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help me understand this

Posted by Ed Davis, DPM on 6/04/05 at 18:51 (176134)

http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/20050604-030949-2447r.htm

I have seen or heard of so many cases when pit bulls either are vicious or can be affectionate but literally turn on a dime and become vicious harming humans. I see them as an animal that should not be used as a pet. I have heard stories of 'sweet' pit bulls but the number of vicious attacks that make the news really makes me wonder. Does anyone have any thoughts or stats concerning this breed and its behavior?
Ed

Re: help me understand this

marie on 6/05/05 at 10:33 (176150)

When a dog begins a violent attack usually its other pack dogs join in. It's instinctual by nature. Having more then one pit bull is a problem should they pack during an attack. I would not have any kind of dog from that class. Bulldog, pit bull or bull terrior as a pet. They were not bred to be family dogs. Genetic makeup cannot be trained out.

In their defense anytime one adopts a dog for a family pet of any breed or mutt persaution, it's best to meet the puppies parents to make sure they are good natured and loving. We had a horrific experience with a Great Dane. My niece was mauled in the face when she was 5 and was permanently scared for life both physically and emotionally.

best wishes marie

Re: help me understand this

SteveG on 6/05/05 at 12:35 (176156)

Eddie - I agree completely. There was a story this morning about a pit bull in the Tacoma area killing cats. The notion of a pit bull as a 'pet' is, I think, stretching the notion a bit. You see a fair amount of it in the area of south Tacoma where my parents live. It's some kind of wierd macho thing, and it usually involves some fellow who has an IQ that is about 10 points higher than the dogs.

Re: help me understand this

Buck T. on 6/05/05 at 17:17 (176160)

Hi you all: Son-in-law has huge, muscular pit about 80 pounds. It and his baby grew up together. Child now three and can do anything to dog without dog reacting. Dog so gentle. Son-in-law says breed getting bad rap. I used to have doberman pincher. It grew up with our children and was gentle, but could be nervous. It scared the pants off everyone and we laughed because we knew it was gentle. Think if you take any dog and mistreat it, any breed, you may have a problem. And, there are probably so bad individual dogs -- like bad individual people.

As usual, Buck T.

Re: help me understand this

Ed Davis. DPM on 6/05/05 at 22:17 (176170)

Steve:

Unfortunately, there are some sickos out there who use their pit bulls as a 'weapon' of sorts. Tony below knows of gentle pit bulls. Still getting a real mixed message on this subject.

Any large dog can be mistreated, badly raised to be violent yet still there seems to be a genetic issue. For example, I have never heard of a Golden Retriever hurtng someone no matter how well or badly treated.
Ed

Re: help me understand this

Ed Davis. DPM on 6/05/05 at 22:18 (176171)

Sorry, I was referring to the post by Buck, not Tony.
Ed

Re: help me understand this

Ed Davis. DPM on 6/05/05 at 22:22 (176172)

Marie:

I realize that a lot has to do with the old 'nature vs. nurture' arguments but, again, while there are wonderful, gentle pit bulls out there, I have to wonder what the statistics are on breed vs. human attack. I don't think you will see many attacks by Golden Retrievers for example.
Ed

Re: help me understand this

John H on 6/06/05 at 09:43 (176188)

Ed: Clearly certain dogs were breed to perform certain functions. Most dogs just did not randomly occur in nature. We have blood hounds who are great trackers. Fox hounds to find the fox. Retrievers to swim out and retrieve the birds or whatever. The American Pitt Bull was originally trained as a fighting dog. They are generally aggressive towards other dogs and will fight to the death. They can be trained not to attack people if brought up in the right enviroment but they are not generally recommended for most people and especially people with children. They have a very bad reputation and perhaps rightly so as so many idiots train them to be attack dogs. They have the strongest biting power of any dog and generally go for the throat. In North Little Rock they have just passed a law outlawing the breed. If you already have one you can keep it but must register it. A few years ago I was going to see a man in the country. As I walked past an old car parked in the front yard without even a bark a pitt bull lunged at me from behind the car. He came to the end of his chain about 1 foot short of me! Scared the beegeebees out of me. I love animals but personally would steer clear of a pitt bull. Sort of like raising a pet tiger. He will always be a tiger.

Re: help me understand this

John H on 6/06/05 at 09:48 (176190)

I think a pitt bull has the bitting power of around 5000 lbs per sq inch and a huge mouth and rock solid head and trained or not will fight to the death. Only people who understand pitt bulls and how to train them should own them (opinion). Most dogs just do not have the killing power or determination of a Pitt Bull. They were originally breed to fight and fight they will.

Re: help me understand this

John H on 6/06/05 at 09:55 (176192)

Buck I cannot bite as hard as the Pitt Bull. We used dogs very successfully in Viet Nam and on one occasion may have saved my life. Our base perimeter was patrolled by dogs and their handlers. A dog picked up the scent of a sapper (bad guy with a bomb) only a few hundred yards from my hangar where I was on alert. The sapper was headed to my alert aircraft but the dog forced him to explode his charge prematurely. I never did get to meet that dog but he has my gratitude. He was a German Shepherd. Pitt Bulls were never used as security dogs. Could be because they did not have the good sense of smell or were not as trainable as a German Shepherd.

Re: help me understand this

john king on 6/06/05 at 15:20 (176198)

I think pit bulls have been interbred too much and this accounts for some of the weird behavior. There is an American bulldog that seems like a real good natured dog. If anyone broke into your house and saw an American Bulldog they would die of fear. They look like pit bulls on steroids.

Re: help me understand this

Buck T. on 6/06/05 at 19:25 (176213)

Thanks for great story, John: I don't understand why the pit bull my son-in-law has is so gentle. Yesterday, two pit bulls killed a young child in Texas.
As I said, we had a beautiful looking doberman, but we also had a 12- pound, ugly looking mongrel that was a poddle and fox terrier mix. It had a poodle body and fur and terrier head and legs. Strangers would tell me 'that's the ugliest dog I've ever seen.' Late one night a thief tried to steal our parked pickup. He walked right over the doberman, which didn't wake up. But the little mongrel clutched on to his leg and caused so much noise that I got up. I saw the guy in my truck with this little dog up in the cab biting his leg, letting to, barking, and then grabbing on again. To make a short story longer, the guy ran off. I called the sheriff and they caught him running down our dirt road. They brought him back to the house and he cursed that little dog. The cop laughed. The doberman never woke up.

Sincerely, Buck T.

Re: help me understand this

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/07/05 at 16:48 (176253)

John:
We don't keep tigers as pets. I guess the question is where we draw the line between an animal that is appropriate to be kept as a pet or not.
Ed

Re: help me understand this

Ron on 6/07/05 at 19:45 (176280)

You're wrong. Some people keep tigers as pets.

Every state and county have their own laws regarding wild animals, but this doesn't stop people from breaking the law. People are so damn cruel. Imagine being locked in a cage your whole life, free food and all. I think death would be much more welcome.

Re: help me understand this

Ron on 6/07/05 at 20:08 (176281)

Any shepherd is great. I know of not one I wouldn't want to own. The German Shepherd has to be the most versatile of all dogs. Many shepherds were bred not only to herd but also to protect the flock from predators, like the German type.

The interesting part about dogs is that barking isn't natural to their ancestors, the wolf. Wolves were likely to run rather than anything. The breeds we see today are freaks of the wolf world.

There are many theories that we somehow bred these dogs for thousands of years to get what we wanted, but it's very likely that natural selection played the most significant role. Dogs that were well behaved stayed by humans and those that didn't were discarded. This even happens today with the breeds of today, which really are only centuries old.

To answer the original question, pit-bulls probably have a part of their gene pool that haven't become domesticated enough. They were made for battle, but so were many other breeds. Unlike many other violent breeds, pit-bulls attach themselves more to one human, rather than the entire family. I am not aware of any other breed with such ferocious loyalty to one person.

If these attacks keep happening it's very likely that the entire breed will have to be eradicated (if that's possible) through illegalization. There may also be the possibility that they are getting extraordinary attention from the media and their violent behavior is likely to be mediaized.

Re: help me understand this

john h on 6/07/05 at 22:24 (176285)

They are getting the attention because they appear to do the most damage. You are correct in that they attach themselves to one person and one must be very careful when fooling around with their owner.

More Dog Stories: On Johnny Carson many years ago he had a mailman who had been on the job like 40 years. He was delivering mail to a very large mansion with a brick wall all the way around and a big gate. He used the phone to get through the gate and then the gate closed. He was about 50 yards from the home and 50 yards from the wall when a very large do appeared in front of the home and immediately began growling and moving towards the postman. The postman turned to go back and the dog barked and charged. The mailman dropped his bag and headed for the wall. He reached the wall and jumped up and was pulling himself up when the dog jumped up and pulled him back down and began trying to make a meal of him as he screamed for help. After a minute or so with the dog still on top of him he realized he was not bleeding. The large mean dog had no teeth.

In college I delivered mail during Xmas season as the post office hired extra help. I had no uniform but did wear a post office hat and carried the big leather bag. I want to tell you from experience dogs do not like mailmen. I refused to deliver mail to some homes where the dog they had appeared to be vicious. I remember one lady standing on her porch with what looked like The Hound of The Baskerfield licking his chops and barring his teeth as she told me don't worry he want bite you. Sure! I looked like a big pork chop to him. Once I was chased down on my motor bike by a dog who jumped on me at about 25 miles per hour. Me, the bike and the dog all hit the concrete. The dog then ran away and I took my lumps. I do like dogs and had several as I grew up. Now I am a 'cat' guy.

Re: help me understand this

john h on 6/07/05 at 22:30 (176287)

How about Seigfried and Roy and there tigers who they raise from cubs and sleep with them in the house. One apparently remembered he was a tiger a few years ago at the Vegas show and made hamburger of either Roy or Seigfreid. I am not sure if he is back on stage or not. He does not blame the tiger as it should be because the tiger just did what comes natural to him--bite and claw.

Re: help me understand this

john h on 6/07/05 at 22:35 (176289)

I guess that line is when it becomes a threat to humans. I would love to own a tiger cub but unfortunately it grows up.

Re: help me understand this

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/08/05 at 00:01 (176295)

Ron:
I would not keep a tiger as a pet nor would I keep a pit bull as a pet.
A tiger is meant to run free in the wild and the pit bull is a breed of dog bred for fighting. Granted, there are many who love thier pit bulls but they have to realize that most people are intimidated by their mere prescence.
Ed

Re: help me understand this

Ed Davis, DPM on 6/08/05 at 00:06 (176296)

John:
I just don't know many people who are not frightened by the presence of a pit bull. That alone brings their use as a pet into question in my mind. I rmember dating a girl who had a pit bull as a pet. the pit bull was chained with a fairly heavy chain to the dog house. She went out in her yard with me and the dog snarled and growled at me while she was telling me how sweet the dog was. I kept my distance so she proably thought I was a wimp but I just don't go near any animal that is snarling and growling at me, not matter what their master's say.
Ed

Re: help me understand this

john h on 6/08/05 at 11:15 (176324)

Animals certainly sense fear in a person and I would guess most people really put off the fear scent when in the presence of a pitt bull. Pitt bulls were an issue discussed on The Factor last night. Concerning the new laws in Denver. Even PITA supports the non breeding of Pitt Bulls. They do not support taking one away from someone who is responsible and taking care of the dog.The Denver or Colorado law would have any pitt bull taken from its owner and destroyed. I do not support such a law. Currently over 7 millions cats and dogs are put to death each year. PITA does not support any kind of dog breeding because the shelters are full of dogs needing homes.

Re: help me understand this

Jane on 7/15/06 at 11:44 (204231)

I wonder if anyone out there can help me? I was recently biten by a dog that i was told was a British Bull Terrior. I must admit that it looked like one, with it's flat face, pointly ears and the black but maily white colouring. However the dog in question must have been the size of a mastive only much fatter. I have never seen anything like this dog before (well not that size anyway) Does anyone out there have any idea what it was?

I feel I must add that the dog was only actually playing, neverthreless I was left with a bruise 5cm x 5 cms. The oweners quiet clearly had very little contole of the dog. I'm a women who is 5'5'' tall and the dog grabbed my arm and pulled me to the floor. I hate to see it angry!

Very bruised!!

Jane

Re: help me understand this

Jane on 7/15/06 at 11:58 (204234)

Sorry for the inaccuraicy but the dog in question was an English Bull Terrior not British as I first said. I would really like to know what it acutally was though. Because I have never seen a terrior bigger than my work desk before

Jane

Re: help me understand this

Ralph on 7/15/06 at 11:59 (204235)

I'd be more concerned to find out if the dog's rabies shots were up to date regardless of what it looks like.

Re: help me understand this

Jane on 7/15/06 at 12:04 (204236)

I'm English and live in England lol. We dont have that problem. But i am up to date with my tetnus ( sorry not very good at spelling).

Unberlieverbly the dog only slightly brock the skin. Less than a graze really. It still hurts now though after two weeks.

The dog owner stated that the dog was under a year old and was likely to get bigger. Now thats scary

Jane

Re: help me understand this

Dorothy on 7/15/06 at 14:29 (204251)

Jane - That sounds awful and frightening. I don't know what dog this might be but if you do an internet search on dog breeds, you might find pictures of various dogs that would help you determine the actual breed.(Maybe just start through Google and search under 'dog breeds') Also, libraries would be a good resource for books with pictures, descriptions, etc. I hope you mend well from this. I think the proliferation of dogs, and particularly dangerous dog breeds, is of great concern - at least in the U.S. Good luck!

Could you get a photograph of the dog that bit you? That way you could ask a vet about it...

Re: help me understand this

Jane on 7/16/06 at 01:33 (204300)

Thanks for the aedvice I'll try doing a search.I don't think that I will be going to that house again even to take photographs of the dog, in spite of my curiosity.

We do have the same problem regarding certain dog breeds in England. The Englsih bull is a type of dog normally own by some scally. Not long ago a little girl was perminantly disfigured due to an attack on her by a dog in our local area. Unfortunatly we have a peice of law called 'dogs will bite'. This means that if anyone enters your property withought an invite and get bite that they are not liable for the dogs action. Furthermore the dog is also not held accountable. In England also we have legislation regarding dangerours dogs and Pit Bulls are on that list. Generally speaking we cant have them without special permission. And even then there are conditions. I think they are trying to rid the country of the more agressiv etypes of dogs. In my opinion not a bad idea too. I must sound really anti dog. I'm not I have kept dogs my whole life and could not imagine having a home without one. I currently have a Hieze 59 that defies description. She looks a bit like a weasle crossed with a greyhound. And me and my family love her to bits.

Re: help me understand this

john h on 7/17/06 at 10:05 (204404)

Normally if the dog is owned by someone you know you can make sure it is watched for the required period of time to see if it develops rabies. Rabies is a very very rare disease among humans. We have not had a case in my county in over 30 years. Even the shots for rabies are not the painful shots we once heard about. I would be more concerned about making sure my tetnus shots were up to date. I have had so many cat bites in my life I would have died from rabies shots if I had these shots evertime a cat bit or scratched me. Now if a bat or skunk bit me I would definitely consider a rabies shot. Maybe if Dorothy bit me I would be concerned.

Re: help me understand this

Jane on 7/18/06 at 13:24 (204551)

What country is that John? are you in America? Now what did Dorothy say to deserve that?

Enough of the questions! Now if a bat or a skunk bit me I would indeed be very afraid. Dont bats go for toes - I'm sure that I read that somehwere.

I told my Principle manager about the bite as I was attacked in the line of duty so to speak. He asked if the dog needed any shots! Nice Mmmm...

My line manager was much more sympathetic - she gave the owener a piece of her mind, not that she had any to spare.

Regarding the cat bites - you'v got to love em. They do have a somewhat unique way of expressing their love don't they. My friends cat saved me from the fluttering of a massive moth the other day by loving it with it's teeth. Do they really eat everything that passes them by I wonder.

Re: help me understand this

john h on 7/18/06 at 22:21 (204622)

Jane: you have not been here long enough to know when I am serious and when I am not. Dorothy has. I would call us internet friends. She may have a different take. I admire Dorothy although we do not always agree. That is as it shout be. She is intelligent, witty and writes interesting post which I always read.

Bats bite where it is most easy to get blood since that is what some of them feed on. Toes are not the place. The so called Vampire Bats are a menance to cattle in some South American countries. They attach themselves where the blood vessles are close to the skin. Of course most bats do not drink blood. They are actually nice creatures to have in your neighborhood (not your attic) as they feed on mosquitoes among other annoying night creatures. We have a number of them in my neighborhood and I can see them almost any night. Places to beware of are in caves. I think the bay guava found in the caves may be capable of transmitting disease and due to the density of the bats you may accidentally be bitten.

Re: help me understand this

Dorothy on 7/19/06 at 02:58 (204631)

john h -

You've never told me this and I am very pleased and proud and honored. Thank you. And yes, I would indeed call you an internet friend and am very glad that on this we do agree ( and on many other things, too)

Re: help me understand this

bud on 3/02/07 at 20:02 (224035)

you guys really need to educate your selfs in the manner of pit bulls its all in how they r raised they dont pack fight either thats retarded too even say that the only dog that pack fights is the wolf everyone knows that i have had pits my whole life as many as 10 at a time and have {NEVER} had one turn on me or bite anyone i didnt want it to bite. the breed allways gets a bad rap but the pitt in my eyes is the most loyal dog i have ever had.