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Old 02-04-2011, 05:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Pit Bulls & Rottweilers, are considered truly dangerous by 28 percent of Americans

I came across this yesterday. Some disturbing stats.

AP-Petside poll: Training, not nature, makes bullyBy SUE MANNING
The Associated Press
Thursday, February 3, 2011; 5:02 AM

LOS ANGELES -- The majority of American pet owners believe a well-trained dog is safe - even if it comes from one of the "bully breeds."
Some dog breeds, such as pit bulls or Rottweilers, are considered truly dangerous by 28 percent of American pet owners, but an Associated Press-Petside.com poll found that 71 percent said any breed can be safe if the dogs are well trained.
"It's not the dog. It's the owner that's the problem," said Michael Hansen, a 59-year-old goldsmith from Port Orchard, Wash. "The dog will do whatever it can to please the owner, right down to killing another animal for you."
"If they are brought up in a loving household, they can flourish just like any other dog," agreed Nancy Lyman, 56, of Warwick, Mass.
Sixty percent of pet owners feel that all dog breeds should be allowed in residential communities, while 38 percent believe some breeds should be banned, according to the poll conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications.
Denver and Miami-Dade County in Florida have pit bull bans that go back decades. The Army and Marine Corps have put base housing off limits to the dogs in the last few years.
Of the pet owners in the poll who support breed bans, 85 percent would bar pit bulls. Other breeds considered too dangerous were Rottweilers, Dobermans, German shepherds and chow chows. Seven percent said any violent, vicious or fighting dog should be banned and 2 percent said all large dogs should be outlawed.
Asked specifically about pit bulls, 53 percent of those polled said they were safe for residential neighborhoods, but 43 percent said they were too dangerous.
Age played a major role in the pit bull questions - 76 percent of those under age 30 said pit bulls were safe, compared with just 37 percent of seniors.
Janice Dudley, 81, of Culver City, Calif., was taking out her garbage when she was charged by a pit bull whose owner had been walking him in her neighborhood for years.
"He came within a few inches of my leg. It was shocking. There was nothing I could do. The owner controlled the dog and they went on their way but it was really very frightening," she said.
She goes to great lengths to avoid the man and dog now, she said. "That was as close as I've ever come and as close as I ever want to be."
Dudley would stop short of imposing a widespread breed ban, but she believes pit bulls are too dangerous. "I think it is in their nature to be more vicious than other dogs," she said.
She blames breeders for the dangerous behavior of the animals and believes the dogs are genetically at risk. "People I know who have had them maintain they are the sweetest things in the world. I don't believe it," she said.
Older pet owners were more apt to support a breed ban than younger ones - 56 percent of seniors believe some dogs should be outlawed compared with just 22 percent of those under age 30.
Parents who own pets were no more or less likely than non-parents to say certain breeds should be banned.
But Tiffany Everhart, 40, of Splendora, Texas, wouldn't have a pit bull. "I have a small child and I'm not going to take that chance." A paralegal, she also believes some dogs are too dangerous for residential areas and she would support a breed ban.
"Every dog is different and should be evaluated on its own merits," said "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan.
"If a pit bull has good energy, and if he is socialized early and brought up in a balanced and structured pack environment, then I would consider him perfectly safe for a family with children," Millan said.
Lyman, who has a 17-year-old, blind, deaf and crippled Shih Tzu, said any dog will bite if provoked - citing Martha Stewart's recent run-in with her own dog.
Hansen blames the pit bull's bad reputation on owners and the press.
"You have a tendency to sensationalize stories or put into them right down to the blood and gore when it isn't really necessary," said Hansen, who has two dogs, 9-year-old Lab-collie brothers named Chaz and Zach.
Still, she said Michael Vick's dogfighting operation probably helped pit bulls' bad rep because it showed that "people can reintroduce these dogs back into a society that's not going to abuse them."
"The owner is responsible for what an animal does. It's totally your behavior, whether you have a good dog that minds well and is not a problem to society or you turn it into a vicious animal that will bite the mailman, the girl next door or grandma walking down the street," Hansen said.

Betsy Adevai, 50, of Grand Rapids, Mich., said muscle dogs have become status symbols for young men who walk through her inner city neighborhood.
"You don't see people walking cockapoos or fluffy puppies. I have five boys and they all have friends around here. They walk these dogs to say, 'I'm cool,' 'I'm a badass because I got this dog,'" she said.
She thinks pit bulls "look like little football players" so she wouldn't have one, but the custom seamstress doesn't blame the dogs.
"It's the attitude behind the people who raise them, not the dog," she said.
The AP-Petside.com Poll was conducted Oct. 13-20, 2010, by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. It involved landline and cell phone interviews with 1,000 pet owners nationwide, and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.
---
Deputy Director of Polling Jennifer Agiesta contributed to this report.

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Old 02-04-2011, 07:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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that is a good read. maybe these dog training shows have help people understand that dogs need good owner to be good dogs. That is not just the breed.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Someone emailed me this story yesterday... I agree that a dog is only going to be as well behaved as the owner trains it to be. Sad that it's up to humans to put the best foot forward for this breed.... and a lot of humans fail so miserably at that.
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Old 02-04-2011, 08:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Rotts scare me.. lol.. i could walk up to a pitbull any day.. i couldnt do that w/ a Rott
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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One time, about 10 years ago, I had an ex call me and tell me there was a Rottie in the yard and if I didn't come get it, it would be taken to AC and put down, knowing I guess, that I would trudge on over and pick the dog up. Luckily, I have never been afraid of dogs and I got out to see the poor dog was starving to death... about 30+ pounds underweight. The only thing I had in my car was a package of Ramen noodles. I gave them to him, and he gobbled them up. I loaded him in my car and took him home and proceeded to feed him everything in sight out of the fridge, including a package of hot dogs and a thing of lunch meat. Next thing I know, the poor dog started puking everywhere, causing me to put him outside quickly and go back in to find a tie out. Only thing was, this dog didn't know me and when I got back outside, he was gone. I saw a couple walking him a few weeks later and went outside and said "hey, I know this dog". They told me he had wandered up and they took him in and took him to the vet, who confirmed he was 30lbs underweight. They asked if he was mine or I wanted him back, and I said no. They had named him "Hummer" (the guy worked at a car dealership), and he was the sweetest dog you could ever imagine, to be a stray.... however, if you walked by their house, he would bark at you like he would take a limb off. He gained his weight back and turned out to be a great dog for them. ***lesson learned... feeding a starving dog everything you can find in the fridge and 3 days worth of kibble = big mess for you to clean up.

Just like any breed, you can't judge them all, based on the news story of one, or an individual encounter with one. If that were the case, I would not have my 2 Labs, because when I was 8 yrs old, I walked up to the neighbors black Lab on his blind eye side, and scared him. I still have a scar on the back of my calf from Butch, but I never held it against him. I even went to visit him after I got back from the doctors office that day. Little did I know at the time, it was because my parents were giving them the doctors bill from their dog biting me. It wasn't long after that, that Butch came up missing. When I asked about him, I was told he had "gone to the country to live".

Of course, with any dog of any breed, you have to use your best judgment, and if you feel uneasy, it's best not to go up to one without the owner present. The only dog that I have ever been scared to death of, was my sons (now ex) girlfriends dog.... thing only weighed about 5lbs, but bit me 6 times in the 5 months it was at my house. Can't say I was sad to see him go.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've had alot of people approach me with Bella because of shows like pit bulls and parolee and pit boss. They have said those shows have made them have a better attitude as to how they truly are when in the right hands and raised right. To think that pit bulls were the labs and goldens back in the day for family pets. Ignorant people who want them as status or men who have them as penis enhancers has ruined this breed!
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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i like this read. i own a pit bull and a rottie and as far as housing goes it's so hard to find a house let alone a neighborhood who will accept us. luckily i consider myself and my fiance really wonderful dog owners (either that or we got really lucky because both our rott and pit are super friendly with everyone. we also have 2 spingers and a chihuahua. i actually have a video on my facebook of our chi and our pit playing and the chi is kicking his butt. a family member who had been against pits left a comment and said that chis think they're big dogs in little skin and pits are just big babies. that really made my day, to have this older lady change her views just off of a video of my dogs. one by one we will change others opinions of this wonderful breed

i've posted a pic of our rott, jack. smiling for all of you

and of course, stu and the chi, bella
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Old 02-08-2011, 04:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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I like the bit about the oldsters being the ones who favor breed bans more. Out with the old, in with the new. It actually gives me hope. Although listening to the one gal talk about being shocked because a Pit Bull came within a few inches of her leg and didn't attack her was blah.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Interesting piece, Doug. Thanks for posting.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Old 02-08-2011, 07:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
 
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That was an interesting read. I have a Rottie/AmStaff mix that everyone is afraid of. My neighbors used to hate all 4 of my dogs but once they got to know Julius they fell in love with him. Last summer they would bring him over to their yard when they had cook outs just so the kids could play with him. To think this is the same neighbor that I jumped the fence and beat the tar out of because they were throwing stuff at my dogs too. Maybe his ass whippin and my 6 months in county jarred something lose in his head. They still want nothing to do with my Staffie or Boxer/Pit mix but they seem like they are slowly coming around to my Pittie.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:20 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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That was a good read, thanks.
As for large breed dogs, Mastiffs, rotties, shepherds, pitties, None of those scare me...

Its that blasted ankle biters that scary the living daylights out of me...Those things have no fear, and will attack a moving bike tire, Even after the first bites takes them for a spin and THWACK!

I still can't eat at Taco bell because of that dog *shudders*

lol
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Loved the pictures, thanks for sharing.
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