Unpredictable Aggression In Pit Bulls & Fighting Breeds 3


Unpredictable Aggression

Some dogs may have aggression that does not occur on a consistent or predictable basis. There may be no reason or trigger for the aggression. Some dogs are simply not “wired” correctly. Many fighting breeds have been purposely bred for hundreds of years NOT to give any signal or prior warning prior to launching an attack. Many dogs of these breeds can have a high tolerance for annoyance, but a sub-set eventually reach a breaking point and lash out with no warning. Every week, another owner sobs that their dog had “never shown a sign of aggression in its life” until it mauled a child, visitor, or the owner himself/herself.

Learn more about the different types of aggression: http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/identifying-dangerous-behavior/types-of-dog-aggression/


EXAMPLES OF UNPREDICTABLE AGGRESSION:


Often no warning signs in pit bull attacks

Henry K. Lee | on June 19, 2013

Local textbook case

The fatal attack on a 6-year-old Union City boy by a pit bull mix this week is a textbook example for much of what both sides claim in the ever-heated discussion.

On Monday, Nephi Selu was playing with his family’s 2-year-old, un-neutered male dog in the backyard of his Union City home – and apparently trying to climb onto the dog’s back – when suddenly the animal fatally bit him on the top of the head, police said.

The dog, named Kava, had shown no previous signs of aggression but was euthanized Tuesday “after the family surrendered legal ownership,” said Union City police Cmdr. Ben Horner. The case appears to be a “tragic accident,” he said.

The boy had a mild form of autism and lived at the home with his mother, grandparents, aunt Iona Keanaaina and her husband, Keala Keanaaina, and the couple’s seven children. Keala Keanaaina is a former UC Berkeley football player who works as a San Mateo police officer.

After hearing the commotion from the attack, Keala Keanaaina “removed the dog from the child without an incident,” said attorney Michael Rains, whose law firm represents many Bay Area police agencies. “The dog let loose of the child right away, didn’t bark, didn’t growl, wasn’t aggressive at all.” According to Iona Keanaaina, Kava was kept in the backyard and wasn’t allowed inside the house. The dog was “good with kids, very obedient,” she told reporters. “We never had any problems with him at all.”

The Santa Clara County medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to officially determine the cause of Nephi’s death.

Expert not surprised

Benjamin Hart, professor emeritus at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and an animal behaviorist, said he wasn’t surprised by Iona Keanaaina’s assessment of Kava.

“It’s quite common for a pit bull to show no signs of aggression,” Hart said Wednesday. “People will call it a nice dog, a sweet dog, even the neighbors – and then all of a sudden something triggers the dog, and it attacks a human in a characteristic way of biting and hanging on until a lot of damage is done.”

Read more: http://m.sfgate.com/crime/article/Often-no-warning-signs-in-pit-bull-attacks-4611027.php


Characteristics of the Pit Bull Breed

The pit bull is unique in many ways. Historically, the breed was derived from the “butcher’s dog” developed for the blood sport of bull-baiting in England. The dogs were intentionally bred to be stronger than other dogs and to engage in dangerous behaviors that would favor their winning in the ring by fighting a bull to the death. When this sport was banned in England in approximately 1835, the owners took their dogs to the coal mining communities of Stafford-shire County. There, the dogs were placed into coal pits to fight one another, and the breed was manipulated to be quicker and more agile. This breeding eventually resulted in the smaller, tenacious terriers now known as the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The name “pit bull” is associated with dogs displaying these phenotypes.13,14 These fighting dogs were bred and trained not to display behavioral signals of their intentions so that they would have an advantage in the ring. For this reason, pit bulls are frequently known to attack “without warning.”10 For example, 1 study found that 94% of attacks on children by pit bulls but only 43% of attacks on children by other breeds of dogs were unprovoked.15

Read more of this peer reviewed medical study: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51034290_Mortality_Mauling_and_Maiming_by_Vicious_Dogs


Dog attacks are a public health issue, and should be treated like one

“The reality is that dog bites, up to and including fatal maulings, are a complex public-health problem. There are an estimated 500,000 dog bites a year in Canada, and three-quarters of the victims are children under the age of 10.

Most of the bites are inflicted by pets that belong to family and friends – and they are often warning nips. (Children’s behaviour often simulates that of dogs, they tend not to twig to warning signs like growling and they are less able to defend themselves than adults.)

But pit bulls and related breeds – and let’s not be distracted by picayune debates about precise definition – are different. They often attack without warning and relentlessly.

Ms. Vadnais was sitting by her pool when she was attacked by a pit bull that snuck through a hole in the fence. The dog virtually chewed her leg off and had to be shot so paramedics could approach her mutilated body.

Dogs like this are not pets; they are weapons, and should be regulated as such.”

Read more: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/columnists/dog-attacks-are-a-public-health-issue-and-should-be-treated-as-one/article30516631/


Scared of Pit Bulls? You’d Better Be!

Bred for violence, these dogs can wreck a neighborhood’s quality of life as surely as prostitutes or drug dealers.

Brian C. Anderson – Spring 1999 – Public safety

The pit bull’s unusual breeding history has produced some bizarre behavioral traits, de- scribed by The Economist’s science editor in an article published a few years ago, at the peak of a heated British controversy over dangerous dogs that saw the pit bull banned in England. First, the pit bull is quicker to anger than most dogs, probably due to the breed’s unusually high level of the neurotransmitter L-tyrosine. Second, pit bulls are frighteningly tenacious; their attacks frequently last for 15 minutes or longer, and nothing—hoses, violent blows or kicks—can easily stop them. That’s because of the third behavioral anomaly: the breed’s remarkable insensitivity to pain. Most dogs beaten in a fight will submit the next time they see the victor. Not a defeated pit bull, who will tear into his onetime vanquisher. This, too, has to do with brain chemistry. The body releases endorphins as a natural painkiller. Pit bulls seem extra-sensitive to endorphins and may generate higher levels of the chemical than other dogs. Endorphins are also addictive: “The dogs may be junkies, seeking pain so they can get the endorphin buzz they crave,” The Economist suggests.

Finally, most dogs warn you before they attack, growling or barking to tell you how angry they are—”so they don’t have to fight,” ASPCA advisor and animal geneticist Stephen Zawistowski stresses. Not the pit bull, which attacks without warning. Most dogs, too, will bow to signal that they want to frolic. Again, not the pit bull, which may follow an apparently playful bow with a lethal assault. In short, contrary to the writings of Vicki Hearne, a well-known essayist on animals who—in a bizarre but emotionally charged confusion—equates breed-specific laws against pit bulls as a kind of “racist propaganda,” the pit bull is a breed apart.

Read full story: https://www.city-journal.org/html/scared-pit-bulls-you%E2%80%99d-better-be-11995.html


Pit bull owners need to step up

Dogs have been artificially selected over thousands of years to exhibit all sorts of physical and behavioral attributes that we now classify as individual breeds. We know dogs that were bred for retrieving birds tend to have soft palates, and will instinctively retrieve pretty much anything you throw. Other breeds that have been bred for herding purposes will often instinctively herd to the point where many breeders will warn that the dogs may be prone to herding smaller children or other animals in the house. So why is it so hard to admit that certain breeds were bred for exhibiting a higher prey drive, aggression and to attack without warning?

In responding to media writing about Dunnill’s story, Dog Tales commented that while their hearts go out to Dunnill and his family they also felt for Brownie: “Not a day goes by that we don’t think of Brownie — a sweet, lazy, senior dog who was loved dearly by our staff and volunteers.” The insistence on labeling a dog that had brutally killed another dog as sweet and lazy is not only an appalling display of ignorance and insensitivity but exhibits a particular willful blindness that tends to be present in the vast majority of pit bull advocates.

Read full story: http://globalnews.ca/news/3236522/pit-bull-owners-need-to-step-up/


What is the nature of pitbull dog?

Posted on

Pit bulls , to me, are an American tragedy. Up until about 4 months ago I was a die-hard advocate for pitties and a proud mother of two of my own pitties , one beautiful male that I named Chappie , and a gorgeous little red-nosed female named Winnie. I have known and owned many pitties since childhood , and they USED to be my absolute favorite breed of dog. They are usually loving and loyal, and just about all of the good things you can say about a dog , so much so that they deserve to have a following of devoted advocates fighting for their rights and well being. I was one of those extremely judgmental snobby pit bull advocates that would shame and think and say horrible things about the people involved whenever I’d hear of a pit bull attacking or killing something or someone. I used to spend way too much of my spare time arguing on feeds and threads that “”it must be how the owners raised them” “you can’t judge a dog by its breed” and all that other crap… Until I witnessed and experienced how ridiculous and illogical those things are first hand. Pit bulls can be amazing dogs, but sometimes, they can be dangerous. Before I elaborate , let me ask you a question…

How would it make sense that breeders of other types of dogs to spent hundreds of years breeding OUT certain personality traits, and not make sense that the opposite can be done?

My dog Chappie, was a beautiful blue purebred American pit bull Terrier. I acquired him at 6 weeks old through a rescue I foster for, along with his sister , after they had been purchased by a teenager out of the back of a pickup truck. The teens dad would not allow her to keep the dogs, so she surrendered them to our rescue, and I was more than happy to foster them. My Chappie was the sweetest pup in the world, never growled or was mean to anyone. He was very loving and tolerant of my children, which includes an infant, 2-year old, 4 year old and a teen. I fell in love with him immediately and adopted him without a second thought when he was available. He was so sweet in fact, that he was training to be a therapy dog, he worked with multiple trainers to earn his Canine Good Citizen Certificate so he could go to hospitals and cuddle sick or sad people. Everyone who met Chappie loved him, and he loved everyone. No trainer ever would’ve imagined that HE , my Chappie, the socialized , trained , and raised with nothing but love dog could be capable of what he did. Chappie was nuetered before sexual maturity, and was raised with 4 older dogs, including Winnie , my female pittie, my two boxer/pittie/Shepard mixes, and his buddy brother, a husky/heeler mix named Hatí. Hatí was only a few months older than him, they were best friends and cuddle buddies, practically inseparable. They chose to sleep together despite having their own space. One night, I was outside with my dogs, smoking a cigarette after my kids had gone to sleep. This was our nightly routine, another normal boring day. Chappie was splayed out about 5 feet to the left of me, showing off his finest frog pose and soaking up the moonlight. The girls were off at the far end of the yard sniffing, or peeing , or relaxing , and Hatí was about 15 feet in front of me just sniffing around and standing out in the nice warm air. For no reason at all, Chappie sat up. As I watched he charged across the yard and grabbed Hatí by the throat and began to violently thrash him… Hatí couldnt have defended himself if he tried. I tried for a few moments to get Chappie to let go of him, before getting a pooper scooper to use as a break stick to release his hold on Hatí. I was able to get him off and literally threw Hatí inside, as Chappie was viciously trying to rip him from my arms. Now, you should understand that I am not a large person, Chappie weighed about 70lbs, Hati about 40lbs. Chappie just wouldn’t stop, and I didn’t know what else to do to keep him off of hati , and luckily had the adrenaline and experience with dog fights to know that I needed to get Hatí completely out of the equation. I never would’ve thought Chappie would do what he did next.. As soon as he realized Hatí was unattainable, Chappie grabbed my leg and started thrashing. I had on pretty high boots that took most of the bite , but I was still forced to FIGHT MY DOG . I was able to get him to the ground and sit on him, as he still kept trying to bite whatever he could, luckily but traumatically my three girls had realized what was happening and came to my aid . They began going after his face, which allowed me to catch my breath, and stopped as soon as I was able to Yell. I sat on Chappie for almost 20 minutes until he was calm enough to get up. when he did so, it was like he didn’t know anything had happened. I was in shock for a few days , Hatí survived , but cost me a pretty penny for his vet bill. He had punctures and lacerations on his neck and throat, and had swelling for months . I kept them separated, and alternated their time, so that the boys were never around each other, while I desperately tried to find help, training, advice… Anything that could save Chappie . Trying to find someone willing to work with a pit bull that has attacked unprovoked is pretty much pointless. To make matters worse, I was afraid of him. And he knew it. And he fed off of it. For about two weeks of our new separation routine I slowly started seeing a change in him. it was like he just decided, in that moment , that Hatí needed to die. He would not rest until he accomplished that goal. One day, while I was filling the water bowls for the day Chappie quietly busted out of his kennel and attempted to attack Hatí again. Luckily I was right there and able to grab him. He ripped up hatis front legs pretty good, while I was slipping all over the tile that was soaked in a few gallons of their spilled water that I dropped . Hatí just screamed and shot piss straight in the air. I tore my groin in the process of trying to get Chappie confined again, all the while my girl dogs had begun fighting and moved right outside the door. This second incident left all but two dogs severely injured. Dogs fighting just because other dogs are fighting is pretty common. But for my girls to get to the point of injuring each other was not normal, and that was the last straw. There’s no place in this world for an aggressive pit bull. I had to say goodbye to Chappie, and make the hardest most responsible decision I’ve ever had to, and put him down. Me and my kids got him a dozen cheeseburgers and ice cream from mcdonalds before we took him to his final vet appointment. I almost backed out, but while waiting outside for the vet to clear the lobby so Chappie could go to his room without endangering other dogs, I had a moment of clarity and reassurance. Chappie attempted to attack his own reflection in the vets window.. My sweet Chappie , had turned…

Now before I get the inevitable backlash of comments from people like my former self, I feel you should know that I understand. I understand that many pit bull lovers don’t want to believe what I now know to be the truth, and they won’t until they experience it first hand. With that , I hope they never do know the truth like I do now. I hope they never have to go through what I did. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. Chappie turned my world, that revolves around dogs in every way, upside down, inside out, and into another dimension. Everything I’ve whole heartedly believed about dogs was wrong, I was wrong, I was ignorant , and I could’ve killed one of my kids or other dogs with my negligence had they been in the way when Chappie displaced his aggression. I want pitbull advocates that are reading this to understand that I sought the advice of numerous professionals , including a local pit lady, who is the best of the best when it comes to dealing with aggression. The decision to put Chappie down was the only responsible choice. You cannot rehabilitate unprovoked , unpredictable aggression, especially in a dog that will displace on a human, especially in a dog that will displace on their own human. It is not common, and it is not the dogs fault. But for any knowledgeable dog person to say that aggression in pit bulls is not a possible trait is very ignorant. How can anyone believe that a breed of dog bred specifically to attack, fight and kill other dogs for hundreds of years can simply have that trait loved or bred out of them? You would have to discredit the breeding of every responsible breeder for the last few thousand years, the breeding that they’ve done to selectively remove certain traits from their lines , just as pit bulls have had aggression selectively bred in. How could I have ever ignored that? How was I ever so ignorant?

I will always love pitbulls. But I will never own another. I will never judge or shame the owners of dogs who have done bad things. I don’t know them, I don’t know if that dog came from a long line of fighting champions . I honestly can’t even argue BSL anymore, most pitbull breeders are idiots who do it for the wrong reasons, and until responsible breeders take on the task of spending a few hundred years removing aggression from the breed , I can never defend them indefinitely like I ignorantly used to. I will always understand that dogs are indeed individuals. But just as I have my moms green eyes, it is a fact, that some pit bulls will have their ancestors aggression.

I will always love you, My Chappie, and I will always remember you as my good boy


“We thought he was going to be a great dog. He acted like one. He was a good example of a good pit. Until he just decided to attack. He slept in our bed and everything. We never left the kids alone with him. They were never mean to him. We had 5 other dogs including another female pit and they never fought.

It’s NOT the way they are raised. Our dog was well loved and raised. He obeyed all commands and never showed any aggression. These myths almost cost my sons life. How many more people have to get hurt because of a lie?”
Jennifer Arp


“The backdoor was open and suddenly we heard people screaming from outside. Bexar, with zero warning, had lunged at Gavin, and his jaws were clamped down on Gavin’s face, right in front of everyone. Let me point out that there were 8 people within arms reach of Gavin when Bexar attacked. This is a critical point, because I have heard from many people about this, who say that they would never leave their children “alone” with “any” dog. Gavin was far from being alone when this attack happened. Even 4 grown men were unable to pry Bexar’s jaws off of Gavin’s head. Greg ran out and was finally able to get Bexar to release, saving Gavin’s life.”

Maggie Bain


“My brother had raised many pit bulls and one particularly captured our hearts…He was the sweetest well mannered gentle dog I had ever seen…I was always told the aggressive ones were because they were trained to fight and it was all in how they were raised….and if u got them from puppies that was the best way to raise any dog…Both of the dogs who attacked were brought home as puppies and picked out by Kara…These dogs never displayed any people aggression. ..Always sat dutifully by her side, watched her have tea parties, sat by her side when she was sick, thought they were lap dogs and liked to snuggle…..no warnings, no snapping, no growling…….just snapped!”

Roxanne Hartrich


“Our son was brutally killed by our pet pit bull of 8 years…On April 24, 2013 we lost both our beautiful son Beau and our family dog, affectionately known as Kissy Face. Our dog had been part of our family for 8 years and lived up to her name, for she was eager to overload everyone with kisses. Oh, she was such a very loving and family oriented dog. Kissy Face had been around since her birth on November 22, 2005. 
Then with no warning, matters changed dramatically and our world was irrevocably altered. Shortly after Beau’s 2nd birthday, I made a quick trip to the restroom. Just a few minutes later I returned to find my son lying in a pool of his own blood.”
Angela Rutledge


“Her right shoulder was dislocated in a backward fashion, half her right face was missing, as well as part of her right neck, and most of her right ear. My mother had bite marks all over her face, neck, and scalp. Her vocal box was ripped, that’s why my niece only heard one yell. Her C1 & C2 were fractured; part of her spinal cord was ripped from her lifeless body. She fought and fought. She suffered from a horrific, sustained, vicious and violent attack at the jaws of a completely unpredictable breed of dog. My mother’s autopsy report shows her wounds to be consistent with defending her grandchild. The report states that my mother was defending her grandchild. My mother is a hero. She saved my nephew’s life.”

Ruth Halleran

Read the full stories and more at: http://www.daxtonsfriends.com/victims-stories/


Dog owner in fatal attack: “They never showed aggression…”

Posted: Jun 26, 2017 8:11 PM CDTUpdated: Jun 26, 2017 9:04 PM CDT – By Lena Blietz – MTN News

BOZEMAN –

A woman is brain dead after being attacked by two dogs on Saturday morning.

A pit bull and pit bull mix mauled Melissa Barnes in the backyard of a property on Love Lane and tonight, the 65-year-old remains on life support in Billings until her organs can be donated.

Barnes owned the property where the attack took place. The property has multiple rentals on it and the dogs belonged to a renter.

The dogs have been put down. They were taken to the Montana Department of Livestock’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, which does animal necropsies for rabies. The lab just happens to be on MSU property, but it is not part of MSU, according to university officials.

Wayne Bartlett, the owner of the dogs, was not home at the time of the attack.

Bartlett said his niece was at the home with his girlfriend’s two young children and the children went outside without permission to talk to Barnes just before the attack happened.

Bartlett said the dogs were well-trained pets and had never shown aggressive behavior before.

“I do know Melissa, I’ve rented from her for 6 years,” said Bartlett. “She’s sweet, she’s very hard working, she works day and night, she’s always really kind to me. My dog Bain has lived here just as long, never really had a problem with him, they never showed aggression towards her or anybody else. I’m not sure exactly what could’ve happened.”

Gallatin County Sheriff  Brian Gootkin said during a press conference on Monday that the investigation is continuing, and they do not yet know if the owner of the dogs will face any criminal charges.

Gootkin said the woman doing yard work at the time of the attack.

http://www.kbzk.com/story/35754334/dog-owner-in-fatal-attack-they-never-showed-aggression#.WVHS-qsTAs8.twitter


American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier is, like all the ‘bully’ breeds, one of this group of descendants of the British ‘bull and terrier’ type fighting bulldogs. Once imported into the United States, it was bred up to be bigger again, and again used in baiting animals and in dogfighting. The American Kennel Club (founded 1884) was unwilling to register these fighting dogs, so in 1898 the United Kennel Club was founded specifically to register working pit-fighting dogs and to promote dogfighting. In order to be registered, a dog had to first win three pit fights7,8,9. The American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT) became a ‘breed’. As dogfighting declined in popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Colby (the most famous and prolific breeder of these dogs) began to search for a new market and began promoting the APBT as family pets10,11. This despite the fact that his breeding lines included child killers12.

The APBT is of medium intelligence, and it is athletic. They have plenty of energy and exuberance for life. They are affectionate companions are often referred to as a “nanny dog”, which leads many families to believe that they are suitable companions for children. Many can live happily with children and never have an issue, but there are many cases of the family pit bull suddenly attacking or killing a child in the household. The Pit Bull advocacy group BADRAP recently retracted their original “nanny dog” statements (https://www.facebook.com/BADRAP.org/posts/10151460774472399)13. As of March 6th, 2017, pit bulls have killed 208 children since 1980. Most of these children were killed by family pet pit bulls that had never been neglected or abused and had always loved the child. As with all breeds, the traits needed for their original tasks remain in the dogs – in this case, the sudden explosive aggression that was necessary to survive in the fighting pit. An APBT may never show this aggression, but if it does there will be no warning and the attack will not be easy to stop. Extreme caution should always be taken when this breed interacts with children. They are fun loving dogs that have “clownish” behaviors. Despite, their many positive qualities, this breed may not be suitable for everyone. Their high energy requires a family that can accommodate and appreciate this aspect of their personality. They usually do best with active families. Many American Pit Bull Terriers get calmer as they age and an older dog may work for a more reserved family.


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3 thoughts on “Unpredictable Aggression In Pit Bulls & Fighting Breeds

  • Elizabeth

    Today I had the unpleasant experience of breaking up a fight between two pit bulls. They were not my dogs. Rather, I was driving up my street pass their yard, only to see two dogs trying to kill one another. At first, I thought that they were playing. Not so. The dogs’ “owner,” a twelve-year-old girl, was in the backyard with the dogs, horrified by what she saw and screaming for help. I stopped my car, just a few houses away from my own, and told the girl to get into the house and call 911, and that I would be right back. One dog had the other by the head. It refused to let go, even as I bashed its head with a shovel. I remembered that I had pepper spray in the car, and sprayed the dog directly in its eyes, knowing that this would be the only way to separate them. The owner (the young girl’s parent, who finally arrived home) did not thank me. Rather, she tried to convince me that she knew her dogs and pit bulls better than me, a veterinarian, who has sewn up canine victim after victim. All dogs have teeth and all dogs can bite. But a Chihuahua cannot inflict that damage that a pit bull can. And shelters are full of pit bulls. Don’t try to convince me that this is breed that can be trusted. I would never own one and I don’t think that they should be bred.

  • Win Dawson

    Not a comment – a question. I am studying pit bulls and would like to read the reference you refer to as #10. However, I don’t see a list of references (with citations) on this website. Can you provide the citing information for #10? Thank you!