It's Not The Dog, It's The Owner

Comments

1
Where can I get a concealed pit bull license?
2
Works for me.
3
The solution is easy: learn to tell an angry dog from a happy dog. An angry dog is far more likely to bite you than a happy one.

And carry a mace. (Not the spray, the medieval weapon.)

4
Doorknob Danny, this post is about pitbulls. Yesterday you posted about youth pastors. When can we expect a post on obese women?
5
If your kids were playing at a friends house and they found a pitbull in the closet how would you feel about them taking it out to play with it?
6
Dude this is getting ridiculous Dan, are you one a one man crusade to get Pit-bulls banned? WTF, I get that you don't approve of ANYONE having an aggressive breed dog and I'm sure you feel the same way about guns, and church, but your rag is starting to sound like a little whiny fuck stick stuck on repeat. How many hundreds of thousand aggressive dogs and owners are there in America? Its doesnt take a rocket scientist to find a story about a POS asshole doing something stupid, kind of like guys beating up on their wives, drug addicts and gays having unprotected sex
7
Start by pulling your head out of your ass and learning the difference between a pit bull and a loaded gun. Ignorance masked behind pseudo-witty comments is still ignorance. Very disappointing coming from you, Dan. Listen to #3.
8
BTW, all ignorant morons, Pit Bulls are not bred to be aggressive, they are trained to be aggressive. Just like any dog can be. So open a fucking book before you open your ignorant mouth (or unleash your ignorant fingers on your keyboard).
9
@3 a dog of happy/angry/mildly depressed state, which runs at me or my child will still receive a strong swing of my dog-stick, which I carry with me on walks in my neighborhood. I don't think I should have to risk misinterpreting the wag of a dog's tail. (and yes, my four year old already wants his own dog-stick)
10
Start by pulling your head out of your ass and learning the difference between a pit bull and a loaded gun. Ignorance masked behind pseudo-witty comments is still ignorance. Very disappointing coming from you, Dan. Listen to #3.

BTW, all ignorant morons, Pit Bulls are not bred to be aggressive, they are trained to be aggressive. Just like any dog can be. So open a fucking book before you open your ignorant mouth (or unleash your ignorant fingers on your keyboard).
11
He *threw* it?? Was one of the charges about abusing the dog?

This is a horrible story, I don't know why I find that funny. I clearly didn't get enough sleep. But it's like, I don't know - throwing brass knuckles instead of punching someone in the face? Stabbing someone with a crossbow bolt instead of shooting them? If you've got a weapon, using it in the way it's designed is generally a little more effective.
12
@8, @10 Moron, why don't you ask any pit-bull breeder who breeds dogs for fights how they're bred, what characteristics are chosen, which physical attributes are desirable in a dog for the betting pits? Oh, and while you're at it, ask him what he does with the pups left after the "pick of the litter" is sold.
13
Well with a gun, you can't tell if it's loaded or not by looking at it. A dog? If it's coming towards you fast, intent, head low? It's fucking loaded. Head up, tail swinging, relaxed? Not loaded. The argument doesn't work. The trick is actually knowing dogs.
14
Well, yes, assume all dogs are dangerous. I have two well trained, well tempered dogs who love kids. When in public, I keep them leashed at all times. Yet I am constantly amazed at how many parents will watch their kids toddle up to my dog and start prodding it in the face, without even the courtesy of asking me it if is okay. Approach all dogs with respect and the permission of the owner. If you're unsure of the dog, don't approach it, and for God's sake, don't let your kids approach it. Sure, it doesn't cover all situations, but it's a good start.

Also, if I was a dog, and someone threw me, I'd bite somebody, too.
15
Riiiiiiight @8. Pit Bulls got those insanely powerful jaws by hanging from chin-up bars for hours on end, just like they were trained to do.
16
Unfortunately, Joemamma, unscrupulous breeders ARE ruining the bloodlines of "pit-bull" type dogs, in the same way that other lousy breeders are ruining German Shepards by breeding for physical traits that often lead to hip dysplasia. Renowned dog expert Stanley Coren went undercover at one of those operations and what he saw was horrific. Breed bans aren't the answer, though. The dogs aren't being bred for pets, they're bred for fighting, which is a HUGE activity with giant amounts of money and organized crime involved. If every pit-bull type dog dropped dead tomorrow, those same criminal breeders would switch to another powerful breed, say,Akitas, immediately. The real answer is to give a lot more money to Animal Control agencies so they can bust these operations and deal with the fact that doing so will dump a huge number of animals in their facilities.
17
Pretty easy actually. Unless you are at an off leash dog park or some other reasonably controlled environment, a good owner will have their dog on a leash.
18
You hear about the pit bulls that attack people because that's what makes the news. "Pit bull" is a hot phrase that gets people to read articles. Diane Whipple was attacked and killed by presa canarios, and you don't see people freaking out and calling for the death of every puppy in that breed. Wake up, Dan. You've been made a victim of alarmist news stories that prey on your emotions and apparent dislike/distrust of dogs in general.
19
The dangers of inbreeding. For the dogs AND their owners.
20
You ever watch that show with midgets (er...little people?) that have a pit-bull rescue in California? There's four of them (midgets)!!! Plus guest midgets!!!

And the dogs are all super well behaved!

So, to answer your question (how to determine) - if the pit bull is owned or handled by a little person, it's all good.

21
I have a friend who was mauled by a Golden Retriever when she was younger. It's not just the breed, all dogs can be dangerous. It's more a matter of size and strength. A toy poodle attacks, you can probably defend yourself or won't get hurt that badly, a rotwieler or german shepherd attacks, that's another story.
22
@17 Exactly.

I don't care for pit bulls and don't understand the reason to have that breed, but I suppose you could say that about any dog. But certainly everyone can agree that we have a pretty straightforward lease law in this city.

It boggles my mind how people think that their dog is special and doesn't need to be on a leash. It's the fucking law, assholes! Obey it.
23
@3 @13 Is this really the approach you're advocating? That everyone learn to distinguish pitbull emotions so that they can better guess when they're about to be attacked, and/or always carry deadly weapons wherever they go in case in the middle of the day they suddenly need them? Let me guess your solution to the post-apocalyptic zombie problem: "Not all zombies are perpetually hungry for brains - learn to differentiate a zombie who is going after YOU from one who is already sated or going after someone else. And always bring a loaded shotgun with you just in case.

@8 @10 Actually, I would argue that once violently trained (which, per Dan's original point, you can't necessarily tell in the timeframe that might make this information useful), a pitbull is WORSE than a loaded gun, in that a loaded gun almost always requires deliberate human action and intent to hurt you. Violent pitbulls require active restraint in order to NOT hurt you. Imagine if people carried guns that would randomly shoot people on their own if you didn't watch over them closely enough.

Again, the point is IN NO WAY that individual pitbulls can't be non-violent or even technically touching the hot-button breen ban "death to all puppies" issue. As a society, perhaps the fines/penalties just need to be greater? (an attack by a pitbull = an attack by its owner?), but Dan's musing was just a question of how "regular people" ought to respond when near unleashed pits.
24
yeah yeah we get it already dan. you dont like pit bulls. ive asked this before and was instantly shut out with "we've already disproved your theory" without the benefit of actual information on how it was disproved, so forgive me if im being redundant. How is this any different than tactics used against blacks/gays/jews/etc. point out the bad apples at every available opportunity, smear their very existence and call for their eventual extermination as a breed/race/sexual orientation. the way your going about this feels like its coming from the republican camp, not from the stranger.
25
Did you really just post a story about a woman getting bitten by a dog that was THROWN AT HER as some sort of commentary about the entirely sensible criticisms people have made about your idiotic posts about pit bulls? What was that about stupid, credulous hacks, Dan?
26
@ joemama, no, pits are BRED to be aggressive. That's a fact, jackass.

This is why there's no reasoning with pit lovers. They can't tell the truth.
27
I wait for the dog to telepathically beam me a message of its intentions, since pit bulls have those kinds of abilities. If you don't sense any sort of direct mind to mind contact from an approaching Pit, assume it's hiding something and shoot.
28
@24 the difference is that one's a dog and the others are humans; which is a pretty big difference. But seriously, I don't think you need to be such a drama queen. I haven't heard anyone say that the breed must be exterminated and removed from existence but I think there is a case to be made that they shouldn't be kept as pets. For me personally I don't think any animal that can only be subdued by a high powered rifle should be kept as a pet; whether its a pit bull, gorilla, tiger etc.

29
@9 Really? I think you might be improperly training your kid, in which case I'd rather let a happy pitbull run at me then your kid with a "dog" stick.
30
@ 24, what @ 28 said. Now, if you want to continue to discuss this, please answer this point. It's a very Republican tactic (specifically the one they use to stall climate change legislation) to keep pretending that you weren't answered.
31
Perhaps just wanting to own a 'pit bull' classifies someone as a bad dog owner.
Kind of like how driving a monster truck around town would make you a bad driver, or how juggling live grenades would make you a bad clown. You are placing your own fickle desires above the safety of those around you.

I like certain pit bulls, but I never trust any of them, as in my experience even the 'sweetest' ones have a tendency to become overexcited and aggressive, even in play. When they do, they are potentially harmful to anyone around them. We don't let people keep other dangerous animals for recreational purposes (venomous snakes, tigers, gators), so why is it different for these dogs (or other similar breeds, Presa Canario,etc.)?
32
My solution: strict criminal liability. If your pitbull (or other aggressive breed) kills someone, you go to jail for manslaughter. No exceptions. If your pitbull is as sweet and gentle-tempered as you claim, then you have nothing to worry about.

And if that proposal upsets you, then you're a fucking hypocrite. You don't want to be exposed to the risk of going to jail if your dog happens to fly off the handle, but you're perfectly fine with exposing everyone else to the same risk of death if your dog happens to fly off the handle.

33
Yeah that shouldn't be too hard. There are lots of things that you should be aware of even though they usually don't harm you, a quick list off the top of my head:

1: Teenagers, If three or more unruly teenagers are walking toward you, be aware.
2: Night: If its night outside, put down your hoodie, turn down or off your ipod. Be aware of your surroundings.
3: Dogs: If any dog doesn't have a leash, maybe you should not be around that dog.
4: Cars: Don't assume they will stop for you, shoot out the tires and they will have to stop. Just be aware.
34
@32,

I would amend that to say that if your dog, regardless of breed does any sort of damage to anything, then you should be liable. So if your yappy little psycho dog bites and cuts someone, then, yeah, you're guilty of assault.
35
31 & 32 for the TIE WIN.

32, your second paragraph is especially awesome. You're right, pit bull owners are perfectly okay with putting at risk everyone with whom they come in contact. But let the screaming begin when it is suggested that they bear the reponsibility for the actions of their dogs.

Hypocrites indeed.
36
A good analogy for this is Bullying in school. As a kid in school, you can't control other people's behavior, except through your own. Same goes for dogs. They aren't telepathic, they communicate through BODY LANGUAGE, just like people. You know that to avoid the kid who wants a fight, you don't stare at them in the eye and make fake charges while walking by. It makes sense with people, but everyone gets huffy when they have to change their behavior around something as inane as a DOG!!!!

If this is really a question about self-preservation, than go observe some dog behavior so you know what they look like when they are pissed, and what sort of behavior disarms them. Dogs react, they don't think, so you can beat them by using your brain, if it's not clouded by wrath, and venom, and hate.
37
@32/34 Agreed. If pit bull apologists are going to continue blaming owners, they should be behind this idea 100%.
38
I like 32's solution. I like pit bulls. But like other posters, I don't understand why anyone would want to own one. Most of the people I know who actually DO own them are complete idiots. That's why my other acquaintances have them - because the dogs they have came from bad situations that they had to be rescued from.

I grew up with a puppy mill in my backyard, operated by my family. It was awful. That experience led me to take a rather hardcore view on dog breeding. In my opinion, all breeders should be licensed and any dog not owned by a licensed breeder should be spayed or neutered by the age of one year. There should be required continuing education requirements for breeders on kennel maintenance, sound breeding practices, etc. Keep it low-cost but rigorous, and weed out the people that just produce puppies out of carelessness and the demands of ego. If someone really cares about producing a well-adjusted companion animal, they'll jump through the hoops.

Maybe it's a knee-jerk response to my personal experience, but I think it's a sound idea in general.

\
39
Dan, its not that we (or at least I) argue that there are no bad dogs, we just do not believe that the bad ones, weather they were born that way or made that way by bad owners, should be held against the good ones just because they are a certain breed. We argue against a breed ban, dummy!
40
Dan's post sounds familiar:

A question for Muslim apologists: we hear you, we hear you. There are no bad Muslims, only a few extremists, and perhaps it's unfair to take a dim view of an entire religion when it's actually a particular radical sect who are to blame for all those maladjusted, poorly socialized, violent terrorists making the news. But how are we supposed to tell the difference? When a middle eastern person, perhaps with an overcoat, is walking towards us, how are we supposed to determine that this particular person has a was not indoctrinated by a radical Imam? Do we guess? Cross our fingers—while they're still attached—and hope for the best? Or, considering the potential consequences if we guess wrong, do we presume all middle easterners have ill intentions for the exact same reasons we presume all guns are loaded?

I am not comparing dogs to people, just pointing out how hollow the argument it.
41
I would venture to say that any person who throws their living pet at another person is a pretty bad pet owner, regardless of the breed or even species of the pet.

That said, I'm generally not that comfortable being around most off-leash dogs ... or quite a lot even when they are on a leash.
42
Simple, look at the owner's shoes - you'll know instantly both whether he's an illegal and whether his dog is going to kill you.
43
Any owner who lets their dog off leash in an urban area is a moron. Turn to the side (it's dog language for you not being a threat) and watch it in the peripheral of your eye. Don't run but if you can find the nearest store or any place with a door that you can use to keep you from the dog.

A Springer Spaniel without a leash is a hazard. I fucking can't stand the people that don't leash their dogs...as they often saunter over to my leashed dog and proceed to attack him. By the way: That's when you're allowed to defend yourself and your own dog through any means necessary.
44
really, you should assume all dogs are biters. i have an australian shepherd, the cutest little guy, with a nice smile and wiggly butt. he may ask you to pet him (looking happy, if not exactly relaxed), but if you lean over him and make kissy kissy noises he will probably bite your face.

the difference between him and a pit bull is that shepherds are nippers. bam!, in and out, then check to see if the nip was effective. pit bulls are destroyers.

i had a slow learning curve. it took several bites before i understood that i couldn't let my dog freely approach people, and couldn't let people (especially children) freely approach my dog. owners of pit bulls or any other strong breed of dog can't afford to be as stupid as i was. it's not enough for them to be good owners; they need to be *exceptional* owners.
45
#40 + 1 million.

This SLOG post is absurdly narrow minded.

Everyone who thinks pit bulls come out of their momma's cooch aggressive violent killers is more ignorant than an inbred moron. And clearly knows less than nothing about raising dogs or how dogs become dangerous. Go spend a few weeks at a few dog parks and pay close attention to the ratio of violent pits vs other breeds. Then pull your head out of your ass and STFU.
46
@32 has it right. And force liability insurance, too. Let the insurance actuaries figure out which breeds should have higher liability costs. My guess would be it's not going to be pugs and Great Pyrenees.

I really wish there were a really effective way to keep people from owning intact dogs. I think 75% of the problem would go away tomorrow if all the dogs were speutered. Get a breeding license, get inspected once a year, or neuter your pets. Period.
47
@40 "I am not comparing dogs to people, just pointing out how hollow the argument it."

Too bad b/c your post only makes sense if you compare dogs to people. If you compare the dogs to other animals, however, everything makes perfect sense and isn't hollow.

People shouldn't be allowed to keep pit bulls as pets b/c they're too powerful to control if they fly off the handle and they put the general public at risk.

People shouldn't be allowed to keep gorillas as pets b/c they're too powerful to control if they fly off the handle and they put the general public at risk.

People shouldn't be allowed to keep lions as pets b/c they're too powerful to control if they fly off the handle and they put the general public at risk.

See? All of those statements make perfect sense.
48
#47 Since when are lions and gorillas animals with over ten thousand years of domestication? Mkay?

Really, everyone who supports this SLOG post or #47 or any of the other tards, please go back to school and take a critical thinking class.
49
@47 Fair enough. I was waiting for that.

I don't like pit bulls and do believe that breeding has morphed the American Staffordshire Terrier into a dog intended to fight. But I do not believe they should be outlawed. There are already laws available to prosecute (fairly harshly) people who abuse animals and I believe what these 'owners' do to Pit Bulls to condition them to fighting is abuse.

I hate the nanny state we are becoming and I think that smart people can find solutions to these types of problems in the existing structure of our laws.

Same with terrorists.
50
The difference between a loaded gun and a pit bull is that when you throw a loaded gun at someone it doesn't bite them.
51
@48 Except that pit bulls have only been around for about 150 years and were bred specifically for fighting, mkay? So please go back to school and take a basic research class.

And people HAVE been training lions, tigers, bears, gorillas, etc. for as long as they've been training pit bulls, mkay-ze-waysy.
52
@49 I can groove with that; as someone else here mentioned, the law should be changed (and aggressively enforced) that if your dog kills/maims/injures someone then the owner should be criminally liable to the same degree as if they had committed the crime. Hopefully that'll drastically reduce the number of idiots out there owning these dogs. Same thing goes for a family dog that kills a child, if the dog kills your kid then YOU should get the punishment as if you tore your child to shreds (this extends to those fucking morons that keep pythons, etc. as pets and then find out that the snake got loose during the night and crushed their child.)
53
You approach every dog encounter, regardless of breed, cautiously, which is what people should do anyway. You exercise some additional caution when the dog is large because, while not more likely to attack, they are more likely to do serious damage if they do attack.

I think it's similar to the STD issue. People shouldn't just stop having sex because there are so many carriers of STDs out there (more than there are violent pitbulls, for what it's worth), but they should be careful and safe with every partner, whether that partner is a stripper or a librarian.
54
@53 Except that with STD's you can do something to avoid it. If STD's had a propensity to jump out of peoples pants and land on your face as your walking down the street then we'd probably have to address STD's differently.
55
@51, Pitbulls and their variants are domesticated animals. Lions, gorillas, etc. are not. There is absolutely no comparison.

Also, they were bred for DOG fighting, not human aggression, and that was not the only type of activity for which they were bred. They have been used throughout their history as a breed as work dogs, family pets, hunting dogs, therapy dogs, guide dogs, etc.
56
@51

Do you really believe bears and gorillas were domesticated and trained as early and successfully as dogs (somewhere between 10 and 15 thousand years)? Why aren't more people walking around with Lions on leashes, then; or bears? Your statement is absurd on it's face. In any case, it's a tangent.
57
@54, it's called rape. It quite often results in STD transmission and unwanted pregnancy. Consequently, FAR more rapes occur in the U.S than dog attacks, by pitbulls or any other breed, but we don't behave as though all men are rapists, and while we encourage women to be cautious of strange men (ALL men, not just the types ignorantly portrayed to be more dangerous), we don't campaign for the males of the human species to be banned or unilaterally euthanized.
58
@29, you are right in that a happy pitbulls is okay, in that I agree. I just think that putting the responsibility of the dogs demeanor, not on the owner, but on the person who may never have had a dog, or can't discern dog-emotion, is unfair. And frankly, my son's currently unbitten body is worth a dog or two getting swung at.
59
@51 the dogs didn't just appear out of nowhere or were culled from some jungle or plains area, mkay?
You can make similar arguments about bulldogs and Great Danes, and yet no one wants to put those breeds under a ban. Doberman and German Shepard dogs have the same "tough guy" appeal, and no one wants to put them under a ban. Golden retrievers and labs attack more people per year, and small dogs are usually notoriously "bitey" and are more prone to attack small children. Do we ban them, too?

Essentially, my argument is that all breeds of dogs are dangerous, yet no one would even think about banning all dogs from a city. A pit bull dog is not as dangerous as a lion or a gorilla; if we were talking about mastiffs, great danes, irish wolfhounds, boerboels..all very large, powerfully built dogs, some comparison could be made.
The problem is the criminal activity surrounding pit bull dogs, and as someone else said, take the dogs away and new breeds will be adopted by the criminals [once it gets to toy poodles v. pugs I'm sure they'll still fight them.] Cracking down on unregulated breeding and dog fighting rings would be more effective than banning breeds because of the bad dogs resulting from the criminal association with the breed. Banning coloured handkerchiefs doesn't stop gang activity, after all.

Also @23, you make it sound like dogs have some kind of complex emotional pattern that they are actively controlling. It's not your ex, it's just a dog. Dog appears agitated or excited? It's agitated or excited, and is a danger even if it's "happy".
60
Dan, what's wrong with the advice given by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control? Why do you keep ignoring that?

If you're really afraid to walk down the street get a gun or mace or some crazy thing if that's what it takes to calm you down. It is your right to bear arms, apparently. But if you're talking about good public policy, well, read the document above. That's good public policy.
61
@55 If you hand raise an animal in captivity for multiple generations you can train it like any other. Ever see a lion in a movie? It's a hand raised domesticated lion. The bear scene in the great outdoors? Hand raised domesticated bear. The vast, overwhelming majority of animals like bears, lions, chimps, that are raised to be domestic animals are going to be safe but the few times that they aren't safe they become a real hazard. Case in point; that Sigfried and Roy tiger was waaaaaaaaaaay more disciplined than my cat, i.e. my cat has at least 8 snits like that a day. The big difference is that when my cat has a snit she gives me a scratch she doesn't rip my throat out, which is my point. Some animals are too big to safely keep as pets. Consider this story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/nyregi…

The animal was perfectly normal, no history of violence etc. etc. etc. but then "all of a sudden...out of the blue....no one could have predicted.....he was so friendly...." just like all of the pit bulls gone wild tales.

"Also, they were bred for DOG fighting, not human aggression"

Oh come on. Ok, so you wouldn't have any problem letting your child play with a pit bull that had been trained for dog fighting b/c he had been trained to be aggressive towards dogs and not humans? Seriously?

62
@56 "Do you really believe bears and gorillas were domesticated and trained as early and successfully as dogs (somewhere between 10 and 15 thousand years)?"

Nope, so it's a good thing I didn't say that. I said that've been trained for about as long as pit bulls and considering that pit bulls have been around for about 150 years then that would be a true statement and for the record people have been successfully training bears for hundreds and hundreds of years.

"In any case, it's a tangent."

Not if you actually bothered to read what I was saying it's not. Some animals are too strong to keep as pets. If it's physically impossible to restrain the animal in case it freaks out then you shouldn't have it as a pet or you should NOT take it into public.
63
@57 If what you were referring to in 53 was rape then you shouldn't have said:

"but they should be careful and safe with every partner, whether that partner is a stripper or a librarian."

you should have said:

"but they should be careful and safe with every rapist, whether that rapist is a stripper or a librarian."

You obviously implied choice by specifying that it was a partner. And as was said before, comparing humans to animals is a false comparison b/c humans have a capacity for choice whereas animals don't.
64
@ 59 "the dogs didn't just appear out of nowhere or were culled from some jungle or plains area, mkay?"

When you actively breed an animal to have specific traits that previously didn't exist en masse then the animal essential does appear out of nowhere, mkay-dly-day-dly-do? And if those traits are aggressive, violent traits then, for the most part, that animal becomes more dangerous than an animal from the plains or jungle. At least most wild animals are predictable in their unpredictability, e.g. a grizzly won't attack you unless you startle it, get between the bear and it's food/cubs or if it's really starving.

"A pit bull dog is not as dangerous as a lion or a gorilla; if we were talking about mastiffs, great danes, irish wolfhounds, boerboels..all very large, powerfully built dogs, some comparison could be made."

Except that pit bulls kill way more people than all of those species.

"The problem is the criminal activity surrounding pit bull dogs"

This we can agree on.
65
@63, it's a second analogy based on your erroneous statement, not an edit of the first. The point is that your problem with the first analogy is bogus, as is your current statement. Humans don't always have the capacity for choice. For that manner, animals often do.

The response to Dan's question still stands. The world is a dangerous place, and the answer is to proceed with caution without giving in to irrational fear or prejudice.
66
@63
"The point is that your problem with the first analogy is bogus"

Your first analogy stated that you have to be careful with dogs in the same way that you're careful with sexual partners and my problem with that was if you get attacked by someone else's dog while walking down the street then you don't get the choice to be careful around the dog. I'm sorry but there's nothing bogus about that interpretation.

"Humans don't always have the capacity for choice."

I'm not really sure what you're talking about but if there's someone out there who literally has no capacity of choice and acts purely on instinct then that person should be removed from society.

"For that manner, animals often do."

Um, no.
67
@64, every single thing you said is untrue and/or unprovable. Wild predators, and wild animals in general, are not predictable, they are not "less dangerous" than domesticated dogs bred for obedience to humans, all dog breeds are the same "species" and there is no evidence that pits or pit mixes attack with any more per capita frequency than others because there is no viable body of evidence on that issue at all.

Between this and the "human beings have choice in all of their sexual encounters" line, you're making yourself sound like a complete idiot.
68
"The world is a dangerous place, and the answer is to proceed with caution without giving in to irrational fear or prejudice."

Yes but that danger can (and should) be mitigated.
69
Here's an article showing that the number of dog bites did not change when a pit bull ban was instituted:

http://ottawa.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CT…

And, @62, I reiterate that pit bulls are not a different species from dogs, they are just another breed, unlike lions, or bears, which are a whole different species. Several generations is not nearly as significant as several hundred generations. There are other, stronger dogs than pitbulls, but those don't get banned. If they're too strong to handle, why don't we also ban Rottweilers, Dobermans, Great Danes, etc? If you're going to tell me that it's because Pitt Bulls are the ones responsible for attacks, read that link to the article a I just posted.
70
@66, Dan's question is what to do when you encounter a pit, not what to do when a pit is attacking you. An analogy to how to respond to a potential sexual partner (with universal caution) is valid. Analogies are comparisons of similar relationships, not discussions of identical situations.

Human beings do not have choice in situations of force. Things like rape, assault, etc. On the other hand, many animals (humans among them) are entirely capable of choice. Animals are not all purely instinct driven, nor are they robots that toss out a set pattern of responses to various stimuli.
71
And breed bans don't mitigate danger. They just transfer it, and in some cases increase it. Safety precautions have to be logical, not based on inaccurate prejudice, to be effective.
72
"every single thing you said is untrue and/or unprovable"

Wild animals/predators are predictable and it's called behavior. My brother is a zoologist who works with cheetahs, I have many friends who are field zoologists, I lived in Alaska in the presence of bears. I know for a fact that it's possible to go into the wild in the presence of wild animals and not be killed. You're aware that Jane Goodall did her research on wild gorillas, right? She didn't live with zoo gorillas.

"they are not "less dangerous" than domesticated dogs bred for obedience to humans"

Which is true for dogs that are bred for obedience. Dogs bred to be violent however....

"all dog breeds are the same "species""

Yes, and within each species there are sub-species and sub-species can be wildly different; especially in a species like dogs which were bred specifically to be wildly different.

"there is no evidence that pits or pit mixes attack with any more per capita frequency"

Yes there is. The Clifton report in 2009 found that 49% of dog bite related fatalities are the results of pit bulls and related mixes (the next closest breed was Rottweillers with 20% of fatalities.)

From the conclusion: ""Temperament is not the issue, nor is it even relevant. What is relevant is actuarial risk. If almost any other dog has a bad moment, someone may get bitten, but will not be maimed for life or killed, and the actuarial risk is accordingly reasonable. If a pit bull terrier…has a bad moment, often someone is maimed or killed--and that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk, for which the dogs as well as their victims are paying the price."

"Between this and the "human beings have choice in all of their sexual encounters" line, you're making yourself sound like a complete idiot. "

*sigh* I meant that humans have a choice whether or not to be rapists but animals don't have a choice whether or not to killers; meaning (I guess I have to say this again), you can't compare humans to animals.
73
Okay, have you ever hung out with an Australian shepherd, say, that has never been trained for anything besides not pooping indoors? They try to herd groups of people together! Untrained setters tend to sniff out small animals and "set". Retrievers are pretty good at retrieving! What do you think a "pit bull" might do, regardless of training?
74
Matt from Denver and bassplayerguy, shut the fuck up.

According to the UKC, "aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable." - "American Pit Bull Terrier (revised November 1, 2008)". United Kennel Club. http://www.ukcdogs.com/WebSite.nsf/Breed…

look up Bull Baiting which is what these dogs were originally bred for back in the 1800's ya dumb fuck, Matt.

and bassplayerguy if you " haven't heard anyone say that the breed must be exterminated and removed from existence"
then you haven't been keeping up on your SLOG reading...

at least do some research instead of flying off at the mouth with hearsay and opinions.

ok, your turn guys
75
You really are a moron.

Animal behavior can be studied and patterns can be identified, and the reliability of the information is far, FAR higher with domesticated species. Any zoologist that didn't cut their degree out of the back of a cereal box, however, will tell you that human ability to predict animal behavior, especially with wild species, is nowhere near perfect. Nor, for that matter, is any study of human behavior, about which we know far more.

All domesticated breeds of dog are bred to be obedient to humans. Even fighting dogs are trained to be violent on the command of human owners and handlers and to submit when being handled. Otherwise, they would be of no use to their owner.
76
Did you get to this part of the article?

"The study does not show the number of dog bites compared to the number of dogs in the province. Nor does it adjust for changes to the province's population or for the severity of attacks."

That's a pretty big qualifier to leave out or not look for; so big in fact that it almost renders everything else about it to be negligible.

"I reiterate that pit bulls are not a different species from dogs"

Correct, they are a sub species of dog that was bred specifically to be violent.

"If they're too strong to handle, why don't we also ban Rottweilers, Dobermans, Great Danes, etc?"

Why don't you answer me this, Hollywood-style trained animals are by and large very safe and kill far fewer people than pit bulls. It is obvious that you can train bears, etc. to be as harmless as dogs so why should there be a ban on keeping these animals as pets and not pit bulls?
77
Also, bassplayer guy, the study you cite doesn't account for per capita population or breed demographics, as far as those can even be known, and, as I recall having read it before, states very clearly that the body of evidence it pulls from is not conclusive since many animal bites and attacks are not reported. Also, as it points out that the problem is not inherent to the breed. In other words, it doesn't say a damn thing to prove your statement and actually contradicts it.
78
"Dan's question is what to do when you encounter a pit, not what to do when a pit is attacking you. An analogy to how to respond to a potential sexual partner (with universal caution) is valid."

Only if you're out looking for an encounter of some kind with a dog. If you want nothing to do with a dog let alone a pit bull (what I'm guessing Dan's position is) then it's nothing like looking for a potential sex partner where you're actively looking for something.

"Human beings do not have choice in situations of force."

I never said they did.

"On the other hand, many animals (humans among them) are entirely capable of choice."

And this is verifiable how? I'll bite that it's certainly possible that self-aware animals (primates, elephants, dolphins, etc.) probably have that capacity on some level but there's absolutely no way of knowing what a dog is thinking.
79
one more thing

bassplayerguy,

all your energy would be better spent getting rid of cars and all vehicles because of drunk drivers

can i make that comparison, an inanimate object and an animal? where the car is something generally used as mode of transportation, but in the hands of a drunk driver its a missile on wheels.
and where the pit bull is generally an animal that humans had previously used for sport now for companionship, but in the hands of an ignorant, irresponsible owner is just a wild animal.
80
"You really are a moron."

Classy.

"Animal behavior can be studied and patterns can be identified..."

Which is not what you said initially. What you said was "Wild predators, and wild animals in general, are not predictable."
81
Bite/dog attack statistics do not tell us anything about who raised and trained the dog.

There is zero infallible logic behind pit bull bans or the arguments of those who support them.
82
Potential sexual encounters are all around us all of the time whether we're actively seeking them or not. I don't have to wear a sign that says "I'm looking" to get hit on at a bar, do you?

Conscious thought in dogs and other animals (including pigs and cats) has been studied and well documented for decades. Do you seriously not know this?
83
@79 If there's any possibility that your car is going to kill someone completely of it's own volition while you're not around then you go right ahead and make that comparison.
84
Look up any reputable source on keeping or training un-domesticated species or encountering them in the wild and every single one will include some variant on the phrase "They are unpredictable." This is not my opinion. This is fact.

Classy or not, the assessment that someone who believes that lions and grizzly bears in the wild are less dangerous and more predictable than domesticated dogs is a moron has a pretty sturdy basis in fact.
85
You know what, this anti-pit bull propaganda is the reason I rarely read slog these days. Looks like I am not missing much.
86
"Conscious thought in dogs and other animals (including pigs and cats) has been studied and well documented for decades."

Which is not the same as choice. Conscious thought acts in degrees not "you have it or you don't." But let's assume that you're right and animals have the same level (or comparable level) of choice as humans do, then what you're saying is that any time a dog kills a person then the dog actually chooses to do it? So all the punishment should be meted out to the dog the same way it is to a human with the trial and lawyers et. al.?

"Potential sexual encounters are all.....so on and so forth."

If you think that humans and animals are comparable and that we should hold animals to the same standards as humans (or vise versa) then fine but this is a dead end conversation b/c as I stated two times before, I believe you can't compare humans to animals.
87
All right, then, here:

http://www40.statcan.gc.ca/l01/cst01/dem…

The population of Ontario stayed fairly level from 2005 until 2009, and, in fact, went up.

This paper shows that in fatal attacks, from 1990-2007, of 28 fatal attacks, among named breeds, American Staffordshire terriers were tied for lowest. I think you can interpolate, there.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles…

As for answering your question, cite a source or your statement just can't be considered fact. Nn any case, Hollywood animals are trained by professionals who dedicate their careers to working with potentially dangerous animals. Answer my questions before you shoot back with another.

The point is that if you ban Pitt Bulls, dumb people will just get Rottweilers, or Dobermans, or some other large intimidating dog to miss-train and miss-breed. I don't own dogs, and I'm not a lathering-at-the-mouth Pitt Bull lover. I just don't agree with this particular breed being targeted because the methodology is flawed, and logic does point to the breed being the sole, or even the primary source of the problem
88
@28 what do you think a breed ban will do? someone had a point about wolf-breed dog bans in one of dan's last rants and how you don't see them anymore at all, anywhere. i dont mean to come off as a drama queen, i just feel that the way dan is approaching this is pretty ridiculous: only mention bad examples, repeat them, eventually your point will stick.

@30 except in the last couple of threads where i brought up the same point, i was instantly shut down with "we've already covered that, try something new". i never seen that particular argument come up in one of these comment threads, and honestly wanted to know how this was different, and why one is ok and the other bad.

89
And by does I mean doesn't.
90
"Classy or not, the assessment that someone who believes that lions and grizzly bears in the wild are less dangerous and more predictable than domesticated dogs is a moron has a pretty sturdy basis in fact."

And once again you state it as if all dog sub-species are the same. "They're all domesticated dogs, they all act the same, there's no variance in the way they act." Sorry but that's not true, it's never been true and you completely missed my point. I said that wild animals are predictable in the way they're unpredictable which is not the same thing as saying they're predictable. And the fact that people assume that domesticated dogs are all just obedient little love bugs is why the owners are always surprised and shocked and horrified that their dog who previously showed no inclination towards violence all of a sudden, and for no apparent reason, became violent. To recap, I am NOT saying that wild animals are predictable I am saying that with wild animals you know what you're getting.
91
Wooboy we got us a powerful lot of moronity up in here!!!

Joemomma, you are wrong. You're just flat-out wrong. Not that you need me to tell you that, certainly not that you'll believe me, but... it makes my fingers happy to type it out. "J-o-e-m-o-m-m-a y-o-u a-r-e w-r-o-n-g."

These pit bull defenders are indefatigable, no?

92
@83, I think you should read about Toyota's sudden acceleration problem.
93
@89 I figured that's what you meant.
94
@91:

Pott. Kettle. Black.
95
@92 Touche. However it should be pointed out that was with the accelerator and not the parking brake.
96
Except, bassplayerguy, that "wild animals are predictable" is exactly what you said. Multiple times, for the record, right here in black and white. And you've also said that domesticated animals, about whom we know far, far more than wild species, are more dangerous and less predictable.

On the flip side, I have never said that the animal brain works like the human brain, or that non-human animals are capable of choice or conscious thought in the same way that humans are, or that domesticated dogs are all the same. What I have said, in response to your incorrect statements to the contrary, is that some of animals are capable of conscious thought and choice and that we know far more about the behavior of domesticated animals, like dogs, that are bred for human obedience, which are both well-documented facts.

But I tell you what; why don't you go and tell your zoologist brother that grizzlies and lions in the wild are more predictable and less dangerous than pitbulls, and then come back and let us know what he says when he stops laughing.
97
Plus which, why is it always the pit bull apologists who start screaming about a breed ban? The Stranger is NOT advocating a breed ban - they never have! The only people screeching about a breed ban are you pit bull people - do you have to wipe the spittle off the computer screen as you post these things?

Why can't we have an actual conversation about The Issue of big powerful, sometimes unpredictable, sometimes lethal animals that some folks choose to own as pets -- IN THE CITY? Seems like there's an awful lot to talk about there, without even getting close to a 'breed ban'.

Can a pit bull owner please tell me why their right to own a pit bull trumps my right to safely walk down my street?
98
@87 The study didn't mention the proportion of dogs in Canada. Yes, pit bulls were lowest in deaths in hard numbers but what percentage of the Canadian dog population are pit bulls? According to the study, pits did attack more people though. Why didn't those people die? Who knows, maybe Canadians are tougher, either way it wasn't mentioned in the study.

To answer your question, I'm not even sure if bans (breed specific or not) are the way to go but I have no problem with enacting tons of regulations for larger, stronger, breeds of dogs. Need to get a special license, need to take special classes on how to handle your animal, need to keep the dog on a lease at all times in public, you WILL be held criminally liable if your dog kills someone, etc. And as I said before, I think this should apply to ALL large animals, not just dogs, that are kept as pets.
99
Is it bad form to want to start a pool on when @72 is going to be killed by a wild animal? Because anyone who thinks that wild animals always behave in ways that be accurately predicted by humans is on a path that ends will being shat out by a bear.
100
I walk safely down my street past multiple pit bull's every day. In a city.

As for the breed ban issue, Dan has openly advocated for breed bans. And try reading the comments here today, like the ones about how we ban bear ownership but not the ownership of the ever-so-much more dangerous pitbull. I don't think that was written by a "pit bull apologist."