News Aug 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm


Feeling persecuted? Better find something of my own to persecute.
I don't think it's the owners who are the problem. It's more likely the breeders who are the problem. Much the same as it was with GSDs and Doberman Pinschers in the past. Nearly all the maulings I've read about where people who had adopted their dogs. I don't have the answer, I'm just saying. Let's at least treat the subject with a little bit of knowledge instead of both sides using inflamed rhetoric.
the solution is not owning/allowing dogs that are willing and able to randomly attack and kill in short order
in before BUT ALL DOGS BITE!!!!!
In b4 flaming shitstorm!
It's only because of media bias that 7 in 8 Australians want to ban pit bulls. If only the reported every dog bite, we'd have a fair idea of the situation. Pit bull bites are no different than Yorkshire Terrier bites.
*popcorn for everyone!*
also in before meaningless personal anecdote using the word "sweet"
Let's just say that Pitbulls are not-user friendly dogs. Unless your Cesar Millan, you shouldn't have one.
99.9% of any one dog's DNA is exactly the same as any other dog.
"99.9% of any one dog's DNA is exactly the same as any other dog. "

Humans and chimps share 95%+ plus of their DNA too. A little bit goes a long ways
I read "SAVAGE ATTACK" and thought: "I wish Dan got the guts and the chance and kicked [i.e.] Santorum's ass to his homophobic heaven."
Then kept reading.

Here, many children have been attacked, some killed, by pit bulls last years. This has lead to some kind of discrimination against these dogs. Not too many people realize their "owners" are the real problem.The governments and legislators through time have promised to legislate a real "responsible pet 'owning' law", but as many things -and because of chilean people's bad memory- it's forgotten in a month. Banning this kind of pets is not the solution to this problem.
"Banning this kind of pets is not the solution to this problem."

Why not?
We don't allow people to own pet tigers, after all
*tiger mauls a group of children*

*solemnly shakes head and blames owner*
Stick to sex advice, you know NOTHING about dog psychology or behavior.
"Pit bull bites are no different than Yorkshire Terrier bites."

Can someone find one example of a little girl being mauled to death by a Yorkshire Terrier? Anyone? I suppose this might be true and if so I'm sure there's a wealth of examples of children, pregnant women, etc. being mauled to death Yorkies.
Why don't you spend your time getting handguns banned? They are far more dangerous than your average Pit Bull.
"Pit bull bites are no different than Yorkshire Terrier bites."

it's parody bassplayerguy
"99.9% of any one dog's DNA is exactly the same as any other dog."

And 98.9% of human DNA is exactly the same as chimp DNA so I guess there's no real difference between humans and chimps! Hurray!
"Why don't you spend your time getting handguns banned? They are far more dangerous than your average Pit Bull. "

because guns are both in the Constitution and do not have wills independent of their owners, neither of which is true for pit bulls
@19 After reading it again I'm sure you're right although IMO it's bad parody b/c it's way to close to some of the arguments I've heard. I.e. I've actually heard people say that a Yorkie can be just as dangerous as a pit if it's got a bad owner.
I dunno, I kinda get where Dan is coming from in a way, and I actually really like pit bulls. However, after seeing a site with a rather long comment thread in defense of pit bulls, my head almost exploded. The argument was being supported very strenuously was that the dog that killed that pregnant woman not too long ago hadn't attacked her and had blood on him only because he had tried to help her after she fell and hit her head, thereby causing the massive amount of blood that was everywhere. It was utterly delusional. As a lifelong dog trainer, I think they are a highly intelligent and trainable breed that is actually quite good with children in the right (supervised) circumstances. But really, I kind of see them like handguns - idiots shouldn't be allowed to own them and I don't want one of my own because of the associated liability.

My dad always used to tell me animals are unpredictable. And that's really not the case. You can usually predict how an animal will react - it's anticipating the scenario that causes the reaction that's impossible.

Ban them? Kind of excessive, I think. But there should be an added licensing requirement and additional hoops before someone can own one. In the wrong hands, these are deadly dogs.
@22 true. Apologists also point out that breeds like dachshunds, chihuahua, and Jack Russells bite more often and think that's some kind of proof of something
@18 Totally. I was just reading the other day about a handgun that jumped a fence and killed 2 kids while it's owner was taking a nap.
@20 the latest estimates of shared chimp/human DNA is closer to 93%, but your point still stands. Serious aggression is probably caused by only a handful of genes, and if the dog has 15,000 genes (wild-ass guess) then that means a 1500-gene difference at 99.9%.
"Ban them? Kind of excessive, I think. But there should be an added licensing requirement and additional hoops before someone can own one."

This. I also think there needs to be a law that if your dog kills someone then you, as the owner, will be held liable as if you were the one that killed the person. If it really is just an issue of bad owners then this would get those bad owners off of the street.
Dan, I don't think anyone is arguing that these stories of yours are just horrific and dogs that attack are bad dogs. We get it. Really. Sigh.

Sometimes the owners are to blame, sometimes a dog's history before the owner adopts it is the problem, sometimes illness (such as rabies) plays a role, and sometimes a bad dog is just a bad dog. I would firmly agree that we need strict breeding laws with regards to pit bulls to protect them from being bred to fight and to protect the public from dogs that have been trained to be aggressive but outright banning the entire breed is simply not fair to responsible owners of perfectly well behaved pitbulls and it just isn't pratical.

By the way, do you remember that story in the news the other day about a woman rescuing two dogs from a fire? They were pit bulls but the story referred to them as Staffordshire Terriers. Hmmm, I wonder why...
@26 is human aggression caused by a handful of genes? If so, should we do something about it?
Interesting that it was a "pit bull cross". I just read this today:…
Terrible how the owner of the dog did nothing to help. "Mrs Ancaito claimed the dog's owners did not help her despite her pleas." But it's definitely not the owner's fault... right?

I think this is an interesting, sane take on dog attacks:…

Even if banning pit bulls got rid of them, which it wouldn't (look at how well banning heroine worked), some other type of dog would become the breed most used for fighting, most abused, most likely to bite. I've seen some scary fucking Great Danes at the shelter, for example.
"outright banning the entire breed is simply not fair to responsible owners of perfectly well behaved pitbulls"

Who fucking cares?

"and it just isn't pratical."

Why not? There's all kinds of animals that are illegal to own.
@ 17, I was facetiously restating an anti-ban argument that was on SLOG before. Yes, someone actually brought up the high incidence of Yorkie bites as some kind of counter-argument to Dan's posts.
*Pouf*!! There goes another little bit of your credibility, Dan. For someone who (A) hates dogs and (B) knows nothing about them, you sure do spend a lot of time mindlessly promoting the least effective solution to the problem of attacks by dogs against humans.

And given that you're responsible for your own dog losing an eye, you're hardly one to talk about problem dog owners. You really need to shut the fuck up about the entire subject.
"Even if banning pit bulls got rid of them, which it wouldn't (look at how well banning heroine worked)"

lmao are you serious
Australia also bans violent video games. What's your point?

(Honestly, I think all the media hype actually makes the problem worse, because it increases the thrill in the paint-eating morons who love the idea of having a dangerous animal as a pet.)

@2-- It's a combination, really. Dumbasses want pit bulls for stupid reasons and breeders consider them a target audience worth catering to. It's like how some people in the UK actually argue that you shouldn't ban them from using dogs to hunt foxes because they claim -- like it's a badge of pride -- that the dogs have been bred for such a specific purpose (chasing and killing small, brightly-colored animals) for so long they can never be pets and would have to be destroyed. And according to them, the only alternative is to keep using them to hunt foxes.

Keep in mind we're living in a world where people openly cheer Michael Vick.

That said, there are breeders out there who are deliberately trying to breed pit bulls to downplay the breed's stereotypical violent tendencies. My mother had a couple of pit bulls from one and had no behavioral problems whatsoever.
Pit bulls are more likely to be assholes than other dogs. That's about the strongest factually correct statement you can make. By the way, my sweet little dog (who melts into jelly at the first sign of conflict) is half pit bull. Does this make her half evil? Somebody please tell me before she murders everyone I know.
I think what would make a hell of a lot more sense is to license and regulate breeders of *all* types of dogs, outlaw 24/7 tethering and generally strengthen animal control and, especially, abuse laws. Give the enforcement officers the tools they need to be effective.
Hm... I was in Seattle the day my dog lost an eye on Vashon Island. But thank you for bringing up Stinker, my son's ferocious 6 lb toy poodle. It allows me to state, for the record, that I don't hate dogs. I am a dog owner. A one-eyed, deaf, brain-damaged dog owner.

No, wait. That didn't come out right.
in before meaningless personal anecdote using the word "sweet"

"By the way, my sweet little dog (who melts into jelly at the first sign of conflict) is half pit bull."

@33 Yeah, I got it. I remember the earlier post about the Yorkie bites and for a second I thought that you might be the same poster which is why I didn't track it as parody at first.
Oops, sorry for the first typo ever on slog.
You can listen to the story of Stinker's accident in this TAL piece...…
#39: My mistake, I misremembered and I apologize.

But that doesn't change the fact that you know nothing about dogs, that you're promoting the least effective solution to dog attacks, or that you really should shut up about the whole topic.
@44: Because then the topic will go away?
"But only pit bulls owned by irresponsible people who mistreat them ever savagely rip people to shreds in a fit of unpredictable bloodlust. By the way, my pit bull is a rescue dog, and he's the sweetest thing ever."
Are there any other breeds on your google feed or only Pits? I Own an American Pit and considering his breed he was actually attacked by a Lab, 27 stitches later and almost a thousand bucks the Lab owner blamed my dog who was across the street in a harness and on a leash when their dog had none of the above. After filling out a police report I had to register MY DOG as aggressive, seriously What the FUCK, and it is because articles like this.
So Stranger if you are only going to post Pit Bull stories post every dog attack, journalism does report both sides? Right?
#36: Thanks, that was a good expansion on what I was trying to get at. Good breeding practices have really helped with GSDs and Dobermans, but it has been a longish process. And well bred pit bulls of all types can be good dogs. It seems like people don't really understand the importance of good breeding practices and selecting for traits.
Also, maybe some perspective would be good here. There are around 75 million dogs in the U.S. and 32 fatal dog attacks per year. I'm not saying it's not tragic when it happens, but it's nowhere near the scale of the other atrocities in the world we could be getting our panties in a bunch about.
Just the other day I was in my kitchen and noticed a fucking pit bull was running around on my deck. He then explored the back yard. The same back yard where my two- and three-year old daughters play (but thankfully were inside at the time).

I don't know who the owner is and whether he or she is a "good owner" or a "bad owner." I'm pretty sure he or she thinks the dog is awesome and would never hurt a child. Of course, letting the thing go wandering off their property off-leash is against the law. And since all I know is that the damn thing probably weighs three times as much as my three-year-old, I can't let my kids into my own fucking backyard without looking over my goddamned shoulder.

I agree with Dan 100% on this subject.
#45, no, because by promoting ineffective solutions you're not only not helping the situation, you may actually be making it worse, such as by encouraging your readers to freep this poll.

As I've pointed out before, you're perpetuating exactly the same kind of credulous hackery in your posts about pit bulls as those anti-marijuana articles you so love to hate. Promoting the fallacy that marijuana is a gateway drug is no less idiotic than promoting the fallacy that the solution to dog attacks is breed bans. I know you like to heap scorn on those who say that owners are the problem, but breed bans are utterly ineffective. If owners were required to show that they have the skills and physical ability to properly care for their chosen breeds, and if owners were held fully criminally responsible for attacks by their dogs, and if irresponsible breeding were curtailed through effective laws, there would be a lot fewer attacks by all breeds. You'd know all this if you bothered to do even the most cursory of research on the subject rather than just periodically posting links to whatever comes through on your Google alert for "pit bull attack" and making idiotic remarks like "discriminating against or between dogs is exactly like racism."
I do not support breed specific legislation. I do support serious penalties and fines (and possibly jail time) for the owners of dogs that attack.

Don't blame the breed, blame the deed. Pit bulls aren't the only strong dog that can cause serious damage to a human.

Labs, Golden Retrievers, Standard Poodles, German Shepherds, and other breeds are all equally capable of causing serious harm.

Even if you believe, as Dan clearly does, that Pitbulls and Pitbull-esque dogs are clearly more likely to commit an act of violence against a human, it is unfair to the victim of the attack to judge the attack not by the damage caused but by the breed that caused it. Laws should be made to protect and defend victims and potential victims, not to punish one group more than another for the same crime.
Oh oh, but Dan! The owner of that dog in Australia is 'devastated', and the dog had totally never done anything like that before. Plus, the owner of the dog had a "Beware of the Dog" sign, so, you know, he was, like, aware... Yeah, yeah, the attack happened inside the little girl's house, but that's just a technicality.

Did you read all the way to the end of the article and see those nine other incidents of attacks in recent years? Complete coincidence, every one of them.

@51. Well, if next time that roving pit bull I referred to in post 50 comes into my yard he happens to sink his jaws into my two-year-old and doesn't let go, I sure do hope that the owner is held criminally responsible for her likely death. If I only knew the owner would be held fully responsible, I'd feel a lot better about the possibility.
I'm sure glad public policy is decided by Interweb cyber-polls. (Wait, nevermind. I forgot, only Slog polls are legally binding.)
@54, I hope you called Animal Control to report the lose dog. Following leash laws is pretty much dog ownership 101 and the dog should be impounded and the owner, fined.
Over 50% of the deaths caused by dogs are by Pitbulls/mixes. If you look at the ages of the people killed as well it seems as if Pits, Rotts, and Huskies are some of the only dogs that can kill an able bodied person. A majority of the deaths are children under the age of 5, or elderly people. This indicates a population of people that shouldn't own, or be around these kind of dogs for their own safety and that of the children. I feel like people should take responsibility for their environments, and since so many people can't seem to understand the dangers to owning these dogs, maybe they should be banned to prevent needless deaths.
"Promoting the fallacy that marijuana is a gateway drug is no less idiotic than promoting the fallacy that the solution to dog attacks is breed bans."

You keep spouting this as if it's fact without a shred of evidence. It's working wonderfully in Denver and Council Bluffs, for example.

"Pit bulls aren't the only strong dog that can cause serious damage to a human."

But they're the only ones that consistently DO, in numbers far greater than their proportion of all dogs.
OK, so we ban pittbulls. Now what? Is the world safe now? Are all the pitbulls gone? Do you propose a massive cull?
I just don't see how banning them will do much.
There seems to be a bit of hysteria when it comes to pitbulls. Yes, they have the potential to be dangerous as do other dogs, people, animals etc..
How many people die each year due to pitbulls? car accidents? gun accidents (correct- guns don't have a mind of thier own but they are not always used mindfully). In the grand scheme, is this really a big problem or just someones (ahem) pet problem?
@ 51 - Where in Dan's post does he say we should ban pit bulls?

@56 I sure did. I called 911 who put me through to Animal Control. Fuck whoever owns that dog. Disgusting.

Also, let me note that while I'd be annoyed with any off-leash dog in my backyard--the backyard of a family who chooses not to own a dog--if said dog had been a, say, beagle, I'd be annoyed because I don't want dog shit in my yard. Would I be seriously concerned about the safety of my daughters? No, of course not. And why not? Because I'm a reasonable human being with a grasp of reality.
"OK, so we ban pittbulls. Now what? Is the world safe now?"

Since addressing one problem doesn't solve other, larger problems, we should ignore that problem!
54: had one of those people who allowed their dogs to roam freely with tragic consequences been sent to jail for a long, long time and been slapped with a very, very large fine, that dog wouldn't have been roving in your yard in the first place.
@63 Ya think? Ya think that heavy criminal fines and incarceration would deter every pit bull owner? Just like the death penalty has deterred all murderers?
Dan, you're telling people to go out and hate something for the way that it was born (and/or raised) at the same time as telling people that they're not allowed to hate you for being born the way you were. This isn't politics. You don't gain credibility with hypocrisy.
@61- Well, then you'd have a false sense of security if you're not worried about *any* strange dog biting one of your kids. True, a smaller breed may not kill your child as easily as a large one, but it can still do a lot of damage. I was attacked by the neighbor's cocker spaniel as a child. All dogs can bite, and all dogs *will* bite, given right circumstances.
"Pit bull bites are no different than Yorkshire Terrier bites."

Oh. Jeeze. I was gonna stay out this bullshit until I read nonsense like this.

Okay. Sure there are a number of negative myths attributed to the pitbull breed but the disingenuousness of the pathological pit promoters just goes to far sometimes.

Yes. Pits have a jaw PSI in line with most doges their size - average of like around 235Lbs. Dogs like Rots have more PSI.

But PSI is only small part of what contributes to the trauma of any given breeds bite.

Pits are, pound for pound, tremendously strong, athletic and tenacious. It's what makes them so attractive in so many ways. Including for dog fighting - which is more about their inherent and FACTUALLY documented capability for dog aggression.

Comparing a Pit bit with a Yorkie bite completely disqualifies you from any remotely honest or intelligent conversation ever.

In fact lets test your fucking idiotic comment if you have the balls.

Let's get an agressive fucked-up tortured 40lb Pit bull to attack you.

And then let's get a an uncommonly aggressive 7lb Yorkie to attack you.

And we'll compare the emergency room visits, shall we?

Any takers?


Yeah. That's what I thought.
lma fucking o @ 65
@50 would you be worried if it was any other dog? Lets say a White man walks in your back yard would you call the police? Now lets say a black man walks through your yard YOU would call the police. Racist piece of shit.

Sure, Dingo's proposal is far from fool-proof. But I spent a few years in DC where pits WERE banned, and... (do I really need to say it?) there's a bit of a pitbull problem there too.
i love dogs. i used to have a business boarding them, helped start an animal rescue in a needful town, have several close family members that own pits and generally like them.
my unpopular belief is that we should just stop having dogs. we have plenty already. no breeding of any kind. mandatory neuter/spay for all born. betcha there would still be plenty of illegals to go around if you happen to have the psychological disorder of needing to own one. that goes double for cats.

Let's ban birds next. because. You know. Avian flu.

And we HAVE to ban owning fish since thousands of fish species are on the brink of extinction.

And then lizards. Because, let's face it, owning lizards is just plain dumb.

Oh. And cars... let's ban cars. They are waaaaay more dangerous that pitbulls, guns, and Michelle Bachmann combined.

And then let's ban the internet! Because internet servers farms are contributing in a major way to greenhouse gases and taking away vital energy infrastructure and strategic mineral resources from more important uses.

Then Computers. Ban 'em. Because those strategic mineral I mentioned. yeah. they are mined by children and virtual slave labor and the mining of them generally fuck up ecosystems.

And then let's ban technological civilization because clearly and provably it's quickly destroying ALL life on the only planet in the universe that we know - for sure - support life.

And while we're discussing throughly unworkable and completely idiotic ideas let's ban human beings form the universe because they can't seem to entertain lick of fucking common sense.

"Unpopular" belief was an understatement.
@69 I am going to assume that you are being sarcastic by calling me racist for saying that I was more concerned about a pit bull illegally being in my fucking backyard on Tuesday. And by the way, to respond to your moronic argument. Any stranger walking through my yard would be of concern.

In response to the more rational person who correctly pointed out that all breeds can do damage. You are right. I was just making the point that certain breeds off leash in my yard would piss me off, others, like pit bulls, are of more serious concern. And if any dog bit my kid, of course there would be a serious problem. I'm thinking it highly less likely that my kids would die in the jaws of a cocker spaniel.

And let me make another distinction: had it been a cocker spaniel illegally on the deck, I would have walked outside, checked the dogs tags (or it had any), open the garden door and shoo the dog out. With a strange pit bull, I'd be an idiot to walk it the door and thus was trapped in my home until either, it left of it's own accord or animal control removed it.
Pit bulls are fine. It's people who want to own non-rescue pits that should be banned. There's no reason to want a dog with a reputation for violence that's intimately involved in the dogfighting scene.

Goddamn, Dan, you are such a troll sometimes. You're worse than Charles when you're in a mood.

@71, "the psychological disorder of needing to own [a dog]"

So... disagreeing with your personal preference is a "psychological disorder"? You do realize what an incredibly asinine thing that is to say, right? Regardless of whatever point you were making?
@20 for the Sex with Chimps and Gorillas is icky win.
@ 65 - You are totally right.

I wish to high heaven that The Gays would stop being bred for viciousness! The only way we're going to have any safe Gays at all is if we start to breed them for gentleness...

But as long as people want to have big, vicious potentially lethal Gays around, well........
@74: "It's people who want to own non-rescue pits that should be banned."

Aren't rescue pits MORE likely to have been mistreated? And therefore, aren't they MORE likely to have behavior problems?

Or maybe you think good intentions can never possibly lead to bad outcomes.
Ya know, they banned pit bulls in Miami-Dade County......

BACK IN 1986, FOR CHRISSAKES!!!!!!!!!!!
@75 Yeah, I can't wait to get me some of that sweet, sweet monkey pussy!
Perhaps the only answer is to unleash the Seattle Times' Blethens to kill all the pit bulls?
Dan Savage, pit bull troll. We should learn to stop feeding him.
Anyone notice that Seattle and King County enacted a breed ban on wolf hybrids in 1994, and it was perfectly effective?
Also a well placed ban. I had a wolf hybrid when I was a kid, and while it was perfectly nice to me, it attacked a friend of mine when we were horsing around, thinking he was attacking me. My dog "ran away" immediately after that (since my folks did the right thing) and I didn't put two and two together until years later. When I did, I wasn't mad at mom and dad because I'M A RATIONAL PERSON
People who cannot control their dogs should not own them. Banning the dog that PEOPLE CREATED is not the problem. Just don't let weak ass people who cannot defend themselves own one. If you cower, the dog will lose control. My American Bulldog is twice the size of a pitbull, and I can put her ass down in 2 seconds if I need to. And, she knows it too, even though I am a woman. A really tough woman, but still a woman. I think that 50% of dog owners should not be allowed to have dogs. Of any breed. As a child I was attacked by a toy poodle, and one of those 100-lb dogs that look like a golden retriever. Both of those dog owners did nothing to get their dogs off of me. The 100-lb one put me in the hospital. And, it was not a pit bull! Dan, stick to what you know, You don't know JACK SHIT about dogs. So leave it alone, k?
While I don't think all pits are bad, I will say I was bitten by a pit bull, which required stitches, a few years ago. My family always owned dogs, including a doberman, and I've never been so much as snapped at before that. This is the only dog I've ever been bitten by. So it's not all propaganda. And while I was arguing with my sister when this happened, I didn't even realize the dog was there and wasn't being aggressive towards it at all.
God damn! First the drill baby drill article and now more of this pitbull shit? Jesus- the Stranger has hit a new low today.
@85: And I've only been bitten by two dogs in my entire life: a samoyed and a pomeranian. Do we need to ban all spitze?

Honestly, Dan, you should know by now that prohibition never actually solves the problem. All breed bans will do is a) ensure that idiots will now turn to buying from breeders willing to breed and sell these dogs illegally, and b) move media hysteria onto whatever new, legal breed takes pitbulls' place as the Evil Dog. Like German Shepherds and Rottweilers before them, there will be yet another breed bred to pander to that subsection of people who want to own aggressive dogs. You can play whack-a-mole with breed bans all you like, but that does absolutely nothing to address the core issue.
Dogs aren't people. Also, I hate weeds. Am I bad person for hating them for what they are? I mean they're living things and all!
I agree with Dan.
"And I've only been bitten by two dogs in my entire life: a samoyed and a pomeranian. Do we need to ban all spitze?"

Australians are the problem - always have been.
@seattlebound. your response just proves you are racist even if it is toward dogs.
Any breed unleashed, tagged and uncontrolled can pose a danger but yet you are willing to confront something you assume is safe not knowing anything about it yet you will lock yourself inside and hide your pearls seeing something that I am sure you only read about in the Stranger.
So I still at this point will consider you a racist.
@92 you are a tremendous dumbfuck
@92 OK. Consider me as you wish. I'll consider you an imbecile.
@93 no, he's not. Seattlebound seems like a racist. Seattlebound would have gone out to his deck to check the (white) dog's collar, but not the (black) pitbull's. The Cocker would probably bite him and all of his precious kids.

Sorry to burst y'all's bubble with science, goldy style.
@93 I refer you to comment 25: "Apologists also point out that breeds like dachshunds, chihuahua, and Jack Russells bite more often and think that's some kind of proof of something "
meant @96
@98 it's proof that those little fuckers are hardly "nice" and not good with children! Yet Dan owns one, keeps it around his child and stabs its eye out. Did you read his post? Are you a racist too?
There should be an "It Gets Better" for Pit Bulls. Dan can you work on that?
I have a pit and when he was a puppy several Stranger employees had a great time playing with him at the park but maybe they were drunk or shoplifting so who am I to judge. I just know that it is not fair to judge something for being born a certain way.

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