Thursday, April 2, 2009

Baxter, Split Personality?

Baxter is a pit bull in Hillsboro, Oregon with an apparent split personality. His neighbors claim he is a menace to society, while his owner defends the dog's niceness.

The dog has bitten four people, never seriously. He's been caught running loose numerous times. So it seems that maybe the neighbors are right? Well, Baxter's veterinarian and groomer wrote "glowing reports" regarding Baxter's nice personality. The shelter staff said he was a nice and calm dog at the shelter.

Who's got the pulse on Baxter's true nature?

Maybe Baxter needs a trip to a trainer or behaviorist who could explain stuff like a lowered bite inhibition or higher arousal level or what happens when a frustrated dog suddenly gets free. Baxter is a dog, it seems, owned by a person ill-equipped to deal with the basics - proper exercise, common-sense confinement tactics, and training. He clearly lacks proper neighborhood conflict management skills. The dog needs more exercise. He needs to know how to properly use his teeth - not on people, for sure. Getting out once is a mistake, but escaping multiple times indicates a blatant disregard for the dog's safety and that of the public on the owner's part.

None of this has to do with being a pit bull. Lots of bored dogs react out of frustration by using teeth or exhibiting unseemly doggie behaviors. Yet I can't help but question whether this would be a story if the dog in question was a nondescript mutt. Of course it wouldn't.

I hope Baxter's owner figures this out quick - Baxter needs a trainer, he needs socialization, he needs training, and he needs to be run like a fiend until he drops from exhaustion. He doesn't need to be running loose and scaring neighbors (certainly shouldn't be biting them!) Baxter's life depends on it.


Plebayo said...

I just want to say I lived in the neighborhood with this dog. He is the victim of a crappy owner. When the dog is loose he is aggressive. With the owner around he's fine. Regardless... he shouldn't be biting people, no less children whether he's loose or not. Not to mention he shouldn't be running loose.

Plebayo said...

I should point out too his owner is a moron who shouldn't own an 80lb dog no less a 5lb dog. He isn't going to fix the problem.