Author Topic: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?  (Read 24033 times)

Offline brandon

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2006, 09:08:56 am »
There was also a facial bite at a pet adoption by a lab mix (not pit) that was reported on. A kid ran up and hugged a strange dog at the adoption and it bit her on the face.  I dont "think" it was too serious. But this did not make national attention.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 09:09:25 am by brandon »
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Offline NoDogNow

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2006, 09:23:32 am »
Pits are reported more because they've got no particular lobby to put a positive message out for them. They're the easy target.

The media at one time pointed up German shepherds as the "vicious, dangerous" breed that nobody should have--supposedly based on the 'wolf' gene in the line a hundred years ago or so.  But that generalization lost its viability with tens of thousands of K-9 officers and their partners serving on a daily basis without a single problem; not to mention the other couple hundred thousand or more that are walking around in service harnesses, particularly seeing eye dogs. Police departments and city attorneys pretty much quashed the idea of the shepherd as a dangerous breed--even though according to the same flawed reports people quote on how dangerous pits are, GSD's are number 2 or 3, alternating that spot with rotties.

Cocker spaniels were "vicious" for a long time when my mom was a kid--my aunt is still very leery of them because of the stories she heard as a kid. But even as controversial a successful policitian as Richard Nixon had some effect on how the media treated his dog, and Checkers was impeccably mannered, which got cockers out of the media's sights.

Cujo put Saint Bernard's in the media's crosshairs; fortunately, Beethoven was a much more popular movie with kids than Cujo was with teens.

The biggest problem for the pit bull at this point is the Net.  Because we can all access stories for all over the world in seconds now, every 'bad pit bull' story is spread like wildfire--just like the link yesterday to the story about the poor kid in Chicago who got mauled.  That's a horrible, awful story, if you didn't look at it (if you didn't, don't. The owner of the dogs is an idiot, and the consequences to the kids will break your heart.) The saddest part of the story to me is that the emphasis is that PIT BULLS were the dogs in question.  Less than 2 paragraphs of the 3 day story series refers at all to the fact that the owners were back yard breeding completely unscreened and untested dogs, and that the instigator dog of the pack had already been recommended to be put down. And that's unfortunately the slant of EVERY single 'dog attack' story you will read, regardless of the breed--horrible dogs doing horrible damage, with no mention at all of the...[insert exceptionally foul Marine type cursing]...who own the dogs what they did wrong--not even if the [insert cursing again] were acutal CRIMINALS, engaged in CRIMINAL ACTIVITY will you hear anything other than the 'demon pit bull' story.

It's a simple, easy story for the media to tell and it will sell papers, so to speak.

Sooner or later, the pit bull's turn to be the "demon dog" will pass, and some other large breed dog will become the demonized one. Once we have a pit bull in the Oval Office, or some big celebrity has their life saved because their pit bull dragged them out of a fire or something, pits will get a break. But it's not going to happen until after millions of innocent, well-behaved, sweet and loving pets have been tarred with this brush.

Personally, I think OWNERS should have to be licensed, rather than dogs or cats.  You should have to go to animal control pet education classes about dogs, cats, rats, etc., and have to take a test, just like for a driver's license. If you can't pass the test, you shouldn't be allowed to have pets other than fish.  If you want to breed or have one of the 'dangerous' breeds, you should have to get  special classes of pet license, just like you have to have a motorcycle license or Class B to drive semi's, etc.

After all, the problem isn't bad animals--it's stupid, stupid people!
Sheryl, Dogless and sad

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2006, 09:27:15 am »
It is a witch hunt. As you mentioned, Brandon, the devil dogs have been, german shepards, then dobermans, then rotts and now pit bulls. The media feeds off of, then panders to, the public's ignorance and fear. As for why...well why was the Rodney King beatings, the explosion of the Challanger and the collapse of the Twin Towers broadcasted ad nauseatumon every channel, why are microphones thrust in the faces of obviously grieving parents after their child has been hit by a drunk hit and run driver and killed? It is all about the ratings, and shock value is great ratings.
Stella

Offline Binky

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2006, 09:52:50 am »
The media certainly does love to demonize certain breeds.  However, if you look back, I beleive that this has helped in some ways. 
For example, in the past,Dobermans and German Sheps were in the news for being visious, etc.  And it was true- due to overbreeding and the over popularity of these dogs, people without any breed knowledge were buying and raising them.  As a result, more and more people were attacked by these breeds and the popularity fell.  However, responsible breeders and people who truly loved the breed did not allow the breed to become extict- they made sure to breed only the  best, and to educate the public and their buyers. Possibly this is what will happen with pits.
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Offline MagicM3

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2006, 10:56:49 am »
Unfortunately,in the news negitive or bad sells more than positive.
The fact is that pits,dobies,rotti's,GS are big dogs and big  dogs do much more damage than little dogs,the more the damage the bigger the story.

Magic and I do bite prevention presentations all the time in public schools,and one of the 1st questions I ask the kids no matter what age,is *what kind of dogs bite* unfortunately,the media has done a very good job.the above mentioned are the most popular answers.
The thing is no matter how many answers I get in a given presentaion I tell them they are all correct.BECAUS E ALL DOGS BITE!!!!!!
Why because they have teeth,there are many reasons why they choose to bite and we go on from there.

It is always a human that is the cause not the animal IMO.
I truly believe that education is the answer,and that is why I am so devoted to going into the grade schools and talking about responsible pet ownership,and while we do talk about saftey,you can't talk about one without the other.

It should be in the circulum for all kids in school.

but that's just my oppinion
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Offline NoDogNow

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2006, 12:21:16 pm »
Quote
1st an American Eskimo

Thank God you're in Illinois, or I'd be CERTAIN it was Max. He has a positive jones on for the dane that lives around the block from him...
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Offline brandon

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2006, 12:56:27 pm »
I still wonder what made the news media choose the pit as their next 'demon breed', why not some other breed.  I wonder if it all started with a really popular attack story that made national news or something. 

I don't mean any offense at all by this please understand I don't.... but just a question of curiosity.  It has been mentioned that pits are the most popular breed, I have no idea if they are or not, I know the Lab used to be, but no idea what is now... anyways they have become rather popular.   

No one who has defended the Pit, owns one.

Understand I don't mean this as accusatory or anything, I am just trying to understand the other side of the fence.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 12:57:15 pm by brandon »
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Offline brandon

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2006, 01:11:35 pm »
Actually, I just thought about what I asked, that was a stupid question probably, as this is a board dedicated to giant breeds and Pits are not considered a giant breed....Doh! Sorry about that.
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Offline ZooCrew

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2006, 02:15:59 pm »
I find this a very interesting thread.  Since the other was shut down before I got a chance to respond, I will say a small bit here.

I couldn't tell you why the pit bull is targeted by the media.  In most cases, the dog isn't even a pit bull but some other breed entirely.  I've seen stories on the media where they talk about a dog bite and show a picture of a generic pit bull, when the dog in question was a golden retriever.  Why?  I think b/c of the scare factor.  People are afraid of pit bulls, mostly due of course to the media.  Where this all started?  Haven't a clue.  Wish I knew.  I think perhaps once dog fighting became a more commen thing, and it is well known pit bulls are used in fighting rings, and the fact that many questionable people own them it started getting sensationalize d by the media any time one did bite a person.

As far as being the most popular breed in the US?  I can't say it's THE most popular breed.  The lab certainly has the most dogs registered.  But I can probably say with certainty it is in the top 3 of unregistered dogs in regards to numbers.  Which is also why you see more cases of bites.  It's all numbers.  The more popular the breed, the more cases of bites you will see.  Which is why the rottie, german shepherd, and dobie used to hold #1 spots for bites in the 70's, 80's and 90's.  They were the most popular breeds during those decades.

It doesn't mean the dogs are bad dogs.  It just means they were in the wrong hands.  I agree with NoDog in that people should be required to take a class before being able to own any kind of pet.  It would solve so many problems with abuse and neglect and probably even overbreeding of animals everywhere.

I really feel for the bad rap the pits are getting right now.  I've known many over the course of my lifetime, and if you can point out a bad owner (which usually isn't hard), you can often point out a questionable dog.  Most of the pits I have known have been extremely submissive towards humans and easy to work with.  I am more cautious approaching labs than I am any other breed, b/c I have been lunged and snapped at by more labs than any other dog breed combined.

BTW........my mom is wary around St. Bernards b/c after the movie Cujo came out, numerous cases of dog bites by St. Bernards were reported for months/years afterwards.

Offline brandon

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2006, 02:51:14 pm »
Whether you are a fan of the pit bull or not, I think we all agree the press is not painting a pretty picture of the breed. Which as someone said is further hurting the breed because of the 'bad boy' status.  If the press didn't popularize them so much , the thugs , and etc wouldn't be as interested in owning them, but they do and we end up with god-awful bred dogs, lots of agression problems, etc... unless something changes, or some other hot button takes the eye away, it looks like the breed is doomed.   

I am not a pit advocate, I will admit it freely, but I do feel the press is not helping.. and things like this really tick me off:
<< Was an outrageous video called "the lounge bbq" on youtube, with thug types dressed up in their baggy pants and all their pits w/ spiked collars,etc.. really silly stuff.  The rap song says a curse word though, so not appropriate >>

Most of those aren't even APBT, they're boxer mixes, but I'm sure most people consider them pits.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2006, 03:40:25 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 #25 on: August 15, 2006, 03:22:36 pm »
Whether you are a fan of the pit bull or not, I think we all agree the press is not painting a pretty picture of the breed. Which as someone said is further hurting the breed because of the 'bad boy' status.  If the press didn't popularize them so much , the thugs , and etc wouldn't be as interested in owning them, but they do and we end up with god-awful bred dogs, lots of agression problems, etc... unless something changes, or some other hot button takes the eye away, it looks like the breed is doomed.   


I can't remember where I read the story, but in California, was it a Presa Canario that attacked and killed a woman? And everyone thought that nobody would want want anymore, but actually breeders started getting more and more requests for them because people wanted them to be aggressive. So basically...yo u're right, the fact that the media shows the pits to be aggressive only makes more "certain people" want the breed and make them aggressive.
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

Offline brandon

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2006, 03:32:55 pm »
Diane Whipple... that was a messed up story, they adopted a prisoner who was breeding the dogs and sent him naked pictures of the wife uhm.. "with" the dogs.

I think the wife blamed diane whipple for smelling vulnerable or something silly like that, because she was gay.. they were messed up.
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Offline Gevaudan_Jo

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2006, 03:43:47 pm »
I would like to comment on this, being a Bully breed owner, not pitty owner, and living in Ontario, where pits are banned...
I get alot of negative feedback owning Zero, people saying hes a pitbull. i've even had someone ask me if he was a rottweiler.... YES my little brindle and white bull terrier, a rotty?? haha. Anyway- ive never had a complaint about him, but alot of questions... and i AM very worried about something getting out, and that they will lable him as pit...esp. because he IS intact. and i dont muzzle him... BUT, hes registered so i got my proof ;)
anyways... A friend of mine has a white with red eye mark boxer, and she says she has had MANY complaints about her "Pitbull". and that animal control asks to see her papers for her pit... like come on. meanwhile- her neighbour has TWO pitbulls, neither are spayed, nor muzzled...  AND apparently, they let those two pits scrap eachother til they lay in thier own blood... now- im no animal control, but i would be taking those dogs away. they are beautiful... and still so young, but to fight like that?  but the people who own them are my age, so about 22 - 25 i will say... but they dont have a clue...
There are MANY MANY MANY pits in our town, and there is NO legal action being taken... honestly. i dont care, as long as they are leashed... i am a pitbull lover, and would own one if i could- maybe one day!
BUT there are two dogs, Aussie shepards, and i am VERY terrified of them. they both are tri-pod dogs, three leggers... the owner ran them over "accidently"... anyways, they are NEVER leashed, and whether i have a dog or not, they always run towards me. it scares the he** out of me...
AND they sleep in the window cill of their appartment, which is right at the sidewalk and they have torn thru the screen.  now this is something im worried about, more than pit attacks...
haha thats all for now
« Last Edit: August 15, 2006, 03:51:08 pm by Jacksmom »
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Offline Miranda

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2006, 03:48:37 pm »
Heh...when I lived in Kansas, we were trying to find an apartment, and the landlords would always ask if we had a breed on the vicious dog list, and of course we always said no, since we didn't. Then one day we went to look at a house, and the owner started asking me about our dogs. I told him we had a neapolitan mastiff, and he freaked. Apparently somehow MASTIFF had gotten onto the vicious breed list, and so he just decided that it must mean all types of mastiffs. I was bummed, because it was an awesome house, but even more bummed that it's come down to even general mastiffs getting onto the vicious breed list.
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

Offline Miranda

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Re: Why does the news media report more on attacks by certain breeds?
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2006, 04:34:41 pm »
I'm guessing B was big news.

Also...this website is really bothering me. Makes me wish that pit sympathizers were sent to every pit attack story to see what was really going on.

http://www.understand-a-bull.com/BSL/MistakenIdentity/WrongId.htm

Thanks ?Brandon? for posting that website.
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