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« Denver still can't prove BSL is working - and other Denver news | Main | She says she never saw it coming -- but should have »

March 05, 2009


Leland Bishop

I keep hearing it is not the breed. Nonsense. Chow's were breed to be aggressive dogs. I've personally been attacked by two chows. I've only been attacked by dogs twice and I normally have very good rapport with animals. The breed is a large part of the issue. While not all chows are aggressive, they are much more commonly aggressive than almost any other breed.


Oh, there are bad Chows out there, just like there are bad other breeds of dogs. Chows, like many of the other vilified dogs, often get used by people with negative motives -- and they are chosen because of their reputation. But you get a person with negative motives, you're most likely going to have a negative dog.

Which isn't the case at all here. Keep in mind that last year, 5 of the 23 fatality victims were less than 2 months of age - -8 of them were less than 14 months. There were 6 different breeds involved in those (none Chows). Parents learning to introduce dogs and infants into the same household is a serious that causes a lot of dogs to end up in shelters and a lot of bites to occur.

Major attacks like this usually fall into about 1 of 3 situations that lead up to the attack....and breed is never the common denominator.


Having been bitten by a certain breed of dog twice does not prove 'it's the breed'. It does not prove anything.

How many chows exist today? How many of them have attacked? What would that statistic prove?

I have been attacked once, and it was not a chow. It was an Old English sheepdog. What does this prove?


I believe blaming a breed is oftentimes using the breed as a scapegoat for lack of common sense in humans.

I have been bit by a Cocker Spaniel, German Shepherd, and a Shih Tzu, naming a few. Does this mean I am victim of animals that were bred to be aggressive? Probably not. What it does mean is that either a.) the animal was not properly socialized to deal with a wild kid like me b.) I was young and not interacting with an animal as an animal. I'll admit it, b is the correct answer. If most of us would admit this second fact, I beleive dog bites would decrease. I don't think they would diminish because sometimes there are bad dogs, but not bad breeds.


Chows were 'bred' to be aggressive? News to me. My history says they were bred as draft and herding dogs and as food.

I've always found the Chinese breeds, which are among the oldest, to be aloof snd not overly friendly with non-family members. In other words, they tend to be one-man dogs who don't like to be bugged but again, that's true of many breeds and types.

Carianne was bitten by two of the top three biters in Canada, according to ER reports. The third position is held by the Golden retriever.


If we're going to start breed profiling, I'll mention that I've personally been bitten twice, as well -- once by a Chihuahua, once by a Chi/JRT mix. In fact, the groomers I know all DREAD working with toy breeds - give an average groomer a choice between a Yorkie and a Pit Bull, and almost all will pick the Pittie.

This, I think, has a LOT more to do with the dynamics between toy dogs and their owners than it does with breed. The same can be said about any dog that bites, of course.

I've always said that a dangerous dog is an individual, not a breed - and at that, I think that there are really remarkably few totally batshit dogs out there. It's most surprising that there aren't more, considering how many dogs have been woefully treated by people.


In my family we have had 4 bites by dachshunds, 1 bite from a poodle, 1 bite from a cocker, 2 bites from pitbulls, and 2 dog bites from schnauzers. These were all pretty serious attacks, one of them resulting in several surgeries to repair damage.

I have been threatened by 2 different rottweilers from two separate families and a handful of pitts and a chocolate lab that I was trying to get social with as a volunteer in a shelter setting but I got out of the way quickly.

I think that my experience is that the little dog is more likely to attack but can not do the amount of damage that the bigger dog can do if it attacks.

Myke Locksmith

Dog owners are always so protective of their dogs the same way gun owners are protective of their guns. No matter how many dog attack or accidental gun death stories they hear, they always say it's the owner's fault and the incident is preventable, and no focus should be placed on dog ownership, or gun ownership. The fact of the matter is it is risky to own a dog, and it is risky to own a gun, and no amount of prevention, training, planning, or precautions completely eliminate the risk of being injured or killed. It always cracks me up to hear pitbull owners dismiss the dangers of owning pitbulls just because they "trained" theirs. I'm sure every single pitbull owner who has been attacked by their own dog thought the same thing right before the attack.



Obviously owning a dog comes with some risk. Virtually everything in our society comes with some amount of risk. The risk posed by dogs is infinitely small -- smaller than the risks associated with every day things like swimming pools, playground equipment, ladders, trampolines, legos, bathtubs, etc.

In my opinion, it is important to actually assess the risks and determine what risks are worth investing behind minimizing/elminating. And frankly, dogs are so far down the list that they are barely even worth funding animal control for (keep in mind that ACs were largely founded because of problems with rabies -- and it's been over 30 years since a person has died in the US from being bitten by a dog in this country).

And it's even more interesting when you single out 'pit bulls' in your comment on a story about a chow chow killing a small child

PAMM - People Against Moronic Myke

Make that the Incomplete Locksmith. I know this story was a hard to pick...but CHOW CHOW was in the first paragraph SECOND line.

Myke Locksmith

:P Moronic Myke... good one. The original article objected to singling out a specific breed and suggested focusing, instead, on teaching dog owners how to better socialize their dogs. I used pit bulls as an example of the extreme to illustrate that even people who own one of the most dangerous breeds would agree with the author.

I think there is a level of pride people feel when they can say they trained a beast who is capable of killing a man to be gentle. Challenging that pride is almost always met with defensiveness and assurance that his or her dog would never hurt a fly. They'll insist only irresponsible or lazy dog owners would allow their dog to be so savage as to attack a child. But this just isn't the case. Like I said before, no amount of foresight or planning can completely eliminate the risk.

I'm not saying people shouldn't own dogs. My point is simply, I think it's silly to blindly jump to the dog's defense and immediately assume it is the fault of poor owners.

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