Saturday, December 22, 2012

licked to death

orangedog sent me the following email:
The other day, while I was trying (unsuccessfully) to fend off my friend's pit mix from "licking me to death", I got to thinking about how pits are always slurping on people and how obsessive the behavior seems. It's as if the pit is releasing energy by licking instead of doing what it was bred to do - attack. And, it almost takes the same form as an attack - just without teeth.
I've owned dogs my whole life, different breeds, and none of them licked except for maybe one quick one when I came home from work. My dogs have all been snuggly, lovable critters. They are/were lovers, not lickers.
As I keep fending off the pit mix that is now licking my knees because I keep pushing it away, I think to myself how gross and fucking annoying this dog is. I have scratches all over me from it holding on while it slimes me. Finally, my friend has to zap it with an e-collar to get it to stop. The dog sits and keeps licking its own face. Slurp, slurp, slurp. This is usually considered a calming signal, but with this dog, I'm not so sure. The dog is still laser-focused on me, and the only thing holding it back is the fear of another electric sizzle to its walnut sized brain.

I started researching if there was a link between obsessive licking and aggression, and wouldn't you know it:
the above was written by pit nutter DR NICHOLAS DODMAN

whenever the discussion of the lick you to death wiggle butt comes up, the first thing that comes to my mind is this creepy display.

DODMAN lays out a few more reasons why dogs lick; appeasement, anxiety, submission. submission certainly does not fit the description of the lunatic pit in this video.

i've never been a big fan of the dog tongue. anything more than one or two quick timid licks and i am annoyed. having a dog come at me with the gusto of ginger could result in a rough physical altercation. the first time i saw this video of the woman being "licked to death" by ginger the pit bull, i was horrified. i was horrified by not only by what i was seeing in the video but by the wave of nutters who were parading it as the ideal. what person in their right mind thinks that any out of control behavior is acceptable and healthy in a dog? oh wait, pit nutters.

i don't care for licking in normal dogs and i especially do not want a dog created for fighting near me that is in any kind of out of control state, especially given the fact that they have so many triggers that send them into the red zone. oh, there goes a yorkie... too bad for you. chomp.

as disturbing as ginger's behavior is, it never occurred to me to research this behavior until i got this email from orangedog. a few minutes with google and i see that orangedog and i are not alone in our dislike of this annoying behavior. offers up a few explanations.
If your dog is licking you because he’s feeling affectionate and wants to let you know, it’ll be pretty easy to figure out whether this is the case or not. His body language will be relaxed, and although the circumstances will be variable, the surrounding mood will generally be stress-free and happy.

Another not-infrequent reason for repetitive, owner-targeted licking is that your dog’s feeling anxious and stressed.

Having said that though, most of the time excessive licking is simply due to excessive exuberance in your dog: he’s happy, he loves you, and he has to let you know right now.

* note, ginger is slobbering all over a complete stranger.

here are a few more websites offering advice to people who wish to stop this pesky behavior.

stop excessive licking

even PINEY'S dog trainer chimes on the subject


Decatur AL livin nt to 4 pits said...

I'm glad to see ya'll discussing this. I had never heard the term "My Dog will just lick you to death" until I began reading Pit Bull Stories and I've heard and read it hundreds of times now. I would not want my dog licking anyone else especially a child. To my knowledge, they never have. When I am brushing and petting them they will sometimes give me a quick small lick ON MY HAND. My Big Jake male basset is more like a bloodhound and wants to smell to everyone's shoes, pants, and will try to smell your breath. When we walk he smells all around cars and car tires. It's time consuming. He's genetically wired to do this and he can not stop it. After I've been out shopping, he really likes to smell me, and I don't let it bother me but I stop him from getting too close to people not familiar with him. He's entering their personal space with his mouth and I want allow it. But licking is really crossing the line and getting into someone's personal space. And knowing how many Pit Bull Deaths there have been, I don't want any nutter to even mention a pit licking my grandchild especially "TO DEATH"

Dude, I BaggedYourPit said...

Agh, YUCK! Considering the range of transmissible zoonotic diseases, there might be more to "lick you to death" than you previously appreciated.

A handy little table right here:

BB said...

That pit video is so disturbing - and don't forget that they are trying to ADOPT that dog out to a family. The dog is a shoulder-pressing, anal-stamping, owner-dominating accident-waiting-to-happen and the SPCA rep can't even see a problem. Sue Sternberg would have called the dog a potential threat and had it humanely euthanized.

PutMeInCharge4OneDay said...

Ok, you guys really started my morning needing a double dose of Mylanta.

First the gay porn pit nutter and now this video-which I was unable and unwilling to watch until the end.

I will bet money that someone bought that disgusting and unbalanced pit bull after the segment. "Rescue" is such big business and we have such uneducated consumers jumping into it with both feet.

I would be horrified if that pit bull got close to me in the first place and if it tried that licking thing I would have booted it off me.

The video also points out why females who are better suited to being "cat ladies" should stay out of the dog business. Neither one of them has a clue on how to handle a dog, and to think the one from the "rescue" probably sees herself as some kind of an expert.

Miss Margo said...

I thought the GSD in the video was attractive...

Orangedog, hilarious email.

You know, I don't have much first-hand experience with pit bulls...but the few that I've visited in the home and touched were very, very physical dogs. Crawl on you, rub against you, rub against your legs when you walk to the bathroom, press press press. Like this constant attention-seeking energy.

One of my childhood dogs, a Golden Retriever, was very emotional and boisterous--Mom got her from someone in the newspaper ads, and she hadn't been properly disciplined. But even she was never a "sticky, licky dog," not even in her youth.

Now I'm going to take a moment to quote DubV: "Have I mentioned today how much I hate pit nutters?" I had the chance to see TWO of them today before noon...TWO...

First I went to the bank to deposit some money, and I came across this Asian hipster guy who lives on my block. He has a black and white French bulldog puppy--well, I guess it's grown up now. CUTEST dog. Fat sweet thing, smiles at everyone. I think his owner got him to pick up chicks, that's what I think!

Female pit nutter approaches with black pit bull. Frenchie starts to approach pit, tail wagging. Pit freezes and then starts snarling. Nutter grabs pit by the collar, straddles pit, and hisses at Frenchie owner, "He's not friendly!"

I wanted to yell at her: "If he's not friendly, then why in HELL do you have him?!"

But we all know the answer to that, don't we? I mean, it's fucking self-evident, right? After all, what good is a dog if it doesn't intimidate the hell out of your neighbors?

THEN I'm at the craft market a few hours later doing some Christmas shopping, and I see an old guy who also lives on my block. He's got an old, arthritic collie-beagle mix. I always talk to him.

Young man is jogging with pit bull in the street. Pit bull focuses on collie-beagle and lunges. Nutter has to stop and pull on pit bull's leash, re-focusing it.

Only a dupe or a jerk would own these ugly antisocial dogs, but I think it's especially rude and dangerous to have one in the city. There are so many dogs on the sidewalk at any given time that there is no way to keep your nasty pit bull away from them.

Sorry, just venting.

Miss Margo said...

The news anchor did NOT enjoy Ginger's attention.

Yeah, I saw the nutter praise on YouTube too. I've seen this video there in the past. I was always confused that nobody else seemed to notice that the news anchor was uncomfortable and grossed out.

Dayna said...

That video was awful, I kept waiting for the pit to latch onto the woman's neck. I've ALWAYS hated licky dogs. My previous newfie mix never licked, unless I was trying to trim her toenails, and then it was to let me know she was afraid and getting ready to bite me (she hated nailtrims). My current greyhound never licks, thank goodness, she has the worst breath ever. I had a neighbor once with a giant headed pit, that dog was like Ginger, would NOT leave you alone, I freaking hated that dog.
I witnessed something the other day, I was at an intersection waiting for the light to turn, there was a group of people waiting to cross. A middle aged woman had a pit bull with a pink fleece on it. The thing that grabbed my attention was the way the dog was focused like a laser on a 6-7 yr old boy who was standing with his mother. The kid wasn't moving, his mom was aware of the dog and had her hands on her son's shoulders to keep him near her. The light changed and everyone started across the street. The mom and son went last, that dog (who's owner was oblivious) went slowly and being pulled, looking back the whole way, never took it's eyes off the kid. It was so creepy.

DubV said...

I'll be the one weirdo and state that I like my dog licking me a bit. It is affectionate and he is highly submissive toward humans. In the morning, when I wake, he wants to rest his small body on my chest and like my face for a bit. It is very gentle, and I don't mind it right before a shower. Also, I brush his teeth, so his breath is better than that of most humans.

No way someone else's dog, especially a pit, is gonna lick me down though. And I don't let my dog lick other people.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

this is not intended as a put down for people who like having their dog lick them, unless you and your dog are engaging in the same type of neurotic behavior seen in this video.

Miss Margo said...

Where is this video from...? The people have weird accents. Are they canadian? English?

Anne King said...

you have no idea how glad I am to see this post, along with this video. Without giving away everything, I have connections to the anchor in this story. After the attack on my son, we went to visit the "connection" between her and I, and both the connection and the anchor's attitude towards me was different, because, I'm assuming, of my stance on regulations after what happened to my little boy. This video makes me want to puke, anyone who thinks this is cute, also makes me want to puke. This dog is anxious and on the verge of god knows what, and for the POS from the SPCA to allow it to happen and not call the fucking pit off is crazy irresponsible. This licking incident happened before my son was attacked, but even then, before I got so involved in all this, I knew this dog was fucking fucked up and crazy, she's lucky her face is intact. I'm 1/2 tempted to post this on the fan page of the news she hosts...

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

british columbia, i would guess the greater vancouver area.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

if you watch her face very carefully throughout, you will catch glimpses of fear and concern.

Anne King said...

ding ding are correct, the location...

BB said...

I don't think there is fear; concern for her makeup, maybe. Randene Neil is a pit zealot and far to clueless to realize that she was in danger.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

watch around 1:15, it's a fleeting moment but you can see distress flash briefly.

orangedog said...

It's the obsessive, high-octane, licking behavior my friend's dog exhibited that got me thinking about "licked to death". It's not that these dogs are being submissive or that the LOVE so much more (contrary to nutter belief) the dogs are claiming complete strangers. These dogs really, really want/need to put their mouths on stuff. With all their various triggers - thunder, fuzzy hats, strange smells - this is behavior that should be discouraged, not celebrated. If you've ever tried to make a pit leave you be, you'll know it's like wrestling a saliva covered anaconda.

Dude, I BaggedYourPit said...

Charles Shulz knew that licking dogs ain't for a lot of people:

SadFalada said...

Also about the misinterpretation of dog neighbor had a husky-wolf hybrid who would approach me while I was sitting, put her forepaws on my lap, without invitation, stand up and forward, pushing her chest into my face, then turn her face slowly, and dare I say, disdainfully, to one side--the insult was unmistakeable, and I instantly pushed her off, otherwise did not touch or look at her as I did not wish to pretend that it was AOK, and I was actually a bit outraged! On another occasion she attempted the same maneuver but I shoved her off before she could complete the full move, but less politely, so that she staggered back a little--my foot, of it's own volition, was ready to fly up and assist her retreat with a boot in the chest, but luckily, I restrained it-but each time, all the people in the room were astonished that I would reject such affection--anyway that dog never crowded me again, and that's the least I expect of any dog-including my own.

Meg B. said...

Been reading your blog for a little while, but first time posting. Hello everyone :)

We took in a pitX from a relative. Long, ugly story (and we no longer have her, nor will have another EVER), which I won't go into here. But had to add something to this licking discussion.

One of the dog's most annoying habits was to constantly lick our elderly dog's bottom jaw/around his mouth. Constantly, annoyingly, and eventually causing him to growl at her. He could not even walk in a straight line because she was in his face. After a discussion with my dh, we determined that it wasn't as innocent as it seemed, and that she needed be stopped. I mentioned it on a forum to a gasp of complaints. What the HELL was I doing?? I was asked. She was doing exactly what she should be! they said. They didn't see it, though, and I am convinced, to this day, that this was the dog's passive aggressive way of inciting a potential fight (and that happened often, as well).

Anyway, just nice to see someone else's opinion that licking isn't always what we think it is. Until today, I haven't seen it mentioned as anything other than 'submissive' behavior.

scurrilous amateur blogger said...

thanks for your input meg.

Anonymous said...

Other than the fact that some commentera are only here because they hate pits or law enforcement, ACO Supervisor Tim Anderson hadn't worked for Pierce County for years before this case, and ACO Jody Page was not the Officer on the case, neither was ACO Brian Boman. All 3 pictures are of officers who were NOT involved in this case.