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The MV Dogs Progress at BF


    For JXP, AngelM, Emily, Chippie, and all the other animal lovers here at LP, the BF site has just done their first major press release on the MV dogs.  The dogs were in "witness protection" in each of the rescues until the last legal battle was done, and little to no public exposure was permitted.  The legal issue that impacted the dogs is now over, apparently.

    If you can bear the faces with battle scars, you can see pure joy.  I'm still trying also to get copies of the NatGeo series.


Entry #22


justxploringComment by justxploring - January 31, 2008, 5:47 am
Jake, they do wonderful work, and I admite them gratly. But aren't the dogs dangerous once they've been trained to fight? I love pit bulls, and they certainly don't deserve their bad reputation, but I've watched many shows about the Humane Society and they usually euthanize dogs that have been raised to fight to protect the public. Can this behavior be changed permanently?
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 31, 2008, 5:48 am
I meant "I admire them greatly."
sorry about the typos
JakeComment by Jake - January 31, 2008, 9:59 am
Hey JXP: Yes, it is quite the debate with the Humane Society who calls PB's "ticking bombs."   Before I say anything else, I'll say this again - Human safety always comes first. While it might break my heart, I would not hesitate to injure or kill a dog with my own hands if it threatened harm to a human.   I have personally been attacked (not by a PB, at least yet).   I have been underneath several dogs fighting. I have been in a very small space in the middle of at least a dozen PBs that were being agitated.    I have also assisted in public education on how to handle dogs that have been abused and my interest spans 20+ years.   I have worked exclusively with large breed dogs, most deemed not salvageable. I have never accepted a PB, although I have fostered nonproblem PB.     PBs handlers have to be pretty exclusive if they take troubled dogs. My forte is any large breed, but my favorites are the GSD and Rotts, and I never met a Dobe I didn't like.   

I'll share my thoughts based on my experience. The PB reputation comes from 3 things - it's inherent tenacity, jaw strength and pack mentality.   The truth is, every breed from minis to giants share the same characteristics, just in different degrees. Dog fighting is done in a method way - dogs are trained to respond repeatedly to stimuli - bait - and thereafter will respond to bait.   Actually, people who fight dogs use any breed they can get their hands on for bait, training and fighting, depending on the dog's nature, size, appearance, and I suspect there are a lot of ticking bombs out there right now.    What is repetitively beat into the dogs has the same effect as it would on most living creatures who respond to repetitive stimuli.   Can it be undone? I believe yes but not in all cases.   Is it safe for the public - only under the most controlled circumstances.   I know well the damage this breed can do.    The greatest danger is more than 1 dog, always. Pack mentality will turn the most meek of dogs into a monster.   Dogs that have never shown an ounce of aggression will attack in pack mentality. Recently in a city there was a pack of stray dogs that attacked someone and the whole thing was caught on video. It was a perfect lesson in pack mentality. There were big dogs and small dogs in this pack and the moment police broke the pack with tasers, individual dogs began licking hands, wagging tails and assuming docile behavior.    A few minutes before they had been monsters. Like an agitator whipping a human mob into a frenzy, it only takes 1 to get started. The second aspect of true danger comes from command training, 1 on 1. There was a case a while back where a man trained his PB to attack viciously and repetitively utilizing a particular command. He did this, unfortunately, to murder his significant other. He waited until she was asleep and then stood back and repeatedly gave the dog the command. While the dog was normally docile and loving, it had been trained to intensely with this command that the dog mauled the woman to death.   The man would never admit his involvement directly and would never give up what the command was.   The dog was, of course, euthanized but the people involved really like the dog and never saw any aggression. It is believed that the people involved in the Vicks case have divulged all the training methods they used which the rescue groups will now use to address the damage done. That said, the triggers used for these dogs will hopefully be known which will facilitate the undoing of the repetitive training.

       I've taken some time to read about each of the rescues that took the Vick dogs.   At least 1 dog has already been euthanized. The dogs that ultimately are deemed adoptable, if any, will only go to people who have been screened probably over a period of time. I'm certain none of the dogs will go to an inexperienced handler, another key in safety.   I read that there dog fighting organizations who are going underground to infiltrate the process to try and adopt a Vicks dog for bragging rights.   I know that if there is the slightest issue or doubt with a dog, it will remain at BF.

      Is there a danger to humans? I think less of a danger than you neighborhood tough guy who thinks owning a macho dog will gain him points as a big man. Nothing turns my stomach faster than seeing these idiots strolling down the street with a dog they have no business owning.   I think that the Vicks dogs being euthanized automatically will serve less purpose than the media coverage of their journey. That coverage has forced a lot of people who thought this was not happening in their back yard to pay attention.   

    My final thoughts are a bigger picture. Lost in the PB controversy are the statistics and facts on dog behavior and problems in society. The truth is, under the worst circumstances and human behavior, every single dog will attack, will bite.   The USPS will tell you that from an injury standpoint, 1 of the worst injuries every sustained by a carrier came from a Peke. One of the most worst attacks I've ever been witness to involved a single dog (Chow) and owner (from puppyhood).   I know PB attacks are horrific just as I know other breeds with less media sensation have done the same damage to less fanfare.   Is the answer a breeding ban or do we just round up all the PBs and kill them? Thinking like this, to me, is just another form of pack mentality. Kind of like good ole Dr. Phil telling a family on national TV to take the family pets to the pound and dump them since they were having financial problems.   To eradicate the danger of every dog, you'd have to eradicate as many dogs as possible - so maybe we all move to China and be safer from dogs.

   I think, JXP, that the USHS has a point but their way is not working. It's not stopping the fighting operations. Most importantly, there has to be a more humane way to helping more of these particular dogs other than killing them for human offenses.   I'm sure we have not heard the last about these dogs and their journey.
TenajComment by Tenaj - January 31, 2008, 2:21 pm
Pit Bull dogs are not for the average dog owner but rather someone like the Caesar Milans and the Jakes of the world. But when they maim, disfigure and kill - the owners should be treated by the law as if they were the one that did it to the person.

No lessons of being a responsible dog owner please. That's why I say they are not for the average dog owner. Why do you think you pay extra home owner's insurance if you have a Pit Bull.
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 31, 2008, 3:10 pm
Thanks, Jake. I appreciate the long answer. It was very informative. Since I have watched many programs on dogs and I belong to a few organizations, I know a little about this, but not from personal experience like you. I've defended pits to others myself and said some of the very things you wrote. I know that a small dog or gentler breed can inflict great harm. When I was only 5 our Irish Setter attacked me. I was just playing, not doing anything that would set her off. I honestly don't know if she was adopted or put to sleep. I also know that many pits are gentle, loving dogs.

I am between you and Tenaj on this one. I've seen pits who are gentler than most er spaniels and er spaniels that bite. However, if anyone adopts a pit (even an experienced handler) that dog should be gently muzzled in public or when left out of the house and never left unattended. How are you going to apologize to the family when an abused dog that seems completely "cured" of aggressive behavior kills a child or bites his face off? I'm not just picking on dogs BTW. If I had a family, I'd rather live next to a family with a pit bull than a child molester. In both cases they say the animals can be controlled. The latter usually reoffends.

I just want to add again - you are a wonderful, loving person and I respect what you do. So this isn't a criticism and I certainly want you to know that. I've just seen the damage that a dog that has been trained to fight can do and I'm not sure it's something I'd want to gamble with.
justxploringComment by justxploring - January 31, 2008, 3:12 pm
Darn - I forgot about the lottery post filter. Obviously I meant c*o*c*k er spaniel.
JakeComment by Jake - January 31, 2008, 6:03 pm

   Tenaj, Jxp- Good points and I cannot disagree with either of you. I know both sides too well, and what a tough issue it is.    Jxp, I am a huge advocate of the muzzle. In fact, I think anyone with young children should muzzle the family dog in situations where there is a lot of interaction between dog and child. A friend's sister was 3 and playing with the family spaniel when she stepped on his paw - in pain the dog lunged up and tore her throat open - small dog, small child, bad outcome. It would be fair to say that I'm hypervigilent because I know too much of what might happen. I would never take my dogs out in public without a muzzle even if I felt certain it would be okay. With any animal, it is the unexpected that must be guarded against.   

You might be suprised to learn that a few years ago I advocated for an all breed ban on pits and basically putting all pits with any history of aggression to sleep with no exceptions, among other things.   I'm still on the fence somewhat especially with regard to breeding and laws regulating new dogs, but things have happened over the last few years that have changed my perspective.   What we are doing in this world to stop this insanity is not working. More dogs than ever are being born, more fighting than ever is going on, more harm is being done to dogs and humans each year as bite and attack injuries continue to rise.

     Let's say we ban the breed completely and enforce the eradication by death of all existing Pits, which would have to include all crossbreeds as well, leaving zero Pits remaining.   Now, with no Pit problems, we can begin to deal with the top 3 dogs which cause bite injuries and deaths in this country, the GSD, Chow and Rott.   I truly cannot see a reason to keep these breeds given they cause more injuries and deaths than the Pit ever dreamed of. Actually, more mixed breed dogs bite than pure breds, so all mixed breed dogs would have to be eradicated, if we look truly at statistics.     Isn't this logical? We would of course have to deal with the bootleg, clandestine, underground dog culture that would crop up in the meantime. Not too surprising - already areas of the country that ban certain breeds have safe houses and underground networks determined to save dogs outlawed.

    For every moment I've worked with dangerous dogs, I've spent countless hours involved with careless, less than responsible, ignorant or just truly criminal human beings who don't have any business with gold fish let alone a puppy that will potentially cause harm. Tenaj, you've hit the nail on the head - the people who handle these dogs must have a clue and be absolutely dedicated to protecting everyone else from harm. And, I agree, the human must be responsible for the outcome.   The level of care and responsibility is in the hypervigilence realm. From a personal perspective, my life would be much less complicated if I'd just let the dogs go and let someone else care.   

      I know how far out the limb is on these dogs and how much scrutiny and criticism will rain down on everyone who advocated their survival with a single slip from a single dog. That would include me and my opinion. It's not a comfortable feeling to know that I'm placing my faith in something untried and highly controversial. However, my faith in the hardline definitely is not helping the situation and harm is still being done.   We can do a better job taking care of all living creatures, human and animal, but to find solutions, we have to talk about the issues and engage all the what-ifs. If we do not work on a solution, we lose our voice in trying to find a better way.    As difficult and controversial as the issues are, I appreciate your opinions, honesty and compassion.
TenajComment by Tenaj - January 31, 2008, 8:35 pm
Thank you Jake. I don't think they should go out and kill all Pit Bull dogs. That will be cruel. My daughter had a Staffordshire Terrier (black and white) and her husband was feeding him raw meat.   

He was a beautiful looking dog with papers, especially when he had his ears clipped and drew ever man in the neighborhood. But I didn't trust that dog no farther than I can throw him. He had red eyes. I ain't trying to trust a dog with red eyes.LOL

But I do believe they should stop the breeding because they are being abused for pit fighting. Just today a man broke into a breeder's home, hit him on the head, dotted his eye and stole his pit bull puppies.

I remember reading long ago that the Chow, Rott, Shephard and Husky and of course Pit Bull are the only dogs that kill humans the most.

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