Dog Trained with Teddy Bear Attacks Girl


A large male Mastiff that had been trained to play tug-of-war with a teddy bear attacked a two-year-old girl in Tampa, Florida yesterday. It is believed the dog attacked because the girl is about the size of the teddy bear. She is listed in serious condition. The owner of the dog had to choke the animal to get it to let go of the girl.

The owner now faces criminal charges and authorities are in possession of the dog. Authorities have said the attack could have been easily prevented. The dog and his owner were visiting the home of the girl’s parents. Both the dog and girl were in the yard together when the attack occurred. It doesn’t take too much intelligence to figure out those animals as large as Mastiffs should not be running around with small children. Deputies have also said that owners should not give their dogs toys to play with that resemble small children. Furthermore, the dog had never been to this house before and was in unfamiliar territory.

The dog’s owner was cited for having an aggressive dog and having an expired dog tag. He was arrested on an unrelated warrant of driving with a suspended license.

Though the dog is the one that attacked the young girl, people need to remember that it was trained that this type of activity was play. It’s not entirely the dog’s fault. While Mastiffs are huge dogs and they have been known to become aggressive, this particular animal was placed in a situation with something as small as its teddy bear was around it. Deputies in the case have said that people need to be educated about these things. As one of them said, either the dog should have been confined somewhere away from the child, or the child should have been left somewhere where the dog could not hurt it.

Dog bites can be extremely dangerous, especially to young children. However, it is ultimately up to the owners who decide what kind of training these dogs get, as well as what types of situations they are placed in. Maybe the key is to remember that dogs, no matter what kind, tend to act on instinct much more than we give them credit for. While many people see this as something noble in domesticated animals, many people pay the price in injury and even death every year.