Study Conducted by Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Explains Why They Failed to Rehabilitate Vick Dogs and Why Fighting Dogs Will Never Make Good Pets

There has been a lot of press surrounding the new large-scale study conducted by Best Friends Animal Society and the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School of Medicine; in a nut shell, this study found that puppy mills inflict irremediable damage to pet dogs. It found that dogs used as breeders in puppy mills had long term psychological damage, regardless of how clean and well run it was. Here is an excerpt:
The results of the study indicate it really doesn’t matter if the breeding operation claims to be shiny and clean, abiding by the laws, or even whether or not they are licensed by the USDA,” McMillan said. “This study gives us strong evidence that the dogs kept in these large scale breeding facilities don’t just suffer while they’re confined there, but carry the emotional scars out with them for years even when they’re placed in loving homes. Many of the dogs show difficulty in simply coping successfully with normal day-to-day life.
There is no precise, legal definition of a puppy mill. It is generally accepted though, that they are large-scale commercial dog breeding facilities that operate for profit. It is generally understood that they will sacrifice animal welfare to maximize profits. In Defense of Animals notes that any breeder with 4 breeding animals that sells to wholesalers must obtain a USDA license, but that average puppy mills house 65 to 75 animals, though some house thousands.

The main contributing factor to the damage done to these dogs is poor breeding (inbreeding and over breeding), the isolation and lack of "normal" exposure to people, places, noise, etc. Even a small facility that keeps dogs in cages, inbreeds, over breeds, and limits stimulation and socialization can be damaging. The study admits that these dogs will often never be "normal".

So how is this different from what the Vick dogs experienced? The Vick dogs were kept like puppy mill dogs and in addition many suffered the added abuse associated with dogfighting. Federal officers reportedly removed about 54 apbts from Vick's property according to a transcript of his indictment. Of the 54 apbts, about 30 were found on chains in a yard.

Examples of dogfighter's yards show these are large scale
puppy mills designed to produce mentally damaged dogs

The Virginia Beach SPCA reportedly took Vick's 9 beagles, two rottweilers, and a cane corso according to other sources. The beagles had been kept in cages and reportedly had been used both as bait dogs and as blood sources for blood transfusions for the fighting dogs.

Note that JR suffers from the exact
behavioral issues described in the BR study

Do you see any irony here? In fact, how is this different from what LOTS of pit bull breeders are doing with their "yards"? Vicks pit bulls were not pets, they were kept in isolated kennels, yet the public was told they all went on to assimilate easily and become normal pets! We all know that, in reality, thats not true. Read about Best Friend's Vick dogs: Shaky Mel, Handsome Dan, and the saga of Tug, Denzel and their victim, Beans). Then there is Sweet Jasmine, Sweet Pea and a third, nameless pit bull. Read their accounts and notice that these dogs were suffering in just the way the new BF study describes puppy mill dogs always suffer.

A perpetually terrified Sweet Jasmine bolted
Stirling, was struck by a car and died.

The HSUS, ASPCA, Best Friends, and other humane groups have previously been VERY careful when discussing commercial breeding operations, for good reason. MANY working dogs are raised in conditions that may constitute commercial breeding operations. Hunting dogs bred and raised on hunting plantations down south are very typically raised in outdoor kennels, whelped outside, and not treated or handled as pets. Some detection dogs used for security are kennel raised dogs...Some trainers stopped placing bomb sniffing dogs in homes, in part because they were using play drive for training, and the toy had to become a high value resource; in a family home, they were playing a lot, and lost motivation. Kenneling them allowed the rewards to be more controlled.

There is a very real distinction between working dogs, being used for a specific purpose, and pets, whose role is that of a companion animal. Working dogs who are kenneled and bred in commercial breeding operations are NOT pets, but they ARE afforded an opportunity to regularly engage in the type of meaningful "work" which they are genetically motivated to do. In doing this "work", they get companionship from their handler, appropriate exercise, and rewards, which may consist of food, playtime, affection, etc. Because of their innate drive and desire to perform the "work" which they were bred for, and the fact that this work allows them to form a close partnership with their handler, the quality of life these dogs have is often as good as, if not better than, many pet dogs.

On the other hand, the "job" of a pet dog is to be a healthy, friendly, biddable companion who can assimilate easily into our home and community. That is the "work" of a pet dog. The study makes it clear that commercial breeding operations do NOT produce dogs that are suitable for this "work".

One working dog that must also be highly companionable is the Seeing Eye dog. Long ago, The Seeing Eye recognized that they needed to raise their own dogs to develop dogs that have the best innate temperaments and that were physically very healthy. They also recognized that the had to raise the young puppies in families in order to produce mentally healthy, sociable, companionable and biddable dogs that were suitable for their work.

Companionable, biddable, working Lab puppy being
raised with a foster family as part of the Seeing Eye's

Dusty, a Seeing Eye dog in training, was living
with a foster family as part of the puppy raiser
program when a pit bull attacked him and he had
to be washed out of the program

So any kennel that claims to breed dogs as companions, yet houses them like livestock, can be labeled a puppy mill. Which begs the question....which type of breeder are these APBT breeders who run large "yards"? If both common sense and science show us that raising dogs on chains and in kennels does NOT produce a dog that makes a good pet, can we then assume these are "working dogs"? If they are "working dogs", what kind of "work" do they do? If you have 50 pit bulls on your property, on chains and in kennels outside, and are selling their puppies for huge sums of money, what kind of people are buying them? Since anyone looking for a pet pit bull can find literally hundreds of them in local shelters, with incentives thrown in such as reduced adoption fees, free or low cost training, s/n, shots, etc, why would someone buy one from a breeder? If pit bulls in pet homes are being abandoned by the tens of thousands and ending up in shelters, doesn't that mean they are failing at their "job" as pets? Doesn't it indicate that there is NO pet market for these dogs? So what is the real market for large scale pit bull breeders?

Why is it not OK for a pug to be raised in a kennel, but it IS OK for a pit bull to be raised in a "yard"? Why are the Vick dogs held up as success stories, when they show all the same symptoms as the permanently damaged puppy mill dogs? And if all these large scale breeders of fighting dogs are truly selling them as pets, why isn't Best Friends publicly condemning them for the damage done to these dogs?

So is Best Friends willing to take on the dogmen now? The Best Friends study concludes that dogs raised in large scale breeding operations will never be what our society considers "normal". We have no complaint with that conclusion. But at the same time that BF is paying for and promoting this survey, they also advocate for the placement of pit bulls found during dog fighting investigations. These pitiful victims of the dog fighting culture have been raised in isolation, have not been socialized, bred for an activity so violent that it is a felony in all 50 states, and they are inbred to an extreme. BF has successfully championed changes in state law to allow these most dangerous damaged dogs to be adopted into our communities.

Why isn't BF concerned with the breeding and husbandry practices of pit bull breeders? Why isn't BF concerned with the safety of the humans, pets, and livestock that will come into contact with the dogs bred and trained for dogfighting that they have placed in your neighborhood? Can Best Friends explain how dogs of a hundred different breeds are damaged by commercial breeders to the point where many never become normal pets, but pit bulls can be raised in yards, rescued from fighting rings by amateurs and, with hugs and kisses, become normal pets?

Can we ask Best Friends to publicly condemn dog fighters' commercial breeding operations? Who do you think is buying these old time dogfighter's dogs, and for what purpose? Can we conclude that dogs not bred by responsible breeders and raised and housed as pets will not be "normal"? Shouldn't that mean we should be looking at regulating large scale pit bull breeding operations? Shouldn't we demand that BF look at their own research and condemn the practice of attempting to rehabilitate fighting bred dogs from dogfighting busts? After all, they have just proven that these dogs can never become normal and safe companions in homes.

Authors: Branwyne, april29, snacksizeddog


Vintage Pit Bull Photos Prove What?

The tide is turning once again. The pit bull apologia recently went on a large scale cut n' paste spree, asking dull minded and lazy journalists to pop a pre-fab nanny dog blog into their columns. That spree has been sending several thousand people to the Nanny Dog Myth post in this blog. Thanks guys for putting the Truth About Pit Bulls blog on the first page of google results. It's so much easier to find now! And lo and behold, In the comments sections of those articles, we read with astonishment that the pit bull apologia is actually backing away from the nanny dog myth:
And previously, from the KC dog blog:
Ah, look at that. Now the pit bull apologists are backing away from the nanny dog myth and pulling out old photographs as "proof" that pit bulls were always regarded as house pets who were safe and loving companions to children.
As blogger Digger astutely argued, they're "moving the goal post."
Supposedly, the existence of these old photographs with no provenance and no accompanying explanation proves several things:
1. The parents who let their children pose with an animal always have good judgment and would not put their children in a dangerous situation.
2. The dogs we see in those old photographs of pit bulls with the children were simply family pets and weren't used for dogfighting.
3. The dogs pictured were cherished and valued solely as devoted companions of the children they're pictured with, and the owners weren't dog fighters making brag photos of their most prized possession next to a child that was being used solely as a prop.
4. Capturing that one moment in time proves that a pit bull is safe.
First Point
Parents who let their children pose with an animal always have good judgment and would not put their children in a dangerous situation.
Nanny alligators and crocodiles:
Nanny bermese pythons:
Nanny lions and tigers:
Nanny Rhinocerous:
Nanny dog: Alfas Ch Brick Rom 5xw 1xl

Click at your own risk to see some extremely disturbing photos that demonstrate the above photographs lie if presented as proof of safety and good judgment.
Second Point
The dogs we see in those old photographs of pit bulls with the children were simply family pets and weren't used for dogfighting.
The following photos look like the many vintage family photos on pit bull apologist websites purporting to show pit bulls as simply family pets.

There is provenance and a written record of these photos, however. They are from the family scrapbooks of Gary Wilkes, an acclaimed animal behaviorist, trainer and author with over 30 years experience studying and training dogs. His grandfather was a dogfighter and the dogs seen above with the family fought in the pit. One of them attacked a man and caused the man to lose his leg. After that, the family got rid of the dogs. He wrote an insightful and instructive article about about pit bulls and why regulation is necessary.
Third Point
The dogs pictured were valued and cherished solely as devoted companions of the children they're pictured with, and the owners weren't dog fighters making brag photos of their most prized possession next to a child that was being used solely as a prop.

Do any of these children look like they're with their devoted and beloved companion? All three children look somewhat worried and afraid. The dogs aren't attentive to the children either and seem to be attentive to someone off camera. Could the children be afraid of taking a picture? Sure. Could they be scared of a dog they don't know? Sure. Is there anything to indicate more than a dog that is sitting on command next to a child that does not look comfortable or relaxed for a very short period of time? No. Supposing anything more would just be guessing and spinning tales.

"This is little Mudd & our fine dog Jack"
--from inscription on third photo
Are these photos of a child with their dog, or photos of a valuable asset with a child being used as a prop? These photos show the dogs front and center literally and figuratively. Can we know the the motives and priorities that prompted these portraits? No.
Fourth Point
Capturing that one moment in time proves that a pit bull is safe.
A few portraits really do seem to convey affection between a child and a pit bull.
This boy really seems to like his pit bull.

This boy really seems to like his pit bulls, too. However, these pit bulls killed a 10 year old boy after this photograph was taken.

And these photos seem to show a boy with his well-loved and cared for pits, as well.  But a couple years after these photos were taken, one of his pit bulls  viciously killed him:

These old photographs can't prove that the pit bulls in the photos were safe or that it was good judgment to let those children pose with the dog. These old photographs can't prove that the photos are of family pets and companions of the child. We can't tell by looking at many of these brag photos if the owner was showing off a child and their pet or showing off a valuable and prestigious fighting dog with a child. No one can know how many pet pit bulls later "turned on" and attacked after their portrait was taken.
These old photographs prove exactly nothing. And often when we know the story that surrounds the photos, we find the photo, if used as proof of a cherished, loyal, safe family dog, is an outright lie.

After this photo was taken in South Africa, this boy's pit bull jumped over its fence and killed an elderly man with no provocation on the man's own property:

This small child was killed by his pit bull very soon after this photograph was taken.  The mother judged this pit bull as an individual and believed this individual pit bull was a nurturer:

These young men are showing us a photo of one of their pit bulls with one of their babies.  The photo was taken before their dogs killed a woman.  They are inadvertently proving that even if you raise a pit bull to be a family pet, it still might go on to launch an off property, unprovoked fatal attack.
June, 2013  - After this photo was taken, this boy was killed by his pit bull.  His mother said, "It was like one best friend turning on the other,” said Tilema Selu. “He had no signs of being hostile. In fact, we felt confident that it was a protector of our children.”  Selu said her son, Nephi Selu adored the pit bull mix that killed him at his grandparents’ home in Union City on Monday.

UPDATE:November, 2013 Photo of Lexi Branson hugging her pet dog that was later to kill her.  "Neighbours said the family had the dog, named Mulan, for only around two months after picking it up from a local rescue centre...Family friends said Ms Hudson had been told the dog was safe around children. The animal apparently attacked Lexi without provocation."

Accessed: 2014-03-28. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6OPiWuEjk)

UPDATE: March, 2014 Photo of 4 year old Mia DeRouen with the 130 pound pit bull that later killed her.  Both the dam and the sire of this massive pit bull were UKC registered American Pit Bull Terriers.

Accessed: 2014-03-28. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6OPne9Hlz)


Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs

The the usual suspects have come out in force to criticize the San Antonio Dog Bite Study recently released by the University Hospital and defame the authors because the image painted of their beloved pit bull is not quite in sync with their idealized version.
Study authors
John K. Bini, MD
Shirley M. Acosta, RN, BSN,
Marilyn J. McFarland, RN, MS
The TRISAT Clinical Trials Group, include trauma faculty members:
D. Dent, M. Corneille, S. Wolf. D. Mueller, B. Eastridge, G. Goodwiler, J. Gourlas, J. Oh; M. Bohnenblust, K. McBride and biostatistician C. Lounden.

click their names to view their impressive resum├ęs

Excerpt from Mortality, Mauling, and Maiming by Vicious Dogs:

Go to Dogsbite.org for a full review of this important study.


You find out a lot of information when you deal with the circumstances. That leads you down a different road on what causes the bites and attacks and it's not the breed of dog. It's usually the people who are involved and the surrounding situation that's involved.” Brent Toellner

BRENT TOELLNER, the man who makes his living convincing people to purchase things they don't need, can't afford and are sometimes harmful, told nbc action news, 'it's not the dog, it's the owner'. There's one way to test that theory. Take any serious pit bull mauling and substitute other breeds. Take 85 yr old Rosie Humphreys for example. Rosie and her small poodle were killed by BRIAN PENNINGTON'S loose purebred american pit bull terrier during a routine daily walk. Now try substituting golden retriever in that sentence. How about dachshund? collie? Absurd, isn't it? If breed is truly irrelevant and the problem is truly irresponsible owners, then ANY breed of dog owned by BRIAN PENNINGTON would have yielded the same deadly result.

TOELLNER'S criticisms go into more detail on his blog. One of the criticisms is valid but that does not invalidate the study. My issue with the study is the citing of AKC registered dogs. The APBT, the breed that makes up the bulk of "pit bulls" is not recognized in the AKC registry and not all pit bulls involved in fatal attacks are purebred. The inclusion of AKC numbers only opens the door for criticism. Though their method is accepted in academic circles, I would have preferred the authors left that data out.

TOELLNER has a long list of complaints; lack of peer review, small sample, the use of animal people and dogsbite.org data (congratulations guys!), and the fact that the authors failed to consult with animal behaviorists and with ms dog bite herself, KAREN DELISE. These are major flaws in his mind that invalidate the study, in HIS mind. TOELLNER praised the authors for stating the obvious, pit bulls do not have locking jaws or an exceptionally powerful bite, but then admits that he is puzzled that the authors still came to the conclusion that pit bulls posed a greater danger than other dogs. At the end of this blog post, pit bull experts DIANE JESSUP and CARL SEMEMCIC will explain why pits are more dangerous.

I find it rather amusing that TOELLNER vigorously condemns the San Antonio University Hospital study, yet he finds no fault with the self report questionnaire study that found dachshunds to be the "biggest biters".

KAREN DELISE (a former vet tech), the great neo cortex's official condemnation of the study begins with the fact that SURGEONS have dared to express an opinion about dangerous dogs. Those opinions are reserved for herself and handful of highly trained gifted supreme beings endowed with mystical powers. DELISE thinks surgeons should stick with surgery. I can certainly relate to that sentiment, I always find myself thinking along those lines whenever the nutter lawyers like LEDY VANKAVAGE, DEBRA BRESCH, LAURA ALLEN, NATHAN WINOGRAD, KEVIN THOMASON open their mouths about animals. They should stay out of the animal AND medical business.

The vet tech writes "Those, whose professional lives are spent with pets and their owners, have been consistent in their recommendations: education of adults and children concerning dogs and dog behavior; and humane care custody and control of all dogs." This cited quote from DELISE is attributed to Texas vet BONNIE BEAVER who under oath testified in 1991, "By its origin, a pit bull is a fighting dog that takes very little stimulous to initiate aggression, and it will continue to fight regardless of what happens" and "Pit bulldogs have been responsible for about 70 percent of the deaths of humans killed by dogs since 1979."

No critique of this study would be complete without the classic pit bull sleight of hand trick, Find The Pit Bull. "There is robust evidence that guesses even by animal professionals of the breed or breeds that make up dogs whose ancestry is not known to them correlate extremely poorly with DNA analyses of the same dogs." Rule number #2 in the pit bull advocacy handbook, ALWAYS cast doubt on breed identification!

The vet tech continues "The authors seem to have begun their research with a belief regarding “pit bull” dogs, and then exploited the tools of epidemiology to legitimize that belief." ALL science starts with a belief. The belief that scientists go into research without any preconceived notions is absurdly naive. The former vet tech/"research director" fails to recognize that ALL SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY BEGINS WITH A HYPOTHESIS which states a belief or expectation. Without a belief, expectation or hypothesis, it is impossible to conduct scientific inquiry!!! Karen, objectivity in science is an illusion and only unethical researchers lie to their audiences and themselves with fantastic claims of absolute detachment and neutrality.

"The illusion of objectivity is most powerful when its victims believe themselves to be free of it." Rupert Sheldrake

The evil genius makes a big deal about the percentage of children in emergency rooms. She claims only 2% of all child visits to the E.R are for dog bites, not 20% as the San Antonio University Hospital surgeons suggest. But the vet tech's only accomplishment is exposing herself as JANE BERKEY'S hired gun and the vet tech only succeeds at fooling her gullible drones with the attack on the authors' one in five visits. A 1998 AMA study, (which you can find at dogsbite.org along with lots of other studies and great information), found that 23% of the children who visit the emergency room, are there for dog bites, in other words - roughly one in five.

*I was extremely disappointed that KAREN DELISE didn't take this opportunity to expand on her theory of the meteorologic effects on dog aggression. Oh well, maybe next time.

JIM CROSBY also had plenty to say about the study. The most surprising criticism came in the form of doubting the number of pit bulls shot and killed. The authors of the San Antonio University Hospital study claim that 1.5 pit bulls are shot and killed each day. I tracked shootings/stabbings from 10.07.09-10.19.10 and came up with 631 shooting/stabbing incidences. (Dogsbite.org tracked pit bull shootings from 2008-2009 and has come up with similar numbers.) The overwhelming majority of incidences that I documented were shootings opposed to stabbings and the overwhelming majority of dogs were "pit bulls". Of course not all were killed but I don't have a hard time believing that 546 pit bulls are shot to death each year, especially when you consider that only a fraction of the shootings receive media coverage. Pit bull advocate PAT MILLER states the media reports 250-300 dogs are shot by police each year and estimates another 1000 shootings that are not picked up by the media. That is 3.56 per day, shot by JUST the police! MILLER credits her data to ASPCA's RANDALL LOCKWOOD.

Uncharacteristically, WHITEWASH JIMMY expressed empathy for the human victims when he criticized the authors for including the "flashy but irrelevant" statistic; 94% of the attacks were unprovoked, adding "Small children do not have the capacity to knowingly provoke a dog. Older kids should be given the benefit of the doubt unless observed tormenting a dog."Traditionally, pit nutters search desperately outside of DNA to explain and excuse pit bull aggression. Their first line of defense is always - the dog was provoked. Congratulations JIMMY, I believe this is a pit nutter first! And i will be sure to credit you in the future.

WHITEWASH JIMMY'S analysis of the surgeons' study goes above and beyond the picayune by pointing to an age error of a victim. The authors claim a victim was 11 months old while the "well covered" attack by the media reported the victim to be 7 months. "A small error-but a factual error that knocks one more pebble from a crumbling edifice. You would think that an attending physician might just know how old his patient was." Funny how the pit bull advocates always caution us against believing the media when it comes to dog attacks and pit bulls, yet CROSBY is steadfast in his belief that the media reported the victim's age correctly and the surgeons reported incorrectly. laughable.

WHITEWASH JIMMY attempted to bring his small band of zealous devotees to their knees in awe. Thumping his superior on scene fatal attack investigator chest, he points out that the dog responsible for the December 2008 death of 62 yr old Chester Jordan in Muncie, Indiana was in fact a Dogo Argentino gripping dog. But hey, in his generous spirit, he would give the authors the benefit of the doubt and call the dogo a pit bull. I don't track fatal attacks and I don't follow them closely, so I consulted with people who do and who I value the opinions of, Merritt Clifton and Colleen Lynn. The attack was in fact in November, NOT December. A small error-but a factual error that knocks one more pebble from a crumbling edifice. You would think that an on site investigator might just know what month he traveled to Indiana. Colleen's memory of that attack was just as clear as if it happened yesterday. She remembered seeing the news footage of an unbloodied white dog running around in the background while the authorities removed the two bloodied brindle pit dogs from the home. Colleen also remembered BRENT TOELLNER first positing that the "killer" white dog may have been a dogo or an ambull. And sure enough, there it is. And here are the two bloody brindle bulldogs.
Thank you Colleen!

My absolute favorite part of mr canine aggression expert's critique of the San Antonio University Hospital dog bite study, was the final sentence: "Shame on them, shame on the authors, and especially shame on the peer review committee that should have done basic fact checking before publication." This statement comes from the man who looks to KAREN DELISE as his mentor! Click HERE and HERE to see how well DELISE performs basic fact checking.

note: ALL of the links to WHITEWASH JIMMY'S references are conveniently dead and were directed to this page.

LEDY VANKAVAGE'S attack on the San Antonio study was addressed in detail HERE, but I have a few thoughts of my own to add. LEDY is very good, maybe the best at rallying the pit nutter troops over at change.org and stretching or misinterpreting the truth, I can't tell which. Perhaps a poll is needed to help me determine whether she is morally corrupt or intellectually bankrupt. to quote LEDY, "One glaring example of the report's shoddy work that they cite is that the authors state that one in every five children visits an emergency room because of a dog bite."That is quite different from what the authors ACTUALLY wrote, "One of every 5 emergency room visits by children is related to dog bites." If you do not understand the difference between these two statements then you must immediately leave this blog and go back to school. I also have to wonder if we just witnessed the birth of a lie or if researchers should take this as a sign for the need to dumb down the language of future studies for easier consumption by pit bull advocates.

VANKAVAGE, DELISE et al feel that doctors are not qualified to make statements about dog dangerousness. I think emergency room medical staff, plastic surgeons and first responders are the MOST qualified to make these statements. We are talking about HUMAN injury and death after all.

Who are these people and WHY should anyone take them seriously?

Meet no-kill/pit bull activist and marketing/advertising whiz BRENT TOELLNER who has not an ounce of medical school behind him yet feels qualified to lead the debate on public policy regarding dangerous dogs!

Meet the great prestidigitator KAREN DELISE, former vet tech, founder and director of "research" for the National Canine Research Council, a subsidiary of JANE BERKEY'S blatant pit bull advocacy organization, the ANIMAL FARM FOUNDATION.

Meet JIM CROSBY, the "lone wolf" whitewasher who feels that he ALONE has more expertise combined (as a dog trainer and former police officer and FAILED -- FIRED -- AC officer) than the impressive group of 17 listed at the top of this page. Hardly a "lone wolf" gig like a typical Crosby undertaking. This professional whitewasher claims that chihuahuas are as dangerous as pit bulls. GOOD JOB JIMMY! You've never looked more stupid or more petty than you do today!

Meet LEDY VANKAVAGE, the senior legislative analyst (a paid lobbyist) for the Kanab, Utah animal rights group known as Best Friends. This attorney and life long pit bull owner feels qualified to lead the argument on public policy regarding dangerous dogs!


The results of the San Antonio University Hospital dog bite study validates previous Texas dog bite data. The state of Texas has a decent history of documenting dog bites. In 2000, Dr David Blocker presented a paper on dog bites from Bexar County (San Antonio - the exact same region that involved the University Hospital study) found the Odds ratios for each of the five most commonly biting dog breeds versus all others presented similar findings (Table 30). The odds of a Pit Bull in Bexar County causing a bite were 5 times greater than the odds for all other breeds combined, at 4.9 to 1. Chow Chows and Rottweilers also had odds ratios significantly greater than the average, at 2.9 to 1 and 1.8 to 1, respectively. The odds ratios for German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers were significantly lower than the average, at 0.67 to 1 and 0.26 to 1.

Medical doctors Stephen F. Viegas, Jason H. Calhoun and Jon Mader published an article on the savage pit bull attack of an 83 yr old man that resulted in extensive injuries requiring an amputation and later died in the Volume 84 November 1988 issue of Texas Medicine, Pit bull attack: case report and literature review.
"During the one-year period between June 1986 and June 1987, 14 people were killed by dogs in the United States. Ten of those 14 deaths are attributed to pit bulls. Thus, 71% of the deaths during that period were attributed to a type of dog that accounts for 1% of the US dog population (8,10,22)."
"Most breeds do not repeatedly bite their victims; however, a pit bull attack has been compared to a shark attack and often results in multiple bites and extensive soft tissue loss (3,10). Although the teeth of dogs are not very sharp, they can exert a force of 200 to 450 psi. Pit bulls inflict more serious bite wounds than do other breeds because they tend to attack the deep muscles, hold on, and shake (3,10)."
and in conclusion
"With this trend and the increasing population of dogs in general, and in pit bulls in particular, the occurrence of cases similar to the one reported in this article may increase."
Hmmm, 71% of the people killed by dogs from june 86 - june 87, were killed by pit bulls is consistent with DR BEAVER'S 1991 sworn testimony. Weren't the 1980's supposed to be the decade of the doberman?

The Texas Department of Health used to track animal attacks and submit yearly summaries.

The number and percentage of each breed of dog involved was noted...

As well as the number and percentage of each breed for attacks so serious, hospitalization was required.

Did you notice how the pit bull was number 4 for dog bites but jumped to the # 1 spot for hospitalizations?

I don't have the summaries for 2000 and 2001 but at some point the Department of Health stopped parsing out the percentage of breeds that required hospitalizations. Pit nutter tantrums, I suspect. Those tantrums most likely put an end to this tracking of animal attacks/bites altogether, as 2002 seems to be the last year for these bite summaries.

You can read the 1999 and 2002 Severe Animal Attack and Bite Surveillance Summaries HERE and HERE.


Pit bulls differ from other dogs in not only HOW they bite, but WHERE they bite. This difference results in catastrophic damage to the unlucky person who happens to be on the receiving end of their gaping maws of doom.

But i don't expect you to take the word of a hater.

Read the professional opinion of former animal control officer, pit bull advocate, owner, breeder, trainer, historian, author, expert DIANE JESSUP as she pontificates on pit bulls and bite work in protection sports:
There are aspects of ring sport which put the bulldog at a disadvantage when competing against sheepdogs like shepherds and malinois. The sport requires the dog, at times, to bite and then quickly release and retreat - something no true bulldog is willing to do. Also, biting the leg, which is considered preferable, takes more training for a bulldog who will naturally shun the extremities in favor of the more "courageous" bites to the body. A bulldog is bred to grip the head of its prey - whereas a sheepdog nips the legs. Therefore sheepdog breeds have a natural advantage in this regard.
Another very real detriment to the sport are those few decoys, (so far I have found them only in Western Canada) who are so terrified of pit bulls that they treat them with prejudice.
Gee, I can't imagine why bite work decoys would be prejudiced against gripping dogs, I mean aside from the tendency to courageously lunge for the FACE!

Perhaps fighting dog officiando CARL SEMENCIC can shine some light on this.
(Gladiator Dogs, page 19)

click image to view larger


Facts Still Matter

"While 'most of us like to believe that our opinions have been formed over time by careful, rational consideration of facts and ideas and that the decisions based on those opinions, therefore, have the ring of soundness and intelligence,' the research found that actually 'we often base our opinions on our beliefs ... and rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept. They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions.' These studies help to explain why America seems more and more unable to deal with reality. So many people inhabit a closed belief system on whose door they have hung the 'Do Not Disturb' sign, that they pick and choose only those facts that will serve as building blocks for walling them off from uncomfortable truths." Bill Moyers


Find the Pit Bull

After hearing from someone who was frustrated that "grown men with children are still asking, 'but how can you identify a pit bull?'" and wondering if BSL is feasible because pit bulls are shape shifting , I decided to break down the "Find the Pit Bull" test. The fact that the pit bull community has now decided they can identify the headless corpse of a puppy as a pit bull kind of has taken the wind out of my sails, but I persevere anyway.
Click on the title to go to the original. Click on image to make it larger.
Key: 1. Boxer 2. Dogue de Bordeaux 3. Alapaha Blue Bull Dog 4. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog 5. Vizsla 6. Rhodesian Ridgeback 7. Dogo Argentino 8. Chocolate Labrador Retriever 9. Bullmastiff 10. Jack Russell Terrier 11. Fila Brasileiro 12. Rottweiler 13. Presa Canario 14. American Bulldog 15. Cane Corso 16. American Pit Bull Terrier 17. Patterdale Terrier 18. Olde English Bulldogge 19. Catahoula 20. Bull Terrier 21. Black Mouth Cur 22. Alano Espanol 23. Boerboel 24. Ca de Bou 25. Thai Ridgeback
The "Find the Pit Bull" test pretends to show us that pit bulls are virtually impossible to distinguish from other breeds. The test is intended to deceive. In short, the creator uses scarce to rare breeds that are related to the pit bull's ancestry, juvenile dogs or dogs that are atypical of the breed and pretends that using one photo is the same as seeing the actual dog. The pit bull they use as an example of a typical pit bull is a puppy, for crying out loud!
The long answer:
To trick the viewer, the creator uses the following techniques:
A. Uses photos that do not show relative size.
B. Uses photos that do not show the whole dog when body type is much different than a bully breed.
C. Uses photos of juvenile dogs that have not developed their breed specific characteristics or size.
D. Uses photos of dog breeds that are rare to non-existant in the United States making it very unlikely that the general public or animal control officers have encountered or ever will encounter these breeds
E. Inclusion of many examples of similar dogs of three breed types that are known to have been used to develop the pit bull - terriers, bulldogs and mastiffs. The last two are also themselves closely related to each other.
F. Uses photos that show an atypical or less common type of a breed.
G. Uses poor photos that don't show distinguishing characteristics of the breed or that create the illusion the breed has pit bull characteristics.
The question is: Can Animal Control Officers distinguish the breeds in the photos if presented with the actual dogs?
BOXER photos:
1. BOXER - A, B, C, E, F The first german registered BOXER was half english white bulldog. However, during the 20th century, breeders have created a decidedly distinct and unique looking dog. The BOXER in the quiz is the less common white color and the dog is a young puppy. In addition, the angle of this photo does not show the characteristic scooped break in the nose bridge.
Conclusion: In real life, an animal control officer would have no problem distinguishing a BOXER from a pit bull.
2. DOGUE DE BORDEAUX - A, B, E This is the french version of the large mastiff dog. Both bulldogs and pit bulls have been bred to mastiffs for size since the 19th century. These french mastiffs have been bred for great size (minimum 110 pounds) and a very distinctive look for most of the 20th century.
Conclusion: Animal control officers would have no problem distinguishing a DOGUE DE BORDEAUX in real life because of their size and differing body and head features.
3. ALAPAHA BLUE BULLDOG - D, E - The ALAPAHA BLUE BULLDOG is a mix of bulldog and pit bull and is described as "a well-developed, exaggerated bulldog with a broad head and natural drop ears."William Chester is described as an "Ol Pit-Bull Man" who bred alapahas that were often man aggressive. Chester's old family silver dollar recipe: catahoula x american pit bull terrier x mountain bulldog. It is absolutely true that it is often impossible to distinguish an ALAPAHA BLUE BULLDOG from an american bulldog or from an american pit bull terrier precisely because these bulldogs are a pit bull mix.
Conclusion: Any city seeking to establish BSL with regards to pit bulls should craft their legislation so that it covers all the variations of the american bulldog because american bulldogs are nothing more than a pit bull mix that have inherited physical, temperamental and behavioral traits of the pit bull.
4. GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG. A, B,D, G As you can see a photo was purposely used that hides the muzzle length of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog and does not show the body at all. Also note the fixity of the color pattern in the GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG that is both characteristic and distinguishing.
Conclusion:Animal control officers would have no problem distinguishing a GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG in real life because of their size and differing body and head types.
Photos of VIZSLAS:
5. VIZSLA - G - Often described as looking like a red Weimeraner. They look nothing like a pit bull except that they are colored like a "red nose" pit bull. The VIZSLA rescue association was made aware that some rescues are trying to pass off red nose pit bulls as VIZSLA mixes and they were not happy about it.
Conclusion: The ridge is a dead giveaway for the dogs that possess it. And even without the ridge, the body type and ears are very different than a pit bull. Animal Control officers who see this dog in real life will have no problem distinguishing it from a pit bull.
7. DOGO ARGENTINO - A, D, E. This is considered the Argentine version of the mastiff, but it is much more closely related to the pit bull and other fighting dogs than other mastiff breeds are. 19th century bull terriers (the pit fighting dogs of the 19th century) were bred with mastiffs and bulldogs to create the fighting dog of cordoba. That is virtually the same mix of dogs that created the pit bull breeds. From the fighting dog of cordoba breeders created the larger DOGO ARGENTINO as a big game hunting dog by breeding with the great dane, pointer, bull terrier, english bulldog, dogue de bordeaux, boxer, and pyrenean mastiff. However, DOGO ARGENTINOS have also been used as fighting dogs. DOGO ARGENTINOS are in general larger, with heavier legs, and slightly smaller jaw muscles than pit bulls. Tia Torres claims she was asked to provide a white pit bull for an advertising campaign and she used this DOGO ARGENTINO for that job. Here is a man bragging that DOGO ARGENTINOS have a bite second only to the pit bull.
Conclusion: It is indeed difficult to distinguish a DOGO ARGENTINO from a pit bull because these dogs were both bred using the same foundation stock for exactly the same purpose. Any community considering BSL should write their description so that it covers DOGO ARGENTINOS despite the dogo's relative scarcity.
8. CHOCOLATE LABRADOR RETRIEVER - A, B, G - Conclusion: Animal Control when faced with arguably the most common pet dog of the 20th and 21st century will see the water dog's characteristic double coat and otter tail in no time.

9. BULLMASTIFF - A, E These dogs weigh between 110 and 130 pounds.
Conclusion: Animal Control can tell the difference between the BULLMASTIFF and a pit bull in real life.
10. JACK RUSSELL TERRIER - A, E JACK RUSSELL TERRIERS weigh between 14 -18 pounds. The only physical characteristic they share with pit bulls is terrier ears. Conclusion: No problem for Animal Control to distinguish.
11. FILA BRASILEIRO - A, B, D, E - This is known as the Brazilian Mastiff. These dogs are thankfully still fairly rare in the US. These dogs are so aggressive toward strangers that aggression toward dog show judges will not disqualify the dog and judges are advised not to touch the fila brasilieros while judging them. (Can you say best job ever?) Required temperament tests not only assume an attack, the proper attack style is prescribed. Breeders acknowledge that no FILA BRASILEIRO will be friendly with strangers. Many countries ban this breed.FILA BRASILEIRO have bloodhound in their ancestry which gave them very large drooping ears. They are also extremely large, weighing a minimum of 110 pounds. These are on breed ban lists of many countries because of their their extreme aggression.
Conclusion: If AC ever encountered a FILA BRASILEIRO, they could distinguish it from a pit bull.
12. ROTTWEILER - A,B - The photo chosen deceptively shows a less typical head. ROTTWEILERS typically have rounder faces, more loose skin around the jowls, are generally larger, have a slightly longer coat, and have a color pattern that is fairly fixed.
Conclusion: Animal Control would have no problem distinguishing a pit bull from a ROTTWEILER.
13. PRESA CANARIO - A,D, E - This is the mastiff of the Canary Islands that was , beginning in the 18th century, crossed with English fighting dogs for the purpose of dog fighting. In the 1970s PRESA CANARIOS were near extinction. The breed was revived by fanciers in the 1970s and 1980s. They are suspicious of strangers and known to be aggressive with other dogs. This is the kind of dog that killed Diane Whipple. These dogs are a minimum of 100 pounds.
Conclusion: Although these dogs are generally larger and favor their mastiff ancestry, it is indeed sometimes difficult to distinguish a PRESA CANARIO from a pit bull because PRESA CANARIOS were bred using the same foundation breeds for exactly the same purpose as the pit bull terrier. Any community considering BSL should write their description so that it covers PRESA CANARIOS.
14. AMERICAN BULLDOG - A, E - The modern American bulldog is a reconstituted breed. The old south bulldog was practically extinct by the 1950s and in an effort to bring it back, the original breeders crossed the bulldogs they could find with American pit bull terriers, boxers, and mastiffs. The Bulldog Information Library informs us that the AMERICAN BULLDOG can look like a "large, coarse, leggy white pit bull." In the 70s, some were bred for dogfighting. They are still being crossed with pit bulls from famous fighting bloodlines today. The dog used to play Petey the pit bull in the recent movie remake of Little Rascals (1994) was named Kershner's Screamer and is registered as 100% Johnson type AMERICAN BULLDOG. However, it has both american pit bull terrier and american bulldog fighting lines in its pedigree.
Conclusion: Any community considering BSL should write their description so that it covers American bulldogs because it is a pit bull mix and has inherited the same physical, temperamental and behavioral traits that make pit bulls dangerous.
CANE CORSO photos:
15. CANE CORSO - A, D, E - called the Italian mastiff, Sicillian bulldog or the Sicillain mastiff. They weigh between 80 and 160 pounds. The CANE CORSO was near extinction by the 1970's when fanciers began to redevelop the breed. The CANE CORSO came to the US in the 1980s. According to breeders' clubs they are naturally dominant dogs and will never back down from a challenge and their bite is legendary.
Conclusion: Animal Control can tell the difference between the CANE CORSO and a pit bull in real life because of their classic mastiff head, heavy build and often enormous size.
PIT BULL photos:
16. PIT BULL - A, C - The PIT BULL in the original test is a very young puppy. The next four photos are purebred examples the three breeds considered to be pit bulls. They all were bred from the same foundation stock for the same purpose - pit fighting in England during the first half of the 19th century. The first dog after the puppy is the oldest and smallest breed - the STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER. The next two dogs, the AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIER, and the AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIER are often virtually indistinguishable. In fact, owners can dual register their dogs as AMERICAN STAFFORDSHIRE TERRIERS with the AKC and as AMERICAN PIT BULL TERRIERS with the UKC as the dog in the last photo is.
Conclusion: PIT BULL ownership advocates like to cloud the issue by suggesting it is important to be able to distinguish one PIT BULL breed from another, however it is very clear that all of the three PIT BULL breeds closely resemble each other, are very closely related, and can all be identified as PIT BULLS by Animal Control.
17. PATTERDALE TERRIER - A, D, E - Patterdale terriers weigh between 11-16 pounds. They have been used as pit dogs and here is a link that says that many PATTERDALE TERRIERS bred in the US have "a dash of pit bull terrier in them."
Conclusion: When animal control sees a 16 pound dog, they will be able to tell the PATTERDALE TERRIER from an pit bull.
18. OLDE ENGLISH BULLDOGGE - A, D, E, F - The photo used is not only not typical of OLDE ENGLISH BULLDOGGE, I don't think it is an olde english bulldogge. Unlike the other recreated breeds, this one was very well planned and documented using a line breeding scheme based on one developed by Ohio State University for breeding cattle for a very specific look. "The goal was to recreate a specific breed of bulldogge with the look, health and athleticism of the original bull baiting dogs, but without the extreme tenacity. The foundation crosses consisted of 1/2 english bulldog, 1/6 bullmastiff, 1/6 american pit bull terrier, and 1/6 american bulldog." Unlike other recreated bulldog clubs, this club actively discourages any kind of aggressive work or training. "The club promotes obedience training and competition, agility and conformation showing, as well as therapy work." They especially encourage ARBA conformation events. In essence, they are interested in preserving a very specific look and breed for ARBA bench trials and for ARBA field trials.
19. CATAHOULA - F- Also called a catahoula cur, Louisiana catahoula dog, catahoula leopard dog. These dogs are fearless pig and cattle herding dogs that do not have a bully look to them at all. They are common in parts of the south and uncommon in other parts of the country.
Conclusion: Animal control can tell the difference between a CATAHOULA and a pit bull terrier if they ever encounter one.
20. BULL TERRIER- E, G - Bull terriers are very closely related to pit bulls, but they have been bred to have a distinctive straight profile that is deceptively not at all evident in the photo used. In fact, they were the original pit fighting dog. However, modern bull terriers are dogs that were reputedly mixed with pointers, dalmatians for the white coat and with greyhounds for the straight nose break in the late 19th century.
Conclusion: No confusion whatsoever.
21. BLACK MOUTH CUR - D, G - also known as Southern Cur, Yellow Blackmouth Cur, Blackmouth Cur, American Blackmouth Cur, Red Blackmouth Cur, Ladner Blackmouth Cur, Ladner Yellow Blackmouth Cur. You will notice the familiar deceptive angle in the first photo that foreshortens the muzzle and makes it look more like a pit bull. This is another southern herding and big game hunting dog that does not look like a bully breed. They are common in parts of the south and very uncommon in other parts of the country.
Conclusion: Animal control will have no problem distinguishing a BLACK MOUTH CUR from a pit bull if they encounter one.

22. ALANO ESPANOL - D, E, F - This is the Spanish bulldog. The breed was originally used for bull baiting, hunting big game, guarding livestock and handling wild cattle. This ancient breed played an important role in developing several molosser dog breeds such as Dogue de Bordeaux and Presa Canario. These dogs have extremely powerful jaws. I found 3 breeder listings that were all dead links for the US.
Conclusion: Although the ALANO ESPANOL has a distinctive look, it could be easily confused with presa canarios and pit bulls. It is highly unlikely that animal control would encounter one in the United States. This dog is extremely rare and basically non-existent in the United States. However, it looks very similar to a pit bull because it was bred with the same foundation stock and for the same purposes. If I were crafting breed restriction laws, I would include it just because pit bull advocates always threaten if their pit bulls are restricted, they're going to inflict other dangerous breeds on the public.
BOERBOEL photos:
23. BOERBOEL - A, C, D, E, - As you can see, a deceptive photo of a very young puppy was used in the original test. Adult BOERBOEL look nothing like a pit bull. They are the most enormous mastiff type and weigh between 110 to 175 pounds and are also considered more athletic than other mastiffs. Like other large, dangerous breeds, these were nearly extinct until fanciers revived the breed in the 1980's. These are the South African mastiff bred to protect large farms and are extremely territorial and protective. They are known to have been crossed with bullmastiffs at one time. Their ancestry is largely unknown except that it is presumed that successive waves of settlers brought their biggest, fiercest mastiff-type dogs along with them to South Africa from many parts of the world.
Conclusion: The BOERBOEL will be immediately distinguishable from a pit bull by its size, body type, and mastiff head.
CA DE BOU photos:
24. CA DE BOU D, E, - also called Perro de Presa Majorquin, Mallorquin Bulldog - This bulldog was used for controlling bulls, baiting bulls, and dog fighting. Look at this link to see what one fancier thinks is the correct type of dog. It should not look too much like a bulldog, and looks almost exactly like a pit bull. I could find no breeders or dogs in the US.
Conclusion: This dog is extremely rare and basically non-existant in the United States. However, it looks very similar to a pit bull because it was bred with the same foundation stock and for the same purposes. If I were crafting breed restriction laws, I would include it just because pit bull advocates always threaten if their pit bulls are restricted, they're going to inflict other dangerous breeds on the public.
25. THAI RIDGEBACK - B, F, G, - There are 18 thai ridgebacks in the whole country available for adoption and 5 breeders that I can find.
Conclusion: They look nothing like pit bulls and are extremely rare.
Here is what the test would look like without the purposefully deceptive photos. Can you find the fighting dogs and dangerous breeds that should be banned?
Key: 1. Boxer 2. Dogue de Bordeaux 3. Alapaha Blue Bull Dog 4. Great Swiss Mountain Dog 5. Vizsla 6. Rhodesian Ridgeback 7. Dogo Argentino 8. Chocolate Labrador Retriever 9. Bullmastiff 10. Jack Russell Terrier 11. Fila Brasileiro 12. Rottweiler 13. Presa Canario 14. American Bulldog 15. Cane Corso 16. American Pit Bull Terrier 17. Patterdale Terrier 18. Olde English Bulldogge 19. Catahoula 20. Bull Terrier 21. Black Mouth Cur 22. Alano Espanol 23. Boerboel 24. Ca de Bou 25. Thai Ridgeback
Even with the less deceptive photos, the there still remain the problems of identifying a dog by one photograph and the improbability of encountering most of these breeds.
The breeds that are most confused with pit bulls are most often breeds that are
1. pit bull mixes
2. share the same foundation breeds and were bred for the same purpose.
3. also dangerous
4. often still crossed with pit bulls to this day

Other breeds that are included are
1. protective mastiff breeds
2. also dangerous
3. often crossed with pit bulls to this day.

Of course, this is simply a refutation of the 'Find a Pit Bull' game. What ACOs really need is a comprehensive guide book for dangerous dog breed and mix identification.