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  • Lisa

    Thanks for sharing this photo. Dog owners, watch out for your dogs! This is generally a very nice dog park, so it’s no reflection upon the park itself. Luckily my dog and I just got out of the park as the pitbull was coming in. I had a feeling that pitbull (black and white dog) was not going to be nice. The dog who was attacked is injured badly, but will certainly live. If pitbull owners are not able to control their dogs around others, pretty soon you will see that they will not be allowed in the city’s dog parks like other areas in our region.

    • How about if dog owners are not able to control their dogs they should not be in the dog park. This is not breed specific and is about people being irresponsible not dogs.

      • Anonymous

        I’ll never understand why pitbull defenders refuse to admit reality. Bad owners are of course a problem. But a bad owner of a Shih Tzu leads to a sad Shih Tzu. A bad owner of a pitbull leads to a really dangerous dog. Irrationally claim that pitbulls are no more likely to be a problem than other dogs all you want. Most people understand basic reality.

        Which is not to say that people shouldn’t be able to own pitbulls. People ought to be able to own guns too. But, on average, a bad gun owner creates more dangerous problems than a bad non-gun owner. And, on average, a bad pitbull owner creates more problem than a bad Shih Tzu owner.

        • Well, because there are a lot of breeds which are equally prone to nasty behavior and yet have good PR: Dalmations, Jack Russels and St. Bernards come to mind, but are hardly alone. Then you have the nasty, completely untrained small breeds (Chihuahuas, Shitzus, mini poodles) who’s owners fail to train or control in any way because they perceive them to be no risk because of their size. I’ve been bitten twice in my life – once by a doberman, and once by a Golden Retriever (talk about a breed with good PR!) and neither was provoked.

          I’m not a fan of the breed (pit bulls), but as someone who adopts “mutts” from the shelter, I’ve wound up twice now with pitt mixes – both of which (aside from being viciously racist) were incredibly gentle and highly socialized with both people and other dogs.

          That’s why we won’t see “reality” (your stereotypes). Certainly, pitts can be quite dangerous.

          • Anonymous

            What I like is how people seem to think it’s bad to be prejudiced against or stereotype a type of dog. It’s a dog! Being prejudiced against it is like not liking cantalope or something.

          • Kerry

            My dogs are racist too. It gets awkward

    • Yiz

      Lisa, please see Fernando’s post below. You reported a situation incorrectly based on stereotypes you hold. You helped perpetuate the negative image of pit bulls based on “your feeling” that the pit bull was not going to be nice- and got it wrong. Also, while any harm to a dog can be horrifying experience- it seems your use of “injured badly” is a bit exaggerated. Please keep an open mind about pit bulls from here on out, as they hold similar temperaments to just about any dog. This is a very good example of pit bull bias and anyone quickly looking at this story will file it in their minds as “just another pit bull attack.”

      • Lisa

        @Yiz clearly I got it right as the dog DID attack! Did you not read that part?

        • Yiz

          Lisa, can you reread your entire post? Yes a dog was attacked, but I think Fernando makes it clear that this wasn’t the malicious attack you make it out to be. There is no need for your cry to dog owners to “watch out for [their] dogs,” your thankfulness that your dog was able to make it out of the dog park before this crazed animal entered, and your warning to pit owners that their dogs, if uncontrolled, will soon bring breed bans to D.C.
          EVERY person needs to be able to control their dogs. Can you really not see how your “report” of events is ridden with your stereotypes? Perhaps what happened was an unfortunate, but sometimes occasionally natural, occurrence of dog parks. I am glad Fernando’s opinion of this specific dog, and pit bulls in general, remain logical. I guess sometimes “feelings” can be wrong.

          Oh, and I am glad you added that the attacked dog “will certainly live.” Ear lacerations are pretty nasty.

          • YIZ – You are not going to win this one. Pitbull are love by few and dislike, even feared by many.

            Personal I hope the police hold the owner resposible for the other owners vet bills as lest. If not take the PIT owner to Judge Judy – she will give you justice.


          • Yiz

            Frankie james- It’s not about winning this debate, which has occurred on POP often. Uphill battles should never deter- look at history. I believe this can be a healthy discussion with the sharing of facts/information (and with a few strong baseless opinions thrown in).

          • Lisa

            @Jiz You were not there were you; it was a pretty dramatic event — more than just a typical quick dog fight. I’m not going to argue with you about how bad it was or was not — I believe it was pretty bad considering the dog would not let go for a long time. The point is a dog was injured and people need to be careful. If you want to deny a threat exists, go for it; if you or your dog were the ones getting hurt, I would have certainly been concerned for you or even helped you and your dog if I could have.

        • Yiz

          Lisa, you are totally missing the point. Correct, I was not there. I do not doubt that it was traumatic. A dog attack did occur. I am not arguing the contrary. What I AM saying is that you reported something filled with bias/stereotypes you hold. You assumed a lot in your post- that the pit bull was mean, that he/she was at fault, that the owner could not control the dog. THIS is what I am objecting to (so please address THIS if you wish to respond). I’d like to emphasize again- I am not arguing that a dog fight did/did not occur or that it was traumatic.

          And yes, people do need to be careful. Careful when driving, careful when crossing the street, and careful when they bring their dogs (any breed) to dog parks. As for the threat that exists, I assume you mean dog fights in dog parks? I think the posts below have adequately covered that dog fights are a natural occurrence in dog parks which are hopefully minor incidents, broken up quickly, with no/minor harm.

          Lastly, I don’t know what this has to do with anything- but I, too, am a dog lover and would feel bad if something happened to your (or anybody’s) dog and I would always assist in braking up any fighting. I guess this will be our only common thread.

    • Anonymous

      Wow. If pit bull owners can’t control their dogs? How about if ANY dog owner can’t control their dog they shouldn’t be going to a dog park.

      Or take it a step further: if you don’t want to put your dog at risk of getting injured in a fight, don’t go to the dog park at all. I don’t care what breeds they are, dogs in large groups who are unfamiliar with each other and mostly unsupervised are going to get in fights from time to time. If you don’t want to deal with that risk, don’t go. Very simple.

      • Anonymous

        This. x1000.

      • yep. I’ve been to this “park” (which is entirely too small a space for the number of dogs) a couple of times.

        I’ve found poorly behaved and controlled dogs of all breeds and varieties, and just gave up on it. It was just as easy to head to rock creek and use the trails there.

        • Mike

          Yes Scott, cause we should completely ignore the fact that Rock Creek Park has a leash law including on the trails. Great plan. Non dog owners love your dog just bolting up to them for no reason, as I’m sure people with their dog on a leash on the trail do to.

    • anonz

      Meh. I take issue with this being a “very nice dog park”. I’m sure others are the exact same, but this place is extremely cliquish. People can’t tell the difference between play and aggression, even if they’re paying attention, which they’re not, because they’re either reading their smartphone, talking on it, or catching up on gossip with each other. When things escalate with their overly dominant dog, they lightly tell them no, or worse, call them over and shower them with attention which the dog interprets as praise. Usually this involves some passive aggressive public declaration to the dog like “That dog doesn’t want to play with you”, insinuating that their dogs aggressive behavior is perfectly normal. Dog park regulars chime in with reinforcing statements like, “that’s just Rosie!”.

      Even my dog, who is usually on the receiving end of such dominance, doesn’t hold a shred of empathy when she has a chance to gang up on a dog that’s showing all the signs of defensiveness – tail between the legs, snarling teeth, etc. Everyone who is a dog owner, whether it’s that “mean old black and white pittbull everyone’s been talking about” or the sweetest golden retriever in the world needs to realize even their special snowflake can be an asshole.

      People here need to pay attention and understand both the signs of aggression and the signs that the dog yours is playing with may be getting defensive and about to lash out. And finally, if your dog is the aggressor, it’s on you to leave the park, not the other way around.

      I know I just wrote a gripe that can be applied to pretty much every dog park, ever, but this is my local dog park and hopefully this incident can serve as a reason for everyone to be better about paying attention to their dogs behavior.

      • BitterElitist

        …and to think of how many of these assholes have or will have children.

    • Anonymous

      oh please. I have two pit bulls that are awesomely well behaved. I can’t tell you the number of other breeds that have acted up at the dog park. Mine was even attacked by another type of dog while my pit was sitting on the ground waiting for me, requiring a vet visit. I didn’t send a mass update to all of the blogoshere to stay away from the dog or share the isolated incident with everyone. Stop perpetuating the fear. Start preaching responsible dog ownership for ALL breeds.

  • Anonymous

    In a lot of parts of the city the MPD cannot be bothered to come out for people on people crime, much less dog on dog crime.

    • lets do our best to change that. where?

  • Heather

    This is definitely awful news; however, I’m not sure why the breed had to be called out in the subject line. If it was a Springer Spaniel that attacked another dog would you have written that in the subject line?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      If it was a Springer Spaniel I absolutely would put that in the subject line. I should add, if someone sends me a note saying a springer spaniel attacked another dog then I would convey exactly that info.

      • Heather

        That’s good to know. Thanks for replying and confirming that.

      • Jax

        Unfortunately you’re just assuming that the reader knows that the dog was a pitbull and you are taking everything they say as fact. I also just walked by that park and didn’t see anything amiss- dogs playing and people hanging out; no MPD at all (also, I never see MPD responding to some of the serious s*#@ going down in my neighborhood, so I’m a little surprised they would be responding to that)

        • Lisa

          @Jax, I am the reader and I am 100% confident it was a pitbull (pure? mixed? I’m not sure of that), but certainly a pitbull. The police responded and did so quickly as they were already right there on that block. Thankfully they were there to help the frantic group of people calm down and sort things out as best as they could.

          • Jax

            Lucky that MPD was right there; I can only hope they’ll be right there next time I need them. It would be nice if ALL dog owners could control their dogs as well.

      • Mike

        But of course, we don’t actually hear reports about Springer Spaniels attacking other dogs and/or people. The fact is that pit bull bites are far more damaging than bites from other dogs. That is a fact, and it is a totally legitimate reason to fear them and warn people about them.

      • Anonymous

        But why lead off with that? If a black man attacks a young girl, you don’t say “Black man attacks girl.” You say “man attacks girl” and then go on to describe the suspect. Why? Because it perpetuates stereotypes and breeds hatred. Why do you constantly do the same for pits?

        • Heather

          Completely agree

    • Anon X

      You know why you don’t see it a lot with springer spaniels? Because it is extremely rare. You know why you see it with pit bulls? Because its not.

      My second dog was a pit bull. He was a great dog. He was neutered early and was well socialized. He also sometimes had a quick temper with other dogs and was territorial and was obscenely strong. He never attacked anyone or anything, but the risk was there so we took precautions.

      I’m sick of the pr campaign that any pit bull poses an equal danger to humans and animals as any other dog. It’s false. Pit bulls are more likely to be dangerous and they are both far faster, stronger, and more stubborn than most any other dog.

      If I was attacked by a springer spaniel I’d have a good shot at getting away relatively unscathed. If I was attacked by a pit bull I’m certain that it would be far more serious.

      I know all you pit bull fan boys are in denial. But, those are the facts. I don’t hate them, I’d even get one again. But because I trust the one I have doesn’t mean I should trust all of them or trust the one you have.

      • You raised one pit and now you are an expert on the breed? My pit has been attacked more than once at that park, most recently by a golden retriever mix. Shall I assume all goldens are aggressive and pose a threat? Oh and my killer Pit ran away from the dog and hid behind me while the owner of the golden wrestled with her dog. The shelter is full of sweet pit mixes and this rhetoric literally gets them killed.

        • +1

          similar story- a few years ago i had a pit bull who was attacked by a belgian malinois as we were walking down the street. rather than fighting back like a normal dog, my pit just looked to me to do something and *i* had to fight the other dog off until the owner appeared.

        • Jessica

          Coreen4, I don’t think it’s as simple as “a golden retriever mix attacked my pit bull.” Are you sure your pit bull wasn’t instigating? Are you sure you were paying attention to the whole situation? Because plenty of dogs are rude to other dogs, and plenty are reactive, regardless of breed, and plenty of owners are oblivious, but it’s very rare that the “attack” is totally unprovoked. I say this as a person who has spent a lot of time at dog parks. If your dog is getting attacked “unprovoked,” you’re probably missing some steps in the progression, and if it happens a lot, you should probably not go to the dog park.

          • Jessica I pay more attention to my dog than most anyone else in the park BECAUSE she is a pit. She gets along with nearly every creature she come into contact with. They were the only 2 dogs in the park and it was completely unprovoked. Thanks for your concern about my dog parenting capabilities and for the unsolicited advice.

        • CorpRas

          I have a Pit that was also attacked by a Golden the other week at that park. My Pit rolled over and was crying like a baby as this dog was biting its throat. After the owner pulled his dog off, my Pit came and cowarded by me until we left.

          My Pit is very strong and fast, she is super sweet, but I am also very aware of the sterotypes and I know she would be capable of doing damage to another dog if anything when awry. Becuase of this, I also keep her interested in the ball at the park and try to deter her from playing in any of the group ‘play fighting’ that goes on.

        • Anonymous

          Thank you. Absolutely agree. There are millions of pits in this country and if they were all really as dangerous as the media and uninformed people make them out to be, dog bites/attacks would be far far more prevalent than they actually are.

        • Mike

          How often do you hear about other breeds of dogs killing humans?

          My rough estimate based on this unverified data is that Pits account for roughly half of humans killed by dogs in the US.


          Why should we ignore what is staring us right in the face? Pit bulls kill humans and do so at a rate far higher than other dogs.

      • Refreshingly sensible and sane reply – thank your.

      • Anon X

        The CDC did a study. They said it was possible the data were skewed due to peoples’ trouble identifying dog breed. But assuming that people dont confuse a pit bull for a golden retriever, the collected data indicate a pretty stark trend.

        Rottweilers are obviously also a problem breed, but they arent as common as they once were… and the poor guys are just so much slower than pit bulls.

        Again, the pit bull fanatics are missing the point. its not whether other dogs are capable of aggression or whether they will attack other dogs.

        Poorly socialized dogs will be aggressive no matter their breeds. Pit bulls are more prone to aggression. Everyone who has a nice sweet pit bull right now, thats great. This may change no matter what the owner does as the dog gets older.

        The problem with pit bulls is that they are extremely strong and quick. They can easily over power adults. An angry golden retriever just doesnt have the same attributes.

        Combine that with the fact that when I see you with your pit bull, I have no idea whether you’ve properly socialized it or not because so many pit bull owners are irresponsible, I think its completely valid to be realistic about the threats inherent to pit bulls being around.

        I dont think the breeds should be banned and i think its unfair and unethical to say they arent welcome at dog parks or in public places.

        But, I think a healthy level of skepticism about the pit bull advocacy effort is necessary. People are wearing rose colored glasses and are basing a huge amount of their perspective on their own experiences.

        Like I said before, my dog was fantastic. In fact, the only dog attack that I am even personally aware of was by a dog that wasnt a pit bull. But that doesnt change the data. The data are clear: pit bulls are responsible for a larger percentage of attacks than any other dog.

        For a commentariat that gets so agitated by the existence of maryland drivers and believes maryland plates are indicative of bad driving (you know, a feeling with no supporting data).. you sure are sensitive about perceived prejudice against a breed of dog.

        • Anon X

          Also, on the topic of golden retrievers, its simply shocking how grumpy and aggressive old golden retrievers can get. They snap and snarl frequently after the age of 10. I suspect when this happens its because of old age pains like arthritis or perhaps a tumor or something. Thats a bit different than a 3 yr old pit bull wanting to rip your face off.

        • Anonymous

          Many pro-pit-bull advocates (including some posting in this thread) are not doing any favors to their cause by emphasizing inherent breed characteristic of sweet temperament while simultaneously denying inherent breed characteristics like speed and jaw strength.

      • No, it is because springer spaniels are extremely rare, and pit bulls are not.

        Hunting dogs like the spaniels and setters are increasingly rare.

    • Anonymous

      It would be more newsworthy if it WEREN’T a pit bull.

  • Ted

    This dog park has no rules posted for use– hours, number of dogs that should be in there at the same time, KEEPING SMALL CHILDREN OUT, etc… Needs more attention to keep it functional for everyone.

    • Robyn

      This dog park is not an official dog park – it’s owned by Metro, and we have permission to use it as a park. As such, there aren’t official rules, and attempts at enforcing community norms in the past have been met with “well what are you gonna do about it?” and “you can’t tell me not to be here.” But there is a meeting next Tuesday of the North Columbia Heights Civic Association to discuss ways to better the park, and those of us who are regulars there have been discussing trying to post and enforce rules. It’s just not so simple, unfortunately.

      • Mike

        One way to improve the park would be to ban dogs so that grass might grow there and human beings that don’t own dogs might be able to use it for a change.

        • Marquess of Flintshire

          I think there are already quite a few parks for humans to use. Besides, the park is already used by humans and their dogs.

          • Mike

            Yes, and those dogs have ruined that space just like they have ruined all the other dog parks for everyone except dog owners. What could have been a lovely little park with grass and flowers is now a dirty pit of dust and dog pee. Personally, that’s not what I want to see on my block, or, as in this case, across the street as I’m eating dinner. I don’t see why dog people can’t just take their dogs to normal parks and pick up after them. And if you’re so set on having a dog that needs to run off the leash, why not get a house with a yard, or, better yet, move to the suburbs.

          • Marquess of Flintshire

            Why don’t you make a list on how you prefer public spaces to be use and we will reconfigure all the public spaces in the city to meet your needs. Be sure to let us know where you like to eat, so we can make any public spaces in the area are up to par. Because, Mike, it’s all about you buddy. All about you.

          • Mike

            On the contrary, right now it seems to be all about you and your mangy dogs. How many other public spaces do we devote to one kind of pet?

            Anyway, I think I was quite clear about how that space should be used. Grass, flowers, landscaping… perhaps some space to spread out a blanket and have a picnic, play with your kids. Bring dogs too, if you like, I just don’t think we should be giving these precious spaces over to dog owners so they can ruin them with feces and urine. Is that so crazy?

          • Marquess of Flintshire

            The space at 11th and Park was never this bucolic park you describe. It was a fenced of lot owned by Metro. Dog owners asked Metro to remove the locks, so it could be used as a dog run. BTW, you are move than welcome to go there without a dog and put down your blanket.

          • Identified

            “they have ruined all the other dog parks for everyone except dog owners.”

            Dog parks are for dogs and their owners. Hence why they are named “dog parks”.
            Childrens parks are for children (and their caregivers).
            There are more areas in DC for humans to go and sit on a blanket and picnic than there are dog parks.

            But I hope your cheese and whine party is a good one for you.

          • JB

            I’m confused. Is there a such thing as a children’s park? Do you mean a playground?

          • Mike 2

            I’m +1000 with mike on this one, and I own a dog. If you need/want space for your dog to run and play so badly move to the damn suburbs and get a yard. Either that or leave them on the leash, like the city’s leash law declares, and quit being lazy and walk them around the block.

  • Anonymous

    Have the small children been attacking the dogs again?

  • TUCK

    Did someone say SPANIELS?!?!

  • Anonymous

    I walked by this tonight. It was a pitbull. It was also ridiculous that there were 2 cop cars on the scene and they put the dog in the car and drove it somewhere.

    I have two dogs – I am a dog lover. I don’t take my dogs there for that reason.

  • Two Cents

    Can we please remember, this was a “dog on dog” attack? The conversation below reads as though a person was seriously injured. Dogs fight all of the time, this is the result of them being, well, dogs, but also the result of people who do not understand the responsibility of dog ownership. I am a proud owner of a pitbull mix, in full disclosure. My dog has been attacked by breeds I can’t even identify, and some I can, including, Rottweiler, Australian Shepard… The issue here is not pitbulls. The issue here is people who do not know how to own dogs in a city. These people do a true disservice to the breed and those who try and give a good (and well disciplined) home to the often misunderstood breed.

    –My two cents spent.

    • Anonymous

      the issue IS pitbulls

      • Anonymous

        This sounds way too much like the gun control debacle: “Pitbulls don’t kill people! Bad owners kill people! There’s nothing wrong with pitbulls!”

        Unfortunately pitbulls only exist on this earth to kill. They were bred to be fighting dogs. Hell, it’s even in their name, as in a bull in a dog pit. I love dogs of every shape and size, but I just find it uncanny that there is such a large population of people that will continuously ignore facts and stick up for such a wildcard breed.

        • Yiz

          Let’s stop throwing around the word “facts.” There are no facts in your post.

        • Anonymous

          Obviously – you’re not a golfer…

      • The issue IS and will always be irresponsible humans.

        • Anonymous

          If you say so in all caps, then it must be true.

  • Yiz

    Anon X- where are the facts that you speak of in your post? I just see opinions (which are fine to have as long as they are correctly recognized as such). What are ACTUAL facts are 1) American pit bull terriers score higher than average on temperament tests, beating out many dogs that have positive images/reputations, and 2) there is pit bull bias in the media AND a rush to label dogs as pit bulls when they share similar characteristics. And let’s not look past the fact that pit bulls make up a very large portion of the country’s dog population and comparing dog bites by breeds show, percentage-wise, that pit bulls are not more inclined to bite than other dogs. I would also like to point out that we are assuming that the pit bull was the aggressor in this situation.

    Regardless, I wish the injured dog a speedy recovery!

  • Naybeighor

    My 17 lb dog who was standing by my leg at the time was attacked by a pit bull in this park about 4-5 years ago. He grabbed her by the neck and shook her back and forth in the air. It was terrible, she had multiple puncture wounds and it and cost me $1400. There are some people/dogs who shouldn’t go to dog parks, but eill and this proves to me that I have done the right thing by walking by that park every day and not rolling the dice again. I am sorry for the owner. It’s a long road and I hope your dog is able to be in group situations again (mine is not)

    • My SPRINGER SPANIEL was attacked by a pit unprovoked just off U street a few years ago. Apparently, the pit “was always nice girl!”, but when i turned the corner with my leached dog, the owner had their dog off leash in front of their house and immediately attacked my dog. Nearly killed him. I changed my opinion on pits that day. Never again. I cross the street if i see one coming my way.

  • Anonymous

    Is it an assumed risk that a dog fight may break out at a dog park from time to time? Anytime there are large groups of dogs playing in a small area, the risk of things going from playful to aggressive is always possible. It’s too bad but not shocking.

    • Anonymous

      Finally, a post that shows some reflection of dog park reality! You put that many dogs together, take them off-leash, and it’s a near certainty that, over a limited period of time, a kerfuffle will emerge. I’ve got the most passive dog in the world 99% of the time, but if he has a ball and another dog tries to take it (as dogs are wont to do) … well, I’ve learned not to let him have a ball of his own in a multi-dog setting. The responsibility in the dog park is on the owners: to know the signs when their dog is headed to a bad place, to act when they see an emerging situation, and when the inevitable dog-on-dog scuffle breaks out to pull THEIR dog out of it quickly. And to know the dog well enough in the first place not to bring him if he doesn’t play well with others. Too many people treat dog parks as morning social outings and ignore their dogs while they chat up friends and drink coffee. You can accomplish both, but only if you’re committed to the idea that your primary job inside the gate is to monitor your dog.

      As to the pitbull thing, I think it’s more likely that given the size, speed, and jaw-strength of the dog, the damage is more likely to be great if they get involved in one of these inevitable flare-ups. That’s the breed specific concern, as far as I can see. This is why certain sub-people train them to fight: because they’re good at it. Unfortunately, there are more people in DC engaged in this than anyone cares to admit.

      • very sensible post and yes, this is why I don’t take mine there any longer. Too many, too small a space.

  • Fernando

    All, I am the owner of the dog that was attacked and I can honestly say that what happened was unfortunate. But these things do happen. The owner of the pitbull drove with me to Friendship Hospital for Animals and put down a $1000 for the surgery/medication/bandages etc…My dog will be fine. His ear was lacerated, but again will be fine and the owner of the pitbull was a gentleman and extremely apologetic. I don’t believe his dog (nor the pitbull breed) was/is malicious. These things happen unfortunately.

    • anon

      Sorry to hear your dog was injured, but glad to hear that he will be okay. And thanks for sharing the real story and follow-up with us. It helps to hear from someone on the scene, in this case, the person/dog this happened to, so people don’t assume too much (which unfortunately always seems to happen in dog attack cases, especially those involving pit bulls).

    • Anonymous

      @Fernand Im sad this happened to your dog, but so glad to hear he/she will heal.

    • Anonymous

      Fernando, thank you so much for clearing this up, and also thank you for not harboring bad feelings toward the pit bull breed in general. It is so scary when dog fights happen and it’s very easy to use a certain breed as a scapegoat. Thank you for not doing that, and I’m glad to hear your pup will be ok.

    • Thanks for sharing the outcome. I hope your dog’s ear heals well!

  • Jessica

    The only thing remotely newsworthy (and it is a stretch) about this is that the cops showed up. Which seems ridiculous, by the way.

    These dog parks are like the canine equivalent of the Thunderdome. If PoP blogged every time dogs got lacerations from fights at DC dog parks, there would be basically no time to blog about anything else. I’m not saying dogs shouldn’t go to the park, but “dogs fight at dog park” is just about the least surprising headine in history.

    • Anonymous

      Seriously. Dog parks are a risk no matter what. I have a pit bull and I would never ever ever set foot in a dog park with her. It’s not because she’s a mean dog. It’s because if anything ever happened we’d get blamed for it, and I don’t want to set her up for that kind of risk.

  • Ron

    Pitbulls should not be allowed in this city. They are poverty dogs.

    • Anonymous

      and when did u hit it big?

    • In a thread full of ill-informed and ignorant posts, yours takes the cake, Ron. Why don’t you spell out what you’re really trying to say?

      • Ron

        Their only use to society is enabling us to more easily point out the plebs.

  • Fender

    Oh, good lawd.

  • Anonymous

    We do need to call out this at breed specific. The pit bull defenders are quick to point out that labs or spaniels bite just as much. But lets be real. If we did a quick poll of people and asked them what would be worse, a bite from a lab or a pit. the answer 100% is going to be a pit bull. the pit bull defenders have no arguement. A bite from a pit bull is very strong and they are more likely to hang on. I can’t believe a child hasn’t been attacked. Yet.

  • Max

    The fact of the matter is, dogs are dogs. Sometimes they fight, and we as the owners have no idea why. Sometimes it can be a simple “he/she took my ball” situation and other times it can seem completely unprovoked. But the key is to know and PAY ATTENTION to your dog while at the park. Do many times when we go to the park, all the owners are there socializing, and catching up on news or the recent sporting event. But the dog park is not a bar or club to meet other people and “catch up”. When we go to the park, there are 2 major goals. To get some excercise and have some fun with other dogs while doing that. But the excercise/fun is not for me. It’s for my dog. So when I’m not throwing a ball for my dog, I’m watching him and making sure he’s running around with the other dogs, behaving himself and having a good time. Too many times we will come to the park and there will be other owners milling around, not caring at all about what their dog is doing. And that is when the situation becomes unsafe. It doesn’t matter what breed the dog is, pit or rotty or poodle- if ur not going to be responsible and look after your dog, then you don’t need to bring your dog to the park, plain and simple. Your wouldn’t drop yourchild to the playground and then go sit in the corner and read a newspaper for an hour, trusting that you child “will be fine”. So why would you do that with an animal you cannot fully communicate with in the first place? So
    yes, dogs fight, no matter what breed and sometimes it really IS unprovoked. But I’m really tired of people harping on pits just cause they have a bad reputation. No, I am not a pit owner. And yes, my dog was attacked badly by a pit only a few months ago, resulting in 3 surgeries and almost 20 stitches. But does that mean that whenever there is a pit at the park, we’re just going to turn the other way? Absolutely not. The park is for eve RESPONSIBLE dog owner to bring their dogs to the park. But if you are just coming to chat with other bipeds and NOT pay attention to your dog, please just keep walking. Most dog fights are so easily preventable, but most people just don’t seem to understand that all you have to do is pay attention!

    And for those of you who DO have aggressive dogs, pits or not (and you know who you are) just be responsible and kind to the other people and dogs in your community and keep walking. Their are other ways to excersise your dog that doesn’t involve a dog park. And if you DO bring your dog to the park and he/she starts getting aggressive towards another dog, do the responsible thing and remove your dog from the park and try again another day or something. Some dogs just arnt “dog park” dogs. And sometimes a dog can start out as a puppy and be fine at the park but later on develops a less “dog park-friendly” attitude. Does that mean you have a bad dog? Absolutely not! But in that case, please don’t bring your dog to the park so we can avoid this whole situation.

    Sorry for my rant but I’m really tired of the non-pit owners attacking ALL pit owners for adopting/rescuing “killer dogs”. So please, le us to put this to rest FINALLY. Pits get a bad rap, yes, but not all pits are vicious and only have “attack” on their mind. I think it is more than a safe ussumption to say that most of the pit mixes that come to the park (atleast the ones that come regularly) are NOT aggressive but in fact quite docile and friendly. But dog aggressive dogs, pits or not, are generally the ones who have unattentive owners who rarely do ANYTHING about their dogs when they start getting riled up. So please, for the sake of everyone reading this feed and everyone who uses our dog park, pay attention to your dog(s), pick up on the visual ques they are trying to give us, and actually DO something when ur dog is getting agressive rather than just say “they’re just playing” and brush it off and I am confident that serious fights like this, that result in a vet visit for stitches et all, will be dramatically decreased. Thank you.

  • houseintherear

    Terriers in general were bred to kill vermin and small animals. Even the non-pitbull terriers will kill things they think need to be killed. My small terrier almost killed the pitbull we fostered a few months ago. It’s a terrier thing, and terrier owners have to be hyper-vigilant, excessive with the training, AND ready to take responsibility (as the owner of the pit in question seems to have done) if something bad goes down.

    • Caroline

      My terriers definitely don’t have that killer instinct. We actually had a mouse problem and they were absolutely NO help.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sick of the “my pit is no worse than any other dog” responses. The results are asymmetric. When other dogs misbehave, the result is likely not serious. When pit bulls misbehave, other dogs (and people) can be seriously hurt.

  • Penelope

    I love dogs, and given the opportunity I enjoy interacting with all breeds if they have responsible owners — and there are plenty of non pit bulls around who don’t fall into that category. (Recall the recent bite of the human hand – NOT a pit bull, and owners hightailed out never to be seen again.)

    But having said that, anyone interested in this debate may want to dive deeply into the research. Here’s a start http://www.dogsbite.org/dangerous-dogs-pit-bull-faq.php … this site is full of studies and stats from which you can draw your own conclusions.

    The stats are indeed alarming, but they deal with dogs biting, maiming or killing humans. I don’t know whether anyone is gathering facts about certain breeds scrapping and injuring or killing other dogs, but of the four incidents in the 11th St. dog park that led to the vet over the past six months, ALL involved pit bulls – and none of the pit bulls was injured. Whether they were the aggressors (in those cases they were) is irrelevant – they are quite simply a powerful breed who will win any battle.

    Over the years I’ve been bitten twice (neither time by a pit bull) and my Ridgeback has been attacked several times (never by a pit – though our previous Ridgie was attacked twice by pits) … He himself has occasionally taken a dislike to another dog for no apparent reason. (We joke that the other dog must have said something derisive.) But he’s never bitten another dog, but he’s pretty scary if he goes ninja, and if he shows any serious aggression, he’s out of the park immediately.

    Dog parks are great opportunities to socialize the animals we love. But anyone who has any doubts about their dog should plan ‘play dates’ with known pals when there are not too many canines around hyped up on spring smells. It’s not smart ‘parenting’ to bring any dog into a park with unknown animals when you don’t know how they’ll interact. We solve this by visiting the park at regular times to meet regular pals. If new dogs come, we are on high alert.

    The 11th Street Park is a wonderful center of the dog loving community and there are many truly lovely pit bulls who are great playmates. I do not think they should be banned, but I do think their owners should do as we do (and most of them do) – stay away when there are too many dogs operating on ‘high speed.’

    • frickorfrack

      Whoa – I went to this website, horrifying stuff. The people who train them to do this are psychopaths. Pitbulls seem to be breed to be highly aggressive dogs. Sorry to say it very well is in their nature and they could tweak at anytime.

  • Mike

    Pit bulls kill far more people in the United States than any other breed of dog.

    Those of you who want to defend the breed can feel free to ignore the evidence, I guess, but it’s right there for us all to see.


  • Marcus Aurelius

    It’s telling that the owner of the dog that was “attacked” is less wound up about this than many of the people posting about it. Kudos to the owner of the pitbull for doing the right thing. And query whether this should have been posted in the first place without the complete story.
    True that pit bulls are physically equipped to do more damage to another dog if they attack.
    Also true that all dogs are animals and therefore inherently unpredictable, particularly when in packs. Your dog is really well behaved and socialized, until that one time when he or she isn’t.

    • EKB

      Exactly. Still waiting for PoP to include the update from the owner on the top of the post. He’s usually very good about updating when new and more accurate reports are posted. It won’t diffuse the everpresent breed argument that we have to have on this site every couple months, but at least it would present some balance.

  • Anonymous

    Every pitbull that I’ve personally interacted with has been nothing but sweet and friendly. With that being said though – any dog has the propensity to snap (that is the nature of being a dog). The issue is, IF a pitbull snaps, the damage to humans and other dogs is greater than if say a black lab snaps. To use an analogy (that may be a bit tenuous) – if a man who owns an assault rifle snaps it’s much more dangerous than the crazed man with a knife. All dog owners are walking around with loaded weapons (with the safety on), but some of those weapons are knifes (toy poodle), some are handguns (labs, retrievers) and some are assault rifles (pitbulls, rottweilers).

  • DC

    I have quit going to dog parks altogether. I have a very docile, submissive dog, and he seems to get snapped at or worse any time we go. The worst fight I ever saw at a dog park was between two pit mixes and one would not let go of the other. It ended with one of the owners being bitten rather badly. It was the end of dog parks. We just have fun greeting leashed dogs now (and some of those are problems as well).

    I think a lot of dog owners don’t know what cues their dogs are giving them. What looks like harmless introductions can be openly aggressive to a dog. If tails are not wagging, generally the dogs should be separated.

  • Dennis Baker

    Pit Bull owners You have chosen the most likely to maul or kill breed/type of dog. You have the biggest responsibility not only to keep your dog secure but to educate others that own these dogs about that responsibility . Spreading the nanny dog myth, media hype myth, coconuts kill more myth, they have to be trained to attack myth and so on is hurting Your cause when people believe these myths innocent lives are lost. When innocent lives are lost BSL becomes the only solution. So stop the myths and the breeding if You care about Your pit bull . It is Your actions that bring BSL . This is My pit bull advocate tip for the day.https://www.facebook.com/ProtectChildrenFromPitBulls?hc_location=timeline

  • ShanInDC

    About 5 years ago in another dog park in the burbs a pitbull attacked my dog (who was an older weaker dog sitting by my side). I jumped in and lifted my dog out and then the pitbull latched onto my leg. I am in my mid fourties and have had dogs around me since I was crawling about as a baby. I have never dealt with a more vicious and temperamental breed. However much people brag about how sweet they are after you are attacked it is a different story. If there is a pitbull at the dog park I usually leave and always cross the road or make turn if there is one walking towards me. Nothing is going to change that.

  • Kerry

    1. Why is EVERYONE on this blog’s response to ANY issue “move to the suburbs” ??? It gets so old! That’s like getting in an argument with someone and saying “Well at least I’m not ugly” or “At least I have friends.”

    2. The most important thing regardless of breed is just to know your dog and be able to read the signs of other dogs. I have two dogs- a chihuahua/beagle mix and a min pin/beagle/sheapard mix. They’re both right around 20 pounds. One gets along with pretty much any dog so long as they don’t get in his face too much and don’t try to hump him. The other loves dogs her size and smaller but is terrified of dogs bigger than she is. I go to the Bloomingdale/Ledriot Dog Park nearly every day. For some reason it’s always empty when I go so usually my two just run and run and have a great time. When there is a bigger dog there, I know that one of mine is not going to do well. Her fight or flight scared response is to fight. If a bigger dog comes up and just sniffs her she’s fine, but if the bigger dog comes up and wants to play/chase/whatever she wants to bite. I know this is what she’s going to do so when a bigger, playful dog comes in I either go into the small dog area or leave. It’s just that simple! Knowing your dogs strengths and weaknesses will save you, your dogs, and everyone else’s dogs.

    You’ve got to be responsible and understand that certain things are going to just set certain dogs off. When I’m at the park and I see an irresponsible owner (ie, someone who brings their male unneutered pit- and I love pits btw- into the dog park) I leave. You just have to pay attention and make good choices!

    • Annonymous

      If you don’t like the comments on this blog, the maybe you should move to the suburbs! ;)

  • Anonymous

    WHERE’S THE ICE CREAM? I came here for ice cream. :(

  • C

    I disagree. This is not a nice dog park. I live directly across the street in the red brick building shown in the photo. There are an average of 3-5 incidents at this dog park a week – and these are just the ones I see and hear. I know multiple people who have required medical treatment from dog bites as a result of tearing fighting dogs apart. I have a dog, we regularly frequent dog parks, this is not a typical dog park atmosphere. I have stopped taking my to this dog park and recommend that you do the same.

  • wobble

    There seems to be an organized club of pitbull owners that come out with zillions of comments about how pitbulls are not dangerous.

    Let’s check the facts:


  • qq

    That is a beautiful picture with very good lighting -)

  • Luz

    Pitbull defender right here! It’s not the dog it’s all about the owner I’ve been bitten by 2 chiwawas and I have never in my life been bitten by a pitbull mind you I had 2 in Florida who we gave to my aunt and she adores and so do her 3 little girls. I currently have a female pitbull named Penelope and this morning she was walking and black little dog ran out its house and bit my pitbull on her leg. My pitbull did absolutely nothing . Now if all pitbulls were vicious I think Penelope would hav torn that dog to shreds which she didn’t

    • Anonymous

      And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. All the evidence you’ll ever need that pitbulls are harmless little butterflies.

  • frickorfrack

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