Such Nice Dogs


I propose that SF go to bicycles instead of horses.

As for dogs ... shotguns. Make sure you have autoload and empty the mag.
It's not just the dog that needs to be put down. Fucking insecure human garbage.
Find an unbalanced person who insists he has a right to keep an untrained, uncontrollable (notice how the instinct took over in the dog and the owner was not successful in stopping the dog) animal, and one thousand people will flock to his side in support. Because police horses, children, old people ignoring the dog and going on their merry way without provocation are provoking the dog, or something. I don't understand American, maybe someone can translate.

Me to owner of Great Dane barking for over 30 minutes in a panic: "Do you know how to control your dog?"

Owner: "It'll be in in a minute."
Owner's response wasn't a "yes."

Waiting now for the dog owners to tell me how control of the dog is unconstitutional, and every pedestrian and bicyclist is a goddamn threat to society because the poor doggie is provoked, blah de blah de blah...
So when you guys succeed in banning all guns and pit bulls, what will you go after next?
@1 - Here in San Francisco we have bike cops, too. The horses are often used for crowd control. The police are elevated above the crowd, so have improved visibility AND horses endear the cops to public. Maybe Seattle should switch from beatings to horses...
Because training other animals to kill is a solution.
@5 hey we just skip the beatings and shoot people here. Plus we've got horseys too.
"I propose that SF go to bicycles instead of horses."

Crissy Field is in Golden Gate Park,and despite many bike paths there are large sections of Golden Gate Park that are not easily used by or accessible to bicycles.

The problem isn't the horses.
The best reason to carry a gun in this town is for protection from pit bulls.
@6 - You are supposed to train riding horses to attack dogs that attack them. They can't outrun the dogs and are often severely injured (not to mention risk to the rider, which is the real concern), and then the horses have to be shot. You train the horse to run the dog down. If the dog is killed or injured, too bad. The dog just put the rider in mortal danger, and it's the human's life over the animal's. Which is why you don't have aggressive animals off leash in public.
The upshot is this- dogs live in a human world. If a dog cannot or has not been trained to behave in a reasonable manner then it has no value.
Postin' in a pit bull thread.
If a dog will take on a horse, it's dangerous. The cop should have shot it. I hope the horse is o.k.
Based on a recent This American Life story, I now think Dan is just trying to get a rise out of Ira Glass, who seems to have a psychopathic pit bull.
@10 SF is not the trail so that's a disastrous policy. Also horses are taught to flee as well! Depends on context. Some horses naturally hate and stomp dogs, some don't. I think the pit bull should be put down in this case but the horse is the anomaly in an urban environment, not the other way. Encouraging stomping would be as dumb as that pitbull owner and defenders.
Well, unlike the inane NRA argument that guns don't kill people, people kill people...pit bulls can actually kill and mame all on their own.
Outraged, outraged I am that SFPD does not issue firearms to its horses. Are equine quadrapeds less deserving of second amendment rights? For shame!
@4: Peanuts. Fucking snooty legumes, gettin' all up in our allergies... Think of the children!
pit bulls can actually kill and mame all on their own.
@4 other sorts of assault dogs. German shepards. Border collies. Siberian huskies. Dogs with black coats.

Nobody needs those kinds of dogs.
@13 A lot of dogs will chase horses. They have a prey drive and an instinct to kill, regardless of their own size or the size of the prey (hence car chasing). Lived across the street from a foot tall beagle that regularly hamstrung deer, leaving them to a slow painful death (his family kept him indoors after the local hunters told them they'd shoot him if they saw him outside off leash again). The problem is they aren't good at killing, as they've not been taught, so they just tend to slash and maim and kill by running prey into exhaustion and/or bleeding it to death. It's not too hard to predict which dogs will do this either, by breed or observed behavior. The stupid part of this equation is that people don't really take the time to train their dogs, or don't have the experience to do it right or don't have a pro do it. When you own a large animal capable of inflicting serious bodily harm, you better be sure you have near-perfect control under significant stress before you take it out loose in public. Few dog owners see it that way, even when they choose a breed that they know inspires fear.
I hope at least they have him pay the horse's vet bills. They're well into the tens of thousands for sure. And the horse's training rehab - police horse with PTSD is going to need it, or the horse's retirement care for the next twenty years.
I also hope they don't kennel him for life, if he's not put down. It drives them insane.
If it had been the cops serving a no knock warrant, shooting Charlie would have been the very first thing they did.
@19: When is the all-pit bull production coming to Seattle?! Will they also have little tailed jackets and top hats?!
This is a pretty awesome podcast in general, but I'd urge everyone in these comment threads to listen to his episode on pit bulls:

If anyone doesn't have the media to play the episode for whatever reason, the text on that page is a transcript of the episode.
Careful, you risk getting glittered by those loony pit bull owners now.
I propose that as Dan knows nothing about dogs and is a self-confessed dog hater, he not continue his boring and pointless anti-pit bull crusade. He's not educating anyone or changing any minds on that front.
Here's the end of his episode, in case nobody wants to listen to (or read) the entire episode:

So here's the bottom line, based on my own analysis of the available data. If you want a safe dog, avoid chow chows and German shepherds. Golden retrievers are your best bet. Pit bulls may well be a breed to avoid, but there is not definitive data to support this. Get a female or a neutered male, small, and over five years old. The fewer children around, the less likely it is to bite.

If a dog is going to bite you though, the two breeds you least want it to be are a pit bull or a Rottweiler. They are definitely the most dangerous biters, once they decide they're going to bite you. If you see one on the street, there is not sufficient data to support any particular need for concern. Like all dogs, its owner and its environment are major factors in its level of aggression.

This is a case where the value of good science is to drive policy. Most researchers agree that breed-specific legislation — a nice term for pit bull bans — are inappropriate. No good data exists to demonstrate that such bans have had any impact. Improved enforcement of existing laws, and improved education for dog owners, are far more likely to reduce the number of dog bites, fatal or not.

Emphasis mine. So basically they are not (necessarily) more likely to bite, but they are among the top two most dangerous dogs to be bitten by. So while researchers believe that there's insufficient evidence that the breed is especially aggressive, those pit bulls that are aggressive are capable of more damage, same as rottweilers. I disagree with them that breed restrictions are therefore useless- sure, the breed might not be more aggressive naturally, but the dangerousness of their bites should be a reason to keep them out of the hands of irresponsible or aggressive owners.

Although if pit bulls are outlawed, only outlaws will have pit bulls...
I'm curious... what would be the proper hosre~dog training be?
Dan changed my mind, Dan changed my neighbor's mind, Dan changed two of my coworkers' minds. And Dan has never ever said anything, even a general statement, confessing a hatred for dogs. Only pibulls. And with good reason.

I propose you prove how much you know about dogs.
I'm curious... what would be the proper hosre~dog training be?
Start them out on something easy, and gentle, like a waltz. Don't let them work together on complicated dance numbers until they're more familiar with each others, lest the dog bite.
@28- I imagine, just as hes been said, that a police horse ought to be trained as cavalry horses used to be, to run down/trample. This doesn't generally come naturally to horses.

We were taught the same thing as children growing up on a farm where stray/wild/mean uncontrolled dogs were the norm. And if anyone was bit, or a dog attacked livestock, the dog was put down immediately. My first pet was a a big mutt named Ginger. she got a taste for the neighbors chickens and had to be put down. A hard lesson for a 4 year old...but life is full of hard lessons.
29: yes, he has. And if you've been convinced to support breed bans because of Dan's idiotic posturing, then on this you're as ignorant as he is.
4- Meat, cars
@31 My ex also grew up on a farm and also had that experience. As a result, when he moved to the city, he made no attempts whatsoever to train the dog that he got, and it did end up biting someone. Here in the city, you can't just shoot a dog in the head when it misbehaves.

I'm curious, were dogs in your youth subjected to any sort of training? Or were they expected to be "good dogs" and shot if they weren't? I'm especially curious because the major difference in this debate to me seems to be between people who think that dogs have an obligation to be docile and put up with anything and never bite, and people who believe they deserve to be respected like other animals and not harassed, and that humans are obligated to train them properly.
I don't have the time or knowhow to train a large dog. So I didn't get one.
@20, you are being sarcastic, right? any dog can be an attack dog. my 95# german shepherd would like burglars who came into my house.

remember that dogs have evolved to be docile to their humans. they must be trained (and normally restrained when other animals are around) to deal with other animals and people. this article strikes me as a very poor dog parent. it's like a parent letting their kids wander around the streets without supervision.
Fewer pitbulls means fewer dog bites:

Herding dogs were bred to herd and will do it instinctively. Try walking a briard without getting nudged, and yes english sheep dogs will pinch unruly kids with their teeth, they were bred to control smaller animals, it's still what they do.
Pits weren't bred to herd but to kill . . . I'm surprised that I have to explain this stuff.
@15 The horse was restrained by the rider (whom the dog also bit) before being bit in the belly, then the rider fell and was knocked out. The dog then bit the horse 13 times on the legs, belly, chest and hindquarters over 1.5 miles in two separate attacks. The horse ran rather than face the dog (which the cop almost certainly had it do through the initial attack since it's the only practical way to keep it from running) because the rider was incapacitated by the attack. The cop held it back rather than charge the dog, a decision which could have cost him his life.

Horses don't have to be taught to flee. They naturally flee, at upwards of 40mph, often blindly, into things like traffic or off cliffs. If they are cornered, or are defending members of the herd weaker than them who are unable to run, they can fight but it's rare. No horses naturally hate dogs, they have to be taught to attack, and even when taught you have to force them to do so. As a rider, you ALWAYS turn and chase dogs that are chasing or attacking you, no matter where you are, because they don't stop, you can't outrun them, and it puts you, the rider, in very serious danger. If the dog is actually attacking, you use the horse to keep the dog off of you, and you do it fast as it's hard to keep control of a thousand pound wounded animal whose every instinct is to run, and if you fall, the attacking dog is on you (or your horse, leg injuries to a horse tend towards the fatal). This can mean injuring or killing the dog, but it's you or them. This is a park visibly patrolled by horseback, in a city with horse cops. The dog owner is responsible, without doubt, for putting his poorly trained dog into this situation. The dog pays the price.
Most people have their personal hobby-horses. It is a particularly valuable trait in bloggers, as it gives them a few dependable things to fall back on.

So pit-lovers pissed at Dan? Get over yourself. Have your eye-roll and skip the 'such nice dogs' posts.

Others skip Garfunkel and Oates, for example, so you aren't being particularly victimized by mean old Dan's dislike of pit bulls.
#37: that claim is from a website dedicated to eliminating pit bulls: hardly an unbiased source--which wouldn't be a problem if there were any truth to the claim, but there isn't.
@34- It depends. Many dogs were just wandering strays. But most farmers train their dogs very well (although they are generally not coddled in the way that is the current norm). They are in many ways tools- mainly in our case to protect livestock and us kids from rattlesnakes, loose hogs and wild dogs. The people who failed to train their dogs were considered total pieces of shit. The hillbillies down the road had 3 mean, aggressive dogs -everybody hated both the people and their animals. Our dog (as far as I remember) was well trained, obedient and gentle. But what has been labeled 'prey drive' clearly took over one day, and she attacked and killed 10-12 chickens. That was a huge loss for our neighbor, and a big hit to our finances to repay for them- Dogs are free (in this context, I know people love to pay money for them), chickens are not.
@15 - It is true you do occasionally get an aggressive horse. Uncut untrained abused stallions, etc. But here's the thing. It's possible for an aggressive horse to maybe hurt someone. We kill them, without mercy, often before they ever get a chance to hurt someone, because this behavior is really easy to detect ahead of time, just like it is in dogs. Which is one of the many reasons horses don't maul people. We didn't do the same with dogs in the past, because we were breeding them with the specific purpose of getting them to maul people and animals. And now we don't regard nascent aggressive or problematic behavior in dogs as undesirable. Often we think it's cute. We forget they, like horses, have the ability to hurt or kill us. We fail to train them in relation to their potential threat. Now we keep those same breeds as pets and wonder why shit like this happens. We ain't bright.
37: Close; fewer pit bulls mean fewer dog bite-related fatalities, but not (necessarily) fewer dog bites. There isn't enough data (yet) to determine whether or not pit bulls are more likely to bite in the first place, especially if you want to establish whether this is more due to their popularity among shithead owners or if it's natural aggression in the breed.

There is plenty of evidence, however, to determine that pit bulls are especially dangerous once they do attack. Same thing with rottweilers. So a pit bull (or rottweiler) ban isn't necessarily uncalled for even if the breed is naturally no more aggressive than other breeds. Even if the problem is shitty owners, it can be argued that such shitty owners shouldn't legally be put in charge of an animal that becomes especially dangerous when shittily owned.
Tired of Pitbull haters - if you actually take the time to comb through public records, you find that the "dangerous breed" changes every decade or so, and at one point labrador retrievers were considered naturally dangerous with "predatory instincts". Pitbulls have a certain reputation so they attract a certain type of idiot owner. Since they are perceived as "naturally aggressive" their idiot owners don't do what other, non-idiot owners do, which is socialize them and train them not to act on predatory impulses (which all dogs pretty much have).

I have rescued several Pits and they are now completely harmless. They play with other animals, let deer walk right next to them and have repeatedly taken shots to the face from a wiffle ball bat from knucklehead children without showing a hint of aggression.

The idiot owner's dog should go to a rescue shelter, then the idiot owner should pay a huge fine and do a LOT of community service. The solution to problem dogs is to make their owners accountable.

Americans get very bent out of shape if you suggest they can't do whatever they want, whenever they want.
Lets kill all the dogs. Then maybe Dan will be happy and stop fucking whining about it.
@ 37...where is the evidence? I mean beyond anecdotal tales? The only hard data I have found (via a 1998 National Geographic study) shows that Shepherds, Rottweilers and Labradors exert a higher bite pressure psi than pit bulls.
I meant @ 43
47: I'm getting my info from the podcast I mentioned, so admittedly I am citing this info secondhand. He got his info on which dogs are more likely to bite from a Pediatrics article (pit bulls are not among the top biters here).

The assertion that pit bull bites are more dangerous is based on their attacks having a higher mortality rate than attacks by other dogs. That's based on the following article, also cited in the text version of his podcast:

Sacks, J., Sinclair, L., Gilchrist, J., Golab, G., Lockwood, R. "Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998." Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 15 Sep. 2000, Volume 217, Number 6: 836-840.
@41 Thanks for the info. I was hoping it was just his farm, not a farm-wide weird omission in training.
Honestly, the way to deal with dog attacks is to demand that people get their dogs fixed. Seems to me that every time I read an article about a pit bull mauling, the dog wasn't fixed.

I don't really think there's any reason for people who aren't dog breeders to have dogs with functional sex organs. We already have to put down an insane amount of animals every year because of lack of homes.
As a dog owner, I have to respect the fact that my animal is not that far removed from wolves and train it appropriately. If everyone did that, we'd be fine. But I don't know how you get to that point. Maybe humans, as a rule, aren't smart enough to be allowed to own dogs or handle firearms or whatever. *shrug*.
@40: Wishing for an unbiased source on this issue is futile. You either think that a breed created to kill should be propagated and treated as equal to dogs bred for herding or hunting, or you don't.

I love dogs and I love reptiles. I would like to care for a few iguanas some day, and some cats and maybe a huge herding dog (did I mention briards, oh yes I did) but not an alligator, a venomous snake, a monitor lizard large enough to harm the cats, or a dog bred to kill.
Please just put this dangerous animal down before some one else gets hurt.
@46, maybe Dan will just kill his full-of-himself self.

Then we won't have to listen to his inane, self-righteous bitching anymore.
Who gives a fuck about making Dan happy. He's a self-important ass with a super inflated ego.
@13 I hope I'm wrong, but more probably than not the horse has already been euthanized.

Horrific injuries, especially leg injuries in horses are hard to cure. Then there's the mental health issue.

Anyone knows what befall that poor beast ?
Why should an anonymous post at the end of a stale thread be heeded? Because I have an advanced degree in animal behavior and experience in owning and training breeds of dogs that make pit bulls look like cream puffs.

The science of dog behavior has made leaps and bounds in the last 8-10 years. Very little of this has reached breeders, legislators, etc. so far, let alone the general public. Ethology and Applied Animal Behavior Science are two journals where much of this is published.

Breed specific legislation is futile. There is no "pit bull" breed, but whole lot of mixed breed dogs that exhibit "X bull terrier" traits. In some places in the US over half the dogs in shelters fall into this category. They might be a "pit bull/beagle" mix, or a "pit bull/lab" mix, but often no one knows a dog's heritage. Thus, no one knows what innate behavioral tendencies the dog might have. This is one drawback of mixed breeds. On top if that, recent work shows that "drive" and "predatory behavior" can be vastly changed in only 3-4 generations through selective breeding. In other words, ban "pits" and within 10 years some other "breed" can be turned into enthusiastically aggressive sport dogs.

Carefully bred pit bulls make terrible guard dogs (which is different than watch dogs). They are bred to be aggressive toward animals (using predatory instinct to promote fighting) but submissive toward adult people ( so they can be pulled from the pit by hand even in the middle of a fight). The amplified prey drive in these dogs can cause problems when this tendency finds its way into the wider population. A good guard dog is never, ever aggressive. It is protective. Big difference.

In my professional opinion, many of the people who get "pit bulls" and other tough-looking dogs are ignorant assholes. Like most dog owners, they pick a dog based on how it makes them look and feel. Little regard is given for the needs of the dog for training, socialization, feeding, housing, exercise, and vet care. Depending on the individual dog, this can result in a frustrated, confused, aggressive animal. If it has the physical abilities of a pit bull...

Show me a bad dog and I will show you a bad dog owner.
How about this, you can have whatever type of dog you want, and you are responsible for anything it does outside your properly fenced yard. Your dog goes after another dog on a walk? Control it or it gets put down. Some dumbass sticks their hand into your yard to taunt your dog? They should pay to get your dog's teeth cleaned.
Refreshing! It's so rare to see the media demonizing an entire breed based on anecdata.

As to your straw-man, there are no bad breeds of dogs -- including Pitbulls, who were once rightly seen as the perfect "nanny-dogs" for children -- there are only irresponsible owners, like Charlie's. And I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Charlie was a rescue who had been trained poorly by some asshole person.

Meanwhile, the American Temperament Test Society finds the American Pitbull to be among the most stable dogs tested. Want a dog that's likely to snap? Try those cuddly little bulldogs.

i can only hope there is a Horse Lover Society who could counter sue the jerk wi the pitbull.

a great use of public money - defending this lawsuit. nice work dude.
An unprovoked dog of any breed that repeatedly attacks and bites and causes severe injury needs to be put down.
@59--40% of the claims made against homeowner liability policies are for dog bites. The only realistic requirement for "responsibility" would be to require all dog owners to get liability policies. But apparently the state believes your car is more dangerous than your pit bull.
Joshua H.: The "nanny-dog" myth that the Pitbull apologists were using a few years ago has been proven to be just that: a myth.
Frankly, I'd rather have a pitbull running around than one more whining, screaming human toddler. At least the pitbull will guard my house. Fat lotta good a drooling three year old is if some "bad guy with a gun" breaks in...
An example of a baby killed and dismembered by a golden retriever/lab mix -- two of the most family friendly breeds around. Any dog could be a killer, there's no way to know.

Also, many, many dogs identified as "pit bulls" in news stories are, well, not:…
I'm ashamed that such an ignorant jackass is a member of the LGBT community. Get educated Dan, about several things. You're truly and idiot and I have lost all respect for you.