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There are No Bad Dogs -- Just Bad People

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I am sick and freakin' tired of horror stories about children being mauled or killed by "family pets" and seeing the dogs take all the blame. Let me tell you people something -- there are no bad dogs, just bad people -- and it's the parents of those children who are to BLAME.

Kid playing with a pitbull

Radical Mommy: The most recent occurrence of an innocent child being killed by a family pet (which in this case happened to be a pit bull) went like this: an 11-month-old baby lay on the bed with its parents and then "somehow the dog snuck in and swiped the child off the bed."

WTF? Are you telling me that a pit bull (not a bloody 1lb teacup pomeranian) "snuck" onto a bed (with two adults and a baby on it) so silently and weightlessly that the parents were unable to notice the child being "swiped" off the bed? Ahhhh ... bullsh**.

There is NO WAY in hell that a dog the size of a pit bull could get onto a bed without you noticing -- unless you were in a drug- or alcohol-induced coma. That might be the story that you tell the cops when they get to your house and start investigating, but there is NO WAY that's how things went down.

In case you don't know, dogs live in packs, and when they are a family pet they are part of a pack -- your family. Dogs, if indeed treated like part of the family (that means no abusing them, no starving them, no chaining them outside all day long, no making them sleep in the freezing cold, and no fighting them) wouldn't attack one of their "pack."

Now, I'm not saying that animals can't have certain traits bred into them. For instance, if it's possible to breed dogs to have a good temperament, perfect gait, and honey-colored fur, then it's certainly possible to breed aggressive traits into dogs as well. But even dogs who are bred for protection aren't likely to creep onto your bed and "snatch" your baby by the head -- I mean come on, people, get real!!! Perhaps if the dog was starving and saw the child as its only hope of food, he might jump on the bed and attack the child, but then whose fault would that be?

The majority of dog attacks happen because parents aren't watching their child, because the child is annoying/hurting the dog, because the dogs have been abused, because they are sick or hurt, or because they are starving. Now, some of this could have happened to your dog with a previous owner and you don't know it, but still, it is not the dog's fault.

And as for pit bulls being "vicious" dogs -- they're not. They have a horrible reputation because freakin' idiots use them as fighting dogs -- and you know what? If you make a dog fight another dog until one of them is dead, uh yeah, the dog might not be the most socially adept dog, and probably shouldn't be around children OR adults.

The other thing that struck me about this "story" was that the father happened to have a handgun handy to shoot the dog. WTF? Now I'm not saying that you shouldn't have a gun for protection, but what kind of person keeps a gun so easily accessible when there is a child in the house? Albeit a baby, but still, please ...

Now for all of you who are going to start freaking out and getting your knickers in a twist about what I'm saying, I want to be perfectly clear. I am ONLY talking about the parents of family pets -- I'm not talking about parents whose child has been injured or killed by a neighbor's pet or by a dog they don't know who breaks free from their assh*** owner.

Basically all I'm saying is, treat your animals well and they will do the same for you.

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38 comments so far | Post a comment now
MaxxRocks April 27, 2009, 9:06 AM

Also, pit bulls who have been rescued are being placed in family neighborhoods, when in fact there is no evidence the dogs have been properly rehabilitated. Honestly, I am not sure this can always be accomplished.

My children are not allowed to go over anybody’s house, if in fact the family owns a rescued pit bull.

There is no proof they are not more dangerous than a loaded gun. Not only are owners irresponsible, but agencies are placing dogs without respect for society.

Just look at the listing of dogs in your zip code for agencies placing dogs. Most of the dogs are pit bull and/or pit bull mix. There are warnings associated with many of the dogs.

This is fact.

Ashlie April 27, 2009, 10:07 AM

I have to comment on your statement MaxxRocks.
As the Founder/Director of a Pit Bull rescue I can say when our dogs leave us they are rehabilitated. This is if they even need rehabilitation, a lot of our dogs are happy-go-lucky as they should be. Dogs in this rescue live in foster homes, to see how they are in the home setting. They are also thoroughly screened Medically and temperament wise. If there is ANY potential for a human to get bit the dog is NOT adoptable as this is not a characteristic of a Pit bull. Dog aggression yes, human aggression no.
Our agency places these dogs in their ideal home. We are quite strict about who/where they go to. Not only do you have to complete an application, we only adopt out in our state, check state records looking for domestic/animal abuse, check property tax records and make sure the HOI covers the breed, do home visits (all before you can meet the dog of interest) and, after adoption, check in with these families often. We also put in contract that we ALWAYS take our dogs back. I find our agency to be quite responsible about placing these “family dogs” into “family neighborhoods”.
The reason you see so many listed in your area is the result of too many people breeding them to make a quick buck. Help out with a spay/neuter program before you attack these dogs for being born…

Kelly April 27, 2009, 11:06 AM

sorry, i still don’t trust pit bulls whether or not the person has had them since it was a puppy or rescued it. you never here of a golden retriver or labrador retriver mauling a child….nope only pit bulls, or a couple of other aggresive breeds. when i worked for the humane society he wouldn’t adopt out certain breeds of dogs to families with children under the age of 12. there is a reason people! i’m sorry, but pit bulls are not good family pets. and should not be around children. my kids aren’t allowed to my neighbors house because they have pit bulls and i don’t trust them, and they treat them very well….

Anonymous April 27, 2009, 11:41 AM

I’m sick and tired of animal people making excuses. You leash animals, treating them like humans. They are NOT humans. And they should never be treated like they matter as much as people.

MaxxRocks April 27, 2009, 11:58 AM

Hi Ashlie,

Thank you for your comment. I agree with your comments, unfortunately the mishandling of this breed is impacting society.

Your agency sounds responsible, and from your comments, it does not sound as though you would continue to place a dog who has a history of “making poor choices”.

Due to the negligence of an agency and a dog owner, our lives were changed due to the impact of trauma. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is life changing, and can be experienced when you witness an attack or possible attack on yourself or a loved one.

There should be more oversight on agencies placing dogs, including foster caring for a dog in a state that the agency does not operate out of. Also, breeders and others need to have the accountability. For me, I would not take the risk of allowing my children to be around a dangerous breed dog who was rescued.

birdsfly April 27, 2009, 1:01 PM

For the record even “safe” breeds can attack. I was attacked by my Uncle’s black lab when I was a kid when I accidently walk in range of it’s chain. My BFF’s little sisted was bitten badly by a retriever that we had played with countless times at a friend’s house because it was intimidated by another dog in it’s yard. You are always taking a risk, you just have to be aware of it.

MaxxRocks April 27, 2009, 1:31 PM

Due to the physical make up of a pit bull and their determination, the damage they can inflict is much greater than many other types of dogs.

My 85 lb. lab, had no chance with the 74 lb. Staffordshire Terrier who attacked him.

Dogs should not be chained, that is not healthy for the dog. If the dog was a pit bull, it is possible the injuries would have been more severe.

There really is no safe breed, it is up to the owner to ensure the dog is properly trained, cared for and monitored. There are dangerous breeds due to the history of the dog and the damage they can inflict.

When dogs are startled, they may bite the thing closest to them, regardless of the breed. When I was seven years old, our family dog, a collie, bit me. My sister and friends were teasing her, by splashing her from the pool. I felt sorry for her, and wanted to comfort her. She bit me….no harm, a few bite marks, and no fear, as it was understood why she bit me. That incident did not create my fear. What I saw the pit bull inflict to my dog created fear and trauma.

Mia April 27, 2009, 1:53 PM

Some of us remember back when it was the German Shepherd that was the devil dog. Most people think of them as a family dog now. And, amazingly (gasp), you no longer hear of their attacks in the media anymore. Honestly, people! The media picks a breed to pick on and splashes that breed’s attacks all over the place. And what happens? Thousands of harmless, never-hurt-anyone, animals are murdered because a few idiots trained their dogs to attack/kill. And on the note of children and pets, children have to be taught to respect an animal’s boundaries and to read their body language. Quite frankly, if someone came up to me and dragged me to the ground by my ear or some other appendage, I’d be rather upset too!

Toni April 27, 2009, 2:05 PM

I agree with you to an extent- but I do think some dogs, especially pits, but not excluding all dogs, have a “misfire” if you will- that no matter how well you treat them at home, it is just inherant. Case in point, our dog was attacked by a pit PUPPY (8 months)at the dog park- a dog she had played with a few times prior. A person that takes their animal to a dog park is one that not only cares for their animal, but goes the extra mile for their pet. If they are going to go out of their way to “treat” the dog, you know they are starving it or raising it aggressive- it just is!

Regarding your “pack” mentality- if they view the child as a lesser rung of the family pack, they may go after it. That is where parental/dog owner responsibility comes in.

But from expierence, with that puppy, as well as other attacking, near fatal pits at the dog park, their is something inherantly wrong with that breed- my dog is not allowed around them anymore. And i take extra precaution around any dog and my son, including my own!

Beth April 27, 2009, 3:50 PM

Okay, my 63 lb. lab can get in bed with us at night after we’ve gone to sleep and the only way we know she’s been there is if one of us wakes up and she’s still on the bed. No comas, just the deep sleep of two otherwise sleep-deprived parents.

I’ve been bitten by that same lab. Would she be allowed unsupervised in my son’s room or around my daughter? No. Do I know why she bit me and realize it’s unlike to ever happen again, yes. She had a slab fracture of a tooth and was in horrendous pain, I grabbed the scruff of her neck to stop her from doing something and inadvertently hit the fracture I didn’t know she had. No surprise that she spun on me and bit me, really. And I thank God every day I had her checked over prior to agreeing to put her down. She has not shown a single aggressive sign since having that fracture removed.

Louise April 27, 2009, 5:05 PM

It’s not only the pit bulls that can act aggressive. A Crate is absolutely necessary when transporting any dog, especially if you are doing animal rescues or are unfamiliar with the dog. I got bitten numerous times on my arms -because the dog I had just adopted got off of it’s leash, climbed into the front seat of the car I was driving and bit me. Luckily it didn’t get my face and no children were involved. The poor dog got scared - we passed by a pasture with cows and it just went crazy and attacked me. The dog was a border collie lab mix. The county determined it to be vicious.

Angela April 27, 2009, 5:42 PM

This article has some really dangerous thinking and a complete misunderstanding of dog behavior. Dogs do not attack because they’re hungry. Mistreated dogs do attack, yes, but so do dogs who have never been mistreated. They attack because—family pet or no family pet—they are DOGS. Animals. Wolf-like creatures that fight with each other over a wide variety of things and sometimes turn their ire on children as well.

I say this as a dog lover and a rescue group director.

Children inadvertently do all sorts of things that are no-nos in doggie world. They approach quickly, loudly, with their hands raised. They look directly in the eye. They put their faces close. They hover. They do not let the dog approach them. They bother a dog while it’s eating. They grab ears. They pounce on the back.

As the parent of an active 20-month old with five dogs in my house and more outside, I am exceedingly careful with my dogs and how my son interacts with them. He already knows how to point and say “No, no” to a rowdy dog. He knows “gentle.” I correct him when he attacks. But bottom line, no matter how much I love my dogs, no matter how well they are treated, I do not trust them with my son.

Renae  April 27, 2009, 8:35 PM

Are you kidding me? “There are no bad dogs-Just bad people?” this is ridiculous. Ya know, you should be able to put your child to bed without having to stand over him or her because you’re not sure if an animal will come in and attack your child. If these dogs are as “harmless and friendly” as you imply, then you shouldn’t have to take extra precaution just because of animal, now should you? before you assume all these attacks are due to irresponsible parents, maybe you should do more research on these instances.

Dog Owner April 27, 2009, 11:37 PM


Did you know that MOST dog attacks are from little dogs? (the breeds like Pom, Chihuahua, Pug, etc.?)

It’s just with their little jaws they don’t go for jugulars!

Did you know that the most frequent dog attacks from LARGE breeds are labradors?

YES IT’S TRUE, do your research and stop attacking the pit bulls!

The REASON we hear about the ‘Pit Bull’ attacks is because when pit bulls DO attack, they usually result in death.

Another reason they get so much media is because of the ‘way’ they attack, and the fact that they are used in dog fights. They do not fight because they ‘want’ to. They fight to LIVE because they are being neglected, starved, injured and treated like crap.

When these dogs are brought into loving homes they can be totally normal. They know they are not fighting for their lives. It is not just the dogs that get rehab, the potential dog owners are trained HOW to have a dog too.

(people should have to get licenses to own a dog, and have children too!)

There is not one case of a dog just attacking for the heck of it, there is always a reason.

For instance the little baby, the dog was probably the ‘baby’ who used to sleep in the middle of that bed. When baby came home the owners shoved the dog aside, confusing the dog on his pecking order. The dog then decided to take his spot back, by hurting the baby.

The dog did what nature initiated, it is not a BAD dog, he did what any ‘pack animal’ would do when losing their position in the pack.

This could have been prevented if the dog OWNER knew HOW to be a pack leader.

EVERY instance of a dog attack goes back to poor upbringing of the dogs.

People must remember, dogs are DOGS. Many treat them like ‘furry humans’ and assume they ‘think’ like humans too.

NO DOG will hunt and kill a child, UNLESS the person who brought up the dog was not raising it according to ‘pack’ order.

This topic gets me so mad when all the closed minded peope rant and rave.

YES you SHOULD be scared to send your child to someone’s house that has dogs IF they don’t know how to raise their dogs.

AND you know what? THEY should be afraid to let their kids go to YOUR house with YOUR dogs too because I bet your dogs don’t know their pecking order in their own house.

If you are scared to let your own kids around your own dogs, you have a problem.

My child was 2 when she was feeding a 180# mastiff, telling him to sit and lay down. He KNEW she was the boss, pecking order in place.

Anyone who can’t trust their own dogs around their own kids, should not own a dog.

Dog Owner Cont April 27, 2009, 11:42 PM

let their kids go to YOUR house, especially if you don’t trust your own dogs with your own kids.

My child was a tiny two year old and telling my 180# mastiff to sit, stay, shake and lay down while feeding him food.

Time has passed and so has the Mastiff (RIP) Now she wrestles with our 2 Boxer Dogs. (One is 110#, one is 65# the child is 50#) I 110% trust my dogs around my child!

Anyone who does not trust their dogs around their children, should NOT own dogs!

Bec Thomas April 28, 2009, 1:46 AM

Lab, Poodles, Pitbulls, and German Shepards are high on the attack list. Look at breed profiles, and you can see why they are some of the higest offenders. Lab’s and Poodles are hunting dogs, they are likely to bit but not kill. Pitbulls are fighting dogs that often try to kill, and German Sheppards are gaurd dogs that will either just protect or kill. I’m often impressed that police use so many German Sheppards with their bite profile. You’ll notice they offend don’t announce how many police dogs have drawn blood.

NoDogsForMe April 28, 2009, 11:25 AM

pitbulls are killers

Anonymous April 28, 2009, 1:31 PM

this can not be serious, Dogs are just that Dogs…they are animals and will turn on you just like an animal. That is like saying if you raise a lion it will not attack you…please…just because you invite a dog into your home does not mean it will never turn on anyone. These dogs could be bred wrong…and who knows how that dog will act once settled into your house. I firmly believe that all dogs should be outside animals…just like the rest. Any thing that will pee or poo…all over your house or in it’s pin…needs to go

Sarah April 28, 2009, 3:05 PM

Give me a break. These dogs are dangerous! Google statistics. There is link after link showing that pit bulls are by far the most common dogs to attack and kill.

Jill (the other one) April 28, 2009, 6:09 PM

Amen, Angela. An animal is an animal, no matter what.

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