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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by RitaRose View Post
    Yes, I have, in person, multiple times though it is still fairly rare. Some are more eery than the others because they seem to be completely unemotional, in contrast to most dogs that are very obvious with their feelings and thoughts. One that was restrained was absolutely motionless except for its eyes. The only movement was when a person crossed in front of them, at which point their jaw closed (no other movement) and you could see it totally focused on the person, though still motionless. Like I said, when dogs stop moving and only their eyes are moving, they tend to bite. Just experience teachign me that.
    What you are describing is no different than any other confidently aggressive dog of any breed. The idea that a dog is "unemotional" is pure anthropomorphism. I used to handle highly aggressive dogs for a living; the body language and behavior you are describing is in no way breed-specific and is something that I've encountered in a great many dogs, most of whom were of no specific breed at all. I absolutely, 100% appreciate you focusing on the owners' culpability in training any dog of any breed to be nasty, but I will absolutely flat-out tell you you are wrong to believe that this behavior is breed-specific or inherent to their nature.


    If someone is spreading rumors, then it's also people that have those particular dogs. They're the ones telling me and my coworkers what happens.
    Do you take everything as golden that criminals who have a vested interest in keeping you out of their yard tell you?


    There are bait dogs. I've seen them myself, and it's terrible. I've had people brag about how they feed them gunpowder to make them angry. I don't know if it's true that it works that way, just that people have told me they've done it. I've seen more ways to be cruel to animals than I care to think about. It's one of the worst parts of my job. After all that I've seen over the years, I truly believe PEOPLE can be evil. I have no doubt of that. But dogs are a product of their breeding, training and treatment. And while no breed is better or worse than any other, I have seen certain breeds be the target of a minority of people who use those dogs to create an overly aggressive animal.
    Sure, there are bait dogs--ever since the good folks at HSUS spread that myth and the media helped spread all the rest of the horrific stereotypes about bulldogs. Gunpowder is made of sodium nitrate, charcoal, and sulphur. While it may give a dog a gut impaction, it does not make them aggressive, and anyone who tells you that is both an idiot and a liar. What I am trying to get you to understand is that you helping to spread these myths is half the reason they perpetuate. Just like you telling people on the internet that dogos are silent and homicidal maniacs and that you automatically assume every one you see is waiting to quietly murder you. Some people will see that and believe it. Some of those people will be bad guys wanting an aggressive dog. Some will have personal experience with dogos and know it to be untrue. Most will just forget about it until the first time they meet a dogo on the street, when their panic meter will ping and they won't quite remember why.

    Like I said, I greatly and sincerely appreciate your placing the blame squarely on the owners. I'd simply like you to acknowledge that it's untrue that the majority of dogos are kept by bad guys, for one thing (or that "the type of people who tend to want these dogs" are bad people), and that any number of molossoid or guardian breeds are far more likely to be human aggressive by nature than a pack-hunting hog dog. If you are not yet seeing mastinos or cao filas in crackhead back yards, it's not because dogos are the bestest badass dog out there, by far.

    I truly do appreciate the way in which you're approaching this; I am simply troubled by the emphasis on my breed as having characteristics that make it more dangerous than any other breed when mishandled. Any breed can be trained to be aggressive. I have a great deal of experience and many, many years in this breed and despite your few encounters with chained and abused dogs, can assure you that their character is, on the whole, exactly as described in the standard: "cheerful, frank, humble, friendly".

    Last edited by mixie; 02-24-2012 at 08:59 PM.
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

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  2. #92
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    Again, I'm not saying anything about any breed other than that bad people prefer some over others.

    Whether the effects of gunpowder are real or not (my understanding is that it messes up their stomachs and, in a nutshell, makes them pissed off because they feel like crap), people do it. Same thing with bait dogs - people do it, and the reason why is not a mindset I want to ever understand.

    I understand your viewpoint. There are breeds that get a bad rep because a few owners are douches and treat them poorly, making the dogs aggressive. Then others get them because it makes them feel like they're badass or something. It sucks and it's stupid.

    But you're coming at it from an entirely different angle than I am. I HAVE to deal with these dogs, one on one, no leashes or owners to mediate. I can be all happy and fair and politically correct about it, ignoring that a higher percentage of certain breeds are trained to be aggressive, more than say a Chocolate Lab. But the facts are that certain breeds attract a higher percentage of violent and irresponsible owners.

    Those of us who do not have the leisure of meeting these dogs in controlled situations must err on the side of caution or we can quite literally die or be horribly maimed. Some breeds just have an insane amount of jaw strength and only let go if their air supply is restricted. I have seen the result of more than one coworker attacked by dogs to the point where you could see the bone and muscle, many times while an owner (who supposedly knew his dog) was holding its collar or leash and the dog got away. I can't tell you how many times I've been bitten moments after hearing "Oh, he's friendly. He doesn't ever bite." Want to make a room full of utility workers laugh? Just say "He doesn't bite." We've all heard it.

    As much as I hate it, the statistics agree with us. To be honest, Chihuahuas bite more often than most dogs. They're usually very aggressive/territorial, along with (believe it or not) Dachschunds and Spaniels. But they're smaller and therefore not likely to cause as much serious damage. With something like a Pit Bull or a Rottweiller (or Dogo), the amount of damage is many times greater. Throw in that certain breeds are attractive to an asshat trying to prove he's a "real man" by treating his dog like crap and making him aggressive, and I have to be more careful with those breeds.

    I truly wish I had the luxury of not taking into consideration the breed of every dog, but the sad reality is that there are certain breeds that are attractive to people who are cruel or criminal, so there is a higher probablility that any given dog of that breed will be a danger to me. It doesn't mean they are all bad or that they are genetically that way, just that the odds are higher.

    I really don't feel like explaining myself anymore. If you don't think there is a higher percentage of people training their Dogos/Rotts/Dobies/Pits to be aggressive than there are people with Pugs or Beagles doing the same, I don't know what to say. That's just the reality of MY situation, which is walking up to a completely strange animal with no background information or way to defend myself, and making a decision that will impact my ability to walk without multiple surgeries or even hold a job in the future. I have to be absolutely sure, not make decisions on how things ought to be.
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  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by RitaRose View Post
    But the facts are that certain breeds attract a higher percentage of violent and irresponsible owners.
    This is what's bothering me, far more than anything else. When someone goes around insisting that "a higher percentage of violent and irresponsible owners" own dogos, it causes perfectly normal people who have never had a bad encounter or ever had the reason to enter someone's property uninvited to cross the street when they see other perfectly normal people with their perfectly normal dogos. I fully understand your concern about a small number of criminals abusing dogs, but the truth is, most people that own dogos are hunters and active pet owners. Not meth dealers. I also understand the fact that you can't tell who is a meth dealer and don't have time to sort out the friendly dogs from the scary ones; that's not a reason for you to paint dogo owners as being disproportionately likely to be bad guys, and no reason for my neighborhood utility worker to be afraid of my dog or any of the other thousands of dogos in the US as a whole. All utility workers should be cautious of all chained dogs and any dog displaying body language such as you described, whether it's a dogo or a chow or a lab mix. And as someone who handled, no joke, hundreds of dogs per year surrendered or confiscated by the county under dangerous dog reports or criminal investigations, frequently with active bite records, I can promise you I saw far more "still, silent, staring" lab or chow mixes ready to eat my face, by a factor of I can't even guess how many, than I have ever known overtly aggressive dogos.

    If you don't think there is a higher percentage of people training their Dogos/Rotts/Dobies/Pits to be aggressive than there are people with Pugs or Beagles doing the same, I don't know what to say.
    I am not actually objecting to this idea. But the fact is, you didn't launch this discussion by implicating rotts, dobies, or pits, or even chows, huskies, and malamutes (which are statistically disproportionately represented in severe and fatal dog attacks, as are labradors by sheer volume), you specifically pointed at dogos and akitas. I respect your concerns about large, aggressive, potentially abused and neglected dogs, for certain and with zero objections. All I was asking of you is to acknowledge exactly what you spent the majority of your last post explaining: that any dog of any breed neglected or trained to be aggressive is a danger. There is nothing breed-specific about the dogo that causes them to be more dangerous than any other breed mishandled or abused and chained to a car bumper.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by mixie; 02-24-2012 at 10:59 PM.
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

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  4. #94
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    Okay, and I swear to Og this my last thought on the issue, unless you'd l ike to discuss it any further. You are absolutely correct about dachsies and spaniels, and also about bad guys targeting tough looking dogs for criminal purposes, I agree. My issue, aside from the breed-specific stuff is that most truly dangerous dogs are not criminally crafted canine weapons; most dogs involved in severe and fatal attacks are neglected family pets. A Chow left chained to a tire for five years because the owners got it for free and didn't do anything with it after that is a much bigger problem, statistically speaking.
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

  5. #95
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    My only trouble with Dogos was that the ones I had seen were difficult to read. In my situation, I have to be able to read a dog's mood and intent in order to stay alive. Given that I am in an urban area with a large criminal element, the odds are not in my favor. I don't go through the house to get to the yard (I'm actually not allowed to - I can be fired) so dogs see me as a tresspasser, not a guest of the owner. I have to be 100% right about the dog. If not, I have to be faster than the dog or able to assert my dominance over him, neither of which will happen with a dog as fast, smart and strong as a Dogo.

    Honestly, I'm more afraid of people than dogs. Dogs are generally very up front about what their intent is. People? Not so much. Dogs are animals that only act according to how they have been treated, with a few minor variants according to breed, like Chihuahuas coordinating movements well as a pack, Pugs being incrediby even-tempered, Boxers being all bark or Danes being oversized lap dogs.

    Again, the only problem I have with Dogos is that the ones I have encountered were very difficult for me to read. The confounding factor is the large numbers of bad guys that think it's cool to own one. I am in no way saying even the majority of Dogo owners are bad, just like I don't think the majority of Pit owners are bad. They aren't. It's just a higher number (though still small) than something like a Basset Hound.

    I love dogs - Pits, Rotts, Mastiffs, Dogos, Pugs Beagles (except the Beagle bark is SO freaking LOUD). They're generally loving and pretty good judges of human character. I do hate owners that think it's cool to abuse or neglect an animal or turn it into a lethal weapon. And unfortunately, in the area where I live, which has a high crime rate, that happens to certain breeds more than others. That's the world I live in. Yours may be different, and I can tell your dog has been treated well, so this does not apply to owners like you.

    If I were able to assess the mood and intent of your dog, I would be fine walking into your backyard to do my job.
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  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by RitaRose View Post
    I love dogs - Pits, Rotts, Mastiffs, Dogos, Pugs Beagles (except the Beagle bark is SO freaking LOUD). They're generally loving and pretty good judges of human character. I do hate owners that think it's cool to abuse or neglect an animal or turn it into a lethal weapon. And unfortunately, in the area where I live, which has a high crime rate, that happens to certain breeds more than others.
    I get where you're coming from, I really, really do. And I can tell that you love dogs and are sensible about them across the board. I also am not disagreeing that tough guys choose tough-looking breeds to exploit.

    I'm not trying to poke at you or sound like some rabid nutcase on a crusade, honestly. I spend a lot of time doing public outreach for dog safety; we have an enormous problem with dog bites in this country. One reason I am so prickly about implicating "bad guys" and "bad guy dog breeds" is that it ignores the statistical reality that the vast, overwhelming majority of severe dog bite incidents do not stem from criminals and their macho dogs. The criminals are something of a red herring here; people hear stuff like this and focus on the gangsta rottweilers while their neighbor's benignly neglected, chained-and-ignored-for-years lab mix goes totally unnoticed until it mauls a meter reader and shows up in the newspaper as a "pit bull type dog". This then, of course, reinforces the notion that "more bad guys own pit bulls and more pit bulls are dangerous dogs".

    I truly don't want any hard feelings, and I don't want you to think that I'm dismissing your personal experiences and concerns, at all. I'm simply asking you to be conscious of your language to avoid promoting this breed to those who would seek to exploit it. If you focus on the truly consistent factors in severe and fatal dog attacks, which have nothing to do with breed, type, or variety, you're doing a great deal more to help recognize a dangerous dog in any area of the country. Those truly consistent factors are chained dogs, intact, unattended dogs, neglected or abused dogs. And as you have rightfully pointed out, areas with high rates of crime and low socio-economic status are home to more chained, neglected, and abused dogs. The breeds and varieties most common change from year to year and area to area. The causative factors remain consistent.
    Language matters. Your experience as a utilities worker who has to enter property "uninvited" and take risks most people do not also matters, greatly. If you focus on the causative factors of the dangerous dogs you encounter, regardless of breed or type, it helps to avoid glamorizing the next "exotic" molosser to come down the pike... and also helps folks to recognize the dangerous dogs on the block regardless of breed or type. Does that make sense?

    AVMA- Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention
    CDC - Dog Bite Prevention
    Dog Bite Safety FAQ
    Last edited by mixie; 02-25-2012 at 11:39 AM.
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

  7. #97
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    Understood.

    Honestly, my guess would be that the vast majority of dog bites (as far as the general public goes) would be cases of parents not teaching children how to approach a strange dog (any breed), like at a park or when visiting someone's home, not the stereotypical "bad dogs" just randomly going after someone.
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  8. #98
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    Yes, ma'am, absolutely true--that and leaving kids unattended with the family dog. A dachshund that sees itself as mid-level on the totem pole "schooling" a two-year-old for trying to cram something in the dog's ear can do a great deal of damage to a child's face in a fraction of a second... and more because it was just correcting a "puppy" as dogs do than because it's inherently vicious or unstable. Toddlers don't generally recognize the escalating warnings (or sometimes the dog has been corrected for growling at the kid before and it just bypasses that step) so that by the time the dog gets physical it's using the loudest "words" in its vocabulary. Kids' skin is much more delicate than dogs', and when dogs get their early bite inhibition "language" lessons from mama and siblings it's in reference to other dogs. Most folks don't think about specifically teaching soft mouths and bite inhibition in reference to humans because we just imagine that it's innate: good dogs don't bite, and my dog's a good dog (insert rofling utility workers here ;0) ). Hell, lots of folks don't even bother with "sit" or "stay" ;0).
    We have close to five million bites annually in this country, nearly all of which happen to children or elderly folks and the overwhelming majority involving family pets.
    It's a good thing that it's getting more common for folks to recognize that pit bulls aren't bad dogs, just went through a phase of being popular with people who don't do all the right things to raise and handle a strong, active, high drive breed. The dogo community is very concerned with the potential for our breed to take up that "bad dog" spotlight, and if that notion picks up steam, it then becomes all the more likely for any vaguely bulldog-looking critter with any amount of white on them to be called a dogo if involved in a bite incident... and then more jackasses wanting a "mean" dog look for them, and the cycle continues.

    Anyway, I want to really thank you for talking to me about this. As I'm sure you can tell, dog safety and bite prevention is a BFD to me. I didn't mean to jump down your throat about it, by any means... so thanks for not just telling me to cram it when I maybe came off as more prickly than I really intended ;0)
    Last edited by mixie; 02-26-2012 at 07:07 AM.
    “Falconry is not a hobby or an amusement; it is a rage. You eat and drink it, sleep it and think it. You tremble to write of it, even in recollection. It is as King James the First remarked, an extreme stirrer up of passions.” --T.H. White, The Godstone and the Blackymor

    "The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight."
    - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

  9. #99
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    It works both ways - thanks for not telling me off too!
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  10. #100
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    The U.S.A. is a dog loving country, but most people don't know how to read a dog's body language.
    A wagging tail is not an automatic sign of happiness.
    Lip licking, yawning, ears back, looking away, blinking are all signs of discomfort. People don't notice them, because they're subtle.

    These are all signs given before a dog even raises their lip or growls.

    Repeatedly pet your dog on the head, most of the time, the dog will lick their lips and/or put their ears back. They don't like it. Everyone in America thinks that you're supposed to "Pat the doggy on the head" that's how you say hello.

    Leaning over a dog is very rude and gets MANY people bitten in the face.


    I wish there was a GOOD class that everyone had to take before owning a pet. I'm sure that would open up a whole new set of problems too.

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