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Bad Dogs or Bad Owners?
August 26, 2005 1:01 PM   Subscribe

Backyard Pit Bull Breeders "I like having very vicious, angry dogs. I'm going to teach them not to like other dogs. I'm going to agitate them, make them aggressive. That way when it's about business, they are going to be serious." Are guys like this the reason that we keep hearing horror stories like these? Are Pit Bulls inherently dangerous?
posted by echolalia67 (94 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
pit bulls are no more inherently dangerous than [insert racial minority here]. There, I said it.

More than genetics, it's the environment they are raised in that matters.

disclaimer: I am the proud buddy of a pit-lab mix with a sunny disposition.
posted by pmbuko at 1:08 PM on August 26, 2005


The breeds most likely to kill:

"Studies indicate that pit bull-type dogs were involved in approximately a third of human DBRF (i.e., dog bite related fatalities) reported during the 12-year period from 1981 through1992, and Rottweilers were responsible for about half of human DBRF reported during the 4 years from 1993 through 1996....[T]he data indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted for 67% of human DBRF in the United States between 1997 and 1998. It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities."
posted by cenoxo at 1:11 PM on August 26, 2005


Any dog can be aggressive if its trained to be that way, this asshat is seeing to it.

Mercedes-Benz of dog breed? Smith and Wesson is more like it. I shudder to think what would happen if one of these weaponized dogs got loose.
posted by dr_dank at 1:12 PM on August 26, 2005


Are guys like this the reason that we keep hearing horror stories like these?

This guy is a living, breathing reason to hope that karma does, in fact, bite you squarely in the ass.
posted by Emperor Yamamoto's Eggs at 1:13 PM on August 26, 2005


I own a pitbull. Unfortunately she has a great heart so I can't train her to kill this breeder. I hope this man is mauled to death by a pack of chihuahuas.
posted by anylaurie at 1:17 PM on August 26, 2005


pit bulls are no more inherently dangerous than [insert racial minority here]. There, I said it.

That isn't necessarily a safe analogy. There's vastly more physical difference between different dog breeds than between different human groups, so it follows that there could be far more mental difference too.

Environment is important, but I've heard far too often about a pet pit bull flipping out and ripping the face off a child to believe that's the whole story.
posted by Mitrovarr at 1:20 PM on August 26, 2005


It isn't that every pit bull is more vicious than any other breeds - I'm told the dog bite rate for collies is a fair bit higher - it's just that when they do attack it's a much more powerful grip and they keep it up until the prey stops moving.

A detailed Australian report.
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:20 PM on August 26, 2005


I hope people like this get their mean tough dogs so mean and tough that they turn on them and kill them because people like this are doing no one any favors by continuing to exist.

Sadly, my guess is the follow up to this story will be one his dogs mauling a child.

Some people really just don't get it.
posted by fenriq at 1:25 PM on August 26, 2005


Honestly I'd be more afraid of him with a gun than I would his pack of pit bulls. Dogs (any breed) are easy to dominate you just show confidence and hold a dominant attitude and no dog is going to fuck with you. If they do you ignore it, then they know their place. I know this from experience.

The only dog I would be scared of would be a rabid one, or maybe one with lasers strapped to its head.
posted by jackdirt at 1:26 PM on August 26, 2005


It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities

Or that the sort of people that want to train attack dogs are more likely to own Rottweilers and pit bulls than, say, Tibetan spaniels.
posted by gaspode at 1:28 PM on August 26, 2005 [1 favorite]


Have you been faced down by a tibetan spaniel before?

Terrifying.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:32 PM on August 26, 2005


I used to volunteer at an animal shelter that accepted pits. The good ones are the sweetest things you've ever seen, the bad ones...well, they didn't make it out to the kennels. It's part the owner/trainer but there are some scary things with those dogs: the overwhelming powerful bite, the tendency to stay in the fight and keep at it until the prey is dead. I'd own one but never ever let it around kids. I would let it loose in the vicinity of this guy's nut sack though.

Volunteering at a shelter made me realize a number of breeds are out there I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole for one reason or another: Rottweilers, pits, Dobermans, Akitas, most huskies, Dalmations, Jack Russells, cockers... Not enough people look at a breed and what it was intended for, they just think the puppy is cute. And then when that puppy gets beyond the cute stage it is dumped because all these breed characteristics that they never took into consideration come out. Animals are great but people are stupid.
posted by Ber at 1:36 PM on August 26, 2005 [1 favorite]


Read the article, now I'm gonna go throw up.
posted by Sharktattoo at 1:38 PM on August 26, 2005


pit bulls are no more inherently dangerous than [insert racial minority here].

Yes, definitely an invalid analogy. There is no race of people that has been artificially inbred for hundreds of generations specifically to create a sub-breed that possesses physical traits which just happen to be ideal for tearing out throats.

I don't care if some people's pitbulls are "sweet" - that doesn't change the fact that they're frankenstein killbots. They are also butt-FUGLY.

Same goes for Rottweilers.
posted by MaxVonCretin at 1:39 PM on August 26, 2005


Yeah, what gaspode said! Pit bulls, which isn't even an exact breed, are just the demonized breed of the day, and every bad ass dude who wants a killer dog wants one, and wants the meanest biggest alpha dog of the litter, trains him to fight, and then breeds him, etc. In the past it's been German Shepards, Dobermans, Rottweilers, and if bad ass dudes decide that Mastiffs are the next big thing, the Mastiff attack numbers will go up.
posted by tula at 1:44 PM on August 26, 2005


The typical argument is "it's not the dog's fault, it's the owners' fault for turning these breeds into an antisocial status symbol". I ain't buying it.

Pit bulls attract assholes, idiots and creeps. I don't think I have ever actually met a nice person who owns this breed, just a lot of pindick losers with no interest in getting along with their neighbors.

If you take their pitbulls away, they may not become nicer people, but they sure as hell won't be able to annoy so many people all at once. Ban these useless dogs once and for all.
posted by filifera at 1:47 PM on August 26, 2005


Nightmares, I still have them.

The horror.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:47 PM on August 26, 2005


I've seen a pitbull attack. I will not go near those dogs, and grudgingly support any ban on the breed. It's unfortunate that it had to come to that but some owners are idiots and have ruined the situation for everyone else.

I have no ill-will toward the poor animals at all. If I had my way, I'd like to start putting down a few owners. I guarantee that that would bring some results.
posted by purephase at 1:56 PM on August 26, 2005


The typical argument is "it's not the dog's fault, it's the owners' fault for turning these breeds into an antisocial status symbol". I ain't buying it.

Having had a Rotweiller and grown up among a variety of breeds I do buy it.

Yes, there are some breeds that are stronger and are, by their nature as it were, protective. You can take these traits and direct them where you wish if you like. If you train your dog to be violent you should never be allowed to have a dog again.
posted by juiceCake at 2:09 PM on August 26, 2005


filifera, how's that logic work? Dogs should be blamed because they choose the jerks who own them? Huh? These dogs can be really sweet and gentle, and the owners of the good dogs are nice people who patiently put up with a lot of nasty comments like the ones you just made.
posted by tula at 2:10 PM on August 26, 2005 [1 favorite]


Mom had a dog that was at least part pit-bull growing up. She lived in a wooded rural area and when she walked down to the creek it would go with her. Sometimes it would jump in front of her path and growl, sometimes it would grab her leg without hurting her and growl. That meant be still. The dog always went ahead and killed a copperhead, rattlesnake or cottonmouth afer doing that.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 2:11 PM on August 26, 2005


you just show confidence and hold a dominant attitude and no dog is going to fuck with you

Go to a protest and try that with the police dogs. I'll tag along with a camcorder, and some bandages.
posted by CynicalKnight at 2:17 PM on August 26, 2005


I believe that the breed is becoming more vicious because of backyard breeders like this who are trying to create the most bad-ass dog on the block. I don't think that a pit purchased from a reputable breeder by a responsible person is nearly as much of a danger as one who is puchased by some macho pinhead from a breeder like the asshole in this article.
posted by echolalia67 at 2:19 PM on August 26, 2005


purephase: . . . and grudgingly support any ban on the breed.

I ask the same question every time I hear someone mention pitbull bans: What happens when the pit bulls are banned and the next dangerous breed becomes popular?

Banning breed x won't fix the problem. Even if they ban all breeds of aggressive dogs, they'll be mutts breed for aggressiveness.

I do agree that pit bulls tend to be more aggressive than say, a lab. In addition to having the body structure of a killer, they've been bred to have the behavior of a killer. And while many modern breeders have worked to make them an acceptable pet animal, many whom are the sweetest dogs around, many more, like the ass in the article are breeding dogs with even more aggressive traits. And being an unethical breeder, are likely not even bothering to make sure that the aggressiveness isn't limited to what the owner want i.e. uncontrollable aggressiveness.

But banning pit bulls or any breed won't stop it. So how do you fix the problem?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 2:25 PM on August 26, 2005


My cousin owned a pitbull. She was a sweetheart but dumb as dirt. As far as I know she never caused any problems, other than chewing on everything in sight. Crayons, controller cords, boxes, rope, etc etc. Now my cousin, on the other hand, total asshole.
posted by Talanvor at 2:28 PM on August 26, 2005


you just show confidence and hold a dominant attitude and no dog is going to fuck with you

It's making eye contact that sets a lot of dogs off.
posted by thomcatspike at 2:28 PM on August 26, 2005


Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted for 67% of human DBRF in the United States between 1997 and 1998

The problem is that in these studies, breeds are generally just reported by victims, and most people can't reliably tell one breed from another. I bet an expensive meal that if you went and actually had someone trained in breed traits examine the dogs in question to find their breed or probable mix, you'd find that a lot of the "Rottweilers" were labs or lab-heavy mutts, ditto for pits. If a big black dog bit you, it was a rottie, even if it was a lab. If it wasn't black, it must have been a pit, even if it was a mastiff.

The breed laws are dumb because bad folk who want big, scary dogs will just get something else. There already seems to be a turn to mastiff-derived dogs like the presa canario and cane corso, or whatever led to the Ovtcharka.

For the record, Rottweilers weren't bred as attack or fighting dogs. Their origins are as draft dogs and drovers.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:31 PM on August 26, 2005


Go to a protest and try that with the police dogs

I've seen that several times on Cops etc. Bad-ass police dog grabs dude, dude delivers real no-shit I'm-gonna-hurt-you-now blow to bad-ass police dog, bad-ass police dog lets go and runs away because it's not stupid.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:37 PM on August 26, 2005


I've only known one pit, it was a former girlfriends. The pit was the sweetest, most loving dog I'd ever met, but, like others have pointed out, it was dumber than a bag of hammers. I never saw her go after any people, but we had to be very careful not to let her go unattended around other dogs. Watching this sweet, dow-eyed dog transform into a froathing at the mouth killing machine in only a few seconds was pretty disturbing. I'd say, from experience, that pits can be very peaceful with their owners, but around other dogs and strangers they are nearly automatically aggressive. I wouldn't own one.

*looks at tibetan spaniel pics*
*shudders with cold fear*
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:30 PM on August 26, 2005


A pit bull is an inherently dangerous animal, which is why, I think, most people who buy them want them instead of beagles – pit bulls are used to intimidate everyone else on the sidewalk, like walking around with a gun on your hip.

Pit bulls should never be allowed to run loose, they should not be allowed around children (even at home) without a muzzle, and they should always have to wear a muzzle while in public, regardless of any other restraint they might be wearing. If your pit bull is seen in public without a muzzle, you should be treated as if you were caught swinging a gun around in public. If you still want to own one and follow such rules, you should have to get a background check first.

The breed laws are dumb because bad folk who want big, scary dogs will just get something else.

It might be a bit difficult to regulate such things so that everyone thinks the rules are fair – someone is always unhappy – but it's not impossible to come up with a decent set of rules. We have different rules for handling butter knives than we have for handling switchblades. Likewise, we need different rules for handling pit bulls than we have for handling beagles. You just have to make a list of dogs that are considered generally safe and assume that everything else requires a special permit unless and until that breed is put on the safe list.
posted by pracowity at 4:08 PM on August 26, 2005


It ain't pit bull's fault at all. My brother in law has one that is an amazingly cool dog.

Banning pits is just fucking stupid. You know what might work? Attack the problem, rather than the victim. The dog did not choose its owner.

Hold owners responsible for what their dogs do. The guy in this article should be tried for murder 1 the first time one of his attack dogs kills someone (quite possible a child). Make lower-than-scum breeders like this pay the price for their dogs. That might start to fix the problem. (These laws are not without problems, but they are much better than banning breeds, which just gets a lot of pit bulls killed, and convinces fucking morons that they really are vicious, as the state banned them).

And it's quite often children, because dogs are pack animals. A grown adult that doesn't show fear can often get a dog to back off. A child is not going to be seen as a "boss" by an attack dog, so the dog kills the child if it violates pack behavior. These fucking jerks that raise dogs to be this mean should be sentenced to life in prison when someone dies because of their black, putrid heart.
posted by teece at 4:09 PM on August 26, 2005


Are Pit Bulls inherently dangerous?

Well, these breeders are.

Unfortunately, a lot of these dogs are being bred and trained for violence. I would favor new laws which would make it easier to put someone in jail when their dog attacks, if you could establish an intent to own an aggressive dog, either through purchase, breeding or training. It should be considered an assault by the owner, not merely an assault by the dog. The current laws primarily rely upon liability, but so many of these attacks occur in low income areas where no one cares at all about liability, being nearly judgment-proof. Making it criminal puts some teeth into the law, so to speak.
posted by caddis at 4:11 PM on August 26, 2005


Hope that such a tenacious dog never gets hold of your kid.
/Don't quibble about what breed it is
posted by Joeforking at 4:14 PM on August 26, 2005


Pit Bulls are illegal in Prince Georges County, MD (one of two counties bordering Wash DC in MD). Why? There have been so many maulings and killings that people have had enough. It's not about freedom, it's about dogs killing people. Most owners are drug dealers and other petty criminals who use them for intimidation and protection reasons.
posted by stbalbach at 4:15 PM on August 26, 2005


pracowity, that's ridiculous on the level of a South Park episode. I have been around American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers most of my life, and when well trained, they are among the sweetest, smartest, best dipositioned breeds I have ever seen. Especially around children. Clearly, they have certain physical attributes (bite power, tenacity, athleticism, high tolerance for pain, etc.) that make then good candidates for the type of aggressiveness training (IOW, animal abuse), such as this asshole is putting them through.

Just makes me sad to see a few people ruin the reputation of a truly great breed of dog, and it irritates me to read about such wholesale ignorance about what monsters they are.
posted by psmealey at 4:22 PM on August 26, 2005


Didn't we have a chat about breed bans a while back? I own a six-year old pit, and he has never attacked a person or dog. I will admit, he isn't the most sociable animal, but that is due to circumstance rather than any inherent genetic faults (he was my wife's dog before we met... about about 2 months old, he was run over by a car but survived. he was for much of his early life in a series of casts and largely immobile, and thus was never properly socialized. But if he meets you and you're confident and friendly, he'll like you forever.) He is also pretty smart, unlike the characterizations that many here have given.

Pits are naturally territorial and protective, but they are not naturally mean dogs. They are physically stronger than most dogs, and unfortunately they take to bad training quite well, hence the perception that they are dangerous animals. Another problem is that they are, in my experience, very easily impressionable. At my wife's old house, neighborhood kids used to come by and throw rocks at my dog when my wife wasn't home, so even to this day he does not like kids. He's never gone after one, but he just prefers not to be around them at all. Would I trust him with kids? Probably not, but then I'm not irresponsible enough to leave him alone with kids. But I have known people with pits & children who never had any problems with the dog "eating the kid's face" or any shit like that, it's just a matter of them being properly trained and socialized with children early. The fact is that evil pit bulls are another false epidemic, just like shark attacks.

Also, the thing that really makes me angry are the people who assume that all pit owners are asshole mouth-breathers who like to get in fights and are covered with tribal tattoos. I assure you, I'm about as far from the stereotypical pit bull owner as you can get, and I've known other pit owners who weren't redneck dicks either. So when filifera refers to me as a "pindick" who doesn't like to get along with his neighbors, I get a little offended. I mean really, what are these generalizations built on? You met a couple dudes who owned pits and they were assholes, thus all pits & and owners are irredeemable asshats? Very scientific, dude.

Breed bans will do nothing to curb any supposed problems. A War on Dogs will be about as effective as the War on Drugs, and last I heard you didn't have to work to hard to buy some pot. As with any issue, looking at root causes is the only effective solution. What causes people to derive pleasure from training animals to kill each other, or to breed aggressive dogs as "tough guy" status symbols? One possible answer is growing up in a society in which aggression is prized. It probably doesn't help that many of the people who engage in this sort of violent dog breeding are generally poor. Displacing the violence and shit of their own lives onto animals probably seems like a pretty good escape.
posted by papakwanz at 4:30 PM on August 26, 2005


Addendum: Banning unlicensed backyard breeding, however, I do support, and I agree with everyone who says that someone whose dog, pit or otherwise, kills someone should be tried for the act.
posted by papakwanz at 4:52 PM on August 26, 2005


Anecdotes about "sweet" examples prove nothing. I've got a friend who owns a machine gun and has never killed anyone, but I don't think machine guns should be carried around.

Pit bulls are more dangerous -- much more likely to cause serious injury or death -- even if some of them are "amazingly cool" or whatever, because they're built to do maximum damage. When another breed might give you some annoying yapping or a nip, a pit bull might kill you.

At the very least, they (and other dangerous breeds) should be required to be on a leash and wear a muzzle at all times when they are in public. That's the normal rule for all dogs in some places.
posted by pracowity at 4:55 PM on August 26, 2005


So should there be more stringent laws about large dog ownership, period? Because as pointed out, pit bulls are hardly the only dangerous breed. Like guns, big dogs of any kind attract people with power fetishes; the same people who are loathe to spay and neuter, very often, and become backyard breeders. The same people who say "oh I've got him under control, he's trained to just attack strangers" and let the dog play with the neighbor's three year old, until the inevitable happens.

I was mauled on the leg (enough to need 8 stitches) when I was five, by a mixed breed dog who'd been friendly until he got off his chain one day. As a result I will never own a dog that is too large or powerful for me to easily control. Even sweet dogs can have unpredictable triggers. They not furry people, but pack animals with complex psychologies and prey-hunting instincts. I wish more dog owners, especially those with kids, understood that.
posted by emjaybee at 5:44 PM on August 26, 2005


for the record, the article states:

In evaluations by the American Temperament Testing Society, the pit bull passed at a rate of 83.4 percent, just below the beloved golden retriever and 4.5 points higher than the collie.

These are really sweet dogs. Ive known a few and they were all darlings. They are however bred to dislike other dogs, but if you throw them in with other dogs while they are puppies, this wont be the case.

Whats this crap about keeping them away from kids? They are notoriously GOOD with children.

A good friend of mine had two named Ty and Penny. I first met them in their territory which would have made a lot of other breeds instantly defensive (fucking rat terriers) but Ty was all about being my 70 lb lap dog.

Ty and Penny got along as good as any two dogs, but when there was a tiff, one of them had to be stapled back up - owing to their strength. It surprised me when they'd be freinds again moments later, one of them still bleeding, but according to the ASPCA article "They are also relatively impervious to pain." I have to admit that creeps me out a little.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 5:50 PM on August 26, 2005


So should there be more stringent laws about large dog ownership, period?

Yes.

In evaluations by the American Temperament Testing Society...

Sure, about the same temperament as a golden retriever, and I'd bet chihuahuas rate pretty high on the biting scale, but which would you rather attack you, a pit bull or a chihuahua?
posted by pracowity at 5:56 PM on August 26, 2005


I have owned, worked and trained dogs my entire life. I have trained with K9 officers. My wifes brother in-law is a K9 officer. (I still work with talent dogs for video and photo shoots. My dog is a talent dog. A border collie. )

I love dogs. In most cases if there is problem with dogs 90% of the time it is the owner.

The exceptions are pits and mastiffs. They immensely powerful and have a ferocious pack and prey instinct. And they are not very bright. Most people have NO IDEA how to train an animal let alone one so powerful.

So that said: Fuck Pit Bulls. And the people who own them. I don't beleive in bans but you SHOULD have to have a special dangerous breed permit to own them. And adult pits should never be allowed off-leash - ever.

I have seen at least two dozen Pit Bull attacks over the last seven years on people, children and especially other dogs and in EVERY single case the owner says the same thing people on this thread say : "Golly she/he was soooo sweet" or "This has never happened before."

I have seen other dogs torn to shreds because Pits do not recognize submissive behavior soon enough - jaws crushing the bones of smaller dogs.

I saw two pits at a dog park stalk a child. As I swept that kid up, because they were going to KILL her, the owner had the gaul to say "children don't belong at the dog park" and JUST then one of HER dogs bit HER.

I have a co-worker ten feet from me who brought up a small Stafordshire from birth. From a breeder. Sweet dog. Well trained. NEVER abused. Then they had a daughter. I knew this was recipe for disaster.

Things went along fine. Though I warned her - NEVER let your child alone with this dog. EVER. But her kid turned three with no incidents with the dog.

And then one time...

Well. Fuck. I don't want to tell this. But that kid is FUCKED up now. This beautiful little girl is deformed. And instead of putting a bullet in that dog she gave it to a Pit shelter. And about five weeks later it killed ANOTHER dog and THEN attacked the shelter owner and had to be put down.

These are not rare stories. The statistics speak for them selves. 67% of bites for god sake.

So, sorry. Fuck these dogs. The Doberman, the shepherd, the Rotty - all un fairly vilified in the past. None of them have the power of a Pit and Mastiff.

There is no such thing a reputable "breeder" of Pit Bulls or any other pure-bred. Inbreeding dogs in general is fucked up. ANY breed, but a few of the working herding breeds that aren't bred for looks but rather health and working traits - fucks up the animal.
posted by tkchrist at 6:02 PM on August 26, 2005 [1 favorite]


I've got one of these people as a next door neighbor. They kept the dogs outside for most of their first winter, last year, and they started exhibiting vicious behaviors in spring.

The ASPCA is quite unhelpful in Bushwick, New York City. I think their inspectors are as afraid of getting shot up as i am.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 6:16 PM on August 26, 2005


They he kept
posted by gorgor_balabala at 6:17 PM on August 26, 2005


oops. They he kept
posted by gorgor_balabala at 6:18 PM on August 26, 2005


I've heard stories like tkchrist's my entire life and I'd bought the nature trumping nurture view of pitbulls. At my new house my neighbors have two full-grown (maybe mixed breed, but definitely mostly pitbull), a mother and a son. They are literally the nicest dogs I have ever met. They play with me, their kids and their kittens. I even stepped on one's foot the other day while it wanted to play and I wanted to bring in the groceries. I didn't really have to worry. It's really turned me around on the beasts.
posted by ontic at 7:03 PM on August 26, 2005


Eison isn't looking to breed dogs to be the family pet, he wants a weapon that woof's, walks on four paws and has a tail that wags - he wants a dick extention that will intimidate others. I think that is quite a bit different than an owner who just wants a family pooch.

So should there be more stringent laws about large dog ownership, period?

Hell, yeah.
posted by squeak at 7:13 PM on August 26, 2005


So should there be more stringent laws about large dog ownership, period?

American Pit Bull Terriers aren't particularly large dogs. 35--50 pounds in the standard, or slightly larger than border collies.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:15 PM on August 26, 2005


The conclusion of the authors of the paper that cenoxo quoted eariler was:
Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates. Because of difficulties inherent in determining a dog’s breed with certainty, enforcement of breed-specific ordinances raises constitutional and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and, therefore, should not be the primary factor driving public policy concerning dangerous dogs. Many practical alternatives to breed-specific ordinances exist and hold promise for prevention of dog bites. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;217:836–840)

posted by Sirius at 7:16 PM on August 26, 2005


Owners like him are the very reason why Pit Bulls should be banned. It's the breed of choice for sociopaths.
posted by disgruntled at 7:29 PM on August 26, 2005


They are literally the nicest dogs I have ever met.

Thank you, ontic. Having owned two (and owned Retrievers, Bull Dogs, Maltese, Poodles, and plenty of mutts), I agree.

In 1996 I adopted a Pit Bull from a shelter. My girlfriend was pissed and adamant that we not get the breed because of all the bad press. Two years later she left me and took the dog with her.

I have had my current Pit Bull for 7+ years. He's very smart and loves everyone (but the skunks and racoons) in our neighborhood. And everyone loves him as well. The meanest dog in my 'hood is a black Lab. My Letter Carrier carries Mace with him because of that dog--but the man will cross the street to pat Satchel (who is far from "butt-FUGLY").

And they are not very bright.

Tell that to Maddy, an American Pit Bull Terrier who, in 1999, scored the highest obedience trial record of all time (97.66).

Tell it to the countless Pit Bulls, AmStaffs, and other PB like breeds that have saved lives, caught criminals, rescued the missing, and been loving pets to people world-wide for decades.

Not very bright?

Perhaps you just don't know what you're doing.

On command (verbal or hand signal) my dog can sit, stay (for upwards of 30 minutes), roll over, lie on his right side, lie on his left, crouch, crawl, turn off the lights, chase his tail, lick his chops, wave goodbye, close his eyes, wriggle on his back, prance, recall, climb onto, into, or over whatever I point at, drop (from his mouth) or hang onto something while I tug it, not approach something, go forward till I tell him to stop, and ANY OTHER TRICK I have ever attempted to teach him. Seriously? I ran out of things to teach him before he stumped me.

Maybe you're just not a very good trainer.

This beautiful little girl is deformed.

Not comparing but... I have permanent scars on both hands from being attacked by a dog when I was 7. It bit thru both sides of both hands. I've had the scars for 30+ years. The dog was a Maltese.

children don't belong at the dog park

If it's an offleash dog park, the person is right. Children do not belong there.

The statistics speak for them selves. 67% of bites for god sake.

That statistic is for Pit Bulls and Pit Bull like breeds which can cover as many as a dozen or more dogs. Ontario BSL comes into effect in a week and they have banned six breeds inlcuding "Dogs that look like pit bulls but aren't" to paraphrase. However, every dog that has a remotely Pit Bull like face is considered a Pit Bull. I've seen photos in newspapers of Pit Bulls who attacked and the photos were clearly of Labs and other worker dogs--once even a fucking BEAGLE! Which breed do you think the check mark went to in that instance?

12 Pit Bull Attacks in Toronto in 2003. 33 German Shepherd Dog attacks in 2003. Guess how many times I saw Pit Bulls on the cover of daily shit rags like the Toronto Sun. (All of 'em.) Guess how many GSDs. (Zero, in case you're wondering). Guess which dog is being banned on Aug 29th.

A few months ago my dog was attacked by an offleash Schnauzer. My dog was on a leash. My dog was told "Leave It!" and he did. My dog was the bleeding one when we got the Schnauzer off. Police were called. Animal control was called. Guess which dog has to start wearing a muzzle in 3 days.

The Doberman, the shepherd, the Rotty

Yeah, they were all vilified in the past. As soon as the press moved from the Doberman to the Shepherd WE NEVER HEARD OF ANOTHER DOBERMAN ATTACK. Why? Did they all of a sudden stop being the same dogs they had been for years? No. Because breed specific coverage in the media is bullshit, that's why.

"This has never happened before."

Of course it never happened before. The same is said for just aboout every attacking dog, regardless of breed. Why? Because no dog that does serious damage ever gets a chance to attack again. They're euthanized.

Fuck Pit Bulls. And the people who own them.

Fuck you tkcrhist and your ignorant, hysterical, sky-is-falling bullshit. And fuck you, echolalia67, for making this ridiculous, melodramtic shitass FPP. You should be ashamed of yourself.
posted by dobbs at 8:01 PM on August 26, 2005 [2 favorites]


Oh, and as for the moron in the VV article... don't euthanize his dogs. Euthanize him. And no, I'm not kidding.
posted by dobbs at 8:15 PM on August 26, 2005


[insert clever name here] writes "But banning pit bulls or any breed won't stop it. So how do you fix the problem?"

I'm not sure, really. I agree 100% that any ban is only going to be temporary relief if anything at all. Also, when a ban is put in place it is the animals who will suffer, not the owners. As I mentioned later in my first post I strongly believe that there should be stronger laws against the dog owners, perhaps even mandatory training (at the owner's cost) when buying any dog or potentially dangerous animal.

It's unnecessarily bureaucratic, a tax dollar waste, and probably unenforceable. Start putting down some owners. Things will change quickly.
posted by purephase at 8:18 PM on August 26, 2005


Pitbull "like" dogs.
The problem with that kind of legislation is who decides what is pitbull like? I mean, are they going to ban English Bulldogs? Big, dumb, friendly as sin dogs that were breed originally to kill one another? French bull dogs? Scaled down versions of english bulldogs? Why not boston terriers while you're at it? Heck, if you REALLY stretch your imagination you could argue pugs are pitbull like.

Yeah, its a slippery slope argument, but come on, you are taking away the priviledges of many honest law abiding citizens because there are idiots out there. If it were any other cause, mefites would jump to their defense. But scary ass media hyped pit bulls, all logic is thrown out the window.


disgruntled: Owners like him are the very reason why Pit Bulls should be banned. It's the breed of choice for sociopaths.

But what do we do when they pick the next breed? Also, banning the dogs might just make them that more attractive to the people that are the problem anyway.

When I was growing up, German Shepards were the evil dogs. They were the killing machine dogs that were rumored to snap for no apparent reason and kill children. They were the ones that shouldn't be trusted around children even with supervision. Maybe that's why I'm so against villianizing pit bulls; I don't have a short memory like apparently everyone else does.

Oh and tkchrist, wtf is wrong with Mastiffs??
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:07 PM on August 26, 2005


Is it wrong of me to hope this guy is pecked to death by a flock of wild geese?
posted by daveqat at 9:26 PM on August 26, 2005


No, Fuck YOU dobbs. Did you even bother to read all of the links I posted? Did you? Obviously not, because if you had you would have understood that the point I was making is that greedy breeders and bad owners make bad dogs.

Nicky Fabish (the boy in the news story) lived in my neighborhood. I was aquainted with both him and his dogs. They didn't start out as bad dogs - but the owners created a really dangerous situation by not training their dogs properly and thinking that they could make a few bucks off breeding them when they didn't know a damn thing about how to go about it properly. It wasn't the dogs' fault, it was the owner's and if you had read the article that would have become apparent to you.

If someone's going to get a dog, they better step up and make sure that they have everything they need (training, socialization, regular vet care, etc.,) or don't fucking bother. I'm sick of people getting hurt and dogs getting euthanized because some asshole thought of his dog as an accessory instead of a sentient being with needs that go far beyond just dishing out some food and water on a regular basis. It infuriates me to see a breed of dog that I personally find very charming and sweet destroyed by people who feel the need to play "badass".

And me? Mauled as a child - BY A BEAGLE. My dog? Almost mauled to death by a dog that didn't appear to a have a drop of pit in him - Lab/Hound mix of some sort. So don't you dare tell me to fuck off - I'm not the enemy, you asshole.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:36 PM on August 26, 2005


And as for being ashamed of myself, fuck you again. Read this link again - it's about how sleazy backyard breeders are creating a staggering number of dogs who end up euthanized in the local shelters. Check out the rest of the site while you're at it - the BAD RAP people are fighting an uphill battle trying to save these dogs.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:50 PM on August 26, 2005


greedy breeders and bad owners make bad dogs

They don't even need to be particularly greedy in any negative sense. There are plenty of backyard breeders who are well-intentioned enough but just have no bloody idea what they're doing, or are in it because they just WUV widdle puppies.

In lots of breeds, the numbers of really ethical breeders who know what they're doing, and why, have a breeding program with goals in mind, work to eliminate genetic maladies, screen buyers, and treat their dogs as ends in themselves rather than means to an inflated pocketbook or schmoopy cutie-pie puppies is astonishingly, frighteningly small.

So if you're going to breed a dog, you better do everything on dobbs' own-a-dog list, and acquaint yourself with at least the basics of canine genetics, and build a plan for your kennel, and track every goddam puppy that ever leaves your house, and... Okay, I'm foaming at the mouth now so I'll stop.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:14 PM on August 26, 2005


*Exhales*

Okay, while it was not okay for dobbs to tell me to go fuck myself, I responded with way too much venom and anger. That was not cool. I apologize. The subject is a very emotional one for me and I lost my head for a moment there.
posted by echolalia67 at 10:39 PM on August 26, 2005


dobbs writes "Fuck you tkcrhist and your ignorant bla bla bla"

Should have put that up at the top so I'd have known not to read that whole response. Thanks for nothing.
posted by jenovus at 10:48 PM on August 26, 2005


Re Sirius' posted quote above:
...enforcement of breed-specific ordinances raises constitutional and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and, therefore, should not be the primary factor driving public policy concerning dangerous dogs...
That would be state constitutional law. Nevertheless, Denver challenged the State of Colorado earlier this year and won:
Denver Allowed To Enforce Pit Bull Ban
District Court Says Ban Is Constitutional


The city of Denver will be allowed to enforce its 15-year ban on pit bulls.

A state law passed last year prohibits cities and counties from singling out certain kinds of dogs, so the city of Denver sued.

A judge in Denver's District Court on Thursday upheld Denver's law, saying that the state Attorney General's Office failed to provide any new scientific evidence in the field of animal behavior or other new information that would make Denver's ordinance unconstitutional.

The same judge had also ruled in December that "home rule" gives Denver the right to ban specific breeds of dogs, despite the state law.

The city said it will start enforcing the pit bull ban on May 9 [2005]. Pit bull owners have 30 days to remove their dogs from the city, officials said.
Other cities in the Denver Metro area (Aurora, Commerce City) are proposing various pit bull ordinances.
posted by cenoxo at 11:05 PM on August 26, 2005


On a side note, at least we're not dealing with this...
posted by cenoxo at 11:19 PM on August 26, 2005


The only thing I got out of this thread is that dobbs likes to fuck pit bulls. Which is kinda gross.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 11:20 PM on August 26, 2005


echolalia67, I've dealt with ignorance regarding APBT every single day for almost 12 years. I'm sick of it. I'm annoyed that starting in 3 days my dog (who is almost 8 and done NOTHING wrong) will have to start wearing a muzzle. I'm sick of headlines in newspapers and newscasters and politicians doing the same thing you did: "Are Pit Bulls inherantly dangerous?"

So yes, I did read your links. And yes, I think you've crafted a melodramatic post and indeed, it angers me. My apologies for telling you to fuck off. I should have been more delicate. Sincerely. However, I do think you should reread your post. I hardly think it helps the cause and I don't doubt that you yourself could have, were that your intention, come up with a better way to have done it.

Should have put that up at the top so I'd have known not to read that whole response. Thanks for nothing.

Whatever, jenovus. Obviously you're not offended in the slightest by the fact that he told me to fuck off first, right? ("And their owners.") And, based on what? My choice of pet. At least my anger stems from knowing his opinion first.

The only thing I got out of this thread is that dobbs likes to fuck pit bulls.

Too speechless to even comment on this idiocy.
posted by dobbs at 12:01 AM on August 27, 2005


pracowity: Anecdotes about "sweet" examples prove nothing.

And neither do anecdotes about "oh, I saw this pitbull and it was so mean!" or "I knew someone whose kid got mauled."

I completely second all of dobbs' "fuck yous." The only problem with pit bulls are bad owners and unlicensed backyard breeders. Does anyone seriously believe that a ban on pits will make you or your children safer? Can no one see the parallels with every other media boogey man that has been created for people to be scared of? People are allowed to own far deadlier things with no restrictions, so why not start with some of those? For example: SUVs are larger than average breeds, cause excessive damage when they attack, are extremely popular, tend to be aggressive towards other cars, and kill a lot of children.
posted by papakwanz at 12:28 AM on August 27, 2005


My two cents worth: Pitbulls are a breed of dog that have been specifically bred to be a fighter. That is the reason it exists, that is the reason why it is called a pitbull, and that is the reason it attracts jackasses like the one in the article.

Yes, there are nice pitbulls, but as a breed, my personal experience is that they are aggressive dogs.
posted by Timberman at 12:52 AM on August 27, 2005


> For example: SUVs...

Ban them. Put them down.

But to rerail your derail: one thing I haven't seen mentioned here is that unneutered males (the dogs, not the owners, though...) are particularly troublesome. Maybe owners should be encouraged (through licensing fee structures) to neuter. The dogs, of course.
posted by pracowity at 1:26 AM on August 27, 2005


Let's parse it out:

Backyard Pit Bull Breeders - link to story about an asshole that brags that he is abusing the dogs he breeds in addition to setting aside the most aggressive ones of the litter for breeding stock in order to make a progressively meaner line of dogs.
-snip-
Are guys like this the reason - link to a page on a site run by a Pit rescue and advocacy group that discusses how backyard breeders like the asshole listed above are, in addition to creating a huge population of animals who will be destroyed unnecessarily, trying to breed in undesirable and dangerous traits to satisify the tastes of customers who want to own an animal in order to bask in it's fierce reputation.
-snip-
horror stories - link to two news stories where it can be pretty well argued that a desire for "easy cash", willful ignorance about the needs of the animal, and a hankering to own the most badass dog on the block played a major role in the tragedies mentioned.
-snip-
Are Pit Bulls inherently dangerous? two links to well written articles on the virtues of the breed, noting their generally sweet disposition and reputation for being good family dogs, in effect raising the question - "dangerous?"- and answering it - "no, not as a rule".

The question is already out there. I just used it to convey what I think is important information - not only are Pit Bulls misunderstood and demonized, but to add insult to injury, there are people who are actively working to make those misconceptions and demonizations a reality in order to turn a quick buck.

I am genuinely sorry that you and your dog are being put through this injustice, I really am. It serves no real purpose other than to make the public feel all warm and safe until the next "scary dog" breed catches the fancy of the thug wannabes. However, I am also extremely pissed off that not nearly enough resources are being directed towards prosecuting people who abuse animals for profit - breeding and training them for dog fights - and for their twisted vainity - every swaggering waste of flesh I've every seen walking a pit bull puppy that has been decked out with links of heavy chain wrapped around it's neck. You may not like my style of writing, but can you argue with the points I'm trying to make?
posted by echolalia67 at 1:37 AM on August 27, 2005


Not comparing but... I have permanent scars on both hands from being attacked by a dog when I was 7. It bit thru both sides of both hands. I've had the scars for 30+ years. The dog was a Maltese.

Yeah, and I was bit in the face by a Corgi when I was little (fortunately not too hard, and it left no scars.) The point is, if those dogs had been pitbulls, we'd probably both be dead.
posted by Mitrovarr at 2:05 AM on August 27, 2005


"we had to be very careful not to let her go unattended around other dogs. Watching this sweet, dow-eyed dog transform into a froathing at the mouth killing machine in only a few seconds was pretty disturbing"

Sounds like a Chihuahua. When I had my Rot, she was extremely peaceful with other dogs. Unfortunately other dogs often charged her, particularly small ones. People on the street would always, without fail, blame the Rot. We see some of this blame nonsense in this thread as well.
posted by juiceCake at 7:24 AM on August 27, 2005


There is an animal shelter a couple blocks from my house that takes pits, and I've often seen volunteers from the shelter walking dogs on my street. I've met several pit bulls, AmStaffs, and pit mixes from this shelter and they've all been very nice, sweet, friendly dogs - to me and Barney (my dog). The worst thing they wanted to do was jump on me and lick my face. Ditto for the pit bulls I've met at the dog park. It's not the dogs themselves who are the problem, it's sleazy backyard breeders like the guy in the first article and bad owners who just want them to fight.

And as for pit bulls being bad with kids, I guess someone forgot to tell this one.

The meanest dogs I've ever known were Pomeranians. Seriously.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:04 AM on August 27, 2005


Unfortunately other dogs often charged her, particularly small ones. People on the street would always, without fail, blame the Rot.

Since my dog was mauled (the dog in question went for his throat, missed and tore a hunk of flesh the size of my hand off his shoulder, resulting in three months of extensive vet treatment), I am very protective around him with almost all dogs, but Pits in particular. Again, the dog who attacked him was not a Pit.

Is it because I'm afraid of what the Pit will do? No. It's because most Pits I've know tend to be energetic, overeager, love monkeys who want to be instant friends with whatever dog they meet. Being approached at a full run freaks my dog out and he starts to growl. He's traumatized and I'm afraid he'll start a fight.

Most of the dog owners who know me understand, but occasionally when we come across a Pit and their owner, I get the "fuck you, you ignorant bitch" look when I pull my dog close to me. When I tell them "sorry, my dog was attacked and severely injured a while back, he hasn't been the same since, I'm afraid that he'll react badly to your dog", the look generally changes to one of relief and understanding, but I too am tired of having to explain my behavior. Believe me when I say that not every dog owner who pulls their dog aside is doing it because they fear what the Pit will do.
posted by echolalia67 at 9:40 AM on August 27, 2005


pracowity: Maybe owners should be encouraged (through licensing fee structures) to neuter.

Oh god yes. I mean for one, it's just irresponsible to not neuter your dogs, and people like the guy in the first article who complain about their "manhood" being taken away are obviously insecure losers. The only people who should be allowed to have un- spayed or neutered dogs, whether pit bulls or chihuahuas, are licensed breeders, who should be required to take extensive courses in animal husbandry, training, proper care, etc, and should be regularly monitored by some sort of regulatory agency to ensure the animals are being raised properly to be socialized, etc. Institute a heavy fee structure so that the licensing procedure puts most of the scumbags who breed dogs to fight or kill out of business.

echolalia: I am also extremely pissed off that not nearly enough resources are being directed towards prosecuting people who abuse animals for profit - breeding and training them for dog fights - and for their twisted vainity - every swaggering waste of flesh I've every seen walking a pit bull puppy that has been decked out with links of heavy chain wrapped around it's neck.

I am too. I have no problem with the links you posted, although I think maybe you could have framed the post a little better to avoid sounding a bit alarmist. But that's neither here nor there. Personally, I'd like to take out the guy in the first link with a high-powered sniper rifle. And unfortunately, all of his adult dogs probably need to be put down. The puppies can maybe be saved and retrained. But anyone involved in this sort of thing should be fined into bankruptcy at the very least.
posted by papakwanz at 9:45 AM on August 27, 2005


My brother (along with his wife) owns a pit (named "Zeke"), my neighbor owns a pit (named Lucy).
My brother's then-fiancé picked out Zeke at a farm in Kentucky, because he came up to them. He was the biggest in the litter, and another pup in the litter had its jaw broken by playing with its uncles. Zeke is now 70 pounds, and has already given one of my cousins a scar on her face that will last her whole life.
He was the most aggressive, largest male dog from an aggressive and violent stock.
Lucy was found at about five weeks in a dumpster, and raised back to health. She's sweet, enthusiastic 40 pound moron of a dog.
Neither has been trained much at all, and my brother likes to wrestle with Zeke, which encourages him to act aggressively towards strangers. While I was laying out drunk on his couch, the dog pinned me and held me, growling inches from my face. My brother threw him off of me, explaining that he "only wanted to play."
I won't go over there when his dog's around, since I don't want to have to fight it, and it leaps onto anyone that comes over.
I see a lot of bullshit and animosity here, with people who are pit owners trying desperately to spin the attention away from the fact that these are dogs bred to fight, and that 90% of people who get one have no idea how much effort it takes to raise an energetic, aggressive dog.
They are dangerous. Look, plenty of people have guns andare safe, yet we recognize the social danger inherent in having people with guns around and we take steps to mitigate that. Instead of getting pissed at people who want to ban the dogs, pit owners should be pissed at the folks who breed them poorly and raise them poorly. They're the ones who should get the "fuck you" treatment, Dobbs. Otherwise you just come off as defensive and duplicitous.
Yes, there are plenty of problems with other breeds. Collies are the most likely to bite children (Shelties, particularly) and springer spaniels are the most likely to be put down for biting their owners (and, having had a 50 pound Springer snap at me, I know they can be just as scary as a pit). But again, you've got a breed that was manipulated to be mean, to be aggressive, to fight BULLS for God's sake. Recognize that they have to be held to a higher standard and work towards that rather than berating people who have some pretty real complaints.
posted by klangklangston at 10:55 AM on August 27, 2005


Thanks for reading my last post klang. Way to go.
posted by papakwanz at 12:52 PM on August 27, 2005


Huh?
posted by klangklangston at 1:11 PM on August 27, 2005


Oh, it was tk that kept saying fuck pit bulls over and over, dobbs was quoting. So all I learned from this thread is that tk thinks pit bulls should be fucked.

Also Pomeranians freak me out. The damn things look like deformed Ewoks.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 2:22 PM on August 27, 2005


The point is, if those dogs had been pitbulls, we'd probably both be dead.

Exactly. And that is the only important point.

Second: I stated, plainly, I am against a ban. Yes. It won't work.

And in repley to Dobbs: Sorry, you were comparing you little scar with this: The little girl of the coworker I mentioned was nearly killed and required at least four surgeries. She had punctures in her skull. And a Tracheotomy. The maltese that bit you? Did it require surgery and years of physical therapy? I bet it didn't.

Everybody is the magic exception to the rule. Everybody has a special genius dog that never hurts anybody. Well bull-fucking-shit. All dogs can bite. All of them.

All dogs will bite under certain circumstances. But poms, poodles, and labs can rarely kill when they do. This is not the case with a 50lb pit. They were bred to crush bone and to kill.

So. Ok. Yeah YOUR dog is a little darling. Yet the fact remains that MOST people do not train their dogs properly. So either you burden EVERYBODY else with some "training law" ordinance. Or only those who want to own pits.

I vote for the pit owners. And yes. Most of them ARE assholes.

Be honest. Why do you want a pit? Why? Why would you want a poodle? Each carry a certain cache. And we all know what that is with pits. Ok. So quit fronting.

But Im sure Dobbs is a wonder ful human being. As are all the other mefites that own pits. All an exception. An exception that proves the god-damned rule.

It's like your suddenly all NRA members or something "Don't infringe on MY rights! Oh no."

Well tough shit because life is unfair.

You people need to be specially licensed, trained, and pay a higher fee just like if you owned a huge semi-truck or machine gun. I wont tell you you CAN'T have these things. But if want them you need to do what must be done to keep the rest of us, and our children, safe. Don't like it? Cry me a river, bitches.

And if you WERE such wonderful responsible human beings you would stop bitching and wouldn't have a problem with that. You will pay for all the assholes that misuse pits. And if you love the breed like you say then you should be ok with it.

I love the deliciouse irony of people talking so tough about MURDERING FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS (Sniper comments, etc) rather than be honest and responisble for thier potentially dangerous animals. And you wonder why people think you are assholes for owning pits? Golly. Go figure.
posted by tkchrist at 2:49 PM on August 27, 2005 [1 favorite]


Sorry also forgot about this BEEEEAUTIFUL one:

If it's an offleash dog park, the person is right. Children do not belong there.

Dobbs. Dobbs. Dobbs. You giving people irony siezures here.

So nobody else should be alowed to bring thier children to a PUBLIC park because YOU want let your pitbull run free? You see no problem with that as a public policy? Essentially, and somebody correct me if I got this wrong, what your saying is if your dog bites a child it's the PARENTS fault for bringing the child to a public park?

That is so fucked up I can't begin to express it.
posted by tkchrist at 3:23 PM on August 27, 2005


So nobody else should be alowed to bring thier children to a PUBLIC park because YOU want let your pitbull run free.

I don't know where you live but where I live (a major city) full-time offleash dog parks are rare; few and far between. Notice that I qualified my original statement: "IF IT'S AN OFFLEASH DOG PARK". I didn't say dogs running around at the regular park.

The dog parks in my city are clearly marked: OFFLEASH DOG PARK. These places exist so that dogs can run around and play and chase each other and do dog things. The city creates these areas FOR DOGS. You have no sense in your head if you trust your child to be safe unequivocally in a DOG park where people (who you know nothing about) are allowing their dogs (who you know nothing about) to run around. If you bring a small child down there to play, you're a moron plain and simple and, in my opinion, you are a terrible and selfish parent.

Sorry, you were comparing you little scar with this

First, where did you learn to read? My sentence begins "Not comparing...". Second, you haven't seen my "little scar". My little scar is actually 8 scars. On one hand. And 4 on the other. On both sides.

But my point, as I said, was not to compare them. But to make it clear that dogs of any size and any breed can do damage to human flesh. Had the dog in question not been pulled off me it probably would have permanently scarred my face even though it was a small breed.

However, I do not call for the banning or muzzling of all Maltese dogs because this one had its way with me.

I vote for the pit owners. And yes. Most of them ARE assholes.

I doubt you've met most of them--and, obviously, you've prejudged the ones you haven't--so you'll pardon me if I think your opinion on this matter is pretty worthless.

The point is, if those dogs had been pitbulls, we'd probably both be dead.

See, that's where our opinions differ. Had the dog in question been a Pit Bull, it probably wouldn't have bitten me.

Yet the fact remains that MOST people do not train their dogs properly. So either you burden EVERYBODY else with some "training law" ordinance.

Yes, that is the fact. So why not treat all dog owners the same? Why not insist that all dogs be on leashes at all times when not in designated areas (and that idiots without dogs or with small children STAY OUT OF THE DESIGNATED AREAS)? Why not charge people who have dogs that kill someone with manslaughter, regardless of the breed? Why not fine, without exception, people with unleashed, unlicensed dogs?

Or only those who want to own pits.

Sorry, how does this follow?

How come the dangerous Lab that lives two floors above me is free to run around without a muzzle, as is the Schnauzer who lives 2 blocks from me and attacked my dog while its owner watched on, yet my dog, who is always on leash, does?

Judge the dog, not the breed.

And if you don't want to wait for the dog to "be bad" before you judge or act, put all dogs under the same umbrella: leashed at all times on public streets and non-dog parks.

Be honest. Why do you want a pit? Why? Why would you want a poodle?

As I said, I've owned both Pit and Poodle (and Bull Dogs, Labs, Retrievers, Maltese, and plenty of mixed breeds). I prefer AmStaffs for lots of reason:

- smartest dogs I've ever owned.
- most loyal dogs I've ever owned.
- quietest dogs I've ever owned.
- friendliest dogs I've ever owned.
- easy to tend to (I don't like grooming dogs and other things like that)

Are those not legitimate reasons to like a breed?

All my dog-owning neighbors (Ridgebacks, an Akita, a Viszla, a Lab, Cairn Terriers, a Westie, a standard Poodle, a Bull Dog, too many Retrievers to count) ask me how come both of my dogs (that I've had in this apartment) are a) so well behaved and b) so quiet.

I tell them all the same thing: I researched breeds before I got my first one and AmStaffs were the best match for all the reasons above. That's how people are supposed to buy dogs. However, most people buy a dog based on appearance or what image they think the dog will project of them. (Obviously, you think all Pit Bull owners fit into the latter category; I disagree.)

Look, I know there is a stereotype of Pit Bull owners. However, I know very few in the flesh and I've met, literally, hundreds of Pit Bull owners (for years I volunteered my time for People for Pit Bulls, the shelter from where I adopted my dog). And I myself do not fit that stereotype. Nor does my dog fit the current stereotype of the breed.

In fact, my dog fits the earlier stereotype of Pit Bulls--that which made them one of the most popular pets in America for over 100 years. They appeared in movies, television, on propaganda posters for the American Government, and decade after decade were revered as excellent family pets.

However, as happened in the 70s with Dobermans, the 80s with Shepherds, and the early 90s with Rottweilers, they have been pegged by news media and Hollywood as the gangbanger's companion of choice. But the VAST majority of Pit Bull owners I've met are not gangbangers. They're normal people who love their pets and treat them right and the dogs are no more a danger than any other dog in the neighborhood (take that however you will) and should be treated the same: fairly.

Most people I meet do not know a Pit Bull from a Lab from a Ridgeback from a whatever. All the time, people play with my dog, let him kiss them, pat him and then they ask what kind of breed he is and they recoil in fear or they tell me he could not be a pit bull and this friendly. I hear it constantly. Until the recent legislation in Ontario, most non-dog people I met in Toronto did not know Pit Bulls were a breed. They thought it was a synonym for "dangerous dog". In fact, the idiot man-child who recently created the anti-Pit Bull legislation in Ontario could not even identify a Pit Bull when shown a photograph. Nor did he meet with any dog professionals (trainers, vets, breeders, shelters, or The Toronto Humane Society) even though plenty of professionals volunteered their time to meet with him. His office is steps from my own vet, one of the most respected in the city, and she told me he never once has visited her office to ask her opinion on the matter.

In fact, if you are indeed a dog trainer, you are only the second person I have ever heard of in the dog industry who has spoken ill of the breed. I've met hundreds of "dog professionals" (trainers, shelter workers, vets, volunteers, sitters, walkers, breeders, authors) and have only twice heard the breed ill-spoken of from these people. You and an author whose book never got a second printing.
posted by dobbs at 5:01 PM on August 27, 2005


Wow, let's just break this into the pro-pit-bull camp and anti-pit-bull camp and vote according to our own prejudices.

Do genetics influence breed behaviour? Yes.
Does environment make a difference? Yes.
Does this invalidate the effect of genetics, as viewed statistically over a large number of cases? No.

So bring on the anecdotes of your friendly pit or vicious other-breed. If you can't tell the difference between anecdote and statistic, this conversation can't even take place. And being confronted with your dog, over whom I have had no opportunity to observe or exercise control, I am entitled to take the stats into account when it's my safety (or my child, my dog, what have you) at stake.

the dogs are no more a danger than any other dog in the neighborhood (take that however you will) and should be treated the same: fairly

Individual creatures deserve fair treatment. A particular genetic profile does not. Saying that this breed has a "right" to anything is nonsense. Let the current members of this breed be judged on their own merits (at the risk of the public) and future ownership be prohibited. I certainly don't expect you to indulge my dangerous tastes.
posted by dreamsign at 7:53 PM on August 27, 2005


dreamsign-
rather than voting, why not just go by the studies of the aspca, the american temperament testing society, professional dog trainers, etc... oh, that's right, because they say the breed is not inherently dangerous, and you've already decided to "vote" based on your opinion rather than any sort of fact.

tkchrist- Hey man, thanks for revealing my secret inner thug to me. I never realized why I "really wanted a pit" but you've shown me that deep down I'm an asshole who likes to threaten people and I'm just "fronting."
What's that? You don't actually know me and are talking out of your ass? Oh I'm sorry, for a second there I thought I might take you seriously.
I'll admit to letting my emotions getting the best of me when I said I would take the guy out with a rifle. Of course, I would never do such a thing, because, in fact, I don't own a rifle, or any weaponry, in fact. I let my anger get carried away by the story about what is plainly animal abuse.
As dobbs already pointed out, your assumption that pit owners are assholes and thugs is based on nothing more than conjecture. Are a lot of them assholes? Oh god yes. I've met a number of them. I've also met people who weren't. Funny how that works out?
And you know what? I'm real sorry about your friend's kid, but your appeal to emotion is bullshit. The "I know someone who was hurt" anecdote is no more valid than the "my dog is really nice" anecdote, which you so strongly disclaim.
And hey, I already said breeders should have to undergo a fairly strict series of regulations and fees. You want to add big dog owners to that too? Hey, that's fine, I don't mind paying an extra fee to keep my dog legal. But as you said, all dogs can bite. So why not make anyone who owns a dog over 50 lbs pay an extra fee? Makes sense to me.
posted by papakwanz at 9:53 PM on August 27, 2005


I left in an extra "in fact". So you can, in fact, take that out.
posted by papakwanz at 9:54 PM on August 27, 2005


why not just go by the studies of the aspca, the american temperament testing society, professional dog trainers, etc... they say the breed is not inherently dangerous

Inherently dangerous meaning that most animals of the breed are likely to be violent? Or inherently dangerous meaning that they have a higher incidence of violence than other breeds?

If 1% of the members of other breeds end up instigating violence, compared to pit bulls at, say, 2%, then no, they are not "inherently dangerous" if by that you mean the majority of animals. Only a tiny percentage (barring abuse/stupidy by owners) would be violent. On the other hand, we would be talking about a full 100% increase relative to other breeds, and the public and our legislators would be fully entitled to decide that this rate of incidence, though low, is too high.

"not inherently dangerous"? Who is voting with their opinion, papakwanz?
posted by dreamsign at 12:13 AM on August 28, 2005


New Bumper Sticker:
"You can take my Pit Bull when you pry my cold, dead fingers from its leash!"
posted by caddis at 7:33 AM on August 28, 2005


more:

"Register Communists, not Pit Bulls"

"Be a Patriot - Buy A Pit Bull"
posted by caddis at 7:53 AM on August 28, 2005


dreamsign- did you read the articles? Apparently not. Hell, I don't even know if you read the rest of the thread.
From the ASPCA link, which does admit that pit bulls are easy to train to be agressive:
Pit bulls were genetically selected for their fighting prowess. What does this mean? What it doesn’t mean is that pit bulls can’t be around other dogs or that they are unpredictably aggressive, or that they will fight to the death. [...] The majority of pit bulls are still ambassadors for their breed, serving as loving companions, family members, and therapy dogs, working in search and rescue, narcotics and explosives detection, and police and sentry duty. Unfortunately, we often hear more about the exceptions than the rule.

Someone already mentioned this quote upthread: In evaluations by the American Temperament Testing Society, the pit bull passed at a rate of 83.4 percent, just below the beloved golden retriever and 4.5 points higher than the collie.
posted by papakwanz at 9:36 AM on August 28, 2005


papakwanz: you keep missing or avoiding or trying to obscure the point on this one. Two dogs may have equal temperaments, but that doesn't mean they are equally safe. A chihuahua and a pit bull may be equally likely to bite, but a pit bull will kill. That is why it and dogs with similar biting capabilities need to be controlled.

(Two guns may have equally sensitive triggers, but if one is a squirt gun and the other is a machine gun...)
posted by pracowity at 10:28 PM on August 28, 2005


Two guns may have equally sensitive triggers, but if one is a squirt gun and the other is a machine gun

Why is that so hard for these people to get?

I sure as shit hope these guys are anti-gun control and staunch 2nd Amendment advocates to keep their idiocy at least consistent.

The supposed aggregate temperament of these dogs is irrelevant! For christ sake. Papakwanz ALL dogs bite under the right circumstances. Do you not fucking get that? Pits seriously maim and can KILL when they bite.

Ask any cop or animal control person. Stop dodging the point.

If you pit owners keep deluding yourselves please don't be surprised when the breed IS banned and I say "I told you so".
posted by tkchrist at 11:27 AM on August 29, 2005


See, that's where our opinions differ. Had the dog in question been a Pit Bull, it probably wouldn't have bitten me.

Opinions? WTF? We are talking about FACTS. Do you not understand what we are even arguing here? That's like saying "well I got shot by a BB gun BUT if it would have been a shotgun it would have missed? What? Your being so deliberately obtuse I can only conclude your not intelligent enough to even make the leap in logic to argue these points.

If Pits are so great why don't cops use them more (they rarely do)? Or service dogs? As S&R dogs? Or... Gee, I wonder? Do the math, man?

The city creates these areas FOR DOGS.

Wrong. Cities create them for PEOPLE with dogs. It's people like YOU are the problem there are not more Off-leash areas. It's other dog owners who want to ban you assholes. Ban Children? WTF?

Off leash areas located IN public parks. Funded by taxpayers - perhaps supplemented by fund raising by citizen committees - one of which I belong to - COLA (Citizens for Off-Leash Areas). Hence they ARE public parks. You and you Pit Bulls want to fund your own Off Leash areas -- be my guest. Pits only no children allowed. Mmmm. Fun.

And I would LOVE to see you propose a BAN on children in a public park. With the backlash you could kiss all off-leash areas goodbye.

And we are not talking bout people who let new borns crawl around unsupervised in offleash areas like little dawdling meat sacks. We are talking about 7-8 year old children who are routinely attacked WHILE supervised.

It's bad enough when a kid get's bit by any dog. But if they get mauled by pits they get really fucked up. So YOU as a pit owner have special responsibility. But you REFUSE to recognize that.
posted by tkchrist at 12:29 PM on August 29, 2005


Your being so deliberately obtuse I can only conclude your not intelligent enough to even make the leap in logic to argue these points.

When you're trying to say someone isn't intelligent, try using the right fucking word. It makes you look like less of a moron. It's YOU'RE, not your.

If Pits are so great why don't cops use them more (they rarely do)? Or service dogs? As S&R dogs? Or... Gee, I wonder? Do the math, man?

They are used by police and S&R and as service dogs and as registered therapy dogs. I know APBT and AmStaffs in all of these positions. They've even been used as seeing eye dogs (Hellen Keller had one). Do a search online for articles on Pit Bulls in all these positions. If I remember correctly the documentary or extras on the Traffic DVD also features profiles of Pit Bulls working border patrol for sniffing out drugs.

Do you not understand what we are even arguing here?

Of course I understand what we're arguing. However, I'm basing my statements on my own experience (12 years living with Pit Bulls and AmStaffs) and you're basing yours on your fantasy life (you: "the dogs aren't smart" -- reality: in 1999 the dog with the highest obedience trial score in history was an APBT; you: all of their owners are gangbanging thugs -- reality: I'm pushing 40, whiter than Wonder Bread, all my jeans fit and I've never even been in the same room as a gun or hard drugs. I help the old lady down the street cut her grass.).

The dogs I've been around most and most often are APBT. Never had one even attempt to bite me. However, I HAVE been bitten or "attacked" by a Maltese, a Poodle, Labs, a Schnauzer, four Retrievers, and a Collie, even though, not counting my own dogs of those breeds, my encounters with most of those breeds have been minimal. My dogs have been bitten by a Schnauzer, a Retriever, and two West Highland Terriers.

So, do you see how I can say with confidence that had I, as a child, encountered a Pit Bull and not a Maltese, I feel that I would not have been bitten? (I know you disagree with that. I understand. However, do you see how I have come to that conclusion? You know, based on MY life experience and not yours?)

Should I dismiss my 12 years living with Pit Bulls and 4 years volunteering for People for Pit Bulls--having never once seen a single incident--because some jagoff tells me I'm mistaken? Sorry, not gonna happen.

It's people like YOU are the problem there are not more Off-leash areas.

People like me, huh? My dog has not been off leash outside of my own home in almost seven years. However, I walk thru an offleash park twice a day (with my dog on a leash). I see plenty of people with young children down there playing (without dogs) even though not 200 feet away is a regular public park that is about 30 times the size of the dog park. I think these people are selfish because they know they're in a dog park (it's clearly marked) and yet their presence makes it nearly impossible for any responsible dog owner (of any breed) to have their dog off leash there. You, however, think I'm the selfish one. Do you not think it fair (and SAFE!) to have dog parks for people with dogs so that they have a place to go and therefore have no reason to take their dogs off leash in the regular parks? Is that too tough a concept for you?

My city also has skateboard parks. They're paid for by tax dollars. People are smart enough not to lounge in the middle of the half pipe. However, by your logic, they should do so without issue.

We also have public tennis courts. People don't hang out in them often without racquets. Nor do they walk down the street in the designated bike lanes.

Are you able to follow my analogies or am I going too quick for you?

I sure as shit hope these guys are anti-gun control and staunch 2nd Amendment advocates to keep their idiocy at least consistent.

Well, there's more proof of your poor reading skills. I'm not a fucking American, for one thing. I've said repeatedly that I live in Toronto, Ontario. That's in Canada.

The supposed aggregate temperament of these dogs is irrelevant! For christ sake. Papakwanz ALL dogs bite under the right circumstances. Do you not fucking get that?

Why is it irrelevant? Because you say so? The tests test for "stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness," among other things.

Yes, any dog can bite under the "right" circumstance. But perhaps you're unable to follow this point: the purpose of the temperament test is to see how apt a particular breed is to become aggressive--what "right circumstances" does it take, in other words. The higher the score, the LESS LIKELY the breed will "freak". APBT and AmStaffs are less likely. Capische? That's the purpose of the test.

I'll explain it a little slower for you: when my dog was getting his Canine Good Citizen certificate we had to go thru a "mini temperament" test. We had to walk our dog towards another dog owner and dog, stop, and shake hands. The dogs were not supposed to react. My dog didn't. The dog we "met" did (Zeus, a Saint Bernard). That dog failed his mini temperment test. My dog passed. That dog did not get his Canine Good Citizen certificate. My dog did.

Yes, that's just two examples (an AmStaff and a SB). It means nothing. However, do that test 100s of times with different Pit Bulls and different Saint Bernards and if it keeps coming up the way it did with Satchel and Zeus... well?

Almost 1000 APBTs/AmStaffs have been tested. The score has stayed pretty much the same for years. Face it: they're solid, well behaved, and extremely friendly. All your ranting misinformation isn't gonna change that.
posted by dobbs at 10:58 PM on August 29, 2005


dobbs: you: all of their owners are gangbanging thugs -- reality: I'm pushing 40, whiter than Wonder Bread, all my jeans fit and I've never even been in the same room as a gun or hard drugs.

What's this "whiter than Wonder Bread" stuff? Are you saying thugs are not white? Whites are not thugs? And something about young people? Something about people who wear baggy jeans?

Your dog may have passed a temperament test, but I don't think you'll be getting a Human Good Citizen certificate today.
posted by pracowity at 11:29 PM on August 29, 2005


pracowity, yeah, that's what I'm saying--that the "stereotypical pit bull owner" as portrayed in the media and on film is a drug dealing black male youth who lives in the "projects" and dresses like a gangbanger. Since tkchrist seems bent on believing that all Pit Bull owners want the dogs because they are "fronting" and because the dogs "carry a certain cache" I attempted to appeal to his lowest common denominator mentality. If you read my posts you'll see that I tried plain old fashioned logic first. It didn't take.
posted by dobbs at 12:53 PM on August 30, 2005


Neither has been trained much at all
posted by klangklangston at 1:55 PM EST on August 27 [!]


Why? They should be or should have been. It's not surprise that an obvious alpha male that was never put in his place will try to assert his position. This is the same with all dogs. Again, irresponsible masters...
posted by juiceCake at 8:56 PM on September 19, 2005


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