Thursday, February 14, 2008
Australia - Counselor Mike Scarlett, writes an insightful piece after his neighbors witnessed a brutal pit bull attack that killed their donkey.
"No one seems to know where the killer dogs came from, and they have not been seen since. I shudder to think what would have happened to my son if he had encountered them. Since the killing of the donkey my family has been very nervous about spending time outside. This fear has to do with the fact that the dogs have not been found.
Pit Bulls are known for their vicious attacks. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that from 1979-1998 66 deaths were caused by pit bull-type dogs in the United States. Most owners of pit bulls will swear up and down that their pet is very loving, and would never attack anyone. This is where the danger lies. It is the unpredictability of the attack that makes them dangerous.
In many ways a person who is prone to sudden eruptions of anger is like a pit bull. It is as though they share the same DNA. Just like pit bulls, it is often difficult to anticipate what will set them off. Families that live with this type of person may not feel safe. When living with an angry person, family members often walk on tiptoes for fear of setting off the beast.
Though pit bulls, and people with anger issues have similarities, there is one major difference. That difference is the ability to reason."
Labels: Unpredictable Attack
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| 2/15/2008 3:11 AM |
He misses the great insight that pit bulls are also amazing liars, which adds to their unpredictability. From a psychological sense, you might say these dogs are more like psychopaths than people with an anger management problem.
Even "soft worded" Randall Lockwood from the ASPCA has a thing or two to say about pit bulls and their amazing ability to lie. When speaking about "Fighting Breeds" in his Law Enforcement video, he says this:
"The main impediment to reading a dog's communication is when the dog is a fighting breed. The best strategy for a fighting breed is to not communicate your intention.
This is why we hear about so may fighting breeds attacking without warning. Meaning there was no growl, there was no bark, there was no direct stare, the dog just went from point a to point b and did what he wanted to do.
But if you area fighting dog and the object is to inflict the most damage possible, a submissive gesture is just a new opening. In the early 80's, I started hearing from the Humane Society about the fighting breeds they were getting (and they did not know what they were getting). They would put that dog into a pen with a German Shepherd, and the German Shepherd speaks "dog," they play by wolf rules, and the German Shepherd would go belly up, and the pit bull would just disembowel him. They don't speak that language. They ignore that signal.
And that's one of the most devastating things we have done to fighting dogs. Is that we have destroyed their ability to speak good wolf or good dog. And they've taken it even one step further. The truly sinister communicator not only doesn't tell you what he feels or what he is going to do next. He lies to you.
Fighting dogs lie all the time. I experienced it first hand when I was investigating three pit bulls that killed a little boy in Georgia. When I went up to do an initial evaluation of the dog's behavior. The dog came up to the front of the fence, gave me a nice little tail wag and a "play bow" -- a little solicitation, a little greeting. As I got closer, he lunged for my face.
It was one of those "ah ha" experiences. Yeah, that would really work. That would really work in a dog pit. Because 99% of dogs are going to read that as "Oh boy I am your friend, let's play -- and there's my opening".
| 2/15/2008 1:35 PM |
Wow...thank you for that quote. Very powerful. And it also explains why we hear so many owners insisting that their dog was gentle, and they never saw it coming when the dog, finally, attacks someone.
| 2/15/2008 4:07 PM |
Bibliography information regarding this video is listed at the bottom of this page, as well as provides a link to the video:
NOTE: Quote has been shortened slightly for relevancy reasons in this post. Disk 2, Communication Factors is where the whole thing can be found.
Or, I can post the whole thing if you want. It talks about how pits "disembowel" other dogs when they go "belly up," where as normal dogs see this as a sign of submission and leave the belly up dog alone.
| 2/15/2008 4:44 PM |
Bravo for Mr. Scarlett. He has surfaced a very charged issue that calls for more awareness. Pit Bulls are dangerous one way or another. As a former Federal Law Enforcement Officer, I had been on several narcotics task forces which uncovered pit bulls acting as guards at homes where drug/meth labs were set up; I'm talking homes that were in nice suburban communities. We had no reservations in killing/capturing these dogs since they were trained to immediately attack any intruder. As I said, these dogs were in neighborhoods where children played.
Some colleagues of mine told me that they've seen pit bulls two years old and older mamime or kill children who parents had these dogs for pets. It's high time society takes a close look at these breeds regardless of what pit bull rescue leagues or other associations say.
| 2/16/2008 4:01 AM |
I disagree with one point in the article. Dogs have a limited ability to reason and make choices every day.
Do I scale the fence and rip the 65 year old lady walking down the street apart or just stay in my yard and bark a few times?
When 20 humans are beating me with pipes and hammers and I am off property, do I retreat or keep mauling?
Should I pull the man off the riding lawn mower or run home with my tail between my legs?
Do I chase the kids inside the school and maul them or do I go home?
Don't laugh...These bizarre examples are taken from real maulings.
| 2/16/2008 9:06 PM |
My wife's family had a pit bull once. And he was playful. He like to play and throw things in the air and catch them. One day we were watching him playing with what we thought were his furry toy. Upon closer examination we discovered it was a limbless, headless, torso of a cat. Eventually we found the rest of his limbs while we were preparing our garden. Once he got the taste of blood in his mouth he became very unpredictable and was never the same. So we gave him to my wife's grandmother as a guard dog in which he was very successful. He was so successful that he bit the maintenance man attempting to fix her hot water heater. He was then ordered by a court of law to be euthanized and that's the end of that.
| 4/08/2009 7:53 AM |
Can anyone please advise me on the legal process after a vicious dog attack? My child was mauled by a friends dog. My child had 6 hours of plastic surgery on her face, ear and head. My child spent one week in hospital and is still having nightmares. The owners knew the dog was dangerous but failed to chain it up. What are our rights? We keep getting conflicting stories. Any advise would be helpful. Thanks concerned parent.