1.01.2011

The Pit Bull Hoax: The ATTS


There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Mark Twain

"Pit bulls score higher than ______"
As soon as the topic of pit bulls hits the comment sections, the pit bull apologia goes on the defensive and more often than not, the ATTS (American Temperament Testing Society) is the weapon of choice from their arsenal of myths. Typically the pit bull's ATTS scores will be inflated to unbelievable heights. It is not uncommon to read "pit bulls score higher than ANY other breed." A quick check of the available on demand ATTS statistics will bust that myth straight away. But the pit bull does score higher than many popular, safe, family friendly breeds of dogs. How could the dog responsible for roughly 50% of all fatal attacks, score better than Lassie?

This blog post spells out how and why and touches on the following aspects: The history of the test, the test requirements, the test itself, the evaluation, criticisms of the test, junk science, and examples -- in their own words -- of pit bull owners who acknowledge the test's biases and invalidity.

Introduction
Pit bull advocates have much invested in the ATTS myth. They clutch to these scores and parade them around as though they were the definitive tool that proves that their dogs are not only safe to be in the community but SAFER than most other dog breeds. From the NCRC to Best Friends to Badrap, from Jane Berkey to Diane Jessup to Leslie Haller to Adrien P, they all extol the virtues of the mighty ATTS. They mislead the public and preach the superiority of pit bulls based on this flawed test and its perverted results that are further exaggerated when regurgitated ad nauseam by the pit bull ideologues.

Researching the American Temperament Testing Society (the actual organization) was quite an education in and of itself. Information was difficult to obtain, for example the names of the board of directors and testers were not easy to come by. I finally found the names of the board of directors through the Missouri secretary of state website, but good luck finding the names of testers. Unearthing underground dog fighting information would be an easier task.

Suspicious secret society aside, the problem with the ATTS is complex and any discussion of the problematic statistics should begin with the inherent bias of the test, the testers, the testees and the myths surrounding what exactly this test measures.

schutzhund photography

ATTS History
The temperament test was developed by Alfons Ertelt in 1977. Mr Ertelt was not an animal behaviorist, he worked in the print industry but his passion was dogs and he was involved in schutzhund. (schutzhund is a dog sport that mirrors the training of police dog work and it is dominated by german shepherds) The ATTS test was initially intended to test working dogs for jobs such as police work. The test favors bold dogs, dogs that need to face danger head on without hesitation and fear. Courage was desired and rewarded, timidity was not. The ATTS favors dogs like pit bulls over dogs like collies. It is important to note, the test does not evaluate dogs for "pet" suitability. It comes as no surprise that when you look at the numbers tested by breed, four of the top five breeds (5357 rottweilers, 3038 german shepherds, 1574 dobermans, 968 mixed breeds, and 893 bouviers) excel in schutzhund. Presently, their website states the ATTS was established to "work for the betterment of all breeds of dogs." Mr Ertelt left the ATTS a few years after its inception and in 1983 formed the German Shepherd Dog Schutzhund Club of Los Angeles. In 1990 Carl Herkstroeter, his wife Carolyn, and Harriet Ann Pahlmann and Margaret B Pahlmann incorporated the ATTS into a for profit business in the state of Missouri. One year later, they created the non-profit. Records indicate there has been only a few board changes over the last 20 years.

Test Requirements
Dogs must be at least 18 months of age and on a 6 ft lead. The handler is not allowed to talk to or correct the dog. If the dog fails, it is allowed to retake the test after 5 months, but only one retest is allowed. It is not clear if or how this is monitored and enforced.

Entry level testers are called Apprentice Testers and they must be at least 21 years of age and active in dog sport or employed in the veterinary field for at least the past 5 years. As the testers become more experienced, they can work their way up through the ranks.
Provisional Testers
Temperament Testers
Provisional Chief Testers
Certified Chief Tester
Teaching Chief Tester
Since the testers are required to have a great deal of dog sport experience, the testers are often very involved in their breed clubs, therefore the testers are often evaluating their friends and acquaintances and usually the breed of their choice. In other words, they are testing dogs that they have a vested interest in seeing pass the test.

The Test
The test takes approximately 10 minutes and at least 3 ATTS trained evaluators score the dogs. The test is usually sponsored by breed clubs, most often rottweiler clubs but other large powerful breed clubs like german shepherds, pit bulls and akitas sponsor the test as well. The sponsor can request the test be closed to other breeds or open to all. It is easy to see how a lab or a collie would be at a serious disadvantage at a pit bull sponsored test being evaluated by people who not only don't possess breed specific knowledge of labs or collies but also might harbor resentment towards the other more popular and socially accepted breeds.

The dogs are on a 6 ft leash. The owner/handler is forbidden to speak, give commands or corrections. As the dog progresses through the test, it becomes increasingly more stressful. The dogs' reactions are measured toward a neutral stranger and a friendly stranger. The dog/handler then progress to hidden noises, first the metal bucket with coins then gunshots. From there the dog has an umbrella open suddenly nearby and then walks across plastic sheeting and wire grating. The final phase of the test measures a dog's self protective/aggressive behavior by exposing the dog first to a weirdly dressed non-threatening stranger, then a threatening stranger and finally an aggressive stranger.

If a dog panics and does not recover or if the dog shows strong avoidance or unprovoked aggression, it fails. Re: aggression, breed specific temperament and the prior experience and training of the dogs are taken into account. The website states that aggressive responses during the final phase of the test is okay for a dog with schutzhund training but an untrained husky displaying aggression toward the stranger may fail. It is obvious that these judges possess far too much discretion in these tests. Some pit bull owners report that their pit bulls passed when it launched aggressively at the stranger while other pit bulls have passed when it barely acknowledged the stranger. Passing or failing is completely dependent upon the whims of the testers.

The handlers are advised to come early so they can do a walk through of the test, without their dogs.

The Evaluation
There are a total of 10 subtests and each test is scored by at least 3 testers who rate the dog on a scale of 0-10. All dogs start with a score of 5 on each subtest. Points are added to the score of 5 for the dogs who perform positively and points are deducted for dogs who perform negatively. A score of zero on one test is a failure, even if the dog scored a 10 on each of the other 9 subtests. And oddly enough, a dog would pass if it received a score of 1 on each test. If the testers are not in agreement, the majority rules. Click here for a more in depth explanation of the 0-10 rating scale. Since more often than not, these tests are sponsored by breed clubs, and tested by club officers, there is an inherent bias in the testers to see their breed of choice pass and others fail.

ATTS Tests



Current ATTS scores for pit bull type dogs:
american pit bull 86%
american bulldog 84.8%
american staffordshire 83.9%
bull terrier 90.4%
staffordshire bull terrier 89.6%

Current ATTS scores for a few popular breeds of dogs in America:
cocker spaniel 81.9%
collie 79.7%
beagle 80.3%
chihuahua 71.1%
labrador retriever 92.3%
golden retriever 84.6%
german shepherd 84.2%
jack russell 84.1%
mutt 86%
pomeranian 75.8%
pug 90.9%
standard poodle 86%

Of the 30,000+ dogs tested by the ATTS to date, 82.4% have passed.

*The breed of dog with the overall lowest passing score was the skye terrier at 37.5%.
The most "aggressive" dog in America, yet it didn't make the Clifton report.

Test Criticisms
Anyone with a superficial understanding of scientific method and what constitutes good science, should be able to immediately recognize the inherent problems with this test.

First and foremost is the issue of what exactly does the test measure? The ATTS website claims to measure stability, shyness, aggressiveness, friendliness, protectiveness, self-preservation. In theory, the testers consider the following during the test:
The breed of the dog (hereditary purpose)
The training the dog has received
The dog’s age
The dog’s gender
Whether it has been spayed or neutered
The dog’s physical health (dog in season)
Whether it is a house dog or kennel dog
Yet the pit bull advocates present the stats in such a way as to imply that higher scores equal less aggression and lower scores equal more aggression. According to Herkstroeter, “Just because a certain percentage of dogs in a certain breed fail, this does not necessarily indicate aggression. Dogs fail for other reasons, such as strong avoidance. If you look at our statistics just from a perspective of aggression or non-aggression, they can be very misleading.” Herkstroeter states that 95% of the dogs that fail, do so because they lack confidence to approach the weirdly dressed stranger or walk on the strange surface. The remaining 5% fail because they take longer than 45 seconds to recover from the gunshot or the umbrella. Still pit bull advocates continue to distort the meaning of the test.

Second, as per ATTS website: "Comparing scores with other dogs is not a good idea" and the test "takes into consideration each breed's inherent tendencies". Cocker spaniels are evaluated against a cocker spaniel standard, not against german shepherds (or at least in theory, they are not supposed to), yet pit bull advocates would have you believe that all dogs are evaluated against one another.

The third troubling aspect of this test is not only the lack of a random sample but what appears to be pit bull advocates openly conspiring to groom test candidates and cherry pick only those individual dogs that are likely to pass. This is a conscious decision done for the sole purpose of inflating the scores to improve the pit bull's image.

The fourth major problem is in the inherent bias of the testers. Pit bull owners, breeders and advocates are in the position to pass or fail dogs that are under heavy criticism for what their critics perceive as their innate viciousness. As you will see, the testers have much discretion and a vested interest in the outcomes of the tests and they do not apply the rules fairly or consistently. There is no quality control to ensure that the testers are consistent in how they grade dogs' behavior.

Fifth, the test acknowledges that breed of dog (hereditary of purpose) is factored into the dog's performance and score, yet dogs are not tested in the presence of other dogs. This is especially critical with dogs that were bred to fight.

Sixth, the ATTS apparently does not require papers for purebred dogs. It seems that you can report any breed you like and do not need to provide any registry papers to prove it. One thing I find especially interesting is the flexibility around the issue of purity in pit bulls. When pit bulls attack, they are mixes but when they pass the ATTS, they are purebred, no questions asked. Just last week, Drayton Michaels made a point to say that most pit bulls were in fact not purebred pit bulls. This is another favored defense tactic when pit bull attacks hit the news media. In my experience reading all of the pit bull forums for ATTS information, discussion about the test is non-existent among the game-dog.com demographic. This group of pit bull owners is obsessed with bloodlines and pedigrees, and these dogmen do not even broach the subject of temperament testing.

Seventh, the handlers are familiar with the test, they not only know what to expect, they practice it with their dogs. In the real world, things don't work out that way and much of a dog's reaction can be based on the handler's reaction to the real world "stressful" events.

The test and the testers discriminate against timidity and favor courage and aggression, although they do not openly admit to this. The test does not measure any exact personality trait that can be quantified. In theory, the test measures the dogs' responses to random events, (sometimes heavily practiced random events) and theoretically, the testers are to evaluate dogs within their own breed and not against other breeds. It will become obvious to the reader that the testers are inconsistent with their application of the testing guidelines. In addition, these random events have little to do with the real world events. The organization, the test, the testers and the testees are all motivated by powerful forces, such as BSL and will do anything to achieve their desired outcomes. The test looks good in theory but the humans that apply the theory are self interested and therefore fallible. That fallibility produces unscientific results.

The ATTS temperament test is scientifically invalid and unreliable. The test can not reliably predict how a dog will behave in the real world.

Pit bull apologists love to cite beloved breeds of dogs who score lower than the APBT. But the reality is collie owners are not spending hours online seeking advice from other collie owners on how to pass the test, or spending a year preparing their dogs for this test. Collie mix owners are not quizzing testers about whether or not their dogs can slip in under the radar as purebreds. Collie owners are not prescreening their dogs. Collie owners are not hiring ATTS experienced dog handlers to test their dogs. Collie owners are not cherry picking only those candidates that they think will pass the test. If they did, their breed would score higher than 79.4%. Any breed would do better under these artificial conditions. But collie owners don't view their dogs as a cult religion and the ATTS as a bible. Most people owning normal breeds of dogs view this test as a fun way to spend the morning with their dogs. The pit bull community views this test as a get out jail free card. There is a strong push by pit bull advocates to have dogs who have passed the ATTS eligible for home owners insurance and access to housing that specifically excludes certain breeds. Take for example the military ban on pit bulls, rottweilers and others. In the instance of the Marines, owners of these dogs had 60 calendar days to successfully pass a "nationally recognized temperament test." The City of San Francisco, which has a mandatory pit bull sterilization law, allows pit bulls that pass the ATTS to breed (Section 44.1).


This "truth" design for t-shirts, was created by pit bull talk member mnp13 and is available at cafe press for $25. Please note that mnp13 is a pit bull owner who has witnessed up close and personal how flawed the test is.

In their own words
What pit bull owners say in public is much different from what they say to each other in "private".

The link to Diane Jessup advising fellow thepitbull-place.com members to enter only dogs that will pass the ATTS, was killed after I posted it on craven desires. Please alert me to any dead links and I will replace with pdfs and/or screen shots.
click to view at 100%

Pit bull rescuer, owner and advocate Ellena Thomas of the pacific northwest pit bull rescue explains the ATTS.

Thomas' explanation contradicts this individual's experience. Here pitbulltalk member Tiger describes her ATTS and her violation of the test rules while still passing.

apbtmom76
Some testers are sometimes lenient on some aspects of the test on some dogs. It really depends on the whims and the motives of the tester.

pitbulltalk mnp13
If a schutzhund trained Ambull fails to respond aggressively to the stranger, it passes but if a non trained husky responds it fails. The testers are not evaluating dogs consistently or fairly.

pitbullmamaliz

pbf voodoo on the importance of practicing for the test

Experienced "responsible" pit bull owner, ATTS tester Leslie Haller advises pitbulltalk member hey21jude on the ATTS.
Based on the chief tester's comments, i would guess that this pit bull was tested among a GSD, rott or dobie schutzhund club and is either unaware that dogs without protection training should not be responding aggressively or doesn't care.

new pitbulltalk member tradewind introduces herself to the forum.
It is inappropriate for ATTS testers to be active in BSL.

apbtmom76 describes the appropriate response to the threatening stranger.


apbtmom76 tested one of her dogs and gives advice to another pitbull-chat members.

pbf sarah

gsdbulldog on pre-test jitters.

bulldogbreeds member attitude about temperament tests.
Comforting, isn't it?

2005 Romanwild
They are closing in.

2005 lisa mawson
They set a goal and they achieved it. The pit bulls have surpassed the goldens.

pbf member Maryellen Harwelik (realpitbull.com) advises pblove on passing the umbrella test.

All of this practice feels like like cheating to me. This is like getting all of the answers to the test before hand.

pbf Leslie Haller
Other members chime in and explain that they also will not test their dogs because they know they will fail.

pbf Red

Just something to keep in mind for anyone who wants to enter their dogs...unless the animal in question can be exposed to some stimulation for an extended period of time and don't be bother by it keep him/her away in a vehicle or area that is quiet. Most people "park" their dogs by the testing field, which means that the dogs hear the gun shots, the yelling drunken man and dogs barking while waiting to be tested and that can be a significant amount of time. That is a lot for many dogs to handle, especially if they are not show dogs, dogs who compete in some sports or are used to the usual chaos in similar environments. By the time they enter the test their stress level has increased and moving from one station to the other end up with an animal who is overwhelmed or score low.Most test are held in conjunction with some kind of dog event so that is something to take in consideration.
Red is a dog trainer, experienced pit bull owner and experienced at taking the ATTS. She is also apparently an ATTS handler for hire as well, further insuring that a pit bulldog will pass the test with her confident demeanor and further skewing the test scores.

pbsmiles sarallyn
The pit bull apologia knows EXACTLY what it is doing. Unfortunately, the public is oblivious to what lies beneath the cut and paste propaganda scores.


Beating Lassie's Score
After reviewing this blog post and its many examples, now you know why pit bulls -- responsible for roughly 50% of all fatal attacks -- score better than Lassie. I did not come to this conclusion quickly. I spent about a year researching the ATTS. In addition to reading every ATTS related thread on every pit bull forum on the internet, I also looked into other breed forums. I found nothing on the other breed forums that even remotely resembled the machinations of the pit bull apologia.

Anyone with a high school education should be able to see the fallibilities of the ATTS, yet a few of the gifted and educated, some with advanced degrees still promote the ATTS as a test with "scientific" value.

National Canine Research Council aka the great neocortex
(When caught in a lie, the NCRC deleted this free flyer from their website after I exposed their lie here. Here is the pdf.)















63 comments:

snack sized dog said...

Wow! Thank you for digging into this really huge lie and taking it apart and showing it for what it is. A TOTAL scam.

There are so many things wrong with the ATTS, its laughable.

Dogs fail mainly because of timidity. Huh...

This test is meaningless as a test for suitability for household pet...even if you don't cheat and train for a test that's supposed to be taken cold.

What I can take from this is that skye terriers really aren't suited for schutzhund...well, rock my world...

Oh, and pit bull owners cheat...yeah...so what else is new.

april 29 said...

Congratulations! You have nailed this topic. I have done the ATTS find your analysis right on. The test IS breed specific. Despite assurances that training is taken into account, an Obedience trained dog is at a disadvantage. A dog at proper heel position is scored as a coward. I had the only Standard Poodle on the grounds that day and did not feel particularly welcome or even safe for that matter. My dog passed but I never considered TT for any other dog.

DubV said...

Even if the test were perfect, the sample of various breeds will not be representative at all for various reasons.

http://www.skepdic.com/selectionbias.html

Too bad this lie has so much traction.

GoddesssOfDarknesss said...

I completely agree with you about how "flawed" this test is. But i do hope that you know that the APBT is a very sweet, loving, affection, loyal, stable and driven dog. The media practically lies because they never tell you the "full" story on why the dog "lashed" out. They don't explain how the dog was being raised or treated. I am an advocate for this amazing breed, but i will not support the ATTS. They are false and making our breed look even worse.

http://www.apbtconformation.com/temperament.htm

cravendesires said...

i agree, the APBT can be a very sweet and affectionate dog, TOWARDS people. i have met many. my issue is animal aggression. regardless of how they are raised, they pose an extreme danger to animals.

GoddesssOfDarknesss said...

Oh yes. That comes with them, due to their fighting heritage.....fortunately, i don't mind just owning one pet. :D
It just takes responsibilty and managment with these dogs. :)

http://www.measlesanimalhaven.org/ResponsibleOwnership.htm

DubV said...

Goddesssofdarkness,

You pit bull advocates don't get it that you can assert things all day without evidence and those same assertions can then be denied without evidence. That's how things work in rational land. You say something without evidence, I can claim the opposite without evidence and your claim is cancelled.

Of course, some pits live a long life and never harm a person or another animal. Some pits, are aggressive towards humans or dogs. What people need to do is think in terms of probabilities. The pit bull is the breed most likely, on average, to get into trouble. All the great things you said about pits are also true of MANY other dog breeds, breeds without the liabilities of the pit. Therefore, any sane person places the pit near the bottom of their list of breeds in terms of suitability as a pet.

DubV said...

Goddesssofdumbness,

Further, you assert that the media does not tell you why the dog lashed out.

What you are doing is having this as an unexamined, first premise: Pit bulls do not attack unless something external to them causes it and therefore removes any responsibility from the dog

So, any time Goddesss sees a pit bull attack, you jump to this premise and you just KNOW there must be something else to the story. You just get this feeling that the dog was either: abused, not trained, not socialized, inbred, taunted by the victim, SOMETHING.

Why? Because you have created a mental system in which pit bull genetics or disposition cannot be a contributing factor to anything negative. You may think you are a deep thinker because you are able to speculate and do mental gymnastics to find something that allows you to let the pit off the hook. I calls this identifying with pit bulls more than with humans, and it is creepy and misanthropic. Guess what? A logical system that can be used to prove or disprove anything is of absolutely no use, other than emotional comfort. Pit nutters did not invent the concepts of confounding or extenuating factors, though it seems they think they have and sure have found ways to abuse the concepts.

april 29 said...

GoddesssOfDarkness,
I am pleased that you see the flaws in the ATTS.
I am troubled by your use of the terms "the media practically lies" and "they never tell you the "full" story." I had the opportunity to read about my own attack as interpreted by a local pit bull spokesperson. She used VERY similar language and her facts were completely and boldly false. NOTHING in her report was true. My attack was VERY public and was terminated by direct law enforcement action. It is hateful to concoct twisted accounts of attacks in order to blame the victim. It is dishonest to encourage other pit bull owners to demand retractions of stories that are 100% correct (as was done in my case). I completely agree with you that pit bull owners need to take "responsibility in the management of these dogs".

Bagheera Kiplingi said...

http://www.youtube.com/user/GoddesssOfDarknesss#p/u/10/i6b-7662wg4
GoddessofDarkness,
I see you spreading other myths on your youtube video. Manbiters were culled and i really like myth @ 1:22, "they were originally farm dogs until the 19th century, when they started fighting them." HUH?

cravendesires said...

i do agree (somewhat) with the goddessofdarkness' comment about the media. there is very little truth about pit bulls in the news media. just look at all of the hype swirling around jim gorant & the vick dogs. gorant wrote a book based on the bullshit that badrap fed him. and then there are the nutter journalists like jc reindl, joey kulkin, linda fucco and my personal favorite - kathy antoniotti. i think that more often than not, the misinformation in the news media favors the nutter agenda.

april 29 said...

Good point Craven...

GoddesssOfDarknesss said...

Wow. I come on here simply stating what is TRUE about this breed and weveryone "loses" their minds. Everything i state can be located in a reputable BOOK or WEBSITE. Why else would i be stating it???? I'm so sick of people being "brain-washed" because of the media. Hell, because of the way this world is in general. You think our government isn't corrupt? You really think they tell the FULL story just because they say that they do? Yeah...how sad. All the media wants is SENSATION. Doesn't anyone get that? You never hear of the Pit Bulls that are therapy dogs, drug sniffers, etc. Only the "attacks". I mean, really now, first it was the Shepherd, Then the Dobie, now the pit bull. I gaurantee that next it will be the lab or the collie. there really is no use in banning certain breeds. This only punishes the "victims" and even the responsible pit bull owners from even attendting certain dog sport events or vacation spots. Just even certain states. I'm sorry to say, but once "our" breed of choice is "exterminated" your breed of choice will be next. Can't you see that BSL will eventually lead to the banning of owning pets?!? I'm not going to argue with close-minded individuals who think their so "intelligent" and have the vantage because they use such a complex volcabulary. Ha. You could never understand.

GoddesssOfDarknesss said...

LEARN THE FACTS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXBUtBCEjo4

http://www.bullybreedresource.com/mythandfact.php

http://www.realpitbull.com/myths.html

http://www.pitbulllovers.com/american-pit-bull-terrier-myths.html

http://americaagainstbsl.tripod.com/willbslsolvedogbites.html

http://www.understand-a-bull.com/Articles/OtherBreedBites/AllDogsBite.htm

I'M NOT GOING TO ARGUE WITH PEOPLE DUE TO THEIR "FEARS", LACK OF "KNOWLEDGE" AND SIMPLE-MINDED "ARROGANCY".

april 29 said...

Goddesss, you have wasted our time in a rehash of very tired and over used Maul Talk. You are talking to victims here, to people who live in neighborhoods where it is unsafe for children to play in their own yards, to people who have had their beloved pets mauled and killed. We are not "brain washed" by the media. Pit bull therapy dogs are a myth, most of those dogs are "emotional support" animals and are no longer covered by the ADA. We are well aware that Diane Jessup's Law Dogs program is defunct, she placed one dog. The law enforcement community has no interest in working with pit bulls. How dare you complain about the difficulties faced by "responsible pit bull owners." There has never been a single account of a bully club holding a car wash to raise funds to cover hospital expenses for a mauled child (but you folks do raise money to support the offending dog). I don't recall a single report of a pit bull owner who paid all the bills for injuries and damages caused by his dog. No, I'm wrong on that one... you use a photo of Rachel Ray in your pit bull video and she does send her lawyer spouse to follow up with the owners of the dogs attacked by her beloved Isaboo (up to 6 attacks now, ripped the ear off her last doggie victim). The slippery slope argument, your final shot, is laughable. Do not waste our time with emotional cut-and-
paste nonsense.

GoddesssOfDarknesss said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tVEeXQaW2E

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85nbrEINBWE

cravendesires said...

Goddessofdarkness, i clicked on the youtube videos. one of them is dead and the other, Eric Letendre, is just another bafoon spouting off 'all dogs bite' and 'man biters were culled' and 'it's all how you raise them' myths. i do give him points for not regurgitating the ATTS and the nanny dog myth.

april 29 said...

Goddesss,
Breed advocacy websites are NOT reputable sources for information. Please do not even get into Karen Delise and her self published books, not an actual source of information either. Delise is a vet tech with no academic credentials. Bring up the find-a-bull websites and I will vomit. You are very young, very naive, and very passionate. You need to go back to school and develop some critical thinking skills. If you are sharing links to videos that are no longer available, you are using arguments that you found on one of your breed advocacy websites. No other breed requires this level of "education" and advocacy. There is no find-a-beagle website, people know what beagles look like. There is no National Collie Awareness Day, collies walk among us and do not leave a trail of blood. You will never see a local newspaper notice urging the public to attend a "Truth about Poodles" lecture, no need for it. We are not arrogant, we are not ignorant, we are victims. Our goal is the safety of the public, pets, and livestock.

DubV said...

Quoting Goddess

"Wow. I come on here simply stating what is TRUE about this breed and weveryone "loses" their minds. Everything i state can be located in a reputable BOOK or WEBSITE. Why else would i be stating it????"

You see Goddess, reputable is in the eye of the beholder and what is "true" is a work in progress. Also, everyone thinks that what they believe is somewhat "true", or they would not state it.

If I were you, I would not try to plant a flag in Truth. I would start seriously considering the arguments of those that disagree with you. It is one of the best ways to learn, even if you do not change your mind. Maybe you will be the first pit bull advocate to actually address the arguments from the other side and fully understand the other sides points.

DubV said...

*By reputable is in the eye of the beholder, I meant that having a "good reputation" among a certain group is no sure guide that something will have some truth content. Further, most people think the sources they rely upon are reputable, so asserting it means nothing as everyone would make that assertion.

GoddesssOfDarknesss said...

You all make me laugh. Yeah, everyone is going to say their knowledge is "reputable". So why believe you? I've owned these dogs and many other breeds, but the Pit Bull was the best i've had. I mean, seriously? Ok. Lets just exterminate an entire breed of dog. Hm. Then why not black people next? Hm. How about this, why don't we just blow up the entire fucking world so nobody has to worry about "dog attacks" and "rapiest" and "life" in general. Sure, lets care about the safety of ppl, pets, etc. Blah blah blah. Unfortunately, somebody somewhere is getting "hurt". Whether by a dog, a car, another human, at school by bullies, etc. All of you people are not going to make a difference in "helping" anyone. Point blank. And April 29, that is Rachael Ray's irresponsibility. Not the dog's. Being a Pit Bull owner she should know the risk these dogs have with other dogs. Obviously, she doesn't need one. All those videos work, its not my fault your computers suck. And CravenDesires, those are not myths, those are FACTS. I mean, if your against Pitties, why do you even have a profile pic of one?

cravendesires said...

http://www.apbtconformation.com/temperament.htm

goddessofdarkness, the link that YOU provided contradicts the MYTH it's all how you raise them.

"People do not realize that temperament is 80% (some say more) genetic in dogs."

as for the manbiters were culled myth, that will be the subject of my next myth buster blog post. be sure to check back.

oh and by the way, do you know who the author of that link is?

GoddesssOfDarknesss said...

Doesn't matter. Nobody HERE knows the authors in person, and i really don't care what you people say. It doesn't really contradict anything, either. You buy a healthy, stable puppy from a good breeder, then with the proper care, training, socialization, etc. you will have a happy, stable, healthy dog. And vice-versa. What i don't get is why people "freak" over dog bites. Its a dog! Man is the one people should be more concerned with. But hey, like i said, lets just blow up the entire fucking world so nobody has to worry about anything. Ha.

Amanda said...

april29 and dubv... you all talk to much. Instead of sitting here trying to boast of your age differences and wordy vocabulary, why not try and act our own ages and quit attacking someone over the internet. All this arguing is nothing more then a confliction of opinions, meaning everyone here is in the grey on the subject. Here's some advice, the more wordy your comments are the more you appear both unintellegent and pretentious. A word to the wordy, no one human being is any better then the next. This is the same for our opinions.

DubV said...

If you haven't noticed yet, Goddess, our Kung Fu is way fucking better than your Kung Fu.

Goddess in quotes, replies outside of quotes.

"You all make me laugh. Yeah, everyone is going to say their knowledge is "reputable". So why believe you?"

You must demonstrate soundness of the arguments that are in the reputable sources or they must speak for themselves. To establish this, for me at least, the argument must be a sound deductive argument with first premises that are either self-evident or demonstrated via induction using a sound method. Instead, you use untested premises such as "it is all in the way you raise them".

"I've owned these dogs and many other breeds, but the Pit Bull was the best i've had."

You're only 18 years old. How many different dogs could you have raised or had a hand in raising? Further, a few contrary data points to a generalization does not disprove a generalization. They would disprove a universal statement, but that is not being made.

"I mean, seriously? Ok. Lets just exterminate an entire breed of dog."

This is somewhat of a combination of a slippery slope, straw man, and argument from consequence logical fallacy. You are implying that: recognizing a temperament problem will lead to slaughter (slippery slope), you are assuming that we want to slaughter all pits (straw man), and you are trying to cast aspersion on a statement meant to relay information based upon what it will lead to (argument from consequence).

"Hm. Then why not black people next?"

Dogs are not people. There are not breeds of people. No one artificially selected people in order create certain behavioral traits.

"Hm. How about this, why don't we just blow up the entire fucking world so nobody has to worry about "dog attacks" and "rapiest" and "life" in general. Sure, lets care about the safety of ppl, pets, etc. Blah blah blah."

The above statement is pretty much incoherent. You could use this argument against anything someone thinks is dangerous and you discount. Further, you knock the stool out from under yourself by mentioning things that are recognized as being negative and have laws in place in regards to them.

"Unfortunately, somebody somewhere is getting "hurt". Whether by a dog, a car, another human, at school by bullies, etc. All of you people are not going to make a difference in "helping" anyone. Point blank. "

This point has nothing to do with the argument. We could be right, and you would say give up because you will not be effective. Your argument is nihilistic.

"And April 29, that is Rachael Ray's irresponsibility. Not the dog's. Being a Pit Bull owner she should know the risk these dogs have with other dogs. Obviously, she doesn't need one."

First, look up confirmation bias. You have it, big time. Then, go back to what I told you about your unexamined first premises. Here is one of your's stated differently: all pit bulls who attack are owned by irresponsible people. So, any reports of a pit bull behaving badly can be discounted by you because of your first premise that is wrong. What you are doing here is a combination of "begging the question" and "No True Scotsman" (both logical fallacies). You beg the question because you assume as true what the argument is actually about (do pit bulls have a genetic predisposition for aggression or is it all the owners fault?). You use No True Scotsman in that any pit that attacks must not be trained, socialized, etc BECAUSE NO pit with training, etc ever does those things (in your mind).

"And CravenDesires, those are not myths, those are FACTS. "

Again, you can't just assert that things are facts over and over. It does not hold more weight due to repetition.

cravendesires said...

DubV and april 29, the principles of logic and reason are completely lost on these two little girls.

DubV said...

Amanda,

In a word, your comment was vacuous. Go look that one up.

Ever read a nonfiction book written for a serious audience? It will use multisyllabic words and relatively complex sentence structure to convey various points. I looked over my comments and the fact that you would think it had big words or was just a fanciful showing off: 1) speaks poorly of you and 2) probably is more about you being easily threatened.

The reason that words beyond a few syllables were invented is because it is cumbersome to explain a concept using many small words when one larger word expresses the same thing both more compactly and more accurately. I suppose you would like it if the whole world dumbed itself down a bit for you.

If you are a pit bull advocate, then it makes sense you would want people to stop attacking someone over the net who happens to share your opinion. And by the way, I believe Goddess was the most venomous, but you do not mention that.

As far as everything being opinion and gray area, this is a common approach used by someone in an argument. Once you actually pick their "opinion" apart, they'll resort to calling everything an opinion because it gives them an easy out. Very few things can be absolutely proved or disproved, humans operate in this gray area all the time, but thanks for noticing.

DubV said...

"What i don't get is why people "freak" over dog bites. Its a dog! Man is the one people should be more concerned with. But hey, like i said, lets just blow up the entire fucking world so nobody has to worry about anything. Ha."

If you had not already done so, this statement has made you lose all credibility and sense of humanity in my eyes. Every shred. You seem awfully concerned about your own dogs and pit bulls in general. Then you ask us why we care about dog bites. It is because we love our dogs. Then you discount people's concerns by resorting to a strange "blow up the world" argument. I think what you did here, aside from simple trolling/flaming, was try to create a strong reason for people to think your arguments are bad that you can think is external to the argument. That way you can tell yourself it was not because your argument did not make sense.

GoddesssOfDarknesss said...

Not really. I don't care how old you are or where you got your "facts", in the end, everyhting IS an opinion. Its nice to know you people like to "stalk" me to see my age and what not. Yeah, people aren't dogs, but there are RACES and black being a different one than white, asian, etc. Its the same damn thing. You are the people who waste your time on these matter obviously because you have nothing better to do. Why don't you go do something productive? Like adopt a shelter dog or spread the positivity in things in general. Such a negative person. Who gives any human the right to say who is deemed to die, and who is not? This is just begining to get ridiculous and pointless. Age has nothing to so with shit. Most adults are idiots today, especially in the care and responsibility of owning a dog.

GoddesssOfDarknesss said...

Actually, it did. Your just an arrogant person. Point blank. Obviously, people stating that they can't let their "children play in their our own backyard safely because of vicious pit bulls..." when ppl should be more concerned about kidnappers and rapiest. In the end, that is your opinion, This is mine. Get over it.

cravendesires said...

"Who gives any human the right to say who is deemed to die, and who is not?"

the same humans that deem coyotes, wolves, bears, pumas, cows and chickens to death. but this is really getting off topic. i'd like to encourage everyone to take this to the unmoderated cravendesires blog.

Amanda said...

DubV thank you for your concern and furthering my belief of your pretentious nature. But I can assure you I don't require the use of a dictionary to understand your comments. You're very chauvinist aren't you? I wasn't saying that your comments were hard to understand, I simply stated the way you go about typing your comments shows that you indeed think very highly of yourself and word your sentences hoping no one would understand it or would feel threatened by it. It's almost as if you have this belief that the more lenghly put your sentences are it will protect you from the fact that your nothing more than another pathetic, self righteous, internet bully who has no idea what they're talking about. As for me being a pittbull advocate? I'd hate to inform you that I am not an advocate to anyone much less a dog. The fact of the matter is humans are more dangerous than any dog could ever be trained to be. Stop worrying so much about others opinions and wether or not someone likes a particular breed of dog and go get out in the sun and get a life. Maybe try getting laid?

Bagheera Kiplingi said...

http://atheisttoast.blogspot.com/2011/01/pit-nutter-logic.html

DubV said...

Amanda and Goddesssofdarnkess are not only completely wrong in their assessments, but are incapable of realizing it. But hey, it's all opinion right, so everyone's is equal. The opinions of Charles Manson, Stephen Hawking, and Amanda; all on an equal playing field.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect

mnp13 said...

Wow, I'm glad to see that my forum is so popular with you. Next time you quote me, please put a link to the FULL text so that things will be in context. But, you wouldn't want to do that because cherry picking comments fits your agenda.

Thanks,

Michelle / mnp13

Owner, PitBullTalk.com and three Pit Bulls

DubV said...

I'm completely surprised that an owner of 3 pit bulls does not understand that blue text might indicate a hyperlink that can be clicked on to take you to the original.

. said...

Craven, I guess these dogs would have failed. Despite being less dangerous that a pit bull.

http://naturalpitbull.blogspot.com/2011/01/dachshund-aggression.html

. said...

I enjoy how FuZupf's response video to you has nothing to do with the ATTS system that he brings up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhPyHIfP1L8

Although, he does have a point about the dog attacks. However, not everyone can find every single dog attack made on a human. Thankfully, I'm keeping track of other breed attacks.

cravendesires said...

haha! i just tried to leave a comment. fuzupf has blocked me.

thanks this made my day.

mnp13 said...

Sorry, just saw this - The text is not blue on my screen. Posting a link, as in the actual URL, with the quote is what I'm talking about not hoping that someone will bother to roll over the words and "see" if it's a link or not.

The most dangerous entity in this country in regards to children's safety is their parents.
http://www.chartsnstats.com/?p=55

Shall we remove children from their homes immediately after birth to protect them from their MOST DANGEROUS enemy... Their PARENTS? No, of course not.

However, statistically speaking, the mother and father of a child of ANY age is far more likely to kill that child than the family dog (no matter what the breed.) By your logic, the government should ban children being raised by their parents or relatives because literally HUNDREDS of children are killed every year.

It's SAFER to have the family dog raise them. A handful of children are killed every year (a horrible, very often preventable tragedy) by dogs, but HUNDREDS are killed every year by their parents/guardians.

DubV said...

mnp13 wrote:
"Sorry, just saw this - The text is not blue on my screen. Posting a link, as in the actual URL, with the quote is what I'm talking about not hoping that someone will bother to roll over the words and "see" if it's a link or not."

Which is basically saying, sorry I was wrong, BUT I'M NOT WRONG!

On my computer the text is blue, I'm kinda doubting you have a computer with software that changes the color. What are you running a commodore 64? The blogger assumed enough technological savvy to: 1. have your screen display properly and 2. be able to think clearly enough to realize contrasting BLUE might mean something.

Just admit it, you were wrong to get in a snit over that and post about it. Come on, be the first pit nutter to admit to being wrong.

DubV said...

I've been giving FUzupf a hard time about the follow up video. He's upset I won't focus on what he feels I should.

DubV said...

mnp13,

You are getting yourself all twisted in knots logically. So as not to confuse you further, I'll simply point this out that destroys your argument. You cannot remove a kid's parents and insert something else and still have all the positives while eliminating the negative you mentioned. You can however give a child a safe breed of dog instead of a pit bull puppy and have them get everything good that comes with a dog while minimizing the risk to them and the community.

DubV said...

from mnp13...

"It's SAFER to have the family dog raise them."

Usually, when your start premises lead you to something like the sentence above (and assuming you have sound reasoning throughout, which is doubtful for you), it disproves your start premises in the argument. A byproduct is that you have to abandon your consequence. This is actually very handy for people that understand this and is called reductio ad absurdum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum


However, your nutter logic "proves" to you that parents should hang it up and let pit bulls take over, and you're going with it man!

. said...

mnp13,


You are comparing parents to dogs. Two different entities with two different motives and methods of attacking. Therefore the comparison if flawed. f you're going to compare dogs to anything, it should be to dogs. Same goes for dog owners to dog owners.

It's not safer to have the family dog raise them. A dog cannot feed, cook, or drive.

Your comparisons are so illogical I doubt you have the real thinking capacity to really tackle this debate.

mnp13 said...

Wow, sarcasm really goes over your collective heads doesn't it?

First of all, anyone who uses wikipedia as source material can dispense with questioning my intelligence. Anyone can write anything on that website - I could put your name in as the person who shot President Kennedy, my name as the person who walked on the moon and my dog's name as the source of the vaccine for Polio.

And no kidding, I'm comparing parents to dogs.

The point is, you don't take kids away from their parents because the VAST majority of parents - to the point of almost statistical insignificance - never harm their children, let alone kill them. Just like the VAST majority of dogs (no matter what the breed) never harm a person (adult or child.)

You want to ban a breed of dog based on what it might do, based on problems caused by less than .1% of the population of that breed.

I've been bitten by over a dozen dogs, because I train dogs. I've almost been bitten by three times that many. Some Pit Bulls, most not. Some large breeds, most not. The most "dangerous" classification of dog breed according to my experience is spaniels, followed by herders.

Unlike most of you, I can see a dog as an individual, not as a representation of an entire breed. Just as I don't judge all white men as ignorant based on what I've read here.

. said...

mnp13,


Your response did not come off as sarcastic. I have heard many a pit nutter say this with certainly that it would be safer for an animal, a pit bull no less, to watch after children. I highly doubt you were being sarcastic. Especially since you missed the obvious of the blue words being hyperlinks. Which gave me enough reason to presume your comprehension for the simple concepts was way beyond your reach.

If someone has wikipedia as their sole link is an idiot. A person who uses that as a starting point for research is not however. Craven and myself are fine toothed bloggers. Making sure our resources are credible sources a well as cross reference to see how many others come up with similar conclusions based on unbiased research. Not every source is reliable, but if most of the links or books we provide are, then our research is more credible then other places who's resources are not credible.

I myself have been keeping track of pit and other breed attacks:
http://pitvictims.blogspot.com/
http://whosthepooch.blogspot.com/

It is obvious pit bulls are more dangerous. It took almost more than 11 breeds to match the fatalities of one breed. If that doesn't tell you something then I don't know what will. Not only that, but the pit bulls had more incidences of mauling than the other breeds combined.

When it comes to bans, who said anything about anyone here wanting bans? I for one believe there should be a high regulation on who owns these dogs. They are dangerous animals and needed to be treated as such. Regardless if it's 1% of that breed. We don't know how many pit bulls there are in the populous nor does that discount the fact that pitbulls kill more than other breeds.

It's only been 13 days and already there have been. 10 maulings, 6 bites, and 1 fatality. It hasn't even been a month.

Bagheera Kiplingi said...

Here we go again. Racism and all dogs bite, cows & lightening kill more people, SO LET'S JUST BLOW UP THE WORLD!

Wikipedia criticisms? Hmmm, you might have something there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Pit_Bull_Terrier

Wiki lineup of the usual suspects:
Jessup, Capp, ATTS, BADRAP, UKC, ASPCA, Torres, Stratton, Shorty and host of other lesser known and up and coming nutters...

. said...

mnp13,

I am sorry, I meant to say it took 11 breeds to match the attack rate of one breed.

DubV said...

"First of all, anyone who uses wikipedia as source material can dispense with questioning my intelligence."

I assume you are referring to me here. I checked the wiki entry on reductio ad absurdum, and it was fine. I just wanted to get the definition of it out there for you, because I doubted you were familiar with the concept. I wasn't using it as a vital link in an argument.

cravendesires said...

in general, i find wikipedia to be a good source of information, especially in irrefutable instances like the definition DubV proposed. wikipedia is a questionable source for more in depth and subjective topics like nanny dogs.

april 29 said...

A correction,two deaths since the first of the year, Linda Leal and Makayla Woodard. Leal killed by her own pits, the child, 5 year old Makayla Woodard killed by her neighbor's pits.

Erma said...

Interesting information. But it seems your Comments Roll has some serious action.

I'll read more into this when it calms down a bit.

o~

Incredible Kulk said...

nutter, huh? That's rich.

dawn james said...

attention mike: your comment has NOTHING to do with this blog post which is about the ATTS SCAM.

Jackie said...

I know one thing this person needs to get an freakin life! I mean really...why go through so much trouble to post a bunch of crap? I know that no matter what if someone doesn't like that breed there probably isn't anything your going to say or do to change their mind and vise versa. I know cause I am a Pit Bull lover, always have been, always will be! I can tell you a million different reasons to love the breed but that doesn't mean your going to...I hate people like this author who go out of their way to put down a loving breed like the Pit Bull...they def. need to find something better to do with their time :(

dawn james said...

jackie - funny, the pit nutters who dedicate the same amount of time AND MORE to spreading lies are never told to get a life. you hate me because i speak the truth. and i pose a threat to the lies.

and please just post 100 different reasons to love pit bulls.

DubV said...

Jackie does not address the blog at all. It is about how the ATTS breed summaries are used inappropriately. I can't stand to read a tinge of post-modernist claptrap intersecting with a mind like Jackie's. It's all just opinion right Jackie? Puke.

DubV said...

Here's something I wrote to someone who thought that the self-selection bias would cancel out for interbreed comparisons using ATTS breed summaries (like taking the ratio of the GSD % passed and pit bull % pass rates) I should them their error and thought it might be useful here as well.

Comparing two breeds via potentially biased samples.

Numbers 1 and 2 indicate the breed the variable corresponds to throughout.

N1=total number of breed 1 in general pop.
P1=proportion of breed 1 in gen. pop. that would pass ATTS
F1=(1-P1)=prop of breed 1 in gen.pop. that would fail ATTS

N2, P2, and F2 are same as above BUT for breed 2

SPP=sampling proportion among passes (%/100 of either breed among gen. pop. of those that will pass that are tested).

SPF=same as above BUT sampling proportion for those that will fail

We'll also make the reasonable assumption that SPP > SPF (meaning dogs that will pass are more likely to be tested, you'll likely tire me out even by objecting to that, but this is to show you what happens when that very reasonable idea is true)

I assume SPP and SPF are the same for breeds 1 and 2, but might not be if one set of breed owners are more image conscious (wanna game the test etc). That would make the effect I will show you even WORSE, but constant values will work.

The parameter we would like to estimate from our sample is just P1/P2 (relative proportion of passes for the 2 breeds). BUT what we will observe, if we use the variables above as a sample generating mechanism, is:

[N1*P1*SPP/(N1*P1*SPP+N1*F1*SPF)]/[N2*P2*SPP/(N2*P2*SPP+N2*F2*SPF)]

the above reduces to

P1/P2 * [P2*(SPP-SPF)+SPF]/[P1*(SPP-SPF)+SPF]

The simple fraction to the left is what we would like to know, the fraction to the right (bigger expression) is the bias.

You should notice that the location in the denominator and numerator for the pass rates by breed are inverted. Let's assume that P1/P2 < 1. So long as SPP is greater than SPF, then as P1 grows smaller (because it is in the denominator in the biasing expression) the biasing fraction to the right grows larger and will inflate the ratio observed in the sample above that which would be observable with exhaustive sampling.

dawn james said...

Yashendwirh, when you demonstrate that you have read and comprehend this blogpost, i might publish your comment.

meandmymuttz said...

I am honestly disgusted by this thread of comments. I read the article and agreed about the temperament test bias. However, as the proud owner of an APBT rescued from a shelter who has his CGC, and volunteers at nursing homes as a therapy dog weekly, he also is involved in a reading program at the local library with underprivileged children. I also have three children under 6 as well as 2 other dogs, horses, chickens, goats and ducks.
While it is true that Signi is what you would call dog tolerant and not dog friendly, meaning that he loves the dogs in his "pack" but is not accepting of strange dogs, he has never attacked or showed outright aggression to another dog, or any other animal or human for that matter. Pit bull type dogs are as a breed less likely to be good with other animals than most breeds, HOWEVER I think it is important to take into account that humans created them, and all the genetics that go with them. A responsible APBT owner is one that knows the breed and trains early to dull these instincts.
If you were to research the general background of pits that commit aggression towards people you would find that OFTEN times the dog has been chained and unsocialized, has been actively fought or baited, or had little to no training. There are also other triggers such as a female in heat, a female who perceives herself as protecting her litter, pack mentality, and intact males which are more aggressive in ALL breeds.
I am an ER vet tech and an active foster parent for all breeds of shelter dogs and I can tell you that in my personal experience a Pitbull type dog has NEVER shown me any sort of human aggression, whereas I have been bitten by NUMEROUS other breeds of dogs.
I am NOT a "pit bull nutter" I do not believe that Pitbull type dogs are appropriate family pets for all families or potential dog owners. However, I think that some of the problem with the posts here from people who have been attacked or know someone who has (which is unfortunate and terrible) is that fear creates hatred and bigotry, both towards people and dogs. I was sexually assaulted by a black man, do I hate all black people or believe that they should be eradicated or punished because of one man's actions, ABSOLUTELY NOT. Judging an entire breed based on the actions of a few is THE SAME as judging a race based on the same standards, and it is wrong. Please open your minds and hearts to judging each individual dog by their own merits and deeds, and not proliferating hatred for a group.

dawn james said...

thank you for being one of the few pit bull owners that READ and COMPREHENDED this blog post.

you say you are not a nutter yet you foster STRANGE dogs with your pit bull who you freely admit does not like STRANGE dogs. do you see anything wrong with this picture?

regarding your equating bigotry and racism of dogs and black people, well, you'll just have to come back and read that blog post. here's a question for you to ponder until that day. IF "discriminating" against pit bulls is wrong, is reverse "discrimination" wrong? is it wrong to cheat on the ATTS test? is it wrong to offer free services to JUST pit bulls?

but first i really need to finish the man biters myth. please check back in a week or two.

meandmymuttz said...

Before I take a foster dog into my home a meeting is done on neutral ground to judge the reaction of both my dogs, and the potential foster, this goes well and the dog is welcome to stay with me until he/she is adopted. I do not leave my Signi unsupervised with the fosters simply because I know sometimes he is intolerant. Do I think he would ever seriously harm them, no, am I willing to risk it absolutely not.

It is absolutely wrong what is being done with the ATTS test. I have thought that for quite some time. As I said, I agree with this article.

I have mixed feelings on offering services to just pitbulls. In some circumstances I deem it appropriate. For instance in my community there is a HUGE overpopulation of pitbulls owned largely by low income people and families. The local humane society offered for a month to spay or neuter pit bulls for free. I believe this to be acceptable. They offer $50 spay neuter certificates year round for all breeds.

I am not a judgmental person and am open to other opinions as long as the person/people involved in the discourse are open as well :)