|pit bulls (private response, also through C_L)||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Sarah Lesher (sarah.leshergmail.com)|
|Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2021 08:14:12 -0700 (PDT)|
Nancy -- As I said to Dean Smith, who made the first post, and whom I know: The problem with pit bulls isn't their aggression; it's that they were bred to have extremely powerful jaws, and when they bite down they won't let go. Which is why it is safe for a human to grab them by the hind legs and pull them away. (As I have.) Unlike other dogs they won't release their prey to snap at you. But that doesn't keep whatever creature, canine, feline or human that their teeth are embedded in, from being badly injured. It happened with a pit bull I walked my dogs with regularly and a boxer I also knew well, who was the pit bull's best buddy -- until he wasn't. Massive damage to the boxer; likely he never really recovered. Other breeds -- the Dobermans my sister used to have -- Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Akidas -- and I've had housemates with all these breeds except Akidas -- also have a reputation as guard dogs. But their jaws were never bred to be as strong as pit bulls were. I was in an AKC agility class where the real aggressor to my dog and others was a black lab mix. Even though this dog didn't go directly after a pit bull who was also in the class, the pit bull jumped in to defend a third dog from the black lab mix. Chaos ensued as a large group of experienced dog people tried to make sure the nasty aggressive black lab mix wasn't macerated by a pit bull that though normally sweet, had lost its patience. The black lab mix was clearly much more aggressive than the pit bull, but a bite from the powerful jaws of the pit bull could cause much more damage. Of course pitties were once baby minders: you could be sure no one would dare try to kidnap or hurt the child! But I was nervous for the four-year old great-grandaughter of my neighbor, the pit bull owner. He (age 74) was raising because her parents and grandparents weren't. The pit bull used to amuse himself by hanging for hours by his teeth from a tire-rope swing. What if a bee had stung him, or a neighboring dog upset him? Could he have been trusted to not accidentally bite the child? My own beloved Tervuren bit me by accident trying to protect me from an Akida. Other dog-savvy people were also unsettled about the four-year old's situation. I always felt nervous walking with that pit bull, because I had a young dog who occasionally nipped hocks (she must have had some herder in her), but then used the puppy defence of rolling on her back, which normally signals to other dogs, "hey, I cry uncle, don't hurt me." But even before the attack of this (otherwise apparently sweet) pit bull on his boxer friend, I worried that he might not get that "I cry uncle" signal, or respond properly. I'd heard of pit bulls disemboweling dogs who were on their backs crying uncle. I refuse to live with pit bulls. Even though the daughter of a good friend rescues them. But then a black lab was infamous for tearing off his mistress's face while she was passed out. And I knew a modest-sized mixed breed who -- months after I warned the owners he was food-aggressive -- sailed across a coffee table and ripped the face of a woman sitting there eating potato chips. Interesting discussion in RadioLab on human and dog brains: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/episodes/91701-animal-minds --Sarah Lesher, speaking for myself only
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