Craig Sytsma, RIP (courtesy freep.com)

“Craig Sytsma left work Wednesday evening and went for a run along the shoulder of a rural road in Metamora Township in Lapeer County [MI],” freep.com reports.  “A man mowing his lawn waved at Sytsma, a 46-year-old Livonia man, who politely waved back. The man said he continued mowing the lawn and the next time he saw Sytsma, he was in a nearby ditch being attacked by two loose dogs. ‘He yelled at the dogs,’ Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office Det. Sgt. Jason Parks said. ‘They would not release.'” The neighbor had a gun . . .

The man who had been mowing shot a handgun into the air. Still, the dogs would not let go. So he shot at one of the dogs, grazing it in the side.

That ended the attack, Parks said. The dogs left and went to a nearby house. But it didn’t end the trouble for the dogs’ owners, who returned home after the attack and later surrendered the animals, two Cane Corsos, an exotic breed bred to hunt wild boar in their native Italy, according to authorities.

Shamefully, the trio of Freep writers who penned this piece continue on about the dogs and their owners, failing to mention the fact that the Cane Corsos mauled Mr. Sytsma to death until the tenth paragraph. I guess that’s because this is one of several follow-up stories on the attack, which includes When dogs attack, safety choices are few, vet and other experts say. Here are the bullet points from that piece . . .

■ Run in well-lit, highly populated places.

■ Carry mace, especially if you are alone.

■ If a dog threatens, stay calm. Do not run. Avoid eye contact.

■ Stand sideways. Hold anything in front of you that you might have to appear larger — an umbrella or a stick, for example.

■ If the dog attacks, give it something else to bite. Pull your arm out of a sleeve and then slip out of the shirt. Or use a shoe. That may give you extra time to back away.

■ Get to a higher place. Climb a tree or on the top of a vehicle.

■ If you’ve been knocked down, protect face, chest and neck. Keep your hands in a fist.

■ If you are going to be bitten, the best place is on the shin or forearm. A dog bite in the thigh can cause fatal bleeding.

■ Whatever the breed, if you are bitten, resist the urge to pull away because this will cause more damage, according to the website of Cesar Millan, world-renown dog trainer and star of the show “Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan.”

What’s missing here? Carry a gun. The ballistic omission is all the more glaring because, as revealed above, Mr. Sytsma’s neighbor was able to stop the attack by shooting one of the dogs. Not soon enough though. Perhaps if Mr. Sytsma had been carrying a gun . . .

Perhaps not. But his death is a cautionary tale on a lot of levels (e.g., the dogs should have been removed from their owners’ care after previous biting incidents). Don’t let this be you. [h/t Jeff]

94 Responses to It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use: Cane Corsos Edition

  1. So I should run in well-lit, populated places, even if I don’t live near one, and when I’m running, if there are dogs nearby, I shouldn’t run.

    Thanks for nothin’, Freep.

    • Oh come on, tdiinva, we all know it doesn’t require the SWAT team for a dog. That’s routine weapons, not “special weapons.”

      • No, but it does require “special” tactics. There’s a reason why SWAT officers have to wear helmets indoors, after all.

  2. That’s rough. Horrible way to die. But a good reason to find a way to make carrying possible while jogging. Its a real pain, that’s when I’m at my most vulnerable because I haven’t quite figured out a good system yet. I must add to anyone that’s ever attacked by a dog there is way to kill it with your hands, according to what they used to teach the police. You grab the dogs jaw with one hand and bash it on top of the skull with a closed fist. That should kill, or break its jaw. Never done it personally but better than laying there and getting eaten.

    • Two are a whole lot harder to handle than one.

      And once you’re on the ground; well, the odds get REALLY bad then…

      As for carry while walking/jogging, I used to use a concealed-carry fanny-pack with belt, but I’d sling it cross-chest, so it rode higher and didn’t beat me up so much. It takes some experimentation.

      • Very true.

        As for your carry idea that sounds like it may work, i’ll give a try. Thanks.

        • I used to train attack dogs and I know how to fight them. But two Cane Corsos? Without a pistol I’d have no chance. Zero. I’d have just slightly more than zero chance against only one.

        • Yeah, I can see that. before I posted I didn’t see how enormous these things are.

        • huge strong dogs & very determined. not great dogs to leave out on their own recognizance.

        • Ralph, how do you recommend fighting attack dogs?

          The grab jaw and punch head sounds like a good way to lose fingers, for a strong jawed breed, pit or GSD or mastiff. No disrespect intended to the guy mentioning it, I am just curious about alternatives.

          Mina, concur. Very dangerous breed. Imho victims family has a case against city/county if previous complaints not followed up, per repports. Remember the woman killed in San Francisco a few years ago?
          http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diane_Whipple

      • I use a Camelbak mule pack. 100oz Water, my important stuff like wallet, keys, and my Kimber ultra carry II. The lower pouch comes with a nylon loop to easily secure the pistol.

    • Yeah, people who don’t know dogs are dumb as to how to defend against them. Their jaws are weak transversely, squeeze them and they are easily broken, or at least cause extreme pain to the dog. They only have one way of grappling you, you have many. Their eyes are very exposed.

      It’s a matter of not getting scared and falling into prey mode, that deters most dog attacks right there. Then its a matter of showing them that you are not easy prey, that scares off most the rest. After that, just shoot them.

      Hmm. Kinda sounds like how to protect yourself against people.

    • I believe in carrying a firearm whenever possible whether or not it’s illegal. We also carry a powerful stun gun.. they’re not expensive, $55 is all… Smaller than pack of smokes… Should work on two and four legged mutts….I don’t sell these devices but if anybody wants o know where we got ours, just ask…

      • Four Pitbulls running loose attacked my Chow when I was out walking in a suburban neighborhood; I drew my Glock 30. (compact .45ACP) charged into them and drew a bead on one of them; as I was squeezing the trigger; just before the gun went boom, the dogs scattered and ran off; they never even growled at me.

        It was like magic. Pepper spray is good unless the wind is bowing in your face; then it’s not so good; nothing like being blind while four Pitbulls turn on you and start to maul you instead.

        • I actually had a very similar experience. I was out for a walk and a massive pit bull managed to leap over its fence and barrel straight at me. I quick drew my .45 and pointed and was about to shoot when it instinctively back off, grumbled a bit and turned back, as the owner came outside to get it. He saw I had my gun drawn and didn’t say anything, as I just said, “Hey, I almost shot your dog.” And the dude was like, “I wouldn’t blame you, sorry” and took it back inside. Glad it went down that way but definitely weird that it was either trained that way or somehow just knew.

        • I was charged by a neighbor’s off-leash, full-grown Rottweiler while I was minding my own business doing yard work at my house.

          Completely unprovoked, the dog suddenly charged from about 50 feet away up the hill toward me. Growling it’s head off and snapping.

          Was able to fend him off by whacking at him with a rake.

          When I reprimanded the owner, she was very defensive and was only concerned about her dog. She showed no concern for the fact her dog had assaulted someone. I pointed out that, if I chose to pursue it, the dog could be legally deemed a dangerous dog since it had attacked me.

          Later that afternoon, I was pleasantly surprised as she dropped off a letter of apology, acknowledging she was at fault for having it off leash and that the dog could indeed be declared dangerous.

          Ten years later, she still walks the dog (on a leash) in the neighborhood. No issues.

          —————-

          Like the parents of violent perps, some dog owners are completely oblivious about the dangers their dogs present to society.

          After their sons have been shot or arrested by police as a result of [insert violent crime], the responses are similar: “my son was a good boy.”

          There’s a complete lack of empathy for their dogs’ or sons’ victims and a failure to acknowledge reality.

    • you can find a way to carry a p32 or p3at – they are very light weight and flat. not the most powerful but if the dog is coming at you and you have time, let it run it’s face right into a couple of .32 or .380 rounds.

      there are other options for dogs, too, such as a NAA mini-revolver in .22 mag

      I think Rick Perry shot a coyote while out for a run, he was carrying one of the many lightweight .380 pocket pistols in the market these days.

  3. Well golly gosh gee it wasn’t a pit bull huh? I confess I have never heard of that breed. My deepest sympathy to the mans family. What a horrible death. The owner of the dogs should fry.

  4. I’m still trying to figure out how to carry my LCP when I go on neighborhood runs and walks. I’ve seen a few methods, I just need to buy one and give it a shot. No pun intended.

    • With the normal level of journalistic accuracy I’m surprised they didn’t mistake them for Pit Bulls and just call them that. Because they have fur. And teeth. To bite people with.

    • I run with a TCP in a Blackhawk IWB holster tucked into my compression shorts. Not the best solution as it requires adjustment about every mile or so. It beats nothing, though.

    • Hill People Gear makes a “kit bag” designed for runners. I use it for hiking and have good luck with it, can put your wallet and keys in there as well depending on the model you get.

  5. I clicked on the Cane Corsos and looked at the images. Mr. Sytsma probably mistook his attackers for the more docile animals of the same size (horses). The Corsos probably mistook Mr. Sytsma for something they were supposed to eradicate. The freepers knew better and have no excuse.

    Let anti’s reap what they sow. If you see one getting mauled, frisk yourself then shrug and say “oh, shucks, sorry”.

  6. Looks like an all black Rott.
    Pepper spray folks. Works really well on aggressive dogs.
    What a messed up way to die.

    • Cane Corsos may bite as hard as Rottweilers. I once had a Rotty bite straight through a chrome leather training sleeve. I didn’t know that I’d been bitten because all I could feel was the crush of his jaws. I had a scar for years.

      He was a good dog. When his owner called him off, the dog immediately dropped me like I tasted bad.

      • We had 3 through the years to watch over the kids. Great family dogs.
        I’ve been dog less for 2 years now. I don’t have it in me to lose another one.

        • Tom,
          A neighbors dog died some time ago, and they buried it in their yard, on their own property here in Oregon. Another neighbor is now saying that this is illegal. Know anything about that?
          Thanks.

  7. Descended from the Roman war dog, a mature cane corso should weight between 99 and 110 pounds. If not well-socialized at an early age the breed can be very aggressive. A pair of them? More than doubly so.

    Between Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Rottweilers, Cane Corsos, Pit Bulls, and a few others….I recommend Shannon to take up a new calling….MDAADV.

    • You forgot that huge Russian Bear Dog, probably the very last dog I’d ever want to encounter…

    • Rhodesian ridgebacks? Really? Since when did that breed become known for ferocity and viciousness? All of mine and the ones I’ve known are pussy cats.

      It’s not the breed, it’s how they are raised.

      Any dog will bite, it’s the uncared for ones that will get you. Blame the owner, not the animal but by all means defend yourself accordingly.

      • I don’t think that ropingdown was insinuating that Ridgies are vicious or mean. I think he was noting that they were once used to hunt lions.

        • Yes, the dogs bred to hunt (course or hold at bay) the big cats or bears require special devotion. The Rhodesians? I’ve experienced two owners in different towns letting a pair of them torment the neighbors, with repeated escaped-dogs incidents, followed eventually by a serious attack. “Who knew?” I suppose the doings of the pair owned by a surgeon in Haddonfield, NJ can still be googled easily. Sure enough: http://articles.philly.com/2011-04-30/news/29491085_1_pilesgrove-municipal-court-rhodesian-ridgebacks-duke-bit This was a near-neighbor of my cousin.

          Most of you have probably heard of Sunoco, Sun Oil Company, founded by Joseph Pew. The Pews were quite devoted to German Shephards as guard dogs. Very well-trained ones, I note. They lived in the township. I can laugh and reflect that they had one follow me one day when, aged 17, my car broke down by their main house. (I’d walked up the 200 foot driveway and asked to use the phone…it was raining….the dog followed me one pace back, all the way to the road. He looked like the Charles Atlas of dogs. The next neighbor gave me a brandy and called a tow truck.) Well, at about that time one of the family’s guard dogs jumped its enclosure’s 12-foot fence and almost killed one of the granddaughters of the founder, scarring her badly for life. She was probably wearing the wrong outfit or perfume.

          The issue of powerful working dogs outside the owner’s actual control is a complex one.

      • a Ridgeback is a true family/farm dog. They are certainly strong and tough enough to do damage, and like any animal should be treated with due respect, but I would never put them on a list of “difficult” dogs.

  8. The police and government (dog warden?) were doing their job again:

    In this case:
    ” According to police, dogs at the same address had attacked and bitten two other people in the previous two years who were walking or jogging in the neighborhood.”

    About 31 people were killed by dogs in 2013, most by pit bulls or pit bull like (?) Look it up on the CDC website, they list each individual event.

    According to the CDC:
    Nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, half of these are children.1 One in five dog bites results in injuries serious enough to require medical attention.1

    Why be concerned about dog bites?
    •About 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.1
    •Almost one in five of those who are bitten, about 885,000, require medical attention for dog bite-related injuries; half of these are children.1
    •In 2012, more than 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs.2

    Who is at risk?
    •Children: Among children, the rate of dog bite–related injuries is highest for those ages 5 to 9 years, and children are more likely than adults to receive medical attention for dog bites.
    •Adult Males: Male adults are more likely than female adults to be bitten.

  9. One man is needlessly dead. Two exotic dogs will be put down. And for what? Because a careless owner didn’t keep them under control.

    As for you runners out there, you can’t outrun a dog. You will just trigger their prey drive. Carry something — pepper spray, or a small bottle or water pistol with an ammonia/water mixture. They work wonders. Then you won’t have to kill a dog and you can save your bullets for two-legged vermin.

    • I wonder if pepper spray is what the first two victims used (see Anon’s post, above yours).

      A few bullets apiece in the first or second attack might have saved a life later. Monday morning quarterbacking, I know, but this seems to be a more and more common chain of events, and the earlier it gets permanently shut down, the better for the people in that community. I know, “punishing the dog(s) for the sins of the owner”, but it’s not legal to shoot the owner — even if they are the ones that deserve it.

      And the victim’s relatives should STILL sue the owners into the poorhouse.

      • I can’t speak to using pepper spray on cane corso’s as I’ve never seen one in person, but I can speak to using bear spray on dogs while cycling. In every single case, the dogs instantly ceased chasing me (chasing seems harmless if you are in a car, but can kill you on a bicycle). I have been caught off guard before and couldn’t deploy the bear spray in time, but thankfully I had enough speed built up and the dogs miscalculated and slid right past my front tire while trying to bite my friend’s rear tire. Those pups almost took me out in a really unpleasant way. Both seemed highly aggressive as I’ve never seen any animal slide sideways on pavement before. Really shook me up. I normally cycle with a .380, but I might have to move up to a .45 if I could run into a monstrosity like that. I like dogs, but I like more tame pups that don’t want to kill me and everyone around me.

    • yep. exactly.

      I live in farm country. also ride my horses a lot around the neighborhood as well as my bike.

      can’t tell you how many times I get the farm dog tailing me barking furiously and nipping at my legs. with the horse, I just turn the horse toward the dog and start moving towards him. that usually works, if not the horse is an old fox hunter and he just deals with it- usually by stepping on it. Horses that fox hunt don’t take any shit from dogs.

  10. There was a bizarre couple in San Francisco who were keeping two Cane Corsos for their incarcerated client, an Aryan Nation member who went by the handle of “Corn Fed.” Corn Fed was incarcerated at the Pelican Bay Super Max facility in northern California, and he raised these dogs when not in prison. Well, to make a long story sort, the dogs attacked a neighbor in the couple’s apartment building, killing her, and our would be hero lawyers ended up in jail for manslaughter.

    • Wow. That is certainly an interesting story. Don’t think I’d ever accept anything from a man named Corn Fed.

    • Presa Canarios, not Cane Corsos. It was found out after the trial, I think, that the female half of the couple was having …..relations……. with the male canine. SFO is right.

    • I followed that case closely. I found the behavior of the attorney-owners absolutely third-world. Some justice was done, but the horrible death could have been prevented: there were serious prior incidents. For quite a few owners of powerful dogs the thing becomes an amusement, “let’sintimidate the neighbors.” I’ve had two neighbors like that in thirty-five years. One was a pair of physicians. The other just a local old-line notable family that wanted to see if they still had clout. The answer was “a little, but not enough to behave like an ass.”

  11. Love dogs, have one myself. But I wouldn’t hesitate to shoot one if it attacked. Dog bites are nasty, and if you get a dog big enough (IE more than 1/3rd of your weight) you are in REAL trouble if it’s aggressive and gets you to the ground. I run almost every day, and haven’t found a good way to carry yet. Although I use the same route and know where all the dogs are, I might have to reconsider for those times I run outside of my home turf…

  12. I just goggled cane corsos. That poor guy had no chance. It looks like the same dog from Gladiator. And there were lots of news stories about this. Again-my deepest sympathies. And yes I’ve carried a pepper blaster and a knife for years now. No gun ( yet ) in Illinois but working on it.

  13. A pistol would be decent insurance. If you can’t carry a pistol, a knife is better than nothing….

    Knew a dog trainer who imported two Dogo Agentinos (another large hunting breed). A few weeks after he got them they attacked him in the dog run. He survived but only because he was near the gate when the attack started and was able to get out of the pen before being mauled to death. His knowledge of attack dogs probably helped him during the fight too. He was horribly scarred. The dogs were put-down.

    I own and love pit bulls, But I’m always cautious around the bigger dogs like the Dogo Argentinos, Cane Corsos, etc.

  14. Hope the dogs were put down by the pound.
    Amaazing advice they give us, crawl into a ball and wait for someone to pick up the pieces. Or throw your shoe. Basically meaningless talk to make their article longer.

    • Thats gotta come from the same group who gives the same advice when being robbed. Offer no resistance. Give them everything they want. Don’t forget to say thank you.
      We probably all knew or knew of someone who did exactly that and was then killed. Ain’t it funny how nobody takes better care of you than you.

      • heh. use your rape whistle….anyone notice it was 7 minutes at end of 911 tape, and cops still not there, despite being dispatched already, on earlier call about the guy being shot?

        When seconds count…

        all you MDA momies, neighbor dogs on the loose is an even greater threat to your kids than school shooters. And btw, LEOs I know that go thru doors on gang warrants say that pepper spray has litle effect on pit bulls…YMMV.

  15. As much as I normally defend the dogs in these things, this is clearly a case where the dogs should have been shot. There’s just no other recourse.

    It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people are when they pick dogs. They see trained protection dogs with experienced handlers and go “wouldn’t that be nice for my family”, and never bother to think, gee, maybe that takes knowledge, time, and a hell of a lot of effort. Can they be great dogs? Sure, but if you don’t know what you’re doing you might as well leave loaded guns lying around.

    The dogs may have been the instrument, but the owners killed that man with their stupidity.

  16. A neighbor’s bulldog started to come after me as I was walking my ferocious little ankle biter a couple years ago. I grabbed my dog and was able to kick the bulldog in the head hard enough to rattle some teeth loose. The neighbor started cursing at me and I simply said, “Since you choose to have your dog out without a leash, you get what you deserved. Please consider yourself lucky that I did no shoot your dog, which was my next move if he had kept up his aggressive posture.”

    He said that he was going to call the cops and I said, “Oh, no problem, I already called them.”

    They rolled up and cited the idiot for having his dog off a leash.

    Next time I don’t think I’m going to be so lenient.

  17. Do not rely on pepper spray!!! It doesn’t work on every dog and even if the dog is vulnerable to it, it can take up to a minute for it to work. You can be crippled, maimed or dead by the time it starts working. Something like 8-9 mailmen are bitten by dogs every day that mail is delivered….that’s 6 days per week, 52 weeks per year. Some bites are minor nips, some are maulings, some are fatal. They carry pepper spray but it just isn’t enough to prevent 2400-2700 injuries (up to and including death) per year. I’ll pick a gun over pepper spray any day!

  18. My neighbor has two Great Pyrenees and while they seem fairly well behaved (they’re not obedient by any means), if they ever decided to kill something there’s nothing short of a bullet that would stop them. Especially if they both got it in their heads to go after the same thing at the same time.

    I would never own dogs like that but if I felt differently and did then I’d sure as hell have a multi-million dollar blanket liability policy.

    • Pyr’s (and all other big, white-haired livestock guarding dogs, such as the Kommondor, Kuvasz, Maremma, Tatra, Akbash, etc) are very hard-headed dogs. Once they think there’s something that needs their attention, they’re on it – regardless of what the owner says.

      This is due to their being bred to bond with flocks of sheep – and guard the sheep, even when there’s no human nearby to tell them what to do.

      If you have kids you want to protect and leave at home alone, get a big white LGD. Nothing will get past those dogs to your kids until the dog is dead. Big, white LGD’s qualify in my world as “real guard dogs.” They need no training, no command and no interpretation of events by you to know who is a threat and who isn’t. Someone who breaks into your house at night will wish they hadn’t, long before you wake up and finish fumbling to find your gun.

      • I’m on my 2nd and 3rd Pyr, and it’s critical to note that the breed first barks aggressively to drive away a perceived threat, only if the threat continues to press will a Pyr bite (females are usually first to approach followed by the males). The breed isn’t normally human aggressive (it’s considered a breed fault if they are) but you can expect them to be leery of new visitors until they see that you have accepted them. Proper socialization is critical so they do not get dog aggressive, their natural threats being wolves and bears. Our Pyr’s challenge anyone that comes near our fence/house but take them for a walk around the neighborhood and they don’t react the same way.

        Pyr’s are breed to think for themselves which earns them the hard headed rep (Pyr’s are not sit/stay/come type of dogs, they will abandon trying to please you for protecting you 100% 0f the time), that is their job. Why would they want to come to you if they are engaging a threat, that would be bringing the threat to you, and they have been breed for thousands of years to drive the threat away from the flock. Shepherds in the field are taught to run into the middle of the flock when the dogs take on a predator.

        Notice how this Pyr (family pet, not a working dog) does not come, no matter how often they call for her, keeping the 1000lb moose away from her “flock” of sheeple.

    • I got a Pyr when my youngest was 18 months old. Went to training classes with her and she took to it well. I have a picture of my son using her for a pillow on the family room floor. She had a look of extreme contentment.

      The important thing is that big dogs require owners who know how to train them, or who are willing to learn. Training classes once a week for 10 weeks with no reinforcement from the owner daily are not enough.

  19. If Florida , we have gators , bears, and other rabies wildlife that can attack even in a housing area day or night, and let’s not forget the 2 leg types. , having a gun is a must .

  20. Love dogs of all kinds, but when faced with any of the muscular breeds in attack mode, a bullet is the only thing to stake your life on.

    Never did how to figure out how to carry while running (years ago), but after some years and slowing down to a walk, I’d carry a pistol, pepper spray, and an ASP baton while walking in the wee hours of the morning after work. I then lived in a university area with all of it’s attendant craziness. The pepper spray was for the drunks, the pistol for the big dogs and thugs, and the baton for everything in between.

  21. No surprise Freep didn’t mention carrying a weapon for self defense, it is a heavily left leaning newspaper. I would expect nothing less from them. Sad story none the less. Prayers to his family.

  22. I was attacked by a loose Gull Dong breed in the woods once. Going uphill at 4-5mph, the dog came out of nowhere, and tried to grab my leg. Incline was steep enough that I fell over when startled and stopped pedaling.

    Dog had me about three inches below the knee, and I started beating the piss out of the side of its face and eyes with the palm of my fist. I injured him enough that he became disorientated and released me. So damned pissed, and worried he would get back up and attack, I gave a swift kick to the chest, and got out of there to an ER.

    WV has strange laws about guns in the woods during non hunting season. The DNR has more power than the State Police, or so I’ve heard. If it wasn’t for that, the dog would have taken a few less chomps on my leg.

  23. Packs of stray dogs do traverse Houston and attacks, sometimes fatal, occur every other month or so. All kinds of predators, two- and four-legged, roam the cityscape. Be smart, including being armed, my friends.

  24. I have two Cane Corsi, the plural of Cane Corso, not “Corsos”, and the name is pronounced Kah-nay Cor-so, not “Kane” Cor-so as so many like to say. They are general-purpose Italian farm dogs, livestock guardians, and despite being descended from the Canis Pugnax, are not fighters. If I was talented enough, I would upload videos of my dogs interacting with my kids and their friends, or my cat for that matter. As I am writing this mine are on the bed with my wife, never have had a problem with them other than chewing furniture, and shoes.

    Most people cannot identify a true AKC pit bull, but they are always to blame in most attacks. Yet now it seems everyone is an expert on this relatively rare breed. I would like to see pictures or proof of the real identity of breed of dogs involved in the attack, and if Corsi, who bred them, and under what conditions.

    I spent many hours researching the breed, and over a years wait before we purchased our first; our family has not been disappointed. They are fine dogs, but you do have to know what you are getting, they are known as a dominant breed.

    • Like so many large breeds, they have the muscle to do real damage when, and it can happen to any animal, going into attack mode. The big difference is the owner. Pits, rottis, etc… all comes down to the owner.

      Sounds as if you are doing a good job, but let no one mistake any of these breeds for golden retrievers.

      And, thank you for the pronunciation education. I’ve always loved the look of the breed.

  25. As an experienced Corso owner (I own trained working corsos), I can tell you they are superb, highly intelligent dogs but absolutely must be properly trained and socialized from a very early age and should be viewed as a true working/protection breed and not a family pet. They must also be managed and under the firm control of a knowledgeable handler/owner at all times. They are staunchly protective of their territory and “pack” (ie their immediate family) and often do not readily accept new members without a significant “warming up/getting to know you” period. However, once you are accepted into their “pack” you will be a lifelong member.

    Additionally, they are some of the most athletic, powerful dogs you will ever meet and have basically no response to pain when in a state of high agitation. “Pinching” the nose/jaw, “poking” an eye or hitting the skull with a “closed fist” will likely not even faze a Corso who is in full attack mode. I would not rely on pepper spray either. They have been bred for centuries to finish the job and be immune to pain. Unless you can gain control of the head with the collar (there are ways to do this but it assumes the dog is wearing one), a gun or knife is really the only effective defense against a truly determined corso.

    The unfortunate reality is that most corso owners (and many dog trainers) do not even begin to understand their own dog or the breed in general, their unique personality and drive tendencies or know how to train or handle one successfully. The tragic result is that many corsos end up in homes they have no business being in in the first place with owners that couldn’t even properly handle a lab let alone a challenging breed such as this. They also end up in homes that don’t grasp the true depth of a corso’s protective instinct. Combine this with owner negligence and failure to contain the dog(s) and a tragedy such as this ensues.

    My deepest condolences to this man’s family and friends.

    • My once dog friendly rhodie mix was attacked by an Akita off leash, while my wife was running her on leash in a popular trails area, less than a mile from two elementary schools on both sides. My wife was unable to do much until the owner called off his dog, and then proceeded to swear at her. I went around to homes surrounding area and leatned this Akita had a history of doing same, with multiple calls to Animal Control and cops, to no result. .

  26. Currently there is a search on in Portland OR for an attractive blonde Mom who never made it home from a routine shopping trip.
    Be careful out there

  27. If the victim had even carried a knife, he would have likely survived.

    The attack by the dogs might have been an instant attack with little advance warning that many breeds give. (e.g. fierce growling, circling the victim) Many of us would have limp wristed a gun on the first shot while under that attack. Which is why I won’t own any model of gun that demonstrates it is more suspectible to limp-wristing malfunctions. I could name those guns but it will just start a flaming response.

    • Any knife you’re thinking of using had better have a wave-opening design, or be fixed blade. In an attack like that, you won’t have time to fumble trying to open it.

  28. Well, again I don’t have a FaceBook account, and can’t see the comments because I block FB with Disconnect. Maybe someone can post this for me on that “freep.com” page that links to the article:

    “What I would like anti-gun rights advocates to tell me, is how could calling the police, or taking away guns, have prevented the death of Mr. Sytsma?”

  29. This is another reason why I am a big fan of pocket pistols.

    you can carry a P32 anywhere except under water. It is thin and flat and only weighs about 6oz unloaded, holds 7 rounds of .32, and mine has been reliable.

    for a little increase in weight and width you can carry one of the many .380 pocket pistols on the market. Rick Perry shot a coyote with one while out for a run.

  30. The real problem is that when breeds become popular the gene pool suffers. This is especially bad for breeds that have natural tendencies to be agressive and or protective. After a couple of generations of dogs chained in the back yard or worse yet allowed to run free by owners who are phallicaly and mentally challenged they are walking time bombs. They become nightmare ambassadors for the breed.

  31. I have always had chows, great dogs, very protective. I have had ditzy chows and smart ones. The best I had was a true family guardian and would let the cat curl up next to it when laying in the kitchen. I was out walking him one day and an Akita, about 110# runs out of nowhere. My chow, all 65# of him, steps in front of me, while on leash, and puts the Akita on his back, and has him by the neck. All of a sudden the Akita starts pissing everywhere, and my chow lets up, and the Akita runs back to his his house tail between his legs.

  32. Hill People Gear kit bags. They even make one called the “Runner’s” Kit Bag. They’re perfect.

  33. This is kind of related, but I have been eyeing a pair of those Under-Armor type compression shorts that have what looks to be a fairly sturdy carry pouch/holster thingy sewn into the wasteband at about 4-5 oclock. Has anyone here used those? I doubt they woul dbe terrific for long distance running, but might be nice for mowing the lawn or the less ambitious runners among us. Thinking to conceal something in the neighborhood of springfield XDS.

  34. While it sucks this guy was mauled to death; I don’t know any serious runner that would want to carry a gun.

    Not because ‘omg guns’ but because they’re all obsessed with being ultra light.

  35. Sad. Maybe he could’ve saved the guy if he’d shot sooner? Not bashing the guy, just wondering for future reference.

    • Yeah, I’m assuming the guy had to run inside and maybe even unlock a safe to get the gun. A lot of damage can be done in that time. Jeez what a horrible story. At least the gun owner tried, and nearly succeeded in saving the victim.

  36. I have heard of one way to kill a dog by hand. I do not know if it would really work. It was something told to me by a person who trained attack dogs. I am glad I never had to try it. It is not pretty for either you or the dog. You make as thin a shape out of your hand that you can. You drive this hand down the dog’s throat then make a fist. Hold on for as long as it takes. You will be hurt bad.

    I raised my dogs (I am 65 and have had six) to believe that people only existed to feed them, pet them and play with them. Socialized to people (especially children) and other animals at an early age. With the exception of my current dog (at 13 lbs he is sometimes known as “The Rodent”), the rest have been very large dogs.

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