For additional accurate information on the public safety Danger of Pit Bull Type Dogs visit:
Dog trainers/animal control, Pit Bull breeders, owners, fanciers, experts, animal behaviorists, Vets, Doctors
TRISH KING, Director, Behavior & Training Dept. Marin Humane Society
"There is no direct eye contact or very little direct eye contact. It is very quick and over with. Which is one reason why with pit bulls and rottweilers, we have problems. Because they're bred to do direct eye contact and so they are off putting to other dogs and actually scary to other dogs."
The fourth undesirable characteristic - arousal or excitement - is actually the most problematic. Many bully dogs cannot seem to calm themselves down once they get excited. And once they get excited all their behaviors are exacerbated.
Thus, if a dog is over-confident and has a tendency to body slam or mount, he or she will really crash into the other dog or person when he's aroused, sometimes inadvertently causing injury. He may begin to play-bite, and then bite harder and harder and harder.
When you try to stop the behavior, the dog often becomes even more "aggressive." In this way, play can turn into aggression fairly quickly. Research on the brain has shown that excited play has exactly the same chemistry as extreme anger. This allows a play behavior to switch quickly into aggression. And, once the dog has become aggressive a few times, the switch is much easier.
HORSWELL BB, CHAHINE CJ, oral surgeons
Dog bites of the facial region are increasing in children according to the Center for Disease Control. To evaluate the epidemiology of such injuries in our medical provider region, we undertook a retrospective review of those children treated for facial, head and neck dog bite wounds at a level 1 trauma center.
Most dog bites occurred in or near the home by an animal known to the child/family. Most injuries were soft tissue related, however more severe bites and injuries were observed in attacks from the pit-bull and Rottweiler breeds.
Younger (under five years) children sustained more of the injuries requiring medical treatment. Injury Severity Scales were determined as well as victim and payer mix demographics, type and characteristics of injury, and complications from the attack.
DR RICHARD SATTIN, chief of unintentional-injuries section of the Centers of Disease Control
We're trying to focus public attention on this greatly underestimated public hazard.
In 1979, pit bulls accounted for 20 percent of fatal attacks by dogs. That figure had risen to 62 percent by 1988.
Nobody knows the dog population of the United States or the exact breakdown by breed. We do not believe that pit bulls represent anywhere near 42% percent of dogs in the United States. Therefore, we believe that the pit bull excess in deaths is real and growing.
ROBERT D. NEWMAN, M.D.
As a pediatrician I was disturbed to read Vicki Hearne's assertion that there are no bad breeds, just bad dogs (Op-Ed, April 15). There is ample evidence to suggest that certain breeds of dogs are more dangerous to children than others.
From 1979 to 1994, there were 177 known dog-bite-related fatalities in the United States. Of these fatalities, 66 percent were caused by five breeds: pit bull, Rottweiler, shepherd, husky and malamute.
If you include crosses among these five breeds, that number rises to 82 percent. Other breeds, like Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers were not implicated in a single fatality during this same period.
I laud the American Kennel Club's attempt to include information about dog breeds considered ''not good with children'' in the coming edition of ''The Complete Dog Book,'' and lament the fact that the book is being recalled at the request of some breeders.
Seattle, April 16, 1998
Dr. EDGAR JOGANIK (after trying to reattach scalp and ear to a pit bull victim)
Pit bull attacks are typically the most severe, and in about one-third of all attacks, the animals are family pets or belong to close friends.
That should be the message, that these dogs should not be around children, adults are just as likely to be victims.
Everyone should be extremely cautious.
DR. MICHAEL FEALY
When a Pit Bull is involved the bites are worse. When they bite, they bite and lock and they don't let go... they bite lock and they rip and they don't let go.
DR. CHRISTOPHER DEMAS
Bites from pit bulls inflict much more damage, multiple deep bites and ripping of flesh and are unlike any other domestic animal I've encountered. Their bites are devastating - close to what a wildcat or shark would do.
DR. AMY WANDEL, plastic surgeon
I see just as many dog bites from dogs that are not pit bulls as bites from pit bulls. The big difference is pit bulls are known to grab onto something and keep holding so their damage they create is worse than other breeds.
DR. PATRICK BYRNE, Johns Hopkins Hospital
I can't think of a single injury of this nature that was incurred by any other species other than a pit bull or a rottweiler.
ANDREW FENTON, M.D.
As a practicing emergency physician, I have witnessed countless dog bites. Invariably, the most vicious and brutal attacks I have seen have been from the pit bull breed.
Many of the victims have been children. In a recent study from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, pit bull attacks accounted for more ER visits than all other breeds combined.
In young children, the most common part of the body injured was the face. Numerous studies have proven that the number-one cause of dog bite fatalities is the pit bull breed.
I am certain that many attacks are due to owner negligence, but the fact remains that many were unpredictable and were perpetrated by formerly "loving and loyal" pets.
Dr. Chagnon has every right to leave our town as she claims she will if pit bulls are banned, just like every one of her patients has the right not to attend her clinic where she brings her pit bulls.
I applaud Mayor Pro Tem Joanne Sanders for bringing this issue to the forefront. In the interest of public safety, I recommend we enforce a spay/neuter requirement on pit bulls while reviewing and revamping all of our policies relating to animal bites.