Features Apr 1, 2010 at 4:00 am

Because nothing can muck up a sweet Seattle spring like having your face ripped off by a dog.

As originally printed Illustrations by James Yamasaki


Schamder, your article would probably be a lot more accepted and no so inflammatory if you had titled it "how to defeat and attacking dog with your bare hands"

The strangers misguided hatred of pit bulls is getting old.
"It's not the dogs, it's irresponsible owners, blah blah blah...". This argument completely ignores the fact that pit bull fighting is a culture, and otherwise not so dangerous things often become dangerous things when an idea or culture uses them. Take the wearing of all blue and red: most high schools ban this because of its affiliation to gangs. There is nothing intrinsically bad about wearing all blue or red, though -- you could say that barring huge leaps of logic into freak accident land, it has a danger level of 0. Likewise, pit bulls should be banned because they have unfortunately been picked up by a culture of macho dickheads who fight them. If pit bull lovers can figure out a way to squash this culture and ensure that these dogs don't attack at a higher rate than your average dog, then great, I will give them a round of applause. But don't start clapping anytime soon.
Dog attack survivor here.

I'd say: I prefer not to use bare hands, but yes: gouging eyes is an excellent and proven method to slow ANY violent animal attack (bear, dog, those damn fiesty squirrels), ...including from humans.

Good article - fairly entertaining, slightly educational I suppose for those who haven't endured a dog attack before. Love the art. Dead on true about using forarm. Meanly-trained Rotties, Dobes and PB's like tasty fingers. Trust me.
One other point that needs to be brought up: I don't really give a fuck about dog fighting, so long as it's done out in the middle of nowhere. For someone who eats meat, or even vegans and vegetarians who tolerate the fact that others in the world eat meat (almost everyone, in other words), it's hard to make a case against letting dogs go at each other for entertainment when you aren't out there trying to stop them from being eaten.

The key thing is that dog fighting take place in rural areas: if you have your dogs in a modern, safe kennel, and you fight them well away from civilization, then fine. I think what you're doing is stupid, but I don't really care. What I do have a problem with is this culture's base in urban and suburban areas, where there are kids and other tasty forms of meat walking around.
Don't assume that dog lovers speak with one voice. I am a dog lover and I like this article. My gentle Golden was attacked by a pit and I wish I had the knowledge then to defend her and myself. She survived, but needed medical attention. I wonder if there are some stats about pit bull attacks on other dogs?

Just want to shatter any impression that all dog lovers are outraged by this article.
This will be the last time I read anything in The Stranger. This type of media attention is exactly why cities across the country try to pass BSL. Luckily, informed and educated individuals are starting to fight back against this discrimination and show communities that it isn't just "pit bulls" that attack but a dog that is abused, neglected, not socialized can attack. If all reports of dog bites where in the media as much as pit bull bites were, people would actually be aware that pits are NOT the dogs that bite the most - labrador retrievers are. Pit bulls are intelligent, loving dogs that get a bad rap partially by people like David Schmader. Get your facts straight David - and spend more time writing intelligent articles vs. ill informed crap like this....Never mind - I won't read it anyways.
I'm the owner of the sweetest, friendliest dog you ever met. And she's a pit bull. She's less aggressive than my previous dogs, a cocker spaniel and a lab-collie mix. But the reason she continues to be sweet and gentle is that I have trained her to be that way. She knows I am her "alpha", and she has to do what I say all the time! I've socialized her to be gentle with other animals (she thinks our two cats are her babies) and with people. If you are careless with a weapon, and an untrained naturally aggressive animal is a weapon, bad things will happen. I've known chihuahuas that I wouldn't get within 10 feet of, because they barked and lunged at me and tried to bite nonstop. And those breed laws? If pits were banned from everywhere, then people who want crazy mean dogs would pick another strong breed and start all again. The solution is mandatory education for all dog owners about their animals natural instincts and how to overcome them with training.
Oh David, your political career is looking good when you can post an article named "How to defeat a Pit Bull" and then backpedal trying to defend it by *retroactively retitling it* to "How to defend yourself from an attacking dog".

The point is, you *didn't* write an article called "How to defend yourself from an attacking dog". You wrote one -- specifically -- on "how to defeat a *pit bull*"

In other words, if you are attacked by a German Shepherd, or Doberman, or even a Rottie, you're fucked -- because this guide is only for Satan Spawn Born Evil Pit Bulls. Stranger is not concerned with non-stereotypically-violent dogs.

(I wonder what Golob says about the Stranger's canine eugenics?)
Another dog-lover here. I sorry to inform other dog lovers that there are some extraordinarily violence-bred pitbulls. One of my neighbors in Manhattan had three of them. It was a horror show when he took them up and down the stairs for walks. They were virtually uncontrollable, trying to bite through their chain leashes until they were bleeding from the mouths, and berserk from the taste of their own blood. They would attack each other, and I believe they were related. The neighbor appeared caring and patient and would try to protect his animals from each other, and was strong enough to restrain them from biting people. The problem was the animals.

Never buy a pitbull pup without meeting both of its parents. Even then, there's a lot of inbreeding with the breed, which can amplify negative behavioral traits. An awful lot of the extant pitbull stock comes from recent attempts at breeding dogs for pit-fighting contests. Fight breeders selected the strongest and most blood-thirsty dogs to breed with each other, and breed a lot of them, because they have a high attrition rate. Many of those pups that aren't strong or vicious enough get sold or given away into the pet market, despite them having genes for really bad personalities. And if a couple of those are later bred to each other, watch out.

The sweet, child-friendly, protective "Buster Brown" dog bears no resemblence to these fighters with their massive T-Rex heads. Yes, it is the breed, at least as it's presently constituted, sadly.

As a small woman I often feel like potential target/snack for these dogs/biological weapons/walking manifestations of human rage. It's nice to have options.

I was once rushed by an unleashed pitbull. I froze--thanks self preservation instincts!--fortunately it was friendly or I was passive enough not to incite it.

How to spark interest in an increasingly vapid alternative weekly and increase hits on its website:

1) Write inflammatory, ignorant article in print edition.

2) ???

3) Profit
As much as I hope to never have occasion to use it, this is valuable information and I am glad to see it published. The tips for injuring the dog, as hard as they may be to swallow, are a necessary part of self-defense because you cannot reason with an aggressive pit bull. I don't want to choke or maim a dog in any way if I am not forced to do so. There is simply no question that I would do any of these to protect my life and health. Getting up on a car -- seems obvious, but it will save your life. Dogs lack the balance and motor skills to get to you there. Too bad these types of dogs often go after kids who are too small to effectively use any of these tactics.
i have thought about this from time to time, and it seems to me that unless the dog is extremely heavy, in relationship to the atackee, it might be best to simply allow the dog to lunge at you, then grab a leg ( remain very cool! ) and lean back while spinning, keep spinning, and then heave the dog over a fence, onto a roof, or into traffic.
Pit bull owners are are like the dickwads who insist on their right to carry guns into Starbucks.

They believe they have a constitutional right to casually intimidate their fellow citizens.

When I see a pit bull owner I think some combination of daddy issues/small penis/low self-esteem is being worked out on the public stage.
Anybody seen Kyle? 'bout this tall. Seen Kyle?
this article makes me ashamed of being a stranger reader.
You know, French poodles can also be quite vicious.
114: The title of the piece remains the same as when it was published, and all the tips in the piece can be used against any dog that may be attacking you.
pittielover @87 said:

I've never seen a pitbull aggress another dog, and the only times I've ever experienced that happening is when some dumbass is running on a path and freaking the fuck out because a dog wants to sniff them or see why they're running.

Sorry, pittielover, but this statement shows that you are not a good dog owner. How is the runner supposed to know the dog's intentions? You should KEEP the dog from approaching runners in the first place. You obviously do not properly control your dogs.

311_TruthMovement @109 said:

..it's hard to make a case against letting dogs go at each other for entertainment when you aren't out there trying to stop them from being eaten.

Only if you're deluded. Otherwise it's pretty easy, actually.
I always liked the stranger because they didn't run all the same non-sense the other papers do. apparently this is changing...
@124, Schmader

That's like posting and article on "how to kill black people" and then later on saying you can use the same methods to kill any other race too.
David, the reason Pit Bull fanciers are getting all, um, nonsensical furious, is because your poorly written article wasn't really, as you say in your second post, about "how to defend yourself against an attacking dog". It was about trying to inflame people against Pit Bulls. That article might have been interesting and useful. And I'm not just saying it was poorly written to be mean. Your sins:
1) Relying on sketchy statistics
2) Not disclosing The Stranger's links to DogsBite.org
3) Setting up and knocking down straw men (humans' anxiety at fault argument, really?)
4) Possibly bad info (is playing dead really a smart idea when being savaged?)
5) Not getting input from "the other side" Isn't Dan always going on about this with pot stories?

105 has a point. There is a Pit Bull problem. Too many are vicious, too many attacks. The problem is real. And a lot of it centers around this breed. So how do we make the problem better? In deciding how we should act, it is very important to distinguish the *reason* for the problem. The Stranger thinks the problem is the breed. I think it is thuggish and/or ignorant owners. I think The Stranger is unwilling to pile onto these owners of bad dogs who are (let's be honest here) usually poor, black, and dysfunctional with a sprinkling of white trash. Basically your train wreck demographic.

For the sake of argument, lets say we ban Pit Bulls. Do you honestly believe that the 20 yo drug dealer owner will say "oh well, I guess since it is illegal, I'll just not have a dog at all! Oh look, I think I'll go help that old lady across the street!". No, they will just move on to another breed. There is a type of person who thinks they need a mean "guard dog" to keep them safe, and to enhance their image. These people will just pick a new "it" dog, and destroy that breed too.

So, these are my proposals, that will make a difference.
1)Make back-yard breeding illegal.
2)Make neutering mandatory, unless you you have a breeding permit.
3)Make seizing dogs much easier. If you are caught without a dog license the dog should be seized automatically. Then, you will be able to "adopt" the dog back from the shelter (if you and the dog pass the shelter's screening procedure!) once it is licensed and neutered.
4)Make seizing dogs on cruelty grounds easier.
5)If a dog bites a human, it should be put down. End of story.
Another approach is to confuse it with Molly Moon's overpriced ice-cream, or a Po Dog's hotdog and then attack it with a R.E.I. pocket, nuclear harpoon.

Your statement is clear evidence of just how little you know about dogs. Apparently, you've never seen a dog gleefully roll around in its own (or another dog's) shit, or worse yet, eat it.
I don't mind this article. I am of the positive training philosophy, and continue to train my dog throughout her years. I hate people who do not train their dogs.
I have one more tip: this one is for stupid parents: KEEP YOUR KIDS OUT OF DOG PARKS.
I wouldn't let my dog loose in your child's playground, don't let your child loose in my dog's dogpark.
Aww boo hoo something that conflicts with my opinion. I am going to stop reading forever!
@131 - it's not the dog parks that are the problem. Duh. I see WAAAY more dogs loose near (and even IN) children's playgrounds than I see children loose in dog parks.

The problem is that half the dogs I see in PEOPLE parks are OFF LEASH. And what happens is when your stupid dog comes running at our kids we have no idea if it's planning to lick them or eat them.

I'm with @21 & 23. The behavior of the dog--ANY DOG, cat, tarantula, pygmy goat, whatever---depends upon the training / lack of training, love, quality care--or violent abuse and other mistreatment by the human(s) responsible. I've met Doberman Pinschers that didn't threaten to rip me to shreds.

If so-called pet owners don't want to be responsible, maybe they're better off not having pets.
@87 - How can a person learn to train a dog if they don't own one? Also, you contradict yourself. My favorite instance is calling Cesar Milan fans "clueless idiots" right after proclaiming the dog-lover bashers here have the mental and emotional capacity of nine year-olds. Love when you launch into calling people "mindless plebian" or rather plebeians. You will win no support with that kind of attitude. Plus, you basically stole what I said, crapped all over it and posted it back on here.
@87 - How can a person learn to train a dog if they don't own one? Also, you contradict yourself. My favorite instance is calling Cesar Milan fans "clueless idiots" right after proclaiming the dog-lover bashers here have the mental and emotional capacity of nine year-olds. Love when you launch into calling people "mindless plebian" or rather plebeians. You will win no support with that kind of attitude. Plus, you basically stole what I said, crapped all over it and posted it back on here.
@ 94 - You ask a very good question - what IS in those pit bull genes anyway?

@ 115 answers your very good question. 115 has it right - these dogs are exhibiting EXACTLY the behavior we bred into them. Unscrupulous breeders select for aggression and breed the most agressive dogs together - to result in just the kind of nightmare scenario that Brooklyn Reader describes.

All you 'it's not the dog, it's the owner' people out there take note: it IS the dog, in this sad case, much more so than Dobermans or Rottweilers. It damn sure IS the dog that's the problem, a problem only exacerbated when lowlifes own hella snappin pits. You just have to wrap your minds around that fact: it IS the dog that is the problem, because we've bred it to be. Unless ALL pit breeders start selecting and breeding for gentleness (ha!), we will not, in our lifetimes, see the return of the Buster Brown-type pit bull dog. (And that's a real fuckin bummer, because pits have all kinds of potential to be truly great dogs. Chalk it up to the shitheel-ness of humanity that we're in the fix with them that we're in now.)

And hey @ 109, 311TM - you've got a strange view of dog-fighting, dude. Because you think it's mostly a rural phenomenon, you're not bothered by it? Really? Outta sight, outta mind, right? Right...........
Hey, David Schmader, I think this article is useless, sensationalistic, fearmongering shit. Can you quote me in a SLOG post denouncing the article's detractors? You can say "EPIC FAIL" or something. C'mon, it'll be fun.
And how many of you worthless piece of craps that work at the Stranger have adopted a pit bull? You all disgust me. This paper isn't even worthy of being recycled. Once again people not educating themselves about breeds.
This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever read! I don't know if I should feel sad for the author (for obviously being an elementary school drop out and not being able to use his brain for anything but useless babble) or mad (because he is just using this amazingly poor article to get his infamous name in the world, but will never be given a second thought).
Please get your information from a reliable sourse (not Dogsbite.org)! For those of you who don't know- the highest number of dog bites are currently being held by the dachshund breed. You have a better chance of being bitten by a lab or a retriever than a pitbull. I work with dogs all day every day and can truthfully say that a dog, regardless of breed, age, and sex is what we humans make them to be! For some reliable and trustworthy websites check out:

First of All...
ANYONE who sites or quotes Colleen Lynn of Dogsbite.org is a total idiot. Her website is 110% pure propaganda and slanted information. The woman was bitten by a pit bull years ago. GET OVER IT... In the course of rehab'ing and training the fight out of these abused and neglected dogs, I been bitten over a dozen times and I still believe they are the greatest breed known to man.

DO NOT MISCONSTUE an abused and neglected, over bred, ameciated, and fought for profit animal for one this is vicious. Sure, any animal enduring such horror should not be out in public until completely rehab'ed and trained and all of its medical needs are taken care of.
THAT is what some of us spend a life time doing while the rest of society shoves its head in the sand and chokes on EVERYTHING the government and media shoves down their throat.

One of the very most convenient things the government and media and loose cannons (Like Colleen Lynn) forget to mention is... the pit bulls who attack and end up on the 11'0'clock news make up less than 5% of the over all population. They also convenienty fail to mention all the good things and positive experiences people and other dogs have had with pit bulls.

Since they choose to conveniently omit this information... I WILL share it:


Until complete crazed losers like Colleen Lynn or Kory Nelson (Denver, CO) or KingHuman (Youtube) are ready to step up to a "PUBLIC" debate on the issue of Pit Bulls... I have nothing to say but "Go Back to 1949 McCarthyism where you belong. There is no place in the new milenium for your or your witch hunt."

Chef David Edelstein and Team Pit-a-Full
Orange, CA
Boy, you pit bull owners are sure like a bunch of, um, well, pit bulls when it comes to defending these critters.

Like owner, like dog.

My American Pit bull is a better and more imaginative writer than Schmader. He clearly also has better manners.
I have often thought about what I would do when I see unleashed dogs around town. This after an unleashed dog (not a pit bull!) came after me on my motorcycle - it was a residential street and I was going slow enough that the dog easily caught up with me - in fact it got ahead of me (faster than I could have anticipated) and caused a crash.

The owner was startled and said "we've seen him go after bicyclists before, but never a motorcycle." Which naturally made me wonder: if they'd seen the dog go after bicyclists, was that not enough to leash it?

Something important to note here: not only is there a leash law in Seattle (and other) city limits, but Washington state law says that dog owners (but not cats!) are liable for damages caused by their pets. All of them. Fully.

So that dog owner ended up paying for (quite expensive) repairs to my motorcycle.

This type of law is not unique to WA, but not all states have it. I do recall in Massachusetts hearing of (urban legend?) case law that established that a driver that deliberately ran down a dog in a town with a leash law + state "liable for all dog damages" law and the dog owner had to pay for damages to the driver's car.

IANAL, YMMV and all that.

I love dogs.

Please keep yours on a leash in the city, choose not to have a dog in the city, or move to the country if you want to let your dog off leash.
How disappointing to see such a hateful fluff piece. I would have thought that The Stranger would be above mindless fear mongering. Disgusting.
Cujo was a rabid St. Bernard...
@80: Skyway, motherfucker. Roaming savage red-eyed pitbulls and chows several times a year. And how about Ballard? Our friend's chihuahua was mauled to death by an on-leash pitbull owned by an average citizen.
Thanks, this is good to know. Stray dogs with heads the size of a bear's are freaking terrifying. Especially when I'm walking my 20 pound dog while pushing my 2 year old in a stroller. I've been meaning to get some mace-- thanks for the reminder.
At this moment, I have a 90 pound Pit Bull sleeping at my feet. He is about four years old, has never bitten anybody and has never fought with another dog. He's dog friendly, child friendly and people friendly. Some of the nicest dogs I've met have been Pit Bulls.

I've been rescuing and rehabing dogs for 50 years and have never been bitten by a Pit Bull. At the present time I have seven dogs in my home: one is a Pit Bull and one is a Boxer/Pit mix. All seven live in harmony and have full run of the house and yard.

I think Mr. Schmader needs to brush his teeth, clean his filthy mouth and find some decent adjectives. His writing is poor and his choice of words shows a lack of intelligence.

I was attracted to reading the article because of the great illustrations.
The usage of "Pit Bull" in the heading of the title, is, as some have pointed out, obviously to antagonize, but at the same time, inform the dear Stranger readers.
Funny, because I was at a tattoo convention in Philly last weekend and talking to a woman running a anti- BSL (anti-breed law) campaign in defense of PBs. Interesting that she knew to target the "tattooed tough- guy" stereotype as to be very partial to the breed.
Blah, blah- they can be cute and nice and all, but they are BIG and STRONG. A child, much less a grown adult would be mincemeat in seconds if one ever went apeshit. Dachshunds- hardly.
Again- kudos to the excellent drawings!!
I've been attacked by owls and shit on by crows in Seattle. Maybe Seattle is a magnet for fucked up animals! Not likely. People want to be safe but there isn't a minute in your life when you are safe. A dog is a dog is a dog. If you feel threatened you are vulnerable. Simple as that. It would help us all if more of us spent less time identifying threats and more time figuring out what we're scared of. If you look back persecution is always about fear and control. No dogs are simple and humans aren't simple. We have many more human predators in Seattle (and everywhere) than animal. Learn how to deal and stop blaming based on category. If you have fear, accept that you will be interesting to someone or something that feels your fear. Or just find it in yourself to think about what is going on around you...and be prepared for anything.
you guys, richard simmons is hilarious

Pit Bulls were bred for fighting other dogs. They were also bred to be handled in the ring and not bite their handlers. That requires a certain temperament and an aversion to biting people.

Mixing this sort of dog with the American Bulldog and Mastiff which are used for human protection work undoes that characteristic. So does breeding solely for viciousness without regard to being able to handle the dog.

If you have a dog, it's reasonable to be overly cautious of pits. Plenty of clueless owners insist their dog is 'just playing' when it's clearly showing signs of incipient dog aggression, and for that reason alone should be very well-controlled on leash when out and about. But as for people- I'd be more worried about the German Shepherds and Rottweilers in terms of breed, but mostly stay away from any dog on a chain.
Akbar @ 127 You really might want to reconsider that analogy. Seriously, think about what you just wrote.
QUOTING dogsbite? U R KIDDING ME? This is a BSL Lobby group and tells me the writer knows NOTHING and has "bitten" into their agenda and has NOT done HIS homework or he would KNOW about their agenda.

This small group of fanatics is the modern day "KKK" (Kooky Kanine Klan).


There are already 4 different breeds deemed to be "pit bulls" and if one adds another 32 different breeds COMMONLY misidentifed and THEIR Mixes it amounts to nothing more than Canine Genocide.

The average "pit bull" type dog is 45 to 65 lbs how BIG and STRONG can that be? The only professional tests done on bite force put a German Sheppard, a Rotiweiler and a Pit Bull together, after TWO tries the "pit" came in 3rd BOTH times.

Time for the media to get informed before they put pen to paper and do PROPER research BEFORE doing so.

The Stranger has hit a new low. You have NO idea about pit bulls except what some BSL agency told you to write. I help rescue pits that have been hung on trees to encourage violence, left on chains all day and night and those who are bred over and over for some sick person to make some money selling pups that will end up tortured or abused. You might want to hook up with Michael Vick and learn the way he tortured and abused his animals...bet you writers love to read his descriptions of torture and death methods.
Its all about a buck to sell to advertisers...sick people you are, writers. Maybe you should change it to gun-tottin Starbuck drinkers...you are just another idiotic trash magazine trying to sell to your advertisers. I hope your 'newspaper' goes down in flames. Right after my pittie chews the crap out of it!
Number one thing you always hear from pit bull owners:

"oh not my pit bull. My pit bull is the sweetest dog in the whole world. It's all how you train them."

Yeah right!
WTF? Is The Stranger going to have a feature on how to protect yourself against aggressive panhandlers next?

Seriously, keeping on this sensational anti-pitbull stuff is not doing anything for your alternative journalism credentials.
"Pit bulls" are a type of dog not a breed. There are over 20 types of dogs that people refer to as "pit bulls." Police reports are made by people who only know that the innocent that they're reporting was caused by a dog that looks like a pit bull. It's like saying that a dark-skinned person mugged me and describing them as black.

Yes, there occasionally are horrible consequences that arise from people owning powerful animals that they don't have the ability or desire to control. Same with guns. And booze. Talking about how to defend yourself against a drunk hobo, crack head or street thug won't rile people up enough for the Stranger though.

The Stranger should stick to covering what they're good at - lame bands, nightlife and city council members.
Obviously it has been a slow week for the try-hard reporters at the Stranger. Now, for those readers who are intelligent enough to do some actual research on canine aggression, or for those readers who might want to at least educate themselves before believing the rubbish depicted in this 'cartoon-like' article or leaving ignorant comments, please visit http://animalfarmfoundation.org/view_art…
Despite the advice given here (and it seems like there's a lot of discussion as to whether this can even be called that), I can't shake the feeling that because I read The Call of the Wild, I'm capable of defending against dog attacks like the man in the red sweater. Apparently the part of my brain that thinks this way has already beaten the logic center into submission.
Funny as hell article. Loved it.

It's dead simple, pitbull fans (no pun, really).

What is a breed designed FOR?

Dalmatians were bred to run alongside French royalty's carriages and snap and bark at any commoner who got too close.

German Shepherds were bred to assist WWI veterans who had been blinded by mustard gas.

Greyhounds were bred to run.

What do you think a breed called PITBULLS was designed to do?

You put them in PIT with a badger, bear, lynx, or other dog and bet on which animal will survive. Pitbull fighting goes back over 500 years in Spain and central Europe and longer than that in China.

They are not, nor have they EVER been, a companion breed or a dog bred for guarding people or property (like German Shepherds and Rottweilers).

They have a powerful stalking instinct BRED INTO THEM and they have a 'gameness', meaning they're willing to take on an animal larger than themselves (including people).

It's like reading the label at the grocery store.
@ 159
Owning a pit bull is not like owning a gun. A gun is not capable of acting independent of its owner nor can a beer act independent of its consumer.

I'm stunned how polarizing this article is, as it simply outlines how to defend against any dog attack. And even if you hate math and facts, statistically speaking if you are going to be attacked my something it is a pit bull.

Pit bulls are dangerous because their size and potential for aggression can cause greater bodily harm than most other readily accessible to the general public . There certainly are larger and stronger dogs but they are hard to come by and expensive. An out of control Bull Mastiff will kill the pit pull attacking you then kill you.

Your "pit bull is like a gun" simile however does touch on the idea of regulating the ownership of certain breeds based on size and aggression like guns should be regulated. Do you need a license to own a bb gun? No. Machine Gun. Yes. Breeds like Bull Mastiffs are already regulated to the extent that the cost of buying one means (mostly) those owning have invested time and money into dog owner ship.

Of course gun regulation hasn't been going very well either as equally hysterical arguments are made about impinging on freedom, or demonizing guns when really guns don't kill people, people kill people. Just like pit bulls don't kill people irresponsible owners kill people.

It reminds me of some of the unforgivable BS spewed by republicans when they attacked healthcare when they said "oh sure thousands might die because they don't have insurance", but LOOK thousands die in car accidents.

Again, NOT THE SAME THING. These are preventable deaths. And anything that may educate the public in preventing these death is quite simply a public good.

162 FTW. For Reals

And all you folks out there who are frothing over with outrage over this little newspaper piece: just what is so AWFUL about learning how to protect yourself w/o weapons against an attacking dog? Isn't that good information to have?

If you're shitting yourself over the term 'pit bull' in the title, ask yourself why that is. Don't pit bulls, like other dogs large and small, attack? Wouldn't it be good to know what to do in the case of a sudden canine attack, when you find yourself without a handy 2x4 to pick up to defend yourself?

Critical Thinking: It's Not Just a River in Egypt!

@34 and @35
Where in the link you provided by CDC the breed of the dog responsible for bodily harm is mentioned???
To the author, I really wish you'd receive a good education from a reputable institution where they actually teach you the data gathering science and use of verifiable sources - dogbites.org is a hysteria fueled website that does not provide any factual statistical data, nor do they reference verifiable data sources.
We can all write articles but we are not all editors.
Have a good day.
P.S. David, I hope you reply to my email. Well, it is my hope.
Wow, you are so uneducated.

Might be worth your while to do your homework on the groups you cite.

You want to know about dogsbite.org? Take a look at this link.


I can tell you've never even interacted with any of the breeds known as pit bulls. In the infamous words of bugs.......what a maroon.
Wow. I only come to the Stranger to read Dan Savage's blog and today I realized why. This article is disgusting. To use "pit bull" in the title is a blatant attempt to get attention and perpetuates the stereotypes of this breed.

Everyone knows the stereotypes about pit bulls. Why not write an article with the FACTS that dispel some of these myths? That way you could still have pit bull in the title, you could still have controversy in the discussion board, and you could have an actual piece of reliable journalism on your hands instead of some bullshit drivel that references one wholly inaccurate and sensationalist website.

By the way, the author's "reaction" was pure masturbatory bullshit. You sir, should be ashamed to call yourself a writer or, god forbid, journalist. Do some fucking research.
This is horrendous, arrogant, ignorant and just really sad. I'm so disappointed in The Stranger. Really?!
In response to 162 - Rottweillers were the ONLY breed (of the 32 you mentioned) specifically bred FOR attacking humans. Do YOUR research!
(of the "32" was a typo - should have been "3" - geesh!)
Pit Bull owners (like me) can't get too upset over this sort of nonsense.... Schmader has never been much of a writer, and it's not the loons like him who have much effect anyhow.... people really DO "consider the source" occasionally, probably more often than Schmader realizes.... I'd just as soon listen to George Bush speak on Education Reform, or Ann Coulter talk about what is wrong with American Society.... on the other hand, for REAL information I listen to folks who DO know what they're talking about (and Schmader does NOT make THAT list, LOL, not by a LONG shot!)
Here's the answer to your question:
American Pit Bull Terrier was designed by selective breeding for dog on dog combat, and be gentle with people because there were at least 3 people handling the dogs in the pit.
All I can say is my neighbor has two Pit Bulls and they're MEAN. Yes, I blame the neighbor for leaving them outside all the time, alone and unloved. When he's around they're practically puppies. But just because it's his fault doesn't mean that they're actually nice dogs on the inside. It's too late to retrain them. No, not all Pit Bulls are crazy, but the ones that are crazy are REALLY crazy.

I hadn't thought of pepper spray, it seems so obvious now. Thank you, David. It was a very good article.
There's nothing wrong with posting a list on how to handle a dog attack, but it's not necessary to identify them with pit bulls, considering how even golden retrievers have killed people.

If we give singular non-expert opinions like Colleen Lynn's idiot website media plugs, can I expect the Stranger's next major article to be on the Flat Earth theory? Got's to be journalistically fair, and all that, them's round-earthers have hogged the media outlets for too long.
The attacks are getting worse because BSL is banning these dogs so there are more strays due to owner abandonment. People think this is a better option for the dog than being captured. That is just one of a million reasons why these dogs are so compromised now more than ever (in society, not behavior) and we are advocates looking to change this in the very near future. I work w/ and rescue pit bulls and even the severely beaten and abused dogs have never EVER displayed so much as an ounce of aggression. They want to be loved. If you were beaten or mistreated by a certain species, you'd probably want to rip it to shreds too, so lets stop using the F bomb to describe why MACING a dog is ok. This article has pissed me off and I am writing to the editor for a retraction. Want to avoid a dog attack?? Then get REAL education because I am a 5 ft tall 110 lb female and I've approach MANY stray pits and had them licking my face w/in seconds. They are afraid of you, they don't attack to be vicious you idiots, they attack because a human mistreated them somewhere or they were abandoned and starved, it's fear. Not temperment. Get educated before you print this crap. Really! It's shit like this that is hindering the cause to save these dogs and their reputations. If you want to educate people than YOU yourself must get educated. You have NO real facts in this article to back up anything you are saying and Dogsbite.com is not exactly a great source to use info to write something like this. You want the REAL facts?? Go to http://pitbullrescuecentral.com/ and STOP WRITING THIS NONSENSE. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. Jump onto a car? Are you serious? LOL I am never reading this magazine again, I had no idea the morons that wrote for it. "mace the fucker"??? Really? Nice vocabulary skills!!

Pit bull Advocates of Washington
Pit Rescue and Foster
And to soulcat...sorry, but you too are very wrong. It is 100% all the owner and I guarantee you I could have both those dogs calm and happy and licking my face in a matter of seconds. Pits were not meant for the outdoors and seclusion does not make them "crazy", it makes the frightened. I've been doing this for a very long time so I do know what I am talking about. One very important thing for everyone to remember is this.."If a persons mind is closed to the real facts about this breed, then SO should be their MOUTHS"
soulcat, well, what I meant to say it is 100% all the owner and I guarantee you I could have both those dogs calm and happy and licking my BALLS (not so much my face) in a matter of seconds. That's how damn good I am! And remember, "If a persons mind is closed to the facts about real breeding, then their MOUTHS " . . . ah shit . . . "If a persons real MOUTH is open to breed facts" Ah! Nevermind!
Pit bull advocates did NOT post comment 181. But whoever did, thanks for proving our point of idiocracy at it's finest.
I am so beyond apalled at this article. Advocating animal abuse?!! This is upsetting, ignorant, and just sad. This paper is dead to me.
What part of Dog Aggression does NOT equal Human Aggression do you people NOT understand? Pit Bulls were bred to be Dog Aggressive NOT Human Aggressive.
How intelligent would it be to try to fight dogs that a person cannot handle? When it is hurt? Excited? Angry?
Are there misbred Pitbulls that are Nutty as a fruitcake? YES Should they be put down? Yes.
Blame the owners of the Human Aggressive dogs and NOT the entire breed of dog.
My daughter was severly bitten by a Husky. Here we are Pitbull owners and she is bit by another breed.
Go figure. How about the stray dogs that killed my cat but my pitbulls love my cats?
I would gladly kill an attacking dog of any breed but guess what? Not ALL owners are dumbasses like the ones that let the dogs run loose,.
If a breed has a higher propensity for attacking people than other breeds, perhaps a group such as say the Seattle City Council ought to ban them from the city limits. Anyone here who's been attacked could lead the effort.

Next week, can we have an article on How to Protect Yourself From Getting HIV from the Gays (And Everyone Else, Of Course)? People should know how to protect themselves.

Thanks for the fear-mongering bullshit, The Stranger. You sure are getting good at it.
While on my bike, I've been bitten once, charged by other dogs twice, and chased once while on foot. Not once by a pit bull.

If you're on a bike while charged by a dog, stop while swinging your dog - side leg high and dismounting opposite the dog. Keep the bike between you and the dog. They've turned away when I've done this, but you gotta be prepared to fight 'em.

Unless you already have a good head of steam, it's a gamble trying to outrun the dog, if you lose the race, it'll put a hole in your thigh.
The bear spray is the best idea. And carry a legal size folding knife.

People who own pit bulls should have to carry a $5million bond on each animal. Those that can't or won't get said bonds should have the dogs taken away. All pit bulls in existence should be sterilized immediately and let the species die out in a few years.
@26: doubt it, since i'm in the same area every day jogging with my lab. if this were true, there would be more pit bulls trying to chase/attack my dog. breed bans are for pussies.
If I thought it would do any good, my comment would include credentials, an explanation of learning theory, the interaction between genetics and experience when it comes to a dog's temperament, and blah, blah, blah. Or I could refer anyone who's interested to the book "Dogs Bite, but Balloons and Slippers are More Dangerous."

Additionally... What miserable journalism. I bet you'll make a lot of money by pissing people off. As a dog trainer/lover/advocate, as well as someone who is painfully aware of how obnoxious and yes, occasionally dangerous a dog (of any breed) can be, I would be quite satisfied if you lost your job over this article. If you'd done some research into the most up to date, scientifically sound training methods, you'd probably be embarrassed to use a Bark Busters "behaviorist" for your expert. And I'll bet Emily Keegans would rather gouge her own eyes out than be associated with this article. Great job.
Wow, I had no idea so many mal-adjusted psychopaths read the stranger.
@191 Or, apparently, write for the Stranger...
Very disappointed, but not surprised. The Stranger has been a shit stack since you began writing for it. Where the hell did you get 56% from? You are fucking retarded!
LOL! You actually quoted Dogsbite.org in the first paragraph and you expect any educated reader to take your information seriously!??

Fact: Dog bites haven't been scientifically tracked in the U.S. since 1999...dogsbite.org is a fanatical group of bloggers who clip news articles with the word "Pit Bull", that's all.

I bet they even included the recent attack by a guy's PET BULL that was initially mis-reported as PIT BULL and later corrected...nothing to do with a Pit Bull but I bet it's in their "statistics".
Chances are you'll be molested by a catholic republikkkan before you, or anyone you EVER know is killed by a Pit-bull.
Your last president & Co. Just laid waste to well over a million humans...whats 30 more...
Really Though, I've known more Pit-bulls since the '80's than I can even begin to count. Without admitting to any felonies, I can honestly say that I've owned, seperated two males intent on hurtin each other countless times...(my bare hands damn near in their mouths with a breakin stick, never once been bit) & lived with Killer, Champion Fighters that you could let loose in a daycare center fulla kids & the worse thing that would happen is a kid gets hit too hard by a wagging tail. Personally, I've only known one person thats been bit by a Pit-bull and as soon as the dog realized he was biting a human instead of the dog that was try to attack him, he let go. Accidents happen.

Unless an idiot makes the mistake of teaching a pit to attack humans, this breed does not have it their genetic code to want to hurt people,only other animals, they love us. Unlike German Shepards, Rottweillers, Dobermans, etc. Man-made Breeds created for the sole purpose of protecting Man from Man.
Never teach your Pit dog to harm a person...bad,bad,bad...get a Nazi dog for that.
And If a stray pit looks at you funny and your thinking about(trying to)gouge its eyes out or, play Turtle, At least try this tactic first: Yell at it in a demeaning voice, "Bad dog"..."Did You Do This", & Point at the Ground away from you...You might be surprised at what happens.

I KNOW that I could kill a pit without getting to badly hurt, I also KNOW that this particular breed has an insane tolerance to pain...Physical pain that is, but their 'feelings' are sensitive.
There are exceptions to every rule. Of all the Pit's I've known, only one was Born Bad. I wish that was my same track record with humanity.
What a ridiculous article! I am a pitbull advocate and think that this article is totally absurd. Let's see the statistics on other breeds. Why discriminate on pitbulls. Do you know that 90% of the time..... dogs are called pitbulls even though they are not. Do you know a REAL pitbull when you see one?
Congratulations David...you may reach 200 comments on this one! Is that why you wrote it? I can't come up with any other logical reason. In 15 years of reading The Stranger, this is by far the most unfortunate thing I've seen published.
this is oooh i wanna curse retarded if you was in the real world for one you would know american pit bull terrier yes was bred 2 fight other DOGS and the ones that would even think about biting the handler were takin out of the breeding stock usually killed APBT's do and will not just attack someone i breed HELL YES i breed purebred american pit bull terriers and any of the kids can kick punch slam grab they would never ever ever even think about biting now if u come in the house sorry for your bad luck and most of these so called pit bull attacks ive seen 100's of pictures they aint even APBT's @ all the are some bully breed mutts that resemble why put the blame on the real entire breed remember the rottie's dobbies we have went thru this with all these breeds get a life and leave the tru APBT's alone and plus nowuhdays with the american bullies even the gameness is being bred out of them were they dont even wanna catch lizards etc no more grow up and quit blamming the purebreds!!!!!!!!
wow i have 2 start over first the real APBT's rank 3 in smarts and do ur math research whatever dere is plenty of dogs lets see 4 1 germain shepard that will bit u way b4 i APBT yes they was bred 2 fight DOGS and any APBT that wuld even think of biting dere handler would be killed and taking out of breeding stock thats why they r so eager 2 please humans 2day im so sick and tired of the bully breed mutts or just resemble giving all this hasstle 2 the tru APBT's i breed hell YES i breed purebred american pit bull terriers and american bullies my dogs will let the kids jump kick punch poke stab do anything they want 2 them and never even think about biting them..u break in my house well diff story ok back 2 this remember the rotties the dobbies all them other breeds that went thru this same shyt get over it let the APBT's free now when i say APBT im talking purebred look it up if u dont know whut that stands 4..lmao now a pit bull could be any mongral that resembles the breed or a mix of a bully breed why does the APBT get all the heat god wish i culd of sent me last comment better yet get a life str8 up do ur freakin research and see were APBT's rank in smarts and the chart of dogs that bite u might be suprised 1 the APBT last i seen was the 3rd smartest breed out of all dogs ill keep the biting one a secret ill give u a clue a germain shepard will bite b4 a APBT and a bunch of litte dogs LOOK IT UP!!!
" In response to 162 - Rottweilers were the ONLY breed (of the 32 you mentioned) specifically bred FOR attacking humans. Do YOUR research!
Posted by lance"

Where's your research 'lance'? If you knew anything about Rotties, you'd know they originated in Germany as guard dogs (NOT a fighting breed). Prior to that, they were used by ancient Romans to herd and guard livestock.


One of the tests done on Rotties (and German shepards AND Dobermans) at national kennel shows is the disposition and response to strangers test. The judges walk up to and around the animals, look them in the eye and then squeeze their ears to check for over-aggression or fear biting. Dogs that snap or react aggressively are removed from the competition.

That said, backyard breeders of America have done a good job of destroying the qualities of the Rottie breed by specifically breeding them for aggressive/fearful behavior so they can be used in pits ... to fight pitbulls.

Further proof pitbulls are a stupid breed, stupidly over-bred by idiots who live in slums and think it's butch and cool to walk down the street with an animal they can't control.

Although, if enough pitbulls "accidentally" bite and kill their idiot owners ... maybe that'll be progress.
@brooklyn reader-- you are ignorant. did you even read what you wrote?
@grrrrl-- you have absolutely no idea what you are posting about. rambling on about a bunch of random nonsense. did you just make those facts up? pit bulls in china 500 years ago? wtf are you writing about? moron.

to those posting that pit bulls aren't a specific breed you also have no idea what you are writing about. unfortunately, the name pit bull has taken on a generic meaning similar to kleenex. kleenex is a specific brand of tissue, but when someone needs a tissue (like tito) they ask for a kleenex. got it? so any big headed stocky dog is called a pit bull. el wrongo.

for pete's sake, the majority of dog owners have no business having a dog in the first place. dogs give plenty of signs before something bad happens. people just don't get it. regardless of breed.

how about just banning all dogs over 25 lbs within city limits?
Lots of comments about the unlikely chances of being killed. Very likely to be mauled. Work in any urban ER, spend three hours irrigating and sewing hundreds of puncture wounds and a dozen flaps, do it again a week later, then again on a kid, then come talk about how this whole concept is overblown.
shameless sensationalism. i feel like i just read some BS churned out by Fox News

if my pit bull ever grew its balls back to attack a person, standing on a car is not going to stop him from getting to you. neither is playing dead, and i highly doubt you are quick enough or strong enough to get your hands around his neck to choke him out. with that being said, i take this entire article as a joke.

i wish i could give a dollar for every time i was scrutinized for being a pit bull owner. maybe then some of you guys could buy a clue and realize that its not the dog, its the owner! if you don't have the time, means, or patience to be a responsible owner, you should not own a dog (any dog).
I love how outraged readers are to this article, especially in light of how many cheered on that STOOPID feature a couple of years ago about hunting urban wildlife. Some idiot's story of trapping and killing rabbits, squirrels etc. He didn't know the first thing about hunting and his clumsiness caused anguish to the creatures he killed - and they weren't even attacking him!! Where were you people then?

Defending oneself from animal attack is at least useful. And for all you shocked and outraged readers, it would help to remember that the first line of defense (rightfully listed here) is to avoid conflict. Re-read the first item - it's not that different from advice given by most wildlife experts when dealing with cougars, bears etc. Don't pose a threat, and don't make eye contact.

An aggressive pit bull or Rottweiler simply cannot be handled the same way as a Lab. Except for the eye-gouging, everything here cited expert advice. If you disagree, why don't you find a better expert and post about it? You can debate the odds of a pit bull attack all you want, but if you're ever in that position I doubt you'll all be so squeamish about protecting yourselves.
What happened to just clicking the right thumbstick to snap its neck?

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