Sunday, June 7, 2015

Pit bull myths: "forced to fight"


From back in the days when I used to accept the pit bull propaganda with which we are all continually bombarded, one of the most sympathetic claims I can remember was that pit bulls deserved our pity because they were "forced to fight", an assertion typically presented along with some sort of disturbing dog fight imagery, or a picture of a pit bull that had been disfigured by another pit bull. Naturally, someone sympathetic to dogs, but knowing nothing about pit bulls specifically would surely be roused to action by such dramatic appeals. Typical of this type of propaganda are images of battle scarred pit bulls with especially smarmy, sentimental and anthropomorphizing captions:

This is the myth

If only it were true that pit bulls don't want to fight...



Reality: poor Garth had a pit bull for a neighbor

As any pit bull owner will readily admit to fellow pit bull fans, pit bulls are all too eager to fight. The real trick would be to somehow stop them from wanting to fight. But pit bulls engage harmless little dogs in one-sided fights every day, with heartbreaking results. 

Poor little "Soup" was one of the lucky ones

The following video (warning - if you have any compassion for animals you will find it quite disturbing) is typical of the sort of carnage that is occurring in our communities, as pit bulls do precisely what they were designed and bred to do:


Pit bull kills harmless dog while bystanders cower


Shortly after being "rescued" from Michael Vick's dog fighting operation, a "Vicktory" pit bull at the Best Friend's Animal Society chewed through 2 fences to attack and tear the head off of another dog, named Bean, who was kept there, before attacking another "Vicktory" pit bull, resulting in serious injuries.


That pit bulls have demonstrated an enormous appetite for the blood of harmless, non-threatening animals comes as no surprise to anyone who knows of the of centuries of breeding by the animal abusers of the old UK, in order to produce a type of dog that would eagerly, happily and relentlessly tear apart weaker or more vulnerable animals which posed absolutely no threat to them.

Ironically, now that dog fighting is outlawed (supposedly for humane reasons) the number of animals harmed by put bulls every year is at an all time high, which begs the question: what is the point of outlawing dog fighting while allowing these fighting dogs to proliferate?


So we now have this oversupply of "working dogs" whose "work" is now considered a crime, so long as it occurs in a formal setting. If 2 willing pit bulls are allowed to square off in the ring, it's a crime. But if a pit bull "goes to work" on an unwilling animal, tearing the victim apart, it's not a crime. How is that in any way humane?


Livestock and farm animals also suffer from the oversupply of "rescued" pit bulls. A rancher might discover a sheep missing one morning, and realize that there are hungry wolves or coyotes in the vicinity. That's an unfortunate incident, although one from which they can recover. But imagine coming home to your ranch, to find every last sheep tortured, mutilated, dead or dying; faces chewed off, legs broken, victims disemboweled in a heart breaking, gruesome tableau. Thanks to the abundance of pit bulls in the hands of owners who have no ability to contain them, this is happening all too often. 


Use your search engine of choice and you will find a seemingly endless number of savage mass killings of sheep, goats, alpacas and other animals by loose pit bulls. It's not that the pit bulls are hungry - it's the confident, well fed pit bulls that escape confinement, find a pasture full of helpless victims, and spend an agreeable afternoon mauling the terrified victims. Sadly, there is seldom any justice in these cases. Most often, the pit bulls continue to terrorize local animals, and the pit bull owner faces nothing more than a slap on the wrist in the form of a trivial fine for "unleashed dog" or "failure to vaccinate" - or perhaps, in an extreme case, a sternly worded post-it note, left on the pit bull owner's door.

Some are quick to claim that "any dog" could attack an animal, but the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of serious attacks on animals are committed by pit bulls. The best estimates are that pit bulls were responsible for 96% to 99% of canine attacks on animals last year. Not only dogs, cats, rabbits etc, but sheep, goats, alpacas, pigs, miniature ponies, and other animals continue to be brutalized by "out of work" pit bulls. Tens of thousands of such attacks are committed every year, the majority of which are so severe that the victim does not survive.


The fact is, pit bulls are different because they were deliberately made different by the dog men of the old UK, over centuries of breeding for hair trigger aggression, relentless drive to attack, insensitivity to pain and injury, and for the compulsion to execute the killing bite, as sport. 


In closing, let me make one final point: All of the long time pit bull breeders/dog fighters I've ever heard from have been unanimous in the statements that they never, ever had to force a pit bull to fight. The only dogs "forced to fight" are the tens of thousands of normal dogs every year, dogs like poor Garth or poor little Soup, who are forced to fight for their lives in hopeless, one sided battles with "out of work" pit bulls, and most of whom die of their injuries. 


That is exactly what one would expect to happen when you outlaw "dog fighting", while continuing to breed fighting dogs.


In loving memory of Cowboy, Bandit and Sugar Butt

References -


Yard accident at best friends 'sanctuary', dog killed
Its a slaughterhouse out there

Pit bull home invasion killings
Heritability of Behavior in Abnormally Aggressive Dogs
Regarding pit bulls: the testimony of the experts
Forum: neighbor's pit bull attacked my dog
Forum: my dachshund violently killed by neighbors pitbull

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pit bull behavior: 3 distinctions

This post from a couple years ago has been updated and bumped to the top, as it has become increasingly relevant in the current climate. We see a surreal contrast between, on one hand, the daily toll of disfigured, maimed and mutilated pit bull victims, and on the other hand, the swarms of sociopathic pit bull promoters angrily attacking any news site reporting any news of pit bull attacks, bullying and threatening any who say a word about the pit bull problem.

As pit bull fans like to say, pit bulls are not like other dogs, and we must agree, but not for the reasons they would like. As a natural result of a long, bloody heritage, pit bulls have a set of behaviors and motor patterns which differ from other canines.


Pit bull attacks A/C officer

Those differences emerge often in the following notable pit bull behaviors:
  • Performing a remarkable escape in order to attack a victim.
  • Entering a stranger's house to torture and kill the animals living inside.
  • Unexpectedly mauling an owner or other family member.



How can we explain this? Do we chalk it up, as the pit bull promoters would have us do, to a problem exclusively of "bad owners"? How then do we explain so many kindly, loving pit bull owners like Darla Napora who have been suddenly betrayed and mauled by their well-treated and well-behaved pit bulls? No, we have to look at the genetic characteristics of the breed - this should be patently obvious. Only someone with a very specific agenda could deny the reality of breed-specific characteristics. Why do pit bull fans refuse to accept or understand the role of genetics in pit bull behavior?



Certainly, we can all agree that pit bulls are canines, along with wolves, coyotes, jackals and domestic dogs, which cover an incredible range of size, shape, temperament and behavior profile. If humans varied in size as much as different breeds of domestic dogs, then adult humans would range in height from about 2 feet tall to 33 feet tall - a remarkable variation!



One marvels at the flexibility of canine DNA, expressed in the sheer variety of characteristics for which domestic dogs have been bred - quite apart from size and shape, a remarkable variety of behavior and temperament is on display. From common ancestors have emerged dogs bred to point at birds, or to retrieve downed birds with soft mouth.



Shepherd types were bred to herd livestock, while the livestock guardians were bred for the complementary role of guarding and protecting livestock. Livestock guardians are remarkable to see in action. For hundreds of years they have had the job of acting independently to protect herds of livestock, using gradually escalated measures - only as much force as is required - to deal with any threat to the flock. Over the past several centuries they have capably performed a difficult role.



 The bull dog, on the other hand, was created and bred to torture livestock - as far back as 1500, sadistic britons watched bull dogs torture doomed bulls, and bear cubs were raised in Bear Gardens specifically to be tortured by bull dogs. After these barbaric practices were outlawed in 1835, the dog men, needing a new target for their sadism, decided that watching dogs kill other dogs in the fighting pit would be a worthwhile new pastime, and the pit fighting bull dog or "pit bull" was born. The early pit fighters found that mixing terrier with the bull dog made for a more energetic bull dog, creating a more relentless attacker, the pit bull/terrier mix, known as the "Staffordshire Terrier".



Dog fighters who brought their Staffordshire "pit bull" terriers to the new world renamed them "American Staffordshire Terriers" and to this day, a registered AmStaff can also be dual registered as an "American pit bull terrier".



There are a lot of names and nicknames for these purpose bred canines, and their derivatives (e.g. the American Bulldog). Perhaps in an attempt to disassociate these breeds from their bloody past, several new names have been given - some of them, like the "New Yorkie" or the "St Francis Terrier", did not stick, but other deceptively cute and harmless names like "Staffie" or "AmStaff" are in current use. (The deceptive labeling of pit bulls as other breeds by shelters is a subject for another blog post.)

Regardless of what new names are given them, these canine IEDs continue to make headlines  with bloody, violent surprise attacks on innocent animals (though only a small fraction of such attacks are ever reported) and to a lesser degree, on unsuspecting people - people who thought they knew these animals well.

Pit bulls are indeed special - but not in any sense that should be celebrated.

References -
Partial list of pit bull home invasion attacks

Should pit bulls be called "life flight dogs"?

Pit bulls allowed to abuse animals

Darwin attacks

Monday, May 11, 2015

An open letter to Tia Torres

Mothers of children attacked by "family pit bulls" continue to speak out.


"Dear Ms. Torres,

Recently I was invited to be involved in an educational awareness table which was set up in Manchester, Tennessee at an event you were scheduled to attend. As a mother of a child attacked by a family member’s pit-bull, I seize every opportunity to speak with the public about what one bite from a pit-bull looks like, and spread awareness that the breed was NOT bred to look after children while their owners were busy, and that shelter workers/rescue groups should NOT be misleading potential adopters to believe they are “Nanny Dogs”. This is reckless misinformation that is a contributing factor as to why so many people are dying at the jaws of these dogs."

Read the entire letter at Daxton's Friends

Friday, May 1, 2015

An open letter to Tia Torres


"On January 17th 2014 my daughter Kara was attacked and brutally mauled to death on her 4th birthday by the very dog we purchased for her at x-mas the year before."


 "I bought into your theory of poor misunderstood dog, gentle giant, loving family pet, great with children, loyal, snuggly. Our dogs were every one of those things—until the day something snapped in him and he wasn’t."

Read the full letter at Daxton's Friends

Monday, April 6, 2015

Dog attack report - 1Q 2015

We last presented the dog attack statistics on January 2nd of this year to wrap up 2014. In the 12 weeks since the previous report, there were 132 Americans injured, 95 maimed, and 6 mauled to death by pit bulls. The only other fatality so far this year was a single death from a Rottweiler, and no other breeds have committed a fatal or disfiguring attack to date. 

Gruesome pit bull attack caught on camera

There is one fact that stands out in stark clarity, when the data is examined: The breed of dog is, by far, the most significant determinant of risk in dog attacks. No other factor comes close to mattering on anywhere near the same scale.


Breakdown of fatal dog attacks over the past 34 years 

In all the serious dog attacks which have been reported since 1982 for which breed could be determined, pit bulls committed more than twice as many of the attacks as all other breeds combined.


The 5 most dangerous breeds

The list of the top 5 worst offending breeds has not changed since last report, except that pit bulls have increased their lead over all other types of dogs. 

Sadly, the record of pit bull violence against humans is just the tip of the iceberg. The real horror is the savagery with which pit bulls torture and kill pets and farm animals. Their lot is orders of magnitude worse. We pan to address that issue in more detail.

An innocent victim of everyday pit bull violence

The full report which tallies the North American dog attacks on humans since 1982, broken down by breed, can be read in full here:  Dog attack stats with breed - 2015 Q1

Discussion: Neighbor's pit bull attacked my dog!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The pit bull attack on my doodle

Reader Sonya writes about her harrowing pit bull experience. Her last name is not divulged here, out of the very real concern of stalking and retribution from the pit bull advocacy for her speaking openly about what happened. Pit bull attacks on animals take place many times every single day, and with the sheer volume of attacks, we can become numb to the problem. That is why we take the time to tell these individual stories when we can.


My boy, in happier times

Last September I was camping at a State Park with extended family. We were sitting around the fire pit around 10pm. My dog, Bryant, was tethered to my camp chair on a short walking leash. (LUCKILY - all the little kids were already in campers in bed.) A dog walked onto our site. I didn't think anything of it - I'm a dog lover and felt bad he was wandering around lost. The dog walked between our chairs and the fire pit. Passed me and my dog, paused, turned around and came back. Stood there, sniffed my dog, and then attacked him.

I shot up and my dog was dragging the chair trying to fight off the pit. I was SCREAMING for somebody, anybody to help. My dog rolled over in submission (as he ALWAYS DOES, he's a goldendoodle) and the pit starting biting him in the stomach!! My husband got the pit by the back legs and pull him back everytime he went for Bryant's neck. He ended up getting him on the top of the head and dragging him. The cries that came from my dog were horrifying! The worst sound I have ever heard....and I will NEVER forget them. I knew if the attack didn't stop, he was going to die. I got in there and tried to separate them. That's when he latched onto my fore arm.

He dragged me by my arm a while. I was screaming for help, somehow, my husband pulled his back legs at just the right moment and wrapped Bryant's tie lease around his neck and pulled tight. It was over. I pulled my coat off and put my hand over my wounds, and went looking for my dog. Everyone was screaming at me to take care of myself but I didn't know the pit was secured and I needed to get my dog in SOMEONE'S camper! That's how blood got all over my in laws trailer.

During this WHOLE ORDEAL, the owner was 2 streets over. In a campground in the middle of nowhere, she HAD to hear my screams. When they finally came, I was already in the car on the way to the hospital. My sister in law said they didn't ask what happened, if anyone was okay...nothing. Just wanted their dog.


The aftermath

Since then, I am paralyzed by a dog barking. I look for stray dogs every time I step outside my house. Even in my own garage. I buckle in my kids constantly glancing at my driveway. I haven't been on a walk. I run into stores. If I SEE a pit bull, my heart races and I go into an almost panic mode. I make a quick plan of action in case it attacks my kids. I am SO PARANOID when I have my kids outside. I now carry around a spring loaded knife. Always. My dog will never, EVER go camping again....and I don't know if I'll ever be at ease if we do. I'll be afraid for my kids...HAVE TO PROTECT MY KIDS. There is a pit 50 yards from my house and I am ALWAYS on alert. Even when my dog is in our fenced in back yard. There is life before the attack and after. It will never be the same. 


Monday, March 23, 2015

Kind-hearted Rhona

Her name was Rhona Greve; she was 64 years old, and she will forever be 64 years old. She was a Welsh woman with a good heart, who had brought up her errant grandson, Craig Greve, 24, as though he was her very own son. 

He was to become the deadly instigator of her death.

Banned 3 years ago from EVER keeping another dog again, he decided the law did not apply to him, and he became the owner of an American Bulldog called Solo. On Friday, he paid a visit to his loving grandmother and he took Solo with him. Solo savaged the woman that loved Craig and who had cared for him all of his miserable life, inflicting 16 horrific 'bite injuries' that culminated in her ghastly death.

Since 1999, 4,263 Welsh people have been admitted to hospital suffering from dog attacks. Rhona Greve did not survive her injuries to become one of them.

She is dead. Forever. Her family are said to be distraught, but did any one of them step up and report her grandson who was clearly breaking the law?

A 17 year old youth was also arrested after the killing; is it possible that this sweet woman had yet another errant grandson?

At the scene, Solo the American Bulldog was covered in blood and continuing to be ferocious.

The case has now prompted those in positions of power to be asked to impose more breed specific bans on certain breeds of dogs, and to make ownership of those dogs more difficult, alongside restrictions on who can own them. American Bulldogs and Staffordshire Bull Terriers AND their deadly crossbreeds are LONG overdue for these regulations.

Rhona is dead. And soon, if not already, Solo will also be gone.

But there are other Rhonas, other Craigs, other Solos. A grandmother, a grandson and a dangerous breed of dog. When stars collide and the universe offers up a preventable canine tragedy, we see again and again THE USUAL BREED CULPRITS; the Fighting breed dogs posing as PETS.

Rest in peace, kind-hearted Rhona.

Welsh woman mauled to death