Pitbull terrier park identification

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  • #62578
    Justine&Rafe
    Member

    Hello everyone,

    I have a feeling that this thread may raise some contentious issues, but I would like people’s advice and opinions on the matter.

    And the main point is to figure out how to identify pitbulls (could kill my dog) from staffies (will play nicely).

    Whilst recently out walking my (lovely and silly but overly-friendly) flat-coated retriever in a park in London, we came across what I massively suspect to have been a pitbull.

    The dog looked like a big, extremely stocky staffie, with quite a large head.  It was not on a lead, and as soon as my dog bounded up to say hi, squared up to him.  My dog (the idiot) squared up back, thinking, no doubt “play fight time!”, and I fairly screamed for him to come back.  The other dog’s owner called his dog back, and was ignored, but thankfully my dog decided he’d best do as he was told.

    Thankfully, pitbull or no, there was no incident, but, and no matter anyone’s belief in how lovely their own pet is, the reason pitbulls have been put on the dangerous dogs act is because they were bred to fight other dogs.

    The law CLEARLY states that pitbull or pitbull mixes MUST be muzzled and on a lead at ALL times in public areas. (As well as being registered, neutered, microchipped etc).

    When I see a muzzled dog approach, I make sure my dog is under strict control – it’s a warning about temperament, which I appreciate!!

    However, there are clearly those who buy these types of dog with no consideration for others around them, and walk them without muzzles or leads, which leads me to the question…

    To avoid my dog mixing with something which may eat him (coz he’s irritatingly over-friendly) how on earth do I tell whether it’s a pitbull or a staffie that’s approaching???

    #80668

    Does it matter?  If you think all staffies will play nicely you’re sorely mistaken, just like if you think all pit bulls  are nasty.  Maybe the so called pit didn’t appreciate your dog bounding up to him  ???

    [quote author=xxpsychexx link=topic=13029.msg251174#msg251174 date=1226506859]
    When I see a muzzled dog approach, I make sure my dog is under strict control – it’s a warning about temperament, which I appreciate!!

    However, there are clearly those who buy these types of dog with no consideration for others around them, and walk them without muzzles or leads, which leads me to the question…

    To avoid my dog mixing with something which may eat him (coz he’s irritatingly over-friendly) how on earth do I tell whether it’s a pitbull or a staffie that’s approaching???
    [/quote]

    You don’t allow your dog to greet muzzled dogs (understandably) but its ok to run up to any unmuzzled dog  ???

    Remember deed NOT breed  😉

    #80669
    Anonymous
    Guest

    First you need to train your dog not to bounce up to other dogs.
    As for breeds most people confuse America bulldogs with pit bulls if you look in any dog book or web site you can see the difference between staffies and AB
    Val

    #80670
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote author=xxpsychexx link=topic=13029.msg251174#msg251174 date=1226506859]
    , the reason pitbulls have been put on the dangerous dogs act is because they were bred to fight other dogs.

    [/quote]

    So why aren’t Japanese Akitas or Shar Pei’s on the dangerous dogs act then? I think perhaps you need to read up a bit more on various breeds rather than paying lip service to breed prejudice, it’s not the dogs you should be looking at as being the problem but the owners.

    You would be amazed how many people think it’s ok for thier dogs to get in my dogs face harassing her & jumping all over her in public, but they would soon start complaining if i allowed my dog to behave that way toward thier dogs & you know why? Because i have a Rottweiler, that’s why.

    Only today i had someone approach me & interrupt me while i was in the middle of doing some training just to ask me if my dog bites. Would they have asked me that if my dog was a Retriever? Of course not! That’s the sort of ignorance i encounter on a daily basis & as the owner of a persecuted breed i would advise you spend a little less time worrying about how to identify Pitt Bulls that you seem to think could kill your dog & perhaps concentrate instead on not putting your dog in a position where it gets close enough to be attacked in the first place. If you are genuinely concerned about any particular dogs in the park then don’t let your dog approach them.

    Remember it is not the dog that’s the problem, also remember that just because the Dangerous Dogs act mentions a certian ‘type’ doesn’t mean it is only about those breeds – your dog is also covered by the dangerous dogs act too. The act covers every dog that is in public & dictates that every dog is expected to be controlled in exactly the same way regardless of breed, what that means is that if people don’t want my Rottweiler jumping all over thier dogs & harassing them then they should not be allowing thier Labrador’s or Poodles to jump all over my dog, but guess what? They still do, because like yourself they seem to think the Dangerous Dogs Act does not apply to thier breed.

    #80671

    Makes me sad to read this kind of post. Not all pitbulls are vicious monsters ready to eat your over friendly dog – and not all staffies are friendly dogs who want to play.

    Keep your dog under control and ask the owners before he goes over – if they say the dogs friendly perfect – if not then walk away.

    #80672
    *Lassie*
    Member

    [quote author=SuzAndTheDiva link=topic=13029.msg251242#msg251242 date=1226522986]
    Makes me sad to read this kind of post. Not all pitbulls are vicious monsters ready to eat your over friendly dog – and not all staffies are friendly dogs who want to play.

    Keep your dog under control and ask the owners before he goes over – if they say the dogs friendly perfect – if not then walk away.
    [/quote]

    I agree Suz, and I have yet to meet a friendly staffie 🙁 all the ones I have met lunge at any dog they see :-X

    #80673

    Fraid its the same here – is a few I have no choice but to walk the other way when I see them – some however are the friendliset and best behaved dogs round here. Worst time was seeing a girl wrap herself around a lampost to stop her staffie x getting to my too – she couldnt control the dog very sad.

    #80674
    *Nick*
    Member

    I don’t differentiate between any of the bully breeds. I’m wary of all of them.  I’m not afraid to say that I will cross the street, I will call Sadie away from one, I will put Sadie on lead…I don’t let her anywhere near one until we both know the dog and even then I’m on high alert.  I know that will probably p-o the apologists but that’s just the way it is, I’m not putting Sadie at risk if there’s something I can do about it.  Yes, any breed can be trouble but most other breeds weren’t bred to kill other dogs and most other breeds don’t have owners who think it’s “cool” that their dog is a killer.

    #80675
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I quite agree Nick, i think it’a more important to think of your own dog’s safety by not allowing it to approach strange dogs, rather than worrying afterwards when it’s too late. It don’t even let Cass approach dogs she doesn’t know because i don’t want to put her in a position where she could get set on & that doesn’t just include Pitts/Staffs either.

    My neighbour told me months ago that a Staffy tried to ‘Attack’ her dog in the park completely unprovoked, it turned out she had allowed her dog to walk right up to a strange dog it had never seen before & got way too close, she felt the other dog’s owner should have been more responsible but my argument to that was ‘Should you really be putting your dog in a situation where it got close enough to a strange dog to get attacked in the first place?’

    #80676
    Lucyr
    Member

    Just to defend my breed the Akita and also now the Akita Inu…they were not bred to fight.  They were bred to go out hunting.  They would hold what they hunted until the master/owner arrived and killed what they had hunted.  They were also owned by royal families and families with alot of money in Japan to guard children. 

    I have to agree with what has been said above…you should never just let your dog run up to someone else’s unless you know them and know they are friendly.  Mine are always given a wait command (so they stop instantly) and then I either collect them or call them back to have their leads put on.

    I own a Staffie (she may have something else in her as I know where she is from) but I took her on as a rescue her previous owner tried to kill her on a few occasions.  Since maturing she is not too friendly with dogs out and about (great with the one’s at home) but I keep her on a lead. 

    Rotties have alot of bad press and people are very wary of them…the 5 which I have owned and still own have all had great temperaments and love playing with other dogs….

    Remember deed not breed!  If you don’t have full control of your dog you must not let it off lead.

    #80677
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Of course Lucy, agreed. The point i was trying to make was that if the reason pitt bulls were placed on the rigister was just because they were bred to fight other dogs, then there would be other breeds also included which are not.

    It’s more to do with the likelyhood of attacks on humans than on other dogs, that’s why the DDA does not legislate specifically against dog on dog attacks but instead is aimed at dog on human attacks.

    #80678
    Justine&Rafe
    Member

    First of all I would like to thank everybody who took the time to reply to my original post, whether they agreed with my sentiments or not.

    And to thank you for bringing up some other issues.

    I’d like to thank Mark, who raised the really important point about all dogs being subject to the Dangerous Dogs Act.  I am fully aware of the implications of this act on my own dog, from our working through the Canine Good Citizenship awards.

    Do I think that this excuses owners of Pitbulls, Filo Brasilieras, Dogo Argentinas and Japanese Tosas, OR other breed owners whose dogs have a history of agression towards other dogs from taking the necessary action to prevent their dogs attacking others?  Of course not.

    My dog WILL approach other dogs, I don’t think it is acceptable for him (or any other dog) to go headlong in and start chewing on a stranger’s ear, but this is not the behaviour I’m defending.

    I fully understand your point regarding people’s views of your rotties, as my dog is, not rottie big, but big, and as such I believe I need to have him under stricter control than perhaps someone with a cocker spaniel, mostly because size is intimidating, and a bigger/stronger dog can do more damage than a little one undertaking the same action.

    However, I also believe that socialisation is HUGELY important to dogs, and on your daily walk is where the vast amount of this occurs.  The majority of dogs and dog owners I meet seem to agree with this.

    I do watch my dog in the park, and will keep him away from any dogs that show signs of intimidation by him (occasionally I will make him lie down, as this usually lets smaller dogs or puppies overcome their fear), any older or obviously injured dogs, dogs in training or dogs on leads (read agression/owner not wanting dog to mix).  But I refuse to prevent him from mixing with all other dogs.  And I enjoy watching him play with a “new friend” in the park!  And this socialisation has meant that I never worry my dog will attack another, even under great provocation. 

    The only time my dog has been attacked (by a white puff ball of a samoyed) was when this dog approched him, they sniffed, facing each other, then my dog turned tail and ran back to me, but the other dog caught him and pinned him.  My dog had done nothing “wrong”.  Agressive dogs can attack under very little provocation.

    One thing that comes up repeatedly is “blame the deed, not the breed”, and I agree!!  But I’m sure that you are all responsible owners, and, as Lucyr says re her staffie, would keep an agressive dog on a lead.  Part of acting responsibly is obeying the law regarding your animal (keeping them on a lead near roads, always having an ID tag on etc).  This therefore cannot apply to owners of ANY agressive dog that refuse to act responsibly. 

    And my original point is more than validated – an owner of a pitbull who does not keep it on a lead and muzzled is breaking the law.  So how can I believe that they are a responsible dog owner, and trust them to act responsibly if their dog HAS a history of agression?

    #80679

    You seem to label alot of dogs as ‘aggressive’ when in actual fact alot of it is possibly just ‘normal’ dog behaviours. if left to do so dogs will sort themselves out, as in whos in charge, etc. dogs can do this by putting paws on the other dogs, making themselves higher or by pinning another dog down. it doesnt mean they are going to kill them. Overly friendly irritating dogs may well get warned to (in human terms) ‘get lost!’ with behaviours that may look like ‘aggression’ but they aren’t.

    Im not saying there are not agressive dogs out there but aggression is complex. I can understand that you are concerned for your own dog, but the best you can do is train and have control of your own dog  🙂

    #80680
    Justine&Rafe
    Member

    Oh no, I think it’s great when other dogs tell him to back off, either with a growl or a snap… I don’t mean that in an I-like-my-dog-to-be-bullied way! I just mean that I think those lessons are important socialising lessons to learn, and help to teach him, better than I could, about the perils of introducing himself to every dog who crosses his path without carefully watching for the right signals.

    It’s quite a hard pill to swallow, but I suppose I just have to be prepared that the responsibility for my dog lies with me alone.  I had kinda believed that the dog owning fraternity was a big club (a bit like this one!!) where all the dog owners were concerned first and foremost about the welfare of their pets.

    And it isn’t.  The vast majority of people, and I believe that pretty much anyone who has taken the time to look up advice in groups like this falls into this category, are responsible dog owners.

    But those who aren’t can ruin things for those who are.

    A few nights ago I was watching a program about dog attacks on children, where a woman was campaigning that all dogs must be kept on leads at all times in any public area except for specific dog walking enclosures.  Yet another reason for my rant about pitbulls, because if they were kept according to the law, then there would be very little need to recourse to that.

    #80681
    rona
    Member

    Surely you can socialize your dog with minimizing the risk of attack by keeping your dog close when approaching a stange dog, there are plenty of dogs that we bump into who we know and can be sure that there is no problems, and we meet new ones all the time, but on the first meeting it is always close enough to me so that I can deal with any problems. I find it very annoying when people allow their dogs to bound up to mine when I have got him to heal. They may be confident of their dogs but I don’t know them.
    As for problems with certain breeds, I have had problems with some of most breeds over the years, at the moment we are being terrorised by a black lab who hates mine. There is no reason for this, they have only met a few times and the lab is ok with most dogs and mine is 100%. The owners know of the problem but still insist of releasing this dog near us

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