Expert Randall Lockwood
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 non fighting 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?
07/14/08: Comment: The Anatomy of a Whitewash, Jim Crosby