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November 19, 2007

Comments

redperegrine

Yes, it's true. "My dog was provoked" is another popular refrain. Certain adults just refuse to admit that their dogs are vicious (or barking nuisances); that their offspring are bullies; or that the world isn't out to get them.

I wonder why the DA is referring to a letter carrier as a "mail man."

jc

Almost 3 months ago, I was walking my pug near my home. A pitbull ran up from behind us, grabbed my pug and began to tear her apart. As I attempted to get my pug out of the pits mouth, the dog turned on me, slamming me to the ground, knocking me out and biting me repeatedly. When I came to, with a broken wrist, a concussion and a knicked artery, I was told by the owner that his dog "didn't mean" to hurt me and that my 12 lb pug who was aggressively sniffing a flower when we were attacked must have done something to enrage him. These dogs have a bloodlust and can be provoked by a passing breeze. My dog and I are alive due to the kindness of some neighbors who came to our aid-including one incredible guy who shoved his arm in the dog's mouth to pry him off me. The offending dog "disappeared" by the time animal control found him. I love animals in general and dogs in particular, but there are some breeds that just shouldn't be house pets and I don't care how "well trained" they are.

Busfreak

"I love animals in general and dogs in particular, but there are some breeds that just shouldn't be house pets and I don't care how "well trained" they are" says jc.

It's popular to go breed specific but it ain't right. Ask any knowledged person who has dealt with agressive dogs over a period of time and they will tell you that it is sort of like fads...some breeds are in (though of/reported correctly as agressive) and some are not (not thought of at all). When I was growing up it was German Shepards and also Doberman Pinschers.

I an on an HOA in Irvine where a dog was attacked and killed on our street about 3 months ago. I saw it happen and it was caused by two pit bulls or pit bull look-alikes (be careful here too, you would be surprised). Following that there were calls from residents to have bans on certain breeds. I understood that fear. The City of Irvine Animal Control spoke to us at lenght about what can be done and what is effective. You can't go breed specific...it is the owners.

True, there is a proponderance of reports, many factual, that point to certain breeds of dogs that are agressive. But in almost all cases, poor pet ownership comes into play. There is no link to one breed of dog being more agressive than others, however, different breeds are more effective at being agressive than others. And then there is the media hype of the Dooms Dog of our time, the poor pit bull.

In any case, I am glad you and your dog are safe and were not harmed by that frightful experience.

jc

Busfreak,

I don't disagree with you nor am I blaming pits in general. My point is that there are some dogs that have a more aggressive nature and certainly should not be allowed to roam about neighborhoods unleashed. I recently watched my brother-in-laws well-bred, sickly and sweet tempered rottweiler attack another dog unprovoked. I had a pregnant co-workers who breeds and has long defended pit bulls tell me she wanted to move her's out of the house prior to having her baby as "you never know what might set one off.". I know that breeding plays into it. I understand that there are plenty of pit bulls, rotts, dobermans, etc that have never attacked anyone or anything. However, the breeds are generally more vicious. There's a reason the news isn't littered with stories of golden retriever attacks.

Patricia

I have a cousin who is a doctor and he did a rotation in the ER during residency. After the blood and guts he saw caused by "good dogs" tearing kids up, he and his wife do not allow such a breed in their home and counsel their friends to do the same.

Our cities and county cannot even enforce barking laws because of the toothless (pun alert) laws. There are more dogs than ever--if owners are not trained and licensed (good luck on that) what's the alternative to banning certain breeds?

doglover 'fraid of Pits

I'm tiring of the notion that certain breeds of dogs CANT be banned. We don't allow people to keep wolves or other 'wild' dogs within city limits, though i'm sure there are people with the know-how to domesticate these animals. How many times are people mauled by golden retrivers... or even dobermans. At this point there's smoke and fire to these stories, how many kids (or grownups) have to be attacked before this is addressed.

tylerh

JC, Patricia, and others,

You have good reason to fear certain breeds, but breeding has nothing to with it.


Remember the widely loved pooch with the ring around his eye in the thirties children's comedies "Little Rascals"? Pete was a pit bull. The choice of a pit bull to work with the kids wasn't a coincidence: in the thirties the intelligent, loyal, and strong pit bull was considered the ideal dog to have around your children. Pits were raised to be with kids, so Pits _were_ good with kids.

Sadly for Pits' reputation, people looking for strong, aggressive dogs currently favor pit bulls. These tastes move in fads; in the seventies, it was Dobermans. Pit bulls raised by these people (Dobermans back then) don't turn out well -- as your experiences sadly prove. But it's not the breeding, it's the raising.

In conclusion, you are right to fear pit bulls --- but not because of their breeding. Rather, at this moment in time, a pit bull is more likely to have been raised by one of these poor owners than, say, a springer spaniel. But banning pit bulls (or any other breed) would only change which breed these misguided owners selected and do nothing about the root source of the problem: bad owners.

redperegrine

"But it's not the breeding, it's the raising"

I'm not so sure, tyler. If the intent is to create a mean, agressive animal, then breeding (manipulating a gene pool)to create certain traits should not be discounted. This would be done by selectively breeding vicious dogs of unpredictable temperment.

Most dog breeds as we know them have physical characteristic that barely go back as far as the Nineteenth Century. It seems pretty easy to create a mean breed.

Put these creatures in the hands of the type of people who want to exploit them, and well, nurture takes over from nature.

Patricia

Tyler,
Your argument seems to be, let's not do anything because it won't work anyway. It's a common argument--and I don't buy it.

We'll never totally get rid of crime, either, but that shouldn't stop us from trying.

tylerh

Patricia,

My argument is that we should hold owners responsible. Banning a dog breed is another sad example of nanny-state paternalism -- looks good in the papers, doesn't address the problem, and further intrudes government into our lives. The first two are harmless, I guess, but as conservative I have a real problem with the third one.

Treating the owners like any other citizen irresponsibly harming their fellow citizens or their property is the right idea. Which is what the OC DA is doing.

If my dog sends you (or your dog) to the hospital, I should be treated no different than if I had struck you. Would you favor banning hammers if, instead, of instead of Pit Bull you had been injured by a hammer?

Red,

You have a point, but not much of one. Dogs are highly social pack animals. Their environment has a much greater impact on their behavior than than their genetics. The Pit Bull traits that make them so "dangerous" today - strong, tightly bonded to their owners -- made them the ideal pet for children 70 years ago.

tylerh

Patricia,

My argument is that we should hold owners responsible. Banning a dog breed is another sad example of nanny-state paternalism -- looks good in the papers, doesn't address the problem, and further intrudes government into our lives. The first two are harmless, I guess, but as conservative I have a real problem with the third one.

Treating the owners like any other citizen irresponsibly harming their fellow citizens or their property is the right idea. Which is exactly what th OC DA is doing.

If my dog sends you (or your dog) to the hospital, I should be treated no different than if I had struck you. Would you favor banning hammers if, instead, of instead of Pit Bull you had been injured by a hammer?

Red,

You have a point, but not much of one. Dogs are highly social pack animals. Their environment has a much greater impact on their behavior than than their genetics. The Pit Bull traits that make them so "dangerous" today - strong, tightly bonded to their owners -- made them the ideal pet for children 70 years ago.

Patricia

If someone hit me with a hammer, that would be a crime, and the police would arrest the guy who did it.

When was the last time a dog owner was arrested for the actions of his dog? The police do nothing about lots of things that are crimes because of the "sensitivity" of the issue; arresting someone like Ms. Moody would never happen in the real world.

redperegrine

"You have a point, but not much of one."

Gee, thanks, I guess. The lovable pooch on Our Gang doesn't look much like the broad-headed, piggy-eyed brutes of today in their leather shoulder harnesses and spiked collars. Maybe in 70 years pit bulls have been increasingly bred into meaner animals. In any case one animal does not a breed make.

The fact that some breeds are known for their general docility toward humans(think retriever), some for their intelligence (sheep dogs), while some are known as willful, capricious and unpredictable (scottish terriers spring to mind) suggests that behavioral traits are in fact an important part of a breed's genetic make-up.

I can see there are endless stories about Pit Bulls and how you raise them. I'll just add my .02 here. My brother had a pit bull named Sally. She was raised with his children, watched them like a herding dog, growled at people who came too close; slept with the children, slept with the cat, never bit a soul in her entire life. Looked very mean, but was the most lovable lap dog you could ever ask for. She never hurt anything. She was raised with love and sweetness, although her father had been an agressive Pit and my brother was warned that it might "come out" in his dog, it never did. Sally died at a ripe old age, after sleeping with her two cat friends all night, she simply had a heart attack/stroke and we had to put her down. One time she got out of the yard and was wandering around (mailman left the gate open, and even he wasn't afraid of Sally) and she got hit by a car. The city animal control officer took her to the vet got her scrapes patched up (and happened to know my mother, who called in putting in an alert about our Missing Sally). When Sally was taken back to the Police department by the Animal Control Officer, Sally played with the Policemen, sat in their swivel chairs and was treated like a queen until my brother arrived to claim her. God Rest her Good Dog Soul. Sally, yes, a Pit Bull.

jc

I don't think anyone is claiming that all pits maul people or animals, but they do tend to be more aggressive and short tempered than other breeds. Yes, breeding plays a role, but it's already in them. I believe it would be a lot tougher to raise a nasty golden retriever than a nasty pit.

Kim

A week ago my standard poodle was attacked by a pit bull that climbed the fence...If I had not been at home and had God not intervened my dog would have been killed...My dog had played with this dog along the fence for about a year...We didn't know that the owners had recently gotten a female...apparently that was the trigger. I was home by myself and heard them fighting. It was an incredibly tramatic experience...I will NEVER trust a pit bull again...they were bred to attach and not let go. I hit that animal with a shovel and he didn't even flench...it was nothing short of a miracle that we weren't both maimed...my boy is doing well after spending some time at the vet...we are determined to have the pit put down so he won't possibly attack a child next time!

Lyter

First of all, all you idiots who say stupid crap like pits are generally more vicious are plain out uniformed and uneducated about dogs in general. Look at test done to dogs about temperment the pit rank in the top 5 as being less tempermental. Not only that if you look at thier history they were breed to fight other animals,however animal animosity is totally different form human animosity, in fact thier nick name in the 1800's was nanny dog due to the nature of the dog being so kind. Not only that When they were breed to fight any dog that showed human animosity was put down on the spot as the corner men for these dogs had to break up the dog fights several times during fights. So the trait to hate humans was actually bred out of the dog. So all you people dont know anything about the history and are uneducated. Dont belive everything you read or watch. Remeber the news has a tendency to overexagerate for ratings check on pit bulls who are resuce dogs police dogs,dogs for the handicap. Do your proper research before feeding the stupid sterotype and jumping to conclusions.

lyter

Like take a look at this site
http://www.forpitssake.org/sar.html

Jenelle

I am am pit bull owner and love my dog Quade. He is gentle, loving and is wonderful around other dogs and people. For all of those who cannot see past the media frenzy to stereotype pit bulls as mean dogs, I challenge you to find the pit bull out of this group of dogs. Sadly pit bulls are one of the least understood dogs. By the way my friend was bit by a dalmation, yes a dalmation, so don't you dare classify one breed above all others, if so, you are truely an ignorant person.

http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html

Here is great film. Please take the time to look at it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vL1trl1FMUw

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