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« PETA now seeks to kill animals not in their care | Main | Weekly Roundup - Week ending 3/28/10 »

March 27, 2010

Comments

William

There site says.
"DogsBite.org is a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks.
Through our work, we hope to protect both people and pets from future attacks."

Also says.
"DogsBite.org is a volunteer website. Research contributions and active website participation stems from individuals that span the United States of America and across the world."
No they are not some experts. They are Citizens they are victims they are concerned by a problem that wasn't being addressed and are addressing it. You call them a opposing group so are you opposed to attack victims and people addressing a problem that causes victims? It is true not all what we call pit where are breed to be aggressive.--
The American pit bull terrier is the product of interbreeding between terriers and a breed of bulldogs to produce a dog that combined the gameness of the terrier with the strength and athleticism of the bulldog.[9] These dogs were initially bred in England and arrived in the United States with the founders. In the United States, these dogs were used as catch dogs for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt, to drive livestock, and as family companions[9]. Some have been selectively bred for their fighting prowess... To this date the breed is a mixing pot but there has been attempts to collect well tempered pits to breed them cleaning up there reputation to be non aggressive and tried to rename the new pit-bulls with a terrier name so to not get them mixed up with pits with unknown breeding but the attempts keep failing one attempt by a animal group made 60 St. Francis terriers then they pulled the plug on the program after several of the dogs started killing cats.

If you love pits try to recreate the breed successfully so that all the deaths of both dogs and man can be stopped. I believe it can be done but once we get it we really need to get rid of the other pits so not to lead to all this senseless killing on both sides again. You can even name them love puppies as long as the whole new breed of pit 2.0 are love puppies.

Brent

William -- re-read this post again.

They CLAIM to be a victims group -- but the reality is that it is a website run primarily by one person. In her efforts to "solve" the problems, she named someone "dog warden of the year" in spite of dog bites in the community going up 23% that year. They are giving bad advice on children's interactions with dogs, and pushing for legislation in places like Omaha, NE that lead to a significant increase in dog bites.

Like you and your comparison of pit bulls to tigers, she has no background in canine behavior and isn't qualified to even advise on the topic -- and worse, is leading to misinformation that is making the problem worse, not better.

If you want to believe the feedback of a person who is praising a dog warden for allowing dog bites to increase, and pushing for laws that continue to fail, it's a free country, and you're free to believe whatever you want. But as for me, I give a lot more credence to dog trainers, behaviorists, veterinarians, animal control officers, and people with actual knowledge of canine behavior over someone with a website and a track record of poor results.

And I will reiterate, if any of Lynn's hysteria about the breeding of pit bulls to create super-killers was true, then given the population of pit bulls in this country we'd have hundreds of thousands if not millions of victims annually -- instead, we have in the 10s. Creating hysteria doesn't mean it's true.

Mariah Fike

I LOVE YOUR BLOG. Informative, factual, no-nonsense. I have just used some of your facts to email Senator Beffort of New Mexico, pleading with the human in her to become educated on BSL. As I very clearly see it, she is obligated by her state and her constituents to keep New Mexicans safe. She will fail them miserably if she brings such BS to the table. Thank you for your hard work, time and effort. I will continue to follow your work!

Matt

I think her site looks pretty crappy too. People actually take that thing seriously?

Sara Dent

You are awesome. That is all.

John Richardson

Excellent article, Brent. Not only are the major canine associated national groups all against breed specific legislation, but huge numbers of rank and file animal professionals, including shelter workers, animal control officers, vets, vet techs, groomers and boading kennel owners and their workers are among the biggest Pit Bull defenders and often own one or more. These are people who meet all sorts of dogs all the time and have handled Pit Bulls galore. if the breed was anything like its reputations, we'd all be walking around with one arm or not walking around at all.

Someone Youdontneedtoknow

What to you makes an "expert"?? the site gives statistics. its not run by one person but many who CARE about their children being killed by these dangerous beasts that are allowed to kill and be rehomed to run free and do it again.
love your dog as much as you want.
but if it comes on MY property, its shot on sight.

Brent

An expert would be someone that has actual hands on experience with animals -- ideally hundreds if not thousands of hours handling dogs of various breeds so they understand animal behaviors. They should have extensive knowledge of breeds and breed traits (and not lump a dozen breeds together as all the same because they don't know or understand the difference). They should be open to data on all sides of a discussion, and not limit discussion to only people they agree with and only mention other "studies" that agree with their point of view. They should base their knowledge on scientific reviews and studies, instead of media reports or "studies" based on media reports. And overwhelmingly, the real experts in animal welfare nearly unanimously disagree with almost everything posted on dogsbite.org -- which means they should probably have EXTRA credentials in order to outweigh the huge number of experts on the other side of the issue. Instead, dogsbite.org just decided that everyone opposed to their ideas (which is most everyone) is part of some mythical lobbying group filled with breeders and dogfighters (which the idea that the vast majority of veterinarians in this country, or anyone else for that matter, is a group of dog fighters is laughable).

Real experts are smart enough to understand the difference between causal and non-causal factors in canine behavior.

Yes, this is the many people who CARE about dog bite victims by rewarding their "dog warden of the year" award to someone who had a 28% increase in dog bites in his community that year and pushed for legislation in Omaha, NE that in spite of it being failed policy elsewhere led to more than 100 incremental dog bites 3 years in a row.

And the real experts also unanimously agree that truly dangerous dogs are not ok -- and should be removed from communities -- but are smart enough to realize that such dogs take very different shapes and sizes and that if you want to solve the dog bite problem, you have to look at dog ownership and the science. Dogsbite does none of that. It's essentially a person who sits behind a computer, reads newspaper articles on the internet, and ignores all opinions on the other side of the coin. That's not an expert. It's a person with an agenda.

Ann

I really enjoyed this article and hope to use it for a anti-breed ban report, seeing as the opposition side usually refers to bite statistics from dogsbite.org. Could you please give me the source on the fact that dogsbite uses "Boxers, Bulldogs and Mastiffs - to all be 'pit bulls' in their "statistics". " ? I tried to check it myself but couldn't find it.

Brent

The easiest way would be to go to one of her year end studies, and then go to my year end study, and see how she classifies the breed of dog vs how I do.

One instance would include the incident in which Brayden McCollen, Cypress, TX, was killed and the dog was originally portrayed by the media as a 'pit bull" but the sheriff's department later classified the dog as a "Lab mix". So DBO declared the dog a "pit mix" and added to their records.

She did something similar in the case of Tonia Parks who was killed by her American Bulldogs -- but DBO lists the dogs as Pit bulls.

There have been similar instances in other cases over the years too -- and when you're talking 2-3 a year, it can make a pretty dramatic shift in percentages when there are so few such attacks.

Amanda F

OH thank you! Would you ever trust a rapist or a rape victim to work on rape stats? No, why? Because they are biased, but here we have a woman who had an unfortunate interaction with a pit bull and now is using all her power to punish the breed.

It was her stats that the MD court used to deem pit bulls dangerous! Someone really needs to call her out on this because the damaging she is doing to this breed is staggering.

Jen Brighton

I also think it's important to note the advertisers on dogsbite.org and avoid buying their products or using their services.

I was surprised and appalled to see Science Diet as an advertiser. While I don't feed Science Diet to my dogs or cats, I know veterinary offices often carry and promote their product.

There are also other advertisters on the site (National Outdoor Leadership School, Orvis pet products, the Tom Rose Dog Training School--which ironically shows pictures of German shepherds on its website, but I guess dogsbite feels as long as you are bitten by a German shepherd it's okay because, hey, it's not a pit bull). Seems these companies did not do their homework as to who they are giving their money to, or maybe they just don't care.

Brent

I'm sure most of these companies are buying this site through some type of ad network that is grouping a lot of smaller 'pet related" sites together into a larger ad buy - -we use these all the time at work. But if you don't monitor the site list, then you end up on crap sites like Dogsbite. A better option would be to email these companies and ask them to have the site removed from their ad buy because you don't think it's appropriate for them to be on an anti-dog website. Most of them probably don't even realize it's on there and would remove it immediately and take away dogsbite's revenue stream.

Jen Brighton

Thanks for the info, Brent. I know nothing about advertising so that probably explains how Science Diet shows up there. Good to know. I had already crafted an email to Science Diet with a few excerpts from dogsbite (such as their immature section dedicated to name calling).

mark

'They play heavily on fear.' True, you must fear pitbulls and the like because they can kill you. You must arm yourself to put these beasts down at the first provocation. Really, they should be put down before they provoke. I support the extermination of every evil breed. Your dog comes near me, or even looks at me the wrong way, he deserves to die!

Brent

Mark, I fear people like you far more than 'pit bulls' -- ignorance is definitely something to be afraid of.

Jenn

I had a teacher ask me this week if this website was even real (dogbites). She said her class (teens) could do a better job putting it together. She also couldn't take the actual pit bull articles seriously because she said the wording was "absurd" and "over the top." She does not own a pit bull and was frightened by the breed based on media reports. She admitted never having met or interacted with one before. After going to Colene's website, she said she was far more open to reading about pit bulls on websites that I had given her (Animal Farm, BAD RAP, etc.). It's comforting when educated people reinforce that they are capable of sorting through facts from embellishments and just general crazy. I'm glad that people like "Mark" are the minority, the handful of followers who have to post far and wide and repeatedly because they can't seem to gain any ground. And I'm very glad to have you on our side, Brent - with your patience and your intelligent replies. You are a huge asset!!

JM

Brent are you aware of the new site
whoiscolleenlynn.com

Jeff Ertelt

What exactly was the bull terrier breed to do? Let see fetch, no ... ah let see ...herding; say sheep, not exactly,...tracking ability with scent. Nope all wrong. The bull terrier was breed for blood sport, aggressiveness, and strong bite. To kill other dogs and animals. Generation after generation after generation they are genetically hard wired for one thing and one thing only, KILLING PERIOD. To say these animals are safe and just lovable pets is hog wash.

Jenn

Jeff - I have just the link to educate yourself. An actual geneticist (someone who has the background and studies to back it up) was on the radio tonight discussing this very thing and he completely blew you "theory" out of the water with scientific facts based on years of studies. He also threw some common sense in there as well. Here is the link so that you can learn: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pit-bulletin-legal-news/2012/07/04/canine-genetics-with-geneticist-dr-kristopher-irizzary

He translates for the genetic impaired (like you and me) - which includes explaining why everything you wrote above isn't factual or truthful.

It's a fascinating listen if you're into fact collecting.

Brent

Wow Jeff. Ignorance is bliss.

First off, by most accounts, the Bull Terrier was designed as a protection dog, not a fighting dog.

Secondly, by your "logic", we should ban pretty much all dogs as virtually all of them were bread to hunt something or protect livestock from something - - hunting lions, badgers, moles, birds, rabbits, foxes, wild boar, etc and protecting from wolves, coyotes, and even bears.

The reality is that genes change quite a bit over time. Science shows us that foxes can go from wild to tame in just four generations -- so ancient breeding history plays a much smaller impact than recent breeding history - -which is why Labradors bred to be pets have much different personalities than Labradors bred to be pure hunting dogs (and these don't make great pets for most people).

The reality is that most dogs these days aren't bred for any real "working" task at all -- and certainly most 'pit bull' type dogs haven't been used for dog fighting in 50 years or more - -and heck, even the ones that have been bred for dog fighting have shown to be able to be rehabilitated into pets in many cases.

Science, history, and fact don't really support your point of view on this Jeff.

Libbs

Thank You for this! I am a recent "Pit Believer", I ended up with a foster puppy who is mixed with Pit a breed i used to be afraid of. This was a meant-to-be accident i'm glad took place beacuse now i know better, these dogs are beautiful and smart. Love my foster and i'll be able to help more now that i am better educated.

Richard Polsky, Ph.D

Ever since this person started her website approximately 5 years ago, I have seen it grow, and it is basically one whose sole purpose is to condemn pit bull type dogs. Thus I was happy to read many of these posts.
I surely hope that others can understand what this person is trying to do trying to do: namely, intentionally defamed the pit bull breed, probably for a number of reasons, but what gave her the inspiration was the fact that she herself was attacked by what she claims to be a pit bull type dog. States that she was severely injured, and now apparently as retribution she is on a mission to destroy the breed.
From what I have been told by others who know this lady, I do not believe anything will stop her further development of this website, because I believe she is probably on a narrowly focused "mission". Fortunately for her, she is in a good position to do this because she is a web designer by profession and apparently is familiar with search engine optimization, given the rankings this site has achieved.
As previously noted elsewhere, she has absolutely no expertise in animal behavior, and in fact some of the material she has posted on her website, such as articles from scientific journals, have been posted without consent of the publisher. If she wants to add material to make it a content rich site, rather than just posting statistics about dog bite fatalities, many of which are incorrect, then she should write her own material rather than simply posting copyrighted material from journal articles.

Most of the statistics on her website, not only being factually incorrect on many occasions, are geared to give the impression that the pit bull type dogs is inherently aggressive and dangerous by nature. She intentionally ignores any of scientific literature that indicates breed-specific legislation is ineffective in curtailing the frequency of dog bites. Sure, if a pit bull type dog attacks a human, severe dog bite injury could result, but this is also likely to happen in other large, strong muscular breeds, who are not properly controlled by their owner. Rather than presenting an objective overview about the pit bull terrier, this author's opinions are intentionally biased to achieve the goal of creating a website to spread the word about the supposed dangerous nature of pit bull type dogs.

If anyone is interested in helping me create a website entitled "professionals against dogsbite.org" please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,
Richard Polsky, PhD
http://www.dogexpert.com

Nedbrown

I think the very basic fact that people are forgetting is that even if all dogs are the same likely to attack, there is a big difference.
If someone walks around in public with an unsheathed knife dangling from his belt, there is little chance that anything wrong will happen - especially if he is trained to use knives. But there is still a reallllllly small chance - let's say .01% - that the knife will accidentally cut someone walking by.
Obviously, we would not let this man walk around with his knife. The tiniest threat of a human getting harmed would be enough to outlaw the "right" of this man to carry his knife around.
If it were a plastic knife, however, obviously it would be ridiculous to outlaw it. The odds of it brushing against someone are exactly the same, but the potential damage to be done is infinitesimal, so they would not be banned.
You see where I'm going in this.
The fact is that the one-in-a-million pit bulls who DO attack, for whatever reason, cause so much more damage than any other breed.
Raise plastic knives as pets, not machetes.

Brent

Ned,

You're analogy is weird, but I sort of get what point you think you're making (though you're wrong). While I would never be the one to equate a chihuahua attack to a pit bull attack, there are a couple of huge points you're missing:

1) Pit bulls are mid-sized dogs, and there are countless other breeds that are as capable and as likely to cause significant injury if involved in an attack. Any evidence that exists would indicate that larger breeds like Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Akitas, Chows, Waimaraners, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, huskies,all Mastiff breeds, etc would be equally or more likely to cause major harm than pit bulls. Larger breeds of dogs have the ability to cause more harm. Pit bulls are mid-sized dogs.

2) Nearly 1/2 of all victims of major attacks are young children. This fact then grows the number of breeds than cause severe damage to children.

So if we were going to do this based on capability -- then we'd have to ban 50-100 breeds of dogs -- which is, similar to anything targeting any breed, so over-reaching that it is ineffective and unnecessary.

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