Dog behaviour

First - this is not meant to be a further discussion about Princess and her activities that she posted about recently. 

What I’d like to discuss is how so many people here seem to know nothing about dog behaviour.  I am not defending the owners here, as this appears to clearly be a case of the owner not being able to control the dog(s) - but if the child that answered the door was giving off any signs of being uncomfortable or afraid when Princess knocked on his door, then chances are good that the dogs picked up on that and were trying to defend ‘their boy’.  That being said, the biting should NEVER have happened because if the dogs can’t be under control around children/other adults then it shouldn’t be allowed free access to the front door.  Perhaps the kid didn’t think his dogs would do that, or the owner thought that, or maybe the planets were all aligned just so - so an attack would be imminent. 

Or, perhaps the dogs are psychotic - because lets face it, ALL pit bulls are insane and good for nothing but being vicious (there is a VERY thick layer of sarcasm coating that statement).  My dogs always act different if they can sense my unease with a situation - they can all of a sudden think they are 20 feet tall and nothing could possibly defeat them, even though they only way 11 and 14 lbs.  But again, I want to be clear - that still doesn’t mean it was ‘ok’ for Princess to get attacked in the way that she did. 

I guess I’m just not easily convinced that a dog attacked for no reason whatsoever.  Many times there is a reason that was missed because of the lack of understanding about dog behaviour - but that doesn’t mean that the reason is justified.  I for one am glad that the dog was reported because if it happens again to someone else, at least there is a paper trail.

Oh - and as for the “tell us the address so I can avoid that house and all the dangers within!” comments - your kid is just as likely to be hit by a bus as he/she is to get attacked by a dog behind the door of a house someone chose to knock on for whatever reason - so feel free to wrap your kids in a plethora of bubble wrap so that nothing dangerous could ever possibly happen to them.

you made that up, as statistically you are more likely to be bite by a dog then being hit by a bus…

get you facts right!!!

Aggressive Dogs that bite or nip at people, even those that are involved with people passing by their yards or visiting the house, are overwhelmingly the product of poor breeders and owners - especially so in the first 8-12 weeks of puppydom.

As many specializing in dog behaviour will say, the problem comes from the breeder - first owner not properly socializing the dog whether it be with strange people or strange animals such as other dogs or cats.  Remember, the puppy looks to the human to help interpret the situations until it has developed enough to replicate such behaviour.

As Cesar Millan is often quoted as saying, dogs are pack animals and they look to their pack leader (the human) to set the acceptable standard of behaviour.  The best time to socialize your dog is when it is a puppy (8-12 weeks or so).  By introducing your puppy to all sorts of new people and animals, your puppy learns from you how to react and respond - and this includes whether to bark at a doorbell or knock at the front door. 

The problem with pitbull terriers is two-fold.  Firstly, their reputation for being involved in these types of incidents and secondly, the fact that they were bred to be fighting dogs and have enhanced characteristics such as exceptionally strong jaws and an unbelievable determination and spirit. 

It takes a conscientious owner/pack leader to properly socialize these animals and help them grow to be balanced dogs.  As one dog behaviour expert quoted, if a dog could speak to humans, it would answer the question of whether it prefered living with a dog lover vs a knowledgeable dog owner, it would choose the knowledgeable dog owner every time. 

Of course, there is also that element in our society that specifically buy pitbulls or similar dogs for the purpose of being a status symbol - to project that they are te tough guys or to elicit and enhance the dogs territorial responses to protect their stash or product.  This is far too easy to do with these dogs - rather they need structure, - daily exercise, discipline and affection (in that particular order). 

For those that are unaware of Cesar, he is known as the “dog whisperer” and has a television show by that same name on National Geographic channel - its awesome to see him tackle big, aggressive dogs that are unbalanced , helping them to become balanced and responsive to the pack leaders (humans). 

Now that we have heard from the self appointed guru’s, and there seems to be no shortage of these types of idiots its time to spit out the simple truth. If your dog bites anyone, anywhere, for any reason, ITS YOUR FAULT period. Owning a dog is no different than owning a handgun, if anyone is hurt by it it matters not the reasons how the event came to be, the owner assumes all responsibillity. Like a handgun it is the owners obligation to ensure the weapon is properly locked and stored so that it is impossible for it to be used to harm anyone, if you dont and it does your are liable for the damage that is incurred because of it, no excuses, no exceptions.
  If your dog escapes from your door and bites someone that is the owners fault for allowing an aggressive aminal to escape, not the person at the door, to imply otherwise is thinking done by morons who should not own an animal as they do not understand the most basic of common sense. I used to own a shepherd that was perposefully trained to be an attack guard dog, if you came into my house uninvited he would not just bite you, he would mame you if not kill you outright, that was his duty and perpose, he wasnt a pet. As such if company is comming over he had to be locked into the basement for two reasons, one being so he wont bite the wanted guests, two so he wont become socialized and start to trust and accept affection from strangers (potential vermin), trying to have an animal be both a guard dog and a pet is where many owners go wrong, it confuses the animal as to what his duties and role is and is likely to end up like a gun that accidentally goes off and hurts someone.
  People knocking on your door in no way removes your obligation to ensure the animal does not cause them harm, kids come looking for bottles, the cancer society for donations, the heart foundation, and kind neighbour looking out for your property, the JW’s, thats a normal part of life in a city and in no way an excuse for your animal harming them, if your animal harms anyone under any circumstance its your fault, the only exception being forced entry where they have entered your locked dwelling by force and encountered the animal, that is the only forgivable excuse for an attack, period.

If you kill someone with a gun in your home you would most likely be charged with a homicide. The same is true if your dog killed someone in your home … whether invited or not.

For some reason I am not able to reply in the other thread so I’ll reply here.

Let me clarify something.  I have owned dogs my entire life including some large breeds and I have a good understanding of their behavior.  I don’t think that it was fair that the dogs came out and bit POP.  I think that was wrong and unfortunate.  I personally, would not have called the RCMP.  The owners made a mistake when they received a ring of the doorbell but I don’t think you can call them irresponsible owners by what occurred.  Two pitbulls running around the neighbourhood is one thing but these were secured until the door was opened when a surprise visitor stopped by.

[quote=“Paper Pusher”]
For some reason I am not able to reply in the other thread so I’ll reply here.[/quote]

Who locked the thread?

I think most dogs could just use a few peacekeeping chickens.

No, Astro, it was not made up - but I see you also neglected to include where your apparently superior statistical data was taken from.  My statement was from looking up stats that were available for Prince Rupert because (now I’ll let you in on a little secret here if you promise not to tell anyone)…

drum roll please…

WE LIVE IN PRINCE RUPERT!!!  Holy hell why didn’t someone tell me! 

I will not post again in response to this subject, so make sure you get your jabs in now! I was not trying to say that it was, without question, Princess making the kid scared so then the dogs attacked her to protect the kid - I was trying to say that it is ONE possibility.  Even if it was though, that doesn’t mean that it was ‘ok’ and that she shouldn’t have knocked on the door or reported it.  Hrm, does that need to be in bold?  Probably wouldn’t hurt, so here it is again, in bold:  that doesn’t mean that it was ‘ok’ and that she shouldn’t have knocked on the door or reported it!

Who couldn’t use peacekeeping chickens?!?! I want some and then I’m going to go around picking fights with people to ensure they are honing their skills!

And you be dead wrong about that. Using my analogy with a handgun what your saying is that if you ring my doorbell and i open it and you get accidentally shot on the stairs its not my fault as the handgun was secured until I opened the door to you, thats absolutely foolish.
  My responsibillity as the gun’s owner is to keep it secure at all times, to have me open my door does not remove my responcibillity and obligation to its security and your safety, period, your argument is foolish, lets use an analogy in your statement: " Two  loaded handguns running around the neighbourhood is one thing but these were secured until the door was opened when a surprise visitor stopped by". sounds rediculas doesnt it? Thats because it is and is no different when talking aggressive dogs, if they can run through the door they arnt secured, if it can “go off” by accident , it isnt secured and you dont need to very bright to grasp that concept, I know many idiots that are responcible gun and dog owners, common sense doesnt require high intelligence.

Drop the intelligence BS.

I dont agree with your analogy of a loaded gun and I’m not saying that what the dogs did was okay but I don’t agree that the RCMP should have been called in this instance.

Since you insist on using analogies though try this one.  POP walked up their stairs to report a suspicious looking bicycle in the front yard and slipped on ice.  She fell down and broke her leg in two places. 

Edited quote:

Do you think she should sue them? 

There are hazards everywhere and sometime shit just happens.  I wouldn’t have called the police but I also like to think I’m a good citizen and would give these people the benefit of the doubt that they would correct it. 

Very well said chris :smile: I agree with you

Geez guys…

The RCMP was called regarding the bike, AND the dog.  The RCMP just passed the information to the by-law officers.  The by-law officers called me this morning to get the full story.  It’s not like me calling is going to  get the dog apprehended or anything.  All that’s going to happen is that a note is going to be made so that the RCMP and Ambulance know that there’s a dangerous dog there, in case they need to respond to an emergency.  Also, the dog is going to be checked to see if he is licensed, and the owner is going to be explained the rules and by-laws. 

I COULD HAVE SUED THEM.  But I didn’t.  Nor will I.  The owner was nice, and asked to make sure I was okay.  But it was my responsibility to report the dog though.  Both the RCMP and the by-law officer said I did the right thing.  So, now the RCMP have the bike, and the by-law officer has the dog on record.

I did not do anything wrong. Period.

And I was the one who locked the other thread.  I might be wrong, but I believe it’s bad etiquette to start a new thread regarding the same topic if the previous topic has been locked.

Using your slippery stairs bit. A house owner is supposed to keep stairs and walkways cleared for the mailman anyhow. Canada Post workers sometimes don’t even stop at the houses that don’t have their walkways clean…

What is with people trying to take the responsibility away from the owners? IF you know you have an agressive dog, you do everything in your power to make sure that dog doesn’t attack someone. It’s the right thing to do. And if you as an owner choose to be negligent and let the dog out, wether by accident or not. And it attacks someone. It’s your responsibility. There are ownership papers. YOU OWN THE DOG.

If princess wasn’t supposed to call the police, who should she have called? If my gun went off and hit you, (a gun being the best example, it’s the most lethal) it would be my fault. If my dog ran out of my house and maimed you. It would be my fault. ESPECIALLY if I know my dog is agressive, and choose to do nothing about it. Careless and irresponsible owners. They don’t deserve to have animals.

PS Princess, you’re right to close the thread, and you’re right that it shouldn’t have been started again. You were also right in calling the police. So don’t listen to the idiots.

Thanks Bubba!

How was closing it right?  The thread wasn’t out of hand but people had opinions that were different than your own and were calling you out for what you did so you close the thread.  To me that’s not right, that’s censorship.

I opened it, I closed it.  It was my prerogative.

For the record don’t ever come to my house and tell me that my bike is unlocked or my car has my keys in it or anything else ‘helpful’.  I’d hate if you stubbed your toe on my walkway and decided to sue me after trying to be ‘helpful’.

I said that I wasn’t going to sue.  Obviously you can’t read.

But hey, why don’t you post your address so I know which house to avoid “helping”.

That’s not the same thing–and it’s kinda silly to suggest that it is.

Princess didn’t stub her toe, she didn’t scrape her knee on a walkway… she was attacked by someone’s dog, and she could have been hurt very badly.

Bottom line–a well trained dog will never, ever, ever, ever, ever attack… ever! Not unless the owner has trained it to attack or has given the equivelent “sick’em” command.

Kaleid, I understand that a person might mistake a child’s nervousness for fear, but I think dogs are a little more in tune with emotions than that… or else dogs would attack every time a child walked past a stranger, or even attack the computer if some kid is writing a particularly important essay. Again, bottom line, a well trained dog won’t attack even IF their owner is scared or nervous… it’s as simple as that.

On Pitbulls. Ban them. Even though I know that the stats for biting are higher for some, smaller breeds–consider this. A goldfish might nibble at the finger that feeds it quite often, but no one is arguing that a Tiger Shark in the backyard pool is a safe idea. Pitbulls were bred for fighting–bred for hurting. Now–I know that there are a lot of very dedicated, caring owners out there with Pitbulls… and those Pitbulls won’t likely attack, just like any other well trained dog. However, the potential danger and damage that can be done by Pitbulls makes them not worth the risk.