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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?

Only1scoop Wed 29-Jan-14 10:10:07

Just wow your last post that idiot shouldn't be allowed a goldfish IMO hmm

LEMmingaround Wed 29-Jan-14 10:11:06

softly you are right, however it is not unheard of for this to happen, it just doesn't tend to make the news. A labrador is a big strong dog and i have met some nasty ones due to irresponsible breeding. I have also met some lovely lovely ones too.

I used to be a rotweiller owner - and now a JRT owner, but yeah, i have to agree with your comment about the owners. Its huskies now and anything that looks remotely wolf like that you see the hoodies strutting down the high-street with, barely able to control.

kcoll Wed 29-Jan-14 10:11:33

Further to the DNA -- they do this often (you can have it done, just for fun if you have a mixed breed to see what it is) in the US. As far as I know about the paperwork, they vet in the US would have to certify that it is not a pit bull. I suppose they lied or paid off the US vet. I know when I moved my dog from the UK to the US (where there are not illegal breeds as far as I know, so it would be a non-issue), I had to supply her papers -- she was a pure breed, from a breeder.

LEMmingaround Wed 29-Jan-14 10:12:49

Why are you even friends wiht those people, i coudlnt be friends with a total idiot i'd like to think i have nothing in common wiht them!

LEMmingaround Wed 29-Jan-14 10:13:58

or maybe it isn't even a pit-bull and they are full of shit? The breed is totally irrelevant, that dog is a danger and i cant see a happy outcome for the poor thing.

Chattymummyhere Wed 29-Jan-14 10:15:18

Just report the dog it is illegal and should not be here for good reasons... These dogs need owners that know exactly what they are doing not careless owners.

As an owner of German shepherds and having young children I get it all the time about how dangerous it is, but we take precautions, children and dogs never alone, dogs and children know not to take/give food without permission..

The fact it crys when ever it is shut out just shows it runs the house I would not trust this dog to carry out basic commands.

whitepuddingsupper Wed 29-Jan-14 10:17:13

Why hasn't the dog been destroyed if it's already bitten 3 times? Your friend is an idiot to have it loose near her child.

DigestivesAndPhiladelphia Wed 29-Jan-14 10:17:26

Why are you friends with this idiot?

45redballoons Wed 29-Jan-14 10:19:44

I think breeds in the US are banned by state law, I'm sure pit-bulls are illegal in some states. The fact they owned him in the states changes my mind a little though, if I had a springer in the states and moved here I'd want to bring her, if she were an illegal breed here (well I would have thought about this when I bought it though surely) I would want to bring her here still.

BUT I'd still report it.

Yes probably bad owners, this is why I want a dog lisence, but if a child gets mauled it won't help the child out knowing it was just bad owners.

You bring your 9 month old around a dog that bites people.

I realise you "hold it away" but you do realise that you can't beat a pitbull right? SO you holding it away does precisely fuck all.

You are all being so fucking unreasonable I can't stand it.

kcoll Wed 29-Jan-14 10:24:29

Thanks everyone for your input. I do not want to get into a debate about breeds -- as I am not a vet or a dog behaviour specialist, all I know is that in the last 7 years of the 14 children killed the list of dogs has comprised of 50% rotweilers, and 50% staffs and illegal pit bulls (and one Jack Russell alongside a staff). And if you do want a counter vet opinion, I know a vet who says that rotweilers are the most dangerous dog in her opinion. So perhaps let it lie there?

What the statistics do show is that other breeds can be abused and be dangerous as well, and bite, though are not deadly dangerous.

One final point regarding the owner being the problem not the dog -- in THIS case -- the owners are nice and loving and have had it from a puppy and I have known the dog for years. Yes, they are showing a shocking amount of irresponsibility (frankly it disgusts me) in the face of the threat since this dog has shown a violet streak. So in this case I believe it is the dog and not the owners -- though they are beyond irresponsible with regards to how they control the dog. I am not just defending her because she is my friend -- I'm honestly trying to get to the bottom of whether or not breeds are the problem in my own head, and from reading statistics and my personal experience it would seem that the breed is the most important factor. How else can you explain how all of the dogs who have killed have been the types mentioned?

Melonbreath Wed 29-Jan-14 10:28:24

Dogs who bite through nerves are not safe around children.
Breeds are largely irrelevant, when I was a tot I used to sleep in the dog basket with our family rottweiler, the biggest dappiest living teddy going.

I would report this dog, it is an illegal breed and can't be trusted.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 29-Jan-14 10:28:31

How can you say the owners are being irresponsible and in the same sentence say it's the dog not the owners?

They may feed and walk etc but if it's not properly trained, etc and imported illegally where anything could have happened to it then surely that contributes to the dogs temperament.

Only1scoop Wed 29-Jan-14 10:30:44

But Op your friend said it was 'their fault they got bitten' a dog she has hmm
Surely she is way to irresponsible to keep a dog.

Chattymummyhere Wed 29-Jan-14 10:35:40

You don't have to beat your dog and not give it attention to be a bad owner...

Your friends are bad owners and it is their fault not the dogs.

They have not trained this dog and thus it does not behave and it bites people... If they where good owners they would be doing everything possible to train this dog not just shut it away until they get fed up of its crying and then let it jump all over the house again..

But your mind is made up anyway... Has to be the dog could never be the nice friends..

I'm out

qazxc Wed 29-Jan-14 10:36:07

Regardless of breed, this dog is clearly dangerous. You describe him as strong, has bitten three times before, nips and shows signs of aggression and worse of all has totally irresponsible owners who are burying their head in the sand and refuse to exercise proper control other their animal.
Do not go anywhere where that dog is going to be, and warn your other friends of the dangers.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Wed 29-Jan-14 10:41:44

You need to report this dog before it harms the child. How would you feel if anything happened to that baby and you did nothing.

Phone up now and do something!

Canidae Wed 29-Jan-14 10:46:43

Friend or not, I can't see how you could consider taking your child to a house that has a dog who is known to bite, reguardless of breed. Especially as the owners don't care about the safety of people around their animal.

Pit bulls and other bully breeds are breed to fight dogs, not humans.Bad breeding and training cause a bull breed to be human aggresive. Please don't declare these dogs are designed to kill other very strong dogs and humans. They have been cross bred with bigger dogs without reguard for temperament. They are over bred and under socialised.

The United Kennel Club breed standard on the American pit bull is as follows.


The essential characteristics of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed’s natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacteristic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.

Disqualifications: Viciousness or extreme shyness.

Sorry for the slight derail.

I do think this dog should be reported. It clearly can not be handled correctly and is a danger.

lucy101 Wed 29-Jan-14 10:51:06

I grew up with a father who insisted on having bull breeds. It was terrifying and a few nips (my sister still has the scars, excuses were made for the dog in question) did end in a ferocious attack (on my father) which could have killed him. I am still furious that he had them around us. There is no way I would let my son near these people, and yes you should do something about it.

Rinoachicken Wed 29-Jan-14 11:03:21

I'm 99% sure that an illegal breed of dog, if the court decides to give it a license and not PTS, I'm sure it's then required belt law to be chipped, neutered and leased and muzzled when out in public. And if not complied with then it's seized and PTS.

So even if the authorities DID already know about it, there is no way she should be letting it out off leash and in muzzled in public places.

And I'm also pretty certain that the circumstances that mean a judge lets an illegal dog live are pretty slim and rare. Knowingly importing a dog with false papers to a country where it's banned isn't going to fall into that category!

Rinoachicken Wed 29-Jan-14 11:04:06

Leashed not leased!! (Who'd lease a pit bull??!!)

Canidae Wed 29-Jan-14 11:20:00

Yes I would have no doubt that, if reported, the dog would be put to sleep. As a dog lover, that pains me but as someone with a bit of common sense I can see that it should be done. 3 bites is a huge issue and with the owners careless attitude it could soon be 4 or more.

My cousin's boyfriend had a staffie x mastiff who was put to sleep as he was belived to be a banned pit bull type. This dog was gentle and had no sign of aggression. It was very sudden. The reports made about the dog, police taking the dog and having 'someone' look at him and decide his breed based purely on size and him being put down happened in less than 4 days. The boyfriend deeply regrets letting them take him and not standing up to them more.

bochead Wed 29-Jan-14 11:21:26

This is a horror story waiting to happen, as the owners are doo doo deep in denial about the risk this individual dog's temperament currently poses both to the public and their own child. I've seen NOTHING about the owners utilising a professional behaviorist, muzzling or taking other sensible common sense measure to address the issue in a humane way

Dog law in the UK is an ass, but in this specific case it's able to protect children - for goodness sake USE IT! Report to the police as an illegally imported breed, with a history of biting, and give the authorities the chance to protect people before something awful happens.

IF someone is maimed by this powerful, nervous animal then you'll never forgive yourself for not reporting it OP. I say this as a dog owner & Mum who has only ever had rescues.

stepmooster Wed 29-Jan-14 11:26:05

My father took in a large lurcher dog which had to be rehomed because it had killed a sheep. It used to be used in hare-coursing and was very nervous and jumpy. The rescue centre my father got him from had it rehomed previously with a lady who thinking he was just a soppy thing and decided to ignore the strict conditions of him always being muzzled and on a lead outside. She let him loose, and he killed another sheep. The police wanted to destroy him, but the rescue centre convinced them that they would ensure he was rehomed to someone who genuinely understood the threat this dog could be.

This dog is very old now, and genuinely is a soppy old thing, to us, but he was very nervous and still is. Once we had him chained up in the yard with a muzzle when an estate agent came to my dad's property he ignored our warning and thinking the dog was all cute, went to pet him. What a frigging idiot, the dog went for him, but thankfully he was on a chain and muzzled, and all the agent got was a nasty fright. Dogs that mean business don't give any warning. They just lunge, you would have absolutely no chance of preventing a dog that wants to kill from getting to it's prey.

To us, his family, he could be as nice as pie, but we all knew he could turn. My children are not allowed near him, and everyone understands, he is not socialised with other dogs and children. He is only free in my father's yard, high fences and no chance of getting loose where mostly he spends his days being tormented by the neighbours cat. Thankfully he can barely walk far and does not give chase and just growls at it.

nyldn Wed 29-Jan-14 11:35:57

yanbu. don't take your baby around there. quite frankly, with 3 confirmed bites, I'm surprised the dog hasn't been put down. can you anonymously notify someone that the dog is illegal?

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