Author Topic: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?  (Read 24053 times)

Offline brandon

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Wheather you love or hate any one of the breeds considered a 'dangerous breed', you have to admit they make the news more than other breeds.  In the past it has been the Doberman Pincher, the German Shephard, the Rottweiler, and now it is the Pit Bull. 
We all realize the news media tend to blow things out of proportion, and misrepresent the issues, so you really have to take some of the things being reported on with a grain of salt sometimes.

Why are the bad actions of pit bulls making the headlines with the media?  (Understand I am NOT saying the breed is bad, I am asking why the media insist on reporting so heavily on it)
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SA_horses

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2006, 08:17:23 am »
I am asking why the media insist on reporting so heavily on it

They have to earn a living somehow.  :-\  Sensationalist reporting gets lots of viewers/readers.

Also, the bigger and stronger the dog, the more damage a bite can do, so a bite by a big paw would get more attention than the same bite from, say, a Chihuahua.  Back to sensationalism ...a "pitbull" (or whatever) that produces a bite requiring hospitalizatio n is better for reporting than a mojo bite that merely requires a couple of stitches at the doctor's office.  This is despite the fact that small dogs often have worse temperaments and more incidents of biting than larger ones.

JMO.  :)

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Offline brandon

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2006, 08:20:33 am »
I'm convinced that sometimes they just call the dogs pit bulls to make the headlines.  It could be a mastiff mix and the news story will say pit bull.
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Offline Miranda

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2006, 08:21:12 am »
I think it's because the media loves to scare people and they love to get a reaction. When they report on a person being attacked by a lab, there's not going to be a huge public outcry demanding that labs be banned from their town, because everybody knows somebody with a lab. But when they say a pit has attacked someone, they know that everyone is going to watch/read that story because it's just so controversial.

I remember when I was a little girl, a neighbor had a pomeranian (sp?). This dog would attack me each and every time I'd walk in front of her house. My dad repeatedly asked the mayor to do something about it, but everyone always just said "Oh, it's a pom! What damage can it do?!" My legs were covered in bites. Then when I was twelve or so, a big black stray named Joe decided I was his human. He followed me around and was extremely gentle. One day I was walking by the neighbor's house, though, and the pom came out and attacked me. Joe grabbed the pom by the neck and threw it back. Unfortunately, the pom died from the injury. The entire town rallied around this neighbor and a week later we found Joe a couple miles away, shot. It turned out the mayor himself had shot Joe. The local newspaper ran an article on the incident. It didn't say that the pom had attacked me and Joe was protecting me, it said that an innocent pom had been MAULED to death by a chow-mix. They knew that that story would get more papers sold than the truth.

EDIT: They completely made up that Joe was a chow mix. We didn't know what the he** he was, he was a mutt. He didn't have the black spots on his tongue, and to me he looked more like a lab, even now when I look at pictures of him.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 08:28:11 am by Jacksmom »
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Offline lshelley21

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2006, 08:21:12 am »
I bet that you never heard about the lab that killed a child did you? It is funny because no one did, or how about the pit bull that saved a woman? Did anyone hear about that? no we only hear the bad things. Pit's are very sweet. If we think about it.... guns don't kill people... people kill people. Any dog can be a weapon, it is the person who has the control.
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SA_horses

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2006, 08:28:02 am »
I'm convinced that sometimes they just call the dogs pit bulls to make the headlines.  It could be a mastiff mix and the news story will say pit bull.

That is quite possible.  Also, I would like to point out that there is the issue that sometimes a person honestly mistakes a dog going after them for a pitbull, due to fear.  Then there are those who could not identify a particular dog's breed to save their life, even in a relaxed situation - although I do not mean that in a bad way; a lot of people just aren't familiar enough with dog breeds to identify one.

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Kiahpyr

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2006, 08:29:48 am »
Around here we have a huge problem with pitbull fighting. All the pitbulls normally encountered here are very aggressive. So when somthing happens everyone says it was a pitbull. I have only met one pitbull and it was very aggressive towards Kiah. This was at a dog park. Now I do know that not every dog is the same, but since I live where I do it makes me worry.

SA_horses

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2006, 08:35:15 am »
Around here we have a huge problem with pitbull fighting. All the pitbulls normally encountered here are very aggressive. So when somthing happens everyone says it was a pitbull. I have only met one pitbull and it was very aggressive towards Kiah. This was at a dog park. Now I do know that not every dog is the same, but since I live where I do it makes me worry.

I would just like to point out that the pitbulls actually bred for fighting are the gentlest toward people, by necessity, and the most aggressive toward other dogs, again by necessity.  That is just their temperament, although I suppose that aggression toward people could be taught.  In that case, however, the OWNER would be to blame, not that particular dog or the dog's breed.

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Offline Binky

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2006, 08:35:38 am »
I know that I have heard several stories on breeds other than pits attacking people, but the plain truth is that pits attack with more severity than other breeds.  I do not feel that this is a stereotype.  Just b/c soemthing is negative, does not mean it's a stereotype.  In some cases, the media is actually trying to warn the public of a dangerous dog.  It is awful when any breed attacks but there aren't any stories about 2 rogue newfoundlands attacking and killing, without provocation, an old man on his riding mower (this happened with pits) b/c it just doesn't happen.
I know that there a pits who are the sweetest dogs, etc, but they seem to be the exception, not the norm.  I think the media plays these stories up also b/c, often, the owners of the dogs that attack are "characters" to use a kind word, and the news loves to find and exploit ignorant people (and their dogs).
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Offline brandon

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............... OFF TOPIC ....................
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2006, 08:36:59 am »
Off Topic...... this was interesting to me , its a "find the pitbull quiz"

http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html

I got it right on the 2nd try, my first guess looks just like a pit to me. (#17)
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 08:37:27 am by brandon »
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Offline Miranda

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2006, 08:37:08 am »
Around here we have a huge problem with pitbull fighting. All the pitbulls normally encountered here are very aggressive. So when somthing happens everyone says it was a pitbull. I have only met one pitbull and it was very aggressive towards Kiah. This was at a dog park. Now I do know that not every dog is the same, but since I live where I do it makes me worry.

I use to live in a town with a lot of pitbull fighting, too. The shelter there had a very strict policy on pits that came into the shelter. It didn't matter if they had tags or not, if they weren't claimed in one day, they were euthanized. They never tried to contact the owner, either. Also, if any pit had any scars of any kind on it, they were immediately euthanized, regardless of the cause of the scar or injury, and even if the owner came forward and tried to claim it. Also, no pits or rotties were ever adopted out.

Sometimes I get really scared about Laika, because it honestly sometimes looks like she's been fought, plus some people think she's a pit mix. She's always getting these weird scars on her legs, chest, face, whatever, and the only cause I've ever found is that she "fights" with one of our trees out back. It's a really weird tree with tons of low branches...alm ost looks like a huge shrub, so she gets really scratched up.
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Offline Miranda

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Re: ............... OFF TOPIC ....................
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2006, 08:45:01 am »
Off Topic...... this was interesting to me , its a "find the pitbull quiz"

http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html

I got it right on the 2nd try, my first guess looks just like a pit to me. (#17)

I got it on the first try, but if you hadn't said something about #17 I probably would've mistaken it for a pit.
If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.  ~Phil Pastoret

Kiahpyr

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2006, 08:45:54 am »
Around here we have a huge problem with pitbull fighting. All the pitbulls normally encountered here are very aggressive. So when somthing happens everyone says it was a pitbull. I have only met one pitbull and it was very aggressive towards Kiah. This was at a dog park. Now I do know that not every dog is the same, but since I live where I do it makes me worry.

I use to live in a town with a lot of pitbull fighting, too. The shelter there had a very strict policy on pits that came into the shelter. It didn't matter if they had tags or not, if they weren't claimed in one day, they were euthanized. They never tried to contact the owner, either. Also, if any pit had any scars of any kind on it, they were immediately euthanized, regardless of the cause of the scar or injury, and even if the owner came forward and tried to claim it. Also, no pits or rotties were ever adopted out.

That's the same situation here. Don't get me wrong I know it depends on how the dogs are trained and I do not believe in bsl. What I was getting at is that it also depends on where a person lives for what the news reports. Now with the internet that's starting to not matter and people don't pay attention to where an attack happened. They only generalize. Now around here it's more the pits, but there's also been other stories of other breeds attacking.

SA_horses

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2006, 08:53:37 am »
From the UKC American Pit Bull Terrier standard (note that the American Staffordshire Terrier and Staffordshire Terrier are also considered pitbulls):

Quote
The essential characteristic s of the American Pit Bull Terrier are strength, confidence, and zest for life. This breed is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm. APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children. Because most APBTs exhibit some level of dog aggression and because of its powerful physique, the APBT requires an owner who will carefully socialize and obedience train the dog. The breed's natural agility makes it one of the most capable canine climbers so good fencing is a must for this breed. The APBT is not the best choice for a guard dog since they are extremely friendly, even with strangers. Aggressive behavior toward humans is uncharacterist ic of the breed and highly undesirable. This breed does very well in performance events because of its high level of intelligence and its willingness to work.

I added the bold print and highlighting.. .

Offline brandon

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2006, 09:04:56 am »
Our areas Pit bulls seem to make national news a decent amount. 

In this very area we have "Spencer the pit bull" - remember the save Spencer campaign.  Spencer was going to be adopted by a local radio personality.  I admire her good intentions, but I think she was a bit daft, she met the dog when he first came into the shelter malnourished, dehydrated, sickly, weak, and sweet.  She has a house full of pomeranians.  Spencer got better and became more agressive as he got better.  Anyways, the animal shelter recommended against it, but let him go to an out of state rescue.  It was all a political bunch of bs, there were 5 other pits and numerous other breeds still in the shelter. 

Hog-Dog rodeos, this was first reported / filmed by a local news station. 

Last year a pit bull mauled a child and the mother laid on top of the kid to protect him until a local man went and got a rifle and shot the dog. 

Earlier in the year they reported on approx 40 pit bulls being stolen in the county I live in. I am guessing with that many thefts, there is probably some dog-fighting going on.


« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 09:11:20 am by brandon »
“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”