried out of his mouth while yelling at him.  (Not saying that's wise...)

 

But, is it not true that one of the reasons certain breeds were chosen to be fighters is because of that quality, that they won't let go of their prey?  It seems to be a pretty common thread in the stories about pit attacks.  That doesn't seem made up or coincidental.  I'm sure some other dogs do also, but I'm talking about breed characteristics.  There are always exceptions obviously.

 

Retrievers are meant to let go of things.  But northern dogs and GS and a few others typically have very strong bites, and for that matter most little terriors do as well.  Terriers that are used for vermin, and to some extent fighting dogs, can be disinclined to let go.  Though with the latter they are supposed to on command.  You see the same thing in breeds used for police work.

​But no one seems to be saying anyone would be crazy to own a GS.

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It seems disingenuous to me that people go on about how important breeding is, because it stresses certain temperments, etc.  But then when it comes to dogs that were bred for aggressive purposes, then it's all owner training and not the breeding.  

 

I've seen herding dogs that herded little kids and animals from the time they are puppies, with zero training.  Why is it surprising that a breed that was bred for aggressive purposes sometimes displays aggression without anyone training them to do that?  And why should we pretend that's not a possibility?

 

I think the point is that many dos were bred for things that people should, if they are being logical, get equally upset about.

 

For that matter, fighting dogs are not bred to be human aggressive - they are meant to be very docile to humans because that is important in the fighting pit.  The are however meant to have a lot of determination and they may sometimes be more inclined to some than animal aggression. (Though I think less so than many other breeds.)

 

Lots of breeds are aggressive to animals in one way or another.  Northern dogs and terriers, and certain kinds of hunting dogs, all typically have a high prey drive.  Some kinds of herding dogs as well, like corgis.  Dachshunds.  Many boxers - I've known at least three that would tear apart a cat they could catch.  Guarding dogs.  And then dogs used for guarding against people can be trained to be aggressive to people - a friend of my dh used to have a former police dog - he had to be controlled very carefully, but the fact is that those dogs have the capacity to act against humans because they are bred to - unlike pit bulls.

 

Pit bulls type dogs have only been bred for human aggression recently, and only by a relatively small number of people - most dogs don't come from those pools.  If other dogs are made aggressive it is by training, as you can do with any dog.

 

People also seem to forget that any dog, if it is in a pack, will tend to respond in a different way.

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For that matter, fighting dogs are not bred to be human aggressive - they are meant to be very docile to humans because that is important in the fighting pit.  

 

 

 

Asking again then, so we are supposed to believe it's a coincidence pit bull attacks on humans display the same characteristics that were admired and bred toward bulls and other dogs, holding on and not letting go until the prey is subdued? The behavior is the same.  It may not have been *meant* to be done toward humans, but it is.

 

Terriers and others that may be disinclined to let go, yeah, that could be as big of a problem, if that were combined with the size and the strength of a larger animal.  Regarding GSDs, I wasn't aware that the whole breed was bred to human aggressive on command.  And yes, I certainly would be very cautious about a puppy from a *line* that was bred for that purpose, regardless of the breed.

 

I mentioned before, I don't know that breed bans are the answer.  I'm not anti-pit-bull, and yes, some people have had lovely ones. But I wouldn't ignore the facts and the history there.

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Sorry, OP - we're derailing the thread a bit.  :blush:  I can delete these posts, if you'd like.

 

Oh, I love Jack and Addy! We have a litter of 9 pups ready to go in 2 weeks--same cross, only 1/2 Pyr and 1/2 Akbash. 

 

:)  Thanks, Margaret!  Their dad was 1/4 Akbash and 3/4 Pyr and their mom was full Pyr.  We bought them from a sheep farm.  Aren't those pictures above so typical? :D They find the highest point of land (on top of our septic hill) and then lay there - watching.  They look like they're asleep most of time but their reaction time is astounding if there is an unfamiliar noise or something out of the ordinary catches their eye.  Jack has the biggest, most booming bark I've ever heard and chased a lone wolf off of our neighbour's property at the tender age of 8 months old.  Yet he also followed a friend's toddler around at a BBQ as a 1 year old and never grabbed at or touched the soggy cheesie she had clenched in her little hand the entire time. :D  He dropped the disgusting half-eaten rabbit he found in the bush when I told him to and let me pick it up (YUCK) and throw it away.  He stood solidly while my clumsy little nephew, who was walking next to him, fell down and then proceeded to use Jack's fur to pull himself back up again.  That was also as an 8 month old pup.  I know one dog doesn't make or break the breed but the Pyrs I've seen have been some of the most patient, gentle dogs. Unless you're a bear or a wolf or a coyote.  Then...  Not so gentle.

 

And YES!!!!  We are absolutely going to need pictures of your puppies, Margaret!!!!  Here are some pics of Jack and Addy's litter when we went to pick them up.  Baby Pyrs have to be the most adorable puppies ever. :D

 

 

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Asking again then, so we are supposed to believe it's a coincidence pit bull attacks on humans display the same characteristics that were admired and bred toward bulls and other dogs, holding on and not letting go until the prey is subdued? The behavior is the same.  It may not have been *meant* to be done toward humans, but it is.

 

Terriers and others that may be disinclined to let go, yeah, that could be as big of a problem, if that were combined with the size and the strength of a larger animal.  Regarding GSDs, I wasn't aware that the whole breed was bred to human aggressive on command.  And yes, I certainly would be very cautious about a puppy from a *line* that was bred for that purpose, regardless of the breed.

 

I mentioned before, I don't know that breed bans are the answer.  I'm not anti-pit-bull, and yes, some people have had lovely ones. But I wouldn't ignore the facts and the history there.

 

No, I don't think it is coincidence that they act that way, any more than it is that herding dogs nip kids in the way they do, or some types of dogs bond strongly to only one person of family.

 

Dogs are dogs, they act like dogs, and if people expect them to be fur-babies they are creating their own problems.

 

But the thing is - dogs, even pit bulls, really aren't that dangerous to people.  Dog bite injuries are a bit like stranger kidnappings - they are pretty rare, kids are more likely to be abused by a parent than seriously bit by a dog. 

 

Dogs fighting with other dogs is more common, but it isn't necessarily reflective of an abnormal dog.  Dogs have different interactions with each other than they do with people.  I wonder actually if part of the problems we see with interactions between dogs isn't intensified by the conditions we keep them in now.  It may be that constant leashing, living mostly inside, and rather crazy dog parks have their various benefits, but I tend to think they make for weird socialization experiences for dogs.

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It seems disingenuous to me that people go on about how important breeding is, because it stresses certain temperments, etc.  But then when it comes to dogs that were bred for aggressive purposes, then it's all owner training and not the breeding.  

 

I've seen herding dogs that herded little kids and animals from the time they are puppies, with zero training.  Why is it surprising that a breed that was bred for aggressive purposes sometimes displays aggression without anyone training them to do that?  And why should we pretend that's not a possibility?

 

Pit Bulls were bred and created as a breed to fight other animals, not people. They were specifically bred NOT to harm people, as people were in the ring with the dogs while they fight. A dog that couldn't distinguish would be too dangerous and put down, not bred. Again they were selectively bred to fight dogs, NOT people.

 

However, in recent years many people of questionable ethics are breeding them to be vicious in general in order to have "tough" dogs to guard their used car lot/crack house/gang territory. They are both training and breeding for this, for dogs that attack people and animals. 

 

However, there are also plenty of pit bulls that come from lines of sweet, trainable, dogs that never were bred for or trained to hurt people. That still retain that original instinct not to harm a human. They ARE more likely than some breeds to be dog aggressive, but that can usually be handled with proper early socialization. Not always. Dogs that are dog aggressive (or human aggressive) should be put down. 

 

In other words, yes, there is a long history of herding dogs herding and pit bull dogs fighting other dogs. But there is not this breed long history of pit bulls attacking humans, that's a recent thing and not representative of the breed as a whole. If you banned pit bulls those same people would start breeding and training another breed to be vicious the next day. 

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