Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Examiner Eve Alexander

How clicker training helped a horse recover from PTSD after a pit bull attack

 

40 comments:

snarky said...


how sad and infuriating to have shit like this happening all the time . a pox on the breed and the pitter creed .

Putme Incharge said...

My first experience with mutants was in the 80's- back when they were not everywhere- when a foal sired by my stallion and the mother of the foal were attacked.

They were owned and kept at my clients home, the foal was killed and the mother so severely damaged that after much medical attention to try to heal her, she had to be put down.

I am glad to read that this horse recovered physically and for the most part mentally.

Every day when I read stories of human and animal carnage I wonder when enough will ever be enough.

Putme Incharge said...

I am sure all of you caught one of the last lines of the article............

"Sadly, Carol is re-victimized by pit bull advocates whenever she tells her story which is why Examiner.com has blocked comments on this article."

snarky said...


DINGBAT COMMENT OF THE DAY:

"some pitbulls kill, they are entitled to mistakes."

"some people kill, they are entitled to mistakes......but"

Miss Margo said...

"The dog was ordered removed from the jurisdiction but no one really knows where it is."

This makes me want to tear my hair out.

How can a judge--an educated and accomplished individual with tremendous authority--possibly justify this decision? Seriously. I'd really love to hear it. How is this not a violation of the public trust?

How can he--or she--ethically justify passing the threat off to a neighboring community? What--they aren't strictly your constituency, so they don't count?

It is extremely discouraging when the jurisprudence system fails in this way. The courts are our last resort, and for many Americans--especially the poor and vulnerable--the courts are the only chance in hell the victimized have of getting justice or protection. There is nothing else.

When a judge makes a cowardly and egregiously irresponsible decision like this, it erodes social capital and leaves people with feelings of abandonment, distrust, and cynicism. It's bad enough to be violated by some asshole. When you get it from the system, the betrayal is devastating.

Judges have to rule within the constraints of the law. I understand that. But how can anyone feel anything but contempt for an authority figure who says, basically, "Out of sight, out of mind...and if I'm not strictly responsible for it, it's not my problem!"

snarky said...


sick and tired of hearing its the owners not the dogs fault. true, the owner of any dog should be reasonably responsible but stuff happens and when its pit-bulls we are talking about, maybe society ,also has some responsibility to unsure public safety . regulate and restrict pitbulls and other dangerous breeds just like we do firearms , vehicles ect.... anything we dont trust people to be responsible with.

Packhorse said...

True humane groups and animal advocates, please take heed of the tremendous amount of animal suffering fighting breeds cause.

dawn james said...

Judges have to rule within the constraints of the law. I understand that. But how can anyone feel anything but contempt for an authority figure who says, basically, "Out of sight, out of mind...and if I'm not strictly responsible for it, it's not my problem!"

miss margo, this is not uncommon. sadly, "out of sight, out of mind" seems to be the first line of defense in these dangerous dog cases.

Branwyne Finch said...

Thank you, Carol Miller, for sharing your story. It makes me wonder how many other equine victims of pit bull attacks "survived", only to be put down later for behavioral problems related to the trauma of the attack. Blue is lucky to have an owner who has the patience, dedication, and resources to to devote to his continuing care and rehabilitation. I am sure there are many horse owners out there who would be unable to keep a horse suffering from such severe injuries, both physical and mental.

What is amazing to me is that a horse poses a much greater threat to the average dog than an average dog poses to a horse. A horse can easily kill a dog with one kick. If my 70 lb.dog somehow got loose in a paddock with horses, I would not worry for the horses safety one bit, but I would be VERY worried that my dog could be killed.

I think Blue's story also illustrates the limits of personal responsiblity and dog ownership. The dog was on a leash, yes...but containment methods sometimes fail. Leashes break, or the dog simply overpowers the owner and breaks free. "Responsible dog ownership" should not be equated with "infallible dog ownership".

What is reprehensible to me is that pit bull advocacy promotes the breeding and keeping of dogs who will try to kill a thousand pound horse the instant it lays eyes on one...and telling the public that this is a safe animal to have as a family pet.

If a thousand pound animal, who is well equipped to defend itself from predators, cannot defend itself against these dogs, how on earth could a neighborhood child?

Miss Margo said...

DubV: I finally read the article you posted on Scribd about the CDC's recommendations for public health policy and rabies.

I read your article carefully two times. I have questions and opinions, but I don't want to derail this thread about the mauled horse and Carol.

I'll continue my thoughts about your article on the Oct 17 "Pit Bull Awareness" blog post thread.

Alternately, you may email me privately if you'd like: piecesofmargo@gmail.com.

P.S. Branwyne Finch: I don't disagree with any of your sentiments, as usual...but I think that horses are more vulnerable than they seem to be. They're very important, unique animals, but they're weird. The horse owners I know tell me that their horses are both emotional and psychologically unresilient.

I've seen reports of donkeys and mules fighting off pit bulls. Horses, never.

I could be wrong. Can anyone with expertise weigh in?

My understanding is almost all second-hand

snarky said...


the average pitter believes a chihuahua is worse than their own mutant so why on earth would he/she take steps to ensure their mutant doesnt attack and kill things like horses, cattle , pigs, alpacas ect not to mention hummers and excavators.....crazy dogs for even crazier people .

snarky said...


miss margo
i agree with branwyne that normally a dog is at risk of being stomped and kicked to death even in a stall. pitbulls really are killer mutants and that was what they were bred for and that is why so many fucking idiots have them and like them.

dawn james said...

i remember when my two big dogs saw horses for the first time. their eyes bugged out of their heads, their nostrils flared but their feet were firmly planted. i couldn't have sicced them on the horse if i wanted to.

normal dogs look at animals that large with much hesitation. grippers look at animals that large and think game on.

Branwyne Finch said...

Miss Margo, I agree with you that horses can be vulnerable, I just don't think the average dog poses much of a direct threat to a healthy adult horse. My own dog's reaction to seeing his first horse walk by during a parade, was to put his tail between his legs, and give me an "Oh, shit, that's the biggest frigging animal I have ever seen!" look. If the horse had so much as looked at him and stomped his foot, my dog would have wet himself.

Dogs and horses have coexisted on farms and homesteads for hundreds of years. I think the biggest danger "normal" dogs pose to horses is that chasing and harrassing them could cause them to hurt themselves trying to escape...running into fences, etc. I don't think normal dogs will run up to an adult horse and try to grab and kill it, and I think an adult horse is a pretty scary opponent when threatened.

Here is an interesting video of what a horse can do to a dog, with very little effort.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yYIwd75jho

Jake said...

Even though I think Dawn might have been anthropomorphizing a bit with the "game on" comment, the basic premise is sound: the product of hundreds of years of selective breeding for violent blood sport, pit bulls are programmed to attack and kill animals, and unlike normal canids, they not only disregard pain and injury, but have no concern for their own self preservation when they are triggered to attack.

This does make pit bulls a nightmare to little dogs, livestock, children and living things in general, and that's why it's so cathartic to hear of those cases where the tables are turned on the attacking mutant.

We all admire and sympathize with the heroes who have to stab, shoot or bludgeon attacking pit bulls to save the lives of their little dogs, horses, or children, and in a similar vein, we love the animal heroes like Justice T Mule, Dotty the donkey, and countless Livestock Guardian dogs who have killed attacking pit bulls to save themselves or others.

DubV said...

"I've seen reports of donkeys and mules fighting off pit bulls. Horses, never."

I think it might have to do with what they were domesticated for (remain calm with a human on your back versus not nearly as much for donkeys) and also their land speed. Fast things try to outrun predators while slow things either blend in (sloth), fight, or die.

DubV said...

"ountless Livestock Guardian dogs who have killed attacking pit bulls to save themselves or others."

Interesting, any links to share?

DubV said...

Miss Margo, I agree that we should keep our CDC discussion on a back channel. I'll email you soon.

Jake said...

@DubV -

I've seen references on breeder websites and various LSG forums where people would talk about how their LSG killed a menacing pit bull. Others expressed surprise and skepticism that the vaunted pit bull could be killed by a non-pit, and in some case the LSG owners themselves expressed surprise at the instant transformation of their dog from teddy bear to monster to deal with the threat.

I've also seen dog fighting videos from Turkey where akbash and kangal dogs destroyed pit bulls. The pit bulls were "game" and kept coming back for more but they were totally overmatched by the normal dogs, who weren't game, and didn't really want to keep fighting, but had to respond to the pit attack.

vintage said...

SUPPORT BEEZELY'S LAW:

We need a Beezley's Law; When a town deems a dog too dangerous to live in city limits and sends it to another community, the recipient town will send a registered sex offender to the sending city. The Sex Offender shall be given free room and board in the Mayor's home

http://occupymaulstreet.blogspot.com/2012/11/animal-un-controlhave-animal-control.html


Branwyne Finch said...

Hmmm...my initial response seems to have disappeared!

I guess my point was, horses and dogs have co-existed peacefully on farms and homesteads for hundreds of years. A normal domestic dog should NOT pose a great danger to a horse. I think the greatest danger most dogs pose to horses is that by chasing and harrassing them, they could panic a horse into injuring itself while fleeing (by running into a barbed wire fence, etc.) While many dogs may bark at or try to chase a horse, most dogs will retreat when a horse fights back. Most dogs, after being kicked hard by a horse, will respond to the painful lesson and back off.

I think we tend to forget that horses can be very dangerous animals. I have a friend who worked at the racetrack with thoroughbreds, and she was almost killed by a cranky horse who pinned her against the wall in his stall and tried to crush her. They are large, powerful animals that can deliver vicious bites and deadly blows with their hooves.

Your average 50 lb dog is no match for a 1000 lb. horse.

Here is a good example of how easily a horse deals with the potential threat of a dog.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=358_1337321839&comments=1

dawn james said...

branwyne, your comment landed in spam.

and i agree with you on this one. i remember a horse who fled a pit bull attack. in oregon, i think, the horse ran, jumped a fence and into the road was killed by a car.

i feel a little bit sorry for that normal dog in the video. he likely wouldn't have tried to attack the horse but the horse didn't know that.

Jake said...

Aw, I wanted to give that poor dog a hug. Definitely not the same feeling I get when I see a mutant torturing a horse.

TreeC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jake said...

@TreeC - did you forget something?

TreeC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jake said...

@TreeC -

Well, I'm not sure exactly what offtopic thing you're talking about that shows horses in central park.

Is it senile dementia on my part?

TreeC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TreeC said...

Thank you Jake! Yes I forgot the liink (total duh on my part).

Just deleted it. It kinda lost its meaning....

Jake said...

Oh. Now I'm curious. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

TreeC said...

Sorry. I did repost it but then it was separate from my original comment (copied but forgot to paste). I just said forget it. It wasn't anything that added to the conversation but I was watching videos from the movie hair and when I saw these beautiful horses I thought of Blue.

Anyway, here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhbxI5eVnM4

Jake said...

Ah, very good - speaking of horses, I never get tired of this video of a birthday party for a horse - Happy 14th birthday Brenda Lee

TreeC said...

This video is very sweet! Best part for me though is the yorkie! They melt me.

I was thinking how refreshing it was, after reading about pits and their horror stories, to watch three normal dogs around that horse and no mishaps and the horse is as calm as can be. I feel almost cleansed, lol.

Thanks!

Jake said...

@Snack -

I wasn't actually criticizing Dawn there. Just thinking aloud about the funny way we phrase things.

I don't want to give these purpose bred creatures credit for being thoughtful because I doubt a pit bull "thinks" anything when it is triggered to attack. I don't think a pit bull has any idea why it attacks. It's just a visceral, automatic exercise of a genetically programmed motor pattern.

snack sized dog said...


Thanks to Carol for sharing her story and to Eve for writing it. It is devastating to read about the long term consequences for Blue and Carol.

That dog getting kicked in the head is horrible. It may have fractured its skull, and the dog may not have survived.

My sister's horses were familiar with dogs and my sister's dogs were familiar with horses, and they got along fine. But, my dogs wanted to do what the dog in the video did - approach the horse from behind, perhaps thinking that was safer or because dogs smell butts. But horses hate that. they can't see the dog well, but know its there, and they kick out. I never got my dogs acclimated to horses, and just kept them out of their pasture.

Most dogs that are unfamiliar with horses are in grave danger if they attempt to approach a horse. I don't know a lot about horses, but have heard from horse people that working herding dogs can kill horses by driving them round and round in an enclosure. Working herding dogs know how to avoid kicks and know how to drive animals. But other than that, I see normal horses being more of a danger to normal dogs.

Jake, I don't see the anthropomorphism in Dawn's statement "game on." she obviously didn't think the dog had those words in its head. she was merely describing the visceral reaction the dog had. I can totally imagine a pit bull having that visceral reaction to seeing a horse, and that visceral reaction can be quite succinctly captured by the phrase, "game on."

snack sized dog said...

Jake, I agree, the pit bull isn't thinking, it is being triggered and reacting with a genetically programmed motor pattern. That is a very good way of describing what happens.

snarky said...


said shitbull maybe thought...... holy cow thats a big animal, wouldnt that be way cool to terrorize and kill such a creature for my fuckhead owner. he seemed pleased and amused when i snapped that poodles spine last month. love to dine on steak after pleasing my master...... double the pleasure.

snarky said...


or maybe mutant thot "the dingbat who feeds me wont care , she will just make excuses ,blame my old owners who kicked me around but who knew what i really like to do -kill. in the end she will go out , buy me a big steak again , hug me and tell me how good i am , just like last time i killed something ." thats exactly what she will do , .....mutant lol

now thats " anthropomorphizing"

TreeC said...

I'll say! Lol

snarky said...


i luv it when dingbat yuppie puppies talk about their mutants teaching other lessor dogs , "good manners". like....... my dog is a purebred shitbull and has its canine good citizen certificate and is the king of mutants , whereas yours deserves to be shredded like a toy bunny for barking or whatever. these young self-entitled warriors think their mutants are somehow fighting some noble cause of empowering the canine downtrodden ( shitbulls) and their idiot owners, instead of real public menace they are creating .