Features Apr 8, 2010 at 4:00 am

Because nothing infuriates pit bull lovers like using the breed as an example of a dog that might rip your face off.


this is fucking great. my dog got mauled by pitbulls while we were walking down a road a few years ago. it was really scary. i appreciated the last article and thought the comments against it were a little outlandish.
OMG hilarious!!!
I quite literally got defriended on facebook by someone earlier this morning because of the pit bill article. I could have used these a few hours ago.
Didn't you hear? Self-defense is immoral!

I have mixed feelings about pit bulls, but I'm all for a little poke in the eyes of the crazy folks like this article.
I should do dramatic readings of angry replies to Stranger articles at The Stranger Gong Show.

The forthcoming replies to this article and its prior companion would form the crux of my performance. Can I use props? I may need to bang on an actual keyboard for the full auditory effect.
You know, if there were a psychic animal out there, I will bet you five doughnuts that it is the pitbull. Its why they hate us so much.
I can't believe someone got paid for writing this.
I really liked the first article on self-defense - good and useful advice for folks like me with a pit bull down the street. This come back article is even better! Hi-larious.
Foaming at the mouth pit bull lovers. . .hee hee.
They really are just unbelievable in their arguments for. Hopefully they won't be forced to change their position when one of their pit bulls attacks them, a loved one, a neighbor, another dog, etc.

I really can't believe someone got paid to write this.
Illustrations by?
Illustrations by?
Still fresh out of ideas, I see.
I can't believe no one is paying me to comment on this.
this is great. not quite as good as the original article, but on par with something i'd expect from the onion as far as satire goes
I love you.
By suggesting people should be afraid of pit bulls, you're making people afraid of pit bulls, which is subconsciously creating an environment where pit bulls are subliminally encouraged to attack!

If being just a little nervous around an animal is enough to provoke an attack, that animal needs to be put down. It is not the responsibility of some random shmo not to provoke a dog attack. It's the responsibility of dog owners to properly train their dogs. Failing that, it's the responsibility of the authorities to contain and euthanize any dog that's that dangerous and unstable... and prosecute dog owners who allowed the situation to get to that point.
@7 I think they work for PBR and weed so don't feel bad.

Also I thought this article was not only funny but I am actually going to use some of these arguments against raging pit bull owners that I will inevitably encounter. David deserves a six pack of tall boys for this one.

Ironically enough the pit bull owners are the ones talking about educating humans instead of animals. They show their true colors when they essentially oppose anyone who discusses pit bulls as anything other than the canine messiah.
Mmm, milkshakes.
I love this article so much, I wanna take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

And those illustrations are just... frackin... delicious.........

Great fucking follow up article!
Too funny! And so true! I love you, David!
I see what you did there.
Just remember, these tips are not just for defeating a furious reader of Schmaders other inane article. These methods work great for any human who pisses you off.
Question- I know the purpose of all these Pitbull articles/blog posts is to ultimately ban the breed, and I know other cities have already banned Pitbulls... so where are the attack statistics to back it up?

Seriously- I have yet to see statistics that show a clear and permanent drop in dog attacks once Pitbulls have been band. Show me the facts to support your argument, and I'll support you- which would mean investigating and writing unbiased reports, rather than writing fluff pieces for page views. Is that too much to ask?
So the stranger is basically trolling in print now? Brass balls, brass balls.
This was hilarious! Getting the elenchos stamp of disapproval is all the validation this article needs.
*banned, dammit.
@29: Yeah, the Stranger is totally angling for your support.
How is equating the bad 'statistics=truth' logic behind breedism AND the bad 'statistics=truth' logic behind racism making a one-to-one equation between dogs and blacks?

It's just pointing out your flawed logic. I know it sucks to be wrong, but if you have to do that kind of mental gymnastics to dismiss a glaring problem in your argument, you have no argument at all.

You can't just brush the comparison off the table. You have to explain WHY they're not the same thing. Please, again, explain how your logic used to justify fear and hatred of a breed of dog is somehow better or more justified than the same logic used to vilify entire races.

Why shouldn't your reasoning be applied to blacks? Seriously, why?
@ 34, because African Americans are people and pit bulls are not.
i had no problem with the original article but this is just stupid. by far the worst article i've read from the Stranger. the weekly would never print something this ridiculous. i hope some asshole with a pit bull bites your arm off.
And to address the last argument- a dog's ability to read human facial and body cues related to nervousness and fear (and the negative reaction to said cues) should not to be mistaken for psychic powers. Duh.


@33 I was merely stating HOW to garner my support (and the support of any other members of the public who are on the fence regarding a breed ban), nowhere did I presume they would actively desire or seek it.

But thanks for being an asshole all the same.
Fantastic. Thank you thank you thank you!
Holy Christ, you guys are really milking this.
How did this whole Stranger vs pit bull owners thing start? You guys seem to do two or three articles a year that are designed to annoy pit bull owners. Did one of you have a messy breakup with some guy who owned a pit bull and every few months you have to vent about it? Or was one of you actually bitten once? You should do a story on the origin of the Stranger vs pit bull fight next time... I'd read it!
I love you, Stranger.
This is journalistic TRIPE. The fact that we are all wasting our time giving this douchebag attention makes my so angry. Insisting that education is secondary to reactionary violence (as is his number one argument) is illogical, poorly thought out, and a knee jerk reaction to the righteous onslaught of intelligent readers. This newspaper is obviously desperate to publish "SOMETHING, ANYTHING, God, what can we leave up on the main page for a week that will get us hits???" This whole debacle made me so pissed off, I can't believe how this guy still has a job. His topic choice is appalling and he's not a very good writer, either. Gross. Dan Savage was the only reason I ever came to this site, guess I'll have to find another Savage source. Signed, a no-longer stranger reader.
Meh, last week was too easy and this week is boring.
A Tea Party convention encouraged a man to threaten to kill Patty Murray.

Will this article encourage a Stranger staffer to track down random posters and beat them? Will David Schmader and Dan Savage show up at my house and beat the living shit out of me?
Kill em all, let god sort-em out!
"How did this whole Stranger vs pit bull owners thing start?"

because pit bull owners are, without exception, pieces of shit

also "breedism" lol
I like how all the pro-pit bull commentator arguments discredited by this article have been replaced by some sort of one of these three arguments.
1."this article is inane",
2."the stranger sucks", or
3."they are bullying the commentator!?!!??!RAAH!!"

Brilliant. Just brilliant. Thanks, David!
Wow - all of this over two very poorly-written, ill-conceived articles (originating from a special interest group, it would seem) that were apparently simply conceived for incendiary purposes. No entertainment or real informational value here.

A waste of my time and yours? Yes. A story worthy of front-page stature? Absolutely not. Fluff.

*Yawn!* No need to drink the Schmader Koolaid; nothing to see here except Savage Love.
45: You're nuts. You really don't understand how educating the owners does nothing to stop a dog attack in progress? Or are you just playing dumb to prove a point?
@ 52, pardon me if I reserve the right to decide for myself whether these were poorly written (certainly not), informative (a bit) entertaining (double yes!), or a waste of time (yeah, but what on the internet is not?).
45: Seriously? These pieces aren't "insisting that education is secondary to reactionary violence," they're insisting that education is secondary to self-defense. Are you developmentally disabled?
@11 & 12, James Yamasaki is the talented fellow doing the illustrations. Kudos to you, Mr. Yamasaki, your work adds a nice light touch to Schmader's article. I particularly like the illos for points #2 and #4. #4's choked screamer resembles Fat Freddie from Gilbert Shelton's old Fabulous Furry Freak Bros comix. (Or is that a two eyed Dale Chihuly?).
@52, And yet you took the time and energy to proclaim how poorly written these two pieces are, that they are a waste of time, and how they bore you.

How many pit bulls do you own?
This article...is....scrumtralescent.
Why do so many Slog posters use cat icons?
Were this article an actual attempt at journalism, rather than the sensationalist crap that it truly is, Schmader might have thought to consult with any of the following sources who surely have more knowledge of, and experience with, the breed in question.

American Veterinary Medical Association:
"The AVMA supports dangerous animal legislation by state, county, or municipal government provided that legislation does not refer to specific breeds or classes of animals."

National Animal Control Association:
"Dangerous and/or vicious animals should be labeled as such as a result of their actions or behavior and not because of their breed."

Humane Society of the United States:
"HSUS opposes breed specific regulations because they do not address the underlying issues of owner behavior and responsibility."

The American Kennel Club:
"Strongly opposes any legislation that determines a dog to be "dangerous" based on specific breed or phenotypic classes of dogs."

American Humane Association:
"American Humane Association supports local legislation that protects communities from dangerous animals, but does not advocate laws that target specific breeds of dogs."

What I wanna know is:

Before there were the innernetz, where did we get our rage from??

Keyboards are like the new punching bags......
youre still missing the point.
ahem...if a dog intends to kill you, kill it first.
So awesome. I had a bad day and now I'm giggling. Good job, Schmader!
@39: No, seriously, nobody cares.
For those of you asking "where are the statistics??!?" Well, they're all over the web. You can argue that the stats are skewed, or biased, or whatever, but just wiki it for a comprehensive list of studies and a fairly balanced historical overview:


I have never met a mean pit bull, but that doesn't mean anything. Personal experience is relative, and Pit Bull owners need to be cautious with their dogs. Correct, banning is not the answer, but the original Stranger article was meant to be specifically dealing with a hostile situation, even though it was written with a high dose of sarcasm, which was annoying.
@60: If you are being attacked by a dog, maybe a pit bull, for example... If you ARE BEING ATTACKED. By a DOG. And then a breed is mentioned as an example of a dog. No where was it suggested that the breed be banned or otherwise regulated based on breed alone. If you are being attacked by a madman... you really don't need to know the race to decide whether to defend yourself. However, if you are being attacked by a pit bull or a rottweiler, you'd be much better off with a few self-defense tips that would probably be unnecessary if you were being attacked by a shih tzu or yorkie. Get it?
If you don't care about news organizations using facts and statistics to back up news articles, I pity you baconcat.
You pretty much have no life, right Dave? Which means you really have nothing to lose. So come on...attack me and let's see if your system really works.


You pretty much have no life, right Dave? Which means you really have nothing to lose. So come on...attack me and let's see if your system really works.


(Not that this could ever be considered a news article by any stretch of the imagination.)
@68: I think it's hilarious (in the DSM-IV-TR way) that you're claiming to be on a quest for ~*~*~*~*Journalistic Integrity*~*~*~*~ when you're really just mad that some arm of the press doesn't agree with you. That kind of unmitigated fuckery resulted in Nancy Grace, Keith Olbermann and Sean Hannity getting their own shows.
@73 Are you serious? My desire for facts in journalism is the reason we have Sean Hannity?!

WOW... How does one argue with such airtight logic? I really cannot say anything to counter that. Well played sir, well played.
Fucking awesome!
Pitbulls are ugly and not that bright compared to other breeds. To the people that insist on owning them, well, your just an asshole. Admit and move the fuck on dick.
I really cannot say anything to counter that.

And yet you keep trying.

Funny, that.
OMG...National Canine Research Council. Yeah, there's an unbiased, legitimate source. Totally not just a web page written by one woman trying to sell her hack of a book, no sir.

For the people who think breed bans don't work, have you ever looked at the statistics of towns that actually passed a ban or other regulations? I mean actually looked - not went to some pro-pit site that told you bans don't work and there are no statistics that show they do. Because those sites are not telling you the truth.
Good job; this article has done away with any remaining doubt I had that its predecessor was mere trolling.
Even better than the original. Especially the illustrations!

Stereotyping people by race and stereotyping dogs by breed are nowhere near the same thing.

EVERY racial group of humans contains tremendous variation - this is a product of millennia of essentially random breeding among/between groups. Take a look at your own family tree-I bet you'll find contributions from different continents, let alone several more closely related groups.

Dogs, on the other hand, are bred artificially for particular characteristics such as appearance, behavior, etc. They are extremely inbred-some breeds are nearly homogeneous. This is why so many purebreds have problems like hip dysplasia or hereditary cancers. Predictable behavior (golden retrievers are goofy and sleep a lot, border collies herd, etc.) is EXACTLY the point of dog breeding. That means that any given dog of a breed that was designed and selected to be aggressive and strong is likely to be exactly that-aggressive and strong. THAT is why we can stereotype dogs to some extent and it is far more valid than stereotyping humans could ever be. Couple that with the tendency of jerks who want an aggressive dog so they can be all bad-ass to own pits and it's a recipe for problems.

By the way, I love dogs.
Don't remember when I've laughed this hard. Thank you, Mr. Schmader.
rainycity @60:

The American Kennel Club:
"Strongly opposes any legislation that determines a dog to be "dangerous" based on specific breed or phenotypic classes of dogs."

This is rich coming from the AKC. These are the people who maintain a breed registry and dedicate themselves to upholding the differences between breeds. In other words, they're dedicated to determining what traits dogs have based on specific breed or phenotypic classes. Adjectives from their description of German Shepherds include "dependable," "loving," "approachable," "direct" and "fearless," so they don't have qualms about describing a dog's behavior or personality.

Except when it comes to determining whether a breed is dangerous, I guess. Is it OK to say a particular breed is loving? Hell yes, says the AKC! How about dangerous? No, no, that's crazy talk, says that AKC.

You can't have it both ways.
excave @34:

Why shouldn't your reasoning be applied to blacks? Seriously, why?

Because a black person can be held legally responsible for his actions. A pit bull can't.

The day pit bulls can let us know that they're taking responsibility for themselves in our society and are willing to accept the rights and responsibilities of their legal agency, I'll say that it's wrong and harmful to stereotype against them. But until that day, I'll say that it's just fine.

And after all, what is a breed, if not a collection of physical and social differences between dogs? Do you think it's a hurtful, vicious, destructive stereotype when somebody says they got a lab because "they're good with kids?" If not, then you yourself are applying Mr. Schmader's reasoning to dog breeds.

Like it or not, a dog breed is a deliberate human creation, as much as a fire pit, a swimming pool, or a firearm are human creations. Like it or not, dogs are not capable of taking legal responsibility for their actions in our society. Like it or not, dogs are part of our society. Like it or not, we need to take responsibility for that, and part of that means acknowledging what a breed is (indeed, what the American Kennel Club claims a breed is in every statement they make except when commenting on breed bans), and that some breeds were created irresponsibly and for unacceptable purposes.

Some folks out there are breeding dogs for aggressiveness. Do you think that ignoring that fact is a part of an honest assessment of the problem?
Jesus Christ how did I never make the connection that the fucking breed's name comes from what the breed was made to do.

Now I feel dumb. It's like not seeing the arrow in the fedex logo.
Absolutely hilarious- with still more ruffled feathers!
Keep it up, Stranger & Schmader- you just can't lose with this bunch! I can hardly wait for the next issue of "Such Nice Dogs...." And the apologists froth on.....
I still don't understand the logic of pit bull opponents. So you're saying that behavior is a genetic trait, BUT ONLY IN DOGS? How does that work exactly? The science of genetics doesn't change based on species; if it is possible for certain breeds of dog to be more violent because of their genes, then it is possible that certain breeds of human can be more violent because of their genes.

P.S. Please don't mace me, I need my eyes to watch porn.
Apparently 87 is unfamiliar with the niggling concept of sentience and is unaware of that giant brain that created a marred understanding of genetics.
The real question is whether this follow-up feature was already drawn, written, and planned for in advance of the craziness sure to follow the original feature.
This is so silly. They are just DOGS. Activism is needed because they're demonized in a ridiculous way. And because the dogs are victimized by crappy owners and criminals. Try being a regular person with an amazing sweet pit bull while looking for a place to live. It is all silly, silly, silly!
Activism is needed to help rebuild the pit-bull brand? Don't you think our activism might be put to better use on real topics like the environment, education, health care, and learning about the personal lives of celebrities?

Anyway, I thought the article was hilarious. And I have witnessed a pit-bull attack. This sweet middle aged lady owned two pit bulls, and she thought it would be great to adopt a third. When no. 3 did not get along with no. 1, they started to fight. Sweet, naive old lady tried to separate them, and nearly got her arm ripped completely open by no. 1. It happened so fast, you could hardly tell she had even been bitten. Pit bulls are great!
Hilarious and true! Pit owners a weird breed. Ever notice how they always use the oxymoronic words "sweet" and "gentle" when describing their dogs.
Violence-mongering is fucking disgusting. The only redeeming quality The Stranger maintains is Savage.
Brandon J. @87:

So you're saying that behavior is a genetic trait, BUT ONLY IN DOGS?

Nope, only in breeds. In other words, only in populations that have been selected for particular behavior over hundreds or thousands of generations. There has been no such rigorous, selective breeding efforts on humans. Human mating patterns have never conformed to the standards a breeder would consider pure. Surely you can see a difference here.

'Race,' especially as applied to humans, has a very different meaning than 'breed.' Wikipedia's articles on 'Race (classification of human beings),' 'landrace,' and 'breed' are helpful, as well as the section in their 'Dog' article called 'History and Evolution.' Check them out. Breed and race are not equivalent. Pretending that they are isn't a good reason to ignore some traits of a particular dog breed.

You can almost always see the flaw in this argument when looking at the breed advocate's own comments. They decry the notion that you can say that a breed is aggressive, prone to biting, or dangerous, but they turn around and call that same breed sweet, gentle or good with kids. You can't claim that it's wrong to ascribe bad behavior to a breed but then turn around and ascribe good behavior to a breed with any intellectual integrity. You can see that, too, right?
While I was one of the folks who negatively commented on the pit-bull article, I am laughing reading this.

You bring up a good point about the purpose of the article being how to defend yourself DURING a dog attack, but why single out one breed? Yes, pit-bull attacks get more PRESS, but they're not the only dogs that attack (statistically cocker spaniels bite more frequently - and mostly children).

And for that matter, if you have the power of the press, how about going further and writing an article on how not to be a shithead dog owner who raises an angry animal AND what to do if you encounter one?

Your follow-up may be funny, but the original article is still predictably biased.
So I grew up on a farm. One of the main things you need to worry about, as a small human on a farm, are roaming dogs. Because they just show up, and you have no idea about their temperament or training, you have to assume that they are aggressive and dangerous.

I don't feel that I should have to carry a Rolodex of breed specific behavior traits in my head, and remember how to avoid triggering prey/protection/aggression responses in whatever breed your stupid dog is. If it snaps at me I expect you to regain control immediately.
Back home the rules are: Puppies are free, livestock are not. If your dog kills chickens/ducks/lambs then the owner shoots the dog. Same applies if it bites a neighbor kid. Just because you were stupid enough to pay a bunch of money for a dog doesn't mean that these rules are somehow different.

Yup. Still not funny. Are you assholes seriously out of ideas over there? I will GIVE you something to write about, if you can't think of anything.

Trolling in print, indeed.
Obviously, Schmuck Schmader has done it again. As in endured another really mediocre week since he obviously has nothing else to write about, and therefore must succumb to writing dribble (not unlike the amount of dribbling that occurs when I give my pitbull a yummy treat). I am actually quite amazed by the level of violence that Schmader seems to continue to perpetuate in his articles. If I didn't know any different, and actually believed the shit about pit bulls being more aggressive than other breeds, then I might just think Schmader was a pit bull disguising as a writer. But no, he is just another human inciting violence against humans and animals alike. Maybe we need to start pushing for leash laws to protect decent pit bull owners and their dogs from the angry humans that read the Stranger.
@97: From your comment, I'm not sure what you have on offer is fit to print.
All you frothy-ragey types out there: Can you please answer this one simple question -

Why is it BAD for The Stranger to print a self-defense article outlining what to do in the case of a dog attack when you find yourself without a weapon handy?
This is hilarious. Best thing the Stranger has written in years (not that that's saying much). The only thing that concerns me is that the sheer mass of stupidity evident in the comments section (really? you don't understand the distinction between human races and dog breeds?) makes me worry that I live in a world where rags like The Stranger will come to be thought of as "highbrow" journalism. Also, best illustrations since Ellen Forney left.
Fuck! Laugh at the joke and move on.
@100 and a few others - I think you might be missing some of the history here. The Stranger prints three or four articles a year (I'm not sure if they're all by Schmaeder) that are all about how evil and dangerous pit bulls are, and which are mostly borderline troll attempts to make pit bull owners angry. So neither this article nor the one it's based on are new; this is an ongoing thing at the Stranger. Like I posted earlier, I'd like to know the history and how it started, because I'm not sure, but I do know Schmaeder loves to taunt pit bull owners and has been trying to drum up support for a law that will ban pit bulls specifically or even a law to demand their extermination. When Schmaeder in this article is saying things like "Oh I was just using that as an example, why do you think I don't like pit bulls in particular?", he doesn't really mean it, he's just doing it to get a rise out of pit bull owners who he's been taunting for years, and to get people like you and others who haven't been reading the Stranger to jump to his defense and say "Yeah, these pit bull owners seem crazy! Why are they mad at poor David?" I'm not particularly involved in either side of the argument, but you do need to realize that the Stranger has a long history of trolling pit bull owners and trying to get their readers to turn on them. I can see why they'd be angry when so many people read the Stranger and automatically side with it; I'd be angry too if a bunch of random people read some of the past articles and started telling me I had to have my dog killed because it was dangerous.
@103: I hope your dogs are the first pitched into the oven.

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