Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Locking Jaws

Revised: June 9, 2014; 18:08 GMT

Moreover, there is no truth to the myth that certain types of dogs have locking jaws or other sinister traits.
HSUS: The Tracey vs. Solesky “Pit Bull” Case

We found that the American Pit Bull Terriers did not have any unique mechanism that would allow these dogs to lock their jaws. There were no mechanical or morphological differences . . .
NCRC: Fear vs. Fact

There is nothing unique about the anatomy of pit bull jaws. They do not “lock.”
ASPCA: The Truth About Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls do not have locking jaws. Their jaws are anatomically similar to other canines. Further, their jaw strength is similar to other dogs their size. 
Beyond the myth

There is no 'enzyme,' no special mechanism that would make a pitbull's jaws 'lock.'

This is a myth. There is nothing anatomically unique about the jaws of “pit bull” dogs.
Animal Farm Foundation

Pit bulls do not have special “locking jaws” – that’s pure mythology.

. . . and they both say, as do I, that there is NO SUCH THING AS "JAW LOCKING" IN ANY BREED.
Pit Bull Rescue Central

The infamous locking jaw is a myth.

Pit Bulls do not have locking jaws.
Chako Pit Bull Rescue

There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of ‘locking mechanism’ unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier.
Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin, Ph.D. 1

* * * * *

"Locking Jaws" is a manufactured controversy, kept alive mainly by those who work so hard to refute it.

Why are the advocates so obsessed with the subject of locking jaws? Perhaps accounts like the following trouble them:
Her brother looked in a bedroom window and saw the dog locked onto Tayla's face. The two young men got into the house and tried to stop the attack by hitting the dog with keys and a broomstick, but the dog wouldn't let go. They then ran for help. Two neighbors came with baseball bats. "We had bats and we were beating on the dog and the dog wouldn't let go," said Winfred Davenport. They realized any help was going to be up to neighbor LaJayron Negrin, who had come into the house with his 9mm P95 Ruger. "I shot him three or four times in the side and once in the head," said Negrin, who has a concealed weapons permit. The dog did let go and looked up, for just a moment. Then he lunged again.
Neighbors rescue Deerfield Beach girl

. . . the pit bull continued to work the dog's neck in an effort to decapitate her. The police, recognizing that there was no alternative to killing the pit bull, moved the crowd of bystanders away from the scene. An officer fired one shot into the pit bull, which had no effect. Then an officer fired a second shot, hitting the dog again. Still, the pit bull kept going. The officers finally stopped the pit bull after firing 12 - 15 shots.
New Haven Independent
* * * * *

The victims and witnesses of these and thousands of similar attacks can be excused if they say the pit bulls locked onto their victims. Who would quibble over terminology in the face of such attacks?

When pit bulls attack they often remain attached, gnawing, and the resulting wound looks as if a Berkel meat cutter had removed tissue down to the bone.

August 8, 015.00 GMT
On June 21st, 2013 Janet Miller, 57, and her fiance Ken Linc, 53, were attacked by a pit bull and were seriously injured. Ms Miller was caring for the pit bull, named Capone, which belonged to her daughter, who inherited the pit bull from a former housemate.

In an unguarded moment, or perhaps because she had just endured a horrific mauling, Ms Miller used the term so abhorred by advocates of fighting breeds:
Miller’s daughter once told her pit bulls . . .  would lock down when they bite. “I never knew what that meant. Lock?” Miller said. “I knew it then.”

* * * * *
1 Dr. I. Lehr Brisbin is listed on the masthead of the American Canine Foundation (ACF), an organization which offers legal services in support of pit bulls. The ACF masthead includes several notable pit bull advocates including Glen Bui (as a Board Member), James Crosby (as an Expert Witness), and Karen Delise of the NCRC (as a Consultant), among others.

Glen Burnie couple faces eviction after attack

Related post:
Locking Jaws II: A Letter to Dr Brisbin

He never leaves his hold, when once he has got it, while life lasts.
Lieutenant Colonel Charles Hamiliton Smith,
The Natural History of Dogs (1839)