Great Dane Mauling Death

It happened in Pennsylvania. My condolences to the family of the dead woman.

First off, the owner of a dog is always legally and morally responsible for a dog’s behavior. The owner was not there. The owner was too lazy or cheap to put the dogs in a boarding kennel, or maybe no kennel in the area would take aggressive dogs.

Second, we have someone who is selling Great Dane puppies, through ads and not through normal methods of approach, and out of a normal house, not a kennel and breeding facility. This sounds shady. Aggressive dogs coming from a shady breeder is what one would expect.

Third, you have three dogs in a place producing puppies, so at least one is a unmatched female or male, in a house with an unspayed, unneutered breeding pair. So one would expect the dogs to fight, unless they are very friendly and stable — both as a pack and as individuals — and are well-trained with a stable owner and home life.

Fourth, you have dogs that have bitten before, being fed as a favor by a neighbor woman whom they had bitten before. Obviously the dogs did not respect her dominance, and yet she was looking after them? Was she pressured into it by being too nice, or was she unrealistic about dog life? Certainly the breeder should never have asked her to dogsit.

Look. No aggressive dog that bites randomly is safe to have around, whatever the size. Either you fix the behavior, or you have a bomb ready to go off.

Giant dogs are held to a higher standard of friendliness, because otherwise they are a danger to humans and to the survival of their breed. And their owners and breeders must also be held to a higher standard. It is so uncommon for giant breeds to be both over-aggressive, and uncorrectable by training, that it is generally deemed to be a genetic fault, and the dog is put down.

So it is very worrying that the Sabathne dogs were being bred for puppies. The puppies out there in the world should be eyed with caution. (Although it sounds like an owner/breeder problem, not a dog DNA problem.)

If the situation was truly an unforeseen accident, fine. But I see red flags all over the place. A lot of human bad decisions seem to have caused this.

Great Danes are not a danger as a breed. Yes, they have a tad more territoriality than an Irish wolfhound or Scottish deerhound, but they are also accustomed to using low levels of force. (Like flipping opponents with their shoulderblades, and then just holding them down.) They don’t even maul home invaders; so this mauling is really unusual and wrong.

1 Comment

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One response to “Great Dane Mauling Death

  1. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    Little Yappers that bite are somehow “cute”.

    Big Yappers that bite are a danger.

    And yes, something is very wrong with that situation. 😡

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