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Treatment of DA vs. HA...asking others to tolerate risk?

Discussion in 'Dog Debates' started by bbkazier, Oct 25, 2015.

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  1. bbkazier

    bbkazier Puppy

    This is just something that's been on my mind for some time now. This is not about breed bashing, and I'm not saying pits and related breeds are terrible monsters. It's more about asking how much freedom one should have when one's choices have the potential to affect others.

    I've been lurking on these forums for years now and there's a certain pattern that interests me. The general agreement about dogs with HA tendencies is to euthanize. The reasoning is generally that no one can truly guarantee there won't ever be a slip up that allows the dog to get away from the owner's control. Gates blow open, fences fall, tethers fail, glass breaks, etc. No matter how responsible the owner tries to be, no amount of risk to a human can be tolerated. And no matter how responsible the owner is, there is ALWAYS some risk.

    But when talking about DA dogs, the consensus seems to be that DA dogs are fine in a community setting because a responsible owner can 100% prevent any slip ups. DA dogs are presumed to always be under the owner's control and that control is presumed to be flawless.

    Note: I am NOT confusing DA with HA. I know they are different things. I know that DA traits occur in other breeds, and that DA is just part and parcel of a pit. I do not think DA dogs are 'bad'.

    Now, obviously the outcome of a slip up is much more tragic with a HA dog. I'm not putting a dead or mauled person on the same level with a neighbor's dead or mauled lab. But should that next door neighbor have to live with the risk caused by the pit owner's desire for a pit? If owners of HA dogs can't ever guarantee they won't someday slip up or an accident won't happen...why does the pit community pretend that isn't true of DA dogs? And if the potential of a slip up is the same in both situations, is that fair to the community at large? Yes, DA is absolutely natural to the breed, but that doesn't make it any less horrible and painful for the lab owner when the slip up finally happens. Asking the lab owner to just accept that you are making a choice (owning a DA pit) that might someday kill his own pet just seems...well, I don't know. That's why I'm asking.
  2. shotgun_wg

    shotgun_wg Little Dog

    Not every pit is DA. As far as DA goes I do not tolerate it either. I can't. I have too many other dogs that are more valuable to me than my bulldogs. It is easier to keep ur dog away from dogs than it is people. U can never completely trust a dog that is HA. Not being able to trust a dog buts both u and the dog in a bad spot. I have seen many pits and bulldogs that were not DA. That does not mean they won't fight if provoked. That just means fight is not their first choice. A choice to tolerate a DA dog requires far more commitment and care from the owner but in the end can be effectively controlled if handled correctly.

  3. NobodyHere

    NobodyHere Guest

    The management issue with DA vs. HA dogs are much less about "a gate will randomly blow over and the dog will get out and attack something" than you seem to think.

    Just one of many examples of differences in issues related to management of a HA dog vs. a DA dog, even with an incredibly diligent handler, is this. The HA dog is likely going to need to be brought out into public at some point, like most dogs will. If you're walking that dog into the vet clinic some day, and someone's child runs up out of nowhere and gets nailed in the face, a lot of people directly involved with the incident are going to suffer, the dog is going to suffer, the breed and those of us who own them responsibly are going to suffer. On the other hand, if I walk my DA dog into the same clinic and your unleashed dog runs up to mine, your dog is probably going to be the one suffering, but in nearly all cases, that is neither my fault or my problem, either ethically or legally. No more than it would be my problem if I owned a sighthound, and your cat got loose in the waiting room and ran past my dog. But you're not living in fear that the neighbor's greyhound is going to get loose and eat your cat, are you?

    It's entirely possible to completely, reasonably prevent issues between a DA dog and other peoples' animals, as long as they are controlling their animals. My dog is on a leash, Person A's dog is on a leash, problem solved. Person B's dog is on a leash or in their secured yard, mine is on a secure chainspot and/or supervised in a fenced yard, problem solved. Person C can board their dog when they come to my house for Christmas, problem solved. It is not possible, in most cases, to completely prevent every reasonable scenario where someone could be bitten by a HA dog. There are no human leash laws, and humans always take priority over animals.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 26, 2015
  4. Jazzy

    Jazzy GRCH Dog

    Not really joining the debate - but just a comment on the issue of taking DA dogs to the vet -

    I have more of a reactive vs. genuinely DA dog - but always do a scout of the waiting room first without the dog and if any dogs are in there we either wait in the car and ask to called on the cell when the coast is clear or often times we are invited to use the back door - and then either way are ushered right into a room. The trick is to establish relationships with the providers and make sure they really understand the issue.

    I would imagine the same could be done (should be done) with a HA dog (of any breed) - obviously with some additional precautions.
  5. NobodyHere

    NobodyHere Guest

    Sure, Jazzy, I suppose if the dog was never allowed to leave the confines of your property unless the dog was muzzled, unless it had to go to the vet, and then you called ahead of time, and went through the back, and, and, and...

    ...and yet there will always be at least one human's safety on the line when a dog is HA. YOU.
  6. ETRaven

    ETRaven Little Dog

    This^^^ with HA, the handler is at risk as well as other humans. With DA the handler is not ask risk, hence the trust the handler has in the dog and is able to manage the dog more thoroughly without incident of the dog turning aggression to the handler.
  7. Jazzy

    Jazzy GRCH Dog

    I was simply pointing out some steps people could/should take if they have concerns. There are varying degrees of aggression be it DA or HA. I don't think anyone would keep a truly HA dog, but people have varying levels of tolerance for varying degrees of behavior.

    I met a woman over the weekend - out walking the dog - she wanted to say "hi" - asked a lot of questions about V., was disappointed she didn't come from a rescue and started talking about how she "did a lot of work in rescue and tended to adopt the biters, the ones no one else wants". Quote/unquote. I didn't bother to ask her if these "biters' were "pit bulls" because honestly I just wanted to get on with my walk.

    But if someone like this lady is reading - I would appreciate it very much if she muzzled her HA dog, called ahead and brought it in the side entrance - it's only common courtesy.
  8. catchrcall

    catchrcall Good Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    I in no way endorse keeping an HA dog alive. I think they are a danger to a community, a family, and an absolutely unacceptable risk that only an irresponsible person would be content to keep around. I, like shotgun, will not own a dog aggressive dog of any breed. The risk to my valuable dogs is too great, and a DA dog is essentially useless to me, when the number one qualification to stay on my yard is to be useful. I don't care what somebody else has on their yard, DA or not, that's their choice and their responsibility to deal with. It IS part of one of the breeds that I use, I just choose dogs that don't have that trait.

    That being said, the number one reason why I am so much more cautious about HA dogs is that they are often unstable and unpredictable. A lot of the time they just aren't wired right. A DA dog can and often is mentally stable, they just do not tolerate other dogs whether at all or under certain circumstances. Their triggers usually follow a pattern. As an example, maybe a dog can stand the sight of another dog across the street, but will not tolerate one near him. Am I making any sense?
  9. BCdogs

    BCdogs Good Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    This is how I feel too, and I've been trying to find a way to explain it but haven't managed to, hence not answering this thread yet.

    My DA dog is predictable. I know that he won't like dogs, I know that he can be within a certain distance from them, I know what he will and won't tolerate. He's not unstable or unpredictable. I know exactly how he'll act and it's easy for me to react accordingly.

    A HA dog is, for the most part, unstable. They may seem fine one moment and attack the next. You may never figure out a trigger, because plenty of times there simply isn't one.

    I can trust my DA dog to act the same, act predictably, regardless of the situation. I would never be able to trust a HA dog, or even begin to believe that I could predict their behaviour.

    It's also worth mentioning that I own a guardian breed mix that is not indiscriminately human friendly, and could be considered aggressive in the wrong situation (such as someone unknown entering our home or property). Even so, I know exactly how he reacts to those situations. He will bark and growl if a stranger approaches our property, but if I give him the go ahead, he's fine. He has never even attempted to bite. Not that I think that he isn't capable of it, he just wouldn't take it to that level without serious provocation. That's the difference between a stable and unstable dog. Stable dogs are able to perceive what is and isn't a threat, and what does and doesn't require certain reactions.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 27, 2015
  10. leavesofjoy

    leavesofjoy Big Dog Premium Member

    That makes a lot of sense to me, what I came up with in my head reading that is that a DA pit bull is following his genetic inheritance, going with all the wiring in his head, representing part of his nature. But, a HA pit bill is the opposite, going against his genetic nature, so "not wired right" as you said, with its actions in conflict with its nature in a way, which is bound to lead to unpredictable dangerousness. As upsetting as DA can be, it's in line with their nature, and so predictable and not a product or cause of instability.

    You made some good points on this same topic in another thread a while back, thanks for the food for thought on this again!

  11. Didds

    Didds Banned

    Dogs respond to alot of things differently than we do a smell a noise or just movement can trigger a dogs reaction. Does that mean the dog is ha or da?
  12. Novy

    Novy Little Dog Premium Member

    How would the trigger make any difference between human aggressive and dog aggressive?
  13. Didds

    Didds Banned

    Because some dogs are misdiagnosed triggers can be diagnosed as ha. Such a man making a screeching noise walks by and the dog bites him. The dog is automatically labeled as ha.
  14. catchrcall

    catchrcall Good Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    The dog is HA, or at least unstable. Most dogs won't react to something like that, and one that does is pretty suspect.
  15. NobodyHere

    NobodyHere Guest

    Exactly this.

    Didds, you jump into every controversial subject and post against logic, against facts, against ethics, against what is acceptable in this breed. You don't even understand most of what comes out of your own virtual mouth, and can't back up anything you say with a reasonable argument. You haven't managed to grasp the concept that just because you have oops litters, it doesn't mean everyone does or that it's acceptable, and just because you apparently have manbiters, that doesn't make it normal or acceptable, and it certainly doesn't make it a breed trait.
  16. Didds

    Didds Banned

    And like I said before. I have had an oops litter if that's what you call it. But being that all my dogs are performance dogs and good bred dogs it didn't matter which one she was bred to. So I wouldn't call it oops. N yes I'm gonna go against something that is not right.
    I back up everything I say. The problem with you is it contradicts you and you have a problem with that. The dogs are bred from terriers meaning high drive. Have you ever went hog hunting and when the dog hears a pig squeal the dogs goes crazy trying to get at the pig. He can't see the pig but he hears and smells the pig because of the sound the pig makes the dog is immediately into alert mode. And you haven't grasped it. What is acceptable is opinion. Just opinion. Many of the great bulldogs of the past had what the showing would count as a fault. Underbite ,nub tails. But today's bulldog is made into a show dog exactly opposite of what they were bred for. And like I said how are you preserving something when you are trying to change it. N u are the one who always have something negative to tell someone. People ask for real advice and u jump on um. Just like you had to learn about bulldogs they have to also. So yes anytime u say something that is not right I am gonna say something about it.
  17. Novy

    Novy Little Dog Premium Member

    I have one hell of a time figuring out if you don't know what you are arguing or if your argument is just that absurd.

    Are you really suggesting that it would be acceptable for a hog dog to get excited by squealing and attack a human as a result?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 28, 2015
  18. Valco

    Valco Puppy

    I don't think he even knows what his argument is. From my take on it, he would say that was acceptable or maybe expected because of the "terrier" in them. But I want to know how he would plan on getting a hog from a dog that exhibits that behavior.
  19. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Staff Member Administrator

    That is what I am getting out of Didds post.
  20. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Staff Member Administrator

    Said dog, IMO, would be labeled as unstable.
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