Last month, we took yet another position on pit bulls and the aggressive behavior they exhibit. We pointed out that they can be unpredictable and deadly. Of course the supporters came out in droves to explain that it was not the dog but the owner who was responsible for pit bull attacks.
According to The Capital, the only thing that may have triggered this attack was someone looking at the dog.
When discussing the temperament of the dog and addressing why she agreed to look after the dog, the victim told The Capital the dog was non aggressive.
“I said ‘Fine,” because (Capone) was like a grandson to me,” Miller said. “He was a very good, nonaggressive dog, believe it or not. He would come up and give you his paw, rolled over and would put his paws up for you to rub his belly.”
So far so good. But at one point, her daughter (the dog’s owner) warned her mother about how pit bulls bite.
Miller’s daughter once told her pit bulls in general – she was not referring specifically to Capone – would lock down when they bite. “I never knew what that meant. Lock?” Miller said. “I knew it then.”
And as to the reason this seemingly docile animal attacked, the other victim described what he did to provoke the attack after the dog slipped out of the collar.
About 100 feet from the building’s front door, Capone escaped from his collar, and ran “like a playful puppy” in fast circles. The couple then called the dog, and Linc said he looked Capone in the eye right before he attacked.
So, now we have an apparent good owner, a docile dog, who launched into a potentially deadly attack when a familiar person dares to look at the dog.
Time and time again, the stories are the same. A seemingly friendly dog goes nuts and attacks. I acknowledge that it can happen to any breed, but the danger is increased when you have a pit bull or a pit bull mix. As the daughter said their instinct is to bite and lock. Their jaws are disproportionately stronger than other dogs. Many of them (by fault of owners) are bred for aggression and fighting. And the statistics bear out that in serious attacks, pit bulls are way ahead of any other breed.
The apologists will talk about chihuahua bites being more plentiful, and indeed they may be. But with a chihuahua you do not have a 60 to 100 pound animal who has an instinct to lock its jaws when it attacks.
To make a somewhat absurd (well maybe not) analogy, there are millions of toy Tonka trucks in the world and in any given day many of them likely run into the leg of one of a person. Also in the world, there are millions of full sized cars and if they were to run into a person would cause damage. We do not regulate the Tonka trucks. We do regulate vehicles. And when vehicles do run over people, the operators of the vehicles are held accountable. So why the difference with pit bulls and other aggressive dogs?
One final note that is the true tragedy in all of this is that the couple is now looking at losing their home.
Again, I am not calling for a ban on the breed. I feel that regulation makes sense. If an owner or handler is unable to reasonably and fully control the animal, they should not own the animal just as if a person is not reasonably able to control a car, they should not operate one.