Evolution of a Local Dog Bite Story

I was reading an article of a child being bitten by the family dog. The injuries were sufficient to pass the child from the local hospital to a larger one. At the end of the article, the author stated that the breed of the dog was removed from the article at the request of the family.

It appears that those who first read the story, saw the article before the edit had occurred: commenting about the breed being a pitbull mix.  Those who read the unedited version claim that the dog was a Rottweiler/Pitbull mix.  The interesting part of the story was the comments that followed.

Some claim that one breed is no different that another breed. Some offered up blaming the victim. One person expounded on a “recent study” that claimed that dogs never bite without reason.  The longer the comment, the more the person wants to protect aggressive breeds.  However, most people recognize the truth that victims are not always to blame and that some dogs have genetic traits of being more aggressive than other dogs.  It appears that people who see the risk of owning an aggressive dog breed can express themselves succinctly with few words; even when they joke about the bite is the result of climate change or the virus.

This is what upsets me about dog bite investigators; they attempt to bring reason to a dog bite by explaining away the dog’s behavior.  Most of their causation is the result of wild guesses.  The bottom-line is that dog and people have altercations and a dog’s most obvious way to express anger is with his/her teeth.

I am not opposed to pitbulls.   I know that most pitbull dogs will never be a problem.  I also know that the dogs that later bite someone has probably engaged in behaviors that would have warned a normally cautious person.  People tend to overlook signals that are clearly presented to them.   Failing to accept those signals for what they are will eventually get someone hurt. 

I am opposed to callous people owning large breed dogs; people who fail to see the signs.   Local officials claim that the number of dog bite incidents have increase because children are spending more time with their pets during the pandemic. It appears that during this time, more parental attention must be directed to their pets and to their children.  Let’s face it, the truth is that Pitbulls are very loyal dogs, that is why they faced the abuse of their owners in the past to engage in dog fighting.  The problem with loyalty is that it can be misplaced.  

Misplaced dog loyalty usually ends up with someone getting bitten.  The usual scenario is that the dog thinks it is protecting a family member who is just horsing around with another person.  Dogs frequently become loyal to only certain members of its family and not others.  The worst incidents is when a dog becomes jealous of a new family member.

In the animal shelter business, we frequently experienced a dog becoming furiously loyal to one or two volunteers and turned aggressive towards the staff in charged to feed or clean up after the dog.  I always drew the line with dogs that threatened staff.  Volunteers frequently voiced their descent when that line was drawn.  

Volunteers, like pet owners will see threatening behavior and not accept it for what it is.  It is not uncommon for a pet owner to express shock  at their dog’s behavior when all of the neighbors claim that they saw the incident coming.  The writing off of the behavior  places others at risk.

The main reason that the owners of the dog wanted the breed removed is because of their social media presence.   It also brings into question as to the investigation that will follow from Child Protective Services.   How do you explain away your negligence to the child as well as to your pet?

I have completed a career in dealing with the aftermath of negligent pet owners.  For that reason, I am opposed to allowing large breed dogs on to airplanes as “comfort animals.”  One option is to require the owner to provide proof of a million dollar insurance coverage to cover any incident that might be caused by the dog on the flight.  In this way, the airlines weed out those who are just scamming the system (which I believe is 95% of them).   But that is another story.