Choosing the Right Breed


I saw this headline in the Orange County Register:

Man fleeing burning Dana Point condo bitten by his dog

My first thought was, “What kind of a dog turns on its owner in a crisis? It’s got to be a pit bull.”

Sure enough . . .

A pit bull spooked by the flames and smoke turned on his owner as the man tried to escape the flames with the dog in his arms. The man, who lived in the condo where the fire started, was badly bitten on both arms.

The man left a trail of blood down the stairs. The dog was not hurt in the blaze.

The dog wasn’t hurt, although an officer on the scene did offer to shoot the animal to keep the owner from being mangled any worse than he already was, an offer the owner declined.

“Please don’t shoot my dog!” he pleaded.

Further investigation revealed that the burning condo also contained — in addition to the man and the dog — a stash of money, guns and drugs. So all in all, not a good day for this local dog owner.


Compare that with this heartwarming dog story from Buffalo, NY . . .

Shana, the hero dog

Eve and Norman Fertig, both 81, were trapped outside their home by heavy snow. Fortunately, they were not drug-dealing pit bull owners and had their dog Shana, a German Shepherd mix, with them.

As the cold and snow chilled them both without heavy coats and gloves, Shana started digging under the snow and trees.

The dog actually dug a foot wide tunnel about 20 feet to the home.

Shana barked but, the couple hesitated, so they say the dog came back and tugged on Eve’s jacket. She says the 160 pound dog actually pulled her onto its broad back and crawled through the tunnel. Her husband held on as well as they slowly crawled all the way back to their home.

So — if you’re thinking about buying a dog, you may want to ask yourself, “Is this a breed like a German Shepherd, collie or pug, known for loyalty and intelligence and likely to save my life in a crisis? Or is it a trashy breed like a pit bull or Rottweiler, more suited to guarding junkyards and crack houses, likely to not only not save my life, but to try to kill me when I’m trying to save his worthless life?”

You make the call.

  4 comments for “Choosing the Right Breed

  1. Jim L.
    8 Dec 2006 at 10:45 am

    I was watching the USC vs. Oregon State game at a friend’s home a few weeks ago. During halftime her own Rottweiler bit her in the face while whe was playing with it, and we had to take her to the emergency room. No joke. Since it was clearly terrible karma, on the way to the hospital I nervously told my wife, “We’re going to lose this game.” She was appalled by my insensitivity, but come on…what was more important?

  2. Donna
    6 Mar 2007 at 7:52 pm

    I believe that it had nothing to with the breed but quite simpley the amount of friendship and compassion that the dog had been shown in the future and I not saying that because I have a pitbull or anything in fact I have a pug but I believe that it is never the dogs fault or any other animal in that case it’s the persons fault. and I don’t believe it’s right that you say that the dog turned on his owner because of the breed it’s likely that the dog was scared and reacted the way it did because he thought the owner was restraining him from escapeing it like a horse you have to cover it’s head and eyes in a fire so that it doesn’t see it and start rearing and hurt itself or the person coming to its aide

  3. PE
    6 Mar 2007 at 9:17 pm

    Hi Donna –

    I wouldn’t say dog attacks are the dog’s “fault.” They’re just programmed to act a certain way. Different breeds have different temperaments though, wouldn’t you agree? That’s why people with a house full of money, guns and drugs tend to own pit bulls rather than pugs. Or collies. Or Labs. Or cocker spaniels. You get the idea.

    Of course the upbringing of the dog is important. I take my pug to the dog park all the time. He loves to play with pit bulls and hasn’t been killed yet.

  4. Kristi
    9 Sep 2007 at 3:13 am

    Drug dealing pitbull owners? It is a pitty that you are among the group of ignorant people that choose to stero type. Believe it or not- Not ALL pitbull owners are drug dealers. Or dog fighters, or gangbangers for that matter. It is however those types that give Pitbulls a bad name. But just for the record- not all pitbull owners are drug dealers!

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