I Have a Problem With Pit Bulls

For much of this past spring, I could not step outside my condo without being tangibly threatened by a neighbor’s pit bull.

During one harrowing three-day period, the damn pitbuill walked up to me in threatening, growling stance- i.e. “don’t walk any further or I will bite.”

I’m well-versed in the advantages of dog-as-protector but these incidents were a bit beyond that.

In these cases the dog-walker- young female perhaps late 20s or early 30s- was a couple hundred feet away. And to make matters worse, dog was *unleashed.*

Apparently, due to the distances involved, this animal seems to believe its territory is pretty much the whole complex. I expressed my belief that this dog exhibited the temperament to hurt another resident, and quite possibly another dog as well.

Then the pitbull threatened my girlfriend. It was then that I decided to complain.

Some letters went back and forth. Then, a couple of months ago, the dog and its owners- who were renting a unit from a California-based couple- moved the hell out.

Now, just this morning, I was threatened by another pit. The damn dog strategically, and aggressively, placed itself between its owner and the Noah’s Bagels door I was exiting.

“He’s OK, he’s just not used to (being around) stores,” the pit bull’s owner told me.

After arriving at my car, I began to think about how much incidents such as this have diminished by reflexive, life-long love of dogs.

Am I overreacting, and exhibiting prejudice toward a whole breed for the aggressiveness of a few pit buills and the carelessness of their owners? Or, should we allow pit bulls in Portland urban settings with an abundance of caution, if that?


38 Comments so far

  1. Jay (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 8:34 am

    I’m weary of any dog that displays aggressive tendencies, but I can see your concern here. You did the right thing by complaining, and the only suggestion I can make beyond that is to carry a small canister of mace with you. That’ll put Fido in his place if need be.

  2. love (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 8:38 am

    well, the owners need to be better with there dogs you alway leash them and you don’t but them close to the door of a store no matter what breed. I have a pit bull that even after your experiences you would love her. They are so misunderstood as a breed. Most of it is the owners and the way they are brought up.

  3. love (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 8:41 am

    I can agree with jay in a way but they make pet safe mace it still does it’s job but won’t make them blind.

  4. divebarwife (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 8:46 am

    Being wary of a dog that seems aggressive is indeed warranted – but grouping all dogs belonging to that breed as bad is not.

    Yes – Pit Bulls can be trained to be very aggressive – as can German Shepard’s – that’s why the police use them. There are many breeds that can be very aggressive when trained that way. But it truly is in the training.

    And yes – I am very biased – we rescued a one year-old-pit bull mix from the humane society about 2 years ago and she is a very well-behaved – good with people, including children, loves other dogs…wants nothing more than to chase her ball or curl up on your lap and be scratched.

  5. Hula (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 9:41 am

    Seems like another rile-’em-up post to me…but I’ll bite.
    Your title should read “I have a problem with pit bull owners who don’t manage their dogs.”
    I have 2 pit bulls. I always keep them leashed around people and other animals, I don’t leave them tied up outside stores, if I can I cross the street if there’s a group of people coming so I don’t hog the whole sidewalk…
    As was stated above, pit bulls are not vicious as a breed. Like any other dog, they follow pack leaders and if the owner is not being the leader, the dog will become the leader. They are extremely loyal and determined and their drive to please their owners often overpowers their manners if not channeled properly. Pit bulls throughout history have been service dogs, rescue dogs, Helen Keller and the Little Rascals had a pit bull. Yet we forget about those good examples because the media does a great job in perpetuating the fear of the random, unprovoked pit bull attack.
    If you do even the most cursory of research you’ll find out that pit bulls that are aggressive toward humans are considered basically defective (probably either abused or trained to be mean) and that’s not what the responsible owners want in a dog.
    One of my dogs does have issues with strangers. She is a Hurricane Katrina survivor, so understandably she has fears and that can sometimes make her look mean (she barks at strangers, etc.). But we keep her out of those situations to the best of our ability while living in the city and realize that she is not cut out for every social situation. She’s still a good dog and she gets better every day with reward-based training.
    Why would I want my dog to bite you so it can be euthanized or shot by the cops?

  6. Nolando (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 10:17 am

    Hey – Hula took my snazzy opening line! But I totally agree, being another pit bull owner. Lazy, unresponsive, careless, not concerned at all with others – any of these terms could describe these negligent owners who think the world is theirs and all in it.

  7. mike (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 10:30 am

    i like dogs a lot. but my issue with pit bulls is not so much their disposition (that’s dependent on the breeding and training) but rather their sheer physical capabilities. simply put, if anything, god forbid, DOES happen to go wrong, the damage they can do in an attack is almost unprecedented among dogs. that’s the real issue: not that “they might snap” but that the few that do cause such massive damage when they do attack.

    i know there are other dogs that can maul. but the pure power, especially in the bite, that these dogs bring to the table makes me really question whether they are worth having around. how many people who own these have had to say “i didn’t think she was capable of that” AFTER something has happened? a thousand? ten thousand?

    it’s the difference between keeping a hunting knife and a loaded hunting rifle in your house. yeah, the knife is really not a good toy for kids to play with, but it cannot do the damage that a loaded gun can. not all accidents are equal, and not all dog attacks are equal. pit bulls, because of their physical abilities to kill, are a loaded gun. and i don’t want them around me.

    believe me, i’m not advocating wiping out the species or anything. i think they are totally cool animals. i just don’t think they really should be around people, especially children. is that potential for incredible damage really worth the risk? i’m not doing anything that puts anyone else’s physical safety at risk. so why are pit bull owners? can they really guarantee that their particular animal is of NO risk to anyone else? of course not. why carry a bomb and claim you’re sure it won’t go off?

    they are an unacceptable risk because they are unlike other dogs. that’s my two cents…

  8. Orygunner (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 10:32 am

    Sure pit bulls are sweet and loving….until they’re not. It’s a FACT that pit bulls are more likely to attack people than most other breeds, and it’s also a fact they’re more likely to do serious damage. CDC researchers looked at 157 deaths caused by dogs between 1979 and 1988 and found pit bulls were responsible for 41% of fatalities, FAR more than any other breed. Another study looked at 109 dog-bite fatalities between 1989 and 1994 and found 22% were caused by pit bulls, the most of any breed. Like it or not, those are the facts.

    But the main problem with pit bulls is the kind of people who own them. More often than not they are morons who shouldn’t own a toy poodle much less a dangerous, aggressive breed. The kind of moron who lets their little darling roam around unleashed, menacing people and other dogs.

    Pepper spray might work might work against unleashed, aggressive pit bulls, but it might just piss them off. A 12 gauge (slug or buckshot, NOT birdshot) works much better. Aim for the head and be prepared for follow-up shots. They’re tough little buggers.

  9. divebarwife (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 10:51 am

    Mike – the problem with your argument is that it can be applied to almost anything – and it’s validating arguments like that – that have led us down this road of living in a world where fear-mongering is the norm.

    “…rather their sheer physical capabilities. simply put, if anything, god forbid, DOES happen to go wrong, the damage they can do in an attack is almost unprecedented…”

    – 18-wheelers and even large trucks and SUVs cause unprecedented damage compared to a compact car – so we shouldn’t allow them to drive on the same streets as regular cars because an accident MIGHT occur.

    – a car of any type can do unprecedented damage to a person on a bicycle or on foot – so instead of citing bad drivers and taking away their licenses – we shouldn’t allow any drivers to be on the same roads as pedestrians.

    – a young man who works out and is in very good shape is much more powerful than a small toddler, so even though most young men might be gentle – some get aggressive when provoked and can do unprecedented damage to a small child – so we shouldn’t allow them to live in the same areas.

    I realize these are ridiculous arguments – but that’s the point. We CANNOT live our lives in fear because something *might* happen.

    Then the terrorists win.

  10. Hula (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:12 am

    People, people, people. If you’re getting your pit bull facts from the mainstream media, you’re not getting much fact. Please check the validity of your statements (like “the pure power, especially in the bite, that these dogs bring to the table”) before you perpetuate more myths.

    “There have been no exhaustive studies conducted to prove that Pit Bulls have the strongest jaws of any breed. There likely could not be any truly conclusive testing done to measure something like strongest breed PSI. A reason for this lies in the fact that dogs bite with varying pressure depending upon the situation, and what factors are driving the bite at that particular point in time. A dog cannot be instructed to bite down on a measuring device as hard as possible, so a tester could have no way of knowing whether or not a particular dog being tested is actually using its jaws to capacity in any given testing phase. There is also large size variation in any breed, and one must assume strength varies as well.” (from http://www.realpitbull.com/myths.html)
    This just sounds like common sense to me.

    In regard to citing the CDC study, again–check your facts and get the whole story. Context is everything. (This time my source is http://www.nopitbullbans.com/?page_id=32 which cites the CDC’s own published study.)

    “The statistical high rate of fatality due to alleged “pit bull-type dogs” is rife with inaccuracy simply because bullies are the most newsworthy breeds, as the CDC readily admits:
    “..to the extent that attacks by 1 breed are more newsworthy than those by other breeds, our methods may have resulted in differential ascertainment of fatalities by breed.” (JAVMA, Vol 217, No. 6, September 15, 2000, p. 838).”

    “One flaw in the statistics comes from the difficulty on the part of the average person (and even the experts) to identify a breed of dog accurately, especially under extreme stress such as occurs during an attack (JAVMA, Vol 217, No. 6, September 15, 2000, p. 838).”

    “Another problem in acquiring breed data for “pit bull-type dogs,” as the CDC defines them, is that there is no breed called “pit bull-type dog.” Housed beneath this designation are at least twenty different breeds of dog. Lump twenty breeds of dog together and you will certainly have what looks like a breed problem as relates to dog bites and dog-bite-related fatalities!”

    “”…it is imperative to keep in mind that even if breed-specific bite rates could be accurately calculated, they do not factor in owner-related issues. For example, less responsible owners or owners who want to foster aggression in their dogs may be drawn differentially to certain breeds” (JAVMA, Vol 217, No. 6, September 15, 2000, p. 839).”

    As someone who owns 2 pit bulls, your comment (Mike) that “…the main problem with pit bulls is the kind of people who own them” is not only ignorant, but extrememly offensive. How dare you lump all pit bull owners into one unsavory category. This last year my husband and I (both of us with college degrees, full time jobs, etc.) joined a group to help fight the stereotypes of pit bulls and their owners. The owners you hear about in the news ARE often ignorant, or irresponsible at the least, if they believe their dog is “never capable of harming a thing.” (ANY dog is capable.) In our group we had a veterinarian (who said he was much more afraid of Dachshunds than pit bulls that came into his office), a business owner, an animal trainer, students, retirees…

    I’m sorry to monopolize the comments like this, but this disinformation about pit bulls needs to be seen for what it is. Dog attacks of any kind are highly emotional, especially when serious harm is done. But facts should overrule emotion.

  11. mike (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:18 am

    i’m not suggesting living in fear. i’m suggesting that some risks are not worth taking and that owning a pit bull is one of them.

    all society is governed by laws where we have set limits on acceptable risk. it’s why we have speed limits, gun safety laws, and rules about how, say, food should be handled and stored by restaurants. in all such instances, the risks are weighed with the potential dangers. should i refrigerate that steak? or should i leave it out on the counter for four hours? if i refrigerate it because something bad might happen if i don’t, am i living in fear? or am i just making an educated choice based on potential scenarios and risk-reward analysis?

    i don’t see this as a choice between living in fear or throwing all caution to the wind. pit bulls are freakin’ dangerous, more so than other dogs. so why shouldn’t they be viewed a little differently? i don’t think it’s “living in fear” to say that, because of their potential for extreme harm, they should be treated/viewed/regulated differently than other dogs. in fact, it would seem insane not to.

    a boxer’s fists are considered a lethal weapon by law because they are more dangerous than a lay person’s fists. everyone seems to agree this is reasonable because it’s true. but i’m not advocating for the elimination of boxing (or fists in general). so why am i a chicken shit for having a similarly nuanced opinion of pit bulls and the risk-reward they bring to the table?

    hope for the best. plan for the worst. i wish more pit bull owners planned for the worst.

  12. mike (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:21 am

    by the way, “mike” is not the person who called pit bull owners “morons”… that would be “Orygunner”… this is not the first time i’ve seen people attack someone on this board because they were mistaken about who posted what. perhaps the metblog folks can devise a better way of displaying who posted which comment. it’s obviously confusing people.

  13. Hula (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:27 am

    Oh, please. Mike, you are just repeating yourself and not even backing up your opinion with any kind of facts.

    Laws are in place for dangerous dogs. The owners are held responsible. You can not effectively outlaw something that hasn’t happened yet, therefore you can’t outlaw a dog that “might attack.”

  14. mike (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:29 am

    two final questions:

    1) if pit bulls are not physically/mentally different than other dogs (power, bite, aggression, etc.) then why are they the dog of choice for dog fighters? almost to the point of exclusively being the only dogs used?

    2) for divebar wife: are drunk driving laws stupid because a drunk driver MIGHT hurt someone? are we fools for treating the drunk (and more dangerous) driver differently? are these laws letting the terrorists win? or are these laws reasonably designed to keep a realistic potential danger from happening?

  15. Hula (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:29 am

    Re: by the way, “mike” is not the person who called pit bull owners “morons”… that would be “Orygunner”…

    I apologize for atributing the wrong ignorant comment to you, Mike.

  16. dieselboi (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:36 am

    I would have to agree with some of the comments. It isn’t always about the dog. The owners bear a lot of responsibility. We have three little dogs – 5lbs – 9lbs. We walk them regularly on leashes. Other owners don’t use leashes with their much bigger dogs and when the dogs meet, the big dogs are usually curious and sometimes a bit aggressive with their curiosity. The owners always say, “oh, he’s a gentle dog…” Well, your “gentle” dog is trying to put my dog’s head it its mouth.
    Another situation is when someone has their dog in their yard not chained up. Then that dog comes running at us. I have almost kicked one do defend my dogs. Once again, the owner got all mad at me for my reaction, when if it were reversed, I bet they would have been angry.
    People need to take responsibility for their animal’s actions.

  17. Hula (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:38 am

    Mike, you can find the answers to your questions with a little thing called Google. But since you seem to have trouble with research, here’s some information about how the dogs’ fighting history began.

    But that accounts only for animal-agression. As I said before—aggression toward humans is seen as a very very undesirable quality in these dogs. In fact, when they were fought in rings they would be handled by a neutral person and if they went after that guy instead of the other dog they were immediately disqualified and often killed for it.

    As for your second question, even though it wasn’t addressed to me:
    Apparently there’s some –here’s that word again–research to back up the fact that drunk drivers are more dangerous. To date there is no research that shows pit bulls are inherently vicious or prone to attack.

    Arguing with the internets is tiring.

  18. Hula (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:41 am

    “Morons” who own/have owned pit bulls:

    Fred Astaire, President Roosevelt, Jack Dempsy, Thomas Edison, Madonna, Michael J Fox, Brad Pitt, Bernadette Peters, Sinbad, Alicia Silverstone, Linda Blair, Humphrey Bogart, Usher, Mel Brooks, Ann Bancroft, John Stuart, Jan Michael Vincent, Pink (the singer), Kelli Williams (Actress from The Practice), Ken Howard (Father in Crossing Jordon – his Pit Shadow saved his life), Malcolm Jamal Warner, Stephan Jenkins, Rosie Perez, Ananda Lewis, Amy Jo Johnson, Mary Tyler Moore, Steve and Terrie Erwin (Crockhunters), Jack Johnson (Hawaiian singer), Bill Berloni (Broadway show dog trainer who has said that the Pit is the breed of choice for training), Anthony Robbins, Molly Price (Actress from Third Watch), President Woodrow Wilson, Frankie Muniz, AJ Mclean, Barbara Eden, Helen Keller.

  19. Hula (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:43 am

    (someone please delete that first one of the last two?)

  20. divebarwife (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:45 am

    Mike – your drunk driving question doesn’t follow the same logic so it’s not an applicable argument.

    – Pit bulls are not inherently dangerous.
    – Drinking is not inherently dangerous.

    – Pit bulls with owners who train them to be fighting dogs are dangerous (which is illegal)
    – Drinking and then driving is dangerous – and thus illegal.

    If we were to follow your logic of not allowing people to own pit bulls because they could train them to be dangerous – then we would have to outlaw drinking because people might drive.

  21. mike (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 12:01 pm

    ye fucking gods. consider me done with this post and portland met blogs in general.

    i’ve been frequenting this site for about 6 months now, originally as a place to learn about new happenings around town. in that time, i’ve seen this board dissolve into one of the most pissy, intolerant “discussion” boards i’ve ever seen. apparently, no one is allowed to have an opinion in portland without someone else calling them an moron. or ridiculing them. or questioning their intellegence.

    i’m a reference librarian, so thanks for questioning my ability to do research. the researcher in me tells me that nopitbullban.com may not be the best place to get unbiased information about the issue. a google search gives me about 3,000 sites claiming the holocaust never happened. does that mean it’s true?

    but the bigger issue for me is just the quality of the conversation on this board. it’s mean, intolerant, and lacking in social grace. i posted a simple, well-thought opinion about these dogs. i’ve now had people send crappy emails to my home account and have been openly attacked on this board for simply having an opinion. nice conversation, guys.

    i encourage everyone on this site to think about what they want portland metblogs to be. is it a place for us to learn about and discuss our community? or is it a place for a) the metblog staff to bitch about every little annoyance they find in this city and b) a place where people cannot express an opinion without ten assholes coming out of the woodwork to take pot shots at them? seriously, what do you want this site to be?

    pit bull owners, yes, your dogs get kind of a bad rap. i feel for you. but the bottom line is that a lot of people don’t like your animals and find them threatening and dangerous. that’s a reality you will have to find a way of addressing without becoming belligerent or hateful.

    and as for many of you on this site: grow up. learn how to have a discussion without getting personal. i believe betsy had a wonderful post on this site about this very issue a while back.

    i don’t think i’ll be coming here any more. it’s not fun to read the angry posts of a bunch of bitter know it alls. there are some really thoughtful, nice people that post on here. but they are few and far between. best of luck with portland metblogs. maybe someday you’ll have a more tolerant, less self-aggrandizing group of online citizens.

  22. not mike but on his side (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

    i wish people would stop breeding them, but it’s nice that some good people are willing to care for existing pit bulls. but if dogs growl or bark at strangers even a little bit, they shouldn’t be let outside their homes. ever. if i wanted to worry that my throat could be torn out by a wild animal, i’d move to the african savannah, not an american city.

    hula, you might want to do a little more research into the people you put on your list. i happen to know that the boxer jack dempsey, for example, was violent with his girlfriend:

    so dempsey’s pit bull people, but that’s exactly what people who dislike pit bulls think it means.

  23. Orygunner (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

    Study after study after study shows pit bulls are (1) inherently more aggressive than almost any other dog breed and (2) inherently more capable of causing serious injuries/fatalities when they do attack. Yet pit bull owners refuse to recognize these facts, facts derived from peer-reviewed, scientific studies. Instead they rely on anecdotes about how cuddly and sweet their own mutt is. Very scientific.

    If you have a dangerous breed of dog and refuse to recognize it as such, you are an irresponsible moron, as I characterized MOST pit bull owners earlier (look up the word “most” and you’ll see it isn’t the same as “all”).

    If you refuse to recognize the dangerous nature of your precious little thing and the high degree of risk it poses to others, you have no business whatsoever owning one of these assault dogs. Now if you want to be HONEST about the genetic propensities of this breed, and if you want to take RESPONSIBLE measures to curb this propensity, fine. Keep your stupid mutt, but better keep it on a tight leash. And don’t let me see it running loose around my neighborhood, because I WILL shoot it.

  24. The Guilty Carnivore (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

    “Morons” who own/have owned pit bulls:

    …Sinbad…Jan Michael Vincent

    That’s not exactly helping your argument.

  25. Hula (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

    I presented facts, Mike. I have no idea what you do for a living. I used your own comments (no references or facts to back them up) to assume you hadn’t done your research. Nopitbullban.com cites the CDC’s own study, so how is that biased? Please tell me.

  26. divebarwife (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

    Mike –

    Since Hula and I are basically the only people in this conversation with you – I can’t help but feel that you think some of my comments were bitchy, attacks, pot-shots – or whatever.

    And the only person who I noticed calling names – actually agreed with you…so I should have been the one offended.

    I simply disagreed with your opinion on the subject. I stated that. I stated why. I did not ever attack you as a person. I always try to stay very far away from that sort of comment – because it drives me crazy as well. But if we disagree on a topic – we are all allowed our points of view.

    I don’t feel that anything I’ve said was out of line, but I am sorry that you did.

  27. Orygunner (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

    Here are a few more peer-reviewed scientific studies on the high risk this vicious breed poses:

    1989 study of children admitted to hospital because of dog attack–pit bulls account for 20% of these attacks; moreover, pit bull attacks were significantly more likely to be unprovoked and to involve freely roaming animals (which speaks to the irreponsibility of pit bull owners as a population)
    Reference: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/88/1/55

    A 1999 study of dog bites in Oakland, CA, concluded this: “The most alarming finding was the breed of dog responsible for the bites: pit bulls accounted for 20 percent of the 1122 total bites, German shepherds for 15 percent, Rottweilers for 12 percent, Labrador retrievers for 11 percent, and Chow dogs for 8 percent. These five breeds accounted for 66 percent of all reported dog bites in Oakland and Alameda County in 1999. It is impossible to tell what proportion of dogs in these areas are pit bulls because canine registration data are not computerized. However, it is clear that these breeds account for a disproportionate number of severe dog bites in children.”
    Reference: Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 114(6):1669, November 2004.

    A follow up to the CDC study looked at more recent data. They reinforced their previous conclusion about the inherent aggressiveness and dangerousness of pit bulls. Here’s one of their conclusions: “the data indicate that Rottweilers and pit bull-type dogs accounted for 67% of human DBRF in the United States between 1997 and 1998. It is extremely unlikely that they accounted for anywhere near 60% of dogs in the United States during that same period and, thus, there appears to be a breed-specific problem with fatalities.”
    Reference: Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998. J. Sachs, L. Sinclair, et. al., JAVMA, 2000, 217, 836-840.

  28. Hula (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 12:44 pm

    A study that cites attacks from freely roaming animals “(which speaks to the irreponsibility of pit bull owners as a population)” actaully does nothing of the sort. It shows that people who are irresponsible with their dogs are involved in more dog attacks. Duh.

    Your cited studies (which I haven’t researched but I assume contain what you presented) are still not accounting for breed identification. There are 20+ breeds that are commonly incorrectly identified as pit bulls. Until there is a foolproof way to classify these dogs, they will be lumped together under “what appears to be a pit bull.”

    Mike, I can say that I think your comments are uninformed and ignorant without that being a personal attack. Two different things. I’m sorry you feel that it was personal. It’s not. I don’t know you.

    In the “morons” case, I wasn’t proposing that the people on that list are Nobel Prize winners, simply that they aren’t all meth heads or gang members (the stereotype of pit bull owners).

    Yes, I understand that my dogs are capable of attacking someone (as all dogs are). Because of their bad reputation and the personal history of our rescue I am hypervigilant about keeping them on leash and out of situations that would provoke such a situation. I am not arguing that all pit bulls are saints, or that all owners are responsible, just that it’s ignorant a) to swallow media hype blindly and b) to overgeneralize about a breed of dog and the people who own them.

  29. mike (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 2:37 pm

    OK, last time here, i promise.

    divebarwife: you are correct, your comments were not personal. but the five people who left comments with my home email account (and “Hula” on this board) were.

    to hula: do you not understand that calling someone “ignorant” is a personal attack at some level? you may have very compelling reasons for feeling that way, but you cannot win people over, to any cause, with that type of rhetoric. are you going to listen to my ideas if i call you an asshole? probably not.

    to pit bull owners: i really, deeply hope none of you are proven wrong about your perceptions about what your animals can do. because it will be at someone else’s expense. all the debate about the facts/fiction with these dogs becomes moot if your animal actually hurts someone. i hope that doesn’t happen, but i’m not “ignorant” for thinking it could.

    to the rest of the metroblog group: would you say the thing you are typing, exactly as it’s typed, to someone’s face if you were sitting at a table with them having the same debate? if not, then don’t type it. it’s called being a decent human being and having some social courtesy.

    portland is a great place to live. i think everyone here knows that. but it’s also a place that’s been described as very intolerant, in spite of our general “lefty” leanings. we have a ton of smart people in this city, but i’ve also found it to be full of people who feel they have nothing to learn from others. and i’ve seen this city called diverse, but i’ve also found that diversity to fit some pretty narrow class and race parameters. and i’ve seen each of these dualities played out in the comments on this board over the last 6 months.

    i encourage everyone who posts here to think: am i creating an online culture that is good? or am i, via what i’m typing, contributing to a negative view of this city and it’s people. what would i think of this debate if i was new to town? what would it say about the people here?

    i can’t say i’m completely pleased with everything i’ve posted on this site. it’s easy to come off as sounding unduly angry or self-righteous in email. but we can have better conversations about issues than we’ve been having here. and the people on this board could do a lot better in terms of not coming across like little tin gods. it’s been said that blogging is the ultimate ego trip. given what i’ve seen this site become, i’m not sure i can disagree.

    i hope your future conversations are more enjoyable than this one has been.

  30. Hula (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 3:39 pm

    Thanks Mike the Internet Courtesy Cop for that primer.

    Just to be clear, I did not call you ignorant. I said your comment was ignorant. People can say ignorant things (myself included) without being ignorant themselves. I didn’t call you names, I didn’t say you were a horrible person. And I would absolutely say everything I posted on this blog to your face.

    If the internets hurts your feelings….eek.

  31. Banana Lee Fishbones (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 3:53 pm

    Mike, if you’re still here-

    I don’t mean to derail the thread, but I would like to tell you two things:

    1. I would like to engage you in an honest discussion but you don’t link anything in your comments so I can’t find a way to get in touch with you.

    2. We have a suggestion box over there on the right, if you know something is going to happen or you want to suggest anything else to us, please fill it out. Nobody sees the info besides the authors and the feedback would be appreciated.

    OK, back to the dog complaining.

  32. Cablenut (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 10:43 pm

    I grew up with a great Pitbull…Molly was her name. Despite having owners that were meth dealers before meth was cool, she was a delightful dog with a great disposition.

    I can guarantee you there are other, more powerful dogs out there. Bull Mastifs were bred specifically as war-dogs. They live short lives, but are INCREDIBLY powerful and MASSIVE (and fortunately for their owners, relatively docile and quite obedient.) To date I have yet to hear of anyone suggesting a ban on Bull Mastifs

    I liken the hatred of pitbulls to the hatred of a race of humans…gross generalizations can be drawn across the board, but they are just that: generalizations. Are Anglos more brutal than their African or Asian counterparts? Maybe…some…but its not a correct statement to say that either group is a shy, retiring violet, nor that either group is an accident waiting to happen.

    We don’t ban folks from lifting weights cuz it makes you “too powerful” or reading too much cuz it makes you “too smart”. We don’t ban cars that are “too fast” or bikes that are “too slow”.

    Further, we don’t ban the antisocial from having children…that would be a bad precedent, no matter how they couch it as “good public policy.”

    No, we do what we can to mitigate the bad circumstances, educate, and limit outrageous behaviour.

    I am not sure I see this any differently.

    BTW: consider getting a “sjambok”…they freak out dogs when they get swung near them, and they are quite capable of incapacitating most dogs. Or a 12g with buckshot. That would work. Slugs would work too. Flechettes might be a bit messy.

  33. drnormal (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 10:47 pm

    Hey Hula, I disagree with your arguments, does that make me an idiot too?

  34. drnormal (unregistered) on June 26th, 2007 @ 11:03 pm

    “I liken the hatred of pitbulls to the hatred of a race of humans”


    Are you kidding? No, seriously, I am laughing my ass off right now. We Humans bred dog species throughout millennia (like so many other animals).

  35. Hula (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 5:56 am

    drnormal, I don’t know if you are an idiot or not. I never called anyone on here an idiot. Perhaps you should read over the comments again.

  36. Ashley (unregistered) on June 27th, 2007 @ 10:06 pm

    Please read this before making posts you know nothing about!

    One thing that people commonly misinterpert are statistics. They go to a website look up some numbers and think huh I have done extensive research so now I know what I’m talking about. If they read further and the fine print, the circumstances that most of these not just pit bulls but all dogs alike are much to blame the owner. Or the fact that they’re not even pit bulls! Hey and did you know that in a temperment test that american pit bull terriers scored higher than some of the beloved dogs such as a beagle, golden retriever, jack russell, chihuahua, minuature poodle.. oh the list goes on with beloved animals!! Again behind most all of the dog killings were circumstances that pointed to careless, or abusive owners, or again the fact that most of these dogs are just deemed pit bulls when they are not. While you were looking up statistics did you also know that there are over 300 breed dogs and pit bull abuse accounts for almost 10% of dog abuse or killings. No I’m sure no one reads that because they are to busy trying to glorify what the media puts out. They are too busy out trying to prove how vicious pit bulls are when they have done no research at all. Hey try fitting in these shoes for a day. Someone starves you, someone ties your paws all together just to make you mean, they tie you to post were you can’t move forward back or side to side, they feed you gun powder to make you sick to your stomach, they beat you till your eyes swell shut, they lock you in a wooden box that has nothing but two holes in it for breathing, they send you out into a fight you don’t want to go in, and if you lose you get choked to death, burned, skinned, shot or die a slow death being ripped apart. And none of this is your choice you don’t want this, but someone wants to make a dollar off of you. How about trying on those shoes, of course you don’t want to because your to busy trying to prove how mean they are on instinct. Ever thought about maybe the fact was because of the way they were treated. Wouldn’t you be a little pissed to?
    Another point is many of these dogs that are deemed pit bulls are not! The truth is full blooded american pit bull terriers account for only a few dog bites, and those are the one’s that are abused. How come if a dog is a lab/pit bull mix it’s automatically a pit bull. If a golden retreiver dalmatian bites somone it is classified as a mixed breed. How come that is? It’s one or the other isn’t it? Oh that’s right we have to get the media off, to glorify and solidify that pit bulls are just so aggressive when it’s not even a pit bull. I mean the dog could have a tenth pit bull and it’s considered pit bull. What about the other 90 percent of it? Does that matter? Again the answer is no because the media wants to show and hear only what they want known. How come if pit bulls are so people aggressive and they are just so mean I’ve lived with them all my life and never even been growled at. I mean by your “statistics” I have a 50 percent chance right, or not just me how about the millions of other responsible owners? I have lived, loved and trained pit bulls all my life. I know also something else pit bulls originally bred in the 1800’s for bull baiting were family pets. It then turned into dog fighting, but not like these days. I don’t agree with it at all obviously, but back in the day the dogs didn’t fight till death. They went home and were family pets. The families didn’t beat, starve and abuse their animals. They were treated well. They weren’t bred to be people aggressive!! So next time you go to a website looking to satisfy what you want to hear try opening your eyes, and don’t make posts you know nothing about!

  37. Lauren (unregistered) on July 14th, 2007 @ 12:21 pm

    There are alot of negative feelings from most people about pit bulls, and yes some of these dogs can be dangerous. I myself have owned 6 of them through out my life. The first pit my family owned was when I was only 7 and we have never had any issues with them ever biting or attacking any people. All 6 of my dogs even got along with our family cats and would sleep with them all cuddled up together.
    In my experience with these dogs they are smart, sweet, enthusiastic, child like personalities. They can be protective and may act territorial around a new person and the best way to get them past that is to have the new person pet them to let the dog know there is no threat. None of the dogs I have owned have ever attacked any stranger.
    We raised them from puppies as family pets who go lots of love and attention.

    I have seen some more aggressive pits, who were either trained to fight or neglected and no I would not trust one of those dogs. For one you dont know what the owner has taught them and if its a case of neglect you dont know if the dog has been severly beaten by a person or how often they were fed.

  38. Ashley (unregistered) on July 16th, 2007 @ 9:01 pm

    For that matter no breed dog should ever be trusted after they are abused. Just because a dog was abused doesn’t mean that should be the end of their life. That’s why they do temperament testing. Any breed dog could be agressive after being abused not just a pit bull. So many of the dogs I see getting adopted out are lucky to have the second chance they have, because someone didn’t just jump the gun and put them down because they were abused. I saw a woman the other day that had rescued a pit bull. She had been abused and this dog was her seeing eye dog. This lady was in a wheelchair and depended completely on this dog. Glad to know this dog was given a second chance

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