Rottweiler Mauls Calif. Toddler to Death


Tall Man
August 5, 2005, 08:18 AM
It's never a Labrador or spaniel, is it?

Rottweiler Mauls Calif. Toddler to Death

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August 04,2005 | GLENDALE, Calif. -- A Rottweiler ripped a 16-month-old girl out of her mother's arms, dragged her for several feet and mauled her to death in an apparent unprovoked attack, police said.

Cassandra Garcia died at a hospital Tuesday evening following the attack by her grandparents' 150-pound male dog, named Enano, police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

The toddler was being held as her mother, Blanca Garcia, bent down and gave the dog a bowl of water. The dog attacked the girl, snatched her and dragged her several feet down a driveway.

"It was extremely severe," Lorenz said.

Garcia's mother was able to grab her child back and sought refuge in a vehicle where she made a "hysterical 911 call," Lorenz said. The 28-year-old mother had bites to her arm and upper body but "suffered no major injuries," he added.

When officers arrived, they were able to seize the dog and take it to an animal shelter.

"At this time, as we understand, it was an unprovoked attack," Lorenz said.

However, a resident who owned a small Maltese dog said that in April 2004 two Rottweilers -- one of whom was Enano-- attacked the pet, said Ricky Whitman, vice president of community resources for the Pasadena Humane Society. The Maltese died from its injuries, but the owner did not want the incident documented.

Other residents said Enano was a friendly dog and wasn't a threat to children.

"He was a goofy, gentle giant," said Dorothy War, whose 12-year-old son played with the dog. "We could not find anything to detect he was violent."

The dog, taken to the Pasadena Humane Society, will likely be euthanized after being checked for rabies, said Ricky Whitman, the organization's vice president of community resources.


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August 5, 2005, 08:24 AM
Yeah, sometimes it is. The breed of dog most often involved in fatal dog attacks is directly related to the breed of dog most popular with irresponsible owners.

Tall Man
August 5, 2005, 08:38 AM
Yes, B, sometimes the tick hounds will do some damage. However, something tells me that if Chesapeake Bay Retrievers were to become the breed du jour with the underclass, we still wouldn't have the volume of attacks and articles generated by the behavior of Rottweilers, et al.

I have known several responsible dog owners (including a co-worker and a former neighbor) who keep Dobermans and/or Rottweilers as pets. Their investment in time, training, and maintenance of their chosen pets is much higher than if they had chosen a "more innocuous breed", in their words.

Why, I asked?

Because, they replied, Ds and Rs are more genetically predisposed to violent and/or unanticipated behavior - such as what is noted in the article above - than are virtually all other breeds.

So what we have here, I observed, is a toxic mix brought about by the prediliction of lousy owners choosing to keep the animals they are most unsuited to keep...with predicable and tragic results. And genetic predisposition is inflexible, regardless of training and care, yes?

"Yes", said the voices of experience.



Edited to add:
The dog...will likely be euthanized after being checked for rabies
I don't know, so I'll ask: Isn't an examination of the animal's brain the only definitive way to check for rabies? If so, it seems euthanization would precede the rabies check.

August 5, 2005, 09:45 AM
It my part of the country many consider it "macho" to have a pitbull or
Rottweiler, hey if the owner has less brains then the dog not much hope,
like a firearm in the wrong hands, etc. Sad to say we now live in a environment where many folks have a brain of mush, perhaps induced
by drugs or public schools. :mad:

August 5, 2005, 09:49 AM
This story is highly upsetting to me. There are large dogs with irresponsible owners in my neighborhood--in fact the police have been called to the house they live in on at least one occasion--because the dogs get out, and they attack pets when they do. I have little kids around the age in the article, and I was mauled by the neighbor's dog as a child, so I know what a large animal can do to a little kid.

EDIT: The dog that mauled me when I was a child was a Doberman.

August 5, 2005, 09:56 AM
Tall Man -

I agree with you. It is a given fact that certain breeds are prone (in fact have been bred for) to aggressive behavior. Pits, Rotts, Dobies, Filas, Presa Canarios, etc... all have an inborn tendency towards aggression. But, as your friends can attest...given the proper training and attentive owners, they can be raised into fine pets.

I did a bunch of research on fatal dog attacks prior to adopting my pup. I was surprised to discover that over the last few decades the "evil dog" of choice has changed from time to time. In the late 60's and 70's GSDs were the ones to watch. Over the years that has changed towards Pitbulls and Pitbull mixes. Recently the Rottweiler has taken credit for the most fatal bites.

Solving this problem is simple...don't ban a dog breed like Denver has done (they outlawed Pitbulls and are euthanizing animals and fining owners) instead, treat those people who would own such an animal (and not train it) as a criminal. Punish them for their negligence....

It certainly does seem that those people who are least qualified to own a dog like a Rott...are the most attracted to the breed. Owning a "tough dog" doesn't make you tough...any more than owning a Harley makes you an outlaw biker.

August 5, 2005, 09:57 AM
This is bad in so many ways. Not just the fact that a child was killed but that the family pet did it and the mother had to watch.
The amount of guilt that the grandparents will have to deal with will be incredible. A tragedy like this will be really hard for the family to get past. :(

August 5, 2005, 10:01 AM

I ran across more than one case where a tiny dog (like a Pomeranian) was left alone with an infant and killed the child. So as I said previously, it is ownership not breed that is the problem. Very sad....

It is even worse for this family that the dog belonged to them. Makes you wonder if they ever paid attention to warning signs. The article states that the dog attacked while being given a bowl of water. I wonder if the owners ever noticed any aggressive behavior from the dog around his food/water bowls? Did they ever do anything to counter this behavior?

What a tragedy.

The Real Hawkeye
August 5, 2005, 10:06 AM
Yeah, sometimes it is. The breed of dog most often involved in fatal dog attacks is directly related to the breed of dog most popular with irresponsible owners.There is a lot of truth to that. People who are not experienced dog people, however, should not be buying large dogs that have been bred for centuries to defend property from human attackers. Dogs, by nature, have a certain inbred inhibition to attacking human beings, but some breeds have been subject to an intentional effort to breed this inhibition out of them. I am referring to the guard dog breeds.

That is not to say that they cannot make wonderful pets. I was raised in a home with German Shepherds and Dobermans, and I had every confidence in our dogs because they were raised right, and we were taught how to, and how not to, behave with them from early on. The problem comes when dog-ignorant people buy these dogs because they live in a high crime neighborhoods, and make no effort to learn anything about owning a dog like that. They have no idea how to raise them, never establish dominance over them, and the dog ends up thinking its the Alpha in the family. The Alpha dog can decide to terminate any "puppy" it likes at any time it likes. That's a natural wolf behavior. Large dogs MUST be taught from an early age that the humans in the family are the Alphas, and they are only subordinate members of the family, otherwise you just may have a dog who decides to terminate one of the "pups," human or dog. They don't distinguish. A subordinate dog would never decide on its own to terminate anybody. He'd have to be encouraged to do so by the Alpha human owner. A very sad story.

August 5, 2005, 10:07 AM
This sums up how I feel. Dogs can be aggressive. Don't own more dog than you can properly train and control. Doing otherwise is sheer negligence on the part of the owner. While the dog in this case needs to be destroyed, I don't fault the dog for its actions. The owner is responsible for its actions.

"To decrease the risk of dog bites, several communities have enacted breed-specific restriction or bans," said Dr. Gail Golab, co-author of the study and Assistant Director of the AVMA Education and Research Division. "However, the breeds responsible for human fatalities have varied over time. Since 1975, dogs belonging to more than 30 breeds have been responsible for fatal attacks on people, including Dachshunds, Golden Retrievers, a Yorkshire Terrier, and a Labrador Retriever," Dr. Golab explained.

She said that bans on a specific breed might cause people who want a dangerous dog to turn to another breed for the same qualities they sought in the original dog such as large size and aggression easily fostered.

"A dog of any breed can become dangerous when bred or trained to be aggressive," Dr. Golab added. Pediatrician and Medical Epidemiologist, Dr. Julie Gilchrist from the CDC, agrees. "Dog bite reduction strategies are more likely to be effective if they focus on reducing inappropriate dog and dog owner behaviors regardless of the dog's breed, instead of on banning specific breeds," Dr. Gilchrist explained.

The Real Hawkeye
August 5, 2005, 10:20 AM
The dog that mauled me when I was a child was a Doberman.When I was eight, I was mauled by a German Shepherd that belonged to a neighbor. I was playing with the kid whose parents owned it. We were playing with toy trucks, and then the dog appeared from around the corner, saw me and started for me. The kid ran away, and left me there with the dog. Tore up my side around my kidney pretty good. Still have the scars, in the pattern of canine teeth, to prove it. A year later, it mauled my brother when he was playing catch with a football across the street. Then my parents sued, and my brother bought a lot of electric guitars and related equipment, and the dog was put to sleep. That dog was kept in the basement at all times, and only rarely got out, by the way, so it was not raised to be socialized. I understand that it ruled the roost most of the time, too.

Too bad they didn't sue when I got bit. I always resented that. Just think of the neat stuff I could have bought for myself. Any who, I remember that day like it was yesterday, even if it was about 35 years ago.

The Real Hawkeye
August 5, 2005, 10:31 AM
I agree 100% that it should be the owner, regardless of breed, that is held responsible. You have a large capable dog, I don't care what breed, you are responsible to know what you are doing and to keep it under control. I am opposed to dog specific laws. You outlaw Rotties, and all other large guard dog breeds, and you will have a new strain of Labs or Goldens bred specifically for guarding property within a decade of that law's passage, and they will be just as prone to attacks when raised wrong. These laws do not address the problem, which is the people who buy these dogs and don't raise them correctly.

August 5, 2005, 10:34 AM
My sister recently picked up a dog from the humane society. We believe it to be a lab/german shepard mix judging by it's coloring and features.

The dog is very friendly, which is good with my 3 nephews running around/playing with her.
I was over at my sister's the other day, playing with the dog, and she got excited. She started jumping up at me, and "play biting". The dog refused to settle down. My sister kept telling the dog "No!" No response.

Finally, I managed to grab the dog's collar, and I held her head down to the ground until she started whimpering. (No, I did not physically harm the dog.) My sister had a surprised look on her face. I told her with that shepard mix, you have to be VERY STERN with the animal so she knows who is boss! (In my experience, Shepards tend to be bull-headed.)

Anyway, my sister has only seen this kind of behavior toward men. We believe the previous owner was probably a man, who liked to play rough with the dog. The dog needs to be broken of it even though it is playing. One of my nephews is not even 3 yrs. old and could easily get knocked over by the dog.

The plus side is the dog absolutely LOVES my nephews and has never jumped up on any of them. She definitely needs some training though.


The Real Hawkeye
August 5, 2005, 10:51 AM
Finally, I managed to grab the dog's collar, and I held her head down to the ground until she started whimpering.That was exactly the right thing to do. With enough repetitions of that in reaction to bad behavior, that dog will realize that it is a subordinate. That's another reason for formal obedience training. If a dog has to obey commands from everyone in the family, it knows without a doubt that it is not the Alpha. Also, make the dog obey a command before it gets fed. This drives the lesson home. You cannot fool around with big dogs, regardless of breed, but particularly with big dogs that were bred for human aggression, i.e., the guard dog breeds.

P.S. Someone in a previous post lumped Pitbulls in with this group, and this is incorrect. Pitbulls have a stronger inbred inhibition against human aggression than just about any other breed I've had experience with. These dogs, generally speaking, will only become people aggressive if encouraged to be from a young age. Naturally, since they are strong and capable, they also need a firm hand and to be taught that they are not the Alpha, but that is true with Labs and Goldens too. A Pitbull which has been encouraged to be people-aggressive is a very dangerous animal, but the point is that Dobermans, Rotties and German Shepherds do not require encouragement to be people aggressive. Any Doberman, Rottie or German Shepherd that was raised thinking it is the Alpha of the family, will be people-aggressive, almost invariably, given the right circumstance.

August 5, 2005, 10:55 AM
Maybe the Pit Bull confiscation/ban in Denver will spread to a California "Bad Dogs" Ban. :rolleyes:

Art Eatman
August 5, 2005, 10:55 AM
Guns? Civil rights? Duh?

There is a reason Oleg went to the trouble to start up


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