The other day, I was having a lovely, relaxing walk in the neighborhood. Out of the corner of my eye, I suddenly saw a Pit tearing across the street towards me and my dog. I happened to have on my winter clogs which keep my feet high and dry whilst sloshing through the multitude of not-so-shallow puddles in the every uneven sidewalks around here…and not the wimpy rubber sole clogs but the real Swedish deal: wooden clogs.
Repeated kicks to the chest of the Pitbull kept popping him back just enough to keep his teeth full of fur and not sunk into my geriatric (15 years old!) Weimaraner’s skin and muscle… until the dog owner was able to saunter over and grab his dog. Yes, saunter. Then blame me for the ruckus (no comment, and yes, Animal Control came out.) And yes, I was worried that the Pit would redirect and bite me; but Animal Control said that Pits usually don’t redirect. Good to know. Welcome to the new art of Kung Fu Clog!
Pit owners: I’d rather you just do your job. I’ve done mine: in my Weimaraner’s heyday, I kept him on leash and under strict control around small children and small animals knowing full well his inability to control his field-hound hunting instincts around them which would insist he treat them like prey and take them down. Why aren’t Pitbull owners honest and responsible about the attack instincts of their dogs?! Why don’t they do everything possible to prevent their dogs from engaging that instinct?
This is the 2nd attack by a Pitbull on my dog in as many years. Last time, it drew blood; I did not have clogs on. This time, no blood. But it was so traumatic for my boy, he was so terrified, that his already weak body was rendered very unstable for several days; he could barely walk.
Another pitbull from the house around the corner chased my neighbor and her mother down the street the other day; a third woman, witnessing this while driving by, slammed on her brakes, jumped out of the car and threatened the dog with yelling and posture so much so that he did run home. She then pronounced: that’s how it’s done! It could just as easily have been me driving by: I would have used my car as weapon to protect the running women. I would have been in the right, but that would not have been fair to the dog; it would have harmed or killed him…all because the Pitbull owner was not responsible. Not responsible to the public. Not responsible to her dog.
So all you pitbull owners out there, get real. Your pitbulls were bred to attack. They behave adoringly to you but go from playful to lethal in a nanosecond—and I’ve witnessed this more than once. I for one am TIRED of sustaining negative externalities (shock, trauma, injuries, and vet bills) because you happen to own a pitbull and choose to be less than 100% responsible towards public safety and for your dog’s life-quality (yes, his life is less than good if you allow him/her the psychological and/or physical freedom to attack).
When I go for a walk, I want to relax and enjoy myself. I do not want to spend my time in alert and defensive mode. Yet I have to. When will one of these attacks be more serious than some blood, some bruises, and some significant fright?!
If you choose to own a Pitbull the only way you can be 100% certain that your dog will not harm others and be him/herself harmed, you must voluntarily:
1. be the best damn dog trainer ever, a master of reading animal interactions, of voice-control over your own dog, and of the perfect heel
2. NEVER EVER have your dog off leash
3. NEVER EVER use a retractable leash
4. ALWAYS use a short (4 foot) LEATHER leash (leather gives the best grip)
5. MUZZLE YOUR PIT when you’re out and about.
Regarding #1: because my dog is old and weak and worse, he is afraid. Those three things fuel an attacking dog. The owner last week, was clueless; was not able in any way to recognize what was going on and why his dog so significantly escalated his attack.
Regarding #5: in Ontario, Canada, Pits have to be muzzled. Muzzling your pitbull is no different than having manners when out in public: you don’t go around abusing others in public…why do you allow your pitbull to abuse me and my dog?
I’m pretty sure the pitbull that attacked the other day has a bruised sternum. The owner should have prevented him from getting into, and being in an attack mode, and from suffering my counterattack. The owner wasn’t just irresponsible to the public at large; he was irresponsible to his own dog who suffered too.
Get real. Get responsible. Train yourself. Leash and Muzzle your Pit.