P.S. Who the hell wants to live in Douglasville anyway? Can't afford a house in the city?
[NOTE: This comment has been removed because it violates CL's commenting policies.]
Yes, a pit bull (or insert any other breed or mixed-breed dog here) is "wonderful," until it is not. A family member found this out the hard way, when she came home to a blood-filled home when her "sweet as pie" pit went after her aged, blind, bed-bound mixed breed.
An honest discussion about the unpredictability of a dog would be refreshing.
I just have to say that while people condemn Pitts and other breeds for being aggressive and attacking children the same can be said for children teasing and tormenting dogs and parents not teaching children how to behave around dogs in general. On any given day that I walk my dogs children will run right up to them with the parents paying no attention whatsoever! Nobody wants to see a child or anyone get harmed by a dog but the respect goes both ways.
People condemn dogs used for fighting for human aggression but in reality they are bred to be totally gentle with humans just not other dogs. When dogs are used for this purpose and not given a second chance they are done an incredible injustice by people. It is the dogs that are not properly socialized as puppies and throughout their lives that have aggressive issues and this can happen with any breed.
I also beg to differ with the comment in this article about the Rottie was not noticed in the fight I just have to say get real it is always the Rottie that gets blamed, I know I own them. My dogs are all well trained, socialized working dogs and they are expected to be perfect in the eyes of the world. Let it be a Yorkie or a Golden and nobody ever says a thing. I love all dogs and feel if treated with love and respect as I treat all living things dogs are created equal and no one is perfect.
I totally understand why owners of Pit Bulls would get upset about this and any from of discrimination. I used to be very close to a wonderful American Pit, who at the time I would have defended to anyone. My feelings have changed since having children and meeting some of my neighbors who own these dogs. If everyone (dog owners)spent the time researching bloodlines and learning where their dog came from like my friend did, then I would say sure go nuts have a house full of them. But we all know thats not the case. The facts are that humans have in the past and STILL use these dogs for fighting, which makes generations of these dogs dangerous. Its that simple.
I am sorry to say this to you dog people, but MY kids are more important than YOUR dog.
Don't blame parents for being scared of having their kids face eaten while outside playing in the yard by Billy Bobs darling little Rambo who got out by jumping the fence. unfortunately its the shitty owners that make it tough on the rest of you.
Dogmatic, thank you for pointing out some of the inaccuracies in the article. Also interesting that while the author quoted a pit fancier, she gave no similar opportunity to someone who has been hurt or maimed by a dog (of any breed).
The ATTS is not a test or program that most dogs could pass, and evaluations are not easy to find because, contrary to the article and some other posters, the training for the ATTS is highly specialized. The CGC is much more appropriate indicator of a dog's friendliness around other dogs, other people, and in strange surroundings.
Agreed that the problem is mostly an idiot owner; perhaps a stiff registration fee would address this problem. I'm not a BSL advocate, but something needs to be done to keep idiots from owning protective breeds, or any dog for that matter.
Ah, the internet canine experts are here, telling us about the "nature of the pit bull"
You always talk about what the 'Pit bull" was bred for and you always say to kill things.
Well, who the heck "bred them to be killers" - the tooth fairy?
No, it was HUMANS that breed dogs, if you don't like what they are bred for, deal with the HUMANS. Blaming the dog is beyond idiotic. It is purest sense of denail about human nature.
The dog was bred for years to kill other dogs. Its nature is to attack and fight until the other critter is dead. If a cocker spaniel does not like a child poking at it, it will snap at the child, and that is it. One small warning snap. Most dogs snap snarl and bark at each other and establish pecking orders etc. Pit bulls chew of legs.
Pit Bulls KILL people, especially small children. Any one with small children and a pit bull is an idiot. Why not just leave a loaded gun on the coffee table. My grand parents had loaded shot guns, riffles, and hand guns all over their farm house.
None of their guns ever shot any one. Much less chance than a pit bull eating someone. Make them illegal.
ATTS testing is absolutely what it says it is, a "temperment" test. Temperment is a gauging factor in determining whether a dog is fit for family companionship, not working drive. As defined: temperament such as stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness as well as the dog's instinct for protectivenes. Dogs are allowed to lunge at strangers if they are shutzhund-trained, because they've been trained to do so. Dog-dog aggression is a trait that most responsible pitbull owners are well aware of and do not put their dogs in a position to fail, or others' dogs in a position to be victimized. Temperment testings is an evaluation of human-dog companionship, it seeks to determine a well-balanced dog and is the most standardized testing of SPAYED and NEUTERED dogs and the data is meaningful.
Agree 100% that irresponsible breeding is the primary contributor to these incidents. No one is forced to turn to BSL, it's an easy, public-soothing reaction. The real issue should be Behavior-specific legislation.
The author demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of dogs and of the legal ramifications of owning an aggressive breed. Landlords do not allow pits because the the breed is banned by most insurance carriers.
The Minneapolis aggressive dog list touted by Atlanta Pit Bull Parents shows 16 dogs listed, five which are pit bulls. That's 31% of the dangerous dogs in Minneapolis. There are more pit bulls on the list than any other breed/type of dog. Predictably, most the dogs listed are the same breeds banned by many insurers...Chows, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, etc.
The ATTS test cited is NOT a test given to evaluate dogs as safe family companions...it is a test that evaluates working drive in dogs. It is used primarily to evaluate dogs for bitework/protection sports like shutzhund and french ring. It does not test for dog/dog aggresion, the most common temperament problem in pit bulls. Dogs can fail NOT because they are aggressive, but because they fail the tracking portion of the test by refusing to walk across wire grating. Schutzhund trained dogs are allowed an aggressive response to the "threatening stranger", and guarding/fighting breeds can fail if they back away fearfully from the threatening stranger.....they can fail for not being aggressive enough.
The majority of pit bull "breeders" are criminals, gang members, dog fighters, thugs, and losers looking to make a quick buck. Most are either deliberately breeding dogs FOR aggressive temperaments, or not breeding away from it. Until we stop the glut of criminal, irresponsible, and cruel breeding of these dogs, communities will be forced to turn to BSL to keep people and their companion animals safe.
Pits are the best, sweetest dogs ever
"auntiet9," I agree with your position. To hold an entire breed of dogs responsible for the carelessness and neglect of some owners is simply unfair and unreasonable. Rather than ban all ownership of pit bulls, Douglasville officials should enact and enforce codes and regulations that would prevent only the irresponsible ownership of all dogs. Indeed, members of any breed can behave viciously if they have not received proper care and handling.
I live in Douglasville & I am ashamed of our local governments inability to discern bad pet behavior from bad owner behavior. All animals will bite.. it is in their nature... some kids will bite, and continue to do so, even after being scolded..do we ban those kids? NO..so stiffen the fines, enforce spay/neuter, and make liscense's more costly for aggressive breeds, hell, make the fee's more costly for it all, and then only those that can truly afford & be responsible for a pet can own one.
My dog happens to be a pit and she's the best dog ever. Zero aggression, dominance, and territoral behaviors. In fact, burglars could break in and steal my stuff without the dog reacting. In dog parks, my dog is a blast, and plays well with any breed big or small. A golden retriever bit my dog in the face, and she just ran away terrified. I told the golden's owner not to bring their aggressive dog to dog parks.
The work Ms. Glass does is phenomenal. She's an inspiration to those of us who share her vision, and her tireless efforts have made a tremendous difference in the lives of hundreds of dogs and cats whose lives would otherwise have been cut senselessly short. When cloning becomes commonplace, I vote for more Renaes!
Couldn't CL provide a photo specific to ATL? Ocean waves? Really? Here?
And about ice cubes for dogs: some studies suggest that dogs given ice cubes to cool them down might develop bloat, a condition that will take a dog's life w/in 30 minutes.
I find this column kind of pedestrian. With so many animal stories specific to ATL, can't you write about those?
Unlike cats, dogs are not pure carnivores. They are opportunistic carnivores - naturally eating a little of everything with the emphasis on meat. That's why people say that their dogs raid vegetable gardens. If your mom doesn't want to go with the raw diet, and lots of folks don't, she might want to try cooking food for her dog. A blend of brown rice cooked with a few veggies (like celery, parsley but NEVER onions) and turkey or chicken is a great diet for most dogs. It's easy to prepare, usually made of the best quality ingredients (you aren't going to buy junk) and can be scooped into baggies and frozen in portion size sections. Sprinkling a little brewers yeast on top, maybe mixed with a little non fat yogurt is good for the dog, and tasty too. Maybe your mom's dog won't suffer from all the allergies and it's a great bonding experience to cook for your dog.
Love the picture you have on your blog - what a beautiful lab! Cooling vests are really terrific, particularly for dogs with dark coats and for bracecephalic (squashy faced) dogs like bullies, frenchies, pugs, bostons, boxers, etc. Another really terrific brand is the Cooler Doggie vest from www.SaltWaterLicks.com. It's a small company in California, and their vests are made in America and are really cute. My frenchie loves his cooler doggie vest! (I found out about SWL because the gal that owns the company has a frenchie too)
We feed our cats raw chicken and they do not get sick. In fact, since they cannot really hunt on our third story balcony, it is as close to what they would naturally eat. Also, cats have a natural deterrence to bad food and would refuse to eat the meat were it contaminated. Dogs on the other hand bury their bones not really to hide them but to let them ferment and rot a little which is good for them. Trust your animals, they have instincts for a reason.
A visit to the homeopathic vet, Dr. Kimberly, resulted in us changing their diets after a 1200 dollar stint in a conventional vet's office not including the potential diabetes medicine they would have recommended for my cat had we let them. Instead that cat is problem free and all of them are on a healthy diet of raw chicken, chicken bones, liver, hearts and the occasional seafood.
In the meantime my mom is suffering through extreme problems with her dog having allergies to cats and trees, two name but two problems. The dog is 3 and has eaten the highest end dog kibble available her whole life. My mom is willing to spend thousands on allergists and shots catered to the dog but somehow the simplest possible solution, raw food, sounds outlandish.
Very useful and well-balanced blog - thanks for this. Socialization is highly over-sold and over-rated. Look at it from your dog's point of view. You are his pack and leader. Throwing him in with a bunch of other dogs is really only going to confuse and muddy that relationship. But if you feel like you've just got to go, for God's sake, keep the big guys away from the peewees.
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