Dog lovers have jumped in defense of a “killer breed” after a pet Staffy killed a five-week-old boy while his parents were sleeping.
The six-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier killed the baby in the early hours of Sunday morning at his home in Kariong on the NSW Central Coast.
Paramedics arrived at the scene around 2:18 p.m., but the infant could not be resuscitated. The family’s pet was euthanized a few days later.
Local residents claimed American staffies were responsible for a spate of viscous attacks in the area.
The terrible tragedy has rekindled the debate about vicious breeds, with some experts warning against such powerful dogs should never be within ten feet of a child.
The baby’s death also split the internet, with Staffy lovers describing the dogs as “wonderful family pets” and instead blaming the owners.
Pictured: a desperate man outside a house where a newborn boy was beaten to death by a staffy
“I’m sick of shaming races when it comes to staffies,” one owner wrote on Facebook.
âWe have a staff and all he ever wants is to love and be loved. Staffies are beautiful dogs and when raised properly they make the best companions. It all comes down to the fact that the owners don’t raise the dog properly. ‘
Another owner added, “It’s not the breed, it’s how they’re raised. I have an American Staffy and she’s so gentle and a fat sook wouldn’t harm a fly.”
A third wrote: âWe had three when the children were growing up and they had the most beautiful outdoors. You give them love and respect and they will return it unconditionally. ‘
Others place the responsibility on the dog owner.
“Prohibit people who are unable to look after their pets,” one wrote.
Another added: “Owning dogs comes with responsibility. The tragedy could have been avoided if owners had known their dog.”
The death renewed calls for the Staffys to be banished from Australia. Canine Expert Says Some Pets Need More Training (stock image of employee)
There were some demands to ban the breed.
âForbid them. You are troublemakers, âwrote one.
‘Poor baby. Bans the breed, imprisons the owner, âwrote another.
Dog experts said the dog involved in Sunday’s tragedy should never have been near the baby he “considered prey.”
However, they insisted that certain breeds of dogs, such as staffies, were not inherently dangerous, but that individual dogs were “unstable” and should be euthanized.
This is despite the fact that some types of dogs are bred to hunt and kill, and are over-represented in fatal attacks – leading to calls for them to be banned.
Pictured: first responders at a Central Coast home after the five week old boy was killed. Dog experts warned dogs should never be left with young children
Four weeks before the child was beaten, the same dog dragged a spaniel named Arrow under the garden fence and viciously killed it.
The local council asked the owners to take their pet for temperament assessment. But a month later the little boy was dead.
Canine behavior expert Nathan McCredie explained that for a dog such a young child is not considered a human but a catch.
“This dog would have had no idea the boy was human – babies are different sizes, they smell different, they scream and squeak,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
“Looks like loot to the Staffy.”
Mr McCredie, who runs the Dog Gone Mad dog training service, said such an animal – especially one with a violent history – should never have been allowed in the same room as the baby.
âI wouldn’t have it around my children. Leaving them running around with children unsupervised – that scares me too much, âsaid the father of two.
Pictured: a dog after being attacked by an employee in the street. Half of his ear was cut off
Pictured: the sad looking dog after a staffy came by and attacked him – cut off half his ear
“I don’t have dogs within three meters of children under the age of 14, and if I do, it’s because I invited the dog and I can control it.”
Mr McCredie said 80 to 90 percent of dog bites are the type of animal that say they are in pain, and children under the age of 14 often don’t know when they are causing pain or discomfort to an animal.
When the dog strikes, children are smaller and significantly less powerful than a large and muscular dog, like an American Staffordshire Terrier, and cannot escape its jaws.
Residents in the Jeff’s Close, Kariong area, where the baby died, claim American workers were responsible for a number of viscous attacks.
Elly, from the Central Coast, told Daily Mail Australia that her friend was walking her 12-year-old dog, Buddy, when two roaming workers showed up.
“My friend tried to protect him, but he was pulled out of her arms and torn to pieces in front of her,” she said.
“She was badly injured, hospitalized and now has lifelong scars – visible scars on her arms that remind her every day of the terrible event, and she is now forever scarred with a horror that she will never see again.”
In another horrific attack, a dog of the same breed attacked a man’s pet and cut off his ear.
Pictured: dog behavior expert Nathan McCredie, who owns Dog Gone Mad dog training service. He warned against leaving dogs in the company of children
When asked why some dogs would behave this way, Mr. McCredie said that some dogs are just aggressive and cannot be helped.
âI see it in all races. Some dogs are simply unstable and should be euthanized. I have no doubt the staff was unstable, âhe said.
Another dog expert, Nathan Williams of the Dog Behavioral Specialist training company, told Daily Mail Australia that people often teach dogs to kill by playing games like tug of war with them.
“Dogs are not meant to be toys – they have only been around for 40 to 50 years and we have more problems now than ever,” he said.
âWhen dogs use their mouth on something that is not protein based, they learn that it is okay to do it with other objects. Tug-of-war is violent and upsets the dog, so we teach them that is okay. ‘
He also said that dogs have very sensitive hearing. So when they play with squeaky toys, they get excited by the sound and use their mouths to stop the squeaking.
This logic could be carried over to a cat or a baby, with tragic consequences.
Like Mr. McCredie, Mr. Williams said the killer dog was likely triggered because the baby was crying – but he didn’t know he was hurting a human.
Pictured: Nathan Williams, owner of the Dog Behavioral Specialist training company
When asked which breeds of dogs are most dangerous to children, both experts said all breeds can be potentially dangerous – but staff got a lot of attention because they were such a popular dog.
“German Shepherds used to be very popular and had a bad rap for biting children, Dobermans were popular in the 1970s, and there were many reports of these attacks on babies and other dogs – now their staff,” Williams said.
Mr McCredie said tragedies like the one on the Central Coast usually happen because owners were uneducated about how to look after their pets.
“There is no such thing as an unpredictable dog – there is a lack of education and people don’t know what is safe and what is not,” he said.
He suggested about three months of compulsory training for all dogs and their owners to ensure deaths like the one this weekend didn’t happen again.