My neighbor has a 1 1/2 pound chihuahua that is mean as a snake around
larger dogs and has a heart the size of a mountain. It is very gentle around
kids too. He trained it to be mean around his other dog which is a pitbull,
female and very tame. The chihuahua is the alpha dog and the pitbull the
subordinate. It is quite funny to watch them sometimes.
Not nearly as much more difficult as you think. I have friends with goldies too and I
also eager to please their owners.
Why? They're both dogs and they both have the same sets of instincts. Do you know
what is involved
in attack dog training and how it is done? It simply involves reinforcing the
instincts in any
dog. (And yes, I have worked as a dog handler -- not a trainer! -- for a company that
guard and attack dogs.) In principle it's no different than teaching a dog to chase a
which is what it looks like in the early stages.
Training an attack dog not a matter of finding a dog with some special 'killer
to be unleashed. It is simply a matter of conditioning the dog to apply its natural
behavior in a
particular way in a particular situation. And in fact In fact one of the reasons some
preferred for attack dog training has nothing to do with an aggressive temperament.
opposite. For attack training you want a dog which is extremely stable
Now if by 'attack dog' you simply mean making a dog vicious, that's also the same for
Fundamentally you drive the dog crazy by mistreatment until it is deathly afraid of
people and it
takes out that fear as aggression. You may or may not let the dog bond to you, but
you end up with
a very mentally ill animal.
Rick is obviously quite emotionally incensed by this discussion. Well,
that's fine. It doesn't follow from one's being emotionally involved
that one's mistaken, although clearly one should be careful. He claims
that pit bulls, as a group, aren't more dangerous or aggressive than
Notice that this is a different question than whether or not other
breeds of dogs can be trained to be aggressive. Of course they can.
Other breeds can also have individuals that are naturally aggressive,
either towards other dogs or whatever.
That fact is that statistical studies have been run that correlate
aggression and damage inflicted by various dog breeds. I don't have
them at hand, and I don't remember where the pit bull ranked.
Nonetheless, the studies clearly proved that some breeds are more
dangerous than others, and the fact that one might know a number of
examples of non-aggressive dogs of a more aggressive prone breed does
nothing to undermine the statistics. If I remember correctly, german
shepherds were the breed most likely to bite a person. Someone will no
doubt respond, "But I've known tons of g. shepherds and they've all been
goofy little pudd'n pops! They wouldn't bite anyone!" That doesn't
change the statistics, or the fact that breeds vary in there general
The fact is that dog breeds very quite considerably in their behavior. I
would not take a full grown intact male Great Pyrenees to a dog park,
and it doesn't matter how well socialized the dog was. These dogs,
which are great dogs by the way, were bred to see other large animals as
a threat to the flocks of sheep that the great pyrs guarded. As such,
they tend to be very aggressive towards other dogs, and they will not
back down, as they were bred and trained to defend their flocks with
their lives. This tendency towards aggression is recognized in the breed
standard, and a person ignores this genetic predisposition at their
peril, or, more correctly, at the peril of other people's dogs.
Let's stay with Pyrs. All of the major Pyr sites, books and breeders
will tell you not to walk your Pyr off-leash. Why? Because they were
bred to be independent and to roam with their flock of sheep. This
required patrolling a very large territory. As a result, when given the
chance, they often take off. There are are even stories of obedience
champions who get loose, and despite their very good training they
nonetheless take off. How many people do you think have lost a dog
because they thought that _their_ dog wouldn't do that, and hadn't taken
off the prior times when they were let loose? Training, even very
conscientious training, does not guarantee the extinction of a genetic
Let's get back to the American Pit Bull Terrier. They were bred to hurt
and kill other dogs. While it's true that their jaws don't "lock",
consider this from the American Pit Bull Terrier Faq:
"Those of you who frequent dog shows for the APBT will no doubt
eventually be witness to dogs getting loose and starting a fight. So,
what happens when they are serious? Well, each dog will bite the other,
take hold and start to shake its head punishingly. It is so serious that
in most cases nothing you do will cause the dog/bitch to give up that
precious hold! Nothing! Choking, shocking, etc...It just doesn't matter!"
This is different behavior than a large number of other dogs. These dogs
were bred to be killers, just like other dogs were bred to be
retrievers, herders, working dogs, or companion animals. Each of these
classes has dogs with unique behavioral instincts. Why then would the
pit bull be any different? There's no reason to think so. Does this
mean that they aren't good dogs? No! But it does mean that special care
need to be taken with them, just as it does with a number of other
breeds of dogs, such as mastiffs, rottweilers...
So you're upset by people being wary of pit bulls? Get over it! My dog,
a Leonberger, was bred to be a companion dog, which is the reason that
the breed was created. Nonetheless, he's a very big dog, roughly the
size of a great dane. He's goofy and lives for playing with people and
other dogs. Nonetheless, he often scares people. Take the UPS guy. He
won't come into are yard. Now I could get all pissed off about how
Murphy is being ignorantly maligned, but then I realize that he's a very
big dog who could be very dangerous if he wanted to be, and I recall all
of the idiot's I've met who've had dogs. Example, I once pulled a husky
off of another dog. Luckily, there was only a little blood. The owner of
the husky said, "I don't know why, but every time I come to the dog park
Klondike picks out one other dog to attack."... A person should be
wary of an unknown large dog, especially one that might have aggressive
predispositions, and that certainly applies to pit bulls.
By the way, the angrier pit bull fanciers get,the more dismissive they
become of the worries of others, and the more they brush off the dangers
of the breede, the more likely it will be that ownership of the dogs
will be restricted.
-Peter De Smidt
Number one in deaths, Rottweiler number two, other large dogs dominating
mist of the list. Surpisingly, a Yorkie gets a mention! Less than 1%
involved a leashed dog off the owners property.
Actually the studies prove exactly the opposite. The number of dog bite
incidents correlates (as best we can determine) with the relatively
popularity of the breeds. The more popular the breed in a particular area,
the more likely they are to bite someone.
There's no correlation with 'aggressive' breeds.
Note that this was exactly the question before the Alabama supreme court in
the only (AFIK) 'dangerous breeds' case to go up on appeal. After studying
the evidence the court came to the conclusion that there is no proof that any
breeds are inherently dangerous.
Dog bite fatalities show a different picture. There's a direct correlation
between the size and strength of the breed and its involvement in fatalities.
That's why pit bulls, rottweilers and such figure high on that list. But St.
Bernards and most other large breeds of dogs are high on the list as well.
Except the statistics don't support the idea of 'aggressive breeds' in that
There was a time when German Shepherds were one of the most popular breeds in
the US. More German Shepherds, more bites by German Shepherds. That simple.
My acquaintances with Pyrs are only casual (and favorable), but I would be
willing to bet that with proper training you could take a full male to the
dog park with no worry that he would attack another dog. What you can't be
sure of -- for any breed -- is whether any of the other dogs there would
attack the Pyr.
Most responsible sources will tell you never to talk _any_ medium to large
size breed off a leash.
I'm told this is common at dog shows with all kinds of breeds.
That's certainly true. As I say, a pit bull can do a lot of damage.
No. Killers don't win dog fights. Dogs with game, stamina, strength,
endurance and speed win dog fights. A dog that just wants to kill is at a
disadvantage. And a dog that shows aggression towards humans in the middle of
a dog fight is a liability -- and not going to survive.
They're not. But you're exaggerating the 'unique behavioral instincts' of the
various breeds of dogs. Look, dogs were dogs for tens of thousands of years
before modern breeds appeared on the scene. In all those tens of thousands of
years they were bred for socialization with humans and other traits. Those
are still predominant.
I've said repeatedly that pit bulls are not dogs for everyone.
I'm not upset at people being wary of pit bulls or any other kind of dog. I
am upset by the kind of hysterical nonsense that all too often passes for
fact when they're discussed.
All pit bull fanciers can do is try to educate people about the actual nature
of their dogs by countering the sort of absurdities that some people put out
as 'fact'. Pit bulls are not for everyone, but they are not the 'four-legged
assault weapons' the ignorant and fearful try to make them out to be.
Then they're guilty of the same type of hysteria that you've been
arguing against in this thread. I'd like to see how one goes hunting
with one's dog on a leash.
In any case, you're ignoring the main issue which is different breeds
have different behavioral traits, some of which are aggressive in
character, and which can only be mitigated by training. Since that's
true, then some dogs are inherently more dangerous than others. Given
the characteristics that the American Pit Bull Terrier FAQ ascribes to
pit bulls, it follows that they are a more dangerous breed than most
others. So are mastifs, rottweilers, ... This doesn't mean that people
shouldn't own them, or that they don't make good dogs under the
I will add that there are a number pit bulls that come to our dog park.
When certain of them show up, everyone leaves. Why? Because these
specific dogs have demonstrated their aggressiveness. Sure the owners
are idiots. But a cocker spanial in the hands of a poor dog owner is
less dangerous than a pit bull owned by a similar person, maybe not
always, but certainly on average.
-Peter De Smidt
Obviously there are exceptions. But the rule is well-nigh universal. Keep any
medium to large dog leashed.
Actually I spent most of my message to you responding to exactly this point. To
1) Dog bite statistics show no correlation between breed of dog an aggression.
2) The Alabama Supreme Court found no evidence that some breeds are inherently
3) There is apparently no factual basis for your argument that pit bulls as a
breed are more aggressive.
4) While different breeds have different characteristics, I think the evidence
shows the differences are much, much less than you seem to believe and are in
any case not determinative.
5) All that said, pit bulls are large, strong dogs that are quite capable of
doing a lot of damage. That means that their owners have a special
responsibility to make sure their dog is properly trained, well-socialized and
properly restrained. This is true of Rottweilers, German Shepherds and many
other breeds of large dogs.
Some dogs are much more dangerous than others. But this owes much more to the
training, socialization and temperament of the individual dog that it does to
Actually cocker spaniels have a reputation as biters as well. But no, a 20-pound
cocker isn't as big or as strong as a 40-pound pit bull and probably won't do as
much damage if it does attack. But again, that doesn't go to the inherent
aggressiveness of the breed.
And keep in mind that pit bulls are enormously strong dogs for their size. They
are commonly used in pulling contests and it's not unusual to have a single pit
bull pull over 1000 pounds. It's kind of funny to watch a pit bull trying to
swim. They have so much muscle they're very dense dogs and they have to paddle
frantically just to stay afloat.
LOL. Yeah. I can imagine my 15 pound terrier (one of the smaller non-yappers)
and dachshund might do as an attack dog. She's hell on moles and baby rabbits,
which delights me, but her favorite exercises are sitting up (which she can do
for a long time) begging for attention or food, or rolling onto her back to
show she absolutely has to have a belly rub.
"Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles."
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
Re: OT bad experience today
Group: rec.woodworking Date: Sun, Oct 3, 2004, 8:27am (EDT-1)
email@example.com (Prometheus) says:
ROFL!! You just made me imagine trying to turn my 70-lb. Collie into an
attack dog- he'd much rather sleep on the couch than eal someone alive.
Dunno. There was a story about an attack rabbit, a few years back.
Seems some young idiots had constantly teased it, over a period of time.
It would actually jump at people and try to bite them. I didn't bother
to check to verify it, but sounds like something that could happen. I
do remember reading about it, and believe I saw something on it on TV.
But, you know how true those TV news stories are.
We will never have great leaders as long as we mistake education for
intelligence, ambition for ability, and lack of transgression for
First of all I do not live in a suburban setting, second I maintain a
legally recieved license to carry a firearm. If this (or any other animal
for that matter) was an imediate threat to myself or my child it would have
been shot post haste. As far as a gun control issue, I have NO problem
controlling my weapon. I believe that Pittbulls are notoriously used as
weapons against police and other persons. They have a deep seated instinct
to kill, and this instinct can be buried within the dogs mind but never
How can I as a parent allow my child to play in his own yard with a
dangerous animal running loose? I can't, so why should I keep my child
locked up in a house while this dog runs loose? Dig deeper into the internet
and you will find that "faithfull" dogs have turned on thier owners in the
middle of the night for no apparent reason.
By the way I am a dog owner, a pure bred Yellow lab, so this is not about
dogs. It is about the safety of my child.
We've been dog owners for a good number of years. Our first dogs were
Bernese Mountain Dogs, both of whom have sadly passed away, and now we
have a 14 month old Leonberger name Murphy. Our dogs go on three long
walks a day, at least one of which is usually a woods ramble or an
adventure to a dog park. Unfortunately we don't go to dog parks anymore
since our dogs have been attacked too many times, and I've gotten bitten
pulling other people's dogs off of mine. Our dogs have been attacked by
golden retrievers and akitas, but the biggest offenders have been german
shepherds, rottweilers and pit bulls.
A pit bull made the scariest attack. He charged Murphy from 100 yards
away and lunged for his throat. Luckily, the pit was wearing a muzzle.
Nonetheless, he keep lunging and doing what he could to get at Murphy.
The raging noises the pit bull made were unbelievable. During the
roughly 5 minutes that it took the owners to get a hold of their dog,
they spent the first minutes just watching, the muzzle almost slipped
off. If that had happened, Murphy would be dead, and then either I or
the pit bull would also have been no more. I could grab Murphy, but that
just made him a stationary target.
People with aggressive dogs should never put that dog in a situation
where he can harm anyone or any dog, and people who have dogs that were
historically bred for fighting have to be very careful even if their dog
hasn't shown any aggression. There are a great number of incidents were
a supposedly perfectly behaved pit bull, akita, mastiff... went berserk
and hurt or killed something. I'm not saying that people shouldn't own
these breeds, but if they do they should very pro-active dog owners with
significant experience in dog training, and they should be responsible
for what their dog does. In my experience, this is often not the case.
-Peter De Smidt
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