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20 thoughts on “Thank You Letter: Experienced Dog Trainer Shares Dog Attack Story & Professional Opinion

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  1. First of all thank you for speaking out as the grandfather of a pit bull victim I have seen how anyone who dare to speak of the dangers of the breed are harassed. Your voice will save lives for anyone who will listen and make safer choices.

  2. I thank you so much for sharing this heartbreaking story. It will save lives. It will encourage others to speak out too! What is not talked about enough is the number of times these owners excuse away vicious attacks on animals. How many times does this happen a day in our country? The pit bull owner just walked away afterward like nothing ever happened. I guarantee you she completely excused that attack away, and the next time her pit bull attacked an animal too. There is no doubt that this is the case much of the time, that they are simply blind and steeped in denial — "so desperate that their dog not be what so many of them are, become blind to the warnings that their dog is careening toward a disaster." Innocent people and pets pay the price. There must be a great wealth of stories and knowledge that trainers stay silent about. The cost of speaking out is just too high.

  3. Thank you so much for speaking out. What a horrifying experience. You've hit the nail on the head about who these people are. It is really insane, and you are doing a great service to people by explaining this from the perspective of an expert in dog training and handling bold, aggressive, assertive working dogs.

  4. Pit bull owners everywhere are attempting to figure out who wrote this at this very moment to ruin this persons career. Thank you for speaking up.

  5. People are at great risk if a family member or neighbor has become indoctrinated into the pit bull breeder and dog fighter-created pit bull cult, and must be vigilant to protect themselves and their pets

  6. I tend to always be the stinker in the bunch but I want to know what is his current relationship with his sister? Personally, as a person who has been attacked and bitten by a pit bull, if my sister did what his did I would disown her. Period. Don't call me, don't text me, don't write me, don't visit me, don't try to contact me in anyway. Yes, it is worth losing a sibling over.

  7. My real identity is being guarded, alot has been changed location wise, I was even guided in creating this account so I could participate etc but the truth is all there. What's saddest is I am no criminal, all I did was walk my dog on a leash near my home on a nice day, and get mauled by a Pitbull. I heard someone mention Micheal Vicks dogs, saying those are an example of a Pitbull you wouldn't want in public, I wonder if the pitbull enthusiast who said it, while saying their own dog aggressive dog was safer knew that the Vick dogs actually had a better rehab success rate than most pet bred Pitbulls, some of the most torn up, most ripped up and fought were able to become calm stable family pets better than a dog you might find through a rescue or shelter. What so many of these people just will not face is that none of them, not one, can know which Pitbull is going to be safe throghout its life, and which one will not, they wont know when it may happen, or what may trigger the violence and they wont admit the danger is real, THAT is what makes these dogs so very very dangerous. Not the dogs themselves, were they not adored by these people they would have ceased to exist, they were not bred for any purpose other than violence during a troubled time in history and the really sad part? The people who claim to love them are doing NOTHING to correct the problems the breed has, there are no breeders out there breeding for calm stable temperaments, nobody trying to breed out the hair trigger dog aggression, nope, the Pitbull enthusiasts are all about pretty colors of blue and red, loads of muscles and spiked collars and giant chain leashes. They couldn't seem to care less about breeding out the problems in their breed, they're to busy trying to ram acceptance of it down the worlds throat and crying about discrimination if anyone in the pet industry does anything but gush about their dogs. I'm retired, I dont train for the public anymore, but it wouldn't stop these people from trying to destroy my life because I was brutally attacked by one of their dogs and had the gaul to speak up about it. Heaven forbid somebody who knows dogs, who trained, who handled hundreds of these dogs over a busy career, who knows powerful performance dogs etc etc say anything negative about Pitbulls. Well, Colleen inspired me to put my neck on the block and relate what happened to me and, to provide the voice of a very experienced professional in the industry, who has done temperament evaluations for rescues and humane organizations, still IS a CGC evaluator, been called to provide expert testimony in animal attack cases etc to the discussions that happen here. I want other victims to know, you are NOT wrong, you did NOT create your attack, you could not have predicted it. Even top professionals who KNOW how to handle these kinds of animals can't stop one of these attacks.

    • Thank you. I also know the Stephen King type of ethereal attack, out of nowhere, and in one split second your life is forever changed. I am attacked daily, if I mention pits. I have been attacked by a congress of them (using the term used for a group of baboons makes sense here) and I was blamed , vilified, insulted and demeaned. It is horrible. If I didn't like the dogs before, (I did) the actions of these horrible people would have cured that!

  8. I moved into a neighborhood that is full of pit bulls. This isn't a trailer park either. The houses here range in the 150,000-200,000 price. I look both ways when I walk out the door or try to walk my dog. One set of dogs has already attacked the mailman. It's an accident waiting to happen.

  9. The entire situation is shocking really. Victims treated like criminals, dogs that have proven they are willing and able to attack people or other animals "rescued" and why? Is there a shortage of Pitbulls in shelters that makes "saving" dangerous dogs proven to be unstable something that our communities need? The fact that some of the Micheal Vick dogs could be placed into homes at all would seem to very much debunk the endlessly chanted "it's all about how they are raised". If how they are raised dictates their ongoing behavior, how could a single one of the Vick dogs ever be safe enough to be placed in any home when something as simple as a weak latch on a gate could release them into the public? What I have seen is that environment means nothing, how they are raised means nothing, management is subject to the human elements of failure and complacency and since when should any "pet" require the same levels of management as keeping something like a tiger as a "pet" in the first place? The dogs have a genetic drive, a compulsion to confront and challenge other animals, we would see it at the kennel at times, they would try to lock eyes with other dogs, it was the only warning we would get that they were moving in a bad direction mentally and had to be moved out of sight from that dog, they absolutely would focus on targets and sometimes even days later, when walking they would look for those targets with a determination we knew meant it was time they were relocated to a completely different part of the facility. In one case a young female did this with an Alaskan Husky male, we couldn't ever figure out why but she focused on him, though the two dogs never got anywhere near each other, and she became bent on reaching him, one day she worked her way loose and chewed through fencing to out of her own yard and into the area where he was, she attacked him, and it took three trained professionals to get her off. She was one that was put down because she would not stop trying to get to that male to kill him and became willing to hurt other animals and people in her growing frustration. This from a dog that covered over 100 miles a week exersize and was handled by seasoned pros every day that knew how to redirect high drive dogs and keep the peace in a large kennel environment. She was even fed a "cool" diet designed to lower her energy and encourage relaxation.

  10. "In all of my years of handling these dogs I never feared them, but I do now, not because of the dogs really, they are what they are, but the people who love them. They don’t care about anyone or anything but those dogs. They will throw their own family and friends under a bus to protect these dogs. It’s like some bizarre sickness overcomes them and rational realistic thought, compassion — anything human — just vaporizes in them."

    This. While I do not believe it's the owners, not the breed, there is a fatal problem with the pit bull ownership which does not affect other breeds; pit bull type dogs pose a near-irresistible allure to people who are morally vacant, empty shells. This is not a racial or class difference, not "gangsters" or "white trash" but simply amoral humans. Craven would call them sociopaths, my mother would say they have no 'class' meaning ethics and personal standards of behavior. I think there is a small but extremely influential number of pit owners who are like this, and the rest have basically begun imitating them. And this amoral behavior spread to other breeds. I remember as recently as the early 2000s, you could have an honest, civil conversation about dog breed differences with people whose breeds had aggression issues – Dobermans, Rottweilers, Filas, Cane Corsos. Now any hint that a breed is genetically coded to be aggressive is ferociously forbidden. Everyone whose breed has aggression problems has fallen joyously into the successful patterns of the pit bull DNA deniers – no, there's no problem here, we don't have to manage our pets differently, it's up to the rest of the world to prevent contact with our chosen pets. The whole astonishing service dog scam issue traces directly to the pit bull owners. They were the first to game the system, something virtually NO dog owner had thought to do in the 60+ years of the Seeing Eye and 20 years of the ADA.

  11. I'm very sad as to how this story came to be shared. I've often wondered what a real dog expert's opinion would be on the pitbull problem. I had a feeling it would be dead on with reality. It makes me wonder what will happen when more people such as first responders, vet technicians, trauma surgeons…etc… start sharing their stories too.
    Also when I think of pitbull owner characteristics, besides what was mentioned above. I always notice their insecurity. Which explains the overcompensating for the DOG'S happiness. These folks are on a campaign… They will badger the hell out of anyone who doesn't share their sunshine and rainbows love for ickle pittie pies.
    Insecurity!!!! I-yi!

  12. Here's Ohio pit bull rescuer Steffen Baldwin, who recently took a video of his injuries after breaking up a dog fight. Baldwin is the co-founder of "Ohioans Against Breed Discrimination" ( Other pit bull owners are also posting their "battle wounds" and thanking him for being "honest" about the reality of "integrating" pit bulls. The comments are fascinating and RICH with denial. Baldwin alleged he would follow up with a blog post — if he did, I can't find it.

    "AMEN!!! Anybody who rescues or rehabilitates dogs with behavior issues and make off they have never had a fight are A) full of shit B) don't really have dogs that have behavior issues C) have them kenneled or crated and don't interact them … When I went to the ER and they gave me the state form to fill out for a dog bite, I refused and told them if they made me I was going to tell them it happened because I was attacked my a purple unicorn. They threw the paper away.. lol" -Angelo AndLitsa Kargakos

    "Thanks for the transparency. People need to talk about it, this is reality. I hope you don't have nerve damage. I do in my left hand and my injuries weren't even as bad as that. But seriously thanks for keeping it real more people could be helped through learning about the Darkside as well as all the success." -Kerry Hall

    "I've had several bad dog fights and I always feel like a criminal and hide it. Both of my hands looked very similar to yours after a three-dog fight that I had to break up after begging a neighbor to help because I couldn't do it on my own. I felt horrible." -Sundee Oberlies Martineau

    "Some people, especially people with pits, will avoid reporting because of the statistical concerns. But we all know that the statistics presented are a bunch of nonsense and made up numbers anyways so I really wouldn't want to know that a person was suffering with a wound or a dog was suffering with wounds that need treatment and it was avoided because they were concerned about statistics." -Steffen Baldwin

    "I got bit when I misjudged my moves in preventing my dogs getting into a fight. One was a newer addition at that time. The pro: they didn't get into a fight. The con: I messed up my fingers, lost a piece of bone, cartilage and tendons requiring plastic surgery, a pin for a month, plus 4 months of occupational therapy." -Imelda Suriato

  13. The other day I was at an event and saw a woman walking around with a shirt with an image of a pit bull on the front. The back of the shirt read, "Pit bulls are just like any other dogs. All dogs need love, training, and responsible owners."

    I just thought to myself, "Keep telling yourself that, honey."

  14. You can't fix stupid.People choose pit bulls because of their own egos,believing they are in tune with the animal world. They should go wrestle a grizzly. Keep speaking truth.

  15. Reading through the facebook there, seeing the injuries and comments like "Anybody who rescues or rehabilitates dogs with behavior issues and make off they have never had a fight are A) full of shit B) don't really have dogs that have behavior issues C) have them kenneled or crated and don't interact.." lay down this strange concept, that it's somehow OK that the dogs fight. Why? Why is it ok? Why would anybody think that? I worked with hundreds of large powerful dogs, yes, we had fights break out, usually when females were in heat or food was involved, but it was never OK. Anyone who thinks a dog can't control their bite is a fool. They aren't sharks, they dont close their eyes before they go in and clamp down, if you watch slow motion bite work with dogs training for protection or Police work their eyes are often WIDE open as they watch where they are on what they're biting, plan to either move their grip or bear down and hold on.

    Dogs have much better visual acuity than we do, they can see better during fast situations than us because they are designed to as predators that are built to handle lightning fast prey. They can and do, pull their bites if they see themselves closing on something they dont want to bite, even during intense lightning fast encounters, they HAVE that control, nature built them to be able to land bites where they wanted to during the process of running down prey. It is not that dogs "mistakenly" bite someone entering a fight, it's that they DO NOT CARE, they are focused, they want to harm what they are attacking, want to subdue or kill it and they are willing to harm anything that interferes. I've walked into rolling dog fights involving 10+ large powerful dogs, and aside from scratches on my legs from being pushed off of as dogs scrambled for footing, I emerged without a bite and why? because the dogs I was walking into, while wanting to win their fight, could and did recognize I was there and redirected around me, so I KNOW dogs can do that, I've seen it not once or twice but dozens and dozens of times breaking up fights over the years. Also, in 26 years in dogs? I've been bitten 4 times, all 4 times because I didn't read a dog well enough (in one case because I didn't see the little bugger).

    In all my years I was never attacked by a dog until the day that one Pit mix slipped out a door. It's not OK to be injured, it's not OK in a rescue or home setting to have dogs that will fight, if a behavior issue has made a dog THAT volatile why on EARTH would any sane person, with the tens of thousands of dogs dying in shelters all over the country that do NOT have those issues, why would anyone with half a brain "rescue" that kind of dog? PUT IT DOWN, someone failed it before you, it is NOT ok to try and put an animal already willing to harm things back into society, nor is it ok to expose other animals to it.

    There are too many other dogs that dont have that mental unbalance in them to ever justify spending the time and effort on a dangerous dog. LET IT GO, take the time and money and save a nice dog, save ten, you could for the amount of time and effort a single proven dangerous dog takes. It's NOT ok. Yet, for some ungodly reason, these people have come to think that it is? WHY? Why leave good safe dogs to die in a shelter and bring home these powder kegs, inflict danger and injury on the other dogs in your care and put everyone who lives around you in danger because that powder keg is there. Why get yourself bitten, torn up, have lifetime scars and for what? Getting to live that way until that dog dies in your care? Because it isn't often those dogs can ever be placed into a home, unless they lie to themselves and adopters, roll the dice and prey that dog wont get triggered again…

  16. I lost a best friend of 14 years because I told her to NOT have her rescued APBT around her grandkids, in an email complete with links to factual information. I got called everything in the book, even an animal hater. The dogs aren't the only party whose heads aren't wired right.

  17. Bullybitten: These people can't prove they're a lion tamer with a chihuahua, nor will they get special snowflake accolades for rescuing a collie like they will a 'poor, misunderstood pibbles'.

  18. Wow!Thanks for sharing with us. Unfortunately it seems people who loves the breed won't get it unless they experience an attack themselves. What your sister did is despicable. After my son's attack my aunt adopted a pit mix. She usually had Christmas dinner but I refused to take my son there unless she put the dog away. One time it came running I'm the house when she opened the garage where the pit was. My son jumped behind me and I guarded him. My aunt grabbed his collar and rolled her eyes like my son was making a big deal out of nothing. So I get it a little. But your sister sounds like she is way worse.

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