Monday, July 10, 2006

Important Information about Dogs and Kids

There was some sad news this morning - the headline said that a Pit Bull mauled it's owners infant. That is very sad and disturbing.

My mom watched the video. The video says that the dog had been living with relatives of the owners. The dog was meeting the baby for the first time when the attack occurred.

Of course we weren't there and we don't know everything about the situation. But kicking a dog with no history of aggression (according to the video) out of it's home of 8 years because you had a baby just doesn't make sense. If the dog did have a history of aggression or problems around children, calling an animal behaviorist and working with the dog before the baby was born would be the best thing for both the family and the dog. If the dog's aggression issues could not be resolved, then the family could start looking for a new child free home for the dog.

My mom suspects that there was some type of behavioral problem in the dog's past that had not been addressed, which is why the parents kicked the dog out of the house and kept it away from the baby. Unfortunatley this probably only made the dog angry and caused the dog to see the baby as the reason he was kicked out of his home.

The rescue has some really good articles about kids and dogs that they give to all adopters and to people who contact the rescue asking for help with their dog's behavior problems. Please look at these articles and save them, and pass them on to anyone you know who has kids and dogs.

A Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention by the American Veterinary Association

Children and Dogs:Information for Parents

Why Dogs Bite: A Guideline for Children

Understanding Aggressive Behavior in Dogs

Aggression Basics

Nothing in Life is Free

If you have or know someone who has a dog that has aggression problems, please get help, or urge them to get help before it's too late. There are animal behavior specialists that are experienced in handling aggression problems, and they are there to help. It could save your dog's life and save some person, or child, a lot of pain.

Last but certainly not least - please don't blame a breed for problems like this. This could have, and has happened, with many different breeds of dogs, including mixes. Please see the Humane Society of the United States' statement on breed specific legislation.


  1. It's a huge shame that the Pit Bull has had its reputation slung into the mud thanks to our society. With the media perpetuating these claims without so much as even checking to see if the dogs in question are truly Pit Bulls, the populace at large fears these animals and shuns them. It makes me wonder if this animal was a purebreed or a mix, and if the local report just skewed it into making it sound like a purebreed Pit Bull.

    Also, I couldn't agree more with you concerning the animal behavioralist. Those professionals are a world of knowledge and help in those cases.

    -Marina, Zeus and Isis' mom

  2. I've been completely off the computer for awhile Indy and by the time I read this, the story is no longer available to view. Fighting for the bullies, protecting Shasta and trying to maintain my own personal life became too over whelming and the body and mind made me finally quit trying to fight it any longer.
    Even so, I imagine it's like all the other stories the media blames. They don't look at the owners and their responsibilities, but rather look at the dog and if it has teeth, they label it a Pit bull. How better to brainwash the general public into believing that the bullie breeds are nothing more than killing machines.
    From not being able to view the video, but from reading what you wrote, it sounds like they kicked the dog out of the house once the baby came along.
    Being a responsible owner does not stop at once the baby comes. A responsible owner is committed to the dog for the life of the pet.
    I have to agree with Marina, Zeus and Isis' mom.
    If there were behaviour problems, you go to a professional. If that is any indication on how they will treat Junior when he grows up, he'll be out of the house once he starts walking.
    The media is quick to jump on the band wagon of a targetted breed, yet how often do you see any of the postive things they do?
    This kind of media hype is not only hurting the breed of choice, but also responsible owners that are now made out to be criminals just as their dogs are.
    I know because I'm one of them and neither Shasta nor I have committed a crime. Go figure. :(