Why Even Trained Pit Bulls Can Suddenly Attack - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/22/08- East Texas

Why Even Trained Pit Bulls Can Suddenly Attack

When you think of pit bulls, you might picture violent attacks or dog-fighting rings. It seems the most powerful dog is now getting to be the most dangerous.

"They're on the edge now."

Veterinarian Gary Spence said that wasn't the case ten years ago.

"The domestication part of this dog is being bred out of it. Your control of this dog is being bred out of it."

Yet some owners insist their pet pits are good-natured dogs and it all depends on how they're raised and trained.

"I've never seen a dog so amazing to me as that dog," said A.J. Birdwell with the Humane Society of East Texas.  "She's got my heart and I know there's plenty more out there that are like her and deserve a chance. They're not all bad."

The Humane Society of East Texas has started a new adoption program for pit bull puppies, trying to give them a new lease on life. But there are strict regulations, including no adoptions for families with young children or small pets.

"They should know that this is an aggressive breed and anytime it could turn aggressive to the owner as well as a stranger," said Terry Cashion with the Humane Society of East Texas. 

"As long as you're very careful and understand what kind of dog you're owning, then pit bulls are wonderful dogs, they really are," said Birdwell.

Yet this latest attack in Louisiana is the perfect example of how a lovable dog can turn deadly.

"They're like striking a match," said Dr. Spence.  "You can try striking a match and striking the match and it won't strike then eventually it will and something will set it off."  

"It is recommended not to own more than one pit bull at a time," said Birdwell.

A powerful, extremely intelligent animal, yet bred with a dangerous temperament that's different from any other dog.

"If you ever look into a pit bull's eyes you're really not clear what you see," said Dr. Spence.  "You can look into a collie's eye or a boxer's eye and they're looking at you. You look into a pit bull's eye and they're thinking about you. There's a big difference."

Courtney Lane, Reporting  clane@kltv.com  

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