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Tommy Coyote

Another needless dog attack

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The collie of my childhood had an owner who SAW the dog bite people hard enough to draw blood, repeatedly, unprovoked. I'm not talking "Oh I bent over the dog suddenly and it bit me" unprovoked, I'm talking "The dog crossed a long distance to bite a reasonably familiar child who was standing there silently" unprovoked.

 

"Oh, she's never done that before. "

 

Next time you saw her and you jumped on the table to avoid the dog it would be "I can't understand why you are so afraid of dogs. You have a dog."

 

Edited to add: Liz, I am so sorry, I completely forgot to thank you for the bite scale! It's a good read, something useful to have.

 

Creigowlady and Rushdoggie- well said. I just wish we could have a 'hey these are difficult dogs and you probably should not own them' thing like tends to happen for people who love terriers. Rather than an 'omg these dogs are evil so if you get one you should keep it outside away from everyone and never socialize it and it should be illegal to walk it without a muzzle', which I have seen happen, or 'it's all in how you raise them and you don't need to learn about dog body language or manners'.

I deffinetly think that keeping them locked away and muzzled and unsocialized would make for a more aggressive dog just my opinion. I also think that with any breed people that want to own a dog should educate themselves as much as possible. Having the Internet at the palm of your hand makes it a whole lot easier to do so.

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Wow they are totally banned? In your whole country? My question is and not being rude just wondering if their are less deaths by dogs there.

And I think it's a trick question all thoughi I see your point I would not want to get bit or attacked by any breed of dog lol.

As I live in Iceland, it is easy for the government to enforce such a ban, it being an island. Traditionally such breeds weren't kept here, and they took measures immediately when people started importing fancy foreign breeds as the country developed to a richer western style society (which wasn't before just after WO II).

I have lived here for 20 years and I have not heard of one single incident where a dog killed a human being.

 

My question wasn't meant as a trick question, a bit rhethorical rather. To answer it myself, I'd prefer the bordercollie.

Those breeds aren't called "powerbreeds" for nothing, their jaws can break bones easily. With a bordercollie in killer attack mode I know I will probably get hurt pretty bad, but I also know I have the physical strength to win the fight. Against a a pit or a stafford, not so sure...

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I can agree with you and thought it was interesting that they band the whole breed with success since in America they are everywhere. I also know it was not a trick question I was just finding it hard to pick what breed to be attacked by. Pitbulls are stronger but border collies are faster. But if I had to pick I would pick a border collie over a pitbull any day.

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My heart dog who died in June 2016 was a pit bull. When she was approximately 14 weeks old, she wandered onto a friend's farm. The friend gave her to me. After the vet told me that she was a pit bull, I almost didn't keep her.

 

Instead she was my best friend for over 14 years. She cheerfully endured stupid people and stupid dogs--despite very significant health problems at the end of her life, we never reached the end of her fuse.

 

She taught me so much.

 

If I had listened to the news reports, horror stories, and peoples bias', I would have missed so much.

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I think no-one would deny that they can be great dogs. But dogs from any breed have individuals that for whatever reason become dangerously aggressive.

Discussion aside whether those powerbreeds have a higher incidence of that happening (as another aside I think they do), there is no doubt in my mind that when that happens those dogs have a vastly greater potential to do serous damage, even mortal than the average dog. That was my point.

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" There are far too many good dogs in the world to risk keeping the biters around, let alone breed from them. I don't care what breed it is. "

 

I agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly.

 

There is a thing that really bothers me about the pit bull and bully breeds issue.

 

When I was a kid ( and here, I date myself, but whatever), the "American bull terrier" was considered to be the All Around Great American Family Dog. They were in TV shows, in advertising photos, every block in the country had at least one family that had one. There was no hype about them being dangerous, just the opposite.

 

Now, I grew up in Canada, but the attitude towards the breed was much the same there, although there were not as many of them where I lived.

 

At that time, at least where I lived, the German Shepherd Dog was considered to be potentially a Dangerous Dog, one that you could not trust, one who could and would suddenly "turn on you" and become violent and vicious. Anecdotal stories circulated. People were warned against them.

then, a decade or so later, it was Rottweillers that were considered to be dangerous-will-turn-on-you dogs. Anecdotal stories circulated. People were warned. Then after that, it was Dobermans.

 

Now it is pit bulls.

The pit bull reviling phase has lasted longer and is more widely spread and has brought about more problems for the breed than any of the other phases with other breeds.

I think this is for these reasons (perhaps among others):

 

---Pits are, indeed, more dangerous than many other breeds are if they do attack, because of their impressive jaw size and strength and the instinctual bite-character which is to hold on for dear life once they grab something.

---Pits have been used for dog fighting now for hundreds of generations of the breed(s), and so aggression has been bred into the breed.

---Even if your particular dog was not bred for fighting, it may come from lines that were, and that kind of trait may be very difficult to breed out, especially in a fighty-type dog like a pit.

----Because of the internet everyone now knows everything that happens everywhere. For some people this unfortunately makes them want to have this "dangerous" breed, to show how tough they are, to look dangerous to other people, to guard their house, to stroke their ego, whatever.

This of course leads to a huge market for the breed, and indiscriminate breeding of litters not in any way carefully bred, which means that behavior problems such as aggression are not selected out and are in some cases selected for, by those who say they are breeding for "protection dogs", who then sell them freely to anyone with a few hundred bucks.

 

What I am trying to say here is that I truly do not think it is about the breed, inherently. It is about what human beings have done and are doing to and with the breed. They were not a problem a few decades ago, and now they are, and through no fault of theirs.

 

I think the whole thing is tragic, but most especially for the dogs, who don't ask to be bred the way they are or treated as they are, and who are the ones who suffer the most.

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" There are far too many good dogs in the world to risk keeping the biters around, let alone breed from them. I don't care what breed it is. "

 

I agree with this sentiment wholeheartedly.

 

There is a thing that really bothers me about the pit bull and bully breeds issue.

 

When I was a kid ( and here, I date myself, but whatever), the "American bull terrier" was considered to be the All Around Great American Family Dog. They were in TV shows, in advertising photos, every block in the country had at least one family that had one. There was no hype about them being dangerous, just the opposite.

 

Now, I grew up in Canada, but the attitude towards the breed was much the same there, although there were not as many of them where I lived.

 

At that time, at least where I lived, the German Shepherd Dog was considered to be potentially a Dangerous Dog, one that you could not trust, one who could and would suddenly "turn on you" and become violent and vicious. Anecdotal stories circulated. People were warned against them.

then, a decade or so later, it was Rottweillers that were considered to be dangerous-will-turn-on-you dogs. Anecdotal stories circulated. People were warned. Then after that, it was Dobermans.

 

Now it is pit bulls.

The pit bull reviling phase has lasted longer and is more widely spread and has brought about more problems for the breed than any of the other phases with other breeds.

I think this is for these reasons (perhaps among others):

 

---Pits are, indeed, more dangerous than many other breeds are if they do attack, because of their impressive jaw size and strength and the instinctual bite-character which is to hold on for dear life once they grab something.

---Pits have been used for dog fighting now for hundreds of generations of the breed(s), and so aggression has been bred into the breed.

---Even if your particular dog was not bred for fighting, it may come from lines that were, and that kind of trait may be very difficult to breed out, especially in a fighty-type dog like a pit.

----Because of the internet everyone now knows everything that happens everywhere. For some people this unfortunately makes them want to have this "dangerous" breed, to show how tough they are, to look dangerous to other people, to guard their house, to stroke their ego, whatever.

This of course leads to a huge market for the breed, and indiscriminate breeding of litters not in any way carefully bred, which means that behavior problems such as aggression are not selected out and are in some cases selected for, by those who say they are breeding for "protection dogs", who then sell them freely to anyone with a few hundred bucks.

 

What I am trying to say here is that I truly do not think it is about the breed, inherently. It is about what human beings have done and are doing to and with the breed. They were not a problem a few decades ago, and now they are, and through no fault of theirs.

 

I think the whole thing is tragic, but most especially for the dogs, who don't ask to be bred the way they are or treated as they are, and who are the ones who suffer the most.

I whole heatedly agree and couldn't have said it better than you have. As my vet told me be careful who you get a dog from..if you breed an aggressive dog the higher the chances you are of getting an aggressive dog. I also don't believe it is fair what people have done to many breeds and do not blame the animal at all.

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I can agree with you and thought it was interesting that they band the whole breed with success since in America they are everywhere. I also know it was not a trick question I was just finding it hard to pick what breed to be attacked by. Pitbulls are stronger but border collies are faster. But if I had to pick I would pick a border collie over a pitbull any day.

BSL is here in the US and in Canada as well. It is well known and controversial. Lots of information online if you are interested in learning more.

 

Hundreds of cities and counties in the US (plus military bases), as well as Ontario ban pit bull type dogs. Many (most?) places in California have a mandatory sterilization of pit bulls. Places with bans have strict requirements for pit bull types that were already living there.

 

If I remember correctly, more than 10 countries have full bans.

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Thank you waffles for the info. I live in California right now but have only been here for 2 years. I am from Nevada and had lived there my whole life prior to moving and I can say that for both states and I'm sure it's the same all over the world but it is very very hard to find anywhere that will let you rent a home if you own a pit bull or pit mix. I have worked with quite a few people that struggled with the issue because as soon as the owner finds out they have a pit bull they were told they could not rent to them just based off of their dog.

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Well said D'elle.

 

I would much rather have a staffordshire terrier coming at me in a savage rage than a border collie. Border collie seems faster, less likely to be under control, and just more frightening. I've seen more permanent scars from the one than the other, so that colours my decision. They just seem like they would do a lot more damage in terms of multiple bites.

 

 

Aside from that though it would go mostly on size. I would by far rather have a 28kg staffie go for me than a 36kg labrador.

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Thank you waffles for the info. I live in California right now but have only been here for 2 years. I am from Nevada and had lived there my whole life prior to moving and I can say that for both states and I'm sure it's the same all over the world but it is very very hard to find anywhere that will let you rent a home if you own a pit bull or pit mix. I have worked with quite a few people that struggled with the issue because as soon as the owner finds out they have a pit bull they were told they could not rent to them just based off of their dog.

That is an insurance issue. Unless of course the town has BSL, then the landlords hands are tied either way.

 

Many insurance companies though, will not cover liability with certain breeds or charge more for premiums. Many landlords do not want the possible issue of being named in a lawsuit (or lose their coverage) should a tenants dog bite someone or be willing to pay more in insurance to have certain breeds live on the property.

 

If I were looking to rent with a dog I would first make sure the landlord was aware that I would get liability insurance through my own renters insurance. It has been my experience, that most renters do not have renters insurance (regardless of dog ownership) even though it is dirt cheap.

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Well said D'elle.

 

I would much rather have a staffordshire terrier coming at me in a savage rage than a border collie. Border collie seems faster, less likely to be under control, and just more frightening. I've seen more permanent scars from the one than the other, so that colours my decision. They just seem like they would do a lot more damage in terms of multiple bites.

 

 

Aside from that though it would go mostly on size. I would by far rather have a 28kg staffie go for me than a 36kg labrador.

 

I think that most collie types bite, release, bite, release vs Bite hold and shake like some of the terriers do. Also mouth size and jaw power matters if you are getting a full on bite.

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Bite-hold gives you time that could possibly be used to deal with the situation. You can pepper spray, you can strangle it, you can go for the eyes, you can feed it a jacket or coat. If it shakes you yes that can do damage, but it at least won't serve the neck-snapping purpose.

 

A bite- release gives you less of a chance. If the dog can get five or six bites in in a couple of seconds it can badly mangle you or kill you without any need for shaking. Healthy human skin is easier to pierce or incise than to rip with brute force- think about pricking yourself with a knife vs skinning your knee. Your knee doesn't usually deglove. So yes you will get a longer duration of crushing force, but you will also get crushing force with multiple single bites. Hence why I would avoid the multiple bites.

 

Of course this is just speculation, and is coloured by my experience with savage collies and friendly staffies. Take it with a pinch of salt. Having been asked which one you would prefer, specifically, my answer is always going to be the staffie.

 

Even given solid evidence the particular staffie happened to be more dangerous than the particular collie, I would choose it. The collie of my childhood was a level 5 biter of children on Dunbar's scale. On more than one occasion it threw itself at a window because it saw me on the other side, and it would wait outside the door and snarl when you opened the door a crack.

 

The other collie I knew of that type I'm finding difficult to classify on the scale. They don't seem to have an entry for 'four inches of permanent scarring'. But given that they were collies etc. and 'nice' dogs the owners went heavily into denial. Nothing was ever done and those dogs wandered unmuzzled 'til they died of old age. Hence why I hate the idea of 'safe' and 'unsafe' dog breeds. I just think that 'dangerous' dogs depend on the individual dog and on the conduct of the owner. The bichon frise allowed to run loose is going to do me more harm than the savage german shepherd who is trained, muzzled, and kept under control.

 

And the point I am making is that while one person's idea might be that pit bulls are more 'scary' than collies, others might have the opposite view. Any dog that's attacking someone seriously is dangerous and at that point breed becomes at best a possibly-inaccurate proxy for what you actually want to know- size, ferocity, strength, determination, jaw power and mouth size etc. as you say.

 

I've seen studies claiming lhasa apsos, dachshunds, american bulldogs and dalmatians had the most severe injuries after dog bites.

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I work with dogs professionally on a daily basis. I would rather deal with an aggressive collie type dog than an aggressive bully breed dog any day of the week. Not a doubt in my mind.

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That's a fair assessment and I respect it. But I don't think it's logical to say that because a breed is scary, individuals should be banned or are necessarily dangerous- not that you're saying it, but that others do. Or to rely on the subjective perception of a breed as 'dangerous' based on gut feelings, to justify banning them.

 

I would still pick the staffie over a collie. That doesn't mean collies should be banned.

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BSL is here in the US and in Canada as well. It is well known and controversial. Lots of information online if you are interested in learning more.

 

Hundreds of cities and counties in the US (plus military bases), as well as Ontario ban pit bull type dogs. Many (most?) places in California have a mandatory sterilization of pit bulls. Places with bans have strict requirements for pit bull types that were already living there.

 

If I remember correctly, more than 10 countries have full bans.

Waffles everything I read for California says that the state actually passed a law stating that no city or county can ban the breed based on it being dangerous or viscous although you are right about some places in California have there for made it mandatory to have them sterilized.

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I never said they should be banned. I don't think breed bans are fair for the many sweet, easy going bully breed dogs. As I said previously, a dangerous dog is a dangerous dog. They have no place in society, no matter what the breed. Those who fall higher on the bite scale should be euthanized. Those with lower dog bite scales need to be in the hands of people will the time, ability and willingness to rehab them.

 

When I see dog attack victims where the attacker and victims were similar in size, the bad damage is virtually always caused by bully breed dogs. Collies, Labs and other breeds will typically leave punctures. Bully breeds clamp down, crush and shred. (Not a comment in jaw strength, just bite style.) There are, of course, exceptions, but this is based on seeing the results of many thousands of dog fights.

 

When talking about attack style, with your average Collies, Shepherds, Labs, etc, most are doing it out of fear and will immediately stop their offensive rush if you back off, avert your eyes and diffuse the situation. Those who aren't doing it out of fear will still generally stop their attack if you appease them. Many a bully breed dog will PUSH and continue to come forward, looking for a fight, no matter what you do. Again, I speak from personal experience dealing with dogs day in and day out as part of my job.

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Waffles everything I read for California says that the state actually passed a law stating that no city or county can ban the breed based on it being dangerous or viscous although you are right about some places in California have there for made it mandatory to have them sterilized.

I never said they were banned in California. BSL is not just about banning the ownership of breeds but relates to other laws pertaining to the control/confinement of them. Such as mandatory sterilization, mandatory licensing, mandatory insurance, mandatory microchipping and even muzzling in public. You can still own these breeds but there are BSL that requires some of the above that other breed owners are not subject to.

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I never said they were banned in California. BSL is not just about banning the ownership of breeds but relates to other laws pertaining to the control/confinement of them. Such as mandatory sterilization, mandatory licensing, mandatory insurance, mandatory microchipping and even muzzling in public. You can still own these breeds but there are BSL that requires some of the above that other breed owners are not subject to.

No I know you didn't sorry I should have mentioned that you didn't say that just thought the whole pitbulls banning topic was interesting and looked up what the laws were where I live and was just saying you were right about them having to be sterilized in a lot of places. Sorry for the mix up.

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I don't think the problem with these bully breeds is "clueless" owners; I think it's owners who are very clued in to a wrong set of dog-choosing values.

 

I live in a small city near bigger cities with big gang and drug problems. It is super-common to see bully breeds owed by adult males who (apparently) want a big, scary dog they can use as a sign of their power and dominance. I frankly don't trust the judgment of certain men who are all about machismo and dominance and and being "the man;" they make decisions based on shoring up their fragile egos, not on what is good or right. I think a lot of them want a dog that is, essentially, an external projection of the reproductive equipment they wish they had.

 

There's a guy who walks a HUGE dog - likely a cane corso or dogo argentino - at the local park, off-leash. He has a small child with him. The dog is well-behaved and well-trained. He is under voice command. This is all good. And yet...

 

If you are choosing a pet dog, why in any universe would you choose a cane corso over a smaller breed that wasn't custom-made for battle with large animals? What in your decision-making process makes you think, "The gianter and scarier the dog, the better for me and my family?" THAT is the fundamental problem, I think: the judgment of humans who are actively seeking out dogs that scare people. If you go out seeking an intimidating breed, you are also seeking out the combative personality that makes it intimidating.

 

So, I understand the ridiculousness of banning breeds, especially since a lab mix can look so much like a bully mix, and vice-versa. But we don't live in a boar-hunting, cattle-managing world anymore. There really isn't any need to breed large dogs with giant jaws that can hunt wildebeests. I've said it numerous times in here: the only real quality most people should be breeding for at this point in history is suitability as a pet. Our desire to have a dog with a specific "look" is purely human ego.

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I don't think the problem with these bully breeds is "clueless" owners; I think it's owners who are very clued in to a wrong set of dog-choosing values.

I had thought of bringing up this topic, but you beat me to it. Around where I live, it's not just men who pick "big scary dogs". Women pick them as frequently as men and are equally clueless to managing them.

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I don't think the problem with these bully breeds is "clueless" owners; I think it's owners who are very clued in to a wrong set of dog-choosing values.

 

I live in a small city near bigger cities with big gang and drug problems. It is super-common to see bully breeds owed by adult males who (apparently) want a big, scary dog they can use as a sign of their power and dominance. I frankly don't trust the judgment of certain men who are all about machismo and dominance and and being "the man;" they make decisions based on shoring up their fragile egos, not on what is good or right. I think a lot of them want a dog that is, essentially, an external projection of the reproductive equipment they wish they had.

 

There's a guy who walks a HUGE dog - likely a cane corso or dogo argentino - at the local park, off-leash. He has a small child with him. The dog is well-behaved and well-trained. He is under voice command. This is all good. And yet...

 

If you are choosing a pet dog, why in any universe would you choose a cane corso over a smaller breed that wasn't custom-made for battle with large animals? What in your decision-making process makes you think, "The gianter and scarier the dog, the better for me and my family?" THAT is the fundamental problem, I think: the judgment of humans who are actively seeking out dogs that scare people. If you go out seeking an intimidating breed, you are also seeking out the combative personality that makes it intimidating.

 

So, I understand the ridiculousness of banning breeds, especially since a lab mix can look so much like a bully mix, and vice-versa. But we don't live in a boar-hunting, cattle-managing world anymore. There really isn't any need to breed large dogs with giant jaws that can hunt wildebeests. I've said it numerous times in here: the only real quality most people should be breeding for at this point in history is suitability as a pet. Our desire to have a dog with a specific "look" is purely human ego.

 

Its partly a cultural thing, I think.

 

Where I live the vast majority of shelter dogs are pitty types (most shelters here have to import dogs from other places in the country or overseas to get small dogs or puppies), and they are very hip to own. Its very PC to get a Rescue Dog (vs a dog from a rescue if you know what I mean). Pitties are also popular with the hipster crowd, wearing bandannas and hats and hanging out at breweries.

 

So I see lots of dogs owned by well meaning people who don't think their dog could ever be dangerous, because they love him. Or, that their sweet dog was surely abused by someone else so his behavior is excusable and now that hes loved surely that won't happen.

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Good article, and it definitely fits with what I have seen. I don't blame the dogs, but we need to be honest about them. Some are fabulous angels. Others are downright dangerous. Most are in between.

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