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Loonie Pitbull Enthusiast Denialism: BB Guns Versus Bushmaster AR-15s

The loonie pitbull enthusiasts really don’t want to understand that the issue isn’t whether pitbulls are more or less intrinsically “friendly” than yorkies and bichons, but that once a pitbull decides to chomp down on your ass, there’s a good chance you’re gonna end up maimed or dead. If a yorkie or bichon decides to chomp down on your ass, you laugh and punt it into the next county.

Comments

  1. says

    Oh fuck, not you too.

    Yep, big dogs are going to be more likely to cause more damage than small dog. Just the same as getting hit by a transport truck is more likely to cause more harm than getting hit by a mini cooper.

    Here’s the thing that you and your buddy Drugmoney don’t seem to get: when you spout off on something you aren’t an expert on, and that you REFUSE to learn about from reputable sources, when you don’t seem to recognize media bias of this topic, when you ignore the evidence that shows there are things other than breed that are better indicators of dangerous dogs, when you keep on spouting off the same bullshit over and over and over again – it puts a cloud of uncertainty over EVERYTHING else you write.

    How can I trust what you write on any other topic, when you are clearly, repeatedly, proudly and vocally ignorant on this one?

  2. liokae says

    A: And if a Siberian huskie goes after you, you’ll get pretty messed up as well. What’s your point?
    B: Quit using loonie as a synonym for “people who disagree with me”, ass.

  3. ildi says

    The loonie pitbull, Rottweiler, Springer Spaniel, German Shepherd, Jack Russell Terrier, Chow Chow, Saint Bernard, Collie, Labrador Retriever and mixed breed (American Veterinary Medical Association) enthusiasts really don’t want to understand that the issue isn’t whether pitbulls, Labs, Springer Spaniels, Collies, etc. are more or less intrinsically “friendly” than yorkies and bichons, but that once a pitbull, Lab, Springer Spaniel, Collie, etc.decides to chomp down on your ass, there’s a good chance you’re gonna end up maimed or dead. If a yorkie or bichon decides to chomp down on your ass, you laugh and punt it into the next county.

    There, didn’t want you to embarrass yourself by making any silly category errors.

    Btw, biting Bichons is no laughing matter. They often will lunge with no warning; their bites can and do draw blood, and it can be especially frightening when they lunge at your face while they’re sitting next to you on the couch. Most Bichons with temperament issues are shelter dogs that came from abusive homes or from puppy mills… hmm, I sense a pattern…

  4. ildi says

    I’d much rather get bit on the face by a bichon than a pit bull.

    How about your friendly Labrador, like the French woman who got the world’s first face transplant? The dog bit part of her face off while she was passed out on pills. What’s interesting about the coverage of that story is the fact that it was a Lab is either not mentioned or buried way down in the story. Or, you can have this spin as reported by the NY Times:

    She passed out on a sofa in her apartment as the pills took effect and her black Labrador, Tania, apparently tried to wake her, pawing at her face and eventually biting and chewing at her lips, nose and chin.

    Jeanne-Marie Binot, director of the local Society for the Protection of Animals, which later took in the dog, said the behavior was not unusual.

    “Dogs are carnivores, after all,” Ms. Binot said, adding that dogs will only chew at human flesh if the subject is inert. Ms. Binot said Ms. Dinoire’s wounds were not consistent with an attack by an aggressive dog, which would normally bite and release and bite again.

    I guess that puts the Yorkies and Bichons back in the running, eh? Just don’t pass out around them…

    It’s an example of what Joshua Holland points out in his article on Alternet:

    The media’s role in amplifying the public’s fear of pitbull-type dogs was evident in a study conducted by the National Canine Research Council in 2008. When an Arizona woman was killed by one or more dogs identified as Labrador retrievers, one local newspaper reported the story. But that same year, when a California man was killed by one or more pitbulls, the incident was reported “by at least 285 media outlets, both nationally (in 47 U.S. states) and internationally (in eight other countries). MSNBC, Forbes, USA Today, Fox News, CBS News, and ABC News all picked up the story.”

    And when an infant in New Jersey was reportedly killed by a Siberian husky, around a dozen local news outlets reported the tragic incident, according to the study. But when another infant was killed by what authorities described as a pitbull in Nevada the same month, it was reported by over 200 media outlets around the world, often with the word “pitbull” in the headlines. Like shark attacks, our perception of the risk associated with these dogs has a lot to do with this kind of sensationalism.

  5. timevans says

    Yes, I’d also much rather be bit on the face by a bichon than a labrador.

    I’m pretty sure even a teacup poodle could eat my face off if I were passed out on pills. The question is, if a teacup poodle, or bichon, or lab, or pit bull, decides it would like to eat my face while I’m fully conscious and not otherwise physically impaired, would I be able to stop it?

    I haven’t spent any time looking into studies comparing bite/release patterns for particular breeds, or bite strength, or any other factors or tendencies that might influence my ability to prevent an attacking dog from tearing my face off. But I have no problem accepting the idea that pitbulls (and labradors, and german shepherds, and whatever other large breed of dog) are inherently more able to threaten me physically than smaller breeds.

  6. timevans says

    Greyhounds aren’t the only dogs that run.

    No greyhound is running flat-out 100% of the time, and there are probably some greyhounds that can’t run at all or just don’t like to.

    But I think it’s safe to assume that if you see a dog running and it’s a greyhound, most of the time it’s probably running faster than nearly any other breed of dog. And you don’t have to know anything about how it was raised, or by whom, to make that a safe assumption in the majority of cases.

  7. DrugMonkey says

    Your average 2 year old can kick a Yorkie into next week and I’d give most 12 month olds good odds of keeping one from doing too much damage.

    Full grown ass strong men have a tough time surviving an attack from one of those adorable pitbulls*.

    *or any other of those dangerous “category errors” you dumbass loonies try to pull as a stupid distraction.

  8. pittiesaresmoochunsdeathtobichons says

    But some poor girl was killed by a lion at a sanctuary so therefore pitbulls are totally safe!!!!!!!

  9. ildi says

    Full grown ass strong men have a tough time surviving an attack from one of those adorable pitbulls*.

    *or any other of those dangerous “category errors” you dumbass loonies try to pull as a stupid distraction.

    Pointing out that a full grown man would also have a tough time surviving an attack from a Rottweiler, German Shepherd or Siberian Husky is a stupid distraction from what, exactly?

    Ah, yes, the infamous dogbites.org reference! If only breeds were as easily identified as their report seems to indicate! Karen Delise (research director for the National Canine Research Council and author of The Pitbull Placebo) studied every fatal dog bite reported in the years between 2002-2005, and found that “eleven dogs involved in fatal attacks with no Pitbull characteristics were counted as Pitbulls, while their ‘true’ breeds were not reported, and three dogs that were clearly not Rottweilers were identified as Rottweilers.” That was among a total of 47 fatal attacks (by all breeds) reported during that period. (from the Alternet article)

    Voith, et al. compared

    breed identification by adoption agencies with identification by DNA analysis in 20 dogs of unknown parentage. Of the 20 dogs who had been adopted from 17 different locations, the study identified 16 dogs as having (or probably having) 1 or 2 specific breed(s) in their ancestry. DNA analysis of these dogs indicated that 25% (4/16) did in fact contain genetic evidence of an adoption agency’s identified breed as one of the predominant breeds in a dog’s ancestry. DNA analysis did not detect all specified breeds in 14 of these dogs. That is, 87.5% of the dogs identified by an adoption agency as having specific breeds in their ancestry did not have all of those breeds detected by DNA analysis.

    (Voith, V. L., Ingram, E., Mitsouras, K., & Irizarry, K. (2009). Comparison of adoption agency breed identification and DNA breed identification of dogs. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 12(3), 253-262.)

    According to a report published by the CDC Special Report: Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998:

    Ideally, breed-specific bite rates would be calculated to compare breeds and quantify the relative dangerousness of each breed. For example, 10 fatal attacks by Breed X relative to a population of 10,000 X’s (1/1,000) implies a greater risk than 100 attacks by Breed Y relative to a population of 1,000,000 Y’s (0.1/1,000). Without consideration of the population sizes, Breed Y would be perceived to be the more dangerous breed on the basis of the number of fatalities.

    Numerator data may be biased for 4 reasons. First, the human DBRF reported here are likely underestimated; prior work suggests the approach we used identifies only 74% of actual cases. Second, to the extent that attacks by 1 breed are more news-worthy than those by other breeds, our methods may have resulted in differential ascertainment of fatalities by breed. Third, because identification of a dog’s breed may be subjective (even experts may disagree on the breed of a particular dog), DBRF may be differentially ascribed to breeds with a reputation for aggression. Fourth, it is not clear how to count attacks by cross-bred dogs. Ignoring these data underestimates breed involvement (29% of attacking dogs were crossbred dogs), whereas including them permits a single dog to be counted more than once.

    Despite these limitations and concerns, the data indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted for 67% of human DBRF in the United States between 1997 and 1998.

    So, we’re all on board with banning Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs, right? Oh, wait…

    However, breeds responsible for human DBRF have varied over time. Pinckney and Kennedy studied human DBRF from May 1975 through April 1980 and listed the following breeds as responsible for the indicated number of deaths: German Shepherd Dog (n = 16); Husky-type dog (9); Saint Bernard (8); Bull Terrier (6); Great Dane (6); Malamute (5); Golden Retriever (3); Boxer (2); Dachshund (2); Doberman Pinscher (2); Collie (2); Rottweiler (1); Basenji (1);Chow Chow (1); Labrador Retriever (1); YorkshireTerrier (1); and mixed and unknown breed (15). As ascertained from our data, between 1979 and 1980,Great Danes caused the most reported human DBRF; between 1997 and 1998, Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs were responsible for about 60% of human DBRF. Indeed, since 1975, dogs belonging to more than 30 breeds have been responsible for fatal attacks on people, including Dachshunds, a Yorkshire Terrier, and a Labrador Retriever.

    A Yorkie! OMG!

  10. DrugMonkey says

    it is a distraction, you irretrievable dumbass, because the discussion is about dogs that represent a threat and not about your fevered debating about what is and is not a pitbull. I don’t give a flying fuck if you include Rots and German shepherds and chowchows and what not in your list. data from 75-80 do not impress me either, the question is who is killing people right now. Same reason your flailing about rate is ridiculous…as is the flailing about how bad owners ™ will just move on to some other breed. Fine, we’ll address that when we come to it.

    the fact that you can find a Yorkie-caused death and think that means the threat is the same to life and limb…..well, I mean, I’m happy to have you validate my hypothesis that you dog botherers have something seriously messed up with your logical processes in public but…dude, there is really something wrong with you if you really believe this.

  11. ildi says

    shorter DrugMonkey: I hate pits (I know one when I see one), but I don’t have any data to justify why I hate them, so I’ll resort to insults instead. Good scientist! Good, good scientist!

  12. Amy says

    Sailor, there are three very obvious possible reasons why the number of deaths attributed to pitbulls is so much higher than other breeds:
    1) Pits are *the* face-eating, man-killing, land-sharks of our age.
    2) Pits are not a well-defined breed and so anything that is not obviously something else is called a pitbull; especially after it kills somebody.
    3) Pits are massively more common than other breeds.

    Personally, I’d like to see a double-blind type survey of breed identification and a dog census confirming that possibilities 2 and 3 are not significant factors in the stats you linked before I’ll acknowledge the incontestable status of 1.

    Seriously, tell me you can tell the difference between a smooth coated lab/rott mix and a “pitbull”. A heeler/doberman? A great dane/border collie?

    I’ve been around dogs my entire life and I know that a mixed breed dog is a black box, it’s often impossible to determine it’s lineage or temperament from it’s conformation. Case in point: two months ago I adopted a beautiful, 7-year-old, “Greyhound mix”. He was very, very thin at the time and looked for all the world just like a greyhound. He’s a fabulous dog: sweet, quiet, gentle with children, kind to strangers, loves to run, and happy to sleep all day on the couch. However, now that he’s scoring a 3 instead of a 1 on the body condition spectrum, he’s clearly got a more mixed ancestry than either I or the shelter workers saw. He’s putting a lot of muscle on around his shoulders and his abdominal tuck is far less pronounced. As his strength and musculature are recovering his stance is getting wider, his chest is broader, and his face is filling out. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s got some pitbull just because there are so many of those out here, but it could just as easily be Labrador, border collie, or a heavier breed of hound. If he turned around tomorrow and ate a baby, there’s no doubt in my mind that someone would call him a pitbull (though no one we’ve met out on walks has yet). Perception is important.

    There are so many other dogs that are bred so that they “bite and don’t let go”: German Shepards, Huskies, Malamutes, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dobermin Pinschers, Chows, Spitz, Catahoula hounds, in fact, hounds of pretty much any kind.

    Dogs bred for protection or hunting, regardless of the specific breed, are generally large enough, fast enough, and trainable enough to be people-killers. There are entire lines of German Shepard (and related breeds) bred for “Shutzhund” work. They’re job is to run people down, bite them, and restrain them by any means necessary until ordered to let go. Any breed used to hunt bear, pig, deer, or elk are supposed to run down quarry, bite to maim, and hold until the hunter can catch up and collect the prey.

    The destruction of an entire type of dog (such as pitbulls aka “nurse dogs”) would only have an affect on fatal or serious maulings if it drastically decreased the numbers of dogs kept, period. Unless you outlaw all dogs over a certain size or all dogs with a certain breed purpose, you simply shift the market for “dangerous” dogs to another breed.

    Better education of pet owners, more animal control enforcement, and longer sentences for animal cruelty would be a more rational approach. I say more rational, because over three years, 88 deaths isn’t that impressive.

    Millions of dogs are interacting with people everyday in the US alone, that’s less than 1% of 1% of dogs. Let’s outlaw cohabitation instead, neither my husband nor my dog are *supposed* to kill me, but statistically men kill far more women and children than that *each month* in the US (http://domesticviolencestatistics.org/domestic-violence-statistics/). If we’re only concerned about other animals that kill people, I bet domestic elephants kill more people each year than dogs, let’s outlaw them, that would have the added benefit of slowing the deforestation of south east asian forests. How many people are killed by horses? Let’s outlaw them too, after all, a Clydesdale has far more potential to harm than any dog. I assure you that you could not defend yourself against even a small horse that wished to do you harm, or simply forgot you were there when something scared it.

  13. Amy says

    And I was beaten to all of my points by far more eloquent posters while trying to not look like and idiot. Good show.

  14. Chebag says

    Yeah! My data are data and your data aren’t! Cause I want to ignore yours. So you aren’t scientific….and I am!!! Wheee!!!!

    (Do you ever listen to yourselves? Any of you?)

  15. Chebag says

    Amy-

    Real men are already banned anyway, thanks to feminism. I mean this blog is shot through with castrati like PZ, Proffe and Greg Laden, ffs. Open your eyes!

  16. thephilosophicalprimate says

    Chebag: Your screenname accidentally left off the d-o-u. I thought you should know.

  17. thephilosophicalprimate says

    On second reading, Chebag, I suspect you may be trying for irony. If so, please stop. You’re not good at it.

  18. sailor1031 says

    Well I’m not seeing data from anyone here. But there is a CDC study out there (downloadable from this page – http://www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Dog-Bites/dogbite-factsheet.html) that confirms the disproportionate number of pitbulls and ‘pitbull types’, whatever they may be, responsible for fatal attacks. There are also a number of sites out there deriving numbers from aggregated news reports. I checked out some of those and found pitbulls cited in 47% of fatal attacks in the USA in 2011 and 61% in 2012. I’m not convinced that the suggested much larger number of pitbulls than any other breed explains this. They don’t seem to be all that common.

    In any case relative numbers of pitbull attacks wasn’t ComraddeProffe’s point which was that getting bitten by a yorkie maybe relatively trivial whereas getting bitten by pitbull is potentially a lethal situation – for the bitee! But some of you have demonstrated his point that pitbull lovers are in denial about this shit!

  19. says

    No, what some of us have demonstrated is an understanding of what is *behind* the numbers.

    It’s not about breed.

    It’s not about breed.

    Do I have to say it again?

    It’s not about breed.

    It’s about crappy owners making bad decisions all along the line, from where they get their pups to how they train them to the conditions they live in. There are clear indicators that go along with a higher incidence of “dangerous” dogs, clear correlations (and please, do not start in about correlation vs causation): poverty rate, lack of affordable vet care, lack of good training and socialization (and here’s a big fucking clue for some of you: socialization, when speaking about dogs, doesn’t just mean introducing the dog to the family, k?), whether or not the dog is tethered (that’s actually a big one), etc.

    If you get a puppy from a crappy breeder, who hasn’t started properly training and socializing the pups, then continue to ignore the training and *especially* the socialization, you don’t provide proper vet care, you don’t exercise the dog (mainly because it’s too hard – the dog was never trained to walk on a leash properly, and it wasn’t socialized so it’s reactive as shit), you chain it up for it’s entire life – that dog has an incredibly high risk for becoming a biter. NO MATTER WHAT BREED IT IS.

    Now, you get a “popular” breed among owners like that, and suddenly, presto-chango, it’s a bad breed! Even though it wasn’t a bad breed 100 years ago. Or 90 years ago. Or 80, 70, 60, 50, 40 or 30 years ago. Evidence has been provided here about the swapping out of “bad” breeds over time, because IT’S NOT ABOUT THE BREED. It’s about how the individual dogs are bred, raised and treated.

    But it so much easier to pick on the breed. Easy, simply “stats”, and what the hell, why bother doing the work to look behind the numbers, right? That’s too hard, and hey, it’s all about the kiddies and grannies getting bitten, so lets just blame the fucking breeds, and not look at what actually goes into creating a “bad” dog – because, hey, it’s not like if we have that sort of info, we can better educate owners of any and all breeds about what proper dog care is, right? Naw, it’s just so much fucking simpler to blame the breed, which leads to banning breeds, and when that doesn’t work (and it doesn’t, never has, never will, no matter where it’s been tried, and boyhowdy, has it been tried), we’ll just ban more breeds. And more. And more. And never solve the problem, because we ignored the evidence behind the numbers.

    Fuck this. You’ve been given the information. You’ve been given links and data and fucking cited quotes.

    And yet, you still don’t get it.

    What am I missing here? I’m seriously asking – what is the disconnect? And please, DO NOT answer with insults and name calling – if that’s all you’ve got, then you’ve lost the debate before you opened your mouth.

    If every single pitbull disappeared tomorrow, what do you think would happen? Would we suddenly be living in a society with no dog bite fatalities? Is that what happened before pitbulls became popular? Or would another breed step in and takes it’s place? And what happens if we got rid of that breed? And the next. And the next. And the next?

    So how can it possibly be about the breed, other than the fact that larger dogs cause more damage than small dogs?

    If you have a succession of “dangerous” breeds (and let’s stop for a second to note that the vast, vast, vast, vast, vast majority of individual dogs in that breed do not cause fatalities), then how in the world can it possibly be about the breed?

  20. DrugMonkey says

    If every single pitbull disappeared tomorrow, what do you think would happen? Would we suddenly be living in a society with no dog bite fatalities? Is that what happened before pitbulls became popular? Or would another breed step in and takes it’s place? And what happens if we got rid of that breed? And the next. And the next. And the next?

    yes, fatal and disfiguring attacks would definitely go down. as they would as we addressed each of your proposed “next” animals. Eventually, if you are correct* we’d end up with only beagles and bichons**. Maybe only Yorkies.

    *which you aren’t. Labs are nice

    **I notice you pitbulldenialists still have yet to explain why you need pitbulls and why a nice beagle wouldn’t suffice for all your alleged pet requirements. All you people can do is go on about rescuing pits from supposed bad owners while ranting and raving about how it “isn’t the breed”.

  21. says

    DM, please provide proof that dog bites have decreased in areas with pitbull bans. There have been lots of bans, so this should be easy to find. Please note in your proof why many areas are switching from breed bans to dangerous dog legislation (here’s a fucking clue-by-four: it’s because bans don’t do what they are meant to do, reduce dog bites).

    Please also provide a reason for attacks before pitbulls became popular. Also, explain attacks by any other breed other than pitbulls (like labs).

    And for the record, I personally don’t like pitbulls. Or labs. Or beagles. Or many other breeds. But my dislike isn’t based on irrational media hysteria.

  22. says

    You do know the difference between a dachshund and a pitbull, right?

    Do you seriously think this is about the breed of dog, and not the owner on this case? REALLY? You realize that you are arguing against your main point with that video…

  23. DrugMonkey says

    Why should definitive evidence be “easy to find” KB. and besides, you are the one asserting that they need to be broader and affect many more kinds of dogs before they have any effect- I’m full willing to credit your assertion on that. I’m right with you that before pitbulls it was the Rotts and the dobies and the RinTinTins. I’ve said that all along so stop with your silly denialist faux misunderstanding of the point.

    personally I don’t “like” or “dislike” any dogs. they are dogs for fucks sake. what the hell is the matter with you? They aren’t people.

    It’s the denialist owners I don’t like.

  24. DrugMonkey says

    You do know the difference between a dachshund and a pitbull, right?

    You are the one telling me that they are all exactly alike in their capacity for mayhem, homes. So what’s the diff? Anyway, that swan was probably asking for it. mouthy birds that they are.

  25. says

    DM, you said I was wrong*. Thus, there should be proof that I am wrong. Many places have or have had pitbull bans in effect. If it is the breed, then getting rid of the breed should cause a reductions in attacks. Holy fuck, you said that exact same thing upstream.

    The numbers are there – go look at them.

    Why do you continually dismiss the evidence that will supposedly prove your point? This is the PERFECT opportunity to prove your point with data – getting rid of pitbulls will decrease attacks. So go find me the data that proves your point.

    What the fuck is wrong with me? Not all breeds are the same. I know the breeds I want to have on my life – you find this *wrong*? Are you that fucking ignorant of dogs (and I’m starting to believe you really are), that you think one breed is the same as the next? That there is no difference in owning a greyhound vs a border collie? That you can just swap out a pug for a Malinios, and the owners will be able to treat them just the same?

    You are the one telling me that they are all exactly alike in their capacity for mayhem, homes. So what’s the diff? Anyway, that swan was probably asking for it. mouthy birds that they are.

    Homes? Holmes?? Whatever. No, no I wasn’t. Maybe you need to go back and read what has been written? And do some background reading about dog breeds and training?

    Let me clear some things up. There are differences in breeds – no one here is denying that. That’s why there are so many different breeds, and it’s not all about looks. That’s why border collies herd, and dachshunds hunt, and my schnauzer kills rabbits in the garden (and yet, I remain unkilled – odd that a dog can tell the difference between the prey it and it’s umpteen ancestors where selectively bred to hunt, and a human).

    But for a dangerous dog, breed is the least important factor (please note I’m not talking about size – I’m talking about breed). Once again, if it was only breed, then how do you explain the vast majority of pitbulls that don’t kill people? Really, if it was breed, then should the majority of the breed be dangerous? And yet…

    Focusing on breed doesn’t solve the problem. Which I’m starting to realize you have no interest in actually solving.

    And really, stop the anecdotal postings. If you want to swap stories about good vs. bad dogs, there are tons of them, and I don’t have the fucking time or patience for that useless shit.

    * to be pedantic, you actually said I wasn’t correct, which I take to mean that you think the point I was making was wrong

  26. ursa major says

    DM,
    On this issue you don’t get it at all.
    The breed identifications listed for bites by breed are worthless. WORTHLESS
    Even if the breed IDs were not worthless they are not weighted by population size.
    More important than breed for determining risk is information on how the dog is raised.

    NOTE:
    I have Golden Retrievers, have trained dogs and have attended a fair number of classes and seminars on dog training, temperament modification, canine health care, humane issues and animal control training.

    Please calm down and reread the posts above.

  27. ildi says

    DM:

    I notice you pitbulldenialists still have yet to explain why you need pitbulls and why a nice beagle wouldn’t suffice for all your alleged pet requirements. All you people can do is go on about rescuing pits from supposed bad owners while ranting and raving about how it “isn’t the breed”.

    Really? That’s what you’re hearing? Your critical thinking skills seem to disappear when it comes to dogs. Don’t quit your day job.

    Why do people need Rottweilers or German Shepherds? Why dogs, even? Get a nice bunny, or a fish, nobody gets hurt. Embedded in your asinine snark is actually a good question that was addressed in a NOVA episode; namely that people take dogs that have been bred for specific functions for hundreds or thousands of years and make them urban house pets and then wonder why there are problems. They herd, they dig, they guard, they act like dogs when we expect them to act like furry humans… This is not even addressing those damaged souls who abuse large breed dogs and make them unfit for society…

    Still don’t know what you mean by pitbulldenialist, because it appears to me that you’re the one in denial about what the hell a pit bull is, and what the real problem is with aggressive breeds. Issues, dude, issues…

  28. mithrandir says

    Analogy: restricting pit bulls and not Rottweilers, Dobermans, etc. is like restricting the Bushmaster AR-15 and doing nothing about AK-47s, Uzis, etc.

    Whatever you propose to do about pit bulls, if you have any sense, you will do about all or at least most large dog breeds.

    (What do you propose to do about pits, anyway? I’m sincerely curious as to what “common-sense dangerous dog legislation” would look like.)

  29. Ben P says

    Why do people need Rottweilers or German Shepherds? Why dogs, even? Get a nice bunny, or a fish, nobody gets hurt.

    I’ll just go ahead and say it. This question is just as stupid, if not more stupid, than “why do people need guns.” That’s not how laws are supposed to work. The issue is not “why do I *need* to own something” but “why do you have the right to tell me I can’t own something.”

    If you believe otherwise, you’re just as much of an authoritarian as all the christian right lunatics that get lambasted on various blogs around here.

    If your only answer for why you have the right to tell me that I can’t exercise some element of freedom is because other people might do something bad, you had better damn well be prepared to explain why distinctions can’t be made or why a less restrictive law won’t accomplish your goal. BSL advocates, like most control advocates, usually have difficulty answering that question because they’re arguing from emotion, not logic.

    And for the record, I partially agree with you. Different dog breeds have different requirements and different temperaments and requirements. If you live in an apartment and can’t spare the time to exercise the dog a couple hours a day, you shouldn’t get a high energy dog. Obedience training is a must for all dogs. Owning a dog is at least a bit like having a child and nothing makes me madder than people that abandon young dogs (i.e. after they stop being puppies) when they realize “they can’t handle them.”

    I do happen to disagree that pit bulls are inherently a “dangerous breed.” They are working dogs do definitely require extra training and disciplined owners, but most of the “dangerous” problem is owners that turn dangerous pit-bulls into a self-fulfilling prophecy by chaining them up and mistreating them. You subject a lab to those conditions and you’ll end up with a dangerous territorial lab a lot of the time. Check out your local dog shelter some time and ask about how the dogs get protective of their cages/pens after a week or two. (assuming you have a shelter that will let them live that long, the way shelters operate in “liberal” states like California is nothing less than an atrocity). The way to address bad dog owners is strenghening animal cruelty laws and coming down harder on irresponsible owners that have dogs that there’s individualized evidence of being dangerous.

    And as an aside, I own German Shepards. My two current ones are my 4th and 5th. One of my past ones was Sch3, and my current puppy is working on Sch1. All of my past 4 have had obedience titles. I live on 3/4ths of an acre of land in a relatively rural area and I still take pains to exercise my dogs every day. There are few dogs that are more intelligent and you won’t find a better companion dog.

  30. jackiepaper says

    They are not any more capable of harm than any other dogs their size. They are less likely than many popular breeds to be human aggressive and you are more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than a pittie type dog. (Type, not breed. There is no one true pit bull breed. BSL is aimed at any dog with a particular look.) Please go to the CDC and read the facts. Put a little effort into exposing the myths instead of going with your hunch that pit bulls are killers. Learn their history. Go and actually work with the dogs. Learn how often a dog involved in an attack is reported to be a “pit bull” and is not one and how often other types of dogs involved in attacks simply don’t get reported on as widely. Don’t believe the hype. It is racially motivated, classist crap.
    I’ve done animal rescue and rehab for a while now. I’m not active in rescue and fostering at this time, but I do have three dogs. One is a pittie type. She’s simply lovely. She loves to play at the dog park, sleep with my kids, cuddle my grandmother, etc. She’s a shelter dog from LA. Yes, she looks like she works out even though she spends most of her day napping in sun beams. Yes, she has a catfish grin. That doesn’t make her viscous. Her breed/type does not make her inherently vicious. You are not in danger from her. But she is in danger from people like you. When you spread this misinformation you promote the fear that leads BSL, that does nothing to decrease dog bites and does lead to families losing their beloved pets.

  31. jackiepaper says

    A sheltie bit a friend of mine’s toddler’s nose nearly clean off. He needed surgeries to save it.

    Small dogs can do serious damage to little people. Kids can also accidently hurt small dogs, which can lead to some nasty bites.

    One of the reasons why I prefer large, physically tough, cool headed, dogs is because when the kids go running through the house (No, they aren’t supposed to do that. It still happens sometimes.), trip over a sleeping dog and end up sprawled out all over it, the dog is not harmed or frightened. Fear biters are a danger to children. My dogs may just get up, sigh and move to another spot or take the opportunity to slobber in the child’s ear. I’d actually like to have a tiny dog, but I know it wouldn’t be a good idea.

    In all my years working with animals, I’ve been bitten twice. Once by a beagle and once by a cocker spaniel. (No skin broken. They were “warning shots”.) I’ve worked with injured, abused, starved and neglected animals. I’ve transported huge mastiffs. I’ve trained puppy mill dogs with food guarding issues and animal aggressive dogs of varying sizes and types. I’ve seen alot of pitties in that time. Some have been injured and completely strange to me. Only one ever so much as threatened me. Yes, some have a high prey drive. Others are dog aggressive. So are many dogs, regardless of breed or even size.

    Also, loonie? Ablist much?

  32. timevans says

    You know what my solution is to prevent my small children from being bitten by our pet dog? Not having a pet dog.

    Same as my solution to preventing my small children from shooting themselves with my gun. Don’t have one.

  33. jackiepaper says

    Why do I need a pittie? Well, I like a dog with even temperament.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/pit-bulls-score-better-on-temperament-tests-than-the-general-dog-population

    I like a dog that is easy to groom. I like a dog who will hold still while I paint her nails. (She wears sweaters too. She gets cold in the winter and it is adora-bull. Har har.)

    I like a dog that won’t keep me up all night baying, like a beagle will.

    I also like to adopt a dog that is unlikely to be adopted for stupid reasons, like its color or the shape of its head. The fact that the smaller and lighter color the dog is, the more likely it is to be adopted irks me. The idea that black is scary in dogs seems to me a disgusting blend of racism and superstition. White= good/pure, Black = evil/corrupt. Bleh! People can be stupid.

    I like a dog that sticks close to me wherever I go and who travels well.

    I like an affectionate dog, rather than a stand offish dog.

    I like a dog breed/type with a cool history.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergeant_Stubby
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pete_the_Pup
    http://www.cesarsway.com/node/1893

    Also, I like to know when I am camping alone with my kids that a human predator, just seeing a big muscled-up dog will probably think twice before deciding to victimize me and my little ones. I don’t carry a gun. You can turn my own gun on me. Good luck turning my own dog on me.

    As to the numbers showing that there are more fatalities caused by pitties: It has been pointed out that eyewitness accounts are often wrong when assuming breed. Also, the more jackasses compensating for ….something that get these dogs just to mistreat them, the more dangerous dogs are created (not born, created). Labs are the most likely biters in the US. Black labs are especially likely to bite according to the stats. Why is that? Why would the color of the dog make it more vicious? Ya know why? It doesn’t. Because they are the most common type of dog found in the US and because in the south they are often allowed to roam as “road dogs” they simply have more opportunity to bite.

    You know what kills children far more than any dog breed every year in the US? Their parents.
    http://www.cdc.gov/injury/about/focus-cm.html

    So do we outlaw parents? They cause an awful lot of fatalities.

    Maybe we’ve all forgotten the Doberman panic of the 80’s and the myths that accompanied it. Maybe you weren’t aware of how many people rushed out to buy their kids Dalmations after the live action 101 Dalmatians movies only to discover that Dalmatians are high strung, powerful dogs. Soon after the dogs ended up in shelters and the mania died down. Are they bad dogs? No. But most people do not have a lifestyle that is appropriate to keeping them. They got a bad rep as biters for a while too. They are a breed of dog, like Winemaraners that are soooo pretty that people buy them for looks, only to find out that they can be very difficult dogs. That is on the owners, not the breed. If there were another breed to suddenly become popular among assholes, they’d get a bad rep too. I’ve seen an increase lately in Cathoulas, Blue Healers, Dogos and Cane Corsos in my area. Right now the shelters have more pitties, Boxers and Labs than other breeds. I have a feeling that’s about to change. These are not dogs for the average family. They are active and sturdy dogs. They are built for work like shepparding, hunting and guarding. As they get abused, overbred and neglected, they will end up clogging the shelter system too. They will be the dogs sensationalized in the media. When that fad is over, it will be some other unfortunate dogs’ turn.

    The lesson that needs to be learned is not “X dog is bad”. The lesson we need to learn is that certain people do not need pets and many people don’t know what they are getting into when they bring a puppy home. The laws we need are stronger punishments for animal cruelty and neglect. As things stand now, the laws and the enforcement of the laws in most places is a sick joke. Don’t believe me? Get involved in a local rescue and go find out for yourself.

    Let me warn you though, some of you haters may not only end up eating your words, you may also end up with a kiss-a-bull dog of your own.

  34. jackiepaper says

    Timevans, do you own a car? The leading cause of childhood fatality are car crashes. I guess we shouldn’t own cars either?

  35. Chebag says

    Careful jackiepaperpuffnstuff… Don’t admit that the only reason you need a pit is to threaten other people…cPP will blow a gasket

  36. Sansgerd says

    “jackiepaper” Way to dumb down the argument…
    If a child dies in a car accident the person at fault will suffer the consequences. And if a child is maimed by a pitbull the person responsible should also be be punished for not controlling their dangerous fucking dog.

  37. jackiepaper says

    Sangard, is that meant to be a coherent argument? Yes, the idea that I am somehow harboring a vicious animal in my home (A state licensed foster home) peeves me. That attitude can quickly turn me into a criminal for no reason and the law can force me to put my dog down because of the way she looks. That’s some seriously shitty shit.

    There are already laws banning pitties around my area. All those laws did was to cause many pitties to be dumped on the roads or in shelters. Something like 76 were found dead, dumped by a fighting ring in a ditch after being killed to avoid detection by the police. I’m sure the ring merely moved a county over and continued. The people responsible were not caught.

    But families lost their pets and pets lost their lives.

    Bite rates in places with BSL have not gone down.

    http://www.pittieslovepeace.com/education/breed-specific-legislation.html

    Also, I’m a fan of reality. I prefer facts to trumped up rumors and bias. That’s how I came to shed religion and woo. But the same skepticism we apply to gods and homeopathy need to be applied here.

  38. jackiepaper says

    Sansguard, demonstrate to me how pit bull = vicious dog.

    And nobody can dumb down and argument that began with “Yer loonies” or your brilliant “Touchy pittbull lovers are really fucking touchy.”.

    This argument was dumb when I got here.

    (Dou)chebag, As a woman alone I have been told repeatedly that I am not to go anywhere alone unless I want to be raped and murdered. So stand the fuck down. If someone sees my dog as a threat who would harm me because as a woman with children I am seen as a victim, neither perception is my fault. Now, would you care to attempt honesty by acknowledging the other list of reasons I mentioned, or are you content being obtuse and dishonest?

  39. says

    Touchy pittbull lovers are really fucking touchy.

    And yet, we’re not the ones resorting to (and actually starting out with) personal insults….

  40. jackiepaper says

    The name Jackiepaper is not a drug reference. It is a reference to a paper bag puppet I once used as my avatar. My daughter made it. That was what we named her.

    So, nice try. You missed again. Got anything remotely resembling a coherent argument or are you just doing the dance of the trolls? I’ve seen that show before and it’s as dull as your wit. If you cannot address the facts, I’m done giving you a target to snipe at.

  41. timevans says

    jackiepaper,

    no, of course not. I ride my neighbor’s pit bull to work. Fuck his kids.

  42. Ben P says

    You know what my solution is to prevent my small children from being bitten by our pet dog? Not having a pet dog.

    Same as my solution to preventing my small children from shooting themselves with my gun. Don’t have one.

    No one’s going to make you get a pet dog, and whether or not you want to get one is completely up to you. The issue is when *you* (not necessarily you, but a generic) try to tell your neighbor that they also have to give up their dog, regardless of what other circumstances may exist.

    1. If their dog actually does bite their child, you have every right to sue them for damages. (And Homeowner’s liability policies usually cover pets BTW).
    2. If their dog runs loose contrary to law (which is the law virtually every urban and suburban area) you have every right to expect they will keep their dogs contained and to call the police/animal control if they don’t. This applies to any other law like vaccinations, registration etc.
    3. If their dog is a nuisance (anything from barking to menacing to property damage) you have every right to get the law involved either civilly or criminally to ask that the nuisance be resolved.
    4. If there’s reliable evidence the dog actually is dangerous, you have the right to make that claim, most municipalities have some process for this.

    While it’s not strictly related, I would add, if your neighbor is keeping a dog in cruel conditions, (like if it’s being chained up outside and not fed regularly) I’d say you have a right and an obligation to report that to the authorities as well. While some people contend some dogs are “dangerous,” it’s undisputed that bad conditions create dangerous dogs.

    Generally we say that you can’t keep *wild* animals without a permit, or certain categories of wild animals without a permit. I think there’s some legitimate basis to say, regulate racoons differently from large cats. I think that’s fine. When you want to impose more specific restrictions on dogs, I think you need a more solid basis than “everyone knows.”

  43. timevans says

    sorry jackiepaper. I was stunned into incoherence by your incredibly apt analogy comparing owning a gun or a pitbull to owning a car.

  44. jackiepaper says

    Ben P. Good points, but unfortunately, I’ve know the local animal control to completely ignore animal abuse or even animals running the streets. I’ve known desperate neighbors to steal abused dogs, pay hundreds in vet bills and drive a state over to find a sanctuary for the dog, only to have a new dog chained up and starving in the same backyard in a week. It is heartbreaking.

    We have to have better laws and better enforcement. As with most things, the answer appears to be educate, educate, educate.

  45. jackiepaper says

    This is funny. I keep misspelling vicious.
    My dog isn’t vicious, but she is viscous.
    Seriously, long slobber strings hang from her precious face at feeding time. I swear she waits for me to lean down to feed her before she shakes her head too. Freudian slip on my part, I guess. Maybe I’m more bitter about my regular slimeings than I realize. ;)

  46. ildi says

    Dammit, I refreshed before I posted, and jackiepaper made many of my arguments for me.

    Touchy pittbull lovers are really fucking touchy.

    Yeah, that’s exactly what’s going on, Sansgerd. I happen to not be a big fan of pits; they’re not all that attractive, to my mind, and a bigger breed than I like. My rule is my dogs have to be small enough for me to easily carry them if they get hurt or old. Since there is actually no breed recognized as a pitbull, but rather a generic category that includes the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and the American Pit Bull Terrier, all of which have differing characteristics, when people think pitbull, they generally think of a dog that looks really strong, has a compact muscular frame, a broad head with pronounced cheek muscles, and short glossy hair. You know what? People have confused my Boston for a pit, because they focus on the muscular body and glossy hair, and ignore the googly-eyes, bat ears and 25-lb size.

    I used be in the “pits are bad, evil, brutish killers, so why would you have one” camp and would argue with friends who advocated for them. A few years ago I came across the pit argument on Pharyngula (I think) at Scienceblogs and decided since I was going to comment on the topic on a science blog to get some data to support my position. A funny thing happened, though. I was wrong. (There’s quite a lot of information out there, DM’s aversion to “data” and “evidence” and “controlled studies” notwithstanding – what is DM’s day job again?) It’s quite the opposite of being “touchy”, it’s a matter of having some respect for the scientific method in forming decisions and making public policy.

  47. jackiepaper says

    So let’s review, they don’t have the strongest bite and they score quite high on temperament tests.

    Comrade, are you going to correct your statement claiming these dogs are more dangerous and are you going to correct your ableist language?

  48. jackiepaper says

    Temperament scores are important because sound dogs don’t just randomly “decide to chomp down on you”. And if we deem dogs dangerous because of the damage they COULD inflict IF they bit you, there are several breed far more dangerous than pit bulls. Many breed are not listed in that link, but as the bite force is relient on the size of the dog, then Irish Wolfhounds, Borzois, St. Bernards, Presa’s, Ridgebacks, Swiss Mountain Dogs, Dogos, etc are far more dangerous.

    What they are not is more common, more often exploited, more often sensationalized and more often incorrectly identified as attackers.

  49. jackiepaper says

    ildi, I was walking my grandfather’s Sharpei once and I heard people say, “Oh, watch out! It’s a pit!”

    My lab mix has even been mistaken for a pit bull.

    It really is ridiculous.

  50. ildi says

    There is also a fair amount of information out there about the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of breed-specific legislation, and recommendations for more effective policy and laws to reduce the number of dog bites and attacks, but I’m tired of spoonfeeding lazy asshats.

  51. DrugMonkey says

    You’ve been given tons of data, including links to peer reviewed lit (if that dumbass Pp will let it ou of mod). The facts are readily available and incontrovertible. Pitbulls (and yawn for you bullshit excuses about how it’s just so confusing about what is a pitbull red herring) kill and maim people. So do some other dogs. Yet more dogs, like Yorkies, so not do so.

    It is you pitbull bothering dumbfucks who can’t seem to face facts and raise all sorts of silly distractions and excuses. And argue against straw arguments that I’m not actually making. Bite force? Rate? Historical comparison? That is all irrelevant to the mayhem that is demonstrably wreaked at present by what every nonbotherer knows is a pitbull.

  52. Ben P says

    Not peer reviewed yet, but the only bite force measurement I know of.

    http://dogbitesinformationandstatistics.blogspot.com/2008/01/canine-bite-force.html

    Pitties do not rate the top rankings.

    Not precisely relevant, but Pitts and their kin do typically dominate pulling weight competitions. (think of the scene from Call of the wild where THornton bets a crowd that Buck (the dog) can pull a 1000lb sled by himself). This is unsurprising given some of their ancestors were specifically bred as draft animals, pulling carts and plows.

    http://www.iwpa.net/IWPA_Championships.html – Weight pulling championships. Pitts dominate the middle weight classes and even some of the upper classes. On snow big malamutes tend to lead, and a really big mastiff will out pull a pitt type dog by sheer size.

  53. jackiepaper says

    I want to go back to my car analogy. We don’t outlaw cars. We outlaw unsafe drivers. We have laws that regulate that our cars function safely on the road and where and how those cars are driven. We insist on testing to show competency in driving. We licence not just cars, but owners. I think a revocable licence for pet ownership is a great idea. Currently, there are leash, muzzle and vicious dog laws on the books in most cities. They are not well enforced. That is what has to change.

    An unsafe driver driving a VW is less dangerous than one driving a Hummer. Both are far more deadly than any dog. Dogs are mere possessions in the eyes of the law. That is not going to change. Like a vehicle the owner is presumed to be responsible for what happens with their dog. So, lets make it as difficult to own a dog as it is to own a car. Home insurance already covers accidents involving pets. Often when a pet is hit by a car, the owner owes damages to the person driving the car. One of those possessions was on the road legally. The other was not.

    So, when dealing with how to reduce dog bites in general and in so doing reduce fatalities, the answer is not to only allow small dogs, or to have all dogs’ teeth removed (In some places pitties may only be owned if their teeth are pulled. Yeah, wrap your head around that sadistic bullshit.) anymore than outlawing trucks and vans or mandating that vehicles can only travel at speeds assured not to harm pedestrians is the answer to automobile fatalities. The answer is to regulate the owners.

    Now, before you say, “Ah! but you need a special licence to drive a semi!” or “You can’t drive a stock car down the highway!” Yeah, I know. You also need a special permit to own certain animals and there are plenty of places you cannot take a pet of any kind unless they are guide dogs. Again, before you argue that there is something inherently more dangerous about a pitbull than other breeds of dog, you need facts to back that assertion up and those facts, just aren’t there. The breed needs no more special legal consideration than any other breed/type of it’s size. It is not a guarding type of dog and is not recommended for guard work as it is so seldom human aggressive. (BTW, that’s the same reason Boxers were discontinued as German police dogs.)

    So, can we please stop demonizing this critter?

  54. jackiepaper says

    Ben, I once trained my Lab to pull a wagon. She used to pull my little girl around with her and sometimes a smaller dog. Any dog can pull. I’ve seen Weiner dogs hitched up to tiny carts. On average, most dogs can pull (no incline) twice their weight easily. Pitties, for their weight have the muscle mass and low center of gravity for the sport. They are tenacious, like working dogs often are. I think that and their strong urge to please really help them out in weight pulling. But that isn’t the only factor in determining the danger of a dog attack. Different dogs do have different attack styles. The scariest to me is the Malanois. They use their speed, size and agility to spin the volunteer in the padded suit off of his feet. It happens so fast. From there, things can get ugly. Some dogs are grab and shakers. Some are fast slashers. But any dog attack can be terrifying.

    If it has teeth, it can bite. Remembering that is probably why I have all my fingers.

  55. Ben P says

    It is you pitbull bothering dumbfucks who can’t seem to face facts and raise all sorts of silly distractions and excuses. And argue against straw arguments that I’m not actually making. Bite force? Rate? Historical comparison? That is all irrelevant to the mayhem that is demonstrably wreaked at present by what every nonbotherer knows is a pitbull.

    Citing the dogsbite source earlier (which is disputable and is very anti-dog) there are, on average, 30ish dog bite deaths per year. The CDC found an average of 17 per year in the 1980’s and 90’s up to 26 in the 2000’s. (www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/images/dogbreeds-a.pdf) The largest category of deaths was where breeds were not known. Of the known attacks, Rottweilers were the largest, followed bit pit-bull types accounting for 66% of deaths where the breed of the attacker was known.

    Despite this, the CDC concluded

    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 con-stitutional and practical issues. Fatal attacks representa small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and,therefore, should not be the primary factor drivingpublic policy concerning dangerous dogs. Many practi-cal alternatives to breed-specific ordinances exist and hold promise for prevention of dog bites.

    Oh, and these deaths are about 2/3ds of the 40-50 average lightning deaths per year.

    Clearly, the only solution is to kill all the dogs. /sarcasm

  56. jackiepaper says

    Drug Monkey, you have been presented with plenty of relevant facts. You don’t like that, thus your name calling and over the top ranting.

    What is your best argument for pit bulls being any more dangerous than any other dog their size. Best one. Put it out there and let’s look at it.

  57. ildi says

    There has never been a documented case of a sexually altered, single household family pet pit bull killing a human.

  58. jackiepaper says

    The most difficult dog I ever rehabbed was a Rat Terrier / Chihuahua mix. She was small and cute and very nasty around food and toys.
    I was patient and careful. I did not let her size or cuteness fool me. She had a strong prey drive and would kill rabbits if they came in the yard. I did not want my hand to look like those rabbits.

    By the time I was done, she could eat nicely out of anyone’s hand and no longer attacked other dogs around food or toys. She was old. She had come from a puppy mill. She went on to live in a multiple dog household with some friends. She loved children. She was very protective and once ran off a man who was attempting to come in my friends’ back door. I have no doubt that she’s have bitten him badly if he’d have disregarded her size and come in anyway. She’s have died defending her family.

    It was an amazing turn around and a tribute to just how responsive dogs can be to love and consistency.

    But if I had been abrupt or careless, I could have gotten a nasty bite. She’s dead now. Pasted from old age and the ravages of the puppy mill that could not be undone. She never, ever bit anyone in the time I knew her. And once rehabbed, only ever showed signs to that one intruder and a couple of unlucky rabbits.

    It isn’t the dog. It isn’t the breed. It is what people do with it.

  59. jackiepaper says

    “She’s” should be “she’d” Again, please excuse my horrible typing. I know it’s annoying.

  60. ildi says

    You’ve been given tons of data, including links to peer reviewed lit (if that dumbass Pp will let it ou of mod). The facts are readily available and incontrovertible.

    Actual data! I look forward to the “incontrovertible facts.”

  61. jackiepaper says

    You know what? I think in a bit I’m going to give my pittie a bubble bath, paint her nails, put her in her cutest sweater and take her to the dog park. Once there I am going to fill her belly with treats and spend the afternoon telling her she’s pretty. Then tonight, when the family curls up for a movie, I’m going to let her sit on my lap. Muhahahahahaha!

    Put that in your collective pipes and smoke it, haters.

  62. jackiepaper says

    Another pit bull anecdote I have is about an abandoned dog I found while hiking. She was red all over and would have been beautiful (Yes, I think they’re beautiful animals, slobber and all. Eye of the beholder, I guess.), had she not been just skin and bone.

    I couldn’t take her home. It was too late to take her to a shelter. So I took her to Sonic and bought her some chicken nuggets and gave her water. A guy who worked there offered to take her home. I didn’t like the idea. I didn’t know her. But my friend persuaded me to let him have her. He called his girlfriend and she came and picked her up. A year later I stopped by the same spot and asked about the dog. He reported that she’s turned out to be very loving and great with kids. He also said, “You know, my girlfriend left me. But that dog still loves me.” I bet she did too. He saved her life.

    The best book on the subject of rescue dogs I’ve ever read is called, “The Dog’s I’ve Met and the People They Found” by Ken Foster. I highly recommend it to you all.

  63. ildi says

    DrugMonkey: I’m assuming that the links to dogbites.com and two abstracts is not the sum total of your “incontrovertible facts.” If so, you suck at this, don’t you?

  64. Ben P says

    here are so many other dogs that are bred so that they “bite and don’t let go”: German Shepards, Huskies, Malamutes, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, Dobermin Pinschers, Chows, Spitz, Catahoula hounds, in fact, hounds of pretty much any kind.

    Dogs bred for protection or hunting, regardless of the specific breed, are generally large enough, fast enough, and trainable enough to be people-killers. There are entire lines of German Shepard (and related breeds) bred for “Shutzhund” work. They’re job is to run people down, bite them, and restrain them by any means necessary until ordered to let go.

    I just noticed this bit.

    “Bite and don’t let go” is really just false. “Bite and shake” is a standard instinctual motion on all dogs, big and small.

    Schutzhund has three components, obedience, tracking and protection. Obedience is the core of all the work. A good Sch dog is not agressive or vicious, he (or she) is controlled. A dog that doesn’t follow the commands of its owner is no more qualified for Shutzhund than one that attacks on sight, indeed one that doesn’t reliably follow the commands of its owner would never be allowed onto the competition field, and a dog can be dismissed from a competition on the spot for aggression.

    The obedience and tracking have no “attack” oriented components whatsoever. The former is a series of off-leash movement drills and usually sitting, staying, and doing so in the presence of another dog following the same commands.

    The tracking is part training part endurance and consist of following scented items across a field, and tests the dog’s focus and endurance in doing so.

    And talk of being bred to “kill” is silly. A Schutzhund protection drill involves two parts. The first is working the dog along the field and directing them to check “hiding places.” (usually one of six) If the dog finds the helper/target in the hiding place, they don’t attack or that would be a DQ. Rather they’re to identify the target hold the target by barking until the owner arrives and gives the command to release.

    The second phase “takedown” is the only “attack” portion. Following the corner, the handler searches the helper/target and begins escorting him. At a predetermined point the helper will attempt to flee. A perfect score requires not chasing until the handler orders the dog to do so. The dog then chases the helper down and attack on the padded sleeve (and only the padded sleeve) and then release when commanded. If the dog doesn’t release that’s a disqualification as well. Traditional German shutzhund involved the helper hitting the dog with a rubber hose during the attack and tested whether the dog would release on this, but this has typically been replaced with noisemaker devices.

    The focus throughout is not on aggression or a dog’s ability to maim or kill or restrain “by any means necessary” or anything you identify. Rather the focus is on absolute control over the dog’s behavior in high stress situations.

  65. mithrandir says

    oh and since we’re talking about data that people refuse to read and all KB…

    http://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-statistics.php
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19644273
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21475022

    Excellent evidence for the proposition that pitbulls are the dog of choice for people who mistreat and abuse dogs and think that aggressive, vicious dogs are cool. Not so much for the proposition that pitbulls are more apt to that purpose than other dogs of similar size, much less the proposition that pitbulls are more likely than other large breeds to be vicious when not specifically trained to be.

    Again, don’t ban the AR-15 and leave the AK-47 alone just because the AR-15 is fashionable for mass murderers this year.

  66. mithrandir says

    All right, how about this sort of thing. State license required for breeding large dogs, with regular inspections; registration required for ownership of large dogs, to be revoked on violent felony or animal abuse conviction. Don’t specify by breed – what makes a large dog breed dangerous is its size and strength, violent temperament is easily trained into any breed.

    Large dog owners may find such regulations annoying, but they wouldn’t be burdensome to responsible owners. And after all, it’s not like there’s anything even vaguely resembling a Constitutional right to own a Rottweiler.

  67. Ben P says

    All right, how about this sort of thing. State license required for breeding large dogs, with regular inspections; registration required for ownership of large dogs, to be revoked on violent felony or animal abuse conviction. Don’t specify by breed – what makes a large dog breed dangerous is its size and strength, violent temperament is easily trained into any breed.

    Large dog owners may find such regulations annoying, but they wouldn’t be burdensome to responsible owners. And after all, it’s not like there’s anything even vaguely resembling a Constitutional right to own a Rottweiler.

    Amd that costs how much?

  68. says

    Well, large dogs aren’t just limited to the USA, but we’ll put aside Constitutional rights for now ;)

    What would the legislation do, that current licensing and animal welfare laws don’t? Here’s a surprise – there isn’t currently enough money for “Animal cops” or space in the courts to investigate or prosecute current laws pertaining to animals, so where would the money & space come for more? And if someone doesn’t license? Their dog gets taken away, and what, killed?

    Yeah, that solves the problem in a sustainable, long-term manner. Oh wait, no it doesn’t.

    Education before legislation.

    Learn what is behind dangerous dogs (no matter the breed), and education people about how to prevent it. Put into place access to affordable vet care and training. Spend your money on preventing the problem, not trying to punish those that aren’t causing it – keep in mind, the VAST majority, VAST VAST VAST majority of dogs, don’t bite. So why legislate against those dogs and their owners? Especially when it most likely won’t solve the problem?

    For interesting homework on unexpected effects of supposedly “good” animal legislation, look at what happens when municipalities adopt mandatory spay/neuter laws. Hint: it doesn’t work, and in fact, increases the burden on the local shelters/pounds, both because they have let another law to enforce, and have a large increase in the number of surrendered animals. Now think about what the effect would be of the same amount of extra money, required to enforce the legislation, spent on providing access to low-cost s/n clinics, and transportation to them (and yes, transportation can be a limiting factor – can’t take the dog on a bus to the vet!). And let’s not get sidetracked into being able to afford “proper” vet care – that’s a whole other topic.

    Second: define “large dog”. Over 30 pounds? Over 40? That’s the range you have to look at if you are talking about pitbulls. And I’m sure some of them squeak under 30 pounds. For example, the breed standard for Staffies calls for dogs from 28-38 pounds. To put that in perspective, my (admittedly tall) miniature schnauzer is 23 pounds. So, depending on the size limit, you are going to get dogs of the same breed that fall on either size of the range. How does that work to curtail dangerous dogs?

  69. Grizzily says

    “All right, how about this sort of thing. State license required for breeding large dogs, with regular inspections; registration required for ownership of large dogs, to be revoked on violent felony or animal abuse conviction. Don’t specify by breed – what makes a large dog breed dangerous is its size and strength, violent temperament is easily trained into any breed.”

    This might make theoretical sense, but here are two practical and interrelated reasons it would never happen, and there is AFAIK zero support for any such laws anywhere (in the US, I’m speaking of):
    1. A lot of specifically anti-‘pit bull’ sentiment is really driven by racial and social prejudice against humans. Poorer, darker skinned people are perceived as the ‘typical pit bull owners’, and a lot of the support for BSL comes from people who hope it will discourage such people from moving to their town or county or encourage them to leave (again in US context the only breed related laws at higher than a municipal or county level are state laws in many states *prohibiting* municipalities and counties from passing BSL). Once you take that element out of it, the enthusiasm drops in the places where BSL’s might pass, (which is actually not that many places: a few 100 BSL’s in the US in many 1,000 municipalities and counties). It’s not really about a breed of dogs either in fact, or even actually in the private minds of a lot of the people who claim it *is* about a breed of dogs!

    2. Dogs seriously injuring and killing people is in fact a small problem. Most people wouldn’t support a big new superstructure of pre-emptive restrictions on dog owners, both because of point 1, and because it’s just not worth it.

    The approach which makes sense in the real world IMO is to focus on penalties and enforcement for irresponsible *owner* behavior, not preemptive restrictions against dogs, whether based on breed or size (though granted, the latter approach is not as unreasonable). For example, skimming over this discussion I didn’t notice any mention of neutering. The American Humane Society found that 86% of fatal dog attacks were by unaltered male dogs, not even considering unspayed females. It’s a major ingredient in a dog’s behavior, as well as a major marker of irresponsible owner behavior in general not to neuter a dog, unless you’re a certified breeder. A few towns do have laws requiring neutering: good idea. Other examples are simply raising penalties for violating existing leash laws, or changing civil laws to have stricter liability for dog owners in case they bite people. None of these things look attractive on the illogical (but common) approach to public policy of ‘we have to prevent this tragedy *ever* happening again…’ but score way higher on the common sense scale than either breed bans, or the politically unrealistic idea of getting *all* medium-big dog owners to put up with new hassles. Again US context, we don’t do laws like this nationally, or typically at state level either, and in many municipalities *most* people own dogs larger than a small female APBT (~30lbs). So it isn’t ‘us’ forcing some small minority to dance to our tune (something I have a problem with anyway, the idea that 50%+ 1 of the population has a right to tell the rest what to do without limit), but the majority actually agreeing to take on new burdens imposed regardless of whether they act responsibly. Even if supposedly small burdens, why should they? I guarantee you they won’t.

  70. says

    I’d much rather get bit on the face by a bichon than a pit bull.

    When I was two I got bit on the face and neck by something about the size of a bichon. It hit the carotid artery. This was in rural East Texas, so it took 3 hours to reach an ER. I’m pretty lucky to be alive. Now I have a 70 lb Lab/Aussie mix. I really doubt she’d ever hurt anybody as friendly as she is (at least, not on purpose – she might knock a small person down trying to get kisses, though), but I still don’t leave her unattended.

    My point is size is relative. What matters is just being responsible. Raise them right and keep an eye on them and you’re a lot less likely to have problems.

  71. NotThe Boss says

    Lost my comment due to forgetting to log in. Anyways, first time posting, I have read most of the thread and then started skimming looking for links.

    There is indeed plenty of peer reviewed evidence on breed specific legislation (BSL), which has been trialled in communities around the world. The result is unanimous: BSL does not reduce dog attacks, bites or injuries. In addition, “dangerous” breeds are not found to cause more injuries or attacks than other breeds. No significant difference. Multiple trials.

    http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878(07)00236-5/abstract
    http://www.dogtrainingireland.ie/documents/klaussen1.pdf
    http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/images/dogbreeds-a.pdf
    http://www.aiam.com.au/resources/files/proceedings/caloundra2003/PUB_Pro03_67_74_Watson.pdf
    http://www.journalvetbehavior.com/article/S1558-7878(06)00012-8/abstract

    There’s more out there. Google “Breed specific legislation study” and see what pops up if you’re motivated.

    Conflict of interest: I own a Rottweiler. I grew up with Rottweilers. I do not believe they are harmless fuzzy pussy cats. He’s only 14 months old, but my 40kg dog is probably stronger than me (a mid-sized woman), and in a full-on fight I am under no illusions I could take him. However, he’s well-socialised, good-natured, and appears to like everybody (except magpies). I am not saying he is a precious unique snowflake. He is a dog; what’s more, he’s a dog responding to consistent stimuli (training and socialisation) in a way that is predictable. He’s been extremely provoked by cats and toddlers and other dogs and has never responded with anything other than curiosity and patience.

    That said, were he to lose patience, there’s not a lot I could do. When I tell him to “give” his tug toy, sometimes he takes a moment to unlock his jaw. My job as a responsible owner of a large powerful dog is to make sure he never even considers an alternate approach to provocation.

    The question as to “why do you want one and not a Beagle (the Happy Wanderer)?” is a fair one, but the answer is pretty simple. I like them. To me, the quiet, muscled, happily whuffling black shape means safety and home. It really is that simple. People like all sorts of things we can argue about: guns, drugs, large inefficient cars, five-foot chainsaws, motorbikes, purebred cats. These things are all something that can be debated (some I like, some I don’t) as to their overall social worth, but we don’t restrict them, even those that cause harm (you don’t appear to need a license to own a five foot chainsaw which, admittedly, would make an unwieldy weapon).

    If you want to reduce dog attacks – and I’m assuming that’s something we can all agree is a worthy goal – I’d recommend trying to get the “Calgary model” implemented: requiring people who get dogs to take a couple of dog safety classes, increasing public awareness and safety and so on. Attacks were reduced by 70% (although the dates provided – 1983 and 2003 – are far apart, so I want to look into this more). I was horrified by a friend of mine out walking with her baby who tried to get a dog to back off and stop barking by staring at it and saying “Back!” firmly. I had to explain that not all dogs are trained to the same words, not all will respond to a command from a stranger, and staring down a strange dog who is irritable is risky behaviour. This is basic “dog sense” but it’s not “common sense”. Education really is key.

    In summary: evidence-based treatment of the problem. The Calgary model is evidence-based. BSL is not.

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