Wrong, most domestic dogs will only attack after pretty severe
provocation. I favor Collies and Irish Setters, and I've never, ever
seen one show an agressive side unless someone they don't know is
trying to force their way into their home. No doubt it is *possible*
to train one *to* attack, but I've never seen it done. On the other
hand, it seems that anything in the terrier family will attack unless
well trained *not* to do so. It's not even a fine distinction, it's a
major one, IMO. Size has nothing to do with it- when was the last
time you heard of a Great Dane or St. Bernard attacking someone
without provocation? I hear about Pit-bulls attacking people all the
time, and they're smaller than either of those breeds.
True, but not with nearly as many incidents, for what it's worth.
They are a nervous breed, at any rate- but trying to turn one mean
seems like it would be a trial. You're a lot more likely to break
their spirit first. If I yell at my dog (only once or twice in the
seven years I've had him) he won't eat for days. Hardly a candidate
for guard-dog at a crack house!
As nearly as we can tell from the dog bite list, bites correlate with the
popularity of the breed.
Just a matter of making the dog crazy. It works the same for any dog.
Understand, a vicious dog is not a mentally healthy dog and usually shows an
exaggerated fear response.
Now if you're concerned about the 'instinctive characteristics' of the dog,
keep in mind that a collie's herding behavior is a sublimated version of
chasing prey and bringing it down by hamstringing it. In fact I am told that
at least some shelties have a tendency to nip (bite) at the heels of running
children and it has to be trained out of them.
Not concerned in this case. I've seen plenty of the herding instinct
in my dog, and it's all been benign. It's pretty funny to watch him
herding the cat around the house! He also does it with small
children, but only with gentle pushes from his muzzle.
My Sheltie herds only at mealtime - his mealtime and then I'm the sheep.
His previous owners taught him to get a ball when he wants to play and he
still does this with me, ditto for any child even looks his way. When I
have a group of people here at least one ball per person will be someplace
on the floor. No one taught him to herd the balls up and put them away.
LOL! Hadn't ever thought of that! Must be quite a sight to see, I'd have
to gag, muzzle, and hog tie this one to keep him out of the game. Probably
need to blindfold him, too, or he'd still manage to wiggle into the game.
I had a friend who had a sheltie and two small kids who played soccer. It was
wonderful to behold. The dog was having a great time trying to herd both teams
and the ball. She was really upset when mom locked her in the car.
That statement is technically correct, but you have to look at things from the
dog's perspective. A dog, any dog, may be moved to attack by things that seem
utterly innocuous to humans. The resulting aggression may seem utterly
unprovoked to humans unless they speak dog pretty fluently. Simply looking at
a dog, or walking close to it may appear to the dog to be an attack under the
proper circumstances. (This is why it is dangerous to approach any dog that's
running loose, btw. The dog is most likely out of its comfort zone and prone
to nervous aggression. This can be true of even the most docile, well-behaved
Here is a good discussion of aggression in dogs, what causes it and how to
In an earlier post I mentioned the Irish Setter who charged through a storm
door. The reference above mentions collies as a breed that can bite.
The next time you go to your vet, ask him or her about what breeds of dogs are
most likely to bite. The answer is 'all of them'.
Happens fairly frequently. In fact St. Bernards figure on the list of breeds
involved in dog bite fatalities. It's true that terriers of all sizes and
breeds have a tendency to aggression, but the difference is not nearly as
great as you make it out to be.
Can you say 'media artifact'? If the dog even looks vague like a pit bull, it
will be described in the media as a 'pit bull' or a 'pit bull mix'. Otherwise
the breed of dog is quite likely to go unreported.
Not if you've ever been around pit bulls. Mostly what they are bred to do is please
Well, no. It takes works and a little knowledge, but it is not at all beyond the
ability of the average person. You're simply wrong.
No, it's a clearly demonstrated fact that pit bulls are readily trained not to be
aggressive toward other dogs. They are no more difficult in this respect that
terriers in general. Yes, it takes training. But it is neither rocket science nor
any great mystery. I've seen it done repeatedly and the dogs were perfectly safe
around everything from other dogs to new-born kittens. (Whether the pit bull was
safe from the mother cat was another question.)
You may doubt it all you want. But it is still a fact and easily demonstrable. In
fact a well-trained pit bull is quite capable of standing there and taking it
without retaliation when attacked by another dog.
Let me let you in on a little secret. Dogs, any dogs, are not tigers. They are the
products of thousands of years of selective breeding to socialize them to human
beings. Tigers haven't been and they are an infinitely dicier proposition to
For our purposes it comes down to the same thing.
Tsk tsk ... next we're going to advocate civil rights to animals?
You certainly CAN make that generalization about ANY animal that was
_specifically_ bred to attack and kill ... just as you can safely say that
any dog running loose in an urban setting is NOT receiving the proper
attention. Put the two together, particularly with an American Pit Bull, and
you're asking for trouble.
AAMOF, if you have a dog you love, _you_ damn well better make that
generalization the next time you see a pit bull running loose close by.
I grew up with one. I've no doubt there are many that are lovable creatures
in the breed (we owned a Staffordshire Terrier - given to my Dad as a gift
by the CEO of Chevron Oil Company of those days - which was basically the
same breed as American Pit Bull at the time, and while well trained and
lovable to humans and children, would attack and kill another dog in a
heartbeat, and did on more than occasion).
Sounds good ... but I still have the scars on my hand to prove, inarguably,
that this is not correct. The pit bull that got me years later, and the
little boy, was a well trained family pet that was following his inherent
instinct to attack and kill the other dog.
I've been around dogs all my life and have never seen another domestic
animal with the instincts of the pit bull.
I agree. Our little mutt--15 pounds of wiggle and wag, basically--was in the
yard last week, and I got her in the house in a hurry when two pit bulls ambled
down the drive. I'd never seen them before, but shut the doors and drove to
town to borrow a shotgun.
I'm not about to give two dogs that size a chance to show much more than a
frigging HINT of agressive behavior on my property. There is no leash law in
this county, something I consider a bad mistake as population grows and
wandering canines increase in number. Sooner or later, something serious is
going to happen to a child, rather than another dog. Then action will be taken,
too late for the child.
That won't happen on my two acres.
"Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles."
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
No, actually he's pointing up the irrationality of your position.
In other words the person wouldn't know a pit bull if he saw one. A Staffy is
NOT a pit bull and the differences are pretty obvious if you do know.
Now it is true that Staffys were also fighting dogs and one time and have the
terrier aggressiveness. What your story proves is that the owner didn't take the
time to properly socialize the dog so that it would not attack other dogs. That
can be a problem with any breed and its especially likely to be a problem with
terriers. Even very small terriers are notorious for picking fights with other
You have the scars on your hand to prove you got in the middle of a dog fight --
albeit for good reasons -- and you got bit. This somehow makes the dog that bit
you unusually vicious?
Swing, I've got news for you. If a dog -- any dog -- is out to hurt you, you
don't just get bit on the hand.
Then you simply haven't been paying attention.
Look, I'm sorry you got bit. I'm even sorrier the dog that bit you was a pit
bull. (If in fact it was. There's a tendency to claim any medium-size
short-muzzled dog that bites someone is a pit bull. A lot of people can't even
But your position is something like claiming that all African-Americans are
dangerous criminals because you were once mugged by an Africian American.
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