Better Than Pepper Spray

The breed of dogs collectively known as pit bulls were once known as America’s nursery dog.  When a child was born, a pit bull puppy was acquired.  The idea was that the kid would have a loving and protective companion until the dog died of old age, usually when the newborn had grown into their teen years.

pit bull enjoying a worm

(Please click on all pictures to see the largest version.)

One thing owners of pit bulls report is that the beasts have an almost supernatural ability to recognize when someone means harm to their owners.  Even when a criminal is trying their best to gain the trust of the intended victim, the pit bull can sometimes see through the facade to recognize the intent for violent attack.

That happened recently, as this news story reveals.  A woman walking her dog approached a bicyclist in obvious distress, only to be shocked when her pet exhibited extremely protective behavior.  She received a further jolt to her preconceptions when the supposedly injured and helpless cyclist reacted to the snarling dog by leaping up from the ground, only to straddle his pedal powered contraption in an effort to escape the jaws of justice.

snarling white pit bull

And escape he did, as the pooch was anchored to the petrified woman via a leash.

The fact that the dog could not pursue the erstwhile criminal is all to the good.  If the cyclist had been bitten, then the news story would be about a crazed and enraged pit bull that had to be destroyed after suddenly going off and attacking a helpless man, instead of a loyal and loving family pet that was going all out to save the innocent.  Makes me wonder if many of the incidents which caused people to conclude that the breed was unstable and prone to violence was due to dogs trying to protect their families.

6 thoughts on “Better Than Pepper Spray

  1. There was a case here last year, ended up at the state supreme court.

    Pregnant lady was walking her pitbull, with double restraints of both collar and harness (a fairly common practice with larger dogs that has nothing to do with the aggressiveness of the dog). When a German Shepherd slipped his collar and attacked the two of them on the sidewalk infront of the GSDs home where he had been tied up. The GSD did not survive the experience. The owners of the GSD tried and, initially, succeeded in getting the pitbull labeled a “dangerous dog” (even though legally they were at fault for the attacking GSD), using in court the advice that after all pitbulls are known to be horrible aggressive dogs (and apparently also stating that the pregnant lady was HORRIBLY irresponsible to not only everyone around her but also her unborn baby by walking such an aggressive dog in public, seriously). The State Supreme court ruled that a dog’s breed is NOT an appropriate basis for the legal ruling of “dangerous dog” and struck down the ruling. I cheered!

  2. I once was trying to increase my customer base and walked into a stranger’s driveway and held out my hand to a tied up pit-bull and petted his head and scratched his ears. The owner of the place came out his front door and somewhat excitedly let me know that he thought I was foolhardy and lucky that I wasn’t mauled. Maybe so but I think (as above) the dog could sense my peaceful intentions. Also, he didn’t sense fear, the “first cousin” of aggression which may be related to some biting incidents, especially since the breed had gained a reputation.

  3. “Is that first picture your bulldog?”

    The dog in the picture isn’t mine, but he is of the same breed. They look so much alike that there is really no noticeable difference.

  4. Over here in the UK those dogs are a breed known as the Staffordshire Pit Bull and yes they were used as nanny dogs for children. the Pit part also came in form the use of the dogs to hunt rats in mines or pits.

    I really appreciate this post especially the fact which you emphasized–that the dog’s owner had her pet secured on a leash. Over her in the UK they love their dogs and take them every where–running loose while the owners carry a leash (or more likely multiple leashes for the multiple dogs they own, running loose) in hand like a bloody fashion statement rather than a tool to control their pet. We live on a narrow boat. Twice in the past two weeks loos dogs have come aboard our floating home–one was a chocolate lab which clambered down a bank and up into the stern of our boat to eat the dessert I had cooling out side before a dinner party. The owner attempted to lie to me about when and where her dog was on its lead. The second time happened yesterday when a pit bull running by decided to detour and make a run through our boat.

    I’ve never been a rabid dog lover but now I have become a rabid dog hater. I know its unfair to the dogs–its their owners I should hate, but I cannot commit myself to hating other human beings.

    Sign me, Cat lover in the UK
    aka Jaqueline Biggs

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