Tuesday, September 9, 2008
DogsBite.org - In a recent post, we talked about dog expert Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President to the ASPCA, being a fooled by a pit bull. In a 2004 training video, he said that selective breeding has taken the "wolf" out of pit bulls. They ignore signals that nonfighting dogs heed, and they fail to show intention. He then remarks about his own "surprise" experience with a pit bull.
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."Expert Peter Borchelt
DogsBite.org recently ran across another dog expert that was also fooled by the animal. Peter Borchelt, an author who holds a doctorate in animal behavior, and provided expert testimony in both Denver and Toledo courts regarding pit bulls, got zinged in a lawsuit after a pit bull he was training for a client "suddenly" attacked. The victim was awarded $1 million dollars.
A three-man, three-woman jury in Brooklyn awarded $500,000 for past pain and suffering and $500,000 for future pain and suffering to Gabriel Febbraio for the urological treatment and psychological injuries he suffered when the hefty canine bit him on the groin, removing the end of his penis.In February 1997, Febbraio had left his mother's home in Bensonhurst to go jogging, when he realized he forgot his gloves. As he headed back to the house, he encountered Peter Borchelt and the dog on the street. When Febbraio asked him if the dog was friendly, Borchelt assured him it was. But when the ex-fireman, 45, took several more steps, the dog broke free and attacked him.
If a pit bull being trained and handled by an expert can still fool this expert, what does this mean to the rest of us, specifically to a grandparent or a child?
08/25/08: Man Saves Dog Attacked by Pit Bull Exiting Groomer
07/14/08: Comment: The Anatomy of a Whitewash, Jim Crosby
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| 9/09/2008 9:58 PM |
A mere PhD in animal behavior does not hold a candle to the thousands of rescue angels, lion tamers, shelter workers, vet techs, or those who hold degrees in journalism, advertising, law or a dog training certificate obtained in the mail in 6 months!
| 9/10/2008 3:18 AM |
I'd still rather hear from victims, law enforcement and plastic surgeons.
The US petcare industry is a $40 Billion a year juggernaut and they don't want dog breeding regulated. If breed choice gets tied to criminal/civil liabilty the whole mess gets turned upside down.
| 9/10/2008 9:21 AM |
Vets. You never hear of them. They know the truth but stay silent. I guess they are making too much money fixing victims of pitbulls.
Same with dog trainers. They are making lots of money selling a 'treatment' for agressive behavior.
| 9/10/2008 9:41 AM |
The issue you point out about the dog breeding industry in interesting. Specifically your comment "If breed choice gets ried to criminal/civil liability"....The sad thing is that it IS already tied to liability and yet victims and potential victims have to fight so hard to have their appeals heard. You are so right- we are all up against a powerful machine.
| 9/10/2008 1:48 PM |
After their experiences, I wonder what these two men REALLY think about pit bulls. You know there is the public & professional persona and opinion and then there is the 'among friends chit chat'. Bet they sound very different from one another.
| 9/11/2008 4:37 AM |
The point is that an individual can breed the most badass, unstable pit bulls, sell them at will and face no product liability when they rip someone to shreds.
I can't think of another industry that operates without product liability.
I believe this is crux of the debate and it is not in the "industry's" best interest to be regulated. The behavior is remeniscient of the Tobacco industry back in the 50s and 60s when they used doctors to pimp safe cigareetes.