Dog Training World Forums Aggression Problems General Aggression Problem Discussion I slept with my beloved pit bull — until he tried to eat me alive Reply To: I slept with my beloved pit bull — until he tried to eat me alive

  • Cyndi Cross

    March 9, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    I agree with Jared in that there’s a lot to unpack here … I also agree with most of what Davida said, and 100% with Allie.

    For me, knowing that this rescued dog had healed cigarette burns, is a bit telling as far as his relationship with his (then) human, Tya. He had suffered some pretty severe abuse at human hands, and while dogs can be very forgiving, he’s gonna remember that abuse. My guess is that, Tya, probably felt terrible for Hercules’ previous abuse, and allowed her human emotions to vacate some common sense & dictate how she treated him … which was probably with “kid gloves.” She probably didn’t know quite as much about “dog” as she may have errantly believed (as many “dog lovers” believe they do, when adopting a mature and/or previously abused dog).

    I’ve said this to people a thousand times (usually, after hearing, “I know Cyndi, I’ve had dogs” … my first thought – while biting my tongue – is “well, bless your heart.”) … Yes. Dogs are sweet, goofy, loving, talented, intelligent, amazing creatures – but dogs are also animals. At the start and end of every single day, a dog is an animal. Respect their animalness. They don’t possess human emotion or human cognitive reasoning skills. They have dog emotions (some emotions, of which, they share with humans) & dog rationale, so please stop anthropomorphizing them.

    That said, this owner, clearly, *did. not.* set up clear boundaries or strong leadership with Hercules, and allowed him to rule the roost – – – so he did … with a massive iron paw. In lieu of strong leadership, a dog will always fill in the gap & establish their own rules … including the leadership of their humans.

    Dog attacks do NOT come out of nowhere; there are always signs … Always. Tya said that Hercules had begun/been displaying some resource guarding-type issues and we don’t know how (or if) she had been dealing with it. She obviously had allowed the Hercules on the furniture & to sleep in bed with her – so Hercules pretty much had every right to expect that *he* owned everything in the house & was the leader in the home, not Tya. Then, the addition of a new puppy probably added a whole other layer to the dominance aggression that Hercules had been displaying. Being disciplined by another human in a home (perhaps and “uninvited” friend, in Hercules mind?) that Hercules “owned” – and, set up, as Mike said, a perfect storm of events.

    I think there may be even more to the story, which we don’t know, from this small article, and it’s hard to definitively diagnose a case of fatal/near fatal dog aggression without knowing the full circumstances.

    We all know that bad news stories sell – but, bad news stories about dogs like Rottweilers, Dobermans & (mostly) Pit Bulls sell even more; and that is really sad, because both are great dogs. Sadly (in my experience), it’s mostly the uninformed, unprepared & untrained people who tend to adopt these breeds of dogs. The end result is overly sensationalized news stories that promote fear, and the ultimate banning of these breeds in apartment complexes, neighborhoods, counties, cities, states & other countries.