I’ve seen plenty of owners of pit bulls who couldn’t control them. I can echo Stoid’s story, except I had to save a dog that nearly got an ear torn off by a pit bull which had been minding it’s business up to that point. It’s owner wasn’t doing any good, so I, being the person I am, ran up to help. Ended up having to get the pit bull by his collar and started choking him while hitting him on the head as hard as I could. Pit Bulls aren’t bred to let go, but they do if they can’t breathe.
I’m glad you’re ok, but just to interject a note of caution here. If you’re going to interfear with a pit bull, I’d suggest making sure that you have something large and sturdy to hit it with. I really don’t think it’s a good idea to have a 140lb attacking dog turn it’s attention on you. Perhaps a nice metal softball bat?..and hit hard…very hard.
I’ve said this before–if my dog showed a tendency to attack, we would have him put down. It would break our hearts, but it’s what I feel we must do. No one would have to ask or get a court order.
I realize that training can overcome problems caused by a lack of training (or a bad inherited temeperament). So yes, if we could immediately remove him from our neighborhood and home and get him into full-time, intensive training, that would be an option, but the likelihood of that is slim.
I realize that aggressive animals are “innocent” in that they seem to be a product of their environment–or a lack of training. Despite that, I’d much rather euthanize an “innocent” animal than consign him to a life where he had to be constantly muzzled, rarely walked or let outside, etc. That’s no life for a dog. And it’s not worth the risk that he’d attack again.
This is the part of dog attacks I don’t get: the denials, the refusals to take responsibility. Sure, you love that dog, but for god’s sakes be realistic about what you’ve got on your hands.
Cranky, you are so right. If my dog ever bit anyone unprovoked, the first thing I’d do is take him to the vet for a thorough exam and blood work, to make sure that there wasn’t anything physical causing the behavior change. A dog in severe pain can be very good at masking it, and sometimes it will manifest itself by biting or other aggressive behavior. If there wasn’t a treatable physical reason, I would have him euthanized. It would be really tough and would break my heart, but it would be necessary. I am ultimately responsible for my dog’s behavior.
I don’t buy that at all. Dogs can be trained, but there are limits. Some breeds are simply more aggressive than others.
Example: My sister had three dogs. One was a retreiver mix, one was a chow mix, the other was a dachshund. All received essentially identical training. The chow mix, however, was simply an aggressive dog by nature and could not be broken of its habits of nipping at people or chasing deer. It did not respond to training in this department.
Couple of things. I don’t know about breeds in toto, but it is certainly true that individual dogs have different temperaments. It is possible for a dog–of any breed–to be, by nature, more aggressive and crabby. If the dog also happens to be a large breed, or one with a unique physiogamy that allows its attacks to easily do fatal damage, then there’s real trouble–and I suspect this is why some dog breeds get so much attention (warranted or unwarranted) as “vicious” dogs. A breeder that is worth a damn will never continue a line once this trait has been identified. That’s why it’s important to always let the breeder know if your dog acts like this. If you’ve got a mutt, just pray that the rest of the litter escaped it, and hope the guilty parent didn’t hump/get humped again.
As for breaking habits, said dog may not respond to the training which is more than adequate for other dogs. However, I know several dog behaviorists who swear nearly any sort of temperament problem can be solved with patience and intense training. HOWEVER, I don’t think the average dog owner has the resources, time, etc to accomplish it. I don’t fault them that. In sum, few dogs are unredeemable–but sadly, few aggressive dogs are going to be in a position to be redeemed. A small point, but an important distinction, I think.
Walking on a daily basis with such an obvious defensive weapon would let the owners know exactly what may be in store when their cute little “pit bull-sy wull-sy” gets “a little excited”. Please check with the cops on the legality of this, and maybe you could have “Pit Bull Attitude Adjustment Device” engraved on it!
This works for me, stick your thumb hard into the animals throat next to the windpipe halfway up its neck.
Dog goes kind of drunk and staggers about, must be a sensitive nerve, one bull terrier attacked one of my borders which are not exactly fighting dogs.
The terrier got locked on near my dog’s neck and I was desparate in case it changed its grip and moved around and I was trying to strangle the thing but this worked quicker and better.
I hve jammed my hand deep into a dogs mouth which stops them breathing, if the jaws are forced wide open enough they can’t seem to get the bone crushing clench going.
and all the tips. It’s stayed with me, that’s for sure.
I am very tempted, I have to say, to start walking with a Louisville slugger. I could use it for exerciseing my arms when danger is not around, but it would be damn handy when it is. I am sure a good whack on the head would have stopped that pit bull.
As for walking with pepper spray…well, I live in LA, in a relatively nice residential neighborhood. I started carrying it after someone’s nasty dog leapt their fence and charged Maggie and me one day. I kept that one back by acting more aggressive than he was, but it clued me to the prudence of having SOME kind of defensive weapon or tool.
But I’m thinking that pepper spray is a little too small requiring too much precision to be useful.
For the first time in my life I find myself interested in the idea of defensive weapons…tasers, etc. (My fiance gave me the pepper spray, I don’t really know much about it). It would be nice to have something that would stop a dog (or a man!) cold. That’s the problem with the baseball bat…good for dogs, probably not as good for people, who could grab it and use it against me or Maggie!
Atrael, just a note that if the dog is 140 lbs, it most likely is not a purebred APBT, and certainly not one from a reputable breeder. The breed standard for APBTs is about 60lbs. It maybe be a bully mix, or a different bully breed. Though I don’t think even American Bulldogs are that big.
Yikes! You do realize that this could potentially result in your own death, don’t you? Serious disfiguration? Permanent disability?
My parents own an 11-year-old Golden Retriever/Yellow Lab mix. Both considered “docile” breeds by most standards. She has no human enemies, yet she has attacked other dogs on two separate occasions. She was not trained as a watchdog, but she is very, very “alpha” and firmly believes that she has to protect her territory from other dogs. My parents paid the vet bills on both occasions. In Ohio, they installed an invisible fence to keep the dog in the yard (no help when other dogs came in). Here in Phoenix, it’s easier - they have a walled back yard, and they don’t let the dog in the front. But it just goes to show that it isn’t all on the owner.
That said, however, (and this is a slight hijack) there’s one thing that hasn’t been mentioned yet, and that thing is the ever-popular spaying and neutering issue. Was the dog that attacked fixed? That may have contributed to the attack. My experience has been that owners who refuse to alter their less social (read: vicious) dogs tend to be the ones who train them to be attack dogs. In addition, intact dogs tend, themselves, to be more aggressive, more territorial, and more likely to roam. We had an incident here about eighteen months ago in which a woman went into the back yard of a family that owned two pit bulls (despite warnings from the family not to go there). She was attacked and barely escaped with her life. The two dogs were an unneutered male and an unspayed female who had just had a litter. Both dogs, obviously, are going to be at their protective best (or worst). A judge decided that the dogs would not be put down, but he did insist that they be altered.
Finally, I’m with everyone who said that this needs to be reported. In most communities, dogs who have bitten are required to spend time in rabies quarantine. Some communities only require it if the dog has bitten a person; others if the dog has bitten people or their pets. Find out what the standard is in your area.
Best of luck to you and Maggie, Stoid. Thank goodness neither of you was seriously hurt.
Stoid, that’s terrible and I’m just really glad that both you and your pooch are ok. That was scary, I’m sure.
You really, really need to learn to use the pepper spray. You were saying you don’t want to carry a bat because someone could take it from you and use it on you. However, if you don’t know how to use the pepper spray, the same thing could happen and with just as tragic results. People who buy a gun “for protection” are more likely to have it taken from them if they don’t know how to use it.
So, please learn to use the spray. It sounds like it would come in really handy.
Although this is probably too late in the thread to even be noticed here is my two cents. Pit Bulls are restricted dogs where I live. You have to purchase a special and very expensive license to own one. We had a rash of attacks on children before the city kicked in with this idea. I think there was one this year and it was a Rottweiler.
I do know someone who walks their Water Spaniel armed with an aluminum bat since an Akita attacked them. Having run in to that same animal, no leash, I can understand his wariness.
Here is my viewpoint - certain dogs were bred for aggressiveness and fighting ability. Whether this was for hunting dangerous animals (Rhodesian Ridgebacks) or originally for pit fighting/dog fighting (Pit Bulls, Staffordshire terriers, a dog owner has to recognize this possibility and be prepared to take steps to prevent it and in case of it. This means training and asserting your dominance and control over the dog. Many aggressive breeds often try to dominate over an owner they see as weak. It’s important to be seen as Alpha male (the leader of the “pack”). If you are not ready to take on the time, responsibility or financial aspects of owning a large dog consider a smaller one. A Bichon Frise who attacks and bites you is likely to get your knee or cause hardly any damage. A Rotti or Pit Bull could kill.
Jeez! What a scary story. I’m glad you’re all right and am keeping a good thought for Maggie’s full recovery. A word about pepper spray: I bought and carry the stuff postmen use, with a little belt clip on it, and had to use it recently on a pit bull that chased me while I was biking. I gave him two full two-second blasts right in the eyes before he finally gave up and turned back, which he might have done anyway as I was leaving his “territory”. If I had been a more vulnerable target, e.g. on foot, I doubt if this would have protected me from harm. I’m considering an arms escalation to true chemical Mace (you may need a license where you live, if it’s not completely outlawed).
Zenster, thanks for the stun gun suggestion. It could be a good backup defense for me if I get knocked off the bike.
Pepper spray should be more effective than mace. Mace will just piss some people(and dogs) off. OC, even if your target is imune to the pain, will blind them. If the dog was still capable of following you after you sprayed it in the face with oc, then you need to get a differant brand of spray. Not all brands are the same. Oc is used as bear reppelant, it will take care of any dog. I have used oc on dogs, cats, drunks and even a guy on PCP, and it works. get a good brand name, the one I carry in my car is the same that the local PD uses(or at least used when I bought it).