Trainer: 'Combat breed' dogs require extra training, care - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Trainer: 'Combat breed' dogs require extra training, care

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Left Eye, a pit bull mix that attacked and killed a child on Aug. 17,  2016, appears in this undated image. (Source: Facebook) Left Eye, a pit bull mix that attacked and killed a child on Aug. 17, 2016, appears in this undated image. (Source: Facebook)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The deadly pit bull attack on a child this week was preventable.

[READ: Las Vegas child dead, dog euthanized after attack]

Some dogs have been bred for combat or to take down other animals. Trainers call them combat breeds, and while they’re not necessarily dangerous, they do require extra care.

Gregory Conner has been training dogs for 30 years. He said every dog is different and training must be tailored to the individual animal. He reminds dog owners that their pets are descended from wolves.

“The point of this is to keep you out of the hospital. That’s it,” Conner said.

Conner has been bitten numerous times.

“When I call it a combat breed, think of any dog that’s been used in the past for combat against man or beast,” he said.

In addition to pit bull, combat breeds include Malinois and Rottweiler.

Conner believes the dog that attacked the child, a 3-year-old pit bull mix named Left Eye, probably gave his owner clues that he had aggression problems. Behaviors to look out for include growling when another dog gets near food or when someone is let into your home.

“There were probably cues happening that should have let the owner know this dog required extra responsibility,” Conner said.   

[READ: Former owner of pit bull that killed child cited in July]

Conner said pit bulls, which were bred to hunt boars, have attack instincts that can be overcome with training. He said it’s up to the dog owner to ensure the safety of the community.

“We have to stop perpetuating the myth all dogs are the same,” Conner said.

Conner would like to see a combat dog law in effect that would require owners of dogs with aggressive tendencies to obtain insurance and get extra training for that animal.

[READ: Family discusses pit bull's deadly attack on child]

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