Bait dogs - truth or fiction?

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » March 23rd, 2011, 9:13 am

I get so tired of everybody saying, "my dog was rescued off the streets and he has a few scratches - he was used as a bait dog." I know the old-time dogmen didn't use bait dogs - you can't teach/test a fighter by having it go against an unarmed opponent. So when did this bait dog thing become so popular? Was it the H$U$ when they published their first dogfighting information? And are bait dogs truly prevalent these days?
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Postby TheRedQueen » March 23rd, 2011, 9:16 am

I remember back in high school....early 90s...hearing about kittens used on greyhound tracks...and live rabbits. But at that point, I never heard about bait dogs for pit bulls. I was a member of PETA and other groups in HS, so I got a lot of literature. The bait dog angle seems to be fairly new, at least in my eyes.
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Postby plebayo » March 23rd, 2011, 10:14 am

So I googled it and I know wikipedia isn't super reliable because people can edit it, but this is what someone had to say:

"Bait" animals are used to test a dog's fighting instinct, and these animals are often mauled or killed in the process. Trainers obtain bait animals from several sources: wild or feral animals, animals obtained from a shelter, or in some cases, stolen pets.[11] Sometimes the animals are also obtained through "free to a good home" ads.[12] According to news reports compiled by the Humane Society of the United States, the snouts of bait dogs are wrapped with duct tape to prevent them from injuring dogs being trained for fighting. Their teeth are filed and their nails are cut until nothing is left. Other animals, such as cats and rabbits are also reported to be used as bait animals. Experts have said small dogs, kittens and rabbits are more at risk of being stolen for bait than larger animals.


It seems to be more of a scheme by the humane society. I wouldn't doubt that some crappy dog fighters test their dogs on more submissiv/smaller/weaker dogs, but any of the "bait dogs" I've seen didn't have reports of filed down teeth or anything weird like that, the dogs were just overly submissive, terrified, with a bunch of scars on them. I'm not sure why people don't just assume the dog is a failed fight dog.

Also maybe calling a dog a 'bait dog' helps get super scared dogs out of the shelter because instead of saying "this dog is a weener and needs further training to build his confidence" we can just say "the dog was a bait dog, he's had a hard life, don't make him do anything."

I've seen "supposed" bait dogs on tv, I do think it is likely some dogs are used as bait dogs in terms of building your dogs fight confidence by having them fight something weaker than they are, but I find it hard to believe they use rabbits and kittens, like it was mentioned what is the point of fighting an unarmed opponent?
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Postby LMM » March 23rd, 2011, 10:16 am

It's become so cliche, seriously. In many cases they don't use other pit bulls as bait. They use cats, puppies, smaller breed dogs, etc. And really, you rescued/adopted your dog out of a shelter with no known history, you don't KNOW what happened before you got him/her. It's just another good sob story, hey I'm a big hero look at me.
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Postby mnp13 » March 23rd, 2011, 12:41 pm

I think it's a self-fulfilling prophecy that was actually started and then furthered by non-dog fighters. Did some do it? Probably somewhere, but let's be realistic, the real bait animals are dead or so horribly injured that they would be put down or be horrifically disfigured.

Unfortunately, by HSUS et al talking about "bait animals" it became exactly what the punks thought was "necessary" to be a "real dog fighter."

Riggs is dog aggressive, but ignores smaller dogs, and the vast majority of non-aggressive dogs - unless they are annoying. *cough* Inara *cough* However last summer, a dog got completely up in his face and he ignored it because it was all fear from the other dog, and that's generally how he is - will happily tangle with a willing dog, but no interest in a fearful one.

The problem is, with all of the HSUS/PeTA crap that comes with the bait dogs, they have - if not created - greatly increased the problem. As we all already know, you don't have to teach dogs to fight, they are aggressive or they aren't. It's such crap...

But anyway. Yes, they are truth now, born largely of complete fiction. However, I don't think 99.999% of people have them who claim they have them. The pictures of the actual "bait dogs" from dog fighting busts (like that one of the dog with her nose ripped off) are far different than what all of the people's dogs look like that claim to have an "ex-bait dog"
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Postby LMM » March 23rd, 2011, 1:53 pm

mnp13 wrote:But anyway. Yes, they are truth now, born largely of complete fiction. However, I don't think 99.999% of people have them who claim they have them. The pictures of the actual "bait dogs" from dog fighting busts (like that one of the dog with her nose ripped off) are far different than what all of the people's dogs look like that claim to have an "ex-bait dog"



100% agree.
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Postby Malli » March 23rd, 2011, 2:27 pm

I think this is like the "s/he was abused" thing. An abused dog acts almost (not quite, but almost) like a poorly socialized dog. My parents think their dog was abused, I think she was kept in a yard and ignored :|
I think its the same with bait dogs - I mean, maybe the dog was just scrappy? Who knows. I definitely think the incidence that it *might* occur would only have been made more real by H-s-u-s. :doh:
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Postby FAB dogs » March 23rd, 2011, 2:29 pm

Warning: graphic photos at the end of this post


For what it’s worth, I had a foster dog a couple years back that, based on the fact that one ear was neatly sliced off and she had bite wounds all over her head and neck, the vet believed was used as a bait dog. She also came from an area that has a history of dog fighting. Circumstantial evidence at best, since the area also has a lot of coyotes (but that wouldn't explain the ear).

Once we got her all cleaned up, she turned out to be a beautiful white shepherd. She went to white shepherd rescue and was so welcomed by the white shepherd people that they put her in the altered category at a show and she took best opposite.

Bait dog? Perhaps:

Image

Image

Image

But a champion to everyone who met her:

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Postby TheRedQueen » March 23rd, 2011, 4:32 pm

plebayo wrote:I've seen "supposed" bait dogs on tv, I do think it is likely some dogs are used as bait dogs in terms of building your dogs fight confidence by having them fight something weaker than they are, but I find it hard to believe they use rabbits and kittens, like it was mentioned what is the point of fighting an unarmed opponent?


I mentioned the use of kittens and rabbits with *greyhounds* not pit bulls. The literature I remember from all those years ago mentioned using them in place of the fake rabbit in greyhound racing to train them to run faster: small helpless creature crying and "running". Still don't know if that's true or not...but it wasn't about using them for pit bull bait.
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Postby BigDogBuford » March 23rd, 2011, 4:52 pm

My feeling is that if a dog was used as a bait dog most likely no one would ever seen that dog again. Most likely it seems like these are just dogs that tangled with other dogs. A lot of them just look like a dog fight to me. :|
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Postby mnp13 » March 23rd, 2011, 4:57 pm

plebayo wrote:It seems to be more of a scheme by the humane society. I wouldn't doubt that some crappy dog fighters test their dogs on more submissiv/smaller/weaker dogs, but any of the "bait dogs" I've seen didn't have reports of filed down teeth or anything weird like that, the dogs were just overly submissive, terrified, with a bunch of scars on them. I'm not sure why people don't just assume the dog is a failed fight dog.


Because if the dog is a "failed fight dog" then it was "trained to fight" or "forced to fight" and that makes it an evil potential baby killer.

A "bait dog" is a poor innocent dog that was set upon by vicious killer Pit Bulls and is nothing but a victim.

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Postby call2arms » March 23rd, 2011, 5:17 pm

We get those a lot around here, it's quite the way to pull heart strings in potential adopters, and to somehow excuse a shy or fearful dog.

To know whether it's true or not... I have yet to see a single dog who actually looks like he's been in more than a scrap at the dog park or with the other dog of the household. It's not because a dog is taken in with lots of healed teeth marks on his legs and neck that it has once been a bait dog - most likely he was hanging out with an overly rambunctious puppy or something :| .

On the other hand, I have no doubts that little $hits reading that kind of info will promptly use that, just like they would put a heavy chain around their dog's neck, or any other stupid myth that's supposed to make a dog a "better fighter". You're an idiot, or you're not. I think this may not have caught in my town, yet.
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Postby furever_pit » March 25th, 2011, 12:32 pm

I first heard about "bait dogs" like ten years ago when I was in high school. I think it's mostly a sob story so people can feel good about the dog they adopted and have something to tell other people. It used to get on my last freaking nerve how all these dogs that came to our vet from the shelter had some story about how they were all abused or whatnot - I just saw flawed/weak temperament.

I agree with Michelle though, the HSUS and PETA become their own worst enemy when they publicize stories like this. Have you heard about "trunking"? Same stupid crap - they create the issues and make them reality because idiots hear about it and think "omg, that is so cool. I'm gonna do that with my dog." :crazy2:
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Postby TheRedQueen » March 28th, 2011, 9:55 am

I think it's human nature to want to step up and adopt the underdog...the bait dog thing is working, so they all use it. I'm not sure they do it on purpose...or if it's just part of the rescue culture now, and good-hearted people really believe.

I mean...if I had a nickel for every dog that someone says was "abused" because it shies away from hands/feet/brooms/etc; or that was starved because it wolfs down its kibble; or was neglected because it has long toenails/dirt and burrs in its coat...I'd be rich.
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Postby Violet » March 29th, 2011, 4:54 pm

I think 99% of the time the wounds we see are dogs who got their butts kicked by another dog. I have had two dogs that made me wonder if they were used for that purpose, one a puppy who endded up losing a leg, the other was Cowboy (if you guys remember him). Course..once Cowboy healed up and his real personality started coming through I was leaning pretty heavily towards him just having been a jackass and pissed one or two other dogs off. I know MY dogs wanted to eat him by the time he left. I was pretty close myself. He was utterly disinclined to fight back. He was just an idiot lol

My first personal pit bull probably would have been labelled a bait dog due to her injuries. But living with her and knowing her I am pretty sure it was more a case of "you shoulda seen the other guy".
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Postby stompanato » May 23rd, 2011, 9:01 pm

If Maurice Carver, Ralph Greenwood, Earl Tudor, etc., could come back from the grave, and were asked, what a "Bait Dog" is?, they wouldn't have a clue, what you were talking about.
I've had these dogs for more than 4 decades, yet only with the internet, have I learned what a "Bait Dog" is, and what its used for.
Since the mid 70's, this wonderful breed, has been so over bred and crossed and mixed, and has grown at a much more dramatic rate than any other breed. I remember in the 70's, when the media seemed to begin its sensationalism regarding Pitbulls. It was the beginning of people with issues, seeking out Pits and Staffs with their own ideas and agendas. The only mentors the vast majority of these new owners (mostly wannabe tough guys and gang bangers) has, is the local newspaper and media. Here, a new owner can learn the secret techniques of how to train a fighting dog.lol What is so very sad is, as I type this, there are cruel morons out there actually doing these things to Pits and other dogs.

There are no depths, the media, HSUS, etc., will sink to, in order to carry out their agenda.
I remember in the mid 80's, the largest Television Station in Denver, showed a Pitbull at the shelter. This dog looked fine, but had a very thin coat on it's tail. The vertebrate on the tail were visible, and the Expert (Mr. Eric Sakatch) from the HSUS said, these were notches that were carved in the tail. He went on to explain how dogfighters put a notch in their animal's tail after they win a fight, much like the old gunfighters did with their pistols. I knew that after this aired, every punk who sees this, will go out and put notches in their Bulldog's tail.

In Denver, a reporter, did a week long report on fighting Pits. Later she was arrested and sentenced as it was found out that she was finding BYB clowns and paying them, to go on camera and fight their dogs. This is the type of garbage this poor breed has had to face.
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