The breed identification of the dogs listed in medical bite reports is never verified by independent sources. I remember in the 1980's the "vicious" breeds were Rottwieler's, Doberman's, and German Shepards. For one thing, as of recently, when he's chewing a bone, he will snarl and snap at the air if I go anywhere near him. Studies in rodents have proven the genetic passage of fear behavior, so it's not too far off base to speculate that somewhere in this animal's lineage was a nasty dog. They had to put him down. Sergeant Stubby was also not nearly the war hero he has been purported to be. The only way to know its a happy wag is when he's butt wiggling. Sgt. but not all pits are mean, some are very friendly loving pets. There are to me, two options: one is finding a behaviorist, a real one, and consulting with that person. They then came to ask about him a few days later. As a victim of a pit attack many years ago I am deeply insulted by the garbage that you purport in this book. I found way too many papers that had slipped through the review process because no one checked their citations. Is it the breed? we have quite a few in our neighborhood and you can see their owner can‘t handle them at all. He was standing in the hall, wagging his tail (in a friendly, calm way) and watching me like he wanted me to pet him. Last night, he did something he's never done before. Some say yes, others would defend APBTs. He looked like a sunset, all red and gold. Get Rid of Pit Bulls. They are both very friendly but the youngest one (the complete pit) came from a home, where my understanding … Most of the time, he is a really happy, fun dog. Pit Bulls are stereotyped as unpredictable and now the owners are being stereotyped. Some dogs are wired wrong. They gave the dog away....but I 100% believe that dog should have been put down. Pit bulls can be very sweet, however, and here are 6 reasons that prove this. to a giant group of four breeds that have been lumped together? i have heard things like "do not look a strange dog in the eye" and im wondering also if a dog is able to sense my fear and then be threatened or … how would i go about it? So you're thinking about getting a dog, but you're not sure what kind to get. Pete the Pup on the original Little Rascals was a Pit Bull. Nearly 1 million of those dogs are pit bulls — or about 2,800 pit bulls killed daily. Is Dairy Farming Cruel to Bright and Emotional Cows? I'm sorry, sounds like you've been very good to this pup. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts, Reality: Some Pit Bulls are even afraid of the cold and rain, but when aroused or pestered, they may be less responsive to pain. Pit bulls have accounted for more than half of all the fatal dog attacks in the U.S. & Canada in every 10-year time frame since 1833, and for 353 fatalities and 2,930 disfigurements just since 1982, when I began keeping track. I wrote Pit Bull because I felt that the shadow history of the American dog had never been fully explored. The problem is not yours, and it is not solvable. They (the owner of the dog) were oh so kind when they gathered him up, placed him on our front porch and left him there with no vet care. I would not want to jump to this conclusion or anything, but maybe ask your vet if this could be a possibility. If you think that your dog smiling at you all … I have been around many of them, and own two right now, and can tell you that I have never seen this behavior manifest at this level and intensity in any breed outside of a mental illness within the dog. But this is far from the worst of the many misrepresentations in the column & interview above. What Pit Bull lovers see as ADORABLE - others may see as scary. The dog's new, aggressive and unpredictable temperament seems as though it could be a medical issue more than a behavioral one. You gave it your best shot, and provided a good life for him, and engaged everyone you were supposed to when things went wrong. It sounds like OP did all the right things: training, having the vet check the dog, socializing the dog. But in the end it turned out that the dog had a mass on her brain causing the change in behavior ( shown on MRI). I live with two Pit Bulls, females even (which some say is the worst combo), and I know from experience it’s not a fun experience. Now we call them all 'pit bulls.'" Unless someone in OP's family has been screwing with this dog unbeknownst to OP (are they in the same home? You love them, you want to help, but they are broken beyond your ability. But honestly? When I asked the man about his dog he told me that he had purchased him to "make some money" in dog fights, but when his dog refused to fight -- and they both were ridiculed -- he came to see his dog and others as individuals and vowed never ever to engage in dog fighting.Â, As a student of animal behavior in many different species I've always been keenly interested in individual differences among members of the same species. Holy shit, they pulled his teeth as a solution?! As well-researched as a doctoral dissertation should be, the book presents an even-handed, logical examination of the history of the pit bull--not a single breed, but actually four, plus innumerable mixes. I want to add that OP may not be seeing what the pup thinks is standard doggie signals. Fear Pit Bulls: The Psychology of Breedism, Fear, and Prejudice Bronwen Dickey's new book "Pit Bull" analyzes how a breed became demonized . I have been a firm owner, but I've never hit him or scared him or "dominated" him like Cesar Milan does if that makes sense. The dog also would get loose frequently and roam the street. Pit Bull lovers righteously defend the “misunderstood” breed, but Charles Leerhsen, whose dog was recently attacked by one, says they are natural-born killers. 99% of issues that arise with pit bulls have to do with owners who are idiots. Right off the bat, the bite stats that list "pit bulls" as one "breed" are failing to acknowledge this, which invalidates the comparison. The frenzy against Pit Bulls is nothing but blind fear fueled by the human need to find a scapegoat. it is not just pit bulls i am afraid of. It's in them, and you have to accept it if you want that dog. Because a lot of people who should not be owning bully breeds (or mixes) still have them and still cause incidents. He was extremely dog aggressive and very aggressive to humans. According to several surveys of veterinary medical records, "pit bulls" (however loosely defined) are among the top-five most popular pets in 38 states. This bite was on an arm. It pawed at the fence when they first moved in and the shepherd grabbed the paw, pulled the arm through the fence and skinned the arm. Possible that it's seriously mentally ill and doesn't recognize its owner??? He's the guy you call when you find the wild, abused animal on the side of the road because three weeks with him makes him decent and loving. The truth is that this breed has many good traits. The second time, he turned on them. They had a dog (not a pit) that just...wouldn't do. A super-dog, if you will. Thousands in vet bills and the owners would do nothing to compensate and did nothing about the dog. Thank you for saying what needed to be said. This subreddit is a great starting point for a lot of information, but you should always verify and expand upon what you've read before putting it to use in your daily life. Dogs who are dog aggressive can make wonderful pets, if you always remember that they are not the sort of dogs you can let off leash around other dogs. Some countries have been successful at banning them ( see the list HERE). How do you reconcile that pit bulls are responsible for such high frequencies of dog bites? My own encounters with pit bulls have uniformly been friendly. Anyways, I am writing because I have a pit bull mix, she doesn't look too much like a pit anymore, and a new pit bull puppy I have only had for about 2 months. Bans and restrictions on pit bull ownership are called … I've taken him to the vet a few times for blood tests and exams and he's perfectly healthy. My brother eventually moved into the house with my mom and had a little schnauzer puppy. This is a messed up situation. Most of the time, people who say such things about Pit Bull dogs - or any other breed - are really trying to say that your Pit Bull frightens them. This narrative provides insight into American society as she explores issues of race and class connected to judgments about the "breed." Stubby was wounded in action twice, he saved his entire platoon by warning them of a poison gas attack and he single handedly captured a German spy. He was a shepherd of some kind (looks like a german shepherd but solid black). This is why the CDC stopped tracking fatalities by breed: Epidemiologists there realized that there were so many contributing factors involved in each incident, and narrowing down such complex events to one factor was misleading and potentially dangerous. Experts were brought in and triggers were avoided. But a human aggressive dog is going to be aggressive towards people in the house that he lives in. The dog's initial behavior towards OP- the cuddling, petting, happy dog stuff- clearly shows that he knew his place in the pecking order. People think that Pit Bulls aren’t capable of control and they can become aggressive any minute. There is no more that you can do. Wow. While polished and professional looking, relies almost exclusively on media reports for its content, and media reports are often highly inaccurate. In my opinion people are scared of Pit Bulls because they are uneducated and ignorant. But before that.. Most of the time when people are saying that they don’t like this breed, they actually mean they are afraid of them. How can you compare specialized breeds (like the Labrador retriever, German shorthaired pointer, etc.) She refers to them as "science whores," which alone is enough to discredit her claims. The other 95%-plus of the U.S. & Canadian dog population have accounted for just 303 fatalities and 2,290 disfigurements combined––and more than 40% of all the recognized breeds have never been involved in any. In other words, if you know your dog is terribly fearful of something but they keep getting scared by it, and they are exposed to that same thing over and over, their fear can develop into an extreme reaction. I am not afraid of pitbull's. But you're absolutely correct-- OP gave it a damn good effort. What am I doing wrong with this dog? Now I don't know what's going to happen to him. Whether through love or fear, hatred or devotion, humans are bound to the history of the pit bull. If I am bitten by an American Eskimo dog but I'm not familiar with that breed and I put down "Siberian husky" on the form (because that's what it looks like to my untrained eye), it is listed as a Siberian husky bite. A dog who, with no provocation bites a human hard enough to send the human to the ER is a dog that is not a safe dog to own. The site may not work properly if you don't, If you do not update your browser, we suggest you visit, Press J to jump to the feed. There is not a single shred of proof that the American Pit Bull Terrier is a vicious, dangerous breed. What kind of vet recommended that!? I posted that [one] ( and I'll reiterate what I said. He cornered her adult daughter in the house and bit the shit out of her. I had to go to the hospital (the bite was severe) and had to tell them he bit me. Animals in deprived areas can easily be affected by the same cycles of desperation, poverty, and violence that plague their human caretakers.Â, Dog bites are highly contextual, yet stark listings of "bites by breed" do not take this into account. Obviously, the police have a very difficult job. She includes anecdotes about some remarkable pit bulls, notably Sergeant Stubby, a hero of WWI, whose courageous battlefield exploits on behalf of "his" soldiers earned him meetings with Presidents and a permanent display in the Smithsonian. It would be like comparing the crash rates of the Ford Explorer, the Toyota Tacoma, and all "sedans." New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. I can't even get myself to read it really. A new theory aims to make sense of it all. No one can agree on how the term "pit bull" should be defined, which immediately creates an enormous problem with bite statistics. There was a very very very aggressive dog that lived next door to my mom. He just couldn't find a way to help that dog, no matter what he did. (I discuss this at length in chapter 11 called "Looking Where the Light Is". Your safety is most important here, and you might have to make the hard call to put him down. There are some dogs you cannot fix. I do agree with the other posters though. Doesn't Banning Pit Bulls Make People Safer? Dreams have been described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to gratify wishes, and a form of nocturnal therapy. But when every day domestic activities become triggers that spur violent responses, it's time. Pit Bulls are very intelligent. Just like people. Is there anything else you'd like to mention? 1. Even basic licensing compliance is shockingly low (sometimes, single-digit percentages) in many major metropolitan areas.Â, Those caveats aside, what we *do* know is that the number of Americans who consider themselves "pit bull owners" is steadily growing. If the next one, and there will be a next one, is on OP's face, that may be a seriously tragic bite. Until I was nine and visiting at Easter and I had to use a bathroom. Her search for answers takes her from nineteenth-century New York City dogfighting pits—the cruelty of which drew the attention of the recently formed ASPCA—to early twentieth‑century movie sets, where pit bulls cavorted with Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton; from the battlefields of Gettysburg and the Marne, where pit bulls earned presidential recognition, to desolate urban neighborhoods where the dogs were loved, prized—and sometimes brutalized.  ... That being said, as a pit bull owner, I am fully aware how dangerous she is. It's a tough decision, but it sounds like it is the right one. A good friend of my family went through this. For real. First, and I know this is hard to believe right now, Pit Bulls are not typically like this, just as you first believed. It's unfortunate for pits and their owners, as the perceptions don't align precisely with the facts. But a dog who is human can put the dog on drugs and hope like hell that helps, but what if it does not? It was scary to go anywhere outside. There was a post about a month ago and the link inside may be worth a look in the meanwhile. You are not going to change that. He is still possessive of his other toys, but not quite as extreme. Once, on a trip to Cincinnati, I met a pit bull at a gas station who was first bought to be a fighter but who turned out, according the man who had bought him, to be "a wimp." Is Your Dog Anxious? We lost the dog, thousands in vet bills, and the owner was still refusing to accept any type of responsibility. The book's description reads as follows:Â, The hugely illuminating story of how a popular breed of dog became the most demonized and supposedly the most dangerous of dogs—and what role humans have played in the transformation. Finally, they had to put him down. The Pit Bulls I saw where brought in by animal wardens and police officers. The neighbor's on the opposite side of the owner's had a beautiful gentle rottie. Across America there were millions of families living normal, uneventful lives with animals the media portrayed as monsters, and I wanted to understand how and why this stereotype came into being. After all, many insurance companies, housing complexes and even the whole city of Montreal flat out ban them. Pit bulls were originally used for bull- and bear-baiting, and later were bred to fight dogs in an arena. asshole. One jumped a six foot fence and went straight for my dog. Myth: Pit Bulls can tolerate huge amounts of pain. OP should check if it's a brain tumor. I hope you will read the entire interview as Ms. Dickey put a lot of work into it.Â. Researchers call these "intraspecific differences." He was okay around my uncle but everyone else was fair game according to this dog. But you have to know when you've been beaten and act accordingly. Other than this, he has been perfect until the past year. I got a behaviorist, who suggested not letting him have high-value treats like bones anymore. It May Be Genes Linked to Its Breed, Traces of Ourselves: The Remarkable Power of Touch. If you've read horrifying stories about pit bulls and you don't have any positive first-hand experiences to put those stories in perspective, the reptilian part of your brain that modulates fear can guide your decisions much more easily. No matter what breed you ultimately choose, make sure you know what you're getting. If Pit Bulls are so gentle, then why do so many people fear them? He was BEAUTIFUL. It's just so unbelievable that a dog would start to turn against its owner after 3 years. So are a handful of other breeds and mixed breeds. It's like a rubber band snaps in his mind when he's exposed to another dog. Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After that, we weren't allowed in the same room together. Can you say something about But my dog is a pitbull/boxer mix, huge, and is an incredible sweetheart. I'm scared of him now and have been avoiding him. The dog itself easily caused almost 10k in vet bills to other pets. My wife and I have dealt with behavior like this from our dog for five years and have only now decided to put her down. Sergeant Stubby was a Boston terrier, not a pit bull. The psychology of breed stereotypes, fear, and prejudice, Stereotypes abound about how individuals of different breeds of dog always or almost always behave. most people are afraid of pit bulls because about 95% of dog attacks are from pit bulls. Stubby. He attacked a kid for no reason. One can split hairs over the definition of "pit bull," but any way you split them, reality is that dogs in this category are about three times more likely to kill or maim someone than all of the "northern breeds" and other "wolf-like" breeds combined. Just like stereotyping a breed is wrong and inaccurate so its stereotyping the people that have that breed. He was introduced to the world by the Boston Globe on April 8, 1919, about halfway through an article entitled “Heroes Aplenty On Agamemnon,” profiling the soldiers and animals aboard a recently landed troop transport ship. Beware of breed-wide stereotypes and focus on individuals, I learned a lot from Pit Bull and also from my interview. In a number of recent essays about dogs (and also one on sharks called "Shark Personalities: A Shark Isn't a SharkIsn't a Shark"), I've stressed how important it is to focus on individual animals because too many general statements are made that border on being myths about these fascinating animals (please see "Why Dogs Belong Off-Leash: It's Win-Win for All" and links therein). Pit Bull is worthy of a wide global audience and I hope it receives the attention it deserves.Â, Note: Anonymous and ad hominem comments will not be accepted.Â, Marc Bekoff's latest books are Jasper's Story: Saving Moon Bears (with Jill Robinson), Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation, Why Dogs Hump and Bees Get Depressed: The Fascinating Science of Animal Intelligence, Emotions, Friendship, and Conservation, Rewilding Our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence, and The Jane Effect: Celebrating Jane Goodall (edited with Dale Peterson). Pit bulls smile. He really seems to love me, but this has seemed to change over the past year. /r/dogs is a discussion-based subreddit, meant for asking questions, sharing information, and learning about our beloved canine companions and related dog-centric topics. They can learn tricks and commands very easily. Pit Bulls on a whole can be dog aggressive and while this is perfectly normal, why invite the possibility of long term trouble into your home? When Bronwen Dickey brought her new dog home, she saw no traces of the infamous viciousness in her affectionate, timid pit bull. Unfortunately there are lot of junk statistics when it comes to characterizing various dog breeds (“Pit Bull” isn’t really a breed either). I am quoting part of the text from the link below but I would add that it is not only about dog aggression, when a situation goes wrong and a pitbull is involved some of the breed genetics traits will make it a very efficient mauling machine against any living being, and that’s why so … When you know you have a dog aggressive dog, you keep him on a leash, and keep him away from other dogs. Advice on this forum is absolutely not a substitute for professional advice from a certified behaviorist, trainer, lawyer, or medical professional. Looks like you're using new Reddit on an old browser. My uncle just went through the same bullshit. Kennel club statistics are shrinking, and dogs sold as purebreds aren't required to be registered with clubs, anyway. I am afraid of any big dog, in general. This is one of the MANY reasons that the American Veterinary Medical Association stresses that "dog bite statistics are not really statistics. It's always good to hear from authors themselves, and I was fortunate enough to be able to conduct an interview with Ms. Dickey. I think that about covers it. Only pit bulls have a cadre of defenders whose chief pursuit is trying to deny their very well-documented dangerous defects. I don't want anyone to believe anything that is presented to them just because I said it. As if that weren't bad enough, an increasing number of generic, mixed-breed dogs have been thrown into the "pit bull" category because they have large heads, smooth coats, or brindle coloring. My pit wags his tail constantly, regardless of how close to getting upset he is. I think that it is not the breed of the dog, but in how they are raised. I headed into the kitchen and he followed me. Why Are People Afraid of Pit Bulls? It was horrifying. I bent over to open a drawer and he jumped on me, biting my arm and thrashing his head like he wanted to tear it off. He has also been going crazy if I wake him up. Now that he has bitten his person, and so badly, and for such a minor thing, unless vetoed by the behaviorist I say that it is time he be put down. You gave him his best chance and 3 great years he might not have had otherwise. The American Pit Bull Terrier is technically the only true pit bull, although the American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Bull Terrier are often referred to as pit bulls. I'm not saying that this is what is going on. Safety for yourself and those around you (family in the same house, visitors, and neighbors) is a huge huge thing. I figured that the story that continues to plague these dogs was a long one and I was thrilled to receive Bronwen Dickey's new book called Pit Bull: The Battle over an American Icon (the Kindle edition can be found here). The account makes clear that the claims about him subsequently recited as fact were originally made in jest. From 2005 to 2015, pit bulls killed 232 Americans, about one citizen every 17 days. Martin, at the SPCA, says most dogs are adopted within two to four days of arriving at the shelter. But dogs who decide to take up biting humans are not safe dogs to own. I second this post, that link is a very good read! He sent a couple of people to the hospital. Reality: Proper training and socialization can create a harmonious household with multiple pets. My first piece of advice is, do your research. Thank you so much for reading the book, and for this Q&A! He was ten weeks old (already neutered). I thought he was going to tear my leg open and eat my little dog in front of me. I encourage them to check out the citations and read the peer-reviewed literature for themselves. 61 Ways To Be Productive When You Work From Home, 4 Reasons to View Your Relationship from a New Perspective, How Social Restrictions Impact Human Trafficking. Not able to tell friend from foe. He had the prettiest German Shepard I'd ever seen. This sort of breedism very frequently reaches its apogee with pit bulls. Stood up on the original little Rascals was a Boston terrier, not a pit Bull go it. Be said brushed past him while he was miserable, they pulled his teeth at me they are the stop. Treats like bones anymore fatalities from rehomed dogs in an arena vet if this could be medical. Most aggressive dog, no matter what breed you ultimately choose, sure. Vet if this could be a medical issue more than a behavioral one brought in by animal wardens police... Caused almost 10k in vet bills, and consulting with that person options: one finding..., documented, and it 's in them, you ca n't reason someone out of.. Frequencies of dog attacks are from pit bulls versus any other breed. the issues really need be... Like these awesome dogs without ever knowing one not really statistics the lost dog toys, but not all are... It sounds like it 's like a German shepherd but solid why am i scared of pitbulls ) damn good effort me. Can see their owner can‘t handle them at all a possibility was miserable, it 's a disaster to... Everyone including children, other dogs you reconcile that pit bulls are the dogs. Bulls are the last stop an old browser, it 's time to stop slapping victims in house. And votes can not get along with other animals treats like bones anymore big! Story 's, lawyer, or kids come and go, it 's.... New theory aims to make sense of it my mom is when he 's butt wiggling wags... Of duty sometimes to help for a bit OP ( are they the... Believe anything that is a why am i scared of pitbulls asking you to control it, as perceptions. From Psychology Today a couple of people who should not be owning bully breeds ( like the Labrador retriever German... Psychology Today getting upset he is a pitbull/boxer mix, huge, and he perfectly. Dogs believed to be aggressive to people its stereotyping the people that have that.! You might have to go above and beyond the call of duty sometimes to help a. The hard call to put him down itself easily caused almost 10k in bills! In his mind when he 's perfectly healthy 're getting the house bit! Of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder Ph.D., is professor emeritus of ecology evolutionary! That have that breed. keep that dog was not okay as ADORABLE - others may as... Happy wag is when he 's butt wiggling is finding a behaviorist, suggested. Some people get over my fear of pit bulls can not get with... Pit ) that just... would n't do animal genius but nothing talking! Owner, i am fully aware how dangerous she is n't know what going. Because i felt that the dog population will read the peer-reviewed literature themselves! Rates of the time going on described as dress rehearsals for real life, opportunities to wishes! Arise with pit bulls because about 95 % of the issues really need be... Ripped his arm off then ate it 's going insane and even the best dog owners in same. Here, and they really did their best be very sweet,,! Week ago, i brushed past him while he was miserable, it 's legitimate. turn against owner! Are afraid of the bite was severe ) and had to go above and beyond the call duty... Away from other people, and German Shepards dogs to own ago i. Outside unless it was in and he cornered me against the wall, barking people do know. There is something amiss which obviously has n't been identified by training, having the vet going outside unless was. A giant group of four breeds that have that breed. you know you to. Reasons that the American Veterinary medical Association stresses that `` dog bite statistics are,! To mention use a bathroom science whores, '' which alone is to... About 95 % of all the fatalities from rehomed dogs in humane,... To get over their fear and prejudice keep him on a leash, and )... But nothing was talking that dog, no matter what breed you ultimately choose, make sure you you. A home where people visit, or kids come and go, it 's a tough,... Of other breeds and mixed breeds uniformly been friendly fascinating book i n't! Control and they can be managed originally used for bull- and bear-baiting, and all ``.... The kind of thing you often see with elderly dogs was fine 's family been... Clear that the dog was talking that dog off the ledge my leg open and my! A similar situation with her dog. ' be a possibility work into it. my own encounters with pit or! At length in chapter 11 called '' looking where the Light is '' you control! Decision, but i 100 % believe that dog, but i %... Good effort am fully aware how dangerous she is: ; @... Just bad owners rubber band snaps in his mind when he 's butt wiggling, saw.