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Pit bull -- am I being unreasonable?

(118 Posts)
kcoll Wed 29-Jan-14 09:44:48

I LOVE dogs. I have had dogs my entire life, from the day I was born until recently, when I moved to a flat and sent my most beloved collie to live with my parents because they live in the countryside and could offer a better quality of life for her.

The reason I write is this is that I have a 9 month old baby, and my friend, who has a 10 month old baby, owns a pit bull mix. The dog was illegally imported on falsified papers, as they dog was DNA tested and confirmed to be part pit bull, part labrador. The dog looks very much like a pit bull -- quite large, highly muscular build, jaw, etc. The dog has a history of biting people (3 bites in its 9 year life span) and I have personally seen her nip at people's faces. She is an often sweet, but nervous and protective dog. I have seen her flash from timid to ferocious in an instant on more than one occasion.

I was fine to go to her house before I had a child. I know how to act around nervous dogs -- I would never put my face near the dog's, etc. But when I had my baby I told my friend that I could not go to her house anymore. She still invited me around...and I went because they said they would keep the dog in another room or outside. I have gone over a couple times and they do keep her away sometimes, and other times they try for a little while and then let the dog run around because the dog is crying and wants to be near her people, as dogs do. When this happens I hold my child far away from the dog. I would NEVER consider letting my child stay alone with them at their house as, even if they were being careful, the dog could get out and there is the chance of an attack. Particularly as the kids get older, all it takes if for one of them to let the dog out. Slim chance of danger but nonetheless I would never put my child at risk. This is not to mention that 2 children are killed a year by dangerous breeds (not labs or collies) -- that's a fact in black and white. There was a Jack Russell that was part of an attack once, and people hold that up as reasoning that it can be any dog, however it was a Jack Russell and a Staff bull terrier, which is basically a smaller various of a bit pull, and pack mentality can take over when more than one dog is involved in such cases.

The fact that she keeps her child around this dog makes me uncomfortable, frankly, because -- back to the statistics -- it is always (100%) of the time in the last 7 years in the UK, been the child of the family that dies (so statistically it would be her child not mine who is more at risk). Would you stand by and let a baby be at risk? I suppose there's nothing I can do by UK law....

Then recently I tried to organise a trip to a country hotel with this couple and another couple with the same aged baby. The hotel accepts dogs and i asked them not to bring their dog, and they have flatly refused not to bring the dog. We have gone away with them before with the dog and they let the dog run free and it made me INCREDIBLY nervous due to the dog's temperament, history of biting and it's genetic make-up -- these dogs are designed to kill other very strong dogs and humans, collies are designed to nip, labs are designed to carry things softly in their mouths, Jack Russells are designed to kill -- rats. I am nervous for the other unsuspecting children/parents and other dogs (my childhood dog was killed by our neighbour's pit bull mix). She is implying that I am being overly sensitive and unreasonable. What do you think and how would you handle the situation?

Dawndonnaagain Wed 29-Jan-14 09:47:23

Why have you not contacted the police. Will they still be your friends when somebody is seriously injured, or worse? The dog is illegal, that's it. No oversensitivity, no arguments, it's illegal, it's bitten, it's dangerous.

anchovies Wed 29-Jan-14 09:51:05

Obviously YANBU. I would never knowingly let my children (or even myself!) spend time with a nervous and protective dog with a history of biting people and becoming "ferocious". It needs reporting before someone gets seriously hurt, especially if the owners fail to see there's an issue.

Only1scoop Wed 29-Jan-14 09:52:26

Part Pit Bull Illegally imported on false papers. Makes my blood boil. People like that make me sick.
Answer to your question is simple if they insist on bringing their 'illegally imported Pitbull Cross' don't go.
As for it running loose there....just frightening.

IndridCold Wed 29-Jan-14 09:53:15

Pit bulls are illegal anyway, plus it's been imported illegally. Call police or council dog warden.

MaxsMummy2012 Wed 29-Jan-14 09:54:03

I agree, contact the police / rspca annonomously and tell them about the dog, then act shocked and surprised when your friends tell you about it, you'd never forgive yourself if anything happened to their kiddie or someone else.

basgetti Wed 29-Jan-14 09:54:19

YABU for having taken your baby round there at all! Call the police.

DustyBaubles Wed 29-Jan-14 09:55:41

Really all you have to do is call the police and have the dog confiscated.

It's as simple as that, you are seriously over thinking things, with your talk of statistics etc.

newestbridearound Wed 29-Jan-14 09:56:51

This sort of situation terrifies me. Please tell the police, as friendly as they think their dog is it only takes a split second for something to happen and like you say it nearly always ends up being a child in danger.

YANBU at all, I think your friend is being very unfair in making you feel so.

Lilicat1013 Wed 29-Jan-14 09:57:23

I think that the dog is a Pit Bull doesn't matter, any dog that has a history of biting people and continues to nip at people is a dangerous dog. I wouldn't take my child anywhere near it no matter what they promised about keeping the dog in another room.

Could you contact the RSPCA about your concerns for her child? I have a baby just a little bit older and there would be no way I would trust him around a dog, you couldn't explain to him why you don't grab it's face or pull it's tail he is too little to understand. I assume she keeps the separated but it only takes one mistake for a terrible consequence.

hiddenhome Wed 29-Jan-14 09:57:43

Never go there again esp. with your child.

Report to the police.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 29-Jan-14 09:58:33

Yanbu. You need to call someone before that dog attacks and there's no alternative but PTS.

As it stands right now there may be a chance of behavioural training being successful but it needs doing by a professional and wre homed with someone who has the time knowledge and ability to do this.

The whole thing is awful sad illegal importing? Ffs no wonder the dogs got a nervous temperament god knows what happened to it having been looked after by idiots sad

What a waste , what a horrid situation for the family and a dog. sad

kcoll Wed 29-Jan-14 09:58:49

Thanks everyone -- that was my feeling as well, and I have been stupid and trying to keep the peace with a friend when the most important is the health of their child, my child and other unsuspecting people.

I looked into the laws and unfortunately while I can anonymously report the dog, then the authorities have to get a warrant. If they do then the dog goes before some kind of court and is either taken for good or given back with an exemption certificate. Apparently this happened in one case, and then the dog killed a child 8 months later.

I cannot have this knowledge on my conscience. Thanks again for your input, I try to take serious action.

UriGeller Wed 29-Jan-14 09:59:10

That is a tragedy waiting to happen.

When it does, how will you feel?

Much better to be pro-active.

LEMmingaround Wed 29-Jan-14 09:59:58

YANBU about this particular dog. It sounds like a time-bomb and a very unhappy dog. WHY did they have it imported? how did they manage it? The laws are quite strict about importing animals - if it is part pit-ball it needs to be tattood, microchipped and muzzled when in public at all times.

Also, they may well get a surprise if they pitch up with an obviously pit-bull type dog because most hotels have a list of dogs that they will not accept and i would imagine that "pit-bull type" or "bull terrier type" is right there at the top of it.

A staffordhire bull terrier is NOT a minature pit-bull hmm

I do get so cross about peoples ignorance regarding these dogs - it is people that make a nervous, aggressive dog, not their genetic make up. LMAO at pit-bulls being designed to kill humans. I also think if you do your research properly you would see that lots of "nice" labradors and collies bite. I have been bitten by both, working as a vet nurse, and a GSD but never a staffie, rottie or any other type of maligned breed.

softlysoftly Wed 29-Jan-14 10:02:40

YABU for not having reported the selfish woman as soon as she got it. The fact that there are 000's of perfectly good dogs here waiting for adoption means that by importing a "pit bull cross" the family are basically buying a status symbol. A dog shaped sign that says

"Aren't I hard , look at my huge cock"

People like that make bad owners which is why these dogs are such a problem rather than the dogs themselves iyswim.

Anyway you'd feel worse if it killed her child than you would reporting it. So do it today.

Finabhear Wed 29-Jan-14 10:03:25

I know I'm missing the point but why go to all the bother of illegally importing an illegal bread of dog?

Back on the point, yanbu.

paulapantsdown Wed 29-Jan-14 10:04:12

That dog should be put down before it takes off someones face.

sebsmummy1 Wed 29-Jan-14 10:04:21

Terrifying. I love dogs but am exceptionally careful with them around my son as he is at face level and it is my responsibility to keep him safe.

First of all I would not let my child be anywhere near that dog. Secondly, would it be totally obvious it was you if you reported the dog? Does anyone else complain about it's behaviour? I would definitely want to report them if I knew it wasn't going to put me and my family at risk. I can't help wonder why someone would want to import a pit bull cross illegally unless they had plans to profit it in some way. Are they going to breed from it or use it to fight with do you think?

Owllady Wed 29-Jan-14 10:05:27

Of course you aren't being unreasonable

softlysoftly Wed 29-Jan-14 10:05:45

Bingo LEM yes labs etc bite more, but do they kill? No due to their size, temperament and strength.

I'm sure those horrible little snappy handbag dog things nip loads but the difference is between a small cut and a mauling.

Also the very makeup of the majority (not all before I get screamed at) of "bull" type owners make for a bad combination, they buy the dogs as a status symbol or for protection hmm, they are bad owners.

45redballoons Wed 29-Jan-14 10:06:39

I also think the fact it is a pitbull doesn't matter, many people (myself included) would disagree with what you have said about the risk of breeds.

However, she is been an idiot to get a dog illegally imported and she is an awful mother for allowing one with a history of biting to live in a house with her small child. I hate to say it as I know the dog will be put to sleep, but the child comes first, you have to call the police.

Why did she import it? Where were the dna tests done? Was it in this country? It seems very odd the whole thing, I'm wondering she really has imported it. Do you know what country it is from?

kcoll Wed 29-Jan-14 10:07:54

It has been spayed, and I believe the reason they have it is to look tough (they used to live in NYC when they go it -- selected it because it was a pit bull). They imported it because it is 'part of the family' and they love it. They are burying their heads in the sand that it is dangerous. When I pressed her about the dog biting -- she told me this -- and me observing it nipping and being aggressive, she told me it was the people's fault they got bitten. :-/

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 29-Jan-14 10:08:07

That dog should be put down before it takes off someones face

That's a bit harsh. God knows what happened to the poor thing. In the right home he could thrive but he's obviously nervous as a result of what's happened to him. Dread to think what they did to him. One would assume people illegally importing dogs don't really care about their welfare sad

He needs a home with someone who has the time to rehabilitate him and look after him properly and not in a situation where he's a danger due to Im proper care and not having physical and mental needs fulfilled.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 29-Jan-14 10:09:01

Or her blush

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