Behavior test determines future of fighting pit bulls - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Behavior test determines future of fighting pit bulls

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - They've been taught to attack, but now six pit bulls are waiting to see if they'll get a new home. They are part of a group of dogs seized last week in a Richland County dogfighting ring.

Scars on their faces, a broken leg, skinny skeletons - they're innocent dogs that were subjected to the cruel sport of dogfighting. They had a second chance. But for the six dogs, the hardest battle they would face would be animal behavioral expert Teoti Anderson, who would put the pit bulls to a temperament test that could decide if they live or die.

Anderson spoke about one of the dogs, "She hasn't had a lot of human contact, especially friendly contact. She's not used to affection. She doesn't know how good it can be."

Anderson started first by trying to pet the dogs - something every dog loves, a little affection from their owner.

For some it was just what they needed, but for others their tough past showed.

Teoti takes one dog by the mouth, and exposes its teeth. It may seem crazy, but it's all to make sure the dog can be trusted. "If they were placed in a home and were afraid if a toddler came and they were cornered, are they going to say, 'Fine, let me live through this,' or are they going to react assertively to that situation?"

One pit bull named Oreo shows his survival instincts by biting the hand trying to take food from him. Anderson said, "You don't want a dog that's going to growl, snap or bite you. If you approach his food, you should be able to take food away from a dog. The test is not accurate because he's starving - very thin. He's really hungry."

But for Chance, it's a whole different story. Teoti gave him an A-plus grade on his test.

For Maximus, his future is very unclear. "I didn't think it was safe to continue. He was really afraid," said Anderson. "He was thinking about what he wanted to do in the situation."

So she stopped the test "before he makes the decision I don't want him to make."

Maximus was the only dog that did not complete the test, and at this point is not ready for adoption. Anderson said, "It's heart-breaking. We do want all the dogs to succeed, but we want to make sure the dogs are safe."

Out of the six dogs tested, Carmella and Chance passed with no problems.

Oreo, the dog that bit the hand will have a do-over, to see if his change in hunger affects how he reacts to food being taken away from him. Pixie and Brownie were inconclusive. They were so scared of the test, that if they are adopted out, it will need to be in a home that knows how to deal with their special needs. The Humane Society will make the final decision this week.

Reported by Stewart Moore 

Posted by Chantelle Janelle

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