Animal Witness: The Michael Vick Case

Tonight at 10 pm EST, Animal Planet is running a special on the Michael Vick case, from the drug arrest that led to the discovery of the fighting ring, to what happened to the ~50 rescued dogs. I know there are lots of dog lovers who read ERV, so I wanted to give you all the heads up. I also suggest individuals with an irrational fear of pit bulls, or dogs in general watch, with the hope that viewing this program will save their respective souls. If you cant tune in, there are lots of great pics/videos/resources at the Animal Planet website.

A couple groups have gotten to review the show already, Animal Inventory Blog and BAD RAP blog. BAD RAP was/is the group in charge of the rescued pups, and theyre kinda pissed about a few things in the show:

The Bad: It was odd to see PETA and HSUS reps interviewed for this piece. Outside of voicing (and, still maintaining) condemnation for the victims alongside their much-criticized fundraising campaigns, Animal Planet didn’t seem to realize that these orgs were not players in the Vick case. Oh wait, we can’t forget about the efforts to rehabilitate the fighting machine himself. (Not included in the Animal Planet taping – thank dog.)

AAAAAAAARG!!!! WHY did Animal Planet interview PETA/HSUS??? PETA and HSUS want all pit bulls dead!!! WTF.

So I would like to point out, once again, that the Humane Society of the United States is NOT affiliated with the local ‘Humane Societies’ you know and love. HSUS is a front for animal terrorists organizations (ie ALF). They run no animal shelters, so where does all that money go? HMMM.

I also had to lol at the fact PETA wants all pit bulls dead (oh, and your dog too, rest assured), but tried to ‘rehabilitate‘ Michael Vick. Yeah, PETA, you can fuck off.

Ill edit this post tonight/tomorrow morning with my thoughts on the program :)

——-

9:04– LOL! Im crying at the intro. I cant watch this. Ill tune in for the last 20 minutes, assuming thats when theyre going to talk about the pups.

10:04– Animal Planet interviewed John Goodwin. John-Animal-Liberation-Front-Goodwin. Angry……. angry………… Animal Planet will be getting an email from ERV. *blink* LOVED the PETA guy, though “Um… We protested?” Good for you, PETA guy. Good for you. And dont your little signs look neat!

There were waaaaay too many graphic shots. I dont need to see a puppy with his head ripped off. Or one with her throat being ripped out. Really appreciate those visuals, Animal Planet.

BAD RAP looked great, but I wish they, and the dogs, were featured more. AP could have cut out alllllll the underground videos of tortured dogs and spent that time on the rescued dogs. BAD RAP did a great job of getting ‘the message’ across: Pits arent death machines. They arent born to kill. Theyre just dogs.

Comments

  1. #1 Jared
    August 24, 2008

    So sad when morons like this get any press coverage. The only expertise PETA and HSUS have are in harassing those they dislike.

  2. #2 Doubting Foo
    August 24, 2008

    I’ll be sure to record that, thanks. I wonder if you wouldn’t mind countering the fundy troll who keeps posting shit like “I’ll pray for you” here:
    Abortion Jihad

  3. #3 Dustin
    August 24, 2008

    PETA is the kind of organization which doesn’t care about ideological consistency. Blake Stacey has, recently, been posting the psychological traits of authoritarians and even though I think those studies are a teeny widdle bit unscientific, PETA fits the description. They are much less interested in sticking to a consistent ideology than they are with telling other people what to do using their moral stance (as all good authoritarians do) as a cover for effecting control for ostensible reasons of propriety or justice.

  4. #4 Christopher Sisk
    August 24, 2008

    Why exactly does PETA get called in to rehabilitate someone? Did the “P” get changed to “Psychology” at some point? Oh wait… I see how it works…

    “Hmmm. You’ve been getting your kicks by hurting dogs and making money off of it… Here, we’ll send you to PETA so they can show you how to get away with it legally.”

  5. #5 whynot
    August 24, 2008

    I say great job for animalplanet finally showing pit bulls for what they really are beautiful loving loyal sweet kind gentle animals. I grew up with pit bulls they never attacked us or anyone else because we gave them love and attention. Pits are a emotionally needy breed they need kindness love play and lots of attention.

  6. #6 yiela
    August 25, 2008

    Hmm. I’m new to this blog so I’m not sure if there’s been a lot of pit bull discussion here or what but I’ve gotta comment on the pit bull issue…while I don’t think they are “murder machines” I sure don’t agree that they are “just dogs” either. I’ve owned one and known several. They all had great personalities under most conditions but they were unpredictable, especially as they aged. Every one I’ve known ended up biting someone. They started out with weird occasional nipping (of strangers) for no apparent reason. The biggest problem is that they are so much stronger than a normal dog and can do so much more damage. Ours ate down an entire turkey (left over from thanksgiving) in like five minutes, bones and all. He was impossible to hold back when he wanted to kill/terrorize someone or thing. It was shocking how strong that dog was for his size. The whole “it’s the owner not the dog” and “they are great with proper training” doesn’t impress me. We’ve owned lots and lots of normal dogs of all different kinds and never had a mean one. The pit bull was a different critter totally. Hel was a very well mannered dog 99% of the time but he was a hazard and I’d never own one again or let one anywhere near kids. In fact we had ours put to sleep when we found out we were expecting. I cringe whenever I see someone with kids and pit bull.

  7. #7 yiela
    August 25, 2008

    Ooops, I didn’t notice the picture of the pit bull at the top of the page. I guess my comment won’t be popular. I will say that I totally agree that any kind of dog (or other animal) fighting is totally horrible and no critter deserves that.

    Oh, and typo in my above comment, second to last sentence. “He was a very…” not “Hel was very…”. Sounds like his name was Hel, it wasn’t.

  8. #8 Christopher Sisk
    August 25, 2008

    I don’t have TV right now so I didn’t get to watch and am just going on your remarks… That’s pretty sad that the show’s content was so poor. Animal Planet usually does a good job on shows like that. My mom loves the animal cop shows because they usually do a real good job at keeping the violent imagery at a minimum and the content mostly about the rescue.

  9. #9 clinteas
    August 25, 2008

    Abbie,

    Im with you on most things,but with the pitbulls,im not.
    In the last 6 months alone ive had 2 kids mauled to death come through my emergency room,had a bite down to the bone only last nite.
    These things are evil.

  10. #10 esd29a
    August 25, 2008

    Re: clinteas
    Dogs arent people. They dont get freedom of choice and therefore they arent responsible for their actions either.
    What happened to the owners of the 2 dogs you mentioned? Probably nothing more than a fine.
    The solution is simple: whenever an animal does harm/damage treat it as the animals owner comitting the crime with all appropriate punishment.

  11. #11 clinteas
    August 25, 2008

    esd,

    Agree re owner responsibility.
    But you never hear about the latest chihuahua atrocity in the media,do you.

  12. #12 ERV
    August 25, 2008

    Yiela– The whole “it’s the owner not the dog” and “they are great with proper training” doesn’t impress me.

    OMG HE ATE A WHOLE TURKEY THATS SO SCARY!!!!! ‘It aint the trainin!’ is the mating call of the bad dog owner, and I hope you never own a large breed ever again. You are a lazy ass idiot, and your dogs have paid the price. You give responsible dog owners a bad name.

    clinteas– I have no idea what the stats are in Australia, but in the US, you are 3-5 times more likely to be killed by lightning than you are to be killed by a pit. ‘Evil’? Really? Not ‘What was going on to cause a ‘family pet’ to attack his pack?’, but ‘EVIL!’? Not ‘Why was a child left unattended with a large dog?’, but ‘EVIL!!’? Really? btw, small dogs kill too.

    Actually, Saturday Arnie was ‘accosted’ by a Pom. His owner thought it was ‘cute’ her little ol Pom was snarling and foaming at the mouth towards a pit bull (who just stood there looking at me). I told her if my dog behaved that way, he would be put down… so I guess strike that, Yiela. Do us all a favor and never own a dog again.

  13. #13 clinteas
    August 25, 2008

    Abbie,i was aware I wouldnt make friends with saying that lol,but I guess i see mainly the ugly reality,while you see cute Arnie…..
    Of the 2 dead kids one was attacked in a park by a pitbull off the leash,the other was left unattended by parents.

  14. #14 ERV
    August 25, 2008

    But… Those were both completely preventable deaths, and you could replace ‘pit bull’ with any breed (and, unless you have pics of these dogs, how do you know it wasnt a different breed?). Labeling the dogs as ‘EVIL!!!1!11!’ when actual laws were broken, regardless of the dog, is entirely unhelpful.

    In the US, I am required by law to have Arnie on a leash, even in parks. A lab owner or a boxer owner or a sheepdog owner also must follow this law. Its for the protection of the dog and people.

    And, I would never leave a child unattended with a dog. I was bitten by a Great Dane, in the face, when I was little. Why? I took her bone to play ‘tug-of-war’, a game I played with my dogs all the time. She did not approve, so she bit me. Was she ‘EVIL!!1!12!’? No. Am I afraid of Danes? No. Did my parents blame the dog instead of themselves? No. Its called responsibility. Something our trailer-trash friend Yiela doesnt quite grasp.

  15. #15 clinteas
    August 25, 2008

    Of course you are right re: leaving kids unattended and having them on leashes.
    But like humans,dogs have different characters and anatomical features,and pitbulls are aggressive,will sneak up on you,and have a terrible bite.
    Like roos,cant trust them lol….

  16. #16 Luna_the_cat
    August 25, 2008

    Sad fact is, there are characteristics which are more statistically likely in one breed or another. There are certainly individual exceptions — like extremely mellow dobies and untrustworthy, snappish Labs — and socialisation and training and life experience also have a lot to do with how an animal turns out. But having said that, statistically speaking a Bernese mountain dog is one heck of a lot more likely to be a mellow, laid back child-friendly animal than a German Shepherd, even when (especially when?) background and training are controlled for. –Just as a Shire or a Clydesdale horse is a heck of a lot more likely to be mellow and obediant compared to the Thelwell pony shaggy-knee-high types. This was important in the breed’s history: the ponies were bred for sturdiness and weight-bearing ability for their size, but nobody cared that much if they were nasty little beasts because you could still haul them around; whereas in the case of a Shire, if you got a nasty, disobediant Shire not only would it be hopeless to try to make it go where you wanted, it could kill you without breaking a sweat. Therefore, docility and obedience were selected for and a “nippy” temperament actively weeded out.

    Overall general temperament has a genetic component and is affected by breeding, and dog breeds have historically been selected on different criteria, just as horse breeds have, and that has an effect on modern tendencies. This can be overridden, much of the time, by active training, experience, etc., but the effect is real, it *does* often break through, and it doesn’t make any sense to disregard it when you are evaluating what animals your kids should be around.

    And, the sad fact is, the physical size and shape of a breed DOES make a difference, too. Some Jack Russells can be nasty little creatures, but a Jack Russell bite is simply less likely to be fatal than a Pit bite or a Rottie bite. And I say this from a point of view of real fondness for Rotties. I’m not saying “Jack Russells won’t/can’t kill”, or that a Rottie or Pit bite is invariably fatal, but for heavens sake, I *KNOW* you understand the concept of “statistical likelihood.”

    Having said all that, clinteas: why did you have your dog put down, rather than rehome him?

    ====================================

    *Disclaimer: I like dogs, and prefer larger breeds over smaller ones, but I do not regard “irrational” dog fears as being completely irrational — I have one of my own. I also have a (mostly invisible, now) long scar down the right side of my face, from just above my eye to nearly my jawbone, where I was bitten by a German Shepherd when I was 4. The very dog in question and I had a reconciliation after that — helped along by some short, sharp training — but despite that, my understanding of the situation, and the fact that I still like dogs, I still can’t stand having a big dog near my face. This isn’t rational; it bypasses that part of the brain entirely and sits in the reptile hind-brain going, “no way, f*** off.”

  17. #17 Luna_the_cat
    August 25, 2008

    Sorry, the comment directed to clinteas should have been directed to yiela. My bad.

  18. #18 clinteas
    August 25, 2008

    //Having said all that, clinteas: why did you have your dog put down, rather than rehome him?//

    Eh?
    Had no dog put down,dont know what youre on about lol

  19. #19 Luna_the_cat
    August 25, 2008

    Like I said, SO sorry — I directed that comment to you mistakenly, clinteas. Meant to direct it to yiela. Not enough coffee?

  20. #20 clinteas
    August 25, 2008

    Not enough beer in my case Luna,its 1 am here LOL

    Ex breeds Chihuahuas and Chinese Crested,and if they bite,they dont break your bones or rip your throat out.

  21. #21 Luna_the_cat
    August 25, 2008

    Yeah; the idea of a Chinese crested managing to break any bones except its own kind of boggles the mind. There would have to be some sort of extraordinary weirdness involved.

    Please have a beer for me. I want one, and can’t right now.

  22. #22 clinteas
    August 25, 2008

    Cheers Luna !

  23. #23 Optimus Primate
    August 25, 2008

    clinteas, do you have any proof whatsoever that these children were bitten by pit bulls? Do you realize the tendency of bite reporters to describe any boxy-headed, erect-eared canine as a pit bull? There’s no telling what breed bit those kids. I seriously doubt they were pits, though.

    yiela, I hope it hurts when you die.

  24. #24 clinteas
    August 25, 2008

    Optus Primary dude,

    what evidence would you like me to present? You seem to favor one particular answer to your rhetoric question.
    Well,the coppers shot one pit bull,and the other pit bull was put down.Was I there? No,i wasnt.

    And can I say one thing mate,this:

    //yiela, I hope it hurts when you die.//

    makes you look like an asshole.

  25. #25 Sili
    August 25, 2008

    Don’t hate dogs, exactly. Just more of a cat person.

    Which I guess explains why it was a cat that sent me to the A&E and not a dog. Well, my shots were old so …

  26. #26 Optimus Primate
    August 25, 2008

    clinteas, that’s probably because I am an asshole. That doesn’t change the fact that yiela’s needless slaughter of a pit bull makes me by far not the biggest asshole in this discussion.

  27. #27 ERV
    August 25, 2008

    Optimus– I just hope she doesnt kill her child if he/she EATS A WHOLE TURKEY OMFG!!! LOL!!

    “I cant handle raising a dog… I know what! Ill have a KID!! WIN!!”

  28. #28 Optimus Primate
    August 25, 2008

    Well, you know, some kids just grow up to be violent killers. It has nothing to do with the way you raise them.

    In fact, my wife and I have decided not to have human children when we rescued Max. I cringe whenever I see someone with human kids and pit bull. Poor pit bull!

  29. #29 Doog
    August 25, 2008

    yeah, why bring PETA into it? On the PETA episode of Penn and Teller’s “Bullshit”, a couple who are members of PETA said, “Violence and non-violence aren’t moral principles, they’re tactics.” fuckin’ extremists.

    I don’t think pit bulls are inherently evil. Sure, in sixth grade a pit bull killed 4 cats in my friends neighborhood (including his own), but that was because the owner just let it run loose and didn’t give two shits what it did. But one time, from back when I worked at Vons, I was out collecting carts in the parking lot and came across a pair of dogs in the back of a truck. One of them was a pit bull and the other looked like a mutt. And yet it was the pit bull who’d get excited every time I would walk by, who let me scratch behind his ear and even licked my hand. And my friend in high school had a pit bull and she was as friendly as most other dogs. That was all just observation, considering that I grew up with a pair of shepherd mutts (a queensland heeler/australian shepherd and an Australian shepherd/border collie, the later of which was put down last month due to cancer).

  30. #30 Robin
    August 25, 2008

    This kind of thing really bothers me. I think that it’s important to recognize two things: 1. Certain breeds of dog are both large and powerful, and have strong personalities, like pits, rotties, and ridgebacks. If you can’t be in charge and in control of those dogs, they will take over and they won’t be trustworthy or safe. But whose fault will that be? We are talking about a dog, and dogs don’t really think, they just act. They are animals. 2. Unfortunately, some people are drawn to the idea of a “dangerous” dog. These people are usually insecure people, who will unintentionally encourage the dog to control any situation it is in, which is basically an invitation to aggress, since dogs have a pretty limited vocabulary, or they are people who will explicitly encourage the dog to be aggressive, because having an aggressive dog feeds their image. (The latter is also probably based in the owner’s insecurities.) Statistics indicate that, with many communities resticting access to pit-type dogs, those folks are now beginning to vicitmize rottweilers. Years ago, before the popularity of pits, it was dobermans.
    Smaller dogs are frequently aggressive, but they are not well represented in the statistics because they rarely manage to kill some one. Aside from the poms, there have also been deadly attacks by westies and cocker spanials that I know of. All of those small dogs had probably also been displaying agressive behaviour, but it was considered cute, or at least ineffectual, until they got hold of an infant.

  31. #31 Anonomouse
    August 25, 2008

    ” ‘It aint the trainin!’ is the mating call of the bad dog owner, and I hope you never own a large breed ever again. You are a lazy ass idiot, and your dogs have paid the price. You give responsible dog owners a bad name.”

    This is obviously an emotional issue for ERV and we shouldnt expect an rational response. Kinda like talking to a fundy about god, or an Anti-Vaxer, or an HIV Denialist.

    She ignores the persons experience with dogs,

    “I’ve owned one and known several. They all had great personalities under most conditions but they were unpredictable, especially as they aged. Every one I’ve known ended up biting someone. They started out with weird occasional nipping (of strangers) for no apparent reason. ”

    Instead she decides on an attack, “Do us all a favor and never own a dog again.”

  32. #32 ERV
    August 25, 2008

    Except the behavioral science done on pits is on *my* side, Anon. You would have known that if you had watched the program in the OP. Thanks for contributing to the conversation.

  33. #33 Robin
    August 25, 2008

    I must point out that it should hardly be a surprise that a dog which is “nipping” at people eventually bites someone hard. Behaviour that is left unchecked generally escalates. Maybe if the owners had tackled the problem when it was small, it would not have gotten the point where the dog hurt someone. (I feel this way about people’s children an awful lot.)

  34. #34 The Backpacker
    August 25, 2008

    The only dog that I was ever afraid of was a Jack Russell whose owner trained sent it after me one day. I was not hurt but I was really bothered that I had to hurt a dog to defend myself the kid moved away the next fall and I still wish plague and pestilence on him and his descendents and this was like 10 or 12 years ago. My parents owned a standard poodle that broke the cable he was leashed to in the back yard and bit the kid that was throwing rocks at him. If it had been up to me I would have let the dog after the kid but my parents are far less cruel then I am and had the dog put down. I got my revenge on the hockey rink. I have known every type of dog from a pain in the butt little Yorkshire to a 175# Newfoundland lap dog. In EVERY case the dog was a reflection of the owner with the idiosyncrasies that come with an IQ of 8 (although some of those dogs might have been smarter then their owners) Any dog can be the best dog ever any dog can be a dangerous terror. True Rotts and the like are more dangerous but that is only because of their size it has nothing to do with an innate need to kill. My Labradoodle is 75 pounds and I will tell you what he is every bit the equal of a 75 Pitt or Rottie or any other dog in that weight class.

  35. #35 Amber
    August 26, 2008

    What I found most interesting in this Animal Planet special was how, prior to Pits being the chosen dog of the tough guy and dog fighter set, they were considered the darling family dog of America. If Pits were inherently aggressive, why would they have a family dog reputation? All of this changed when the dogs attracted a different crowd. Now it seems that more pits are owned as status symbols by people who are likely very poor dog owners. Is it any wonder that incidents with unsocialized Pits have become more prominent?

    Also, I disagree that Animal Planet should not have shown the graphic nature of dog fights. I’m glad they took the kid gloves off and showed all the brutality. It may have been hard to watch, but I’d prefer the truth exposed in all of its ugliness rather than sanitized and cloaked. Dog fighting is not fun, it is not cool; it is brutal, thuggish, and ugly. Let it be exposed for what it is.

  36. #36 tom
    August 26, 2008

    It has to be said:

    Abbie Smith

    Darwin’s Pit Bull

    (yes, I know it show be in another tread but this will do)

  37. #37 Monado
    August 27, 2008

    I hate to quote a tabloid like the Sun, but.. a propos of dog bites, I found this:

    Banning pitbulls would be pointless“:

    dangerous dogs exist among every breed and cross-breed: The Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) studied 278 dog attacks requiring hospital admission, and found that they involved 50 different types of purebred dogs and 33 cross breeds. German shepherds were responsible for the most attacks, followed by Rottweilers and cocker spaniels.

    That cocker spaniels had the dubious distinction of tying for second place shouldn’t really come as a surprise, since many small dogs can be aggressive. And while dogs that people call pit bulls can inflict more damage than small breeds, small, aggressive dogs such as dachshunds have killed people.

    Suffice it say, then, that banning dogs based on how they look is hardly a rational or effective way to protect adults, children or other dogs.

  38. #38 yiela
    August 27, 2008

    #12
    “OMG HE ATE A WHOLE TURKEY THATS SO SCARY!!!!! ‘It aint the trainin!’ is the mating call of the bad dog owner, and I hope you never own a large breed ever again. You are a lazy ass idiot, and your dogs have paid the price. You give responsible dog owners a bad name.”

    wow, ERV, I didn’t think you’d agree with me or anything but heck, I didn’t expect a total insane response either. what does your comment even mean? So you know, the dog was just fine after eating the turkey. I’m not sure how a dog, any dog, eating a turkey, even if it damaged the dog, gives dog owners a bad name. Why on earth would you call me a lazy ass idiot? Dogs get into the trash sometimes. The turkey incident happened years ago when I was a kid (lazy ass kid no doubt) and he got into the trash. Jeez, I didn’t realize that admitting that I had turkey for Thanksgiving all those years ago or having trash was so shocking. I still have turkey and trash!! Don’t you? I’ve owned and raised several large dogs and own a dog (she’s kind of medium sized, is that OK?) now. All of them great and well loved dogs. Each one of them was a unique individual. All influenced by me and my family I’m sure, but also very much their own being.

    It’s so weird to me that people who are so freaked at the thought of people taking away what they want (pit bulls or whatever) are so quick to want to take things from others. I’m not trying to take your dog from you or anyone else. I’m stating my opinion and experience which isn’t in perfect alignment with yours. Grow up babe.

    #14 How did I get to be trailer trash?? Wow, you are just scary crazy with the assumptions. I’m sorry I tried to discuss this with you.

  39. #39 Jon
    August 27, 2008

    Clinteas,
    If you treated two patients that were stabbed to death by black people would you be saying “those things are evil” about them, too?

  40. #40 ERV
    August 27, 2008

    yiela #1The biggest problem is that they are so much stronger than a normal dog and can do so much more damage. Ours ate down an entire turkey (left over from thanksgiving) in like five minutes, bones and all. He was impossible to hold back when he wanted to kill/terrorize someone or thing.

    yiela #2 Dogs get into the trash sometimes… Jeez, I didn’t realize that admitting that I had turkey for Thanksgiving all those years ago or having trash was so shocking.

    yiela #1 Hel was a very well mannered dog 99% of the time but he was a hazard and I’d never own one again or let one anywhere near kids. In fact we had ours put to sleep when we found out we were expecting. I cringe whenever I see someone with kids and pit bull.

    yiela #2 The turkey incident happened years ago when I was a kid (lazy ass kid no doubt) and he got into the trash.

    Obvious liar is obvious.

  41. #41 Optimus Primate
    August 27, 2008

    Or a time traveler. Let’s not rule out time traveler.

  42. #42 windy
    August 27, 2008

    Who puts an entire turkey in the trash anyway?

    Or a time traveler. Let’s not rule out time traveler.

    I saw an ad for a medical study in the paper this morning: “Participants will be compensated for time travel”.

  43. #43 yiela
    August 29, 2008

    ERV, The pit bull was put down when he was at least six years old. I was an a bit of an old kid (late teen, guess I’m old enough to think of teens as kids) when my mom got him and he was put down about six years later. Did you assume that we got a pit bull puppy, decided to get pregnant and then put him down the same day? The whole thing happened years ago, the kid (human) is 19 years old now. I can see how it wasn’t very clear when I said I was a kid when we got the dog and then I talk about expecting a baby but time does pass and most dogs have a life span that could include those two events.

    Is it really so weird to put a turkey, the bones anyway, in the trash after thanksgiving? What do you do with it? Here at the trailer park, we throw bones away. We do compost the veggies though. He also could eat down those raw hide bone things in a matter of minutes. If I’d known what an uproar the turkey story would cause I’d just have talked that but for all I know maybe some other unsavory ethnic or social group buys those for their dogs. I’m not totally sure what you mean by “Obvious liar is obvious.” You think I made up the turkey story?

    This has been a strange experience. the hostility seems a bit extreme for the situation.
    For the sake of your dog,I hope the commenter somewhere above wasn’t right about dogs being an image of their owners. Maybe I just caught you at a bad time or with a sore subject or something.

  44. #44 Nomen Nescio
    September 2, 2008

    re. yiela and clinteas… i’m with erv on this. any dog can be aggressive and out of control, if not properly socialized, controlled and led. leading your dog — as in, being pack leader to it — is part of responsible dog ownership, no matter what breed it is. and people who cannot perform this duty (it’s not automatic or instinctive just because you bought a puppy, and it’s not like interacting with humans, or with human kids!) are not fit to own a dog. not any dog, regardless of breed.

    one of my huskies once ate a chicken carcass, too; the bones and gristle left over from a chicken dinner. reared up on a kitchen counter to grab it, wolfed it down before we could stop her. that was the first night we owned her, right after adopting her, and before we could establish pack rank with her. she doesn’t do that now, because she knows her alphas won’t allow it.

    pitbulls are not special in this regard. they’re a mid-size breed of dog, is all. no, their muscular strength does not make them special; rottweilers and mastiffs can be just as destructive and less forgiving of human mistakes to boot. (huskies can be as destructive, and usually more tenacious if in the grip of separation anxiety.) no, their temperament is not uniquely aggressive or unpredictable; they’re well known as one of the most even-tempered family dogs around, once properly socialized, and smaller dogs tend to be less predictable than larger ones in general. no, they do not go crazy in old age; any dog that starts acting unpredictable and aggressive as it matures is an ill-raised, un-led dog who’s most likely trying to assume pack leader status because its human owners won’t or can’t. a dog CANNOT be without a leader; it will MAKE itself a leader if none other is present.

    dogs are not little furry people, they don’t think like little furry people, they need far more social structure and control than humans would be willing to put up with. there’s a reason why “treating somebody like a dog” is a sign of bad management style, when spoken in an all-human context. treating a dog like a human is no better!

    treat a dog like it should be treated, and it will most likely help defend and raise your kids for you, within the limits of its doggy understanding of the world; dog packs raise puppies semi-collectively, after all. the kid might not appreciate a dog’s methods of discipline (nipping, usually — what else can the dog use?) but normally won’t be harmed. even so, it goes without saying you should never leave a child unattended with a dog — not any dog, not any child, not ever. better to leave the child unattended with a running chainsaw. the chainsaw might stop, after all.