This week in West Seattle, Washington State Animal Control took in two bullmastiffs for the second time in weeks. In early December, the dogs mauled a ten-year-old boy after he climbed into their fenced yard, leaving him with serious injuries and permanent scars. Just days after the dogs were returned to their owner, the dogs attacked again, this time cornering a woman and her dog in a public park.
While pit bulls are widely known as the most dangerous dog breed, there are a number of dog breeds that have long been associated with dog attacks, aggressiveness, and dog bite incidents. Bull mastiffs are not as common as pit bulls and do appear high in the dog bite statistics charts, but they are big, powerful, and potentially aggressive animals that can attack, especially if they are not trained properly.
A working dog, the bullmastiff is characterized by its large size and thick build. With short muzzles and large muscles, the dogs were developed in the nineteenth century by landlords in order to guard properties and attack trespassers and poachers. Because they were bred to be wary of strangers, to attack those who enter their territory, and guard their owners, bullmastiffs are genetically inclined to be aggressive toward strangers and to attack anyone who enters their area.
Bullmastiff enthusiasts stress that the dogs are extremely obedient and trainable – and that anyone who properly raises their bullmastiff pet will own a dog that is not a threat to others unless others are threatening the dog. A properly trained bullmastiff, they say, is no more dangerous than the most non-aggressive dog, and a poorly trained dog of another less historically dangerous dog will pose a greater threat to humans.
However, some argue that bullmastiffs, along with other breeds such as pit bulls, should be banned in Seattle in Washington State. Whether the dogs are aggressive due to genetics or whether the dogs attack humans due to abuse or lack of training shouldn’t matter, they say. What matters is that bullmastiffs and pit bulls are responsible for many of the serious dog attacks on humans across the state.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a bullmastiff in Washington State, talk to a WA dog bite lawyer today about whether or not you deserve compensation for what has happened.