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« Fatal Attack in Georgia kills elderly couple | Main | Good article on media reporting of 'pit bulls' »

August 19, 2009



Patricia McConnell has some good comments....

You are correct, really really wish people would understand the need to socialize dogs to an infant. The dogs probably had no real idea what this 3 day old baby was. Result all around tragedy, and fuel for the breed ban fires.


American Pit Bull Terrier's get such a bad rap, and it's usually irresponsible owners to blame. No one should leave a 3 day old infant alone with any breed of dog, or a cat for that matter. When will people learn to be more responsible for their small children? A dog is only as good as it's owner, and this owner has let the dog, and the infant, down. Sad ending to such a hopeful beginning.


I really hate calling someone in this situation irresponsible. It may have been an irresponsible act, but I can imagine 3 days into a new baby, exhausted and trying to do the best you can - well, I think this was more of an accident than anything.

While people need to be educated on baby/dog intros, millions of people leave babies/dogs together all the time and nothing bad happens. Its such a 1 in a million chance - the actual BED poses more of a threat to children than dogs do.

And now, I flippin clicked on the damn link to fuel more fire on the sensaltionalistic reporting of this horrible event. ugh.


Michelle, it may be an accident, but all accidents can be prevented.

I know when I was a first-time mom at home with a newborn, I kept the dogs in their kennels or outside when I was home alone with the infant.

And I can proudly say that with 2 children, 1 3-yrs-old now, I have NEVER left my dogs and my kids alone in a room together...not even for a second. Even to answer the phone, the dog or child comes with me. Not because I do not trust my dogs, but because I believe in accident prevention.

Social Mange

I am just tired of human stupidity, in so many arenas.

Brent Toellner

Well, there's the double problem here.

#1, the parent left the child alone -- even for "just a second" -- with her two dogs.

#2, it doesn't appear as if the dogs knew basic commands like "leave it" and "drop it".

If you're having a child, and you have dogs (especially larger-breed dogs), it is very important at least to have gone through enough training for the dogs to know basic commands. You can't always rely on that...but it sure does help.

It's such a tragic case...but so preventable.

lisa williams

No one should ever have a pit bull if they have children Period. It's like having a tiger in the house and thinking you can keep an eye on it. Why would you want to .

Brent Toellner


People like you are exactly why I write this blog. I'm not sure whether you think this because of irrational fear, or because of some hatred of pit bulls, but it is this type of thinking I hope we can end in this country, for everyone's benefit. Your thinking ignores the literally hundreds of thousands of 'pit bulls' that live comfortably in homes with children with absolutely no incident. Many of these owners have learned how to appropriately introduce a child into a home with a dog. Many others have not, but because dogs are so naturally good with children, they have no problems.

Your logic also ignores the hundreds of children that are bitten by non-pit bulls each year. In fact, the leading killer of infant children over the past 3 years is not pit bulls at all, but a different breed of dog. Why only claim pit bulls are a problem when the evidence doesn't bear that out?

I have a coworker who is considering getting rid of his dog because it has now bitten his toddler on two occassions. The dog? A whippet. Does this make the dog vicious? Does it make the entire breed vicious? Absolutely no on both accounts. But it is a classic situation where the dog was there first and the appropriate steps were not taken to properly introduce the new child into the home.

It happens every day with dogs of all breeds. No lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) comparisons. Just the way the human/canine bond is grossly misunderstood. If we take steps to understand it -- the humans, the children and the dogs will all be better off.

I encourage you to spend some quality time on the website and read up on the topic. Some great stuff there about improving this situation.


So using the data which you provided.

This year, Pit Bulls account for 33% of all new born fatalities under 4 weeks old. Last year it was 16%.

Brent if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck. Its a duck.

There is nothing wrong with Lisa's fears of Pit Bulls.

The fact of the matter is that they are the dog of choice for the barbaric sport of Dog Fighting.

The fact of the matter is that they are also a very popular dog for weight pull competitions.

Put the two of these together and you have a case for rational fear of an animal which is known for its power and ability to kill.

Now take these two commonalities and then throw in the human factor. Drug dealing, punks who use these dogs for intimidatation and training them to attack.

And the best for last, throw in the media and if it bleeds it leads mentality and you know have rational fear of a dog.

And to top it all off, when ever there is a pit bull attack when some little kid gets killed you get the Pro-Pit bull people coming out in droves selling the same thing...its the owners fault.

It kind of stacks everything against your cause. Even though the numbers may be on your side.

If you went to a dale carnege course you might be able to spin this a little more to your advantage....Embrase, Hold and let go

Brent Toellner


I really hope you'll read a series that I'm starting next week on the Science of Fear.

While it's "understandable" that someone has a fear of 'pit bulls' -- but that's not the same as being "rational". Rational decision-making dictates that we will dig into the statistics, the science of dog behavior, etc in order to make the determination whether or not 'pit bulls' should be feared. And all of this evidence points to major dog attacks being almost entirely a product of irresponsible dog owners -- with the breed of dog being an irrelevant factor.

Let's not confuse having an "emotional" fear of pit bulls with a "rational" one -- they are very different things.

I do hope you'll read the series that I hope to get started on Monday.


Have you seen the movie bowling for columbine?

Take out the word gun and insert the word pit bull and you will have your answer. And then keep in mind that "perception is reality".

I will keep my a look out for it. I have been bogged down with TEA parties, Healthcare debates, Anti-Iran and the age old debate is it butter or not butter in the Product "I can't believe its not butter" leading scientists are split on this issue and there are some conspircist out there which think "ICBINT" was developed by Aliens to slowly control our minds.

Brent Toellner

Except, perception is not reality. Reality is reality. Perception is perception. And we really need to focus solutions to problems on reality and not on perceptions don't ya' think?


Well it is kind of a catch 22.

Perception...Pit Bulls are not good with a result the old lady's Pit Bull is not socialized with kids.

Old Lady Friend comes over and brings her grand kids. Dog kept in another room...Room opens and kid gets his face bit.


Stupidity...that is too all you people who are concerned with the dog when an infant was killed. You think you are coming from a point of what, compassion for the animal? What an evil and ignorant thing, to go to the defense of the dog. Any dog who shows aggression towards any child should be put down, end of story. It is negligent and irresponsible to keep that dog around and risk another attack on a child.



I don't see anyone here who advocated for the dog being kept alive. What we're talking about is the dramatic need for education of humans on how to properly train and socialize dogs to be around infants - and for the adults to actually supervise all interactions.

I'm coming from the point of trying to educate people on easy, basic steps on what they can do to prevent something similar from happening.

The dog isn't the one to blame here. The dog is a victim too -- just like the child - of a parent who failed the dog and the child by not properly introducing her child to the dog and for not monitoring her child around the dog. The adult set the dog (and child) up for failure -- and the dog failed. Now, both are dead.

But to be fair, we need to put the emphasis on the responsible party in this case -- in this case, it is the adult parent of both the child and dog. That's not defending the dog -- that educating people on who needs to be responsible.


I am the only one that wants to know why parents would leave a 3year-old around ANY dog. The dog is taking the wrap (as most pit bulls do)and the parents are idiots. How much bigger is a 3 day old than a the dog supposed to know the difference or are the PARENTS!!!!!

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