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Thread: on writing re: bullies and rotts

  1. #1
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    Default on writing re: bullies and rotts

    Steve mentioned something about Rotts and Bullies biting small children, while statistically, Golden Retrievers are more likely to bite. Ask any vet, it's the little dogs that snap; they run the big dogs. I love the book/audiobook, but that wasn't fair to us dog people. Love the book, but that bugged me.
    Last edited by Dana Jean; March 9th, 2013 at 06:13 PM. Reason: Removed blog address

  2. #2
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    Default Re: on writing re: bullies and rotts

    I haven't read/heard this statement by SK. Buuuuut, I have done a lot of research into bites/attacks out of a personal love for pit bulls and rotts.

    Statistically, you are most likely to be bitten by a lab, golden retriever, or German Shepard because they are the top three owned breeds. For better or worse, breed isn't really something that the CDC specifically tracks when dealing with dog bites or attacks (relying solely on media or eye witness accounting which is unreliable due to the fact that people typically cannot recognize dog breeds); they view breed as an unreliable indicator of dog bites/ attacks. I tend to hold this opinion.


    I really would encourage anyone who is afraid that a specific breed is more dangerous than others to readhttp://nationalcanineresearchcouncil...%20Placebo.pdf . It is long, but very thoughtfully researched. She looked into newspaper clippings, and when she could she contacted law enforcement agencies to get the picture on how the dog was kept. The media likes to say things like "Family dog kills" and the like, but are the dogs really family dogs?

    Dogs never, unless they have mental condition (which is crazy rare), snap. There are ALWAYS signs. They can be subtle, but they are always there.

    Do you know what things are statistically most likely to indicate a dog will be involved in a fatal attack? This is kind of off topic but interesting.

    1. 90% of dogs are intact (have all their boy bits) males.
    2. 40% will be tied on a tie out or chain in the yard.
    3. Another 40% will be running loose.
    4. Some 95% are resident dogs.

    There is also a difference between a pet or family dog and a resident dog. A pet dog lives in the house with the family, goes places with the family, goes for walks and otherwise spends a significant portion of it's life with people. Resident dogs live in the backyard, typically on a chain, and are mostly used as guard dogs or status symbols or used in irresponsible breeding (almost all female dogs involved in fatal attacks were either with an intact male or with puppies). These dogs might be owned by a family, but they are not family dogs.

    Resident dogs cannot expect to be socialized the same way to people. They have lower tolerances and don't read people as well as family dogs; they are far more likely to bite out of fear due to a lack of socialization. It is in this way that headlines implying "family dogs" go around killing people are being disingenuous. I am not saying that all outdoor dogs will kill people (obviously very few people die via dog bite) but being a poorly socialized, isolated dog can push an already less than rock stable personality into fear/aggressive responses.

    Another interesting fact is that there has never been a neutered verifiable pit bull kept as a family dog involved in a fatal attack.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: on writing re: bullies and rotts

    There is not a thing under the sun that Uncle Steve writes about that is not going to pee off someone reading it. If he had to pussyfoot around what he says, he would never be able to write another book. The story is the thing and the most important thing.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: on writing re: bullies and rotts

    ...no offense intended in the slightest...but your user name would make a great topic for "My Strange Addiction"....

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    Default Re: on writing re: bullies and rotts

    GNT!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: on writing re: bullies and rotts

    Quote Originally Posted by atomicinchworm View Post
    I haven't read/heard this statement by SK. Buuuuut, I have done a lot of research into bites/attacks out of a personal love for pit bulls and rotts.

    Statistically, you are most likely to be bitten by a lab, golden retriever, or German Shepard because they are the top three owned breeds. For better or worse, breed isn't really something that the CDC specifically tracks when dealing with dog bites or attacks (relying solely on media or eye witness accounting which is unreliable due to the fact that people typically cannot recognize dog breeds); they view breed as an unreliable indicator of dog bites/ attacks. I tend to hold this opinion.


    I really would encourage anyone who is afraid that a specific breed is more dangerous than others to readhttp://nationalcanineresearchcouncil...%20Placebo.pdf . It is long, but very thoughtfully researched. She looked into newspaper clippings, and when she could she contacted law enforcement agencies to get the picture on how the dog was kept. The media likes to say things like "Family dog kills" and the like, but are the dogs really family dogs?

    Dogs never, unless they have mental condition (which is crazy rare), snap. There are ALWAYS signs. They can be subtle, but they are always there.

    Do you know what things are statistically most likely to indicate a dog will be involved in a fatal attack? This is kind of off topic but interesting.

    1. 90% of dogs are intact (have all their boy bits) males.
    2. 40% will be tied on a tie out or chain in the yard.
    3. Another 40% will be running loose.
    4. Some 95% are resident dogs.

    There is also a difference between a pet or family dog and a resident dog. A pet dog lives in the house with the family, goes places with the family, goes for walks and otherwise spends a significant portion of it's life with people. Resident dogs live in the backyard, typically on a chain, and are mostly used as guard dogs or status symbols or used in irresponsible breeding (almost all female dogs involved in fatal attacks were either with an intact male or with puppies). These dogs might be owned by a family, but they are not family dogs.

    Resident dogs cannot expect to be socialized the same way to people. They have lower tolerances and don't read people as well as family dogs; they are far more likely to bite out of fear due to a lack of socialization. It is in this way that headlines implying "family dogs" go around killing people are being disingenuous. I am not saying that all outdoor dogs will kill people (obviously very few people die via dog bite) but being a poorly socialized, isolated dog can push an already less than rock stable personality into fear/aggressive responses.

    Another interesting fact is that there has never been a neutered verifiable pit bull kept as a family dog involved in a fatal attack.
    Great job, inchworm!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: on writing re: bullies and rotts

    Don't get me wrong-- I love all dog breeds and all animals, in general. But you never hear about golden retrievers mauling toddlers or having to be shot by police officers for being too aggressive. Do you think Rotts and Bullies just get an unfair shake in the press? (Don't mean to sound flippant; I really wonder.) We have a 110 lb. pound German Shepard. He's never bitten anyone but many people are terrified of him because of his size and strong bark.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: on writing re: bullies and rotts

    Actually, they do.

    If another breed of dog attacks, you might hear about it locally. You will not hear about it nationally. In 1987, 800 newspapers contained the word "pit bull". In 2006 over 2500 did. Interestingly, also in 2006 (this is snipped from The Pit Bull Placebo, which dissects how dog attacks are portrayed by the media)

    "In the first week of November 2006, for the first time in over 150 years of recorded fatal dog attacks, an unprecedented number of children (4) were killed by dogs in a single week. One of these four attacks involved Pit bulls and three were by other breeds of dogs. The circumstances surrounding all of these attacks were strikingly similar. Examination of these cases, individually and collectively, offers valuable insight into the reasons and causes for fatal dog attacks on children. On November 7, 2006, Nancy Grace of CNN Headline News chose the single fatality involving Pit bulls to feature on her television show. The coverage and discussion of this fatal attack included describing Pit bulls as “killing machines” and comparing the dogs to “machine guns and Uzis.” Graphic and highly disturbing stock film footage of Pit bulls fighting was played repeatedly during the show.The other three children killed by other breeds of dogs during this week were not mentioned. "

    There is also a difference in how the media reports dog attacks. Prior to the 1970s the media would ALWAYS print the lead up of the attack. They would say if they dog was chained, or being teased, or abused. They don't do that anymore. They want to sell papers and airtime. Killer "family" dogs are more shocking than "Abused, starved dog chained up".

    Also interesting, is that because of this media bias, the breed ban in Ontario was enacted despite the fact that only one of the 33 fatal attacks in the province had involved a pit bull.

    Pit bulls (which is a grouping of similar typed dogs and their mixes not an individual breed; there has never been a UKC registered American Pit Bull Terrier involved in a fatal attack) and rotts do make up about 70% of the fatal dog attacks at this time. Unfortunately, this has to do with their popularity as status dogs/ guard dogs i.e. resident dogs and not family dogs. If you would like I can go through the behavioral break down on why a dog becomes a killer.

    What it comes down to that if the dog is neutered and responsibly managed (which really just means fed, not kept on a chain and not allowed to run loose), this accounts for 95% of attacks. Sounds to me like those statistics are more significant than breed.

    It is also fact that ruthless breed bans do not do anything to protect people, but laws focused on owning dangerous dogs, regardless of breed, do.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: on writing re: bullies and rotts

    Quote Originally Posted by Autumn Gust View Post
    Don't get me wrong-- I love all dog breeds and all animals, in general. But you never hear about golden retrievers mauling toddlers or having to be shot by police officers for being too aggressive. Do you think Rotts and Bullies just get an unfair shake in the press? (Don't mean to sound flippant; I really wonder.) We have a 110 lb. pound German Shepard. He's never bitten anyone but many people are terrified of him because of his size and strong bark.
    Yes. I do. I also think 95% of people (including people who work with animals for a living) could not, when presented with a group of dogs of similar size and appearance--of which there are many--actually identify pit bulls. Do genetic testing on a mutt that looks like a pit, and chances are high that the results will surprise you. They are frequently mis-ID'd. Note what atomicinchworm said: "There has never been a UKC registered American Pit Bull Terrier involved in a fatal attack."

    Let me be 100% clear: personally, I am not a big fan of pit bulls. They do have a tendency to be pet aggressive (though not human aggressive), although good socialization (taking them to the dog park, etc.) generally takes care of that. On the flip side, they tend to be very fond of children. Really they are sweet dogs ... but they are a little too high energy for me. (Lots of breeds are.) And they don't seem to have that desire to please that a lot of breeds have. I find them ... charming when other people own them (if they're well-trained) but too much work to own myself. I am only mentioning this because they are far from being my favorite breed of dog, so I don't have "a dog in this fight," so to speak, and yet even I can see how they are unfairly maligned. (I've decided that Rotties top my list of desired breeds, actually. They have all the characteristics I want.)

    A golden retriever mauling a toddler would not make satisfying news coverage. It would be picked up locally, of course, but likely would not go national. (In addition to "If it bleeds, it leads," you could probably add, "If it's pit, it fits.") Speaking of toddlers: no dog should ever, ever be left alone with an infant or toddler, largely because the infant or toddler is too young to understand how the dog will interpret its behavior and too small to defend itself, and the dog has no understanding that this tiny thing cannot really control its behavior. (Word to the wise: the motion of infant swings can trigger prey drive in a dog.) As an adult, if a dog comes at me I am going to win or die trying. A baby doesn't stand a chance.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: on writing re: bullies and rotts

    Quote Originally Posted by thepuppysniffer View Post
    Steve mentioned something about Rotts and Bullies biting small children, while statistically, Golden Retrievers are more likely to bite. Ask any vet, it's the little dogs that snap; they run the big dogs. I love the book/audiobook, but that wasn't fair to us dog people. Love the book, but that bugged me.
    To be fair, it's a common misconception. The man can't be expected to know everything.

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