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Why poor little pits?
  • lepercannlepercann
    Posts: 243
    Jessica can probably help me with this question. We've been looking for a female shiba rescue for a long time now, but haven't found a match yet after over a year. In my searching I have looked on many rescue websites and I've noticed a very sad thing. 98% of the dogs in the shelters are pits/bull terriers or mixes with those breeds. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    In my area, the only dogs that are in the high-kill shelters are pitt/bulls as well. Pitties also make up 90% of the dogs people own here, variations being shih tzu, and yorkies (they are also common in the shelters). I know that many people buy them as puppies because they are cute and then when they get to big they discard them, which is easy because even I can get a pittie for free or around $50 on almost any day of the week (except certain lines like the blue nose or a certain eye coloration, however even those are really cheap).

    The other reason is that most of the people obtaining them are getting them for the wrong reasons. Many want them as a protection breed (despite the standard, even in the horrid fighting rings, stating the dogs should be people friendly), some want them as a boost to their ego, some want them for intimidation, and worst all, some want them for fighting. When these things don't work out, they get rid of them. When they realize it takes time to train a puppy to housebreak them, they get rid of them. If a younger person has one, then kids come into the picture, they get rid of them(a lot of them believe the myth that pitties can't be around children, nor do they even attempt to socialize them).

    Then there is the breed specific legislation. Many places do not accept them, especially apartment buildings. If a person's situation changes, then these dogs usually have to be left behind. In NYC your home owners insurance does raise a considerable amount for owning one as well. I also blame the AKC for refusing to recognize them as a breed, it strengthens the negative opinions of them, and makes it hard for there to be any real guidelines or control of the breeding. A lot of people who breed them are BYB, finding a reputable breeder for one takes a lot more time, especially if you want genetic testing done, you also have the added risk that your buying from a fighting line. That and a lot of times I've seen American pitbulls crossed with staffies and all other sorts of dogs that belong in that family because the people who owned them were extremely ignorant of the differences.

    I have a women in my building who bred her pittie before her first year in a one bedroom apartment. The dog had seven puppies, all of which she did not find homes for ahead of time, she literally sold them to whoever showed interest in them (which was done by taking the unvaccinated pups outside right after their eyes opened), one of the pups even had a semi egg-shaped head(which she could not sell). Because of the smell and thinness of her dogs ASPCA came and made her get rid of the male she tried to keep, they did not however persuade her into spaying her female. She never took her female to the vet, and she sure as heck did not take the pups. Despite this she once again bred the dog, which sadly had an entire still born litter. Its because of the general public's view towards the breed, stories like this happen all of the time all over. If my rottie hadn't been attacked by a few of them as a pup (the dogs used to be found running off the leash at all times, luckily the police put it under control), and didn't harbor a hatred towards them, I would have rescued one. I plan to when i get older, maybe as a playmate for Kenshin.
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 2217
    Ariel is predominantly right.

    1 in 600 pit bulls find homes.

    All the others are killed.

    The primary issue being the public perception of the breed. And unfortunately the majority of people WANTING pit bulls are precisely the people who shouldn't have them. Like Ariel said tough guys looking for guard dogs (LOL, a human aggressive pit, despite what the press would have you think, is incredibly rare. I have been working in pit bull rescue since I was 16 years old. I am 35. In those 19 years I have met maybe 4 that made me uncomfortable and most of them had been in the shelter system for months and basically went nuts.), people looking for status dogs, and more repulsively fighting. And again most pit bulls will not fight without provocation (i.e. abuse/torture).

    Responsible dog owners, or at least loving dog owners are so scared to adopt them because of
    *home owner insurance, and landlord issues
    *breed specific legislation
    *family and friends perceptions and prejudice
    *or sadly they buy the hype too.

    My husband ( who before he met me was not in anyway a dog person and a little nervous around pits) has declared on more than one occasion that under no uncertain terms we will ALWAYS have a pit bull in our family.
    They are strong, smart, sensitive, sweet dogs. Having had multiple Japanese dogs, GSD's, Rottweilers, puond muts, and of course pit bulls; there is no dog more snuggly, more loving, more desperate to please, than a pit bull. My pitties have made me laugh so hard. I am currently typing this with Ruby ( shelter pibble) snuggled under a blanket in my lap, with my cat Calliope licking her ears, and my Shikoku Himiko asleep on top of Ruby.

    I cannot tell you how many people tell me they were afraid of pit bulls and then they meet Ruby (or Piglet my pit bull who died last year) and are shocked because they didn't even really know what a pit bull looked like. I defy anyone to spend anytime with Ruby and tell me they are afraid of her.
    Ruby Lazy Sit
    Post edited by JessicaRabbit at 2010-05-29 14:56:03
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Oh and another reason why it seems like every dog in the shelter is a pit, is because almost every unrecognizable mutt is instantly labeled a pitt mix (a lab if they are black). I've seen hound mixes called pitts. Even in dog's where it's not really all that evident a lot of shelters will put the breed it predominately is and a pittbull tag. It's really sad in my opinion because it just lowers the dog's chances. I also feel like a lot of shelters don't do enough for them, I don't like how dogs who were used for fighting when they get "rescued" often times they get put down, yet when it came to Vick's dogs because it had so much public attention, so many places mobilized for those dogs. At my local animal control, Ive seen pitts who were labeled as aggressive by staff who obviously should not be around animals (I have tried so much to volunteer there, yet they tend to hire friends), were really animals who were just scared. Pitties just really got the short stick, all the way around.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Aww! such a cute picture of Ruby. =)

    I don't own a pit my dad had a boxer/pit mix which he was a nice dog goofy and fully of energy to play. I've meet this one female pit at petsmart she was such a smart dog she sat right away when her owner said to and she was so sweet when I went to pet her she also tolerated Saya's puppy behavior.

    I've only had two bad pit incidents, but it was the owners fault not the dog.

    It's sad many pits are in shelters I wouldn't mind rescuing one day. I hate the whole BSL and how home insurance increases due to having pit or a rottie or an akita etc.. =(

    Bella my white boxer gets mistaken for an American bulldog and pitbulls all the time very few actually know she is a boxer due to her white color.

    One time at a park I took Bella for a nice walk and this little girl asked to pet Bella which Bella enjoyed she just stood there licking the girls face and this boy wanted to pet Bella and the boy's mom comes up to him and grabs his arm and walks him away and whispers to him "You can't pet that dog it's a pit bull."

    My heart sank when I heard that she whispered it, but she was close enough I could hear what she said. So sad she thought that. The little girl was still petting her at that time her mom didn't mind Bella licked her, but never would hurt a kid.. :__(

    I hope for a day when the BSL is gone and all the hype on these breeds are gone too.

    Till then responsible owners of pit bulls gotta work extra to make sure their dogs are wonderful role modals of what pit bulls are actually like when raised by loving owners who put work into training and socialization..
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • ericw2000ericw2000
    Posts: 73
    A friend of mine was just telling me about how a neighboring pit got out and was menacing his small dogs and baby in the stroller. I said the pit breeds are the state dog of the moron nation. It's not the dog's fault, it's the lowlifes that are attracted to them. It seems to be a status symbol to have a dog known for it's aggression, as it was rotties and dobies that were also popular. You should be required to attend and pass a dog obedience class to own some of these breeds.

    With my older dog (who may be part Basenji, part Pit, we don't know for sure), we were in a class with several pits. They were all nice dogs, albeit strong willed. One guy was afraid of his dog, but he wanted to keep his dog and worked and practiced with his dog, and at the end of class his dog was the best behaved dog. The most recent class with our younger dog had another pit with an owner that really never worked with his dog, and I fear that dog will be back in a shelter before too long. It's a shame.
  • JessicaRabbitJessicaRabbit
    Posts: 2217
    I tell people this all the time.

    If you encounter an asshole dog, look no further than the other end of the leash to find the cause (this is assuming the asshole owner is smart enough to at least use a leash).

    If you encounter an asshole kid you will find the source at home not helping the kid with their homework.

    Dogs; like people, are a direct result of their up bringing.

    Consider that Helen Keller's most beloved dogs were pit bulls and Akitas. A deaf and blind woman felt perfectly safe living with these"vicious breeds" perhaps judging a dog solely on it's breed is no different than judging a person on the shape of their face or color of their skin. It is simply ignorant.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    I really think some breeds require a certain type of owner, and a lot of dedication. People are always surprised that my Rottweiler loves really small children and is respectful of anyone with a disability. They don't believe how gentle she can be with the smaller breed, even when they are off the leash snapping at her. The only dogs she ever injured were two pitts, who I later found out were fighting dogs, got away from their owner's wife, and tired to attack my mom. Luckily she was able to set them packing before my mother or her was hurt, I don't think one of the pits were so lucky.. My mother later remarked to me she had never seen her look that way, or knew how easily she could fling another dog. The police did nothing and refused to even pursue the woman who fled the scene. In fact they tried to accuse my dog of being viscous, luckily some bystanders jumped to my dog's defense.

    These breeds are a product of their environment, while I agree some breeds are a little bit more predisposed to aggression and have a stronger prey drive, this can all be controlled. I don't believe breed specific legislation is the right choice. Instead there should be a permit, just like there are for exotics, except for breeds that do require someone to know what they are doing. I wouldn't mind if you had to pass a hand written test, and maybe volunteer some hours at a shelter or prove that you successfully raised one of these breeds before you were allowed to own one. That way, it would only punish the irresponsible people, and not the good dog owners (plus it would be a great way to prove your dedication to a breeder). Though it will still boil down to making them seem even more attractive for the wrong type of people. I really wish there was some way of fixing this problem in our country. I have a soft spot for a lot of these breeds, and it really pains me to constantly see the same tragedy happen over and over again.
  • lepercannlepercann
    Posts: 243
    Thank you so much for the valuable info. It just breaks my heart to see so many pits in the shelters. My sister in law rescued 2 of them and they were both great dogs. The first one was horribly abused as a pup and subsequently couldn't be around strangers because he would become aggressive. He lived his life with her and died of old age. The one she has now was also abused but is now much better. Poor little things. It really hurts my heart.
  • I would say the aggressor (or straight up brat) here is the shiba and the pit is being quite tolerable.
  • Edited because honestly, what's the point? I'm going to go make soup.
    Post edited by Kitsune1 at 2012-12-28 19:22:52
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I feel sorry for pit bulls. They get such bad rap. :\

    What do you mean what's the point?

    BSL Is horrible all around it doesn't affect pit bulls it affects other breeds, GSD, rottweiler, doberman, huskies, and few others.

    When does it end?! Any dog can be dangerous if they are trained for it or abused or right condition for it.

    Here's a dvd to look into.

    Not all pit bulls are evil dogs. Saya had a pit bull friend till a lab mix went for her and she didn't trust any dog at the dog park after that..

    Her pitbull friend Ami was so nice to her even with her being defensive she was showing appeasing signs and trying to calm Saya down.

    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2012-12-28 23:55:21
  • GatsuGatsu
    Posts: 651
    I live in a lower income area, and pitbull are the number 1 dog around here because of their status of being tough. But because of that they're mistreated and in a lot of cases the families aren't able to afford them, so they're given up. Also they tend to be kept inside of yards with only 5 foot fences up. So they escape easily, and the family refuse to pay the fines to get them out the pound
    Post edited by Gatsu at 2012-12-28 22:44:42
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I agree that happens a lot. 5 foot isn't enough for my boxer she can jump that if she wants to.. Coarse I have zero fences so.

    She's proven that on her agility jump and when I give her the jump command she jumps higher then me few times!

    Sad many people miss use these types of dogs.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2012-12-28 23:55:45
  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
    Ok this is what I have trouble getting past. About eight years ago one of the sisters of one of my student's who was about seven years old was walking home from school. A pit bull charged at her biting her face off on one side. Why...because it had been bred and trained and conditioned for fighting. There were also fractures to the girls skull. She was flown in a flight for life over 100 miles away to a children's hospital because she needed special care. This family struggled financially and once recovered there were permanent disabilities like hearing loss and I believe she also was visually impaired on the one side. I can't recall if she lost her eye or not. Flash forward a few years latter and one of the most beautiful dogs in our neighborhood and seemingly well behaved was a pit bull. Also the trainer I have been working with owns a Pitt mix that she got from a shelter. Still it is difficult to forget that little girl. Gatsu I think you are absolutely correct about why so many Pitt Bulls end up in there is that gambling dog fighting aspect in the same sub culture. To me true stories like this bring an emphasis for dogs being bred for temperament more than any aspect of a breed. The dog could be the most beautiful specimen but if it does not have a good temperament it probably should not be bred.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I used to live in Louisiana and in the school some young kid was bragging how he put Tabasco in his pit bull's mouth to make it mean. I was furious I dunno if he was joking for telling truth or what.

    I told him if he ever says anything like this again I'm calling the cops. He never said a word with me in the same room..

    I agree pit bulls attract wrong crowd due to their tough looks.

    Thing is banning pit bulls does nothing to stop dog fights they'll get their dogs somehow and heck move to another breed to make fight.

    Animal cops are always busting fighting rings and sometimes they're in warehouse buildings basements out of public eye.

    No mistaken people have been seriously hurt by big dogs majority are pit bull or pit bull mix or mix which looks like them.

    Mostly due to bad breeding.

    I've seen on dogster forum where a dog has shown human aggression. I forgot the breed I think lab or some type of mix. It happened young age too.

    Heck take a look at Holly from the dog whisperer show she came from a bad breeder..

    A lot of time people focus on the part where she bite sadly no full episode to show part where they tell where they gotten the dog and stuff.

    I do think a lot of it is due to bad breeding.

    I'm not experienced enough with pit bulls to know much on them, but did own three boxers both are different in their own ways they had similar traits though.

    Pearly loved my grandpa..

    There is a reason my brother calls Bella the ball buster.. She has to be on people's laps and sometimes puts her paw on you know what. D: haha

    I think socialization is a big must for pit bulls and boxers or any dog really.

    I know some nice pit bulls which has me torn.

    Saya has gotten into small argument with some type of bully breed. Owner said her dog is friendly so I let Saya meet on leash. Her dog reacted aggressively to saya.

    Coarse Saya returned in same fashion. The bully dog's owner did have a tight leash on her dog so I think she did knew something was going to happen or something. Tight leash is never good creates tension and makes some dogs more defensive on leash. I should have retreated soon as I saw her tighten the leash.

    Saya luckily had a pit bull buddy at the dog park so she had no grudge with those types of breeds.. After the was attacked by the lab/ lab mix she was much more defensive with new dogs.

    I never been attacked by a dog before, but have a black cat coarse I just had a bite mark plus had get rabies treatment.. Mom bought me Pokemon red because I went through that ordeal. Those shots are not fun.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Pitbulls tend to be bred poorly. I live in a low income area where some people use puppies to give them quick windfalls of cash. These are people who know nothing about dogs at all. I have a woman in my building who has bred her dog 15 times. Yes you read correctly. Most of those litters were sired by the dam's son from her first litter. He was used because he was sired by a known pit lab cross, and while the father was small, he came out to be taller than my rottweiler.

    Inbreeding is very common, and dogs are thrown together with no regards to anything but color. For a while red noses were all the rage, now blue is in, which is a double reccessive mind you. There is only one very good breeder in the country in my opinion. However he is serious about his dogs, he wont give you one unless you take a class, and sign a lenghty contract. Which im glad about, because too many people would love to jump on his dogs.

    Not to mention these dogs get no training. Most people love them as puppies but don't want to deal with them once they get out of the super cute phase. Socialization is also another problem. Most don't do it, and a big dog like a pit should be.

    Its just funny to me, spaniels are more dangerous in my oppinion on account of them sometimes having sudden rage syndrome. The only large dog to have that are cane corsos. They are pretty big dogs, and if one of them blacks out in a rage that would be scary. Thankfully they are not popular in mills because that would be a nightmare. A well bred one is stable, but a poorly bred one, is just too big and powerful, especially in the hands of a novice.
  • The big question that always gets drowned out is who is breeding all these Pits? I've heard almost a million a year get the needle. So, it isn't "how do we find homes for them all?" because there is no way to find homes for a million pits a year. Just none. Most people don't want them, and the ones who do are usually the ones you don't want owning them.
    Shut down the pit breeders or license the hell out of them.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    @orangedoggie The problem with that, is many legislatures don't know what a pit is. Some places label boxers as pit types. The other problem with that, is how do you enforce it? The main people breeding have no care for the law, and hide their dogs. Dog fighting is a very lucrative industry, and that alone entices people to start massive breeding programs. Dog fighting exists in my area, and these people use it as their main income. Even attmepting to report them is dangerous because if they find out you did it, your life can be at risk. The woman I talked about, had her male taken away by ASPCA yet he returned a year later, still intact.

    There is also the big issue of laws snowballing. A law for pitts (though realistically pitt will mean any dog with a similar appearence) can quickly become all hobby breeders. Just like how BSL tend to start out as for pitts then spreads to other "dangerous" breeds.

    Unless the people making these laws are familar with dogs, its going to be impossible to ever manage the population in a fair way. Unfortunately people are being ruled by their emotions and the way the media loves to publicize dog attacks, just makes reasoning with them even harder.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    @orangedoggie - The thing is is that a lot of mutts will get mislabeled as pits, when in fact some of them don't even have a drop of any of the bully breeds in them. Then there are other bully breeds that a lot of people will mistake as pitbulls, I've heard it with boxers and even heard it with non-bully breeds such as labs.

    Sure there are a few people breeding their pits, but for the most part these people are NOT breeding them as fighting dogs. Many of these are just people who wanted another dog just like the one they had, wanted to experience puppy birth, felt their dog had to have puppies in order to feel complete or just figured they can make a little cash off of the puppies. Basically, these are people like those in any other breed that got a puppy from a less than reputable source, and felt the need to become a BYB.

    What needs to be done is to educate people about what it means to be a responsible breeder, and to find dogs from reputable sources.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Do what they did in the old days: offer a bounty on Pits that aren't licensed, on fighting rings, etc.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • @Inoushi, For awhile spaniels, as in cockers I think, were the top of the list in breeds most likely to bite. I didn't think about it until you posted, but I've heard of the "sudden rage syndrome" and never attached it to the bite statistics for cockers. Interesting.

    I really think the answer is more education, a tightening up and enforcing of dangerous dog laws that are not breed specific and are already on the books, enforcement of laws against dog fighting, and also, though it pains me to say it, more strictness on spay/neuter laws and probably more enforcement on breeding rules. I hate the latter two because it means real, reputable breeders get caught up in things that hurt them too, but I suppose there has to be a way to try to control the bad ones.

    It makes me look at some of the city laws here differently. I used to just be annoyed that the licensing for intact dogs was $150 a year (vs. $10 for speutered dogs) and that there is also a pretty hefty fee for licensing for breeders. I personally thought it was just going too far with forced neutering/spaying. But now I've spent a fair amount of time at the shelters, and see bully after bully in there, and even though the city has some great programs to get real info. out about pit bulls, and has great programs to help adopters, there are just so many. It occurs to me now that the point of those expensive licenses, etc. is probably to try and stem the tide of byb producing more and more "pit" puppies. (not that it seems to be working--and I suspect that the real reputable breeders, like the ones I know who live in ABQ, are just paying the fees and the bybs are not). Perhaps more enforcement of these kind of laws would help. I'm not sure that it would, and I'm not convinced ABQs laws are the way to go, but on the other hand, at least the city has avoided BSL and instead is trying to look at the problem in a more holistic way.

  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242
    Pit bulls, American Pit bull Terrier (APBT), aren't a breed, they are an american neo-landrace. The term "pit bull" is used to cover a range a of dog breeds and mixes that share similar phenotype. This is why dog breeds like Boxers are often labeled as "pit bulls" or "pit bull-type".


    @Inoushi - Do you have accredited documentation to share WRT the Cane Corso (breed) suffering from "sudden rage syndrome"?

    If you don't, then adding such hearsay to an anti-BSL pro-pit thread is rather counter productive and can end up harming a different breed (the Cane Corso) - which is kinda the opposite point of this discussion.

    If you do have that documentation, I'd very much like to read it. Can you share it? Thank you.


    @Tre26 - Your story is very sad. But you are making a logical leap in your statement that this "pit bull" attacked the girl because he/she was "conditioned for fighting". One thing has nothing to do with the other. A dog selected for dog fighting is not selected for human aggression.

    Let's also keep in mind that Shiba Inu were once used for dog fighting too. If a Shiba bites a little girl on the face, does that mean it happened because the Shiba Inu was once a fighting breed?

  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    @BradA1878 It was something I read a while ago, because I became interested in Cane Corsos when they began to be slightly popular in my area. I've also come across owners during my time at a dog day care facility, that cautioned their dog experienced it, so they were kept separate. I'm not too sure of the validity of it, but it was also mentioned to me by a breeder who lived in my area. Though I questioned the soundness of his stock in general. His male was more aggressive then the norm in my opinion, and his main founder bitch dropped dead at 4 for no apparent reason (he never did an autopsy). It may be anecdotal, but I found it weird for people to say that, since a lot of people don't even know about sudden rage syndrome to begin with.

    I don't think its negative to the breed in my opinion. If a few individuals have something like that (or display characteristics of faulty breeding), it sounds a lot better than thinking they are inherently aggressive (which many people believe thanks to them being another common dog reported in maulings as of late). I actually like corsos, but I do respect their power, as I do with most mastiffs. I just think they are not a dog for most people (like most powerful dogs). There is a young woman in my area with a high drive intact male, and she has no desire to train (nor alter) him. The dog went on a rampage, and a cop almost killed it. I of course don't blame the dog, but I rather not see Corsos become any more common than they are. Especially since people seem keen on making Ban Dog crosses with them as a base, which I don't mind if your using them for boar hunting, but a lot of the wrong types would love to get a cross like that to intimidate others.
  • I was curious about this too. I haven't done a lot of looking, yet, but at least according to the WDJ, rage syndrome is common in some breeds, but Cane Corsos were not mentioned:

    Looks like it is quite rare, as I thought, and people think there may be a genetic aspect to it, given the way it shows up in spaniels. Looks like some people think it is caused by something similar to epilepsy.
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2012-12-29 15:10:43
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    @shibamistress thanks for the link. The epilepsy piece makes sense considering a lot of spaniels are epileptic. Maybe the owners I met that claimed it, were misdiagnosing them. Though I wonder why someone would say their dog has it, unless they wanted to cover aggression issues.
  • We've reached a point where something has got to give. There are just too many pits being bred for the number of homes available and that's a fact. You can't educate dog fighters and I believe they and backyard breeders selling to dog fighters or trying to make a buck is what is fueling the excess - 900,000 a year. You could solve pet overpopulation just by stopping pit breeders. Lindsay says offer a bounty and I agree with that. Only license reputable kennels, and ban the rest. You're right that if the right people aren't talking that the laws will sweep up everyone in their path, but with pit advocates unwilling to discuss any kind of stop measures, it's going to happen. I think some of these big advocate groups have figured out that pits and dog fighting = big money/donations. They are killing these dogs with their lack of answers.
    Post edited by orangedoggie at 2012-12-29 16:41:12
  • In St Louis we have a non-profit organization BARC that funds free spay and neuter for any pit bull type dog (I think the owner has to have proof of low income). We now have a very low cost spay and neuter clinic in the city and another rescue group that rescues stray dogs from the very low income area of East St. Louis also offers a free spay and neuter clinic every month for residents in East St. Louis. All they have to do is sign their dog up and the dog will be transported to the spay/neuter clinic and then the next day brought back to the owners. There is also Stray Rescue in St. Louis that is a no kill shelter and rescue and their dogs are rescued off the streets of the city. The majority of the dogs rescued are bully type dogs. Recently a police officer was assigned to investigate animal cruelty cases and the officer works with the rescue and so far there have been a few arrests and convictions of the criminals. Most often it is the bully type dogs that are being tortured, killed and starved to death. I'm happy our local rescues are really trying to do something about it. I'm sure in every larger city there are rescues doing similar things.
  • One part of this is the cyclical demonization of breeds AND education of public.

    Every generation has it's "demon dog"...The turn of the last century - BLOOD hounds were considered vicious and blood thirsty... People felt about them as they do Bully breeds todayor worse...(now who is afraid of blood hounds?? with their sad eyes and droopy ears?)

    Back then Bully's were known as "nanny dogs" because they were so good with people and Children...(please see Petey the Pit Bull in the little rascals and as has been mentioned Hellen Keller)

    Then came the GSD's and Dobermans...they were equated with tearing apart people for the Nazi's...I had GSD's growing up and lot's of people were terrified...

    Now it is the Bully breeds...BSL and people who support them only add to the backwards mystique and makes them more desirable to the creeps who get a kick out of having "scary" dogs...Take away the fear and take away big part of problem I think...

    @orangedoggie: as has been said, PB is not a "breed" so how do you license PB breeders? I'm not a "big advocate group" unwilling to discuss anything...PB's need ambassadors to take away the they are not "cool" to the people trying to use them to prove their manhood or whatever...

    How would a bounty work? shoot to kill? - set up Bully gas chambers? If yes, how would you test that they are indeed PBs? would it only be "pure PBs?" what about mistaken pit mixes that populate shelters?

    Am I understanding you that you are accusing Bully advocates of secretly liking dog fighting and abuse of pit bulls because they get more donations???

    There are too many DOGS in shelters period - Educate the public...make dog fighting uncool, put pet stores out of business.etc etc.etc.

  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242
    @Inoushi - That's just the thing, Cane Corso should be inherently aggressive dogs. Aggression has been a very important part of their personality and working abilities throughout history. However, including them in a sensationalized syndrome label like SRS, with no documented proof, is damaging to the breed.


    I get really frustrated by the black/white thought process of some many people when it comes to topics like rescue, pitbulls, and aggression. (not directed at anyone here)

    WRT rescue and pitbulls, the reality is that most pitbulls in rescue should probably be PTS. Not because pitbuills are bad dogs, but because most of the ones who end up in rescue are horrible examples of what that race of dogs should be - produced for profit, fighting, or due to lack of sterilization by uneducated breeders. Then they get "rehabilitated" by ignorant CM-types [in the rescue system] and end up with inexpedient owners who mis-mange them and end up creating more issue.

    WRT aggression, truth is, aggression is a very important quality in working and hunting dogs. Without it many of them couldn't preform their function properly. It's this misunderstanding of aggression and the fearful selection away from aggressive qualities by misinformed breeders that leads to unstable dogs - which leads to people and other dogs getting hurt.

    I've owned a lot of very aggressive Molossers. And I've made the hard choice to PTS some who I felt where too dangerous due to poor temperament as a result of shitty breeding practices. Do I like to have to do this? No, I hate it. But I couldn't live with placing them in a situation where they would be with a less qualified owner and end up hurting someone - and I certainly couldn't keep them around my child or other dogs and risk them causing them harm. If more people would step up and cull the weak tempered examples of these dogs the pro-BSL politicians would have a lot less to stand on.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    @BradA2878 I respect that. I don't mind aggressive dogs, but dogs that are aggressive to their own family/handler do concern me. If I didn't live in an urban environment, I would personally seek out an aggressive canine to guard my home (an animal I would train through a protection program). However most people who get these dogs don't know that. They think they can "control" their dogs at all time with no training, and put them in situations they are doomed to fail. I tend to dissuade most people from more aggressive dogs, especially socialites who want the appearance without the temperament or feel said dog will be different. Culling is a whole other issue. Most people don't want to do that, but I do realize with certain breeds, primarily one's used for work, it should be kind of required. A dog not suitable to be the pet, but also not able to work, is a dog with no purpose.

    I also think some of the more busy shelters have crappy guidelines for deeming a dog adoptable, and a dog may become very different if its stuck in the tense shelter setting for too long. There are too many pit mixes at this point for all of them to make it out alive. However, I do see a lot of good dogs being punished. I've been around pits that were down right mutilated and had no aggression. The issue is just so complicated, and the people we have in office won't do things for the in the best interest of the dogs. Too many people feel the solution is a broad stroke for everybody in every situation.

    Maybe licensing needs to come into effect. Initially low cost to grandfather as many dogs owned by responsible owners as possible, then confiscate dogs who do not have this license (dogs can be held for say a 30 day waiting period if the owner files to get the license). It sucks, but its better than whats going on now.
  • I just wanted to say (as the person who I think kind of started this "discussion" again :) that I responded emotionally to a statement that was itself emotional and wrong IMO. I am a former owner and lover of Bully's...and other dogs considered "dangerous"...I'm against BSL etc...and I stand by what I said to that particular person...

    But, I'm not pollyanna either and know tough decisions need to be made sometimes - it's "above my pay grade" - I totally defer to Brad and others with much more experience than I with breeding, powerful and/or aggressive dogs etc...

    I hope for all dogs sake this can find a good permanent solution... K, I'm out :)
  • @Koji's jumped in there when things were being said that were really huge and offensive misconceptions, and I for one appreciated that you and Inoushi tried to address some of these issues, too. I had started to, then kind of given up. So I'm happy to have others also take on this kind of discussion! :) And yes, super good points about the demonization of different breeds.

    Good and interesting points all around, though. I would add, too, that culling doesn't always mean killing--although I believe Brad was talking about the hard decision of PTS dogs that are temperamentally problematic, culling can also mean neutering or spaying dogs that should not be bred, perhaps because of unstable temperaments, but the dogs themselves are not dangerous enough to be PTS. So there is also that kind of culling, as in culling from a breeding program. It's pretty clear to me that a lot of the problems in many breeds--and Shibas are a prime example of this I'm afraid--are because there should be more of that kind of culling. There are many, many more dogs that should NOT be bred than should be bred.

    And this is just totally anectdotal, so proves nothing, but speaks to the issue of fighting dogs which should NOT be people aggressive, even if they are extremely dog aggressive. I saw a pit type in the shelter recently who had a sign on his kennel that said he'd be taken from an owner and was in "protective custody." This dog's muzzle and neck were a mass of scars--it was obvious he had been used for fighting. He was quite large too--pobably mixed with some sort of mastiff. And just a mess. I had a handful of treats, and even though I think I'm pretty good about not have prejudices against dogs, I have to admit his appearance gave me pause, and I wasn't planning on giving him a treat. But when I stopped to look at him, he sat, and wagged his tail, and it was so heartbreaking seeing him, so I gave him a treat, and he took it out of my fingers so very gently--a feather light touch of just his lips, and some how that was the most heartbreaking thing--here was this dog that had clearly been abused terribly, either from fighting or something else, and yet his gentleness and eagerness to please a total stranger was just really touching and really sad and also said loads to me about the spirit of that individual dog.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    ;_; That made me teary-eyed.
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
    No I was not making a jump...the owner was into dog fighting. That was part of the story which was pretty big in my community at the time. Thus would be conditioning the dog to fight which I believe is starving the dog to some extent. My husband suffered a dog bite on the face at 18 months and not a Pit Bull but the family farm dog. I myself had friends tease a Black Lab and then say sic her and the dog lunged at me and bit my back when I was like three or four. These were single bites and Non fighting dogs. Any dog can bite and you have to look at the why. My husband has a small scar from his. I also know of a German Shepard that bit a small child's nose of course doing major damage just as the boy who was visiting the owner got out of the car. This was a far more vicious attack due to these animals not only being poorly bred but bred to dog fight. Something popular in some sub cultures for the past twenty years. A dog bred for aggression is going to be aggressive period. They are alpha to the extreeme or can be just loco. Like the Standard I owned once. " well bred from a Reputable Breeder" . He had been vomiting several times a month during the night from sixteen to nineteen months. The very proud animal would be trembling in his crate in the morning from standing for who knew how long so as not to soil himself. When he was nineteen months he bit my son who had broke his arm the night before. I was in the room when it happened. My son was walking into our living room to sit down in a chair. Again a single tooth mark but was fatal for this dog as he was exhibiting dominance but to bite his injured child a huge red flag. There had been some other red flags I won't go into here. In WI you need to wait ten days even if your Animal is up to date on shots before you put them down. That was the most difficult ten days for out family. The dog had to be muzzled at all times and confined when not. Just when I was about to change my mind and give this dog I loved dearly another chance I saw him have a Grand Mall Seizure in his crate. When I looked at my dog's pedigree more closely there was lots of inbreeding on his sire's family tree though that Kennel was very big in Standards at the time. The Dam not so much. My point is that breeding does have an impact on dog behavior...sometimes medically related and sometimes purely in terms of temperament. If a dog has been bred for what most of us would consider negative traits there will be no control as to where that aggression will come out. Dogs are descended from wolves. Locked in there genes are the same traits and when not bred for positive temperament you are more likely to have more aggressive behaviors exhibited.
  • Well, that's not really true. There are all sorts of different kinds of aggression in dogs. Dogs that may show extreme levels of aggression to other dogs may show zero aggression towards humans, for example. It's what Brad was talking about upthread a bit--the reason people use bully breeds in fighting is because they can be trained to fight with other dogs, and show quite a bit of aggression in the ring, and show no aggression to humans. A dog fight handler wants a dog with quite a bit of canine aggression, but with little to no human aggression, because they need to be able to handle the dog.

    I have a Shiba who is extremely dog reactive, and almost did kill my other Shiba. She would do it again, to if she could. But she has no aggression towards humans whatsoever. One type of aggression does not equal another. And my Shiba is, btw, epileptic, and has had a number of seizures, including "grand mal" siezures, and she is not aggressive towards people. I've decided that we can live with her seizures and manage her dog aggression, though I do know not everyone is able or willing to live with an epileptic dog.
  • GemmaGemma
    Posts: 103
    I live in the UK where due to BSL Pits, Japenese torsas, dogo argentinos and fila brasilerios are banned. You can appeal and try to prove that your dog is friendly but that takes alot of effort and money and is very rarely successful, and even if it is you have to keep your dog muzzled, on a short lead in public, register and insure them and also get them neutered tattooed and microchipped.

    I completely disagree with it though, take away one status breed and another one will just take its place. We have a problem with the overbreeding of staffies, they are filling up rescues and the staffy problem here is very similar to the pit problem over in the US.

    Both breeds are loving, friendly and real people pleasers, I agree with everyone else on this forum; they just get put in the wrong hands.

    BSL shouldn't exist, but instead stronger policing on dog breeding and ownership.

    Completely friendly dogs get taken away form their families over here if they are suspected to be even a little bit pit. More money and time is spent on putting down totally innocent friendly dogs then actually doing something about dog's who are an actual danger, but because they're a legal breed, get overlooked.

  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242
    @Tre26 - Often there is a large gap between what people *believe* and what is factually correct. I think this is the case here. The statement below, which you made, is factually incorrect on many levels...

    "This was a far more vicious attack due to these animals not only being poorly bred but bred to dog fight. Something popular in some sub cultures for the past twenty years. A dog bred for aggression is going to be aggressive period. They are alpha to the extreeme or can be just loco. [sic]"

    1- Dog selected for fighting are selected for extreme dog aggression. This has nothing to do with human aggression (as @shibamistress wrote above). Pit-fighting dogs, selected to fight in an American style pit ring, are shot on-sight if they show any human aggression at all. This is because the handler of the fighting dog must be able to pull the dog out of the fight without being injured. So, a pit-fighting dog should have absolutely no interest in biting a human - ever.

    2- A pit-fighting dog is not necessarily poorly bred. Actually, looking at it from a working dog standpoint, where fighting is their job, great care and planning goes into their breeding to continue the level of dog aggression needed to fight. In more cases than not, these fighting dogs have more care in their selection and breeding plans put into them than the common show dog.

    3- The "Alpha" concepts have been debunked over and over again. Fighting or biting humans has absolutely NOTHING to do with dominance or social status. For more info on this, read this thread:

    I'd also like to point out that fighting dogs are not taught to fight - they are selected for the aggression needed to fight. Fighting is an instinctual behavior due to artificial selection. The behavior of fighting may become habitualized if they live to fight many times, but the base behaviors is intrinsic thanks to their hyper-selection.


    @Inoushi - I agree, handler aggression is 100% unacceptable in any dog breed, especially a guardian breed like the CC.

  • Tre26Tre26
    Posts: 96
    No not all dogs who have seizures bite. My toy Jo Jo had seizures as she got older and she never bit anyone. Barrett on the other hand did. The pups in his litter were on appearance beautiful and "well bred" but all eight had problems. The other seven developed " strangles" and did not live as long as he did which was 18 months. So this experience really created a bias in terms of breeding for beauty and Leary of inbreeding which was the case. True I have not read as much on canine genetics as I did in mid to late 1990s but to my knowledge dogs still are descended from wolves. I have had extensive discussions with my husband who was raised on a farm and my parents who were raised on farms as well. When I have discussed some of this with our vet well they didn't say these were misconceptions. Because I have been teaching in schools with high poverty levels my students have given me snap shots of their culture. Pit Bulls are bred for aggression but also conditioned to be agressive and are very popular in some cases for protection, gaurding and sometimes for fighting. (Kids sometimes like to talk about an uncle or neighbors dog) If you all want to discount my real life experiences to some Internet huh ha that is fine. I was only interjecting what I had experienced in terms of a student of mine had a sister who had the majority of their face bit off by a Pit Bull including an ear in an in provoked attack. I thought that would contribute to the discussion topic which was why Pit Bulls are filling shelters.
  • BradA1878BradA1878
    Posts: 2242
    haha... "some Internet huh ha"... sure, you are the only one with real life experience on the subject here. lol
  • And yes, I was going to point out that if Tre26 looked at the thread on dominance she'd see that the "internet huh ha" includes an ethologist with a Ph.D and links to juried articles and research. You know, like a real scientist?

    So yeah, for my money? I'll go with the Abrantes.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    @Tre26 Id also like to add, actually living in such an area my whole life, most of the populice has no knowledge of dogs. Many of the dog fighters are ametures. I have heard things such as red nose and blue nose produce better fighters. I've also heard of my fair share of stories where someone was murdered while their prized pit watched or was killed with them. Anyone breeding pits for human aggression is stupid and knows nothing of the sport (I will also say, dog fighting in general is misunderstood, in most cultures dogs seperate before serious damage occurs, which is not the case here in the us, however even here I have seen videos of children seperating the dogs, and no I don't like it here in the us) I've also been talked to by many "experts" who starve and toture their dogs to make them mean. Heck I once knew a girl who would make her pitt get drunk because it was funny.

    The dogs are also genetically unsound. Inbreeding is common (made worst by wanting blue coats which I believe is a double reccessive), and so is breeding bad temperments. I know of a pit who has mauled children. He is also owned by people who are into nefarious activites. He is ultra human and dog aggressive. They breed him back to his mother I believe, to make more mean giant blues. A dog like this should obviously be destroyed, yet he is constantly reproducing via his mother. Yet his puppies fetch a good price from the dumb teens, and owner breeds due to the profit. Cases like this make situations like the ones you read. But this sort of thing can happen in any breed. People tend to ignore how labs can sometimes display human aggressive traits. Heck I've seen huskies, who should have no aggression be very aggressive dogs due to poor breeding or bad ownership.

    The funny thing is, the most dangerous dog I knew of was an American Eskie. Dog gave his owners puncture wounds constantly. The owner got to the point she wouldn't even go to the hospital because she was worried the dog would be put down. she never shared the dogs background, but I never knew of a dog that would do such things so much (and the owner was positive training all the way). She would go to pet him and he'd go into a rage. This occured in a breed that is generally not aggressive.

    So obviously there must be some genes in dogs as a whole that causes these issues. Same way we have things that make people violent to others. So why is it ok to label a whole breed as bad over a minority of bad dogs? If you think about the sheer number of bully types. The amount of bites we see is actually pretty small.
  • Good point, Inoushi, and that's one of the points about good breeding. Many, many people who breed dogs of any type/breed have little knowledge of canine genetics, and make all sorts of mistakes (like repeating breedings of dogs when they show clear evidence of recessive genes appearing, etc). An example of the dog you mentioned is one of the worst cases: line breeding, and breeding FOR aggression. The dogs should be culled instead (not bred). There is so much irresponsible breeding in any breed, and clearly it is happening with pit types too. I wouldn't believe much of what such people have to say.

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