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  #1  
Old 08-31-2009, 09:41 AM
fessie fessie is offline
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Neighbor has Pit Bulls - Does Pepper Spray Work?

One of her dogs seems to be OK, she's had her for a year. The new one, Red, though, I'm not so sure.

My neighbor walks her two pit bulls at 6:30 a.m. and we've crossed paths a couple of times. And there's no doubt Red is a mean mofo. It's his teeth-bared snarling that I find unsettling (and there's the barking and the jumping).

I don't know where she's getting these dogs, she's not buying them as puppies.

They're fenced, she's responsible, uses a leash, yadda yadda.

But my kids play with their friends out front frequently (and our backyard isn't fenced at all).

Five little kids.

I'm betting Red thinks it looks like a delicious buffet just waiting till his owner has a lapse with the leash (or until he figures out how to scale his 4' fence).

Pepper spray? Would it work?
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  #2  
Old 08-31-2009, 10:03 AM
running coach running coach is offline
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I've only used pepper spray on other breeds when out running or cycling. If you get it in the eyes/nose, they go down. I don't know about pits, you might want to have handy a short, heavy club. (lead filled shortened baseball bat, crowbar, metal pipe, etc.)
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  #3  
Old 08-31-2009, 10:11 AM
fessie fessie is offline
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Thanks.

The UPS guy happened to bring a package 10 mins after I posted this thread & he said pepper spray is really effective. I will be buying some today.
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  #4  
Old 08-31-2009, 10:15 AM
Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party is offline
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I'm pretty sure irritative aerosols don't work as effectively on enraged people, never mind enraged animals (at least, I remember reading a report of an ex-soldier who went berserk and repeated pepper sprayings had no effect on him). If I had a neighbour with pitbulls and even had the suspicion that the animals were eyeing my kids, I wouldn't trust pepper spray.

Buy a large knife or heavy implement.
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  #5  
Old 08-31-2009, 10:19 AM
fessie fessie is offline
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Well, one neighbor has guns (he and his wife both know how to use them).

If I had to get close enough to a dog to use a knife or bat, then I'm betting the animal would be in the act of attacking and it would be difficult to stop the animal without injuring the child.
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  #6  
Old 08-31-2009, 10:25 AM
pbbth pbbth is offline
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Have you thought about installing a fence? Pepper spray and the like will work if you are there with your kids when the dog comes running but will do nothing if you are standing in the kitchen while your kids play outside.
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  #7  
Old 08-31-2009, 10:34 AM
fessie fessie is offline
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The dogs are right across the street from my kids' best friends. The kids are 6, 5, 4 and 2 years old, so the mom and I are always supervising.

The lawns in this neighborhood are bigger than average, which is why none of us have fencing (our lot is 2/3 of an acre). From the dogs' little compound to my friend's front yard is probably 80'.

There are no sidewalks, but there's also no traffic so the kids play in the street, which is the other reason we supervise.

That's a horrific thought, that the dogs could get loose and run into our yard. Because I don't supervise mine in their own yard anymore. Her dogs can't see our yard from theirs, she's down a hill and around a curve and there's a house in between. But still. We have a ton of big sticks back there, for the fire pit. And a few bricks. ::shudder::

Last edited by fessie; 08-31-2009 at 10:35 AM..
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  #8  
Old 08-31-2009, 11:33 AM
zweisamkeit zweisamkeit is offline
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Originally Posted by pbbth View Post
Have you thought about installing a fence? Pepper spray and the like will work if you are there with your kids when the dog comes running but will do nothing if you are standing in the kitchen while your kids play outside.
Or it's windy and you spray the pepper spray and it gets redirected to your face.
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  #9  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:16 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by fessie View Post
. Because I don't supervise mine in their own yard anymore.
Don't supervise your dogs, or your kids?

The news is full of "kids taken from yards and bus stops and malls" stories.

My dog boards are full of "dog stolen from my back yard" stories.

You have to supervise nowadays. You just can't leave an unsupervised dog in the yard and be completely safe -- and humans are every bit as big a danger as pit bulls. The nasty loner teenage boy, the pack of stone-throwing brats, the kid with no morals and a new pellet gun, the mean old man next door who hates dogs and can toss meat adulterated with anti-freeze over a fence...you have to supervise, or you're gambling.

As far as pit bulls go -- dog aggression is completely different from human aggression. Of course one can mis-train a dog badly enough that the dog has both, but trust me, the dog with his superior senses is totally aware of the difference between Timmy and Lassie.

Well-bred and decently-raised pit bulls...hell, even most of Michael Vick's trained fighting dogs -- are exceptionally human-friendly. Even the dog-aggressive ones -- and there are dog-aggressive pit bulls, it's even normal and acceptable in the breed, like duck-aggressive labs and rat-aggressive terriers and rabbit-aggressive Great Danes -- should be completely submissive toward humans.

One thing you can do that might help set your mind at ease regarding the safety of your kids -- although not your dogs -- is to meet the new pit bull in person without your dogs being present. If it's just a dog-aggression issue, the pit might be reacting to your dog(s) every time and you might see completely different behavior when it's just people present. Of course have your neighbor leash her dog before meeting you -- safety first. But this is something that might break the ice and lead to better relations overall, as well as conveying the legitimate concerns that her dog's barking and fierce face have caused in you.

If the dog continues to seem human-aggressive when no strange dogs are present, you have a real problem. True human aggression is an intolerable fault in a pit bull.

But it's much more likely that you're seeing dog aggression. DA is a problem for you too, as a dog owner. You can't have your dogs loose in the front (unfenced) yard, because you can't be sure her dogs are always contained safely -- but then again, you can't have your dogs loose (off leash) in the front yard anyway, because they will get hit by cars if it's not fenced. So all you're losing there is the ability to be sure that

Once you've established some rapport with the neighbor, it's worthwhile to bring up DA (assuming that's what you've observed) and ask about safety precautions. If her dog kills your dog, his life is most likely forfeit anyway, so you can approach it as working together to keep everyone safe. Fence and property inspections are a start; also emphasize to her that unattended pit bulls are, unfortunately, in even more danger outside than other breeds, because of their reputations and the general evil nature of people.

Unsupervised dogs are unsafe dogs, yours and hers.


.

Last edited by Sailboat; 08-31-2009 at 12:17 PM..
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:35 PM
fessie fessie is offline
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Where did I ever say I had a dog?

She has two pit bulls, and when I've been out walking by myself, at 6:30 in the a.m., my neighbor has also been out with her dogs. And one of her dogs barks at me a LOT. And snarls and pulls against the leash.

Thanks for the gist of your advice, though; it sounds like I should talk to her about my concerns. And keep the pepper spray handy. She's very responsible, her dogs are always leashed or else in their fenced-in area, or in the house. And she doesn't leave them outside for long periods of time or anything.
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  #11  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:38 PM
fessie fessie is offline
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Oh, I see where I used "mine" -- I meant, my children. They're in kindergarten and our neighborhood (about 60 homes) is very quiet and somewhat isolated.
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:44 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Originally Posted by fessie View Post
Pepper spray? Would it work?
Sure, it'll work. After I spray you in the face you'll be less likely to post such a moronic question.

We've been over this time and again. Pit bulls are no more aggressive (or genetically different) from other breeds and there are no reputable studies that suggest otherwise.
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:50 PM
fessie fessie is offline
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http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/statistics.html


"Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, has conducted an unusually detailed study of dog bites from 1982 to the present. (Clifton, Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to November 13, 2006; click here to read it.) The Clifton study show the number of serious canine-inflicted injuries by breed. The author's observations about the breeds and generally how to deal with the dangerous dog problem are enlightening.

According to the Clifton study, pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios and their mixes are responsible for 74% of attacks that were included in the study, 68% of the attacks upon children, 82% of the attacks upon adults, 65% of the deaths, and 68% of the maimings. In more than two-thirds of the cases included in the study, the life-threatening or fatal attack was apparently the first known dangerous behavior by the animal in question. Clifton states:

If almost any other dog has a bad moment, someone may get bitten, but will not be maimed for life or killed, and the actuarial risk is accordingly reasonable. If a pit bull terrier or a Rottweiler has a bad moment, often someone is maimed or killed--and that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk, for which the dogs as well as their victims are paying the price.

Clifton's opinions are as interesting as his statistics. For example, he says, "Pit bulls and Rottweilers are accordingly dogs who not only must be handled with special precautions, but also must be regulated with special requirements appropriate to the risk they may pose to the public and other animals, if they are to be kept at all."




http://www.dogbitelaw.com/Dog%20Atta...%20Clifton.pdf

Last edited by fessie; 08-31-2009 at 12:53 PM..
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  #14  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:52 PM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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Originally Posted by fessie View Post
http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/statistics.html


"Merritt Clifton, editor of Animal People, has conducted an unusually detailed study of dog bites from 1982 to the present. (Clifton, Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to November 13, 2006; click here to read it.) The Clifton study show the number of serious canine-inflicted injuries by breed. The author's observations about the breeds and generally how to deal with the dangerous dog problem are enlightening.

According to the Clifton study, pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios and their mixes are responsible for 74% of attacks that were included in the study, 68% of the attacks upon children, 82% of the attacks upon adults, 65% of the deaths, and 68% of the maimings. In more than two-thirds of the cases included in the study, the life-threatening or fatal attack was apparently the first known dangerous behavior by the animal in question. Clifton states:

If almost any other dog has a bad moment, someone may get bitten, but will not be maimed for life or killed, and the actuarial risk is accordingly reasonable. If a pit bull terrier or a Rottweiler has a bad moment, often someone is maimed or killed--and that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk, for which the dogs as well as their victims are paying the price.

Clifton's opinions are as interesting as his statistics. For example, he says, "Pit bulls and Rottweilers are accordingly dogs who not only must be handled with special precautions, but also must be regulated with special requirements appropriate to the risk they may pose to the public and other animals, if they are to be kept at all."
Whoopie. The Clifton study.

"Say, ma'am, what kind of dog was it that bit you?"

"It was a pit bull, for sure."



What a great study that was.
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  #15  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:57 PM
fessie fessie is offline
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You know what, it's way too pretty a day for me to sit here and bicker about this study versus that one. It's irrelevant anyway - I'm not asking about a theoretical dog, I'm talking about one that snarls and leaps towards me, straining against the leash, when I've done nothing to provoke misbehavior.

I'm also not asking for legislation. I'm asking for anecdotal experiences that are relevant to keeping my specific children safe.

You wanna bicker, fine. Have it.
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  #16  
Old 08-31-2009, 12:59 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Your study, like all studies attempting to catergorize dog attacks by breed, is flawed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clifton Study
Reports are logged as received, and the current log is printed out as requested. Compiled by the editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE from press accounts since 1982, this table covers only attacks by dogs of clearly identified breed type or ancestry, as designated by animal control officers or others with evident expertise, who have been kept as pets.
Bolding mine. It also allows me to bring up my own dog as she directly relates to this. According to the shelter I adopted her from, my dog is a pit bull/boxer/shepherd mix. If, god forbid, my dog were to attack someone, what breed would she be identified as? What part of her DNA would have been most responsible for the bite?

Last edited by Justin_Bailey; 08-31-2009 at 01:01 PM..
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  #17  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:00 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Originally Posted by fessie View Post
You know what, it's way too pretty a day for me to sit here and bicker about this study versus that one. It's irrelevant anyway - I'm not asking about a theoretical dog, I'm talking about one that snarls and leaps towards me, straining against the leash, when I've done nothing to provoke misbehavior.
The dog is a year old, it will snarl and leap at its own shadow. Its what dogs that age do.
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  #18  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:03 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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If the pit bull is snarling and snapping at you specifically (and you aren't standing in front of a poodle or something), something is very wrong. Genuine human aggression in pit bulls is intolerable.

Are you sure he's a pit bull? People are famously poor at identifying them. How big is he (estimated weight)? Are you sure he's aggressive and not just hyper to come love on you? I've seen people who couldn't tell the difference, although I'm not saying you are.

Talk to her and ask her why he's like that -- maybe she has something enlightening to say on the subject. I'd shy away from prejudicing the reply and just ask "why does your dog act that way when he sees me?" and see if she thinks you mean happy or hostile.

My general impression, not having seen the situation, is that an actually human-aggressive pit bull of any size at all should be evaluated by a professional dog trainer and thoroughly re-socialized or put down, and I say that as a pit bull lover and bleeding-heart animal type.

Maybe by talking with the neighbor you can figure out if this is genuine human aggression and then urge her to get him evaluated "to improve the dog's quality of life"?

It's tricky, because you don't want to alienate her if you can avoid it.

Please bear in mind that if she's a real responsible pit bull owner, she's painfully aware of her dog's bad habits and vulnerabilities, but again, if she's really responsible, she'll want to change true human aggression, or pre-empt it by responsibly having an unfixable dangerous dog put down gently by a vet instead of savagely by police .38s.

I feel sorry for anyone who truly loves a truly human-aggressive dog, especially if the dog is one of the breeds with a bad reputation. Under certain circumstances you can theoretically keep such a dog , but it requires absolute dedication, and I don't think it's a good idea even then, much less think this person is exercising total control.
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  #19  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:14 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
Genuine human aggression in pit bulls is intolerable.
It's also exceedingly rare.

Dogbitelaw is a lawsuit-generating website, not a source of information. Bear in mind that the Center for Disease Control is on record as stating that no study can be accurately compiled about lilkelihood of bites by breed -- for a variety of reasons, including pervasive media bias, poor or nonexistent breed identification, and extremely irregular incident reporting. Scientists have said it's not scientific to say any such study is accurate -- and that includes "studies" by the lawsuit-eyed folks at dogbitelaw.

Real dog experts universally agree that the United States was full of pit bulls for centuries before anyone thought they were a threat to children; they were nicknamed "the nanny dogs" because they were safer around children than other breeds (able to shrug off poking, prodding and tail-pulling).

Pit bulls have been ruthlessly (in the very real sense of the word) selected to be submissive toward humans, for the grisly but real reason that handlers wanted to be able to reach into a pit bull fighting pit and separate dogs without having panicky, exhausted, aroused dogs redirect and bite their handlers. Other breeds of dogs were selected (at least before the AKC made appearance the only criterion) to be human-compatible, but not under the stresses and not as thoroughly as pit bulls.

That's why a human-aggressive pit bull is so rare and why one is not tolerated: generations of effort have all but weeded it out of their genetics, and only morons and criminals would try to train it back into them.
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  #20  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:17 PM
beowulff beowulff is offline
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Never mind.

Last edited by beowulff; 08-31-2009 at 01:18 PM.. Reason: Already mentioned
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  #21  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:24 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
Maybe.
But they are responsible for injuries far in excess of their representation as pets:
http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/stat...stlikelytobite
No, they are not. At least, as far as anyone can tell.

The CDC has said that no one knows or can know what proportion of the dog population is any given breed, so we do not know scientifically what their representation as pets is. Period. Your dog-hating shysters are lying.

The CDC has further said the reporting of what breed bit is unreliable to the point of being bad science. People misidentify them, willfully or not; people can't identify them in tests; people will say "if it bit, it must have been a pit;" people under-report bites by other breeds; the press sensationalizes. Therefore, both halves of your ratio -- the number of biters, and the representation by breed -- are unknowable, scientifically.

That "study" -- and all studies like it -- are scientific nonsense, according to actual scientists. We've been over this and the scientists haven't changed their positions. You guys are fast moving into the same category as moon-landing-hoaxers and anti-vaxers when you keep promoting this claptrap.

Last edited by Sailboat; 08-31-2009 at 01:25 PM..
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  #22  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:27 PM
MeanOldLady MeanOldLady is offline
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Who cares if it's a pit bull or not? I thought the concern was over a possibly aggressive dog that may endanger the kidlets.

My question is: What are you going to do with the mace? So what I'm gathering here is there's the possibility that the little ones are playing in your yard when you're not watching, and the dog gets out and plays chompy chompy with the children. So you're going to run after the screams, then start macing the dog while the kid's arm is in its mouth? I suppose if you were right next to the kids, you could potentially stop the dog in its tracks by macing it once the dog lunged or exhibited some behavior that led you to believe it was going to attack. Otherwise, it would seem to be too late. You'd be spraying mace all over the place with wounded kids around.

Unless you want to arm the kids with mace, so that they can preempt attack. I can't see any faults in that plan.
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  #23  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:35 PM
fessie fessie is offline
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Sailboat, thanks, I will talk to my neighbor in that context.

Yeah, I was thinking about collateral damage & figured pepper spray on the kids was better than them getting hit by the bat I was aiming for the dog (never mind a gun, I don't have/want one of those).
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  #24  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:36 PM
fessie fessie is offline
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Maybe I'll buy TWO pepper sprays & put one out back, in case the kids needed it.

Not that I think it's LIKELY the mean dog will escape. It's just a horrible thought.
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  #25  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:42 PM
minlokwat minlokwat is offline
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Originally Posted by Labrador Deceiver View Post
Whoopie. The Clifton study.

"Say, ma'am, what kind of dog was it that bit you?"

"It was a pit bull, for sure."



What a great study that was.
So why the snark?

I see Fessieís post as some basic info sharing and not a condmenation of pitbull, rot, etc. owners, not a call to arms to have these animals destroyed, not the incentive for you to start packing heat whilst walking your pooch, and so on.

And obviously it brings out the poo-pooers who refute the study all together because their dog is a mixed x/y/z so how are you going to classify him? Well? Letís hear it smart guy.

I think itís at least one more think-about for potential dog owners deciding what breed to get and one more item-for-consideration when your neighbor brings one of them home.
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  #26  
Old 08-31-2009, 01:58 PM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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Originally Posted by minlokwat View Post
So why the snark?

I see Fessie’s post as some basic info sharing and not a condmenation of pitbull, rot, etc. owners, not a call to arms to have these animals destroyed, not the incentive for you to start packing heat whilst walking your pooch, and so on.

And obviously it brings out the poo-pooers who refute the study all together because their dog is a mixed x/y/z so how are you going to classify him? Well? Let’s hear it smart guy.

I think it’s at least one more think-about for potential dog owners deciding what breed to get and one more item-for-consideration when your neighbor brings one of them home.
Sailboat has already covered it all, "smart guy". Go read what he had to say.

Last edited by Labrador Deceiver; 08-31-2009 at 01:58 PM..
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  #27  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:04 PM
Telemark Telemark is offline
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Originally Posted by fessie View Post
Maybe I'll buy TWO pepper sprays & put one out back, in case the kids needed it.
Kids armed with pepper spray is likely more dangerous than any dogs.
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  #28  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:11 PM
cdsilv cdsilv is offline
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I grew up with dogs - collies, setters, mutts. Dogs that were human agressive learned not to be or weren't around long.

We were told over and over never to try to stop a dogfight by wading in - use a water hose.

It also works if they're trying to come after you - they usually end up wanting to play with the water stream.

A squirt gun with ammonia/water mix will stop them in their tracks, its what we used to break them of chasing cars.

Last edited by cdsilv; 08-31-2009 at 02:13 PM..
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  #29  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:15 PM
boytyperanma boytyperanma is offline
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Originally Posted by fessie View Post
I'm betting Red thinks it looks like a delicious buffet just waiting till his owner has a lapse with the leash (or until he figures out how to scale his 4' fence).

Pepper spray? Would it work?
I understand what your thinking. Pepper spray is not an actual seasoning. You may want to try rubbing them with bacon grease. Maybe that will motivate Red to scale the fence and rid you of the vermin while making it look like an accident.
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  #30  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:17 PM
kathmandu kathmandu is online now
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Originally Posted by Justin_Bailey View Post
The dog is a year old, it will snarl and leap at its own shadow. Its what dogs that age do.
You're not actually serious, are you? I've been around a lot of dogs, and that's definitely not normal behaviour for a one year old dog.

It seems like you're a pit bull apologist (and I'm not saying that like it's a bad thing - I also think it's a maligned breed), but this particular dog sounds potentially dangerous. It's certainly not unreasonable for fessie to be concerned
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  #31  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:23 PM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Originally Posted by fessie View Post
You know what, it's way too pretty a day for me to sit here and bicker about this study versus that one. It's irrelevant anyway - I'm not asking about a theoretical dog, I'm talking about one that snarls and leaps towards me, straining against the leash, when I've done nothing to provoke misbehavior.

I'm also not asking for legislation. I'm asking for anecdotal experiences that are relevant to keeping my specific children safe.

You wanna bicker, fine. Have it.
1) Carry a knife when you're out walking
2) Keep a knife with you when the children are playing outside.
3) You got a bad vibe from the neighbor's dog(s). Trust your gut.
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  #32  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:32 PM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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You're not actually serious, are you? I've been around a lot of dogs, and that's definitely not normal behaviour for a one year old dog.
Well, yeah, with the caveat that none of us but fessie knows what she's actually seeing.

She's probably accurate; she's a Doper, and I hope she's accurate; but my experience is that people in the abstract are horrendously bad at dispassionately evaluating animal behavior. I've seen, and read of, people screaming and fleeing from a dog wagging his tail. The snapping, snarling monster fessie sees could be real or it could be a product of her nightmares (no offense, fessie, I have largely taken you at your word in this, I am speaking of my general experience with reporting by third parties). People have been happy to pet my dog until they hear the word "pit bull" and then they recoil in fear (and possibly later tell others the dog tried to kill them).

That's why I've asked questions about the dog's weight and size, and urged her to talk to the family and maybe (under controlled conditions) meet the dog. It's about all I can offer from this remove to help her determine the actual level of threat with more certainty.

A picture of the dog "in action" would help, but not even that is definitive.
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  #33  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:39 PM
Muffin Muffin is online now
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Get at dog. If the aggressive dog gets loose, your dog can buy time while you and/or the kids get to safety.

Last edited by Muffin; 08-31-2009 at 02:39 PM..
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  #34  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:49 PM
schnuckiputzi schnuckiputzi is offline
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It may be reacting to its owner's nervousness or apprehension when being walked on a leash. I own a Rottie/pit mix who was abused and rescued. I have found when I walk her on a leash and I get worried/tense about someone coming toward me (worried about how she's going to react) she tends to be far more aggressive acting. I've had to really police my own behavior. That said, off the leash behavior can be totally different. She loves small children, licking and snuggling up to them, and if stepped on, will cry like nobody's business, but will not take revenge. Red may calm down as he becomes accustomed to his environment. OTOH, I would not take chances with my small kids. I am doubtful that pepper spray would work, as pits tend to be very single-minded when angry, and I have seen ours smash her head into walls and keep moving.
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  #35  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:58 PM
Jettboy Jettboy is offline
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A tip passed on to me by an old biker years ago is to carry a water pistol filled with ammonia; most dogs hate the smell/burning of ammonia, and getting squirted in the face with it will usually send them running for the hills.

Of course, you could just preemptively toss a poisoned ball of hamburger over the fence.
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  #36  
Old 08-31-2009, 02:59 PM
Justin_Bailey Justin_Bailey is offline
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Originally Posted by kathmandu View Post
You're not actually serious, are you? I've been around a lot of dogs, and that's definitely not normal behaviour for a one year old dog.
Of course I'm serious. A young dog that's happy and excited and wants to be petted can look like a snarling raving maniac to someone who's not familiar with dogs (and if fessie thinks there would be anything left of her precious children after she rides to the rescue from inside her house, she's very unfamiliar with them).
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  #37  
Old 08-31-2009, 03:08 PM
kathmandu kathmandu is online now
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Originally Posted by Justin_Bailey View Post
Of course I'm serious. A young dog that's happy and excited and wants to be petted can look like a snarling raving maniac to someone who's not familiar with dogs (and if fessie thinks there would be anything left of her precious children after she rides to the rescue from inside her house, she's very unfamiliar with them).
That's not what you said. You said that snapping and snarling is normal behaviour for a young dog, not that normal dog behaviour can be mistaken for snapping and snarling. There's a difference.
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  #38  
Old 08-31-2009, 03:13 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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Really? A 4' fence? I'd say it just doesn't want to come over. I have a tiny Jack Russel that cleared a 4' fence with ease. One jump to the top and over it went. My bigger Jacks have even less of a problem, which is why I now have a much larger fence.
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  #39  
Old 08-31-2009, 03:32 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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The dogs are right across the street from my kids' best friends. The kids are 6, 5, 4 and 2 years old, so the mom and I are always supervising.
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That's a horrific thought, that the dogs could get loose and run into our yard. Because I don't supervise mine in their own yard anymore. Her dogs can't see our yard from theirs, she's down a hill and around a curve and there's a house in between. But still. We have a ton of big sticks back there, for the fire pit. And a few bricks. ::shudder::
So, are you always supervising or not?
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  #40  
Old 08-31-2009, 03:32 PM
minlokwat minlokwat is offline
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So are some actually contending that:

1. There is no true scientific basis for distinguishing one breed of dog from another. And

2. As such, one cannot declare one "breed" more "dangerous" than another and that attempts to do so are scientifically unsound or contain some type of internal bias -intentional or otherwise. Then

3. By this logic, one should approach a "chihuahua" with the same level of apprehension as a "rottweiler"--assuming one is able to discern one from the other.

I'm not trying to debate this notion along purely theoretical lines. Yes, common sense dictates that you and your young'uns need to be more cautious around big, mean-looking growly dog than you do around yappy, rat-like, fufu dog. But are we really saying that one can't, in any way, shape or form -in very broad strokes- determine that certain breeds of dog (pit bulls, rotts, German Shepherds and Dobermans) pose a greater level of threat than some other breeds?

And a pre-emptive 'no offense' to any Dopers out there and no need to get those hackles up.
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  #41  
Old 08-31-2009, 03:37 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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How about just approach all strange dogs with wariness until you know otherwise? Which is to say not petting them unless you have permission of the owner and even then, not petting if the dog is giving off warning signs that it's not in the mood.

Last edited by Freudian Slit; 08-31-2009 at 03:37 PM..
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  #42  
Old 08-31-2009, 04:33 PM
zweisamkeit zweisamkeit is offline
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How do you know the dog is a pitbull? Most people I know got the wrong answer here and I've lost count of how many people call a dog a pitbull when it's actually a boxer, or a bulldog, or a bull terrier, etc.
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  #43  
Old 08-31-2009, 04:45 PM
fessie fessie is offline
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Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
So, are you always supervising or not?

We're always supervising closely when our 5 kids (my 2, her 3) are playing in the street in front of my friend's house, which is in close proximity to the dogs.

When my kids (and not her 2-yr-old) are in their own backyard, I'm not constantly supervising, no.

And when my kids are playing in the street in front of our house, I supervise pretty closely but on a quiet afternoon, before people are arriving home from work, I sometimes let them play on their own or under the supervision of their 9-yr-old friend.

Our street is unusually quiet. Like, zero cars from 10 - 4, unless you count the mailman.
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  #44  
Old 08-31-2009, 04:46 PM
Nzinga, Seated Nzinga, Seated is offline
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Originally Posted by zweisamkeit View Post
How do you know the dog is a pitbull? Most people I know got the wrong answer here and I've lost count of how many people call a dog a pitbull when it's actually a boxer, or a bulldog, or a bull terrier, etc.
After looking at that, not only will I never confidently identify a dog as a pit bull again, but I now question everything I have ever known.

I feel like I have been living a lie. I don't know if my own cat who she says she is. I'm going to force her to show me her Siamese I.D.

Last edited by Nzinga, Seated; 08-31-2009 at 04:46 PM..
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  #45  
Old 08-31-2009, 04:50 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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I've been around dogs enough to know that some species are more aggressive than others. I'm not going to debate this. Pit bulls fall into this category and it's not just aggression that you have to worry about. The thing to worry about is what happens when they attack. Once that behavior is triggered the dog is NOT going to stop because of pepper spray. That would be like whacking a hornet’s nest. The only thing worse than an attack by a pit bull is an attack by 2 pit bulls. We had an incident in my city where 2 pit bulls killed a man. He tried to hide under a car while neighbors beat the dogs with baseball bats. The dogs didn't stop.

I worked with a woman whose husband got a pit bull. She mentioned that the dog growled at her if she got near the food dish. I suggested she get rid of it, which she did after the dog mauled her. Her arm was shredded and I mean shredded. If her kids weren't there to beat the dog down it would have been more than her arm.

Pepper spray might work for an adult who can sacrifice an arm while fumbling for it. If you don't have the pepper spray in your pocket then it doesn't exist. For a child playing in the yard a pit bull represents 15 stitches with each bite. By the time you hear the first scream the dog has already brought the child down and is going for the face and throat.

Muffin suggested the best course of action. Get a dog. Specifically, get a Labrador Retriever. They are great dogs with kids and will fiercely defend them. They also have the body mass and jaw structure to take on a pit bull. A dog will be a better weapon than a gun.

If a single dog attacks a child then the next best weapon is a gun, followed by a baseball bat followed by a T-handled ice pick. If it's 2 dogs then the only weapon that will work is a gun. Like all weapons, you would need to know how to use them or they are worthless.

If you are left with no weapon then the best defense against a dog is to feed it your forearm and then grasp/tear out the dogs throat. You can’t be squeamish about this. If you don’t think you have the strength for it (you really do) then drive your thumb into the dogs throat until it is forced to release in a gag reflex. Then kick the dog in the head until dead and then kick it some more.
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  #46  
Old 08-31-2009, 04:58 PM
Nzinga, Seated Nzinga, Seated is offline
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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
I've been around dogs enough to know that some species are more aggressive than others. I'm not going to debate this. Pit bulls fall into this category and it's not just aggression that you have to worry about. The thing to worry about is what happens when they attack. Once that behavior is triggered the dog is NOT going to stop because of pepper spray. That would be like whacking a hornetís nest. The only thing worse than an attack by a pit bull is an attack by 2 pit bulls. We had an incident in my city where 2 pit bulls killed a man. He tried to hide under a car while neighbors beat the dogs with baseball bats. The dogs didn't stop.

I worked with a woman whose husband got a pit bull. She mentioned that the dog growled at her if she got near the food dish. I suggested she get rid of it, which she did after the dog mauled her. Her arm was shredded and I mean shredded. If her kids weren't there to beat the dog down it would have been more than her arm.

Pepper spray might work for an adult who can sacrifice an arm while fumbling for it. If you don't have the pepper spray in your pocket then it doesn't exist. For a child playing in the yard a pit bull represents 15 stitches with each bite. By the time you hear the first scream the dog has already brought the child down and is going for the face and throat.

Muffin suggested the best course of action. Get a dog. Specifically, get a Labrador Retriever. They are great dogs with kids and will fiercely defend them. They also have the body mass and jaw structure to take on a pit bull. A dog will be a better weapon than a gun.

If a single dog attacks a child then the next best weapon is a gun, followed by a baseball bat followed by a T-handled ice pick. If it's 2 dogs then the only weapon that will work is a gun. Like all weapons, you would need to know how to use them or they are worthless.

If you are left with no weapon then the best defense against a dog is to feed it your forearm and then grasp/tear out the dogs throat. You canít be squeamish about this. If you donít think you have the strength for it (you really do) then drive your thumb into the dogs throat until it is forced to release in a gag reflex. Then kick the dog in the head until dead and then kick it some more.
GodDamn, Magiver!!
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  #47  
Old 08-31-2009, 05:00 PM
Voyager Voyager is offline
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Originally Posted by Justin_Bailey View Post
Of course I'm serious. A young dog that's happy and excited and wants to be petted can look like a snarling raving maniac to someone who's not familiar with dogs (and if fessie thinks there would be anything left of her precious children after she rides to the rescue from inside her house, she's very unfamiliar with them).
If any of our one year old guide dog puppies did anything that even remotely looked like snapping and snarling, they'd have been career changed so fast your head would spin.
fessie also said that one of the dogs does not have this behavior.
Clearly the vast majority of pit bulls are just fine, but the cases of dogs killing kids around here are all due to pit bulls. The identification was after they had been taken and in observation, not from a quick glimpse from non-experts. Just anecdotal, true, but telling.
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  #48  
Old 08-31-2009, 05:04 PM
fessie fessie is offline
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I like that ammonia suggestion even better, I can do that. One of those RealLemon lemons (or limes) would fit in my hand just fine.

I'll watch Red's behavior more closely next time. What happened the first time is they barked and struggled against the leash as I approached. The owner (Jennifer) stopped, spoke quietly to them and had them heel.

As I walked past, slowing a bit and saying hello to Jennifer, Red watched me warily and growled quietly but was paying attention to Jennifer's instructions and sitting pretty still. Her other dog, Onyx, wasn't paying close attention to me. As Red turned his head to continue watching me, he bumped Onyx and she startled and jumped and then Red went into a frenzy directed to everyone, most especially ME. Both dogs were barking at that point.

The next day I didn't even slow down to acknowledge Jennifer, but I kept my eye on those dogs. It seemed like she had more trouble getting them to both sit this time. And again, as Red was watching me, he bumped into Onyx and then she barked and he went bananas.

She is not a large woman, if she picks up a third dog I'm sure the pack will outweigh her.

Jennifer said that Onyx was nipping Red to "keep him in line" but what I thought I saw was a dog who was fixated on ME. I didn't get the impression that Onyx was dominant in the least.

It was the tone of the barking that worries me. Our next-door neighbor has a large goofy dog, it barks a lot but it's friendly. There's a big Labrador mix that gets loose occasionally and wanders through the kids' play, he's friendly too.

Red doesn't seem at all friendly, his bark was gutteral with lots of teeth-baring.

And no, I don't know exactly what breed (or mixture) it is - my girlfriend w/the kids told me it's a pit bull (and it resembles the photos I've seen but WTF do I know).
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  #49  
Old 08-31-2009, 05:08 PM
Nzinga, Seated Nzinga, Seated is offline
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I like that ammonia suggestion even better, I can do that. One of those RealLemon lemons (or limes) would fit in my hand just fine.
No, fessie, I like Magiver's ideas better! He mean business!
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  #50  
Old 08-31-2009, 05:13 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Originally Posted by Nzinga, Seated View Post
No, fessie, I like Magiver's ideas better! He mean business!
Oh, he's an amateur. Any professional knows the ultimate trick. Melon baller. To the eyes.
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