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Old 11-13-2013, 06:58 PM
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Default Fear aggressive Pit Bulls

I have come back to discuss something I am having a very hard time with, to get opinions on the matter.

I deal with rats who bite out of fear day in and day out. Dealing with a pit who bites... I have known the decision I would be faced with when it comes to dealing with such a dog, being so involved with the breed.

I am having trouble because I love the breed so much and I hate to have a dog that is such a horrific example of the breed. Pit bulls are supposed to be bomb proof with people, etc. etc. I could go on for days...he is not. He has bitten multiple people, always out of fear. Simply being grabbed by the collar, he will bite. And he has not been abused at all - he has been socialized, and trained. I believe it was simply his breeding...

I am also having trouble because for that same reason - because I love the breed, because I love dogs, because my passion is rescue, how can I just give up on him? How can I take his life? I have worked and worked and worked with him, but then one day someone will go to grab his collar and SNAP he'll bite. What if a kid runs up to him one day and he bites? I have no doubt in the world that he will.

I would never PTS a biting rat, but I'd PTS a biting pit bull...simply because of the breed's image? But that's the human race's fault. What if he was a different breed of dog? Would he be given more of a chance? More of a chance can't be risked with a pit bull because of their breed's image, I know...but it's so unfortunate.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:08 PM
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Well a rat can't send somebody to the hospital, or kill them. Is this your own dog or a dog at the shelter/rescue?
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:17 PM
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You put them down because of the breed image, as sad as it is. Many die hard APBT have been through this and do it for the safety of the public, the dog, themselves and the breed as a whole.

The breed has a VERY damaged reputation and every bite is another nail in the BSL coffin, that so many people fight with everything they have to prevent.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:21 PM
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Are you describing your own dog? It sounds like you already know what the answer is but you're just coming here for confirmation?

If it were my dog, I'd euthanize it. If it were a pit bull or any other breed. In fact, I did euthanize a dog (non-pit bull) for biting and he just got worse with age.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:26 PM
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Never mind the Pit Bulls image. Never mind that he could seriously hurt or kill someone. It CAN'T be fun for a dog to live that way, constantly in fear. Are they sure it's fear aggression though, and not something medical?
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:27 PM
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I had an aggressive APBT and I managed her. My dog, my choice. It was a rough road but we were successful. I loved that dog with all my heart and nothing or anyone could have changed that.

It was my responsibility to make sure that the public is safe and that my dog is safe as well. It is also my responsibility as a bully breed owner to make sure my dog doesn't add to the negative image and through training we managed that.

Bottom line, there is No clear cut decision or line.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakou View Post
Never mind the Pit Bulls image. Never mind that he could seriously hurt or kill someone. It CAN'T be fun for a dog to live that way, constantly in fear. Are they sure it's fear aggression though, and not something medical?
This.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:49 PM
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It doesn't matter what the breed (heck, or even species) is, IMO - if it is a dog that has caused damage, especially repeatedly....euthanasia is probably the best option. If it can't be managed safely and when incidents happen they cause harm...it's just not safe.

I own a 6.5 year old Collie/Australian Shepherd mix, who currently is living with my parents. I adopted her as a nine week old puppy. Even at a young age, she had a lot of temperament imbalance issues. Anxiety, low threshold, resource guarding issues, handling issues...honestly, she was (and is) an unbalanced dog. I worked my butt off with her and did everything in my power to help her overcome her issues. We made brilliant strides...but her foundation is cracked. It took me a long time to realize that, but it just is. No matter how much behavioral work, or how much medication, I give her...it is only patch on the issue, and her core issue can't be fixed. Sounds horrible to say it, but it's true. So, for the past 6.5 years, we have managed her. My parents agreed to keep her when I moved out, because she would not have adapted well moving.
As the years have gone on, her aggression has been escalating. She now triggers with family members, not just guests, and her reactions have become much more extreme. In years past, she would only air snap and not make contact. Now she is making contact, drawing blood, and remains triggered for longer periods of time (maybe five seconds versus just a quick snap and done). She's bit my older brother (twice - once in the face, once on his hand), my younger brother (his arm), and just recently my dad (his hand).

I always said, from the time she was a pup, that if she ever drew blood I'd euthanize. Well, she's drawn blood multiple times now, but my parents (my dad, really) aren't ready to let her go. I've discussed it with my mom, and we may decide to let her go before I move out of state, just so I can be there to say goodbye instead of having to hear from Mom how she attacked someone due to mismanagement and they were forced to euthanize. My mom has said once mobile grandchildren enter the picture, Chloe can not be in the same household. And I agree. And since Michael and I are planning to have a child within the next year or two...puts a bit of a time frame on it.

It sucks. It really, really sucks. It sucks adopting a puppy and hoping with all your heart that this puppy will be "the one", that it will be THAT dog, the one that will be with you for the next stage of your life, and...it just isn't. Chloe is the reason it was so important for me to find a breeder that prioritizes temperament above all else. I couldn't have another dog with her issues. I just couldn't.

And yes, I'm sure if she were a larger, more powerful dog we probably would have made the decision to euthanize a long time ago...and I'm glad that she's a cute, fluffy Collie mix so our hands were not forced before we were ready. But the fact that she is a cute, fluffy Collie mix doesn't change the fact that she is still dangerous.

Luckily for us (and her), she was easy to manage. My parents live out in the middle of nowhere, so all visitors are expected. When guests come over, she's put away. My siblings are grown and able to give the dog her space. They've also lived with her long enough to avoid her triggers (most of the time) and read her body language to prevent a bite before it happens (most of the time). She used to not trigger with the people she lived with, but now that she is starting too...it's becoming much more hard to manage.

She's a happy, awesome, playful, intelligent, fun dog 98% of the time...it is that 2% that has become worrisome.
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:58 PM
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Well it sounds like the biting just happens when the collar is grabbed. If that is the case and it were my personal dog then I could see managing it while also counter conditioning. Just don't grab at him (assuming a home with no children) and have strict control over who interacts with him. But if its a dog in a rescue/shelter then I could not imagine feeling safe adopting such a dog out knowing how bad his bite inhibition is and that a fairly common act causes him to bite. I wouldn't expect most people to do the management properly, plus who would choose to adopt such a dog? I am capable of managing it and I would never choose to adopt a dog requiring that much management. For me it's not so a much a breed thing as a safety thing. If it is your personal dog then you are only giving pit bulls a bad reputation if you allow him to continue biting. If he's properly managed then no one need know he's aggressive outside of the household. It's just a question of whether or not your situation allows for that sort of management.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:04 PM
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What kinds of bites? Have you seen the chart of bite 'levels'?

Trey landed 3 bites but they weren't past level 2. Some blood drawn but no deep punctures. To me those are not 'serious bites'. Worth being aware of and you need to be getting a game plan to manage that dog but euthanasia wouldn't be crossing my mind at all.

In my opinion, a bite isn't a bite isn't a bite. It would depend on the circumstances leading up to the bite and if I could work on them/manage them. It would also depend on the severity of the bite. That goes for all breeds.
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