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lefty's random dog thread.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by lefty, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. djblisk

    djblisk Senior member

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    A lot actually. Unfortunately, owners are not smart enough to distinguish pitbulls that have aggressive vs ones that do not. So they generalize to be on the safe side. Letting other people know that your dog is not aggressive should be depended on as an absolute as I have personally seen people say that their dogs are not aggressive but clearly show aggressive tendencies. It will also depend on the pitbull and how they act of course. Its not a one size fit all answer.
     


  2. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    Point I was making that a lot of aholes get dogs like that to be seen to be tough by other people in their community and turn the dog into a vicious animal to support their self image of being a hardman.
     


  3. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    I would never let my male Tosas play with male Pits. Female Pits were another matter. Some of my dogs' favorite girlfriends were Pits.

    As a general matter, I think it is only common prudence to be extra cautious about socializing your dog with one of a breed with a high potential for dog aggression, and that is especially true if your dog is also one with a high aggression potential.

    This reminds me of a funny story: One afternoon my stepson and I were down at the Huntington Beach dog beach with our little female Jessie. Jessie was still a youngster and only about 80 pounds at the time. She spent quite a while playing nicely with a huge harlequin Dane bitch that was at least twice her size. Sometime later I heard from a third party that the husband had gone home and told his wife how their Dane had spent some time playing with an unusual breed of dog, a Tosa. His wife, who evidently knew more about dogs, exploded, "YOU WHAT???!!!," and accused him of jeopardizing their Dane's very life, which was hardly the case.
     


  4. Geoffrey Firmin

    Geoffrey Firmin Senior member

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    Totally agree with you about being extra cautious and keep a short leash on him around other dogs.

    The main problem is small dogs who have the “you talking to me?” Agressive attitude to any dog bigger than them.
     


  5. djblisk

    djblisk Senior member

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    Agreed
     


  6. Scelerat

    Scelerat Senior member

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    There is no such thing as an "aggressive breed", what tends to happen is that a person wants an aggressive looking dog to make them look hard, so they get a bull terrier, or a rotweiler, encourage their aggression and feed into all of the aggressive dog stereotypes. Then the dog attacks another dog, or a person, and has to be destroyed.
     


  7. dacox

    dacox Senior member

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    While owners can play a key role in determining the aggression level in their dogs, certain breeds definitely have the potential to be more naturally aggressive than others. There is also a lot of individuality within a breed, or even a litter. But dogs have been selectively bred for generations to express different personality traits, and that is why certain breeds get (IMO correctly) categorized as being more aggressive than others. You are much more likely to get a naturally aggressive Fila than a naturally aggressive Golden Retriever. That does not mean that there has never been a docile, friendly Fila or an over-aggressive golden, but Filas in general should rightly be described as being the more aggressive breed.


    That being said, I do think that people use the term without putting much thought in to it. There is a spectrum of dominance-protectiveness-aggression where, depending on the circumstances, two identical reactions by the same dog or breed of dog should be categorized differently, and a lot of people do not quite understand the distinction.


    I also think that people describe certain breeds as being aggressive without really having experienced an actual "aggressive" breed in person. There are people that would describe their golden as being aggressive for running along the fence and barking at people passing by. That is not real aggression. Real aggression was a Tibetan Mastiff that I saw that would have had me by the throat without a second thought if he got free of his chain. I was not being threatening in any way, his owner was being friendly to me and, from what I could tell, the dog had a nice, loving family. He was just hyper-aggressive individual and doing what he was bred to do to a stranger (although he was definitely on the far end of the aggression spectrum).


    Personally, I have a young male Boerboel. He has met hundreds of people and probably over a hundred individual dogs in his two years. That is more than my last two dogs combined when they were his age. He has never shown any sign of human or dog aggression, but when I am out with him I am still much more careful when approaching or being approached by people than I was with my border collie/lab mix when she was young. They are just two completely different breeds with completely different personalities. While I would not describe him as aggressive at all, he is definitely dominant and has shown protective tendencies. That is why I had to have a talk with my new neighbor about cutting through our back yard but rather coming around the front of the house to the front door if he needs something. I would have never had to do that when I had the Border Collie mix.


    Knowing your breed and their tendency towards aggressive, dominant, or protective behavior is the first step towards controlling those tendencies. A lot of the problems you describe occur when an irresponsible owner is combined with an aggressive/dominant/protective breed. That combination is what leads to a lot of the accidents that people hear about.
     


  8. djblisk

    djblisk Senior member

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    Well said
     


  9. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    I couldn't disagree more. As one dogwise friend said, "You can't take the point out of the pointer." Most of the fighting breeds have been bred for battle for hundreds of generations, and a couple of generations of show/pet breeding are not going to take it out of them. A few posts back, I mentioned my little female Tosa Jessie. Jessie was the runt of her litter, about half the size of her littermates. A little girl, the daughter of the woman caring for the litter, took her under her wing and nursed her with doll's bottles of goat's milk. In the end, we decided to take her. The dog was raised completely with love and good training. We never encouraged her to be aggressive. Yet in the end, she was a Tosa. She hammered my wife's Standard Poodle, who had bullied her a lot as she was growing up and had previously torn up my wife's other poodle so badly she had to be put down. Jessie also quickly subdued a vicious Golden Retriever (and there are no few of those around, contrary to the breed's benign image) that had charged and attacked her, and in the end she was ready to mix it up with any dog that gave her attitude. She was, however, very gentle and loving with all humans, i.e., she had a true and typical fighting dog temperament.
     


  10. Scelerat

    Scelerat Senior member

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    Then perhaps the Dangerous Dogs Act in the UK is correct in banning what they refer to as "Dangerous Breeds", like Tosas.
     


  11. dacox

    dacox Senior member

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    Whether or not you agree with bans is one issue, but if there is a problem with dog attacks and it is a politician's responsibility to find a way to reduce serious injuries or deaths (to both people and other dogs), then banning some "dangerous breeds" is probably the most effective measure that they can take to solve the problem. Like it or not, some breeds are simply more dangerous than others, especially in the hands of irresponsible owners. At the end of the day my Boerboel, despite the hoops that I have jumped through socializing and training him, is always going to be more dangerous for people and other dogs to be around than my friends Miniature Pinscher.

    Also, what would be the alternative to a "Dangerous Breeds" ban if a locality has a problem with dog attacks? Would letting animal control or the police decide for themselves on an individual basis which dogs are dangerous be better? I do not think there are enough experienced and qualified officers out there that are capable of making that decision. Letting an unqualified person decide which dogs are dangerous is how you end up with a situation like the one my friend had to deal with. His kids were playing with their pit off leash outside of their house one day in Chicago. When a neighbor reported a pit running loose on the street an officer showed up and shot it dead in front of his kids. That is obviously an extreme example, but it is still shows the judgement that some officers out there exhibit when forced to deal with a situation involving a potentially dangerous breed.

    So, despite being the owner of a breed that is making its way on to more and more banned lists, I can see the logic behind it. If nobody owned any Boerboels, then there would not be any Boerboel attacks.
     


  12. djblisk

    djblisk Senior member

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    Fuck. He shot the dog. That shit pisses me off.

    My cousin is an LAPD officer who was never keen on dogs. Working as a cop has made it even worse for him since 1. He isn't a dog person and therefore does not understand or know dog cues or how to react to dogs and 2. Because the amount of shitty dogs that he sees on any current day is so large that his coworkers and him have no tolerance for any dog that can not be controlled or that is charging them regardless of whether we think they look aggressive or not.

    Vicious cycle.
     


  13. dacox

    dacox Senior member

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    And that is why I can see the logic behind banning certain breeds. This happened in a not particularly great part of Chicago, so I can only imagine that the officers in that area must have had plenty of encounters with aggressive dogs. Add to the mix an officer who, like your cousin, is not a dog person and can not read their cues, and you can understand why he acted how he did. It does not make it right, and it was especially traumatic for the family, but it happened.

    Luckily we moved out of downtown and our dog has a big, private yard to play in while off leash, but prior to moving the fear of what might happen if to him if he was off-leash in public around the wrong person was always in the back of my mind.
     


  14. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    The Tosa was included in the "Dangerous Dogs" act almost entirely because of a campaign of hate and hysteria stirred up by The Sun (of Page 3 Girl fame) as a result of the importation of one friendly puppy (from mild bloodlines at that). There were racist headlines like "Jap the Ripper!" or "Ban This Jap Devil Hound!" as well as "For Sale, Warrior Pup Bred to Kill."

    We've talked about these topics before, but let's review a few facts: Dogs are carnivores and predators. All dogs are fighters and killers by nature. Any fair-sized dog is a potentially dangerous animal. Even a small dog can fatally injure an infant or toddler. However, for thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of years, our species has forged an amazing alliance with these "friendly wolves," so that today we are often quite insouciant about dogs the size of leopards or cougars palling around with young children. Occasionally, the alliance breaks down, but when we consider how many millions of dogs there are (about one dog for every four people in the USA, I think), it is a rare thing, thank God.

    I would re-iterate these facts:

    Dog aggression does not equate to human aggression.
    Prey drive toward other animals does not equate to human aggression.
    Only aggression toward humans does.

    I (and lefty) have often pointed out that the sport of dogfighting discourages human aggression, which involves a lot of handling and human contact. Most fighting dogs are very people friendly. I can recall going to APBT shows over 30 years ago. A dog would be playing nicely with me when another dog would come near us. The Pit Bull would lunge savagely with a roar at the other dog, then resume being friendly and playful with me when the other dog moved away. And these were dogs that didn't know me at all. I've heard it claimed the Pit Bull is the easiest dog in the world to steal because they are so friendly.

    Here's another personal story: My first Tosa Zuma came from very extreme Japanese fighting lines. He was a direct import from Japan. When he was only nine months old, he was challenged by the king dog of the neighborhood, a big shepherd mix named Rocky. He promptly took Rocky down. Fortunately for Rocky (and our relations with his owners, who are the nicest people in the world) his mistress was able to pull him away before he suffered further damage. A couple of minutes later, I was walking Zuma, still hot from the encounter, up the street when two little girls rushed out, exclaiming, "Oh, there's Zuma!" and embracing him. He calmly accepted their affection, wagging his tail gratefully, and that is a true fighting dog temperament!

    Here's another story of Jessie, whom I have been mentioning earlier. Many otherwise friendly dogs can become very territorial inside a car. One day I went to get my car washed with Jessie. There was quite a lineup of cars before they could reach the point where cleaning started. I needed to go inside the office to pay. Since they sold a lot of food there, I didn't know whether I could bring her inside, so I left her in the car, figuring I could retrieve her before the cleaning started. Before I could get up to the cash register, there was one of the attendants with Jessie on the leash. It seems he had gone into the car to vacuum it when suddenly he felt a dog affectionately nuzzling his face...and this was of a breed I have heard called "the most vicious, dangerous dogs in the world"!
     


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