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  #41  
Old 03-01-2006, 10:32 AM
busymomof6 busymomof6 is offline
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I agree with what amstaffer said above, that the pit bull wouldn't make the top twenty, I think smaller breeds are more apt to bite because they feel more easily threatened. Media has given them an awful bum rap and people don't know the signs to look for so the attacks seem to be out of nowhere.
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  #42  
Old 03-01-2006, 10:50 AM
TroyF TroyF is offline
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BMo'6,

Pit bulls were bred to fight dogs. Any aggression towards their handler was received with a bullet. They weren't bred to attack humans.

I agree with most of what you're saying but you don't seem to understand the bull dog very well and that makes me wonder about the legitimacy of the book you wrote/read(?). If I understand you, you've had retreiver and herding dogs. In my experience the herding dogs have one of the worst dispositions in regards to biting and male labs can be extremely sketchy. My retreiver is much more likely to bite "someone" than my pitbull.
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  #43  
Old 03-01-2006, 11:42 AM
busymomof6 busymomof6 is offline
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I read out of "The New Encyclopedia of the Dog" by Bruce Fogle. He had some wonderful things to say about them as far as being extremely affectionate and gentle with children, but at the same time potentially lethal to other dogs. In his entry with American Staffordshire Terrier's he says "The breed has unusual strength for its size and all AmStaffs, but males in particular need early socialization with other animals to ensure that they do not follow their instinct to attack." I realize he was talking about other animals but the instinct to attack is there, sorry if I implied it was towards humans. Unfortunately because they are so strong, their bites are often worse. Herders can tend to nip because of their herding instinct - like we said - I think we can agree that the ultimate responsibility lies with the owner and proper training and supervision. I wouldn't choose it for my family, but that doesn't make it a bad family dog-its just a personal choice based on my albeit limited knowledge. I wouldn't choose a smaller breed, a shy dog, or one with known agression problems(dog not breed) because of my situation. I think that is the most important thing when adding a forever member to your family is to think what type of personality does it need to fit in with your lifestlye and/or how might your lifestyle need to change to make it feel comfortable. I have 4 small children and a shy dog or little dog would feel overwhelmed, and an agressive dog might have problems if not really worked with that might lead to it having to be rehomed or put down. I wouldn't want that on my conscience. I do think that holding a whole breed responsible for the sins of a few is horrible - if we do it to people they say it is discrimination and illegal, but we can do it to dogs without a second thought - HORRIBLE
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  #44  
Old 03-01-2006, 11:54 AM
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Right now in my immediate family we have the following dogs (not in one house of course)

Mother -- Cockapoo
Brother -- Collie/Lab mix
Sister -- 2 aussie sheps/ 1 Eng Springer Spaniel/1 mixed? (not sure collie something)
Me -- 2 Amstaffs (including one entact male)

Without a doubt my amstaffs are the best with people (and animals for that matter). The Cockapoo bites the groomer, my brother's collie mix goes beserk when strangers come. One of the Aussies bit the Telephone guy and the unknown mix has tried to bite me several times (we don't know what he is but he is definately not pit).

It is a family joke in my family, I have "Pit bulls" and they like everyone and everyone else has "friendly" breeds and they have problems.

What TroyF said....Pit Bulls definately know the difference between human and animal. Human aggression and Animal aggression are two very different things to the Pit bull.
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  #45  
Old 03-01-2006, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Human aggression and Animal aggression are two very different things to the Pit bull
Now if the general public would only be able to get it through their thick, stupid, ignorant heads............
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  #46  
Old 03-01-2006, 12:07 PM
busymomof6 busymomof6 is offline
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Glad to hear it always wiling to be open and learn. Probably shows good training and time spent with animals teaching them proper behavior also. By the way Saladin is gorgeous!! My friends have two huge rots that my children love to play with, but I haven't had much experience with pits.
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  #47  
Old 03-01-2006, 12:58 PM
casablanca1 casablanca1 is offline
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Human aggression and animal aggression may be two different things, but when the animal in question has an owner who loves it, the situation is apt to become messy and lines get crossed.

Pit bulls were bred to fight dogs. Any aggression towards their handler was received with a bullet. They weren't bred to attack humans.

This is probably the second most popular argument in favor of pits, but I wonder how valid it is anymore. First, we're a long way from the old-time dog-fighters, who presumably had some standards of breeding and behavior, back before fighting dogs became a crime and a big business. Back then, I can imagine that the dogs were relatively well-selected for docility with humans, and that their dog-aggression was some sort of enhanced fight drive, in which highly confident dogs were encouraged to fight other, equally matched dogs. I doubt this is the case today. For the most part, I think, pit bulls and other fighting breeds who are dog-aggressive are simply predatory toward other dogs, many of whom are smaller, lighter or less willing (ie, try to escape or run away before there's any physical contact).

I've also read those old stories where a pit bull was a child's best friend, and men could break up fights with their bare hands. Another aspect of many of those stories was how the champion fighting dog hero wouldn't bother with an 'inferior' dog, turning away in noble disgust before a poodle's yaps. That is demonstrably not the case anymore, which makes me think that of all the damage done to all the breeds since the start of the 20th century, even the crippling of the English Bulldog and the dumbing-down of the Rough Collie doesn't equal the changes wrought on the pits.
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  #48  
Old 03-01-2006, 06:00 PM
TroyF TroyF is offline
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Human aggression and animal aggression may be two different things, but when the animal in question has an owner who loves it, the situation is apt to become messy and lines get crossed.
Why? The owner of the dog can't tell that his dog is attacking dogs or people? I don't understand that statement. The confused owner is just that, a confused owner that doesn't understand behaviour and shouldn't be responsible for a breed that requires experienced handling. No one said (at least no one that knows the breed well) these dogs belong in every home.

Pit bulls were bred to fight dogs. Any aggression towards their handler was received with a bullet. They weren't bred to attack humans.

Quote:
This is probably the second most popular argument in favor of pits, but I wonder how valid it is anymore. First, we're a long way from the old-time dog-fighters, who presumably had some standards of breeding and behavior, back before fighting dogs became a crime and a big business. Back then, I can imagine that the dogs were relatively well-selected for docility with humans, and that their dog-aggression was some sort of enhanced fight drive, in which highly confident dogs were encouraged to fight other, equally matched dogs. I doubt this is the case today. For the most part, I think, pit bulls and other fighting breeds who are dog-aggressive are simply predatory toward other dogs, many of whom are smaller, lighter or less willing (ie, try to escape or run away before there's any physical contact).
You've obviously read something on the history of the fighting breeds so you probably understand that the dogs that showed aggression towards humans were culled because the owner/breeder lost a match if the dog did show aggression at any point. My own personal experience with the pit bull says that they are less likely to bite and or show aggression to people than other breeds of dogs. I've been around them for twenty odd years and have seen the full spectrum of owners. If someone actually attempts to make one aggressive through abuse or other means well then you've got one nasty piece of dog to deal with. But even with the varying degrees of inhumane treatment they -the pit bull- receive it is still less likely (IMO) that they will end up violent towards humans. They're still dogs though and it would be my guess that if all things were equal they'd bite no more and probably less than most other breeds. Having said that it's fairly well accepted that the terriers have higher prey drive than most other breeds.

In regards to things being different today in regards to breeders worrying over temperment, all I can comment on is that I'm worried also. I do think that any decent kennel is still breeding for temperment but with colour and size becoming such huge issues with the public it's really hard to say. I'm still seeing the same happy, people friendly pit bulls running around though so I guess not that much has changed. Even if we agree that there are unscrupulous people breeding dogs that have unsound termperment, who is buying them? The same thing goes on with many other breeds and those people have the same problems with other breeds often enough. BYB will wreck more than just the pit bull breed.

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I've also read those old stories where a pit bull was a child's best friend, and men could break up fights with their bare hands. Another aspect of many of those stories was how the champion fighting dog hero wouldn't bother with an 'inferior' dog, turning away in noble disgust before a poodle's yaps. That is demonstrably not the case anymore, which makes me think that of all the damage done to all the breeds since the start of the 20th century, even the crippling of the English Bulldog and the dumbing-down of the Rough Collie doesn't equal the changes wrought on the pits.
I only know what I have experienced in my life and the few guys that bred and fought their dogs up here didn't raise what you'd call family dogs but then most of them weren't given much of a chance anyway. I actually think that the one I now look after was from one such breeder and though my dog is 100% aggressive towards other male dogs and anything small and white that looks like a rabbit, he's also the biggest lap suck you'll ever see. I have never seen any behaviour that would give me pause for concern.

I totally disagree on the fact that the english bulldog doesn't equal the change wrought on pitbulls. The bulldog has been trashed to the point of it being useless for anything more than a lap animal. Most pitbulls I see are healthy and are, in my opinion, the exact model of what a healthy dog should strive to be in a mechanical engineering sense.
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  #49  
Old 03-01-2006, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casablanca1

I've also read those old stories where a pit bull was a child's best friend, and men could break up fights with their bare hands. Another aspect of many of those stories was how the champion fighting dog hero wouldn't bother with an 'inferior' dog, turning away in noble disgust before a poodle's yaps. That is demonstrably not the case anymore, which makes me think that of all the damage done to all the breeds since the start of the 20th century, even the crippling of the English Bulldog and the dumbing-down of the Rough Collie doesn't equal the changes wrought on the pits.
First of all the Humane society does temperment test and the Pit Bull passes over 82% while the average of other breeds is only 77% of the time. This good even before you consider they are the victims of abuse more often than most if not all other breeds.

If Pit Bulls are inherently dangerous as you imply, why can you go to a dog show where you will see 50+ entact males together in packed area, with small dogs and children all around them and yet they never bite and very very rarely even growl?

Your history timeline is a little off also, the messing up of the breeding of the Pit Bull (with regards to human aggression) did not start in the early 20th century but rather in the middle 1980s. Do some research on dog attacks and you will find that Pit Bull attacks were extremely rare before the 80s. Why? Because in the 80s the drug explosion in the cities also included Macho, tough guy wannebees who needed medium sized dogs to guard their drugs.

No matter your arguement or ferver you can't escape the fact that it is the people not the breed or the dog.
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  #50  
Old 03-02-2006, 09:50 AM
casablanca1 casablanca1 is offline
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Why? The owner of the dog can't tell that his dog is attacking dogs or people? I don't understand that statement.

I was talking about the owners of the dogs who are attacked, many of whom are bitten during attempts to beat off the attacking dog. That's when the line between 'dog-aggression' and 'human-aggression' gets crossed, because some dogs can combine the two traits, and attack both its initial target and the annoying human who's trying to deny it. I know some dogs are highly dog-aggressive without being particularly human-aggressive. The most vicious dog I've ever seen was affable with people but instantly murderous with other dogs. But there are a lot of dogs who aren't particularly averse to taking a bite out of anything standing between it and what it feels is its lawful prey. Dog-aggression always has the potential to be physically dangerous to people, and it's certainly emotionally dangerous to people whose dogs aren't fighting breeds and are therefore less likely to survive an attack. It seems sometimes like the 'they're dog-aggressive, not human-aggressive' argument about pits ignores that.
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