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Author Topic: Pit Bulls want more blood
snopes
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Comment: I have a Purebred American Blue Pit Bull I was just wondering if
its true once they taste blood they want more?he recently bit my friend
but she hates dogs and was in my bedroom when him and I were asleep and
for the first time she tried to pet him what gives are pits really bad he
loves me. He has never bit before and he is 20 mo.
old

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Republican
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My vet told me that dogs get a taste for blood, only after the second bite. To be safe one should let a dog smell you before trying to pet it.

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Drama Queen Of Mars
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ok.....um, I understood the first sentence but after that I do believe someone decided to stop using English.

I hate that pit bulls are given such a bad rep because of the idiotic people who torment and torture them so that they will fight. They are really wondeful dogs and every one I have ever encountered has been an absolute sweetie.

Anywho....If I understand correctly that the dog was asleep with the owner when the friend was bitten then it is completely understandable that the dog would bite. WARNING: Cliche approaching...Let sleeping dogs lie. If the friend tried to pet the dog while it was in it's own territory, with it's owner (some dogs are very protective), and asleep then I say the friend deserved it.

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Horse Chestnut
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quote:
Originally posted by Drama Queen Of Mars:
Anywho....If I understand correctly that the dog was asleep with the owner when the friend was bitten then it is completely understandable that the dog would bite. WARNING: Cliche approaching...Let sleeping dogs lie. If the friend tried to pet the dog while it was in it's own territory, with it's owner (some dogs are very protective), and asleep then I say the friend deserved it.

No, not really. If I understand it right, this person was a friend, meaning someone the dog would supposedly know. In your average situation if a friend entered a room where I and my dog were asleep, I would assume the dog would wake up, start barking first, which would wake me up, which would cause me to tell my dog to shut up and stand down.

If this was a case where the dog immediately started awake and attacked without warning because someone entered the room, then I would have a serious issue with that dog, and would get it to a professional trainer ASAP.

Horse "My dog does not bite my friends" Chestnut

ETA - A dog does not get a "taste for blood". A dog can, however, discover that if it can bite one human without reprecussion, will be more likely to bite the second time.

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Republican
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Well that was what my vet told me after my sister got bitten by my wolf-dog cross after she went to pick up one of his dog biscuits, because she didn't think it saw it.

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Drama Queen Of Mars
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Horse Chestnut, the way I took it was that the friend tried to pet the dog while it was asleep. I have known dogs to snap when their sleep was disturbed by someone petting them or touching them in any way. Maybe this was the case and maybe not, that is just how i understood the situation.

I totally agree with you that a dog if disciplined for an inappropriate behavior is less likely to continue said behavior.

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Van Couver
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For me is it is always. I am not afraid of any kind/breed of dog.

It's the owners that raised them I don't trust.

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Rivkah Chaya
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I have a Pit Bull, and she once bit my husband accidentally when another dog attacked her, and they got into a fight. She was srongly disciplined, even though she was actually trying to bite the dog that tried to bite her first. She has never bitten again. FWIW, she is a very sweet dog normally, who sleeps with us, and adores my husband. She has also been to obedience school, and did really well there. She is a friendly dog who loves people, and plays very well with our other dog.

Dogs are born with a taste for blood, in a sense, in that they are natural meat-eaters. People who want to turn their Pit, or other breed, into a killer, usually make it kill its own dinner on a regular basis, so it developes a "bloodlust," so to speak. Just a small taste of blood during a single bite doesn't develop this bloodlust. Disciplining a dog for biting actually diminishes its desire to bite.

It is entirely possible that the dog was just being protective of its owner in the OP case. The dog I have now is my second Pit, and both went through a very protective stage from about 14-20 months, then largely outgrew it.

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landmammal
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quote:
Originally posted by Drama Queen Of Mars:
Anywho....If I understand correctly that the dog was asleep with the owner when the friend was bitten then it is completely understandable that the dog would bite. WARNING: Cliche approaching...Let sleeping dogs lie. If the friend tried to pet the dog while it was in it's own territory, with it's owner (some dogs are very protective), and asleep then I say the friend deserved it.

Yup. You're never supposed to approach a strange dog that is sleeping, eating, or with puppies. I don't run up and start petting my dog when she's asleep. I'll say her name first and wait for her to wag her tail so I know when I touch her she won't be startled.

Since the OP said that the friend hates dogs and had never pet the dog before, I'd say the dog hadn't been taught to think of this person as a friend. ETA- And therefore was trying to protect its owner from the threat.

Also, I think it's sad that the owner obviously didn't research the breed before getting the dog. Pits are great dogs, but if you want one, you should be prepared to be an EXTRA-responsible owner, and part of that is knowing what you're getting yourself into before you get one.

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mouse goddess
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There was an article in our paper recently about Pit Bulls and their temperment (I think it was after a big dog-fighting ring had been busted) and they had a breeder saying one of those "sorta true, but you shouldn't actually say it, and certainly shouldn't say it to a newspaper" moments.

He was saying that when done responsibly, even pit bulls that are trained to fight shouldn't attack people. The way that the fights are done involves the handlers being in the ring with them, so a well-trained dog should be able to distinguish between the dog that it SHOULD attack, and the human that it SHOULDN'T.

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snapdragonfly
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I don't own pit bulls or any dogs at all, though we had dogs when I was a kid, so I haven't raised pit bulls and am not an expert.

But I really do not understand why it is, if it's true, that pit bulls are completely exactly the same, temperamentally, as all other dogs (which would imply there are no inherent personalities in breeds - which seems to me inaccurate, though I'm not a dog person so *shrug* whatever) that such a huge percentage of attacks - not just bites, but tragic near death or even deadly attacks - are pit bulls. That's not just someone's perspective - it very frequently is pit bulls. My mom's town just had a bad pit bull attack a few weeks ago. When did you ever, ever, hear of someone being in the hospital or dying from a pack of Welsh corgis attacking?

If it's not the dogs themselves (again, I do not claim to know) then there is something wrong with a lot of pit bull owners. Because I know that if I get made into ground beef by a dog, there's a much better chance it's going to be a pit bull than golden retriever who does it to me. I don't know who's to blame, owners or dogs, but clearly, *someone* is. The reason pit bulls have a bad rap is because they have earned it. It's not fair to the nice ones, but, it's how it is.

We used to rent out some property to a guy who raised pit bulls, but he raised them to pull these weighted sleds. He would hitch them up with a harness and put these sleds behind them, on an incline, with weights, and the dogs would stand there until he shouted "PULL!" and these muscles would pop out and the dogs would strain and pull these weights, and I'm not exagerating, some of them could pull a ton. Literally a ton. He had a spare oom full of trophies and ribbons and they went to meets every weekend all over the place, and these dogs would win.

He said that they were very often aggressive towards other dogs, for which he did not put them down, but he said the minute any of them showed aggression towards humans he put them down immediately. - He was an Army reservist and a guard at the prison, and a Mason, and a THOROUGHLY law abiding human being (and a very decent one too, who, sadly, was killed while riding his bicycle last year by a hit and run driver - very, very sad) and only because I knew that he would never allow his dogs to attack anyone, did we permit him to have those dogs on our property. There were very few landlords who would have allowed them to have those dogs.

But I take it from my conversations with him, that these dogs do in fact have a great deal of natural aggression. You can train them to behave...but when the pounds are full of dogs without it, I don't know why anyone would want a pit bull unless they *want* that aggression for some reason, perhaps as personal protection. *shrug* - Of course I'm coming from the perspective of someone who doesn't really like to be around dogs. In the same way that some people think children should be well treated but doesn't want their own, or even to be AROUND them, I'm the same way about dogs. Very nice as long as they stay far away enough from me that I can't smell them or hear them or have their nose pushed up in my crotch or whatever...nice doggie, go away now. Heh. Though I think anyone abusing a dog should be skinned alive.

I have never met a pit bull owner who didn't think their dog was just a big lovie teddy bear - I'm not arguing that, but where, then, do these vicious ones come from?

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
If it's not the dogs themselves (again, I do not claim to know) then there is something wrong with a lot of pit bull owners.

Bingo. The reputation feeds on itself. So people who want to train a dog to fight, or to just be mean and nasty, may pick a pit bull for just that reason.

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snapdragonfly
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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
If it's not the dogs themselves (again, I do not claim to know) then there is something wrong with a lot of pit bull owners.

Bingo. The reputation feeds on itself. So people who want to train a dog to fight, or to just be mean and nasty, may pick a pit bull for just that reason.
Which is why it's kind of funny that all the pit bull owners I know claim to have the gentlest dog ever born...funny as in really funny, I mean. SOMEONE out there is getting off on the "ooo, I have a BIG MEAN MACHO PIT BULL, I'm so bad ass" but they must be keeping quiet about it. Around me, anyway. Hee.

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"Wolves, dragons and vampires, man. Draw the nut-bars like big ol' nut-bar magnets." ~evilrabbit

(snurched because one of my nutbar family members is all about wolves and another one is all about dragons...)(with apologies to surfcitydogdad)

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
If it's not the dogs themselves (again, I do not claim to know) then there is something wrong with a lot of pit bull owners.

Bingo. The reputation feeds on itself. So people who want to train a dog to fight, or to just be mean and nasty, may pick a pit bull for just that reason.
Which is why it's kind of funny that all the pit bull owners I know claim to have the gentlest dog ever born...funny as in really funny, I mean. SOMEONE out there is getting off on the "ooo, I have a BIG MEAN MACHO PIT BULL, I'm so bad ass" but they must be keeping quiet about it. Around me, anyway. Hee.
I suspect that you don't live in a neighborhood where gang activity and drug dealing are common.

There are bad dog owners everywhere, of course, but the kind of attitude I'm describing tends to be concentrated in rather unpleasant neighborhoods, and among people whose vocation makes them subject to violence.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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Yo kay. Here's a couple of things about "pit bulls". First, part of the official breed title most people don't include is "American Pit Bull Terrier" The important part here is the "terrier" part. Anyone who has ever bred or worked terriers knows a few things about the group. 1st: They are, as a group, tenacious. They have a tendency to try, try, try again. They will latch onto a toy and let you lift them up off the ground and windmill them around until they lose their grip and crash into a wall, then bounce back up and do it again. 2nd: Terriers, by the sheer nature of their work, have a highly developed prey instinct. They aren't herding dogs who just control livestock, they aren't like most sporting dogs who are bred to simply locate and retrieve game. They are bred to catch and KILL game. The only other group correlary in dogdom are the sighthounds. 3rd: Terriers, for centuries, have been bred for what is known as "gameness". In short this is the quality that, even when injured, makes the dog unwilling to leave a job incomplete. In addition, this also makes the dog tend to think it's the alpha in all situations, and to declare it's pluck.

For example, in the terrier show ring, they often do something called "sparring." Basically, the handlers pair off, get firm control of the dog, and let them face one another. A dog that does not react by straining towards the other dosen't have the proper scrap and terrier instinct.

That being said, terriers must be properly socialized, trained, and controlled from a young age.

Now, the majority of dogs in the terrier group are rather small, slight dogs. They tend to be the size of Fox Terriers or smaller (Kerry Blues, Irish, and Airedales are the abberations, but even these are relativly lightly built). The APBT is hugely stocky and strong. They have all the terrier attitude in a body that is, by far, stronger than most terriers.

They are powerful, and their gameness along with their relative placidity towards humans made them ideal canidates for the nastier sports of bull-baiting and dog-fighting. Human fault.

Originally, these dogs were carefully trained NEVER to bite a human. It that resulted, the dog was removed from the population, no matter how good a fighter it was. However, their gameness, ease of keeping, and stocky build made them appealing to people who were simply looking for a dog with "rep." These people knew no more how to manage and train a terrier than they would have known how to fly a mig. Hence, you have powerful terriers being improperly trained and maintained. Hence problems. Nothing to do with the dog being in error, simply a type of dog not intended for the average, run-of-the-mill dog owner. And, for the record, they aren't the only breed suffering from unsuitable owner disease. Ever seen how many border collies are in rescue or in shelters? Think that's a coincidence, or a result of a high-strung, obsessive, high-energy working dog living with someone who only knows how to train sit and roll-over.


Oh, another thing to consider please. many of the dogs pegged as pits aren't pits at all, but various other similar breeds or mixes of a bunch of breeds. basically, any stocky, strong, short-haired dog is termed a pit these days. Lots of breed misidentification, and, if you for a second believe most shelter workers can ID breed? Think again. I've seen some of the most ludicrious ID's on shelter websites.


Sorry, but the pit bull "problem" can be laid squarely on the shoulders of humans.

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abigsmurf
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The problem with bull terriers is their slightly schizophrenic nature. They can be playfull and cute until they're provoked. The won't attack something unless challenged but when they are, they go all out.

If not controlled they they'll fight another dog to the death. I believe their out of the blue attacks on children that make the newspapers are when they're think they're being challenged.

http://www.dogbitelaw.com/breeds-causing-DBRFs.pdf

Most fatalities yet they're only the 62nd most popular breed (as of 2005)

In the UK they're a real problem as they're popular with Chav types. As Chavs aren't particulary well known for discipline and dogs take after their owners, it's not a good match.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
I believe their out of the blue attacks on children that make the newspapers are when they're think they're being challenged.

Then the attacks aren't out of the blue.

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abigsmurf
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When feeling like they're being challenged can mean "having a stranger visit" or "seeing the kids bickering" then yes, they're generally out of the blue
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ThistleSoftware
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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
When feeling like they're being challenged can mean "having a stranger visit" or "seeing the kids bickering" then yes, they're generally out of the blue

As Ryda said in her longer post, good dog owners know and train their dogs well enough to prevent attacks like that. Pit bulls are not supposed to be aggressive towards humans, only other dogs and only when fighting. If they are poorly trained or not trained at all, however, attacks can happen as they can with any breed. Pit bulls are owned by a disproportionate number of bad owners. That is the problem, not some bloodlust innate to the breed.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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quote:
Originally posted by abigsmurf:
When feeling like they're being challenged can mean "having a stranger visit" or "seeing the kids bickering" then yes, they're generally out of the blue

Again, no. The dog is reacting out of appropriate instinct, instinct which they have not been trained to control or exercise properly. This is no more out of the blue than my herding dog taking off after moving objects like bikes until I taught him to control that instinct.

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Troodon
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Where do you draw the line between bad owners and problems innate to the breed? If a breed of dog tends to be aggressive toward humans except if it has been very strictly trained, then I would say that that breed has an innate problem because it is more likely to attack a human than the average dog would be. An analogy would be the concentrated hydrochloric acid I sometimes work with - I'm perfectly safe as long as I follow proper procedures, use protective equipment, and don't make any mistakes. That doesn't mean that concentrated HCl isn't a dangerous chemical.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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quote:
Originally posted by Troodon:
Where do you draw the line between bad owners and problems innate to the breed? If a breed of dog tends to be aggressive toward humans except if it has been very strictly trained, then I would say that that breed has an innate problem because it is more likely to attack a human than the average dog would be.

Many other breeds, for example the Belgian Sheepdog and the GSD are used in police work, are willing to "grip", as are Rotties and Dobes. Personality-wise they have the same disposition towards agression that APBT's do, and truth be told, I'd rather place a well-bred APBT pup with a sincere, trustworthy family than a Dobe or GSD pup. All things equal, an APBT is no more likely to bite than any of these breeds (and probably less likely to bite than your typical toy dog). Problem is they are far less expensive and far easier to gain access to than the Belgins (and any decent GSD with dysplasia-free lines) and Rotties and Dobies already had their dog hysteria days, so they've fallen out of vogue (and dobes, though I love 'em, do tend to be a bit high-strung and destructive). Not to mention, a Rottie or Dobe tortured to the point of insanity is probably going to be less trustworthy with it's "owner" than the "forgive-and-forget" pit.

All of these breeds need to be well-trained, and their instincts honed to appropriate use, just as your average Beagle needs to be well-trained and their instincts honed to avoid digging craters in your backyard and climbing your fence only to end up in the pound three counties away.

And, I would ask you, once again, please remember that many of the dogs termed "pit bulls" by police departments and animal control agents and reporters and witnesses aren't "pit bulls". They are mutts, and any instinctual aggression is just as likely to come from the other breeds involved as it is to come from some distant, pure-bred ancestor.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
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Oh, and BTW, all dogs are dangerous. Cocker spaniels have resulted in death, as have pomeranians.

I knew a breeder of St. Bernards once. Gentle, loving dogs. She, stupidly, and entirely her fault, left a friend's toddler alone with one of her dogs for about 10 min. Unbeknownst to her, the kid had gotten hold of a pencil. He stuck it in the dog's eye (it actually reached the brain). The dog reacted, bit, and killed the kid. One strike, and the rugrat was out.

She put the dog down, and grieved for a long, long time. However, it was her fault, and not the dogs.

Dogs are predators. Any dog can kill. It's just a miracle that with all the dogs in inappropriate situations with inappropraite owners, that we don't have MORE deaths from dogs.

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Troodon
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I'm no fan of dogs, or in general of potentially dangerous animals kept in close proximity to me. I know that any large dog can injure or kill a human if it so desires. However, I understand what other people see in dogs, and I'm not proposing or supporting a ban on dogs in general or anything like that.

However, given the fact that some dog breeds do have more inborn aggressive tendencies than others, I do not support people getting a dog whose breed is inherently more aggressive than the situation warrants. If one needs a dog for a legitimate role that may involve that dog attacking someone, then one can go ahead and get a more aggressive breed. However, if one wants a dog as a pet, then one should get a breed of dog that is less likely to be aggressive. I don't see a good reason for most civilians to own an aggressive breed of dog - sure, it's possible to train the dog so that it can control its instincts, but it's still like using concentrated HCl instead of water to wash something: while you can compensate for the inherently dangerous nature of the substance, it's even better to simply choose to use a harmless substance when there's no advantage to using the dangerous one.

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Ryda Wong, EBfCo.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Troodon:
However, if one wants a dog as a pet, then one should get a breed of dog that is less likely to be aggressive.

And how do you propose we determain that? For example, some breeds, like pits, are going to be more aggressive towards other dogs. Others, like dobes or Preso Canarios, towards anything that attracts their interest and stimulates prey drive. Still others, like sighthounds, towards cats. Should we look into banning greyhounds, 'cause the kitties and squirrels of the world would breathe a sigh of relief.

If it's humans you are worried about, you might have a few breeds who are more likely to bite and hold. APBT's are one. They are not, however, despite bite statistics, more likely than any other breed to be "aggressive" towards humans.

Point is, well-bred pit bulls are going to have an aversion to biting a human as part of their instinctual behavior. Badly-bred, tempermentally unstable dogs of any breed are the problem. And bad dog owners are going to take any breed of dog, be it a lab or a peke.

The only way to verify that dogs are no longer dangerous is to restrict all pet sales to licensed, screened breeders, and ensure that all people buying a dog are screened for that breed (or are screened for that dog prior to adoption). Anyone not licensed as a breeder that owns a dog must have the dog fixed by the time the dog is 6 months old. You would have to carry proof of ownership (like a driver's license card) at all times. If you don't have the card, your dog is held until such time as you can furnish proof of eligability of ownership.

Not only would this eliminate the danger of dogs towards humans, it would go a long way to eliminating the danger of humans towards dogs (which is, IMHO, a much worse and much more worrisome problem).

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So many spankings! It feels so good! But at the same time, I don't care about meeting your family! - I'mNotDedalus:

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Lady Moon Shadows
Little Sales Drummer Boy


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A few years ago, I was a member of an animal forum that had a "pet of the week" contest, to which I submitted a photo of my dog.

I came on here and asked my fellow snopesters to help out and vote for him (which he WON btw)...

He is a pit/ridgeback mix.

Someone hit the nail square on the head: It is the OWNERS who make the "problem" exist with Pits.

My puppy (hehe he's roughly 5 now) has been in 3 fights--2 of which were caused by the other dog. The third was a mutual starting by him and the other dog. Neither time was my dog labeled as a "bad dog" or any such variation.

He's been visited by police officers (had to call the cops on the first two as it resulted in my daughter getting attacked by the other dog--which is why puppy attacked, defending her-- and him getting viciously attacked by a much bigger Rottie that tore his face open), the animal control and various people at different times.

He's NEVER made a move towards any human person ever. Not even my old landlord who he could not stand.

Pits are a damn good breed. If anything ever happened to puppy, we'd get another in a heartbeat.

It's the owners who NFBSK everything up...

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Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate and wine in hand, body thoroughly used up, and screaming WoW what a ride!

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kallrynne
I Saw Three Shipments


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I have been working for the past 5 years as a emergency veterinary technician and I happen to have alot to say on this subject. I have seen the results of fighting rings, bad training, children attacks, et. etc. etc. After all that I have seen, and having owned a couple of pits myself, I cannot honestly blame the breed.

Also remember in the 70s/ mid 80s all the attacks were coming from Dobermans, in the late 80s/ early 90s it was all about Rottweilers.


quote:
The reason pit bulls have a bad rap is because they have earned it. It's not fair to the nice ones, but, it's how it is.
Pit bulls have a bad rap because of the owners that choose to keep them. They choose Pits because of their strength and natural instincts, but then breed them to enphasize those instincts. If they find a particularly ferocious pit, they will breed it in hopes of passing on that trait, thus causing a more ferocious breed all together. They have been doing this for years. The problem is, they don't know how to handle this ferocious dog. The only thing these owners know is that they want it to be vicious and win them money in a fight. They don't care about anything else. They don't care about the dog, they often crop their ears and tails themselves at home with scissors (I've seen the aftermath of this home surgery many times) to give them that "look" and to have less for the other dog to hold on to. They generally stitch or staple up wounds themselves (sometimes just letting it heal with no help whatsoever). They usually provide the dogs no socialization whatsoever, kept in crates, only taken out to "excersize" and train. So, when these irresponsible owners inadvertently let one of these dogs get loose, guess what it does?
This most often happens in the city, ghetto, whatever you want to call it, where there is a high population and gang type activity.

quote:
Oh, another thing to consider please. many of the dogs pegged as pits aren't pits at all, but various other similar breeds or mixes of a bunch of breeds. basically, any stocky, strong, short-haired dog is termed a pit these days. Lots of breed misidentification, and, if you for a second believe most shelter workers can ID breed? Think again. I've seen some of the most ludicrious ID's on shelter websites.
I can definitely attest to this. I was once told, when I questioned whether a dog that came in was actually a pit or not, that they label anything that looks like it might have some pit in it a pit.

quote:
Where do you draw the line between bad owners and problems innate to the breed?
I don't know. Let's get rid of the bad owners and go from there.


quote:

I knew a breeder of St. Bernards once. Gentle, loving dogs. She, stupidly, and entirely her fault, left a friend's toddler alone with one of her dogs for about 10 min. Unbeknownst to her, the kid had gotten hold of a pencil. He stuck it in the dog's eye (it actually reached the brain). The dog reacted, bit, and killed the kid. One strike, and the rugrat was out.

I just had to comment on this. I almost lost an arm to a St. Bernard. I have never met a vicious one, and this one really wasn't vicious either. It had been lost in the woods in Florida for three weeks, was barely alive, dehydrated and unresponsive. We took him to XRay (after doing a number of other things) and while I was picking up his front legs to put them on the table, he came alive and before I knew it had my entire arm (which was bent at the time) in his mouth. I jerked immediately and had teeth marks down both sides of my arm. I could hear his teeth clamp together. He immediately laid back down and was once again unconcious. Once he started to come back around, he was extremely friendly. I nicknamed him Cujo.

Sharpei's are bad when it comes to biting, as a side note. Dogs in the Spitz family (sharpeis, chowchows, akita's, huskies, malamutes)all tend to have this trait. The problem with them is, when they are going to bite, they don't growl, lift a lip, or anything, so you have no warning. They just snap at you. Usually when you are touching their feet, food, or toy. And, believe it or not, Weimereiners have a tendency to bite unannounced as well.

My point is, pits have the rep because of the owners who have chosen them. If it had become "popular" to own a fighting Sharpei, then that breed would have been bred differently over time to enphasize certain traits and would be the current big bad guy.

A bull mastiff killed a man in a hallway of the building his owner lived in. The dog was sent to the pound, the story got out, and before they euthanized the dog, the shelter it was taken to was offered thousands of dollars from several different people to purchase it for fighting.

Ok. Done rambling. I'm under the weather at the moment and have no idea if any of that strung together the way it did in my head.

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kallrynne
I Saw Three Shipments


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I realize this has gotten a little off subject. The original question was whether a dog, specifically a pit, would be more inclined to bite or attack after it has tasted blood. The best way I saw it put was by Sam the dog trainer.

quote:
They don’t become mean if they taste blood. This is a stupid myth anyway. No animal become vicious because they tasted blood. Dogs cut themselves all the time in the field, then lick the wounds. Does that mean they are now going to attack their legs? The issue isn't blood, the issue is whether the dog is allowed to fight or kill. Dogs, regardless of the breed, are predators. Let them learn to hunt, and then they will want to hunt more and more. Let them be attacked, and they will be more likely to be quick to fight if they feel threatened.



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Lady Neeva
I Saw Three Shipments


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Not to quibble, but there really isn't any such thing as a purebred pit bull terrier... at least not with the AKC. And for the most part, the other so-called "registries" in the US aren't worth the paper that they print their "registrations" on. They'll register a ham sandwich as long as you pay them for it.

I've seen everything from Bull Terriers (spuds mckenzie dogs, or the target dog... those are bull terriers) to boxers called "pit bulls" and "pit bull cross". The animals called "pit bulls" in the US are a TYPE not a BREED.

Now, I have no idea about other countries with regards to that... for all I know, they very well may be a breed in another country. According to a fancier of the type I spoke with once, the original pit bull terrier in England I believe was a small (15-20lbs tops) stocky dog, looking more like a miniature staffordshire bull terrier than the current stafforshire - mastiff cross thats commonly called a pit bull nowdays. Todays pit bull is probably three times as large minimum (60 to 100lbs at least, although sizes vary ALOT) and is shaped more in line with a mastiff than any terrier.

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Morrigan
Happy Holly Days


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Lady Neeva, you're wrong. While it's not called a pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier is a type of pit bull.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Editted to add this info from Bulldogbreeds.com:

"The American Staffordshire Terrier's muscled build and protective instinct should make strangers beware, yet with their own family they are devoted, gentle and loving. A common question regarding the American Staffordshire Terrier is, "How is this breed different from the American Pit Bull Terrier?". In the eyes of the United Kennel Club, they are the same breed, but many disagree. Some AKC-registered American Staffordshire Terriers are dual-registered as American Pit Bull Terriers with the UKC; however, this draws criticism from many who point out that the bloodlines have been separate for too long for these to be considered the same breed. The AKC, on the other hand, does not allow a UKC-registered American Pit Bull Terrier to be registered as an American Staffordshire Terrier. To be dual-registered, the dog must first be an AKC-registered American Staffordshire Terrier and then it can be registered with the UKC as an APBT -- but not vice versa... They are courageous and a tenacious fighter if provoked. Training can be a challenge because of their pushy yet sensitive character. Their natural temperament towards people is gentle and loving, unfortunately some have been improperly handled giving the American Staffordshire Terrier a bad rap."


Morrigan

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"The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep." Robert Frost, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening

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Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by snapdragonfly:
But I really do not understand why it is, if it's true, that pit bulls are completely exactly the same, temperamentally, as all other dogs (which would imply there are no inherent personalities in breeds - which seems to me inaccurate, though I'm not a dog person so *shrug* whatever) that such a huge percentage of attacks - not just bites, but tragic near death or even deadly attacks - are pit bulls. That's not just someone's perspective - it very frequently is pit bulls. My mom's town just had a bad pit bull attack a few weeks ago. When did you ever, ever, hear of someone being in the hospital or dying from a pack of Welsh corgis attacking?

There are several things here. First of all, the term "pit bull" often refers to a dog of one of several breeds and mixes, so it is different than saying "Welsh Corgi" as "Welsh Corgi" is a single breed. There is no breed with the name "pit bull" it is actually usually used to describe a type rather than a breed, although if you were to choose one breed that was most properly called a "pit bull" it would be the American Pit Bull Terrier (but people also refer to several other breeds by the name "pit bull.) Attacks attributed to "pit bulls" may be from American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Bandogs, a mixed breed with one of those dogs in the mix, or a misidentified dog which is actually a Boxer, Great Dane, Mastiff, Bullmastiff, American Bulldog, Tosa Inu, Boston Terrier, English Bulldog, Bull Terrier, or a mix of any of those breeds. This is one of the reasons why there may be a higher percentage of attacks attributed to "pit bulls"-- because dogs identified as "pit bulls" could be a number of different breeds or mixes, so these attacks are coming from many sources rather than one specific breed. In most cases when a dog attacks someone, the person who identifies the breed or dog is not any kind of expert on breeds and in many cases it is either the person who was bitten or someone else on the scene who is likely to be emotional and may identify the breed incorrectly, even if you are calling the dog a specific breed like American Pit Bull Terrier rather than the more generic term "pit bull".

See if you can pick out the American Pit Bull Terrier's photo here:
http://www.understand-a-bull.com/Findthebull/findpitbull_v3.html
or here
http://members.aol.com/radogz/find.html


The other thing is that there are several other single breeds which have a high number of dog attacks, but they are smaller and so are a lot less likely to be involved in a fatality which means they are less likely to be widely reported. "Pit bull" bites sell papers, so papers (or whatever media) are more likely to report every "pit bull" bite.

The breeds called "pit bulls" are terriers, and terriers are in general tenacious. Once they begin to attack they are likely not to stop. Terriers also tend to ignore pain when they are focused on something, which means it is hard to stop them from attacking. These things combined with the fact that most terriers grab and hold rather than biting and releasing, mean that a "pit bull" is likely to inflict more damage than another dog of a similar size. For an example, you mentioned Welsh Corgis. Corgis are herding dogs and are bred to nip at the heels of a herd-- they would most likely not grab and hold during an attack, they would be more likely to take light nips and then back off.

Combine these facts with the reputation "pit bulls" have for being macho junkyard dogs, and you have a recipe for distaster when you put the dogs into the hands of someone who wants a mean guard dog.

quote:

But I take it from my conversations with him, that these dogs do in fact have a great deal of natural aggression. You can train them to behave...but when the pounds are full of dogs without it, I don't know why anyone would want a pit bull unless they *want* that aggression for some reason, perhaps as personal protection.

"Pit bull" breeds were not historically bred for human aggressive. Most dogs of these breeds were bred to be very trainable, generally friendly and trusting, and tolerant. They may have natural aggression towards animals/other dogs BUT this is not the same as human aggression. Unfortunately there have been people more recently breeding and training these dogs for human aggression, but this does not mean that all "pit bulls" are naturally agressive towards humans.

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Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

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erwins
Deck the Malls


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To, perhaps redundantly, (ETA2: okay, really reduntantly -- I've been thoroughly spanked) summarize some points about the undeserved rep of pit bulls:

  • They are a fad breed at the moment, esp. with people who are likely to be irresponsible owners. In the 80s, it was Rottweilers and before that, Dobermans, and before that, German Shepherds, etc.
  • As a dog with a tough reputation, people looking for a dog to be "scary" choose them. Then they will encourage the bad and dangerous behavior. (Same with Rottweilers, Dobermans, etc. when they were the popular tough dog).
  • Any dog that remotely looks pit like will be classified as a pit bull. (See below at *)
  • You hear about pit bull bites because, as a big dog, they do more damage. I know folks that have been bitten (drawing blood) by a miniature schnauzer, a dachshund, and a miniature poodle. None of them even went to the doctor, let alone notified the media. Small biting dogs are tolerated because they do less damage. The dogs that do more damage aren't necessarily more aggressive.
  • In their original breeding for fighting, dog aggression was selected for, and human aggression was selected against. I would say that dog aggression is a not uncommon characteristic of the breed (see Ryda's post about terrier attitude, also). Human aggression is primarily the result of irresponsible breeding by idiots. (Compare with temperament issues Cocker Spaniels developed when they were the fad dog of the 50s).

* On pit bull identification:
quote:
originally posted by abigsmurf:
http://www.dogbitelaw.com/breeds-causing-DBRFs.pdf

Most fatalities yet they're only the 62nd most popular breed (as of 2005)

Notice that your link refers to "pit bull type" dogs. Your statistic saying that they are only the 62nd most popular breed is, I presume, based on this site: http://www.akc.org/reg/dogreg_stats.cfm. Note that the 62nd most popular breed is the bull terrier (not the pit bull, but it is sometimes lumped in with the pit bull "type."). The 63rd most popular is the American Staffordshire Terrier, which is one of the breeds most commonly called a pit bull. The other is the American Pit Bull Terrier, which is not a breed recognized by the AKC, therefore not on the AKC site.

Note that in the cite you provided on dog bite fatalities, the next closest breed was "Rottweiler," not "Rottweiler type."

If you counted "pit bull type" dogs all together, they would probably be one of the most popular dogs.

Finally (sorry to ramble on so) pittie breeds scored higher than average on breed specific temperament tests by The American Temperament Test Society: as of December 2005, 83.5% passing rate for American Pit Bull Terrier and American Staffordshire Terrier, and a 84.7% passing rate for Staffordshire bull terriers. The average was 81.2% for all dog breeds.

ET fix code

erwins

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Anyte
Jingle Bell Hock


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I just have a problem with the phrase "aggressive breed of dog." As do many pit bull owners, I imagine. Mischa is mixed-breed. She weighs 50 pounds and probably has both rottweiler and german shepherd as well as something smaller, just by her looks. She is not an aggressive dog nor has she been strictly trained. She's been through obedience classes, but nothing special as far as training or socialization. Aggressive breed my butt. She rolls over if you so much as look at her strictly.

ETA - A few more thoughts. On the idea of only getting an aggressive breed if you intend to use it aggressively: it seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If people get Dog X with the intent to fight them, disreputable breeders will breed for those fighting characteristics and the breed will get a reputation for being dangerous.

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Too broke to pay attention

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Lady Neeva
I Saw Three Shipments


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Xia explained what I meant by my post *much* better than I ever could!

As to people being unable to recognize a dog by breed accurately... theres one young man (maybe in his late teens or early 20's) in my apartment complex who refuses to believe my dog isn't a "long haired pit bull". For the record, according to the animal shelter and my own guesses, she's probably a collie/german shepherd cross.

If you want to scroll through my annoying slideshow photo album that I can never remember to update, you can see her from the back on the Squirrel TV slide - http://users.adelphia.net/~destruk/pets.html

She looks *nothing* like anything most people would call a pit bull, yet this guy has half the complex convinced that I'm harboring an illegal pit bull. Fortunately, the management company hired someone with half a brain this time, and she practically laughed her head off when she called said dog to the office to judge for herself.

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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When I worked at the shelter, we were careful to label our mixed breeds as anything other than a pit bull if possible. We could recognize an AmStaff or "classic" Pit Bull Terrier, and we got many dogs that clearly had some type of "pit" breed in them. But if the dog could pass as anything else, like a "hound mix" or "lab mix", or Bulldog mix, we labeled them as that. If the dog couldn't pass as anything other than a pit bull, we reluctantly gave them that label. We didn't want people to avoid getting a dog out of ignorant fear, and we wanted to limit the number of people purposely looking for a pit bull.

(As a side note, I am always amazed at the number of shelter visitors who constantly asked us what a "lab mix" or "hound mix" was mixed with. We don't know, people!!! It's just a guess! These were the types of people who wanted detailed background information on every dog. Sorry, we usually didn't have anything else other than "a lab mix found on the side of the road.")

As far as dogs being mislabeled as pit bulls, several people have suggested that my Springer Spaniel mix is part pit based solely on the square shape of his head! (He can be seen in the snopes photo contest #9.) My dog is most definitely a spaniel/setter breed...there is absolutely nothing about him physically that's bulldoggish or terrier-like.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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