Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pit attacks are on the rise with pit numbers???? Shocking...

from the Calgary Sun, January 4th 2010

Last month, it was a woman whose face was torn open by the family Rottweiler.
In August, three members of the same family were sent for stitches after their Staffordshire terrier intervened in a domestic dispute.
On May 22, a seven-year-old boy visiting friends was mauled by a startled 70-kg English mastiff after the animal was bumped by a door.
Last year was a bloody one for dog bites in Calgary, and while the hand that feeds sometimes gets the teeth, the victims are increasingly family and friends of the dog owner.
“It’s a cause for alarm — the most disturbing aspect is the rise of bites happening in the home and with immediate neighbours,” said Bill Bruce, Calgary’s chief Animal Services officer.
“We’ve had some really bad ones this year. We had one just before Christmas where a rotti grabbed a lady’s face — she was the wife. It was ugly.”
While aggressive incidents involving dogs remain virtually the same — 159 in 2009, as compared to 158 in 2010 — the number of actual bites recorded by Calgary Animal Services has jumped from 58 to 102.
Of those 102 puncture-wound victims, 54 were strangers, 34 were neighbours and friends, eight were immediate family and six were service providers like postal workers.
Even more frightening is the age of the bitten: 20 of the victims were children aged nine and under.
Bruce suspects the rise in bites from trusted dogs is a matter of poorly trained people — those who don’t recognize early signs of aggression and who fail to properly socialize and handle their pets.
“These behaviours don’t just pop up, and there are always indicators before an attack, and if they’re not checked or corrected it will escalate,” said Bruce. “Any dog can and will bite — it’s not about size and breed, it’s about people doing the right thing with their dogs.”
If children, friends and family feeling the wrath of rotten ownership is a scary trend, Bruce is also disturbed by the breeds doing the biting.
After years with Labrador retrievers at the top of Calgary’s most-likely to bite list, pitbull and pitbull-type terriers have suddenly taken a dubious lead, passing both shepherds and retrievers.
Bruce is concerned to see pitbulls as champions of the chomp because the knee-jerk reaction is usually the call for a breed ban — a tactic he declares a total failure wherever it’s been tried.
“You ban one breed and people just get another dog that’s got the same issues,” said Bruce. “Breed legislation doesn’t work because it’s not a dog problem, it’s a people problem and it’s getting owners to understand the need to properly train and socialize their dog.”
Last year, the Toronto Humane Society released statistics showing no significant drop in dog bites since a breed ban became law in 2005.
And Italy repealed a ban on 17 supposedly dangerous dogs breeds, including Rottweilers and pitbulls after evidence showed restrictions don’t work.
Instead, Italy will focus on new laws holding owners accountable for their dogs — including proper training.
Animal Services officials in Calgary, which still boasts the lowest bite-per-population ratio in North America, say enforced training may also help solve the current rash of bites in this city.
Bruce says he is preparing to take the matter to city council where he will ask that less severe dog incidents such as chasing and nipping be subject to enforced training.
Instead of a stand-alone fine for aggressive animals, owners will also be required to complete a training course on canine handling and behaviour. “It’s an opportunity to turn that dog’s behaviour around with the help of a professional trainer,” said Bruce.
At the same time, Animal Services may seek to increase the aggressive-pet penalty for dogs trained to be surly, whether as a guard dog or status symbol.
Bruce says better owners should mean fewer bites for Calgary. “There is absolutely no reason for dogs under the proper care of an owner to bite somebody,” he said.
• • •
TEETHING - Bited by breed group, 2010
1. Terriers (pitbulls account for half of total terrier bites) - 26 bites
2. Working dogs (includes Rottweilers and mastiffs) - 22 bites
3. Herding dogs (includes shepherds) - 17 bites
4. Sporting dogs (includes retrievers) - 16 bites
5. Non-sporting - 14 bites
6. Toys - 5 bites
7. Hounds - 2 bites


  1. Wait a minute, Bruce doesn't record bites/attacks by breed, how does he know what breed did what? The one he named, the rottie, I don't see him coming to the defence of the rotties like he is coming to the defence of pits.

  2. I didn't think he did either. I was surprised to see those numbers. I am also shocked that he would admit that pit bulls were at the top of the list. It almost makes me wonder if he can sense the coming storm - now that he has filled Calgary with pit bulls and fighting dogs, his bite numbers are about to go WAY up.

  3. So dog bites nearly doubled, huh? Can't wait to see the spin on this one by KCDogJerk

  4. Bill has spent too much time on the dog lobby cocktail circuit lauding his successes. Unfortunately, he also invited in the Pit Bulls.

    His policies will never trump their genetics...Let the maulings begin!

  5. You might want to take a look at this article.

  6. Ummmm if pit bulls account for half the terrier bites, that is 13. We can all agree that 26 divided by 2 is 13. Sooooooooooooo that means pit bulls bit less than the category Sporting breeds. Also saying pitbull is like saying 'collie' or 'retriever' multiple breeds make up pit bull. I know a kid in town that had over 200 stitches cause of a pure Golden Retriever. The news didn't want to report it though. To bad. You would have something fresh to jabber about.

  7. Let the maulings begin! You guys are awesome. Genetics, cool, I would love to here a geneticists opinion. Is that what you are? Women and children are raped and beaten and killed by men at a rate that apparently has all types of cancers beat as far as destroying innocent human lives. I bet its in human male genes to do that gross stuff.

  8. Sporting breeds include Labs and Retrievers, the most popular breeds, and around 65% of the dog population in Calgary falls into this category. Pit bulls make up less than 2% of the dog population (and that is being extremely generous as licensed pit bulls comprise far less than 1% of the population). It is extremely significant when a breed comprising a mere 2% of the dog population is responsible for the same number of bites as an entire group of breeds comprising 2/3 of the entire dog population.

    And we aren't even acknowledging the fact that the remaining 1/2 of the "Terrier" category would hold a lot of the pit bull mixes.

  9. Of the 102 supposed dog bites in 2010 13 were pit bulls.... So the overwhelming majority is other dog breeds. We need to stop using pit bulls as scape goats. Of those 13 apparent pit bull biting incidences, how many were mixes? I myself have a female APBT and she has been attached more than 8 times at dog parks by other breeds. We need to look at the hard fact instead of always pushing the blame on a breed obviously misunderstood.

  10. Did you see the comment I left before yours? Do you, CAN you, understand that pit bulls comprise less than 1% of the dog population in Calgary, yet they were responsible for the same number of bites as the entire "sporting breed" category, which comprises 65% of Calgary's dog population? Can you appreciate how much more dangerous they are than any single member of that group?

    Let's look at it this way: Let's say there were only 100 dogs in total in Calgary. 2 of them would be pit bulls and 65 of them would be sporting breeds (say 30 Labs, 30 Retrievers, and 5 Spaniels just for simplicity). To achieve the bite count, one of the pits would have to bite 6 people and one of the pits would have to bite 7 people while 6 Labs, 6 Retrievers, and 1 Spaniel would only have to bite 1 person each. Now do you understand more completely what the numbers are telling us and how much more likely to bite a pit bull is?

    And it is extremely unwise to take a fighting breed to a dog park, even fanatical pit bull rescues will advise against it:

  11. I agree that Dogs/ Breeds are not to blame… Humans are responsible… And we have proven over and over again that there are to many bad dog owners out there.

    Many small dogs are more likely to bite- even more likely than a large dogs- BUT THEIR BITES ARE NOT DEVASTATING> This is the problem and we are just not getting it.

    My dog was just mauled almost to death by a Pitbull yesterday… I have had other scares with other large dog bites before but never to this extent. He just came back home this morning and it looks like he will be fine. I have 3 dogs and have always been a dog owner and lover (of all breeds) Two of my dogs are small terriers a Fox and Welsh terrier. They have never bitten another dog or a person.

    Out of all my years of being a dog owner, I can not even recall how many vet bills I have spent on due to other large dogs attacking my babies. All injuries have done by Pitbulls, Sheppard’s and a rottweilers.

    My dogs have all been to behaviorist training, and basic training classes, I take great care of them like one of the family. They get 3 walks a day. and if I adopt a dog that has issues, I teat it VERY Seriously. I do not take them out without a muzzle, or only in confined supervised areas.

    I am sick of people getting pets due to selfish reasons… If someone cant afford to have one, train one Or the ability to love one and do the research- They are not ready to have one.

    Getting a dog it to easy and casual. It it HUGE- like having a child. No one treats it like this.

    Dogs that can do this much harm SHOULD NOT be legal to Breed anymore. It breaks my heart to say that but I am sick of this... I cant believe how irresponsible society has become. The wrong type of people are drawn to have one and are making others suffer…

    BTW, the owner of the this recent Pitbull attack on my dog was off leach, my dog was on his leash as well as our smaller dog that we picked up on time. The pitbull Ran from across the park and we noticed due to one of the men Yelling PICK UP YOUR DOG PICK UP YOUR DOG. Withing that second we saw a flash come from behind us (Large Tan Pitbull) Grabbed our fox terriers neck and didn't let go until the owner came and beat his dog until he let go.... They then Took off running.. While our beloved dog almost bled to death right their.

  12. One must define "Breed" when discussing blame for these attacks. The breed is created, maintained and stewarded by breeders. There is no more grotesque example of breed stewardship that than of the Pit Bull community.

    Blaming the dogs for their breeding just gives the Pit Advocates a childish argument to hide behind. At the current breeding standard, there is no legal or moral reason another litter of Pits should be bred.