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toedtoes

California

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Posted: 02/22/19 09:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Pawz4me - as I mentioned above, the dog's purpose accounts for a majority of that difference. Shepherds, rotties, and even pits are brought home to "protect" and "guard". As such, they are put in a backyard and left. Unsocialized, uncontrolled, and often illtreated. To blame the breed in those cases when it is the owner who is failing is wrong. But that's what happens.

I had a neighbor once who bought a pit/rottie/chow/shar pei/dobie mix puppy. He told us "I'm going to treat him mean so he'll protect us". Fortunately, he let the puppy run loose and it disappeared within a couple days. Last I heard, it was living about 100 miles away with a good family... Now, had this guy raised this puppy, it would have been a huge problem dog. But, in its new home, it was the sweetest gentlest dog. It wasn't the breed that was going to make the dog dangerous, it was the owner.

As long as we allow people to use the excuse "it's the breed", we will always have these problems. Instead, we need to focus on the individual parings of dog and owner.

When I did fostering, I got comments about "taking too long" to place the dog and "being too picky" about the potential owners. But my dogs never came back into the system and were carefully matched with their new owners. As a result, I usually ended up with the hard to place dogs because I could be trusted.


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toedtoes

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Posted: 02/22/19 09:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BCSnob wrote:

Other articles indicate reports of bites to young children by small dogs but few reports of small dogs biting larger children. I doubt the biting behavior of dogs changed with child size. I suspect reporting of bites by small dogs diminished because the injuries caused to larger children were less significant. Conversely I suspect small children were more likely to be supervised or kept separate from larger dogs than smaller dogs.

The biting behavior of dogs didn’t change; the reporting behavior of bites changed.


Part of this is a lessening of biting behavior. A small child is more likely to play rough, hit, etc., on a dog than a larger child will. Kids under 5 are still learning interactions with cats and dogs, so there will be more mistakes. People often get the pets once they have kids. If they get the pet while the child is small, the child will often mistreat the pet (because the child doesn't know better). The parents ignore the behavior until the pet strikes back and then blames the pet.

In contrast, people who get the pet when the child is over 5 do much better because the child has been more socialized with animals in other homes. So, the child is less likely to do things that cause the pet to strike back. And if they do, the parent is more likely to acknowledge the child's behavior as the cause.

toedtoes

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Posted: 02/22/19 09:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dturm wrote:

The difficulty that people here have stated about determining their own dog's breed points out a flaw in dog bite statistics. Pit bulls are probably over represented in those statistics because of false identification. That being said, when serious bites occur, big dogs can and do inflict more damage.

Insurance companies are in the business of limiting risk, therefore they use statistics that are available. You really can't fault them too much, but I think that gives people who own poorly trained, poorly socialized, poorly bred dogs a pass on bad behavior. It also give society a false sense of security.

Having dealt with dogs of all breeds daily for 40+ years, I would rather work on a pit than many other breeds. BUT, when they are difficult, they are really difficult to deal with.

Doug, DVM


Very true.


I remember when I brought my rescued akita to my regular vet for the first time for shots, we were waiting in the front room. The vet walked by with a bag of dog food and heard a dog growl. He turned and looked at my akita and said "was that him?!". I said " no, it was the one in the cat carrier." When we were in the room and he met my akita, he apologized. He had recently been bit by a dog and was still a touch sensitive. He had no problem at all with my dog and developed a really good relationship with him.

camperdave

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Posted: 02/22/19 10:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

One problem with the stats is that if a friendly golden retriever bites your kid, you're likely to forgive it and move on. If a Pit bites, it's straight to the cops. The reporting is not a level playing field.

I'm a huge fan of stats in general (it's kind of my job, lol). I have nothing against insurance companies using what they have available. But I don't think they are fair and balanced.

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."


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Pawz4me

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Posted: 02/22/19 10:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BCSnob wrote:



So what is your analysis of the second report I provided?


I've only had time to skim a little bit of that one so far. One thing that jumped out is that it seems like a very small sample size? Also it seems that they lumped in bites occurring during play. To me an accidental bite while playing with a dog is a whole different thing than an aggressive or defensive bite. But I can see how people who don't really like dogs might take the view of a bite is a bite.

That's as far as I've skimmed in that one so far.


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maddog348

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Posted: 02/22/19 10:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When I was 1 1/2-2 yr old I was bitten in the face by a Cocker Spaniel. They were somewhat larger in the early 1940's.


Note I was trying to pick him up ...my bad....

* This post was edited 02/22/19 11:00am by maddog348 *





westernrvparkowner

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Posted: 02/22/19 11:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

It wasn't the breed that was going to make the dog dangerous, it was the owner.

As long as we allow people to use the excuse "it's the breed", we will always have these problems. Instead, we need to focus on the individual parings of dog and owner.
This thread is about parks allowing in certain breeds of dogs. If you have a screening protocol that could be used to exclude bad pet owners, I would be happy to consider implementing it and allow those dangerous breeds, irrespective of the insurance guidelines. But we all know that is impossible without either infringing people's rights and privacy or running afoul of numerous anti discrimination laws.
Until it becomes possible to judge the owners, we are left with making judgments on the dogs. That means the large and sometimes aggressive breeds will be singled out for exclusion. Deciding between the benefits of allowing an owner of a breed excluded from insurance coverage to stay against the potential of the business to lose huge amounts of money in an uninsured loss is an easy decision to make.

BCSnob

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Posted: 02/22/19 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Do breeds have the genetics for certain behaviors (pointing, herding, guarding livestock, aggression, etc) or don’t they? If they don’t then any breed should be trainable to perform and function; a basset can be trained to herd. A greyhound could be trained to retrieve a shot duck.

Pawz4me

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Posted: 02/22/19 11:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

toedtoes wrote:

Pawz4me - as I mentioned above, the dog's purpose accounts for a majority of that difference. Shepherds, rotties, and even pits are brought home to "protect" and "guard". As such, they are put in a backyard and left. Unsocialized, uncontrolled, and often illtreated. To blame the breed in those cases when it is the owner who is failing is wrong. But that's what happens.


I don't disagree with what you posted, especially the shamefulness of keeping a dog as a glorified yard ornament. But the second study BCSnob posted contradicts the belief that bites from protective breeds are more common. According to it dogs who were obtained for "companionship and other reasons excepting protection" were 2.21 times more likely to bite than dogs obtained for "protection and other reasons excepting companionship."

I suspect that's related to the amount of time the dogs spent interacting with humans. Less time equals less chance of a bite occurring. Dogs who are kept in a backyard often get little/no human interaction, which limits the chance of a bite occurring.

The study goes on to state that dogs who spent 13-24 hours a day inside were about twice as likely to bite as those that spent 1-13 hours a day inside,and that both groups of dogs were at higher risk of biting than dogs who weren't allowed inside at all. Again, more time for interaction=more chance of a bite occurring.

(Sorry for not quoting directly from the study. I tried many times and different ways but the system kept saying the formatting was invalid, no matter what I did.)

toedtoes

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Posted: 02/22/19 12:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BCSnob wrote:

Do breeds have the genetics for certain behaviors (pointing, herding, guarding livestock, aggression, etc) or don’t they? If they don’t then any breed should be trainable to perform and function; a basset can be trained to herd. A greyhound could be trained to retrieve a shot duck.


Yes, there are genetics involved. But as with most things, genetics isn't everything. Environment, training, socialization, etc., all have an impact on the way a dog will behave.

It may be a lot easier to train a border collie to herd, but that doesn't make it impossible for a basset to do it. Heck, they taught a pig! [emoticon]:

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