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Dog bites and Pit bulls

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In my 5+ years of emergency nursing I've noticed that every dog bite case I've had has involved a Pit Bull or Pit Bull mix. I've been bitten by one, my lab was almost killed by one, and a coworker's pregnant Daughter-in-law was killed and partially eaten by her own Pitbull.

I've concluded that the breed is more dangerous, and genetics play a huge role, not just upbringing.

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I've concluded that the breed is more dangerous, and genetics play a huge role, not just upbringing.

I hope as a nurse that all of your conclusions are not derived solely from anecdotal evidence. Especially if you are hypothesizing about genetic predispositions.

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I'm going to have to say BS to that one. By the nature of our job sometimes, we only see certain things and don't get a true representation of the reality.

Pit-bull by their nature are actually sweet, calm and not any more aggressive than others and less than some. Now because of their jaws, when they do bite, they can do a lot of damage.

In most cases, it's the owner and how they are brought up and trained that is the issue, not the breed.

It's actually the smaller breeds that are most aggressive, but a Chihuahua isn't going to chew your face off, just bite your ankles.

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Unless, of course, you are dealing with an animal bred for fighting. Those breeders actually select for psychotic levels of aggression.

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Which goes back to the human component and not the animal one.

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I'm an ex dog handler for the US Air Force and a lifelong dog nut.

I know plenty of pit bulls, Staffordshires, and other so-called "Bully breeds" that let small children climb all over them, play with kittens, and wouldn't scare an intruder if they literally walked on them. And I know plenty of tiny dogs that are so ill trained and so aggressive I wouldn't let them in my house and wouldn't advise anyone to try and pet them.

Correlation doesn't equal causation. Look up the number one dog for bites in this country and you might be surprised.

It's not the dog. It's the handler. (And in the case of the top biters - labs and golden retrievers, believe it or not - the AKC has actually admitted they're starting to see AGGRESSION developing in these dogs and it's being linked to inbreeding. They're the most popular dogs in the US, and they've got major genetic issues.)

Does that mean I've not encountered dogs who were sadly so far gone that their best option was to be put to sleep - for their own safety and the safety of others? No, it doesn't - but they didn't get that way on their own.

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I spent 8 years as a licensed veterinary technician. I've only seen a handful of dogs that were truly "aggressive" (some were actually brought to us to be euthanized for that very reason). Reacting out of pain of fear were the usual bite risks. I can truthfully say, I really only dealt with one pit bull that made me uneasy, of course his owner was very proud of the fact that the dog was dangerous. Other than that, my pit bull patients have overall been pleasant to work with, despite being ill, in pain, or frightened. My experiences, however aren't true data. Two organizations (the AVMA, which is veterinary medicine's equivalent of the AMA, and the CDC) that analyze real data have position statements that go against your conclusion. Your position is not supported by ACVB which is a credentialing body for veterinary behaviorists (Doctors of Veterinary medicine that are board certified in behavior). I apologize for being harsh, but being involved in rescue, I realize that statements like yours cost innocent dogs their lives.

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I'm just going to share some anecdotal observations from where I live. We have large population of meth addicts up here and one thing I notice is they choose a more aggressive looking dog (Pit Bulls, Staffordshire, etc.) and then they leave the dog on a chain in their yard and they do not train the dog at all. For my area, these "bully dogs" have an earned bad reputation for aggression and biting people. Earned because of their owners but people are still afraid of the dogs.

My daughter's fiancé has a Staffordshire who is very sweet and yes, lets a kitten play with him as well as the mini-daschund. Their other dog is a pit bull and has to have a muzzle on when company comes. He's aggressive and I'm not sure why because the fiancé is a very kind and conscientious owner. (Although I'm remembering that he was a rescue dog).

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If they want to pass legislation, the chains should be the target. You take a high energy breed that desires companionship, and give them 3 feet of run space and essentially isolate them you have a higher likelihood of ending up with a very frustrated animal that is more likely to lash out. My husband's grandmother has done this to an Australian Shepard. The dog is dangerous now, because of her stupidity. I've seen some dogs that, like some people, aren't quite right. It certainly happens, but it isn't tied to a specific breed. There was a black Shepard mix that we had to use the entire clinic staff to sedate to do anything safely. He was well cared for, great with his family, he just had issues.

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It does happen a lot, but I've seen and read about numerous non-problematic pit bulls. But hey - I've still got a scab on my LLE from a bite from a - no, I'm not kidding - little white poodle owned by some friends of mine!

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