Rottweilers, pit bulls account for most fatal attacks on humans : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread

Rottweilers, pit bulls account for most fatal attacks on humans


September 15, 2000 Web posted at: 2:58 p.m. EDT (1858 GMT)

From staff and wire reports

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Pit bulls and Rottweilers are living up to their dangerous reputations. A study released Friday shows those two breeds are responsible for more than half of the human deaths from dog attacks in the United States.

The research was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the Humane Society of the United States.

Dogs bite or attack some 4.5 million people each year, and kill about 20, health officials say. The study identified 238 human fatalities between 1979 and 1998 for which information regarding the breed was available.

While 25 breeds were identified in those attacks, pure pit bulls accounted for 66 of the deaths and pit bull mixes accounted for another 10. Purebred Rottweilers accounted for 39 deaths, and Rottweiler mixes accounted for five. Overall, the two breeds were connected to 50.4 percent of human fatalities from dog attacks.

Between 1991 and 1998 however, Rottweilers were involved in more fatal attacks than pit bulls -- 33 versus 21.

One reason for the surge may be the growing popularity of Rottweilers, which are often bought as guard dogs.

"People are more in fear of crime and violence and this has led to a selection of bigger dogs," said Jeffrey J. Sacks, a CDC epidemiologist. "If you start selecting bigger dogs, you'll get bigger bites."

Although the numbers suggest a breed-related problem for pit bulls and Rottweilers, the researchers cautioned that "any dog of any breed can bite."

They said there was not enough information to determine which breeds are most likely to bite. Moreover, enforcing breed-specific ordinances raises legal issues and practical ones, as it is sometimes difficult to determine a dog's breed with certainty, they added.

The numbers highlight widespread mistreatment of dogs and public ignorance of how to behave around them, the researchers said. They blamed adults for not teaching children to stay away from unfamiliar dogs.

"It's not a Rottweiler problem or a pit bull problem," said Randall Lockwood, the Humane Society's vice president for research and educational outreach. "It's a people problem."

The study authors suggest strategies for reducing dog attacks, including:

* Enforcing leash laws and fencing requirements * Enforcing legal liability of dog owners for their pet's behavior * Enforcing laws against competitive dog fighting * Instituting programs that encourage spaying and neutering of dogs

* Supporting public education that addresses pet selection, care and bite prevention.

To help prevent a dog attack, it is important to recognize the signs. Trainers say a dog that is preparing to attack will stiffen, lean forward and stare. The hair on its back will stand up.

If faced with a threatening dog, trainers advise remaining calm, backing away slowly and not making eye contact with the animal. They warn that people should not turn their backs on threatening dogs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

-- (hmm@hmm.hmm), September 17, 2000


I hate pitbulls AND rots AND DOBIES. unpredictible dog, in mho.

-- ed (, September 18, 2000.

I used to be a dog beeder. I will most certainly agree with you about the Pit Bull varients. They are completely unpredictable (imo). But the Rotty now! This is a dog of another quality.

The Rotty is a famiy orientated dog (actually a mastiff). The animal fought along side the Roman Legions two thousand years ago. It is highly intelligent. Completely loyal (to it's owners) And it will protect both it's owner and their (it's belongings). This is the common fallacy of those who do not know the breed.

You may think that you own it; this is not how it works; in actual practice. It owns it's family. And no one hurts it's family.

Over the years (while we where still breeding Rotts) I would try and get the prospective adoptors to take a female. They are defensive/protective. And are not macho, just pereninally vigilant. They will not go after an attacker, unless that person makes the first move.

Case in point, a little town in the south west some time back..I as, my usual regeme, shaved in the evenings after work when I got home. One evening about an hour before dark, while I was shaving, I heard Valkyre ( my female, whom I had let outside in our fenced in back yard) gave out with her challenge!

An indian type person had crawled over the fence and picked up my tool box, when she saw him, he became agressive. I imeadately headed for the back door. Just as I cleared it, the guy, who had picked up one of my sons' base ball bats hit her with it, before I could stop him...Wrong thing to do!

Now, for those who want to know. A Rottweilder will let out with a Lion type roar, just one time! At this point onward! All fooling around is over..They get the next bite! It you try and hurt them once more..Well this old boy got 76 stitches for swinging at her the second time.. And when the police went to this guy's house. They solved nearly fifty burgelerys (sp).

The male now..He is a whole another thing. He will always remember some one who hurt him, or his people. And He is proactive! You have to make very sure that he knows who the leader of the pack is (This is/has got to be you)!

I could go about the rotts..I only wish I could own them again. But alas I cannot. I think that the Pavo that they are most susceptiable to, is carried by either me or one of my famly. We lost the last two pups I bought. The Rotty is not vicious! But it is a no nonsence protector!

"As for me...I shall finish the Game"!


-- Shakey (in_a_bunker@forty.feet), September 18, 2000.

Hey Shakey! Good to see you back =0)

-- cin (cin@=0.)), September 18, 2000.

Thanks, Shakey. That was indeed a great lesson.

And I do wish that, when people call CPR names on this forum, they would stop calling him a "dog". As Shakey's post shows, it really is very insulting to this fine animal.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), September 18, 2000.


Have to take exception to the Dobie remark. I've got a 2 year old Dobie that is as gentle and obedient as any dog I've ever been around. He can also be very intimidating if need be, but not upredictable. Dog owners make the decision on whether their dogs (any breed) will be vicious or not in the first years of its' life.

Pit bulls 'may be' the exception to this rule. From my experience, they may tend to be a little unpredictable no matter what.

Just my .02 Deano

-- Deano (, September 18, 2000.

We have a three-year-old Rednose American Pit. We adopted her when she was about five months old. She's probably the best dog I've ever had. I've had Shepherds, Keeshounds, mixed breeds of all sorts, and as a family pet, Julie the pit, has been the most stable. As a guard dog, she pretty much sucks. She's more interested in playing and licking than she is in protecting the family stereo. We have a 17 year-old German/Aussie Shepherd mix - female who is far more agressive than the Pit. Julie also has 8 cats whom she loves. One of the cats, a kitten Julie found on her walk, was about 3 weeks old, is her particular favorite. The cat spent quite a bit of time chewing on Julie's ears, drawing blood...Julie wouldn't agress at all -- even in self defense. If I'm walking her on the street without my husband, and a lone male approaches me, Julie will keep her eyes on him and her body between us. She's protective but not in attack mode. Actually I've never seen her attack mode. We were very lucky with her. She was not abused before we got her. We have raised her with a firm hand and plenty of love. She's great with the grand-nephew and other dogs. I think the problem with most large breeds are not the dogs themselves, but the people who have them. I do not advocate going out and adopting ANY large breed when you have small children - actually, I don't believe in adopting any breed when you have small children unless you are willing to be vigilant until the animal proves to be trustworthy and the children are able to know how to treat a dog with respect and kindness. I realize Pit Bulls have a terrible reputation, but, for the most part, it's the humans that made it so. Dogs are animals, they act and react instinctively -- intelligent, yes. Logical, not usually. Loving, when loved.

-- Casey DeFranco (, September 18, 2000.

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