Time To Pull In The Leash On Pit Bulls

photo: wiki commons

Interesting but tragic story here in CA about an elderly San Diego woman who had to have a leg amputated after being attacked by two pit bulls.  The dogs, apparently crawled through a hole in a fence to gain access to the 75 year old woman’s backyard.   The story says she was bitten all over, and that she could also lose her other leg and an arm.

This is nothing new.  NBC  News reports that over the space of four months last year, pit bulls killed two toddlers in San Benardino County.    Both were “family dogs.”  According to Dogsbite.org, there were 33 fatal dog attacks in the U.S. in 2010.  Pit bulls accounted for 67% of the deaths.  In the 6-year period from 2005 to 2010, rottweilers and pit bulls accounted for 71% of all recorded deaths (181).

“From 2005 to 2010, pit bulls killed 104 Americans, about one citizen every 21 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 25 Americans, about one citizen every 88 days.”

When it comes to dogbite incidents, pit bulls are at the top of the list in at least 20 states.    Dogsbite.org reports that in Anne Arundel County, Maryland,  “In June 2011, Severna Park Patch reported that from 2009 to 2010, there were 233 incidents involving pit bull attacks against people and dogs in Anne Arundel County. In that same period, the next closest breeds, German shepherds and Labs, caused just 93 incidents combined. Lt. Glenn Shanahan of Anne Arundel County Animal Control said that pit bulls lead all other breeds in the county by at least two to one when it comes to attacks over the last five years. “The numbers say what they say. We’re not making it up,” Shanahan said. “It’s demonstrably overwhelming.” Officials said that pit bulls are also more frequently labeled “dangerous.”‘

Here’s an idea.  You want a pit bull or a rottweiler?  Fine.  You can have one, provided you take the time and trouble to pass a dog owner’s training course and pay for a special license,  just as though you were licensing a gun.  Potential pit bull owners should also be required to provide proof of a substantial amount of liability insurance.   That alone would dissuade some from the desire to own a dog from hell.  Either that, or let everybody carry a gun so that we can defend ourselves on our evening walks through the neighborhood when Cujo decides to attack.

That’s what these dogs were originally bred for.  Attacking.  Not hunting, not herding, not companionship.  Attacking.  The original bulldogs, tough though they were, were not aggressive enough for some so they cross-bred bulldogs with the more aggressive terrier and arrived at the pit bull, which got its name from the “sport” of “bullbaiting” in 16th Century England.   This so called “sport” involved staking a bull to a given spot so that it was partially immobilized and then siccing one or two pit bulls on it until it was either exhausted from the battle or dead.   That was followed by “bearbaiting.”  When bullbaiting and bearbaiting were outlawed in 1835, sadists turned to setting the dogs on one another in dogfights.  All the while unscrupulous breeders worked to improve the breed by making it a more effective weapon.

Which brings us to the modern pitt bull, and its numerous variations.

I know, I know, it’s not the dog’s fault, it’s the owners who are ultimately negligent for failing to control their animals.  We’ve all listened to that blather for years.  All the while,  I don’t recall anyone having their leg or arm bitten off by a lab or schnauzer.   Why do you suppose that’s the case?  Could it be that too many people are buying these potentially deadly dogs in an attempt to be macho, or because they feel a need for protection and only later learn they can’t control the animal?   Of course that’s what’s happening.  And the dogs are responding by racking up a record of attacking innocent humans.  Not to mention other dogs.

There are more than 150 dog breeds registered with the American Kennel Club.  Get something else.

9 thoughts on “Time To Pull In The Leash On Pit Bulls”

  1. Pitbulls were NOT bred for attacking!!
    I own 2 pitbulls and know lots of people who own pitbulls.
    Its NOT the dogs’ fault its the owners who don’t know how to properly care for a pitbull.
    My pitbulls are big babies and would never hurt someone or something.
    Now my cockerspaniel would totally bite someone given the chance.
    I read a news clipping that a beagle a friggen BEAGLE attacked a woman on her bike and her PITBULL who was walking on a leash NEXT to her.
    NOT ALL pitbulls are bad ITS the way they are RAISED!!!
    http://www.chacha.com/question/why-were-pitbulls-originally-bred===
    Pitbulls were initially a functional dog used for herding, guarding, hunting, policing, cart pulling and ratting.

    I know lots of chihuahuas that attack people sure they wont do much damage but they still attack… and I live nextdoor to a sharpei/basset hound and he is VERY MEAN \
    I knew a dalmation/black lab ,mix that would tear an arm off or rip a throat out.

    EVERY dog can be mean and vicious! Its the way they are RAISED!!!!!!!!!

  2. This is absurd. I raised english springer spaniels. Had my hand mutilated by one. Another tore its owners shoulder all to heck. Do we paint all springers by the same brush? Some years ago Goldens went beserk and took over from springers in biting. Pitbulls are among the most popular dogs right now. By their sheer numbers your statistics are skewed. Consider it by percentage of the number of pitbulls bred and owned to be accurate! Another thing is to consider that for some reason the pitbulls attract abusers and they suffer terribly at the hands of their owners. Hardly a day goes by that there are not cases of starved, beaten, burned and tortuted pits including puppies. I have heard of people beating pits to make them mean. You are right that it attracts a certain lowlife element, but there are also many good pitbulls and many good owners.

  3. How about this Ron Olsen guy does some more research on the breed before bad mouthing pits. And not just looking at the tabloids reading the crap. How about the stories that mention how pitbulls were considered the nanny dog because they were and still to this day are AMAZING with kids. And what about the pit that fought next to our soldiers in WW2. And AKC has the staffies which in my opinion is the same thing as a pitbull.

  4. Pitbulls, Bull Terriers, and BUlldogs all have the same history, and actually pitbulls weren’t around for the bull baiting and stuff it was after that was outlawed this breed was created and it’s actually different from The American Pitbull Terrier. The Staffordshire Terrier was bred for rat caging, but these dogs were also used for other things besides “sport” they were also used as farm, hunting and companion dogs. Bulldogs and Pitbulls and pitbull type dogs all came from the same ancestor. It’s not the breed, I mean if you ban pitbulls really all of those should be bannned the little TARGET dog is a BULL terrier it’s related to Pitbulls. Does it seem viscious in the commercials? What about all the pitbulls working as rescue and therapy dogs? A lot of people do get these dogs to be macho and they don’t realize what they’re getting themselves into. Pitbulls are great dogs their one of the most intelligent breeds they need excercise and yes they need to be worked with and socialized what dog doesn’t need those things? I have a maltese and a bordercollie/lab mix and they play with dozens of dogs pitbulls included just fine. And you kno something, my collie shows her temper when she’s had enough more than my friends’ pitbulls. and I WORK WITH HER. People need to understand dog behavior in general in order to be successful owners. No dog should be left unattended in a backyard any dog could climb through a hole in the fence. The media just uses Pitbulls to up their ratings because the public has become so obsessed with banning them and Pitbull adovocates are strongly standing up for their breed. The answer is not in bans or licenses. What about education, require the wanted owner to attend dog behavior classes before getting one. Also breeding regualtions need to be put on ALL breeders. The overpopulation of pets in the U.S. is disgusting. PItbullls bred from fighting dogs need more work and if dogfighting would be decreased so would poor breeding. This article’s a little absurd if you ask me. It’s sad that the woman got attacked but it could have been any dog that did it but since it’s pitbulls now San Diego’s discussing a ban? Come on now. http://www.akc.org/breeds/american_staffordshire_terrier/history.cfm

  5. I have the sweetest pit bull on the planet! My neighbors do, too, and my brother-in-law, and many of my friends. What were you thinking when you wrote this article. The first thing I thought of was the civil rights movement, “whites only” signs, and all the discrimination that has occurred in our history. You need to do your research, speak to people in the field who are fighting against discrimination, one pit bull at a time. Pits are loyal, strong, intelligent, and have been abused by ignorant people. Don’t put yourself in this category. I’ve always been for the underdog, which is why I have a pit. She’s taught me the value of companionship, and how to truly love an animal. Beware of what you say.

  6. I have volunteered at our local animal shelter for 7 years. My favorite breed is now the pit bull. I have been bit twice and both were from other breeds (boston terrier mix and chow) Pit bulls are amazing with kids. I have fostered more than one and have 3 boys 5, 3, and 3. I have been working and volunteering since I was 15 and I have never gotten anything buy love from this breed. I am not an idiot, have a dog training license, and go by the facts. Dachunds have the highest bite record as of now. Border collies are even higher than the pit. It really breaks my heart how ignorant a lot of people are.

  7. Im really tired of all the bad publicity that pit bulls get. The truth is they are a wonderful clownish dog that only wants to please people.. I was raised with pits and have had some over the years. All were wonderful companions. I wish people would stop listening to what the news says and all the mass hysteria that is created around the breed. People should get to know a pit bull before fhey have a righg to judge. I do not know a single pit.that has attacked anyone. I know plenty of other breeds that have. People need to realize that all dogs have a potential of attacking someone…. And end BSL?!

  8. Im really tired of all the bad publicity that pit bulls get. The truth is they are a wonderful clownish dog that only wants to please people.. I was raised with pits and have had some over the years. All were wonderful companions. I wish people would stop listening to what the news says and all the mass hysteria that is created around the breed. People should get to know a pit bull before fhey have a righg to judge. I do not know a single pit.that has attacked anyone. I know plenty of other breeds that have. People need to realize that all dogs have a potential of attacking someone…. And end BSL!

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