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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2005-Mar-02, 12:47 PM
Ban pit bulls? yea or nay?

Nicolas
2005-Mar-02, 12:56 PM
Nope. Like all dogs, not every pitbull is a kiling machine. A correctly breeded and trained pitbull is as (un)safe as any other dog (strength and size differ of course). I see no problem with that. I know a very sweet Rottweiler, and there have been really evil Golden Retrievers.

gethen
2005-Mar-02, 01:24 PM
Not practical. Do you ban only registered, full-blood pit bulls, or any dog with some pit bull blood? How do you tell if a vaguely pit-bull-looking dog actually has pit bull blood, since mixed breed dogs seldom come with any breeding records? And what is a pit bull? There is more than one breed that may be called a pit bull.
As noted above, not all pit bulls are killers. Indescriminate breeding (usually for profit) may result in a bad line, but I have known some very sweet, gentle "pit bulls" as well.

N C More
2005-Mar-02, 01:36 PM
Gethen is right, bottom line...the humans are the ones responsible. Irresponsible breeding coupled with inappropriate use and treatment of dogs is what equals danger. Besides, the banning approach won't work anyway (for the reasons gethen cited). May as well accept the reality for this one, it's owner responsibility.

TriangleMan
2005-Mar-02, 01:38 PM
Bermuda bans 23 breeds of dog (http://www.theroyalgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040807/NEWS/108070116&SearchID=73200734344850). Dogs from those breeds cannot be brought to the island and those already here are not allowed to breed. The ban is fairly recent and has caused some problems (http://www.theroyalgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040916/NEWS/109160060&SearchID=73200734312506). There are also concerns that people who already own a 'banned' dog will be less likely to take it to the vet for proper care for fear that it will be taken away.

Wolverine
2005-Mar-02, 01:58 PM
My dog (http://home.austin.rr.com/victorsvaliant/kiva.jpg) is (ž each) boxer, pit bull, rottweiler, & mastiff. If you're not careful, she might do outrageous things like offer you her paw to shake, curl up at your feet, or *gasp* lick you affectionately.

The above posts seem to have the matter well in hand. A dog's behavior largely reflects the nature of its upbringing.

Argos
2005-Mar-02, 02:02 PM
No. We should send the maniacs who turn them into killers to jail and throw away the keys.

Moose
2005-Mar-02, 02:13 PM
I'm somewhat undecided.

It goes against my grain to condemn an entire breed when the issue, in my mind, is more that the individual dog is anti-social and/or the owner is irresponsible.

That said, my view is colored by the fact that I've been in three very dangerous encounters in my lifetime.

Once as a kid (I was around twelve, IIRC), I was confronted by a loose pit-bull. It was in a very hostile posture, but wasn't claiming dominance (it was turned, slightly.) I had had no choice but to claim alpha and convince the dog that attacking me was a losing proposition. It took me an hour to ease myself out of it's claimed territory, backing a half-step at a time, then having to reestablish dominance, etc. I have no doubt that had I shown the slightest bit of submissiveness, it would have struck. I doubt I would have been able to fight it off if I'd been unsuccessful. First and only time I've ever had the "shakes" once I'd come down off the adrenaline rush.

About ten years ago, on my walk to work, I'd been charged by something that looked like a black bath pillow with a rat's head. Ugly little thing. It was on its chain, so it wasn't that big a deal. I ended up staring that critter down as well, though. It never bothered me again on my walk to work, and it wasn't that much of a danger to me, worst case. Still, I wonder how many other people it's attempted to attack. There were a significant number of pedestrian seniors and school kids living on that street.

And last year, I was walking downtown when I was again confronted (charged from behind) by a loose dog, this time some big mutt. (Big enough to be a real danger.) Again, I had to establish dominance, but it backed down and left after a few minutes.

(I wonder if it's a coincidence that all three dogs were submissive-aggressive.)

Basically, I've had first hand experience with what can happen when a dog goes bad. And I hate to say it, but I've been jumped on and accosted frequently enough even when the dog was supposedly "in control" that I have little remaining faith that the majority of dog owners are responsible. (Usually getting the patronizing "he's just being playful" "he's really friendly, honest" nonsense.) I see little evidence of it.

I think my answer is leaning towards both approaches.

I think pet owners should be held more responsible for the behavior of their pets. But while I acknowledge at least a significant minority of power-breed animals with excellent characters (I've met dobies and sheps I've felt perfectly safe around), the fact is that if a power-breed animal goes bad, everyone in its surroundings is put in very serious, and potentially deadly danger.

TriangleMan
2005-Mar-02, 02:23 PM
Perhaps this is the news story (http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/03/01/pit-bull-ban050301.html) that inspired BBP to start the thread. Legislation to ban pit bulls in the Canadian province of Ontario.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-02, 02:25 PM
Moose, just out of curiosity, how does one claim dominance over a dog? Do you mean standing still and large, staring at the dog etc? (this could beh andy to know one day...)

worzel
2005-Mar-02, 02:27 PM
I am curious, does anyone know what the death toll is due to dog attacks in the States and in the UK?

I think a large problem with dog attacks is that people are already afraid of nasty looking barking dogs due to the media. My ex used to work in a dog resuce and shelter place and they get some real head case dogs. You had to be resolute but I never knew of a dog that wouldn't back down to a confident person - it's all psychology and we definitely have the upper hand.

I don't think it is reasonable, though, to expect everybody to learn dog body language to protect themselves, the responsibility must lie with the owners. Dogs are really wolves in perpetual puppydom and need good parenting just like any other child.

Argos
2005-Mar-02, 02:32 PM
I am curious, does anyone know what the death toll is due to dog attacks in the States and in the UK?

Just the other day I was reading an article accounting that 1500 americans die from dog attacks per year. I donīt have UK figures.

Swift
2005-Mar-02, 02:36 PM
Believe it or not (I love google) this (http://www.dogbitelegalcenter.com/resources/dogbite_statistics.html) is an entire website devoted to legal issues involving dog bites. I think they are selling legal services. :-? I am therefore a little dubious about their numbers, but this is what they say

In 1997 and 1998, at least 27 people died as a result of dog bite attacks (18 in 1997, and 9 in 1998). Of these, 19 were young children between zero and 11 years of age, and 8 were older children and adults between 17 and 87 years of age.

Edited to respond to Argo's comment - I have doubts about this website, but I don't believe 1500 either, that seems much too high.

Back to the question, no I don't believe in banning a breed. I think the owners need to be held responsible, to the point that they are charged with assault or murder as appropriate.

worzel
2005-Mar-02, 02:36 PM
Moose, just out of curiosity, how does one claim dominance over a dog? Do you mean standing still and large, staring at the dog etc? (this could beh andy to know one day...)
Stare it in the eyes with your eyes as wide and unblinking as possible - that usually works - it's certanly very aggresive as far as a dog is concerned. But it's usually easier just to make friends with the dog.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Mar-02, 02:38 PM
My mom got torn into by my sisters "pet" so bad the paramedics had to give her blood before transporting her to the hospital. He got ahold of her wrist and nailed the artery. There was so much blood spattered around the room due to the shaking he gave her that it looked like an ax murder had taken place.

The incident was directly the result of my sister never taking the time to teach the dog it's place in the pack, our family. That is the key, as dogs are a pack animal, and will stay very much in line with what they see as the established heirarchy of the pack. Bad dogs are only bad dogs because of bad owners. They were not properly acclimated to socialize.

The case of animals intentionally trained to be agressive is a whole different matter. Ideally, they should never be allowed in public without proper equipment and a trained handler. That means a muzzle, a sturdy leash, and a person certified to handle dangerous animals.

That being said, what an administrative nightmare that would be, not to mention the difficulty of enforcement.

I read something a few years ago that was along the lines of claiming that most breeds of dogs are no more likely to be aggressive than others. It cited dog attack statistics that showed attacks were distributed roughly proportionate to the population of each breed. The most commonly owned dog was the German Shepherd. The dog you are most likely to get bit by, the German Shepherd. And so on. Now what kind of damage they did once they did bite, . . . a whole different story.

Argos
2005-Mar-02, 02:39 PM
Edited to respond to Argo's comment - I have doubts about this website, but I don't believe 1500 either, that seems much too high.


Yep, it seemed so to me too...

Moose
2005-Mar-02, 02:40 PM
Moose, just out of curiosity, how does one claim dominance over a dog? Do you mean standing still and large, staring at the dog etc? (this could beh andy to know one day...)

Yeah, basically by taking on the same sort of body language dogs use to establish precedence.

Animals negociating pecking order have certain common behaviors.

Dogs accepting submission will turn their heads and not look straight at you. Dogs seeking dominance will face head on. If both dogs claim dominance, they'll stare at each other until one backs down and turns their head after a few seconds. If neither dog is willing to back down, then there's potential for a fight.

I'm not really sure what happens when both dogs attempt to be submissive. I've never seen that sort of interaction play out.

Cats also do this, sort of, but the protocols are a little different, and appear to be at least somewhat gender based.

Both cats and dogs negociate pecking order with each other and with humans.

In my case, because each dog was instigating a territorial response, but not claiming alpha, I had little reason to believe that adopting a submissive pose was going to help the situation any.

Doodler
2005-Mar-02, 02:55 PM
No way in heck, if you train them to viciousness, you pay the price. Holding a dog fully accountable for the actions for which it is trained to do is the legal equivalent of holding a human of diminished mental capacity accountable in a court of law. Dogs know what they are trained to know and are conditioned by genetic to go down fighting for their 'pack'. If their master, whom they view as their alpha, orders them to attack, its beyond their capacity to question that authority.

Nicolas
2005-Mar-02, 02:55 PM
OK so in fact you got to show the dog "I'm here, and I know you are here, an you're the one that will get out of MY way", by showing no posture suggesting you are willing to move back, and facing the dog untill he stops facing you, but not by shouting at the animal or things like that. Correct?

farmerjumperdon
2005-Mar-02, 02:59 PM
I agree that the proactive responsibility is with the owner. They should be aware of the potential for harm (most aren't) and prepared to deal with it. But in the real world a person needs to be able to react to the reality of a threatening situation - so I advocate that everyone, especially children, should be taught how to protect themselves. I mean, correctly placing blame with the owner is little compensation after getting mauled.

Establishing dominance is a good tactic, but can backfire badly if it is a bluff you can not back up and the dog doesn't buy it. Taking a passive or subordinate posture is more likely to be successful. That is, head down (but keep an eye on the dog), do not lock stares, body turned sideways, limp posture (even bent over or on one knee if the dog is a safe distance to do so), maybe even extend a limp arm (but not close enough to get bit).

I've used this a couple times, and both times the dog went totally relaxed and friendly within a few seconds. I did have the dominating strategy backfire once.

If you are actually under attack and are not able to fend off the dog, the best thing to do is ball up and cover you neck and head as much as possible. Unless the dog is trained to kill, they will back down after they realize you have given up. They will almost always back down if you back down first, AND carefully make your way out of their territory.

Doodler
2005-Mar-02, 03:00 PM
Just a further note on dangerous canine breeds. ANY dog can be turned into an unquestioningly loyal and deadly weapon. My mother briefly had a cocker spaniel that spent its entire life around women. When we took her after her original owner died of cancer, that dog absolutely could not stand to be around men. Even after several attempts by me to acclimate her, she would still go after me and my mother's boyfriend with intent to maim. We finally had to get rid of her.

iFire
2005-Mar-02, 03:06 PM
My dog (a four year old Irish Setter) sometimes forgets his place and will growl at me while I am eating. I will usually stare at him, and if he barks, I yell back. He usually becomes all submissive. Sometimes I will have to stand up and make myself all bigger, but he usually remembers that I am superior. :wink:

worzel
2005-Mar-02, 03:09 PM
That is the key, as dogs are a pack animal, and will stay very much in line with what they see as the established heirarchy of the pack. Bad dogs are only bad dogs because of bad owners. They were not properly acclimated to socialize.
Absolutely, me and my ex had a rescued dog that had spent years on the streets fending for itself and was possibly mistreated before. He was very aggressive at first, unhomable, which is why we had him. I had to call his bluff the first few times he threatened to pounce and leap forwad and overpower him, but once he got used to living with humans and knew his place (along with his place on the bed) he was very obedient and only wanted to please. It was quite a transormation.


The case of animals intentionally trained to be agressive is a whole different matter. Ideally, they should never be allowed in public without proper equipment and a trained handler. That means a muzzle, a sturdy leash, and a person certified to handle dangerous animals.
Ideally they wouldn't be trained to be aggressive in the first place.


If neither dog is willing to back down, then there's potential for a fight.
You can usually avoid a fight by attacking first. Just like with humans, the real aggressor will attack first when they see hesitation in the other, and the aggressor almost always wins. If it looks like the dog is going to attack then rush it, what have you got to lose anyway. You'll be amazed how many dogs (and people) will simply back off no matter how aggressive they initially appeared.

Cylinder
2005-Mar-02, 03:11 PM
Not until after you ban Cocker Spaniels! :evil:

:P

farmerjumperdon
2005-Mar-02, 03:23 PM
I would be very careful about advising people to attack first because you might not have anything to lose. If you are not confident you can win the fight, best to be submissive. The dog will almost certainly back down once it feels it has established dominance. Maybe you get a couple minor bites on your arms from covering up.

If a bluffed attack backfires, a person could be in big trouble. I've duked it out a couple times with large breed dogs. Very scary. I am 6'2", 200 lbs. and very cool in a crisis. Anything much less and you will be burnt toast.

Every crisis situation is unique, and there's no fit-all answer; but in a dog attack situation, the average person's default first strategy should be submissive.

Moose
2005-Mar-02, 03:33 PM
OK so in fact you got to show the dog "I'm here, and I know you are here, an you're the one that will get out of MY way", by showing no posture suggesting you are willing to move back, and facing the dog untill he stops facing you, but not by shouting at the animal or things like that. Correct?

Well... Nicolas, you need to realize that I'm very much a layperson (and a cat person, no less), and am not in any way qualified to offer advice on how to train dogs.

You might consider consulting a dog trainer on how to properly establish dominance with a strange animal.

What I did was based on 1 part basic principles, 3 parts instinct, and at least some significant component of blind luck. (And in the case of the bath pillow with legs, it was tied up. I held all the cards, so I could afford to screw up.)

I certainly don't go out of my way to interact with hostile dogs, and to be honest, there's only ever been a handful of dogs I've ever come to like, much less wanted to get to know.

gethen
2005-Mar-02, 03:38 PM
Just a further note on dangerous canine breeds. ANY dog can be turned into an unquestioningly loyal and deadly weapon. My mother briefly had a cocker spaniel that spent its entire life around women. When we took her after her original owner died of cancer, that dog absolutely could not stand to be around men. Even after several attempts by me to acclimate her, she would still go after me and my mother's boyfriend with intent to maim. We finally had to get rid of her.
And when my husband first started practicing veterinary medicine, it was a fact that, in this state, the dog that most veterinarians were bitten by was the cocker spaniel. Doodler is correct. Any breed can go down the wrong path with irresponsible breeding and improper training. Chow chows, Springer Spaniels, Rottweilers, all have had their turn at being seen as "bad" breeds, but there are numerous examples of very nice, gentle dogs in those breeds too. It sometimes seems that the more popular the breed, the more overbreeding occurs, and the more bad traits that may be perpetuated. And then you add the ignorant or irresponsible dog owner and the recipe for disaster is complete.

worzel
2005-Mar-02, 03:51 PM
I would be very careful about advising people to attack first because you might not have anything to lose. If you are not confident you can win the fight, best to be submissive. The dog will almost certainly back down once it feels it has established dominance. Maybe you get a couple minor bites on your arms from covering up.

If a bluffed attack backfires, a person could be in big trouble. I've duked it out a couple times with large breed dogs. Very scary. I am 6'2", 200 lbs. and very cool in a crisis. Anything much less and you will be burnt toast.

Every crisis situation is unique, and there's no fit-all answer; but in a dog attack situation, the average person's default first strategy should be submissive.
Fair point, I'm talking from my own personal experience with dogs and my knowledge of self defense with people. I'm no dog expert, and I am rather capable when it comes to aggression (full contact tournament fighting does that to you). I did originally say that usually it's easie to befriend the dog, and I did mean to attack first only if you feel a fight is unavoidable - the difficulty is in judging that moment.

Moose
2005-Mar-02, 03:59 PM
Establishing dominance is a good tactic, but can backfire badly if it is a bluff you can not back up and the dog doesn't buy it. Taking a passive or subordinate posture is more likely to be successful. That is, head down (but keep an eye on the dog), do not lock stares, body turned sideways, limp posture (even bent over or on one knee if the dog is a safe distance to do so), maybe even extend a limp arm (but not close enough to get bit).

Agreed. In all cases, I was prepared to go submissive if the dog was truly claiming alpha. I was not going to stick to my guns and fight for it.

In the case of the pit bull, his posture wasn't "negociate", it was "desired to strike, if I think I can". In my experience, a negociation session with a new dog is entirely civilized and over in about ten seconds when properly executed. The dog wanted to strike, but wasn't sure if it could do so successfully. My only chance to survive the encounter was to take advantage of that hesitancy.

It was a gamble, no doubt about that.

Grey
2005-Mar-02, 04:09 PM
Once as a kid (I was around twelve, IIRC), I was confronted by a loose pit-bull. It was in a very hostile posture, but wasn't claiming dominance (it was turned, slightly.) I had had no choice but to claim alpha and convince the dog that attacking me was a losing proposition. It took me an hour to ease myself out of it's claimed territory, backing a half-step at a time, then having to reestablish dominance, etc. I have no doubt that had I shown the slightest bit of submissiveness, it would have struck. I doubt I would have been able to fight it off if I'd been unsuccessful.
I'm impressed that you knew this much about dog social behavior at twelve, especially since you say you haven't really had that much experience with them.

Messenger
2005-Mar-02, 04:10 PM
Interesting observation about the aggressor usually winning; I believe this is probably true. That said, however....my purebred German Shepherd's baseline personality is nervous. If she were to react threateningly to someone, it wouldn't be a dominance or territorial issue; she is afraid of them. There are indicators for which kind of dog you're dealing with, nervous or aggressive; they are not the same, and cannot be dealt with the same way. A dominant-aggressive dog will attack if you drop down to their eye level; a nervous dog will lick your hand. An entire first grade class once literally piled on top of my dog so that she was forced down to the floor, and she never twitched. But if a blonde woman approaches her, she starts snarling, because she was beaten by a blonde woman before I got her. She's been a fantastic dog for my family, and I've trained her to accept alot of different situations, but I know that no dog is ever completely bomb-proof, so I watch her pretty closely. Training classes ought to be mandatory for large breeds. It would save alot of heartache.

zebo-the-fat
2005-Mar-02, 04:25 PM
Just don't EVER leave young kids alone with a dog, ANY dog. It may be nice, sweet and lovable until something spooks it and it tries to eat the kids face. :( Also remember that dogs are pack animals, make sure that the dog knows it's place in the pack ie. humans (all humans) are top dog. :D

(Btw, I LIKE dogs! )

Evan
2005-Mar-02, 04:31 PM
To the original question, banning a particular breed is a legal impossibility if someone really wants to take it all the way to the top. There is no way for the authorities to prove what breed of dog you have. There are no genetic markers known that can be used to distinguish one breed from another. In fact, if I give two blood samples to a geneticist, one from a wolf and one from a domestic dog, they will not be able to tell me which is which. Do not confuse this with DNA matching, this is DNA profiling.

Domestic dogs were reclassified around about 1995 as Canis Lupus, subspecies Domesticus (or Familiaris). This has been fought against for years by various authorities. The reason is that they have banned ownership of wolves in many jurisdictions using the argument that canine rabies vaccine has not been proven effective on wolves, formerly considered a different species. With the change in species classification of dogs this argument is no longer available.

The bottom line is that they can only ban a breed based on appearance. There is nothing else they can test. This is highly unlikely to stand up in court and is a waste of money and time.

TriangleMan
2005-Mar-02, 05:07 PM
This is highly unlikely to stand up in court and is a waste of money and time.
There have been areas of Canada with breed bans for years, notably Winnipeg. I doubt the province of Ontario would have considered the legislation if they thought it had no chance of standing up in court.
This group (http://www.doglegislationcouncilcanada.org/) sure seems concerned about such legislation.

worzel
2005-Mar-02, 05:19 PM
There have been areas of Canada with breed bans for years, notably Winnipeg.
Winnipeg doesn't exist (http://www.holocaust-history.org/%7Erjg/challenge.shtml)

Moose
2005-Mar-02, 05:20 PM
Once as a kid (I was around twelve, IIRC), I was confronted by a loose pit-bull. It was in a very hostile posture, but wasn't claiming dominance (it was turned, slightly.) I had had no choice but to claim alpha and convince the dog that attacking me was a losing proposition. It took me an hour to ease myself out of it's claimed territory, backing a half-step at a time, then having to reestablish dominance, etc. I have no doubt that had I shown the slightest bit of submissiveness, it would have struck. I doubt I would have been able to fight it off if I'd been unsuccessful.

I'm impressed that you knew this much about dog social behavior at twelve, especially since you say you haven't really had that much experience with them.

I read obsessively. It was something I'd picked up... somewhere or other.

Of course, for all I knew, it could have been just another "woo" hypothesis, and I could have ended up so much dog meat for trying that out of desperation.

Evan
2005-Mar-02, 06:13 PM
Triangleman,

I think it is pretty self evident that if you ban a particular breed and then cannot prove a dog belongs to that breed that the ban will be ineffective. I have done a lot of study in the area of dog genetics as it is an area of particular concern to me.

I own a Karelian Bear Dog. These dogs are so far flying under the radar because it is such an uncommon breed. They are not known for attacking people, I have never heard of such an incident.

But, when dealing with other animals they are the most vicious animal I know and I'm not just talking about dogs.

These are little guys (50#) used to hunt bear and moose. I have one about five years old. They have a special attitude about other animals of ANY kind (not including humans). Any other animal falls into one of three categories:

Too big or too small to bother with (horse, chickadee).

Otherwise it's food, therefore it must be killed immediately and with extreme prejudice to eat it. Or, it's an enemy, therefore it must be killed immediately with extreme prejudice. She never attempts to dominate, only exterminate.

Fortunately she has only met other dogs when muzzled. Even then she runs at them and chest butts them to the ground. She has reflexes faster than a cat and catches birds from the air. She is muscled like an olympic athelete. It is possible to socialize a male and female pair and working together they can kill a bear. All Karelian Bear Dogs are alpha males, even the females.

She does not take time to determine the attitude or submissiveness of another animal. She immediately runs and launches. She sounds like a ten dog fight at the same time. You cannot believe it until you see it. I have had many dogs over the years and have never seen anything like it.

Around people is an entirely different story. She knows precisely what the pack heirarchy is. She loves children and wouldn't attack one to save her life I am sure.

These characteristics are close to the original instincts of the wolf.

As a responsible dog owner I never let her loose when outside. She is either on a leash, a long running line or when we are all out she is on a long line attached to a tire that she can pull around. If she is walked off our property she is muzzled.

As an interesting point that has been determined recently the degree of domestication of a dog is closely related to increased coat variegation and upward curling of the tail.

TriangleMan
2005-Mar-02, 09:26 PM
I think it is pretty self evident that if you ban a particular breed and then cannot prove a dog belongs to that breed that the ban will be ineffective. I have done a lot of study in the area of dog genetics as it is an area of particular concern to me.
Unfortunately laws, especially ones that might be knee-jerk reactions to a tragedy such as banned-breed laws, do not necessarily need to consider things that are self-evident in order to work. In this instance banned-breed laws exist in some Canadian jurisdictions, France, Germany, Bermuda and some US communities. How do they make it work based on what you've said above? Beats me. Yet they exist just the same. For all we know some jurisdictions take a guilty-until-proven-innocent approach, ie. if the owner can't prove that the dog is not a banned-breed then it falls under the ban. I believe in Bermuda the ban applies to mixed-breed dogs where one parent is a banned dog.

I'm not in favour of banned-breed laws but based on the many jurisdictions that they exist in I'm not sure these laws are a simple matter that are "highly unlikely to stand up in court".

Gillianren
2005-Mar-02, 11:22 PM
I have never liked dogs as a species. there have been individual dogs that I've liked, and a few more that I've tolerated, but I'm a cat person and always have been.

when I was a kid, the woman across the street from us had a couple or three pit bulls. the one she babied (Sugar, no less) was vicious to everyone but her. even though I spent huge amounts of time at this woman's house, unto cleaning dog poo in her backyard (she was in a wheelchair, and couldn't get to a lot of places), this dog would lunge at me a fair amount of the time. but of course, Sugar was just a sweetheart and wouldn't hurt anyone.

on the other hand, the pitbull she, at least in my opinion, mistreated (kept it in a narrow run between her house and the neighbor's fence and never let it out) actually was a sweetheart and one of the few dogs I've liked.

was she an irresponsible pet owner? yes, in the case of both dogs. she let Sugar believe she could get away w/anything, whereas the other one (whose name, unfortunately, I can no longer remember) was in a space about five feet wide and maybe twenty or twenty-five long that never actually got direct sunlight. the fact that the mistreated dog was a sweetheart anyway kind of proves, at least to me, that the breed was not to blame.

my boss and his ex-girlfriend keep greyhounds. they're pretty dumb, most of them (just overbred, I guess), but the ones trained on live bait can be vicious, especially when chasing cats or squirrels or whatever.

I am opposed to banning breeds, but I think dog owners need to start taking more responsibility. I went to an SCA event once where one group tied a vicious dog up next to the biffies and left it there. when it was in their camp, it was on a muzzle. when they tied it up by the biffies, it wasn't, so I guess they just wanted to ensure clean bathrooms for their group, huh?

Argos
2005-Mar-03, 02:17 PM
Just don't EVER leave young kids alone with a dog, ANY dog. It may be nice, sweet and lovable until something spooks it and it tries to eat the kids face. :(

Agreed. Behind those sweet eyes an ancient wild wolf lurks... (I also like dogs; Iīve 4 of them. :))

farmerjumperdon
2005-Mar-03, 03:44 PM
Yeah, I live on a farm (duh) and am asked at least a couple times per year to take in a dog. Most people do not understand my flat out refusal without even hearing about the details of the dog. We've got 2 little girls, and there is no way I would bring an adult dog bigger than a mini into our home.

Relatedly, we are on the fringe of a metro area and a prime place for people to dump unwanted pets. I average 3 or 4 per year that end up in my yard. As an animal lover, it breaks my heart to take them to the shelter, especially the ones that I know have very little chance of being adopted.

There was a grizzled old Great Dane once. Scared the bejesus out of me at first. Turned out he was docile as all get out with me. He behaved like a perfect gentleman riding around the countryside, going farm to farm looking for clues to where he might have come from. But no way was I going to thrust a 150# adult dog into our household.

jt-3d
2005-Mar-03, 03:51 PM
The folks I know with farms/ranches say they just blast em. Saves on gas I suppose. I'm sure some get poisoned. I found a poisoned cat once. He was in bad shape until he finally died. Your mutt, your problem.

So there you go folks, don't take your unwanted mutts to the country. They won't last long.

farmerjumperdon
2005-Mar-03, 04:00 PM
Yeah, I know most of my neighbors are inclined to just kill them. I'm just too much of a softie to put a bullet in them. And besides, there have been 1 or 2 that were just local escapees.

You make a good point though. If people who dump their animals in our neighborhood knew that the animal was about 95% likely to be killed by a farmer or the shelter, would they still do it? Or as long as the animal is out of their hands, they don't care? I'll bet many of them would claim to be animal lover's.

Raptor1967
2005-Mar-03, 05:13 PM
I have two pit bulls two cats two goldfish and three kids. One dog Luna the oldest is a very meek animal that is constantly running around with her tail between her legs. The other cleo is very energetic and loves to roughhouse. I wouldn't trade these dogs for anything. The protect me home and my family when I am away. They are very loving and playful but like any dog will get vicious if threatened.

A few things that need to be understood about pit bulls.

1) Pit bulls by the very nature of the breed are not normally aggressive to people . Dogs that attacked there owners were usually put down. They were bred to fight other dogs not people.

2) Pit bulls (like the German Shepard) are very maternal. They will protect the children in the family from any and all threats (I know this from experience)

3) A properly trained and cared for dog is not aggressive. Aggressiveness comes from lack of discipline and attention.

4) pit-bull jaws DO NOT LOCK when they bite down on you you can dislodge a pit bulls bite as easily as a horses by cramming your fingers into the area of the jaw where the teeth stop. Back of jawbone. This always makes them open up..

5) well pitties are very powerful you can render the dog immobile by simply sitting on the animals hindquarters. they are unable to move or turn and attack when in this predicament.

All that being stated I agree that kids should NEVER be left alone with the animals. More so when the dogs outnumber the people. They are just that, an animal and should be expected to react like an animal. I laugh at people that say "MY dog would never attack anyone"

The problem with pit bulls is the people that buy them to have an aggressive dog around. They get a thrill out of the fear this animal brings out in people.

I love my dogs I think they are great. I have never had a problem with them but again they live a very disciplined lifestyle. My children do not play alone with them. And they are restricted to certain areas of the house and yard. they are punished immediately for any wrongdoing and they visit the vets once a month to be checked out for genetic and health problems. I am constantly training them and I exercise them constantly.

People should be required to go through a training course before being allowed to own any large breed.


THE PROBLEM IS NOT WITH THE DOGS BUT WITH THE OWNERS.

so NO the breed should not be banned but I do agree that something needs to be done to stop the drug dealers and redneck beer guzzling truck driving morons from owning one.

JMHO

Sheki
2005-Mar-03, 05:23 PM
Evan wrote:


Around people is an entirely different story. She knows precisely what the pack heirarchy is. She loves children and wouldn't attack one to save her life I am sure.

That gives me chills Evan. The number of times someone has said that, or similar about a dog, only to see it lunge at me the moment the owner turns his back...

Also, many of the posts above speak to avoiding dog attacks through proper body langauge etc. While that's all well and good, the few times that I have been attacked I was never even aware that there was a dog in the vicinity until it was upon me. For instance, I would be just walking down the street and suddenly I notice a blur of fur out of the corner of my eye... I have absolutely no use for people who leave their dogs unattended and unrestrained outside.

Nevertheless, I am VERY much a dog person, although I don't own any myself (allergic).

I voted "no". I see no need to ban a breed, but then again, I don't really see the need to ban most things. I figure it would be sufficient to see people held accountable for their dogs. I see a dog as being very much the same as any potentially dangerous possesion (like a car, or a gun). If I am negligent to the extent that someone gets hurt by my car or my gun, then it is my fault and I bear responsibility. The same should be true of owning a dog. However, I take that position to an extreme, where the owner should be held criminally accountable for their dog's actions.

Sheki

Evan
2005-Mar-03, 06:00 PM
That gives me chills Evan. The number of times someone has said that, or similar about a dog, only to see it lunge at me the moment the owner turns his back...

Sheki,

We have owned various different breeds including German shepard, Border collie, Alaskan malamute and others. The Bear Dog is totally different with a personality completely unlike any other dog I have met. We are both very much dog people and very well versed in "dog speak". We live in a very rural area and both have a lot of experience with animals.

The Bear Dogs were bred by the Vikings for a thousand years to be fearless for hunting big game but at the same time to protect the family with their lives. I have not the slightest concern with her around children. Again, you would have to see her.

Ours is incredibly intelligent. I keep threatening to teach her how to spell using alphabet blocks. She watches television and takes note of animals she sees, especially dogs.

What is amazing is how gentle she is with nearly all people. She has her favorites but she has only ever threatened a person on a couple of occasions. When a drunk came blustering in to my wife's business making demands of some sort she got her back up. Another time she unaccountably wouldn't stop snarling at a guy who came in. He left. Turned out later that he had been robbing several business in the area at knife point.

She has the most gentle mouth of any dog we have owned. You can feed her a piece of blood dripping fresh meat with your fingers in her mouth and you won't even feel a tooth touch you. You can take her food away from her with no complaint. So can a child.

Raptor1967
2005-Mar-03, 06:15 PM
She has the most gentle mouth of any dog we have owned. You can feed her a piece of blood dripping fresh meat with your fingers in her mouth and you won't even feel a tooth touch you. You can take her food away from her with no complaint. So can a child.

Do you have a pic of this wonderfull animal

:)

Nicolas
2005-Mar-03, 06:24 PM
She has the most gentle mouth of any dog we have owned. You can feed her a piece of blood dripping fresh meat with your fingers in her mouth and you won't even feel a tooth touch you. You can take her food away from her with no complaint. So can a child.

Do you have a pic of this wonderfull animal

:)

"yes but only bad ones, taken from behind a glass wall" :lol:

Raptor1967
2005-Mar-03, 06:37 PM
http://globaleffort.no-ip.com/dandc.jpg

My Son and our Puppy Cleo

This dog can jump 9 feet into there air from a seated position. She likes to jump up to the tree and pull off braches to play with.

Evan
2005-Mar-03, 07:01 PM
This is Lika, our beardog. She never closes her eyes when out, never snoozes even on a warm summer day. She is always alert and on guard.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/lika1.jpg

This is inside. Her personality changes like flipping a switch. When inside it's my job or my wifes job to guard the den. Then she can relax (by her toys).

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/lika2.jpg

Nicolas
2005-Mar-03, 07:03 PM
:) I love the instincts of your Lika! Isn't that kind of behaviour fantastic, I mean the way it is embedded in this animal.

:-({|= "My name is Lika, I live on the second floor" :-({|=

Raptor1967
2005-Mar-03, 07:18 PM
boy he certainly looks fearless with that stance. :)

That is an absolutely beautiful animal

Nicolas
2005-Mar-03, 07:26 PM
Lika really seems to take his job extremely serious, on both photos.