Rotties And Dobies And Pitties..Oh My!

Posted: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 11:52 am
By: Doug Lund
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What has four legs and one arm?

 

A PIT-BULL!

 

“What are you gonna write about in your blog this week, Doug?” a friend asked the other day. “Well, I’ve been thinking about  weighing in on the debate over whether or not certain breeds of dogs, like Pit-bulls, Rottweilers and Dobermans, should be banned in the city limits of Sioux Falls because they’re vicious,” I said. “Waddaya Nuts? Don’t you realize that dog lovers are going to tear into you like a…well, a Pitt-bull on a bunny rabbit?” he warned.

Point is, I’m not advocating for or against the proposal but I do have a few questions and observations. First and foremost is that every one of those breeds scare the snot out of me and, in my walking days, the site of a pair of Dobermans barking wildly and charging the backyard fence each day as I’d pass by, always caused my bowels to loosen just a little bit. Oh, I tried stopping and would speak softly..calling them puppy but they’d have none of it and kept looking for a hole in the fence large enough to squeeze through and get at my throat. Well, Doug, dogs are territorial and they’re just defending their territory. Well, that sidewalk is my territory paid for with my tax dollars and I should have the right to stroll by without being terrorized. There were lots of dogs of all breeds and sizes along my three mile route but only two (why are Dobermans usually in pairs) that wished me dead. Well, it must be the owner’s fault for not spending enough time with his dogs training them. I guess everybody agrees on that. I think most would also agree that these dogs..especially the three mentioned above..were genetically designed to be powerful, intimidating and in some cases, like Pit-bulls, vicious. What I don’t understand is why so many people feel the need to own one knowing that these creatures will require a lot of extra attention to train out the natural nastiness bred into them. I can hear it now, you don’t know what you’re talking about Lund, my “Rottie’ or my “Dobie” or my “Pittie” is the most gentle friendly dog on the planet. They also claim guys like me in the media are to blame for giving them a bad rap; only reporting attacks by these animals while, in fact,  more people are actually bitten by lovable Labradors..failing to mention that labs outnumber Rotties, Dobies and Pitties by a gazillion to one so your odds of an unfortunate encounter with a mean one are somewhat greater. Plus, unlike a Pit-bull, a lab is likely to bite once and take off rather than hang around until the attackee is dead as a carp.  

How do you see a Pit-bull?   Like this:

pit bull nice

Or This:

pitbull vicious

It seems on one hand they detest the media for what they believe to be unfairly labeling their dog vicious, while on the other they love the fact that their animal is a more effective watchdog because it has the reputation of simply having to do nothing more than stand there to keep trespassers away.

I personally think people like having these breeds of dogs mostly for the wow factor. “Wow, you have a Pit-bull?” “Isn’t he dangerous? Aren’t you afraid?Has he ever attacked anybody?”

Sort of like those who go to Buffalo Wild Wings and order the hottest ones on the menu and consume them in pain in order to impress their friends. “Wow, how can you eat those? Aren’t you on fire?”

 

 

I literally don’t have a dog in this fight (Even though I’ve tried to convince Linda we should get one) and I’m certainly not advocating the extermination of Pit-bulls but unless there’s a way to make sure they don’t wind up in the care of idiotic uncaring owners, I wouldn’t mind allowing the breed to naturally go extinct.

Okee Dokee commenters…SIC ‘EM.

83 Comments

  1. farmer's wife says:

    Years ago a Doberman/owned by our neighbor…. killed our little cockapoo in our garage/door open in the winter when we were out for the afternoon…. our little one was probably dumb enough to defend her dog dish….. we came home, saw the tracks in the snow… the doberman also terrorized the kids who wanted to ride their bikes by the yard… not fenced… on the edge of our little town… so my husband gave the neighbors 2 options: get rid of the dog, or we would see that it “disappeared” if ever in our yard again…. They got rid of it…. so I”ve never been a big fan of that breed.

  2. Bruiser says:

    Doug, after reading all the comments i had to go back and re-read your blog. WOW….How do things get so blown out of proportion. I married the love of my life six years ago who already had 2 dogs. They are Great Danes. One thing i have come to realize is that you stay neutral when it come to pet owners and their pets. Some see them as pets, others see them as their children and you dont cross that line or be prepared for an attack that many times are worse than the one their pets are capable of. I know first hand where i stand on the pecking order. I personally dont see where you said anything out of line, you are just in the same pecking order as me. Keep up the good work.

  3. Nelo says:

    I would really like to see a response from the author on this. It’s apparent from the reader feedback that he’s lost a good chunk of credibility, and KELO a good chunk of its viewership, because of it.

  4. IowaMomof3 says:

    I am afraid of Rottie and Dobies…don’t know why, but I am, therefore I don’t own one. That does not give me the right to take away YOUR beloved Rottie or Dobie, or advocate that ALL Rottie’s and Dobie’s be destroyed based on my own anxieties. This is what BSL does.
    We adopted our beloved *Charlie* from SEPR in February. He is a pittie mix, and most importantly, he is a dog. He has not mauled anyone, bit anyone, run loose and terrorized anyone, nor broken any laws. Why? Because HUMANS have trained him, and taught him how to behave.
    Shame on KELO for allowing such biased and inaccurate information on their *News* site. Mr. Lund based most of his opinions on hysterical rumors, and media bytes, and did little(if any) research with reputable statistical sites. Shame on your editors for allowing such an awful feature to be published at this time in Sioux Falls.
    BSL does to Pitties what gun control does to gun owners…..the law abiding citizens will not own them, the law breaking, irresponsible owners will. The key to ANY dog problem is holding OWNERS responsible for proper care and control of their animals. This woman beating monster who let his pits out of the house has been cited in the past for failing to take proper care & control of his dogs. If Sioux Falls was to enforce its CURRENT animal laws, this owner would not have even HAD these dogs in his possession! Hold OWNERS responsible for not controlling their dogs…any dogs and any breed. Don’t punish ALL responsible/loving owners on one particular breed.

  5. Amanda says:

    To Farmer’s Wife: I’m so very sorry to hear about the loss of your dog, and it is true that some dogs can be vicious, however, that was the owner’s fault as much or MORE than that dog. If the owner had been responsible and kept the dog in a fence or on a leash, that would not have happened. Again, I am sorry about the loss of your dear family member, my pets (dogs and cats) are all members of my family, my mother even calls them her fur-grandchildren. I know how that can color your view on a certain breed, as I was bit once and almost bit a 2nd time and both times by a German Shepard. The first time the dog was young and excited to see a new person, I don’t believe that he meant to hurt me, the 2nd time I walked to close to the dog’s young owner and he told me so by snapping at me. I am now extra careful around the breed but I also am very careful around any dog or cat that I don’t know. Again, it all comes back to RESPONSIBLE PET OWNERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Warren says:

    I’m a huge dog lover, but some dogs are dangerous….I walk all over the western part of Sioux Falls, and have seen dogs of many breeds want to attack, if they had the chance. Banning specific breeds is not the answer, nor is the blanket statement that intact males are more likely to be aggressive.
    What is most important is proper breeding, and training. Dogs that are aggressive (bad temperment) should not be allowed to breed. Also training is extreamly important. There are several places in the Sioux Falls area where training help is available, at a nominal cost. I have an unaltered male, and is friends with everyone. We have been doing pet therapy for over 5 years, in many different situations, and never once has he shown any aggression towards any person or another dog. But as a responsible owner, I am ALWAYS IN CONTROL OF HIM. If I see some one doing something that could cause any kind of unwanted response, I quickly remove him to avoid ANY kind of incident. Any dog, no matter what precautions are taken , can be provoked to defend himself.
    Bottom line is that in almost all incidents involving a dog it is because of the human owner not doing what needs to be done to keep both others and his/her dog safe.

  7. Doug Lund says:

    “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, you don’t spit into the wind you don’t pull the mask off the old Lone Ranger and you don’t mess around with Jim.”
    Perhaps Jim Croce should have replaced “Jim” with Pit Bull owners if comments to my latest blog are any indication. Good Grief! Did those of you who calling for my head on a platter actually READ the damn thing? As predicted, I’ve been accused of not knowing a blasted thing about any of the three breeds mentioned. If I’d have bothered to do any research before shooting my big mouth off, I’d discover that these dog breeds (yours anyway) are the sweetest most gentle animals on earth and great with children. That’s wonderful. But those of you who deny the fact that Pit Bulls have a violent streak bred into them (not yours, of course,) aren’t being realistic or refuse to accept the information provided by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals quoted below:
    “Pit Bulls are descendants of the original English bull-baiting dog—a dog that was bred to bite and hold bulls, bears and other large animals around the face and head. “Bulldogs” were bred to hang on without releasing their grip, until the animal was exhausted from fighting and from loss of blood. When baiting large animals was banned in the 1800s, people then started to fight their dogs against each other instead.
    As the “sport” of dog fighting developed, enthusiasts bred a lighter, more athletic canine. These dogs made their way to North America, the ancestors of today’s Pit Bulls. Pit Bulls that were not used for fighting were considered ideal family pets—affectionate, loyal and gentle with children. Serious problems started when these dogs gained the attention of people looking for a macho dog—and to meet their demands, unscrupulous and uncaring breeders are producing puppies that were not only aggressive to other dogs, but also to people.”
    Insurance companies don’t seem to have any difficulty determining which dogs have the potential to be more vicious than others basing their liability rates on a study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Here’s the website:
    http://quotewizard.com/home-insurance/dog-breed-insurance-rates
    I had to check my blog again to see if I said these breeds should be banned. Nope. Did I come down hard on idiotic owners who don’t properly care for their animals? Yup. Do I believe that certain dogs were bred for specific purposes and are genetically predisposed to that end? Of course they were. Can dogs that have historically been bred to be aggressive be taught to become just the opposite? Absolutely. So why does the lady who owns a pitty want it to pee on my foot? Others basically have called me a son-of-a-(female dog). There are a few reasoned comments I would urge you to read such as the ones from Tara, Bruiser, GMAX9 and others. Most of you believe I have it out for your precious Pit Bull and have read into that blog a whole hell of a lot more than intended. What I did say..and still believe..is the breed should be allowed to go extinct. There must be a reason that the shelters are full of them (many on death row) and there’s even a Sioux Empire pit rescue organization desperately trying to find homes for these animals.
    It should also be noted that this past week, Don Jorgenson did a report on the proposed ban and interviewed my old friend, Tom Gunlicks who is a dog behaviorist. You can watch the story on Keloland.com. Tom was not challenged about his views on banning certain breeds of dogs yet some of you have vowed to quit watching Keloland because we’re such a biased bunch.
    Although it is within my power to not allow certain comments to be posted on the blog, I have let everyone who wished to say something speak their piece even though a lot of it has been personal and amazingly inaccurate. Never do any research?? Please, I have access to the same information you do. Never done anything on shelters or have a clue about dogs? Check with the folks at Mitchell animal rescue ask them about my stories on their facility over the years..especially when we helped find homes for dozens of dogs and cats lost or abandoned that had been sent up here following hurricane Katrina.
    I’ll be away from the computer for a day or so. Don’t read anything into it if you want to comment but haven’t been approved so it doesn’t show up. Besides, I’m going to be a bit more selective in the future.

  8. Deb Holz says:

    Dear Mr. Lund,

    I need to apologize for my snarky remark. It just frustrates me when issues become so frenzy-driven and polarized that nobody “wins” in the end. I did not make my decision to adopt this dog lightly. I did tons of research on both sides of the equation, consulted trainers and vets, and talked it over with friends and family members. Since she has come to live with us, countless hours have been spent working with her to overcome her issues (she was abandoned), and to help her to become a happy, well-adjusted pet. I wouldn’t think of putting her in any situation where she was a danger to herself or others. Over the years we have had several dogs. She has a better temperament by far than our last rescue dog, a scottie/lab mix.

    Like you, I don’t appreciate being frightened by other people’s dogs. I don’t like it when they run up to me, loose, whether or not they are “friendly.” I’m often on my bike, and several of these “friendly dogs” have caused or nearly caused crashes. I don’t like taking my dog for a walk in the evening and having large dogs run along their fences barking and growling, defending their turf even though we are on the sidewalk. I don’t like small dogs off leash coming up to us snarling and snapping. If a problem occurs, it will be my dog’s fault because of her breed. I didn’t like it when my daughter was small and packs of roaming dogs, in farm country in Illinois, would come up to us. People believed they just needed “room to run.” All these things are wrong and should be addressed.

    Still, I didn’t have any right to be rude or disrespectful to you. Once again, I apologize.

  9. Jackie Heinert says:

    Hey, you go Doug, but after reading all the comments it still is the simple answer, the Owner. I have a pit bull and I am not going to tell you how sweet he is,which he is, but I am a responsible pet owner and have enough respect for the dog to take care of him in which the manner he should be. He is neither chained nor fenced but I do live in the country but still have neighbors close by. Banning breeds of dogs in your city would not be the right thing to do. Maybe they need to give more attention to the animal control people to help stop situations like this from happening.
    Where I used to come from a pit bull was a sign of being cool as to say but that was only show and I don’t know who was scarier the owner or the dog. So all in all it boils down to the owner not the dog so why make the dog pay for the stupidity of a human.

  10. chad says:

    Doug how dare you bring buffalo wild wings into this! You pit owners need to cut Doug some slack this is a blog about HIS thoughts and feeling ( Im with you on this). Im just courious as to why a city the size of Sioux Falls needs a pitbull rescue center would those resources be better used for drunk driving awareness as someone stated? I hate to break it to you but those dogs are a danger to the community every last one of them. I remember watching a special about the bear from Semi Pro guess what he killed his trainers brother whom he was video taped playing with 5 minutes before. Why you ask because he’s an animal just like your Pit. Do everyone a favor and keep your very loving and playful Pit at your HOUSE with your kids. Doug keep the blogs coming!

  11. Abby Jane says:

    It’s apparent that people that have pits love em.. people that don’t (for the most part) don’t care for them. Writing anything that doesn’t give the “offended” side (pit owners) any positive light will be an insult to them, while it will be a good read to the rest of the population. Loved the story :)

  12. Tamara says:

    Doug, I do see that you have mentioned that you are an advocate of responsible pet ownership, but unfortunately, I also believe that the nature of your article, claiming that the breed should be allowed to go extinct simply because humans are irresponsible simply lends a hand to what is called the media bias. Often times, reporters, who are often considered by the public to be figures of authority and knowledge, will make offhand comments such as you have done in your conversational blog post. Unfortunately, people do not heed your warning that you admittedly know nothing of the breeds which you speak and use it as further proof that these dogs are simply dangerous.

    I find your example of the dobermans you passed by while walking to be one sided. Yes they are territorial, but how many times have you seen a tiny little min pin, chihuahua or shiatsu viciously attacking a car window or screen door when you pass as if the thing they would like best is to end you? They are too small to be taken seriously, but are easily just as viscous as the larger breeds you mention in your article.

    If you are against dog attacks, don’t go after the breeds, but instead be for the promotion of responsible dog ownership and education of people about how to properly handle dogs. I also urge to you further research the topics you have discussed and possibly create a more refined post that simply has more knowledge about these breeds included within the text.

  13. Tamara says:

    I feel that you have greatly misrepresented the Sioux Empire Pit Bull Rescue in your response. They are not desperately trying to find homes because no one wants to adopt pit bulls. The mission of the SEPR is to find happy homes with responsible owners so that the Pit Bulls that do find their way into shelters will be sure to be placed with responsible families instead of another irresponsible owner that is looking for a Pit Bull for reasons similar to your “hot wings” example above. In effect, they share the same goals as you claim to have, responsible pet ownership.

    I should also note that there are also Dachshund and Chow rescues in the Sioux Falls area that are also just as passionately looking for responsible homes for those breeds, but that does not inherently mean that they are desperate to find someone who wants that breed of dog. A rescue is simply a group that is passionate about a breed and committed to the well being of the dogs they help.

    I can fully understand why you have been defensive in your response, but I also feel that you have only tried to defend yourself instead of apologizing to the readership you have so unintentionally offended. While you have posted the link to the one home insurance site, there is plenty of evidence supporting the temperament of Pit Bulls.
    The American Temperament Test Society has a standard test for all dog breeds and rates their temperament as a pass/fail percentage. Please view these statistics here:
    http://atts.org/breed-statistics/

    As you will see, Pit Bulls have a better score than Corgis, Schnauzers, and Pomeranians, and their overall score of an 83.9% beats even the general dog population score of 77%.

    Perhaps this will assist you in your next response to the many comments you have accumulated. And to those who are posting rash and thoughtless comments: Please be reasonable in your responses. You will gain a far better response from Doug and other readers if you can show your point without anger or violent comments.

  14. There are NO BAD dogs ! It’s People who are BAD ! All animals can and will Bite ,even Humans Bite ! I have 3 dogs,I was raised with dogs and other animals all my life,I raised my 4 kids with dogs. NOT once has any of our Loving pets hurt anyone ! But a guy who lived 2 houses from us had a cocker spaniel who bit a neighbor boy,why? Because that guy BEAT that dog ! With LOVE ,food,training and socializing of a dog it is VERY LOYAL to it’s human ! Some people are just STUPID !! It’s SAD we always blame the dog !! Well it’s usually a Human who Abused it and made it mean !! I have GOOD dogs ,they are FAMILY members ,and I’d FIGHT for my dogs to Protect them from people who would hurt them because they are Pits ! Stereo type as usual !

  15. IowaMomof3 says:

    ‎”What I did say..and still believe..is the breed should be allowed to go extinct. There must be a reason that the shelters are full of them (many on death row) and there’s even a Sioux Empire pit rescue organization desperately trying to find homes for these animals.”…….I believe this statement is disingenuous, and an innacurate portrayal of rescues in general, and Sioux Empire Pit Rescue in particular.

    SEPR, just like any rescue, advocates for the breed they are passionate about. Not all of their rescues are even FROM the Siouxland area. Our rescue dog, Charlie, came to SEPR via Cedar Rapids, IA. Your statement seems to paint a mental picture of SEPR desperately trying to pull out as many pit bulls as possible out of Siouxland shelters because the dogs are somehow inherently bad and have to go to *death row*. This is not the case. Pit bulls end up in shelters for the very same reason Cockers, Retrievers, Labs, etc. do….their human owners cannot/will not take care of them. The fact that ANY animal is in a shelter does not mean the animal is defective. This is true of ANY breed of dog, or any other animal. Please keep in mind, shelters in some communities are FULL of pit bulls due to Breed Specific Legislation. Not because they were bad dogs, but because they looked a certain way.

    I get the impression that Mr. Lund wrote a blog he thought was clever, funny, or entertaining. In reality it came off as somewhat cruel without much logical thought. Of course a blog is personal opinion, but when that blog is posted on a NEWS site, it is the responsibility of the news organization to maintain the accuracy and integrity of the piece. Mr. Lunds piece was not neutral in tone, and not followed up with reliable statistical data, or open minded thought. This would be why readers are angry with KELO, and disappointed in their lack in judgement.

    Also, Mr. Lund ended his blog with the words *Sic ‘Em*. I am led to believe from this statement that he KNEW his words were inflammatory, and he KNEW there would be emotional backlash. I do not understand why he seems so upset in his follow up….it would seem he got exactly the response he was looking for.

    Hold owners accountable. Don’t ban an entire breed because of the reckless acts of one person who beats his girlfriend in public. You can only imagine how those dogs were treated behind closed doors.

  16. Avid Reader says:

    When I read this blog I took it as it was meant. Some dogs are meaner than others and need special attention and control by their owners. However, after reading all this hoopla, I am no longer sure who is more aggressive, the dog or the owner. Who are they trying to convince????

  17. rebound says:

    I’m shocked at all the so called dog lovers who insist on keeping these big, energetic breeds of dogs in the city! Pit Bulls, Labs, German Shepards, Retrievers, etc. etc. belong in a home that has space for them to run, sniff and enjoy life. Not cooped up in some kennel or backyard on a chain! These are outdoor dogs! If you want a dog in town, get a little poodle or the like. If you really want a big breed of dog, you will provide a space for them to live a full dog life, and that requires lots of space. So, save your money and buy an acreage! The dog will love it, your neighbors in town will love it too! Don’t give me this “I just love Pit Bulls, Labs, German Shepards and other big breeds crap! You are being cruel beyond belief to give these animals a life in a virtual prison cell.

  18. chad says:

    Pit bulls are ANIMALS just like bears and cougars can I move in next to any of you pit owners without a complaint? We both know the answer is NO and I wouldn’t blame you. For the saftey of everyone please (your family included) let the breed go away. I always ask what does/will your dog do? A lab will return a pheasent a hearder will bring the cows in what will a pit do besides bite? Sure he will love YOU and your family but what about the rest of us? Can the neighbor kid hope the fence to get a ball? Not if he want to throw it again. Laws are made to protect everyone. Nobody is saying you can’t own a pit you just shouldn’t own one in town.

  19. DebbyLynn says:

    You are spot on, as usual, Doug! Love reading your blog!

  20. Craig says:

    What is the most common phrase uttered by a neighbor when they find out the guy who has lived next door to them turns out to be a serial killer? “He was always so quiet and he kept to himself”

    What is the most common phrase uttered by a dog owner after their dog ends up biting, mauling, injuring, or even killing someone? “[Dog's name] was always so kind and gentle and great with children”.

    Like it or not, some dogs are capable of doing much more damage than others. Temperament might have something to do with it, but when a small dog bites someone, chances are the damage can be addressed with a band-aid rather than a trip to the ER. Due to the jaw structure and power of some larger breeds, they can easily result in massive injuries or even deaths.

    Check the statistics surrounding dog bite fatalities, and you will soon find that Pit Bulls (and their associated mixes) as well as Rottweilers are responsible for a vast majority of the deaths. This isn’t opinion, it is supported by hard evidence. Example A: http://dogbitelaw.com/images/pdf/breeds-causing-DBRFs.pdf

    Since numbers without context are meaningless, lets ask ourselves if we find it feasible that these same breeds make up the vast majority of dogs in the US? I think most people would agree that isn’t the case… in fact per AKC registrations, where Labrador Retrievers are consistently the most popular dog, and Bull Terriers come in somewhere south of 50th most popular, these statistics SHOULD alarm everyone. What would should see (and what Doug actually mentioned in his original blog post) was Labrador Retrievers being responsible for the most dog bites simply due to statistical averages. However that isn’t the case, and when speaking of significant injuries and/or deaths the numbers are even further skewed.

    The facts are that certain breeds of dogs have a higher propensity to maul, injure, and kill. We can blame this on humans for a lack of training, or we can blame it on the breed, or we can blame it on specific dogs, but the facts are the facts. If you read the actual reports from many of these dog bite fatalities, you will find that in many cases the owners had never witnessed any hostility from the dogs in the past, and at one point the dog(s) just snapped. I dare say no matter how well trained they are, almost any dog can still revert to their instincts in some situations, and in some cases those instincts can result in significant injury.

    When you boil it down and remove the emotion to simply look at the statistics and the facts, you soon realize that it is an indisputable fact that Pit Bulls and Rottweilers are dangerous when compared to other breeds. That isn’t to say other dog breeds are never dangerous, or that other dog breeds aren’t responsible for injuries or deaths, or that certain Pit Bulls and Rottweilers aren’t the gentle and peaceful dogs that so many owners claim they are…. it is just a fact that as a whole, these dogs are more dangerous.

    It is like comparing a modern Volkswagen with 10 airbags, ABS, stability control, crumble zones, and active head restraints to a 1950s Volkswagen with no seatbelts, no crumple zones, no airbags, and doors that were less than three inches thick. One of these is clearly more dangerous than the other, but it may never be obvious until it is too late.

    In this case Doug is not suggesting a breed ban is necessary and I have no idea if that is the answer, but clearly there is an issue at work here. I believe Doug’s suggestion that a certain type of person is attracted to Pit Bull type dogs because they want to have that “wow” factor holds true. Just walk though the more “colorful” parts of town where you find people with a tattoo to limb ratio above 2:1, and who tend to wear their flat brimmed hats over their ears. When these people are out walking their dogs and what breeds do you think are most common? I’ll give you a hit… it isn’t a Yorkie or a Chihuahua.

    So yes some people might help contribute to certain breeds having a bad reputation, but when a dog is bred to do certain things, those traits can come to the surface even if they aren’t desired. It is their nature, and I hope many of the same people telling us how sweet and innocent and kind their Pit Bulls are never have to experience and event that would make them change those opinions.

    Perhaps we should simply mandate anyone who wants to have one of these dogs registered within city limits needs to be bonded for any potential damage it may cause. The size of the bond needs to be tied to the risk factor… which shouldn’t be too hard to obtain since insurance companies already have a pretty good idea of which breeds are more likely to result in their claim payouts being higher. If someone is found to not have their dog licensed or bonded, then that dog needs to be confiscated from them and they need to be fined at a level which would prevent them from ever doing it again ($500 to $1000).

    Finally, I’m not the type of suggest we euthanize any dog which has not shown aggression, but if and when a dog does bite or maul someone it should be put down no questions asked, and again the owner should be held responsible via fines (and likely a nice civil court case from the victim(s).

    Clearly there are other ways to address these concerns other than breed specific bans, since people find clever ways of getting around such bans in the first place (unless the city is going to perform DNA checks on dogs, it is difficult to prove that a dog is primarily a banned breed rather than a mix with only a small portion of that specific breed).

  21. Bruiser says:

    I felt compelled to write in one more time on this subject and after this im going to let it go. I work in an industry that requires me to go to hundreds of different customers houses. Less than a week ago or before i even read Dougs blog, i had to go to a place where there was a bull mastiff. I must add that this was a very intimidating looking dog… the dog was very friendly and let me pet him each time i walked into the place, let me roam around and do my work without any reason to be scared until i attempted to walk out the door. Then he would lunge at the door and act as if he had never seem me before. This would happen each and every time i would walk out the door. I asked the owner why he did this and his reponse was I dont know. Thats it!!!! We dont know!!!! He also went on to tell me that this dog loves everybody except one person who the dog would just as soon shred, This person has been a friend of their family for years but the dog just seems to hate him for no reason. I once again asked the customer why he hated this peticular friend of his and his response was the same….. I dont know!!!!! Similar things have happened with all differnt breeds of dogs since i started doing this 15 years ago and i have been bitten several times, fact is these larger breed dogs are capable of doing massive amounts of damage in a very short period of time where it would take the little ones hours just to get through my work boots. nuff said

  22. Sam says:

    First off I’m really unsure as to where you stand on this issue. First you say they are bad. But then you tell your girlfriend you two should get one. Then you end your article with they should got extinct. So can you clarify your “opinion”? Because it seems to me your a little confused. So how you even have an opinion or feel like you can put it out there is beyond me. I still can not believe this is still even up. I don’t understand where you get off saying you know why I picked my dog. The wow factor? How about I did lots of research on the breed before I choose to go with it. I read the pros and cons just like every dog has. People this breed is not for everyone. Just like other breeds. You need to do your research. I decided on the American Pit Bull terrier. So my next stop was a rescue. I don’t support breeders. I thought of a shelter but I have a friend who does Pit Bull rescue so I went to her. I was screened. Got tons of information. Talked with the volunteers and had a home check. All before I even met a dog or had one in mind. They wanted to make sure I was a good fit for this breed. Also if my lifestyle was a good fit. Once they approved me. I met the dogs. I fell in love with my guy 2 years ago. I don’t feel like I need to explain myself to you or anyone else. I pay those same taxes you do. I have never been in trouble. But people like you think you are owed some sort of an explanation, even when I have done nothing wrong. I’m writing this because everyone seems to have such a messed up image of how and why we get these dogs. Some maybe this will enlighten you. I now currently volunteer and foster for the rescue I got my dog from. Now I’m sure your all thinking well not everyone does what did. Your right. There should be proper screening for any breed. But that is a long shot at best. So what can everyone do? Well banning has got everyone nowhere. Why you ask? Well because there are so many people who incorrectly identify a Pit bull. It happens all the time. Animal control does it. People walking down the street do it. So though you may think that only a pit bull can be the culprit you are wrong right along with the rest of them. You can judge each case separate. ALL dogs can bite. The people who say ” If its a small dog it doesn’t really matter” are foolish. Because it does. What if that owner didn’t vaccinate like he should have? Now this little dog who had rabies bit someone. That’s ok in some of your minds? NO its not. It doesn’t matter how big or how small. The issue should be dealt with. The dog and the owner need to both be punished. Once you start doing that I bet everything dog bites will go down. Now Id like to address all of you who think us owners are tempting fate . Dogs where breed for certain things. To help human in some way they saw fit. HUMANS breed them that way. They were never breed to kill people. In fact those dogs who ever showed signs of any human aggression where destroyed and never breed again. For you people to say well one pit bit. So they are all bad and must be destroyed. Its like saying to a family who’s father murdered someone. The kids must be destroyed because he may have passed the gene on. Which No one would do. Instead you would punish the one who did the wrong. Why is it any different now? America needs to deal with the issue at hand and stop pointing fingers.

  23. Tracey Franco says:

    Seems to me you ‘block’ all the answers you don’t want to hear. I have worked with pit bulls for years and believe it or not have only been bitten by two dogs in my life…a cocker spaniel and a german shepherd. But I guess you know more than those of us that work with them. I am sorry to see someone who is in the public spotlight write such a biased, totally untrue blog. Say what you want….what goes around….comes around…..

  24. u Knooo says:

    I feel this is just somewhere for complete bashing. There have been many people who have posted comments as to why we are AGAINST the BSL, and they are NOT APPEARING! How many people have actually met one of these dogs? Some i’m sure have, but others have not. They simply hear what society has to say! It’s very unfortunate what use to be labeled as “nanny” dogs are now deemed “Viscous,” All because some irresponsible owners did some very bad things, and now the animal has to suffer for it! I wish people would open up their minds and realize that they are NOT all bad, and A LOT of people will be loosing a family member whom they and there children have come to love. It is nothing more than a different shot of Racism and should NOT be tolerated
    .http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&sa=N&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&tbnid=QU-EX_-ana-mJM:&imgrefurl=http://pitbullpatriarchy.blogspot.com/2009/04/pit-i-said-pit-i-will-pit.html&docid=BTHtu5egldrr8M&imgurl=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_jg42u5r2o6k/SetsTImMpYI/AAAAAAAABHY/jBPL0B2Snm4/s400/RacialProfiling-PitBull.jpg&w=400&h=250&ei=8_jgT9yUE5Ok8ASjyJicDQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=372&vpy=181&dur=386&hovh=176&hovw=283&tx=100&ty=98&sig=110758347856201059322&page=2&tbnh=119&tbnw=191&start=18&ndsp=24&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:18,i:137

  25. Kristina says:

    I love to see peoples opinions and love the fact that we are all ale to express those opinions freely. Has anyone considered that if its not Pit Bulls it will be something else. If we continue banning and hoping for extinction because of horrible owners and lack of training canines are going to be extinct period. I have barking snarling ankle biters that live around me but I certainly am not telling my neighbors to put their dogs to sleep. About every ten years the focus on which breed is viscous and needs to be banned changes. This has happened before people with German Shephards, Dobermans, Rottweilers and Chows. This doesnt surprise me at all, it disappoints me that we as a community dont think there is a way to help people in our community be responsible that were just. going. to punish everyone and every dog because they fit the description of a Pit Bull. Maybe we should be the community that sets the example for Pit Bull owners around the country by not punishing the dog but the irresponsible owners. Keep people who use and abuse the breed for everything it was never meant to be from owning anymore animals. Make the punishments more severe. You beat the crap out of a dog and the consequences are trivial. Why? Theyre living beings. Cant we find a way to be a leader for change? Why is this issue any different then others we’ve refused to jump on the bandwagon with? Lets not take the easy way out lets set things straight once and for without being bias towards the only thing that has limited resources to stand up gor themselves. And people you better believe Pit owners are PASSIONATE about people disrespecting their family members. The loud and proud pet owners arent the ones we should be concerned about….its the ones that refuse to draw attention to themselves at all cost that we need to worry about.

  26. Katelyn Haack says:

    I love pit bulls. No I do not own one, but I do not support ignorant remarks such as “make them extinct”. People believe that banning or destroying a breed gets rid of the “problem”. The only thing that would do would cause those that taught the previous breeds to move on to the next powerful breed. It’s also funny how people honestly believe that “Pit Bulls” are actually a breed and that their jaws lock. Both are false. Yes, there is an American Pit Bull, but most people mistake breeds such as Boxers, Mastiffs, American Staffordshire’s are all “Pit bulls”. I do pity those who may have been attacked, but that doesnt mean that you ban someone elses dogs who havent done anything but give love. Today there is a rise in “Pit Bull” service dogs (such as for the blind, therapy dogs, etc). They’re loving animals, but unfortunately their love for the owners and loyalty causes them to follow the bad ones whose hands they often fall into. 30 years ago this same issue was with Dobermans, and German Shepherds. Where will we be in 30 years from now? No dog breed is perfect, and banning does nothing.

  27. I know there’s a lot of rumors going around, but you have to realize that every single breed of dog was bred for a specific purpose. Even small dogs were bred at one time as guard dogs. My friend has a rottie that is so completely laid back that a grown adult or a smal child could roll all over him, tug and pull on his hair/ears and the dog would do absolutely NOTHING in response. People make a very big mistake of rewarding their dogs (unknowingly) when they are puppies for acting protective or what have you. These rewards tell the dog that this is good behavior and they continue to do it as they grow older/stronger. Yes, the dogs were bred for a certain reason, but CAN ABSOLUTELY be trained differently. Pit bulls have the strongest jaw in the dog world because their jaw muscles go all the way to the top of their head, whereas Golden Retrievers are known to have the “softest” mouth in the dog world, but that doesn’t mean a golden retriever wont bite. ALL dogs are followers of someone, a “pack leader”. As owners, we need to assume the responsibility of the “pack leader” and show our followers what is correct behavior, and discipline when necessary. A dogs life is to please and thats what makes them happy, not to run wild and crazy with no rules/restrictions and attack things. Yes, a dog (any dog) may bark and charge the fence. That doesn’t mean they want to eat your face or attack your throat. They are protecting what they are told is their area. Even if you are on the sidewalk, the dog is saying “Hey this is my kingdom, and you’re getting a little too close for comfort so I’m just letting you know. If people would just do the research and watch for the signs of when a dog is being aggressive vs. when a dog is just saying hey I see you there and this is my place. THEY ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT REACTIONS. From my personal experience, small dogs scare the crap out of me i.e. chihuahua’s, pomeranians, yorkies. They are some of the most territorial/protective animals I’ve ever met. And in fact have seen more attacks from them just because you came near their owner, than from any pit, rottie, or doberman. These three breeds are great dogs and completely about pleasing their owners. Whether their owner punishes them or not for negative behavior is their own fault, not the breeds. The dog is only trying to please.

  28. Jennifer says:

    Hi Doug, I am the owner of Paws and Reflect pet grooming here in Sioux Falls. I would like to extend an offer for you to hang out with us for the day and gather some opinions and some facts of professional pet groomers who have been working with dogs for several years. I think you will have a good time and be able to observe dogs of many different breeds from a different perspective. I welcome your response and hope to here from you. :) Feel free to contact me @ 274-1974. Have a good day!

  29. Heather says:

    It is very sad that these poor animals have been used to protect, guard and even fight over the years. Had they not been used in such manners, they may not have such a bad rap. My family has owned Rottweilers and Dobermans. They have ALL been very good dogs and have not shown any aggression. In fact, my family members have gotten 2nd and 3rd dogs of the same breed after the 1st passed. I visit the dog park in SF often and have come across several of these dogs. I have not seen any of them act out or cause harm to other dogs.

    As for all of you that have a fear of large dogs…I would be more afraid of some of the little ones! I have seen more people bit and more issues with other dogs starting with the small ones! I am by no means saying little dogs are all bad, they are just reacting and protecting. One of my favorite dogs in the whole world is a Chiwawa, but I am more concerned that she will bite vs the big dogs in my family.

    I do agree that the issues with ANY dog starts with the owner. Dogs that are left outside in the yard, alone all day, are not going to have that special bond with humans. They really need to be part of the family. If you do not want your dog to be part of the family…why get one?? It all comes down to training and spending time.

    When it comes down to it, I would swear that my dogs would not hurt another dog or worse yet a person, but they are dogs and put in certain situations, they will react like dogs. This goes for ALL breeds. I own one of the kindest, gentlest breeds, but if you put them in a situation where they were protecting or surviving…I hope they would step up and take care of business.

    Doug….I would invite you to come out to the dog park….see for yourself and maybe get your “dog fix”. I will warn you…wear comfortable clothes that can take a little slobber!

  30. booger says:

    I absolutely agree with “believeitornot” and I think you should take Jennifer up on her offer. I have been a pet groomer for several years and in our salon we see 30 – 40 dogs a day, every day, 7 days a week. In the 7 years that I have been working with dogs I have never come across a pit bull that was the least bit aggressive toward me, the dobies have all been big chickens, the rotties have all been happy butt wigglers, and German shepherds basically like to act tough but are cuddly babies.
    The breeds we have had to send home due to aggression were exclusively small breed dogs. There is nothing like experience to really give you perspective on the different breeds.

    As far as letting breeds go extinct… some dogs may be aggressive but it is exclusively human to be cruel. Humans kill each other, torture each other, abuse each other (as well as other living beings), so I have a better idea – we should let humans go extinct. That would solve far more problems ;)

  31. Jeni says:

    All pet owners need to be responsible for insuring the safety of others and their pets, whether the pets are cats, dogs, birds, rabbits etc.

    Owners must also use extra precautions when there is the potential for harm to either humans or animals. My cat is a “door dasher,” I have to take extra steps to insure that she does not get outside.

    I like dogs. Some make me nervous because they are big and can, in their friendliness knock me down. When I see a big dog, even if the dog is on a leash I move away as far as I can. Even a Yorkie can knock me down if I don’t see it coming.

    Pitt Bulls, or mixed breed Pitt Bulls, Dobies, Rotties, Labs, German Shepards are bred to be big and powerful animals. They can be very mild and be the “Gentle Ben” of dogs, but because of their strong jaws and teeth they can do a lot of damage. What I propose is that dogs that are ever outside (fenced or leashed,) the owners should take the extra precaution of putting muzzles on their dogs.

    The muzzles can be easily taken off during period throughout the day to allow them to eat and drink. If the dogs are “indoor” dogs, the muzzle can be removed at the owner’s discretion.

    The issue, to me, is not so much about breeds of dogs and the pros/cons of dogs, the bigger issue is owners using extra precautions to insure the safety of others and their pets.

  32. Tim says:

    I’ve owned six Rottweilers over the past 12 years. I am not one of those owners who believe Pitts and Rotts are just big pillows that everyone and any one should own. I have always equated owning large breed dogs with owning a gun. Guns in and of themselves are not dangerous, but in the wrong hands they are a tragedy waiting to happen. My dogs are trained, secured and well socialized. I as the owner am responsible to maintain positive control at all times, again very much like owning a gun. Banning specific breeds, as someone has already pointed out, will not end the problem of unfit owners. Washington DC has some of the nation’s most stringent gun control laws and at the same time the highest murder rate in the country, bans do not work. When bans are passed law-abiding citizens like myself are the ones who pay, not the unscrupulous criminal types who will do as they please any ways. The only answer is to hold irresponsible owners responsible for their actions and punish them with harsh penalties.

    Doug, I’d love to have you over to meet my Rotts, yes when you pull into the drive way they are going to jump up on the fence and bark at you, that’s something I want them to do. But enter into their space and the worst that is going to happen is you will be relentlessly bothered to throw a slim covered ball for them. I’m at the Spencer dog park a lot on Monday mornings, stop and see if I’m there or lets just set a play date.

    If there is something wrong with this post that it won’t pass moderation could you please at least drop me an email and tell me why?? Thank you, Tim

  33. Josie Rowland says:

    I was walking down the street the other day and these Pitt come running at me barking! Seeing no leash I started to scream, two feet from me this invisible rope appeared and snapped the dog back!! Rope? The owner came out and just held the rope and shouted for his dog to be quiet. No use cause the dog was on attack status. As I continued to walk by, scared as ever, The dog never retreated and the owner was laughing. Like it was cool for this dog to be doing this. I love dogs all dogs! But the unpredictable ones are a danger to everyone who live in the city. Suppose all the dogs had owners who used rope to hold their Pitts Dobies or Rotts? These breeds of dog, I think, require a different type of owner. Until the day I see a little blind woman being led by a trained Pitt, Dobie, Or Rott without being easily distracted, Than that is the day I myself will purchase one of these breeds. My opinion is these dogs are dangerous and unpredictable and need owners who live out in the country. Take away the danger add the open space equals happy dog happy city people!

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