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20 thoughts on “Webinar: Shelter Dog Behavior Review with Sue Sternberg and Gia Savocchi - Reviewing Worst-Case Scenario Dogs

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  1. The end result of this evil situation: Severe injury, misery, pain, suffering and lives ruined on a massive scale. News media refuse to push statistical information to the public. Too bad, so sad for people who unwittingly adopt dangerous canines. Moderately bad and sad for people who instinctively know that they are adopting a dangerous canine. Tragically sad for the massive quantities of innocent bystander victims. The evil is that shelters knowingly push dangerous dogs onto the average person, and the tragedy is that the massive quantities of people that are severely injured by dog attack are Not the owner. State governments refuse to make power breeds a controlled animal, so the end bottom line for each individual person remains the same as has always been for thousands of years: Cave canem!

  2. This is the sort of material that personal injury lawyers would find useful in dog bite cases. Well done, DBO!

    • Thank you! The video has a wealth of information. It is so important for the public and attorneys to understand what is happening at many shelters today — most of them, obviously, do not use Sternberg’s brilliant test. They use limited tests (that do not evaluate sociability) or no test at all. They call them “observations”… to avoid liability.

      • They can’t evaluate sociability (which I did not even know existed as a detailed, data-driven way to evaluate a dog) because pits were bred to fail. They would not be able to put any of these in the community if sociability traits were required.

        Watching this, I wonder that if in the right hands, a population of pit bulls could be screened for sociability and breed to retain the look without the behaviors and lack of sociability similar to The Fox Domestication Experiment. It would take decades to be sure and cross-breeding to hunting dogs. It may be the only hope to control this dangerous breed.

        • If you watch how the Russian silver foxes were bred for tame-ability and non-agression, when the foxes were culled for these traits their physical characteristics over a few generations *changed markedly*

          So, if you bred “pitbulls” by culling out (euthanasia is the only guaranteed culling in a line unless you want to hang on to hundreds of useless dogs for several decades) by the end of the experiment if you did managed to breed docile pitbulls–they would no longer look like pitbulls.

          Stein is also correct here in her assessment that dogs pick up skills/traits/neurosis from one another if left together for a period of time.

          This is why sheepdog owners bring the puppies out to watch experienced dogs. It’s also observable in dogs that hang out together, frequently.

          A simple example is that my friend’s shitzu learned to do a perfect “come” from following my husky while it lost it’s ability to “fetch” and learned to run after the toy, toss it in the air and leave it–because that’s what the husky, does.

          However, the basic temperament, engagement with humans and trainability of these two dogs is still markedly different.

  3. Watching and reading this is terrifying. Not just seeing what types of dogs are in shelters, but also knowing that there are people who want to keep them alive and push them onto the public. What is it going to take for people to wake up and realize you can’t save every dog!

    • What is it going to take? Lawsuits. BIG lawsuits.

      As soon as these lying shelters get sued into the ground, you’ll see things change.

  4. I watched the whole thing, there were parts, like the stranger test, and the ‘look at the teeth’ test where I just held my breath. I’d never heard of Sue Sternberg, she is amazing!! It does make me feel a little better knowing there are some responsible shelter people out there. It’s not my area though, especially with Covid, every dog was adopted out, there are more pits and pit mixes on our streets than ever.

  5. I just took another look at a bunch of dog ads on PetFinder. Almost every single pit/pit mix ad the dog is squared off facing the photographer. Almost every single non-pit/pit mix ad the dog is NOT squared off facing the photographer. Sue discusses the meaning of the squared-off shoulders facing a person as a warning sign.

  6. While I’m not always a fan of Steinberg’s work for various reasons she’s absolutely correct that some dogs do not belong in human society.

    A human, imprisoned for life, can read books, write, take up some creative endeavour that will at least, occupy their mind or entertain them.

    A dog can’t do that. A dog, without stimulation and companionship becomes completely unhinged, in short order.

    Add to that the risks to staff and the fact that shelters are creating a cycle of madness that cannot be escaped.

    Keep dangerous dogs. Collect donations. Try to adopt out. Adopt some out. Dogs are returned, sometimes people are hurt/killed. Create bad press for your shelter. Create more distrust between purchaser and shelter. Collect more bad dogs but less money to keep them. Lie to unload dangerous dogs. Rinse and repeat.

    It’s a whacked form of hoarding or OCD, no doubt about it.

    • Add to this also that each unadoptable dog is taking up space and resources that should be used on adoptable dogs. I’m a farmer. In order to keep my farm running I have to be a pragmatic decision maker. Every penny spent needs to go towards a goal that will benefit all the animals. If I have an animal that is requiring more resources because it is aggressive, it takes away resources from the entire herd and the farming endeavor as a whole. Even time spent dealing with it is an nonrenewable resource. That’s what these dogs do to shelters and rescues. They take up space and drain resources that could be used to make life better for adoptable dogs that would, in turn, make life better for all the humans they encounter. Just by being locked in a cage they are harming other animals.

      • Exactly Farmer Jane.

        Add to the wasted resources and potential, these dangerous dogs continue to breed into the population of companionable dogs creating more and more danger into the lines of all mongrel dogs–when the joy of mongrels and crossbreeds is their hardyness as working class family pets.

        It’s a self-defeating cycle that’s creating more misery for people and animals than it’s alleviating.

        There’s nothing ‘humane’ about it. It’s ego-maniacal virtue-signalling that endangers people *and* animals.

  7. The dog is not interested in dog toys but is interested in killing anything it thinks is small and alive like other dogs and babies. It reminds me of “Hannibal” and the lunatic who trained his pigs to go after humans.
    Why is this dog so into child shaped toys?

  8. This video points out important truths. I love animals, but there are not enough resources to take care of all of them. And there is on doubt, that there are canines (especially) and felines who will never be household pets. The best thing is to humanely euthanize them, thereby leaving more resources to take care of the dogs and cats who can be household pets.

  9. It’s not just genes that make these shelter dogs act like this, but also a cycle of abuse and/or abandonment. The lab was just as psychotic as the pit bulls. It is inhumane keeping unadoptable dogs alive and confined to a cage where they will pace back and forth for the rest of their lives in a permanently agitated state. How stressful and sad to even THINK about that! I am guessing that the people who objected to their being euthanized did not offer to adopt them.

  10. Well. It happened. President Biden’s “rescue” dog from the shelter bit someone at the White House. It turns out this particular dog has shown aggression multiple times and to multiple people in the WH. Good ridden to both.

    • Conspicuously absent from the story is any detail of the injury to the Secret Service agent. Was it just a little nip, as we keep hearing over and over again about dog bite injuries? Or is it the kind of bite that requires surgical repair?

      And, thank you, DBO, for being the only place that isn’t overflowing with the “poor widdle doggie-woggie” rhetoric that this story is bringing out.

  11. This was an excellent presentation by realistic people. I wish this could be promoted more. I am so tired of hearing about the poor misunderstood Pits, how they are a result of their upbringing, and that they are all salvageable. Genetics are a huge part of an animals makeup!! This is why there are so many different breeds! Pits were bred to kill and they are excellent at it. Who needs this? Who wants it in their neighborhood? This is a breed/type that should be faded out. There are plenty of dogs that are bred to be pets, and plenty that will “guard” without being killing machines.
    Don’t get me started about the double-speak in the rescue world. I have worked at shelters and do have rescue dogs myself but one has to be very careful about the dog they adopt, and watch out for the euphemisms. Look how many dogs on Petfinder that have the label of “No dogs, no cats, no kids”. At least they have identified the problem, but how many homes are there for this type of dog? And how many people want to repeat this experience if they have had one like that? Warehousing unadoptable dogs is cruel and abusive.

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