News Aug 12, 2011 at 7:00 am


this is america. like guns, ain't a damn thing to do except keep yourself far away.
And they're all "angels," until they're not. (And to those who will feel compelled to assert that there are more bites by chihuahuas: the recipients of the bits don't end up dead.)
Don't be a dick, Dan. That's someones wife and kid.

Your sweet old granny is walking back from the super market with a shopping bag of meat. She has two choices:

1. Walk through the neighborhood filled with shit-tzus

2. Walk through the neighborhood filled with pit bulls.

If you wisely tell your granny to avoid the pit bull neighborhood, you are, apparently, a racist.
I'm sure she would have told you it was a "nice dog" too - right up until the point where it chewed her face off. But hey, if you're dumb enough to own a pit bull, I figure you pretty much deserve what you get.
" if you're dumb enough to own a pit bull, I figure you pretty much deserve what you get"

I say the same thing to people who live in the Rainier Valley and CD and get their homes broken into.
Is Dan going to join the battle against pit bulls? Stick with sexuality, it's a subject you actually know something about.
I was mauled by a lab when I worked at a dog daycare, and they're supposedly the most wonderful dogs in the world. But then again I'm also not dumb enough to say all labs are vicious because of my one bad experience.
"I have a pit also, and he's an absolute angel. It's just really sad." < No that is sad.
Case study, please answer:

1. You're walking down Phinney Ridge and a young clean cut white woman, MacClaren stroller, cute kids and a pit bull approach. You're walking with your two year old. What goes through your mind?

2. You're walking down Rainier Ave, young black kid with his baby mama, walking towards you, pants hanging his ass, puffy coat in the summer time, pit bill with studded chain. You're walking with your two year old. What goes through your mind?

And why?
Vicious or not, why aren't these people getting their dogs fixed?
" why aren't these people getting their dogs fixed?"

Actually, in the case of ghetto pit bulls, it's the owners who need to get fixed.

the answer in both cases is, "Shit, a pit bull, I'd better put myself between it and my child."

case 1 is because a family dog might get agressive if i get to close to "its" children. case 2 because a "thug" like that is more likely to encourage agressive behavior in his dog, making it more of a risk.
"ase 1 is because a family dog might get agressive if i get to close to "its" children. case 2 because a "thug" like that is more likely to encourage agressive behavior in his dog, making it more of a risk."

Hmmm, so what you're saying is the white person's pit bull might be accidentally aggressive, but the black person's dog would more likely be intentionally dangerous.

Interesting. Of course, I know you're lying when you say you'd have the same reaction to both dogs.
Why the hell wasn't this dog fixed? Unneutered males are extremely dangerous, they are highly aggressive and unpredictable. But, if you want anecdotal evidence that proves absolutely nothing: My sister was brutally attacked by a lab. A 13yo family pet with no history of aggressive behavior attacked her unprovoked while she played a board game with friends. The dog ate part of her nose before being pulled off by said friends. She endured dozens of surgical procedures to fix her face over the next 5 years.
My other sister owns a pit mix. A pit mix that might be the sweetest dog I've ever met. He's a calm, loving, snuggly dog who doesn't display aggressive behavior to children, other dogs, or adults. And I grew up with a german shepherd, another incredibly sweet and easy-going dog. A dog who, when my nephew jumped onto her painful and arithritic hips, merely yelped and looked to the adults in the house to pull my nephew away. Kids pulled her ears and tail, used her scruff to pull themselves to stand, attempted to wrestle with her, etc. and she never even bared her teeth or raised the hair on her back.
Individual dogs all have their own temperments - just like humans. Their breeds and sex may make them more likely to be aggressive which is why, for those breeds, neutering and training are of the utmost importance. Also important is teaching humans to read aggressive behavior in their pets. I'm amazed at the number of people who think my friend's lab is aggressive and dangerous as she wags her tail - her whole body really - and goes into play-bowing stance. But they don't seem to take note of flattened ears, raised hair on the back, bared teeth, etc in other dogs - particularly small dogs that owners don't seem to think need to be trained.
Ok, Unregistered, I'm with Catface- The answer in both cases is, "Shit, a pit bull, I'd better put myself between it and my child." Except I'd be more concerned in the case of #1 that the owner couldn't exert physical control over the dog. I'd be annoyed as hell at both of them, for having a pit bull in a neighborhood, and for being walking stereotypes.

Oh, wait, that's you I'm annoyed at for the stereotypes.

@ 14, Learning to read a dog's body language is what's key. I routinely walk calmy past pits, most walked by "thuggish" looking black guys. (I live in NYC and don't automatically assume that a black guy with sagging pants IS an actual thug. In fact I shared an apartment with a black guy, whose pants of choice were saggy, that I met on craigslist. Best roommate I've ever had. I've learned to read people pretty well, too.)However, I occasionally move away - going so far as to cross the street - from other dogs. Pits and non. Why? Because I can spot an aggressive dog and I can spot ineffective owners/trainers based on their dog's behavior. Some of these owners are white or asian and I avoid them based on their dogs displayed behavior. All that being said, however, it's the prudent thing to keep yourself and your children away from all strange dogs regardless of their demeanor and/or the race and dress of their owner(s).
Gotta to agree with Dan, based in statistics of attacks reported to police and authorities, it's obvious that 'pit bulls' are more dangerous than other 'dogs' and should be avoided. It's also ok to refuse them 'housing', 'jobs' and baggy jeans based in these solid facts.
Interesting how, in the above article about parents who killed their kids, Dan implores people not to jump to conclusions and stereotype based on a few incidents, then does exact the same thing himself here.

And before anyone berates me for being ignorant about pits, I volunteered at two different animal shelters that were filled with pits and pit mixes, walking, playing, feeding, and training them every day, and the only dog I saw that was put down for attacking volunteers was a golden retriever.
@19 "Dan implores people not to jump to conclusions and stereotype based on a few incidents"

Hey, 50% of murders and violent assaults in Seattle every year are committed by blacks, 8% of the population. We're also not allowed to draw any conclusions from those facts either.
@19 how many dogs would be at your shelter if the County governments considered the revenue/public safety idea of mandatory dog training? Two large dogs walked by one woman growled at and started toward my toddler whom I was pushing in a stroller, and in the same area a woman walking three dogs lost control of them as they broke away to kill a neighbor's cat. Why is it so gosh darn bad to educate owners on how to train their dogs and get them to adhere to local noise ordinances? Is responsibility such a dirty word to dog owners?
Pits are wonderful dogs, but they are also very powerful and should only be owned by people with experience dealing with strong breeds.
Ooops, I just emailed you the link to the same article before visiting SLOG to see that you had already posted it.
@1 You said it best.
@24 "this is america. like guns, ain't a damn thing to do except keep yourself far away."

He said it best! I keep as far away from 'pit bulls' as possible. In work, housing, music, bagyy pants.

Sorry, but the data back me up.
Dan, when will you learn that nobody gives a fuck what you think about dogs? It's not your niche, and on top of it you're pig-ignorant about the entire issue. Stick to what you actually know: sex and sexuality. Nobody comes here because of what you have to say about dogs (which anyway is usually nothing at all).
@ 26, If you don't want to read something Dan posts in SLOG then don't read it. But reading something you already know you don't want to read and then commenting on it is ridiculous behavior. I'm going to assume that no one is requiring you to read SLOG or to follow Dan's posts of any kind. So please either say something constructive or STFU and leave the rest of us alone.
re: example of lab chewing off nose, above

still want to know percentage of people who are attacked by labs that end up dead, vs. percentage of people who are attached by pits who end up dead.
it's the severity of the outcome that matters.
The Strangers crusade against Pit Bulls just demonstrates your complete and total ignorance on the subject. You are the CAUSE of the BIAS against Pit Bulls. Check out what the ASPCA says about the matter:…

Maybe you should do some research before continuing to promote this stupid bias.…
For anyone complaining that this blog should only cover sex and sexuality, the key lesson in this horrific story is that people should be REQUIRED TO NEUTER THEIR FUCKING PETS. Responsible breeders (including farmers) can apply for and get a license, but otherwise the penalty for noncompliance should be loss of the animal, at a minimum.
Yep, and if we all time traveled back a few years, this story would be about rottweilers. A few more years, bull mastiffs. A few more years, cocker spaniels believe it or not (teeth are sharp as hell, and they were overbred until they weren't even sane anymore). Dog problems are pretty much entirely based on what dog is popular with people in the lower economic class, and what's popular with aggressive douchebags. Pit bulls were originally THE dog you got for your kids, as they are incredibly protective, loyal to a fault, and smart. Seriously Dan, I get you don't like dogs, but do we need to get BlagHag back on your case for not looking at things clearly?
@ 28, I do believe I said that my anecdotals proved nothing. I was making a point that a particular breed does not make you safe nor does it guarentee harm. Pits are strong dogs and that makes aggressive ones particularly dangerous, unneutered pits are more likely to be aggressive and therefore more likely to be dangerous. That doesn't mean pits can't make great pets or that "friendly" breeds are safe to own. If you own a dog you're putting yourself and any one who comes into contact with it at risk.
Also, the example of my sister's nose: My sister wasn't alone. The dog was subdued by about a dozen people making it significantly less likely that the attack would prove fatal. There's no way to know what the outcome would have been if she'd been alone with the dog. I'm just glad she wasn't alone because I seriously doubt the dog would have been content to stop mauling her after eating part of her face in a matter of seconds. Additionally, the dog was neutered and old. It would have been harder to subdue if it hadn't been neutered and was only 2. It could very easily have been a fatal attack, luck and circumstance played a large part in it being merely disfiguring.
"still want to know percentage of people who are attacked by labs that end up dead, vs. percentage of people who are attached by pits who end up dead."

Well we already know those stats for Seattle: 50% of all murders are committed by blacks. But treat them like pit bulls and you get called a racist.
"key lesson in this horrific story is that people should be REQUIRED TO NEUTER THEIR FUCKING PETS. "

Maybe if we did that to gay men they wouldn't be over 50% of all new HIV cases either?

yeah, i knew you were being disingenuous and had already decided what my answers would mean.

but it's true, i would have the same reaction IF i had my 2-year old child with me.

i know you want to claim some kind of racist bullshit, but the skin color of #2 doesn't concern me, his attire does. it's a certain kind of person that dresses all "thug"-like, and they're more likely to encourage aggressive behavior in their pit bulls than some schmuck from the suburbs. there are plenty of white people who dress like that and think it's badass to own a pit bull. how someone presents themselves can tell you a lot about them, and in the case of a potentially dangerous dog, it's better to be safe than sorry.
I'll throw in my dog attack stories that are totally unrelated as well.

I've been attacked by dogs, twice. Once a full blood German Shepard and once a part lab, part german shepard. I still have a scar on my face from one, and that was 15 years ago.

And I have a cousin who was attacked by her family pet... A lab. She's two, and her scar is worse than mine.

Actually, of all the people I have ever known who have actually been attacked by dogs, it's never, ever been a pitbull.... just sayin'.
@ 37, and you (and they) all lived to tell the tale, which is something a lot of people attacked by pit bulls haven't been able to do. Just sayin'.
7 - Dan's been raging against pit bulls for years.

Luckily, they don't share his prejudice. I saw a bunch of them wearing tutus at the Vancouver Pride Parade. It was pretty adorable.
Border collies (one of the smartest, most trainable, and beautiful breeds IMO) are also known to bite. They're nipping instinct kicks in when they think you're misbehaving. Add to that that their mouth is at about the same level as a pre-schoolers face and you've got yourself a problem.

The fact is that dogs are dogs. You can train them and train them and train them...but they are still dogs. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try to train your dogs but we all need to face the fact that any dog from any breed can be unpredictable and bad things can happen. We need to be cautious around pets and never get so comfortable as to assume that they would never break character and do something terrible. Hell, even your cat is just waiting until you stop feeding her long enough so she can eat you.

Pit bulls have an uphill battle to overcome the prejudice against them. The majority of strays in this day and age are pit bulls. There are a ton of them and if you want a dog and can't afford a purebred, you've got a good chance of winding up with a pit or pit-mix from the shelter...and who knows where that pit bull has been. The statistics Dan referred to surely don't indicate that the majority of pit bulls are dangerous (correct me if I'm wrong and you have knowledge of some new study I've not been made aware of). All they indicate are that pit bulls are among the top of the list involved in dog attacks...but that really isn't a surprise since they are the dog of choice for dog fights because they are strong (meat heads) and have such high thresholds for pain. If a dog that is trained to fight turns on a human, is that really a surprise? Umm, no. Does this mean that all pit bull are aggressive and want to fight? No! Does it mean that you don't know if the dog you're getting from the shelter might exhibit these traits? Absolutely. Does that mean nobody should ever rescue a pit bull because it might be a bad dog? Hell no! Many pit bulls are great dogs.

The bottom line is you should use caution with any breed, be honest with yourself if your dog is exhibiting violent tendencies, and take whatever steps are necessary to keep yourself and the rest of us safe.
Ugh. *Their

That is one of my biggest pet peeves. I can't believe I just did that.
@ 5 - Oh yeah, okay, that pregnant woman TOTALLY deserved to get ripped to pieces by her dog. Gotcha. Thanks for that contribution.

@ 2 - You said it best.

There is a problem with pit bulls. All the hysterical nay-sayers ("such angels!" "my pit never bit anyone!" "I was attacked by a Labrador!") are missing the point, and the point is this: there is a problem with pit bulls, a problem that WE created by continuously breeding them to be bigger, stronger, more and more powerful.

There is a problem with pit bulls, and we won't get anywhere in solving the problem until we can at least ACKNOWLEDGE that the problem exists. That's why Dan makes these posts.
@42, no, that's not why Dan makes these posts. He wants to ban pit bulls, not try to problem-solve.
Thank you, #19 and #22.

I own two pit bull type dogs. Both are loving, sweet and social with people and other animals.

Dog attacks are sad and horrible whenever they happen. A dog should never bite a human; and throughout history, pit bulls have been bred not to bite humans. Even those that were bred to fight other dogs have been bred to be safe for humans to handle. When they do bite, it is often a sign of bad breeding, poor socialization, failure to train them properly or a health problem.

Dan, I'm disappointed. I expected so much more from you than this. Like you ask for fairness and not jumping to conclusions for people, I'd ask the same for the breed of dog I love and cherish. I am so sad for this family, but your headline and treatment of this makes me sad.

Anyone who is afraid of a dog based on its breed and not its individual actions should do some research and meet some good ambassadors of the breed. There is good in all breeds, and in my experience, there is so much more to love than fear about pit bulls.

I know better than to follow that link. Let me guess: "Innocent victim mauled by aggressive dog. Defense of said dog quickly follows." Am I close?
I've said this before - in general, pits are not dangerous. However, in specific, they are VERY dangerous, because they have massive jaws that are designed to do a lot of damage, extremely high pain thresholds, and high behavioral constancy. In other words, they're fine, they're angels, whatever, until you piss one off, and then it'll kill you. I've had a pit bull, and she never bit anyone, etc., etc, blah blah. I have another mutt of some sort who's a fear biter. Not a pit. Doesn't prove anything. Train your dogs, be careful, don't leave them alone with kids.
If people were adopting, say, tigers as pets, we'd be mostly unified about saying that's a bad idea because tigers are too dangerous, right? Or even wolves? So there's some room for generalizing about animals even though obviously every animal is different. The question really is about how much breed determines behavior in dogs. I really don't know, but it sounds like if you accept the argument that breed predicts behavior, pit bulls are unsafe. The troll who keeps posting about black people also accidentally raises a good distinction - racial characteristics in human beings are known *not* to determine behavior, so why *is* breed considered more deterministic?
The Stranger should do a story on Pitbulls on Parade, a yearly event where hundreds of pitbulls, other dogs and their owners get together. HUNDREDS of pit bulls in one area...guess how many fights/attacks....yep, zero. Why not at least show both sides of "the story". Just happens to be coming up on Aug 20th... for details
47- breed is a series of traits that have been selected and reproduced. Race is a construct we apply to explain differences in skin color or body type that might have something to do with the kind of physical environment that can be found in certain regions of the world. Dogs lives are short, so selective breeding can change a breed's traits alot in a short time, to us. Nobody on here is saying that brown dogs are more aggressive than white ones. Or dogs from one country are less superior than from another. Also, people are more complex, and less instinctual, so our physical traits matter less than our mentalities. Something the troll might want to think about.
@47: Yes, breed can predict behavior. And no, pit bulls are not unsafe. (By the way, I grew up with two pet wolves who were the sweetest animals ever.)
It's the 12th day of the month already? Ah. Yes. A pit bull thread. Right on schedule!

I will be looking forward to next Tuesday's Mudede thread on how {INSERT fan-boy-sacred cow, cherished cartoon, classic movie, or beer ad} is a subtle stalking horse for crony capitalism and once Marxism something... something... something... everything will be... blahberty-bliberty-blooberty.

The Stranger: Grinding That Axe since 1989. Trolling since 2003.
I was eaten by hyena-polar bear cross. WHY ARE THEY STILL LEGAL!

My Hyena Polar-Bear cross, Snuggles, - known as a Pobena to those of us who love the breed - is the bestest sweetest Chimera breed out there!

My widdle Snuggles wouldn't hurt a human-fly cross. Unless it moved really quickly through Snuggles infra-red kill zone.

It's fear mongering bigots like you that make it hard for people like me to breed even larger 6-700lb Chimeras that will hardly ever eat a live human baby that didn't deserve it.
@31: That is not the context Dan is relaying the story to us in. He is generalizing the breed. The article is the only place where neutering and spaying is mentioned.
so 3-4 deaths on the last 5 years??? and how many people have died from reckless driving, drunk driving, texting driving....yeah. pits are a serious danger to us all.

Way to jump to conclusions. I am surprised so few people are capable of critical thinking in these situations. The linked article states that neighbors say the woman fell and hit her head. In any event, no one will know how she died until the autopsy comes back, but I'm sure if they find out it wasn't the dog mauling her, no one will be shouting about it. Stupid hysteria continues.
Thank you, Nutsy!! THIS is what kills me...someone dies..a pitbull is nearby...guess who gets the blame?!! I GUARANTEE that NONE of the hundreds of media outlets that ran the story will run a retraction. Media Bias is very real. All that overzealous "reporting" leads to a continued hatred of the breed.

A few years back there was a "Pit bull Mauls Baby" story. The pitbull was killed for mauling the child's genetalia. Backstory: Mom leaves baby and dog locked in room together. Baby sits in shit-filled diaper and dog goes resorts to cleaning babies diaper/ eating poop and gets a little carried away...or obsessed w/ getting every last bit...kid loses penis...sad, but also the fault of the ADULT...NOT the dog
My neighbor has a pit bull that towers over the fence we share. He snarls, barks, and shakes the fence if I dare go in my backyard. So I haven't planted my garden this year, I don't use the grill, and my landscaping job is half-finished. Because I know that snarling monster will learn that he can leap the fence, and I'd like to keep my face.
@59, you could talk to your neighbor and ask him/her to bring the dog inside for a few hours so you don't have to feel threatened in your own yard
@58, Exactly. It is strange to me how otherwise smart, skeptical people are completely taken in by these obvious if-it-bleeds-it-leads type headlines. For christ sake, people, use your heads. This sort of nonsense does nothing to reduce bites or attacks at all.
@59: Maybe you should see a therapist about your irrational fear of dogs, if it's really preventing you from functioning in the world.
Also, to add some *actual* science to the discussion, John Bradshaw, canine expert and researcher, writes in his new (May 2011) book, "Dog Sense,"The connection between breed/personality and actual biting incidents is imprecise at best, even if one accepts that some breeds are genetically predisposed to be more likely to be aggressive than others or that there is such a thing as an aggressive personality trait in dogs. Even within so-called aggressive breeds, the dogs who actually attack are extreme outliers. Moreover, the reasons for their extreme behavior are rarely investigated thoroughly-- most of these dogs are simply destroyed. In short, there is no direct evidence that breed differences in aggression have much to do with genetics." He goes on to to unpack that last sentence, asserting that wolf-dog hybrids are far more potentially dangerous than any breed of domestic dog.

This book is a great read, summing up and drawing conclusions about dog intelligence and capabilities from the most up-to-date research. But, by all means, if you don't like to have your opinions formed by actual science, go ahead and ignore it.
@ 63/ Nutsy...Nice to see some rational thinkers here!! Will pick the book up soon!Thanks for all the info!
No problem, Julie. I hate to see this sensationalized, knee-jerk-reactionary thinking promoted by anyone (OMG THE TERRIBLE PIT BULLS ARE GOING TO KILL US ALL!!1). It's troubling to see it from someone who generally purports to support scientifically-based, humanistic approaches to other social issues (e.g., sexuality), but completely loses it on this one. Then the discussion in the comments is dominated by emotion-based arguments ("My second-cousin's wife's neighbor was attacked by a pit bull-- THEY SHOULD ALL DIE!!", or "My pit bull is the sweetest, bestest, more awesome dog that would never, ever even consider putting it's teeth on anyone ever!!) and arm-chair geneticists who think you can predict everything that a dog is going to do solely by what breed it is, but haven't cracked a book on the subject in 20 years, if ever.

The science of dog behavior has come a long, long way in the last 10-15 years. Things that used to be considered common knowledge we now know are not true (e.g., dominance theory). Unfortunately, the general public and media still need to catch up. Here's another great resource for research-based dog information:…
@65: Can you elaborate on what you mean by dominance theory not being true?
I think #1 got it right, too, but I read it as, "ain't a damn thing to do except keep yourself far away [from America]."

Meanwhile I've said it before and I'll say it again: Pitbulls and other guard dog breeds are fine, until they're not; and then it's pretty bad. It's like carrying a loaded gun around in public. As long as nothing goes wrong it's fine, but if something does, people can end up dead in a hurry. Their strength, tenacity and genetically-modified jaws make them too risky for a public setting.

Oh, but this is America, where gun-toting is considered "free speech" and people confuse social conscience with the dreaded Socialism. God forbid any social norms should get in the way of my "freedom of expression".

Good luck, people.
@60: I have talked to my neighbor, and the only time she'll let the dog inside is when her husband is home, and he works two jobs.

@62: My beagle would likely disagree with your theory that I'm irrationally afraid of dogs, especially as she refuses to go out in the backyard, too.

Honestly, the only thing keeping me from calling city officials (pitbulls are banned in my city) is fear that the dog will be destroyed. I hate him, and I think he shouldn't breed more like him, I don't think he should have ever been born himself, and I think his owners should be fined heavily for owning an illegal animal, but I don't want to be the instrument of his demise.
:( Poor dog..that sucks. For you and the dog. If you were in Seattle I'd offer free walks/doggie daycare if it was cool w/ your neighbor.
Kind of you to consider all possible outcomes...sucky situation.
do tasers work on pitbulls?
@62: Stop being so nice. Pick up the phone and call animal control. I made your mistake once (didn't want to turn in a friend's pit after it bit me and sent me to the ER) and it went on to bite a kid. Fuck it. Dogs' lives aren't as important as peoples'.

What owners of dangerous dogs should understand is that other people only care so much about the special feeling your (extremely dangerous) furry best friend gives you; They care a lot more about their own personal risk. You do not enjoy any special right to own whatever type of animal makes you feel good.
Whoops. I meant @68. @62 can go fuck him/herself.
@67: Please review the Bill of Rights. It's the Second Amendment that protects the right to keep and bear arms. The First Amendment protects the rights to speech and expression.

I don't know what to say, except that it scares me to think of a place where only the cops and criminals have access to self-defense -- and self-defense is difficult or impossible without a loaded gun -- and where the government can control what kind of dog breeds are allowed to live or be in a city.
@68: If the animal is actually dangerous, or being abused or neglected, or making lots of noise, then you have the right and duty to call the authorities. That has nothing to do with the breed of dog. It's not pit bulls that are dangerous; it's abused and neglected dogs. If pit bulls are banned then idiots will start finding some other breed to abuse.

If there's no evidence that the animal is actually dangerous, and you're actually neglecting important areas of your life and you're scared to go in your backyard, then yes, that is pretty clearly an irrational fear causing significant impairment in your life, which is a phobia that can be treated. This is true regardless of your dog's reactions.
People get pit bulls for one reason, and one reason only - to intimidate. Just admit it...
@74: "and where the government can control what kind of dog breeds are allowed to live or be in a city. "

They already do this. Are you allowed to own a wolf wear you live? Not in most places.

"It's not the pit bulls that are dangerous."

Yes. Yes, it is, you fucking moron. That's the whole point. The argument that you and all the pit bull fans are making, when broken down, is "sure, they're dangerous, but that danger is offset by the benefit that I get in the form of affection from my dog."

Hey, I have an idea: Why don't you get your affection from a dog that wasn't bred to fight bulls in a pit? How would that be? Why do you have to get your affection from a dangerous animal? Or are you actually equating owning a dangerous animal to owning a gun for self defense, and claiming that the Second Amendment protects your right to own pit bulls, wolverines and honey badgers?

Jesus Christ. People want to own a walking threat, but they get upset when other people feel threatened.
@76: No, the argument is that they're NOT dangerous when they're properly taken care of. They're sweet and gentle. Do you understand? There is nothing dangerous about them unless they're abused or not taken care of.
I see little difference between Dan and Fred Phelps.

Both are consumed by irrational hate and ignorance.

Dan, you're not 1/10th as awesome as you and your cult followers think you are.
@ 77 - No, BlackRose, you're wrong.

You seem to think that the only pit bulls who attack and kill are the ones who've been abused, and that is just not the case. These reports are full of quotes from stunned (surviving) owners and witnesses, saying things like "She was my little baby, would follow me around just like a puppy, never bit anyone, never hurt anyone, the kids loved playing with him, everyone loved him" etc etc etc... The pit bull was an absolute angel every day of its life, it was cared for and socialized well, all seemed fine - until that one day that something happened and someone ended up dead.

See my comment @ 42. There is a problem with pit bulls, and all the emotional obfuscation that personal anecdote provides does not diminish it. In addition to having been bred to be powerful killing creatures, these dogs also seem to have a switch in their brains, that no one knows what sets it off, but when that switch gets flipped, precious 120-lb Daisy is ripping the face off the neighbor's toddler, who last week was happily playing with the dog. The dog that is now killing him.

You don't get that combination (enormous strength & tenacity/brain switch) with any other dog breed. Just pits.
@ 79

How unbiased and scientifically objective do you really think these owners' opinions of their dogs and their own dog-rearing habits are?

Your opinion/argument is beyond weak.

Johnny Cochran, you are not.

The master of using "emotional obfuscation" and "personal anecdotes" and other bullsh!t terminology to support your hyperbole, you are.

The "brain switch" idea is me some data on that. That is complete MYTH. pits have it. ABSOLUTELY! BUT according to a 1998 study conducted by National Geographic, pit bulls DO NOT have the strongest jaws...German Shepherds and Rottweilers do..I believe a Labradors & Pit bulls were neck and neck for third strongest.
Bottom line...ANY strong dog can cause severe damage

Thank you SO much for the update since I seriously doubt Dan would have bothered admitting he may have jumped the gun as that might mean all pit bulls aren't bad.

So this man now lost his wife, unborn baby, and BOTH of his dogs (who likely did nothing wrong). Tragedy on top of tragedy.

I don't hate pits, or any other breed. I do, however, walk warily around any unneutered male dog that has not been properly trained. I watched one yesterday (and yeah, it was a pit mix of some sort) suddenly lunge at another dog who'd been peacefully playing with it up to that point. The imbecile owner - a young male - grabbed his dog and said, "now, you won't make any friends playing like that." All I could think is how much I wanted to neuter them both. (They scared hell out of the nice dog who got attacked and his owner, both of whom quickly took off.)

Anyone who has "issues" with having their male dog neutered is too damn dumb to own a dog.
@82 and Nutsy... Um, no. The lady did NOT fall and hit her head...
"A necropsy of the unneutered, 2-year-old male pit bull, Gunner, confirmed that the 125-pound animal was responsible for the attack, said police Capt. Dave Bertini."
So, maybe take back your righteous indignation at everyone jumping to conclusions and blaming the poor dog? Maybe?
Black Rose-- In a nutshell, dominance theory, i.e., the idea that dogs are pretty much always trying to assert dominance over each and their owners and need to be "kept in their place", is based on research conducted on modern wolves, not dogs, living in a completely contrived and stressful environment (zoos). The two basic problems about this are: 1) you cannot take the behavior observed in such an environment and say that it is "normal" wolf behavior, or how they would act naturally, and 2) dogs are very much not wolves, so to say that what a wolf does is what a dog would do is not necessarily accurate. The wolf forebearers of dogs had a capacity to communicate and co-operate with humans that other wolves did not have, which made them appropriate for domestication; humans would have selectively bred for this trait to come up with the domestic dog, a completely separate species. Observation of village dogs, which live among people but are not owned by them, reveals that, when resources are not an issue and they are allowed to live in peace by humans, dogs live in cooperative, familial groups. Even the heads of the families (the parents) perform behaviors that would be called "submissive" in dominance theory to their puppies, suggesting that these behaviors are not about ranking, but about greeting and comfort. I could go on, but Bradshaw literally already wrote the book on it.
@84-- miss the point much, do ya?
@79: I am now completely convinced by the magic brain switch theory. After thinking a few seconds I have come up with some possible explanations:

1. The POD PEOPLE are taking over the dogs' brains. That's why they change personalities in an instant. The aliens are here and they've taken over pit bulls. We will be next.

2. Zombies. Why else do otherwise calm people or animals start attacking brains? Clearly. Zombies.

3. Demonic possession. Clearly some demons from a parallel universe are close enough in spirit and shape to the pit bull that they can just slide between worlds and possess their minds.
You're still wrong, BlackRose. Pit Bulls who attack are NOT mistreated, uncared-for animals.

This took me literally five minutes to Google:

Gig Harbor: Disabled woman attacked in her home by neighbor’s pit bulls “It was like the neighbors had a tiger in their yard” -…

Pacifica CA: Pregnant woman mauled, killed by her pit bull -…

Mississippi: 2 children attacked by pit bulls -…

Tennessee: 6 yr old attacked by neighbor’s dog, face partially paralyzed -…

Michigan:7 yr old girl told to play with ‘puppies’ -…

Arizona: 61 yr old victim loses both arms in pit attack -…

Australia: Elderly woman & small dog attacked -…

Funny, one doesn't seem to get those same results googling 'Labrador attack' or 'Husky attack'.... Wonder why that is....
And yes, I'm sorry my phraseology was too scientific for you, with the 'switch' in the head I referenced. I was hoping you could understand the point.

The point is this: you may own and love a pit bull. For years, that dog may only display loving doggy characteristics toward everyone it comes in contact with. And then one day, for no discernable reason, that dog may attack and kill someone, maybe even you (maybe even while you're pregnant and living in Pacifica CA). You will have no idea why this happened, as the dog never gave you any indication that it could or would do such a thing. This is behavior that is ONLY seen in pit bulls, no other dog breeds display this kind of "switch" behavior, with no trigger mechanism involved - none.

Combine that propensity for sudden unprovoked attack with the massive power that we've bred these animals to display and what do you have? You have a problem, a problem with pit bulls.

But I'm starting to think that the worst problem with pit bulls is to be found with people like you, BlackRose, and you, joemomma, and you, julie russell - that none of you can look past your anecdotal data and see that what ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE SAYING may just be true - there may indeed be a problem with pit bulls (a problem that humans created, and that humans can solve by breeding for gentleness - if we can get over our pathological need for a big intimidating canine).
And before you start with the ad hominem attacks again, here is my complete disclosure: For years I've owned (and bred, briefly) several large dogs, including Akitas, Chow Chows, and German Shepherds - I know dogs. I know big dogs, big powerful scary-looking dogs whose breeds have been known to attack. I know about proper socialization and pack behavior. I'm not someone just observing from the sidelines here.

I have, myself, known and loved a few pitbulls in my time, all dogs owned by friends. Never saw a single one of them attack anyone or anything. And here's the kicker: my own views on this subject have come 180 degrees. I, too, used to believe that there were 'no bad pit bulls, just bad pit bull owners.' That was my passionately argued position for years, until I actually began to do some research.

And I have come to believe, through independent, non-biased research, that there is a BIG problem with pit bulls. The answer is not to ban the breed, the answer is to gentle the breed, but, as I say above, to do that we first have to get over our pathological need for a big scary dog. And I can't see that happening anytime soon as long as pit bull people remain in complete denial of the facts.
BlackRose: "No, the argument is that they're NOT dangerous when they're properly taken care of."

This is another way of saying that they ARE dangerous. Since there is no way of knowing which dogs have been "well taken care of" and which haven't until the dog injures or kills someone ("Note to self: that must have been one of the mistreated ones)" any reasonable person just assumes that they are ALL dangerous.

Also, "merry" above has totally pwned your (and Julie Russell's and etc etc) half-assed arguments for why people shouldn't respond to the perceived danger of the dog breed that is popular because they are perceived as dangerous.
@92: Using that logic, all dogs are dangerous. And all cats. You don't know which ones have been well taken care of.

@91: All right, could I see some of this research. Because your news links are just a few selected anecdotes as well, which don't really give information on how well the dogs were treated. And the reason you see more reports on pit bull attacks is a) they're much stronger than most dogs, so the attacks do more harm and thus are more likely to be reported; b) they're more often mistreated, because they have a reputation as tough dogs, and so many of the people who would want one are the kind of people who would mistreat them; and c) because there's a huge media panic around the issue of pit bulls.

Please give me some kind of evidence for this pod people theory that pit bulls suddenly switch personalities for no apparent reason.
@93 A cat can't kill me. A pitbull can. Next.

The theory of the 'switch' probably came about after somebody's pit bull hurt or killed somebody. The owner needed some way to avoid taking responsibility for the consequences stemming from their decision to own a dangerous animal ("but I didn't mistreat it, and everybody knows that only mistreated dogs blah blah blah"), and so they came up with the magic "switch." As in "I don't know what happened, it's like a switch went off."

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