4 Year Old Killed By Family Dog

This happened in America, and though not unheard of, it’s fairly uncommon. Many people make the mistake of blaming the dog, or the breed, or the aggressive ‘nature’ of the animal. And though some of these things may play a role, the real problem stems from the people who take these dogs on as pets.

In this story, the dog who killed the 4 year old little boy was a Cane Corso (pronounced ka-nay kor-so). This is a very muscular breed of dog, a mix between a Pit Bull and a Mastiff. Making it powerful and large. I have a friend in Virgina who raises and rescues Cane Corsos. He and his wife are experts on the breed and are fully aware of the power these dogs possess. They spend a great deal of time with their dogs, socializing them from birth, training them properly, and caring for them with love while still respecting the nature of the breed. This is necessary for all breeds of dogs, but especially those who have a propensity to show signs of aggression — and those who possess a great deal of power.

Cane Corso

In the story below there seems to be a lot of speculation as to why the dog ‘snapped’. Some of the comments lead me to think there are other stories I didn’t read which indicated the dog had been abused by the owner… the little boy’s mother’s boyfriend. If this is the case, I’m not surprised. Many young men will get a ‘pet’ not having a real idea of how to care for it. Especially a large breed dog or exotic animal. They generally get this pet seeking attention from others, or to appear ‘cool’. Yet caring for one of these as a pet can prove to be difficult, even for the most experienced pet owners. These poor animals end up neglected and often abused. And for anyone who thinks physical abuse is going to calm your aggressive dog (Cane Corso, Tosa Inu, Rottweiler, Pit Bull, etc) you are sadly mistaken. Abusing these breeds (or any breed) will only encourage that aggressive nature they already possess. They will not protect and defend you as you once hoped — they will fear and hate you. Just because a dog obeys you doesn’t mean he respects you.

Tosa Inu

So if you’re one of the young men or women who have taken on one of these dogs for ‘protection’ or just to get attention from the general population — please do your homework. These are not easy breeds to care for. They require a great deal of training and socializing and time!

Pit Bull

Article below:

A Brooklyn boy was fatally mauled by a family dog Friday in a split-second attack that may have been prevented.

Jayelin Graham, a 4-year-old boy, was killed when the dog, a Cane Corso Mastif, erupted in a violent rage, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. No one seems to know what set off the dog, but apparently the animal was already a known menace in the neighborhood.

“Within a split second it happened,” Calandra Jubeark, the boy’s aunt, told WABC-TV. e “[Saquina Jubeark, the boy’s mother] said, ‘The dog wouldn’t let go.’ It’s painful.”

The dog’s owners maintain the dog did not have a vicious nature, but neighbors seem to disagree, accoridng to ABC.

A man who tried to save the boy from the dog said as soon as the dog had the child in his jaws, there was no hope.”He was trained to kill,” the man told the Daily News. “He had the boy by his throat. The dog was shaking him. He had no chance.”

 According to ABC News the dog apparently belonged to the boy’s mother’s boyfriend.

Jayelin’s other siblings have since been removed from the apartment, though the dog was tranquilized and taken away following the attack.


30 thoughts on “4 Year Old Killed By Family Dog

  1. Many people who take on large breed dogs (bred for strength and agression in many cases) don’t understand the type of care that is necessary for them. Each breed of dog behaves differently. An Old English Sheepdog will be different than a Pittbull. For one thing, owners should expect their dogs to be aggressive should they feed them a high protein diet. The dogs may also be jealous (my Maltese-Poodle mix sure is!) and may take that out on a small child. It is so so so important to do your homework BEFORE you get a dog. I don’t blame the dog – I blame the owners.

    • It’s so true many don’t understand the breed and raise them improperly — sometimes leading to tragedy.

      I had a Rottweiler who I got as a puppy and worked on her socializing and training from day one. She was truly an amazing, gentle, loving, social dog. She was good with people, children, and all other animals. Unfortunately, as she aged her health started to deteriorate and she once attacked my mother’s small dog — violently. She had never done anything like this before and we were all shocked by this behavior — she had been raised with this other dog! But after the first attack she didn’t stop. The small dog feared her and she knew it. Nature took over. Eventually, after the third and most violent attack, we had no choice but to have her put to sleep as keeping the dogs apart wasn’t possible. It was a devastating decision for everyone in the family, but I think it was the only fair thing to do. Giving her away wasn’t an option… she was like my child. And I couldn’t risk her hurting another animal, or even a person one day.

      Long story short — even when some breeds are raised in the best of circumstances with the right amount of training and socializing — their nature will sometimes still prevail. Especially as they age and their health isn’t what it once was. We all get old and crabby 🙂

  2. I saw the sexist comment “Many young men will get a ‘pet’” and scrolled up to see if the article was written by a woman. Yep, of course it was. If you have issues with men, fine, but don’t post something on the Internet like only men exhibit this kind of behavior and that a woman would never do this. Your point of view is sexist and ignorant.

    • Perhaps you have a point that the comment appears to be sexist. Let me assure you that wasn’t the intention at all. You’re correct that women are equally as capable of this behaior, and do partake in it just as often. You could also say my statement was ‘age’ist’ considering I used the word ‘young’.

      Regardless, animals are a responsibility and should be treated as such.

      Thank you for your comment and pointing that out.

      • The author stated below the first set of pictures
        Tosa Inu

        So if you’re one of the young men or women who have taken on one of these dogs for ‘protection’ or just to get attention from the general population — please do your homework. These are not easy breeds to care for. They require a great deal of training and socializing and tim

        So in her writings she DID acknowledge that both genders get dogs for the wrong reasons. Just saying 😉

        Great artcle!
        Thanks from the crew

    • The comment wasn’t sexist in the least. It’s a fact of life, at least here in the UK.

      It’s like saying that it’s racist to say that most suicide bombers in Afghanistan are Muslim….

      This is what one expert had to say after a similar attack in the UK :
      Dog control laws and pit bulls
      “Chris Laurence, veterinary director of the Dogs Trust, believes it is pit bulls’ new standing as a macho status symbol for young men that has been a major reason behind recent attacks.”

      If you want more on the story check out this link:
      Uncle jailed for owning death dog

      Unfortunately in the UK a perfectly good breed has been banned, which is mainly due to the semi illiterate morons that owned them and failed to train them properly, or even encouraged their aggressive behaviour.

      • Thank you so much for your comment, Paul. However, my post did indicate males are more responsible for this type of behavior than females — and though it might appear to be the case — I don’t know there’s any real evidence supporting that statement.

        But I don’t think the gender of the person participating in this barbaric behavior is really that important. It’s far more important to focus on the fact this is taking place all around the world, and to educate people in hopes of ending animal abuse.

        Many areas in America have also banned certain breeds of dogs, some animal shelters immediately euthanize if that breed shows up at the shelter (not even trying to rehome them), and the majority of real estate agencies won’t rent to owners of specific breeds. It’s sad these animals are victims of discrimination when it’s really their owners who should be held responsible.

    • A dog doesn’t necessarily turn on its owner. But all breeds require different levels of training and socialization. It’s important to understand the breed before taking it on as a pet. It makes for a much happier pet/owner relationship.

    • Pit Bulls are outstanding dogs as long as the owner knows what they’re dealing with and socialize/train them properly. Pit Bulls do not ‘kill and murder’ however they do have a more protective nature which can cause them to act aggressively when intimidated. It’s very important these dogs are always socialized at a very young age (people, small children, and other animals). And even more important this breed is trained to be obedient as to co-exist with its owners. Physical punishment is never acceptable when training any dog regardless of the breed. This could possibly lead to aggressive behavior and an unsocial insecure dog.

  3. Well this issue with mistreating dogs of any sort is a horrible thing to do. Physical abuse is still a major factor in a large majority of animals lives. Not much we can do. I had a german shepard/chow mix breed. He was the sweetest dog you could probably ever meet. I had him for about four years before he was let out of the front door by one of my friends. my german shepard (boss), found his way to the local park and wanted to play with a small child from what a by-stander had informed me. The child had a small metal pole in his hand and repeatedly hit boss on the head. boss wasn’t too happy, he ended up tearing the child’s while left arm off. After a few trials in court, I had to let the police dog training facility take boss away.

    Just one small mistake can trigger a reaction from animal of any stature. unfortunetly, my dog was a victim.

    Now boss is an officer of a drug cartel force, 🙂

    • I’m so sorry to learn of the tragic events which took place with your beloved dog, but also very happy it had a positive ending.

      All dogs, regardless of their training and socializing, can still be very unpredictable. But a dog which is subjected to mistreatment has more potential to be dangerous out of fear. Additionally, health, new environments, strangers, etc. can bring out behaviors in dogs we didn’t expect.

  4. Cane Corso are NOT PITBULL mastiff mix ! They are an acient mollessor type of war dog large game breed been around long before the pit was created

    • I did not say it was a breed mix of a Pit Bull and Mastiff — only that their appearance was somewhere between a Pit Bull (muscular and strong) and Mastiff (large and intimidating) mix. However, a Molosser is a type of Mastiff.

  5. You are incorrect in terms of the breed Cane Corso-IT OS NOT A MIX of MASTIFF AND PIT BULL- it is it’s own breed in the Mastiff Family. It is an ANCIENT BREED developed by the Romans-a descendant of the Roman Mollossus-It is like all powerful breeds (rotties, pits, akita’s, dobies and large shepherds, NOT FOR THE NOVICE owner

    • You are absolutely right, thank you for the correction. Perhaps what I should have said instead of ‘mix’ is more like a ‘combination of similar traits’. As you point out, the Cane Corso is not a mixed breed dog, though my post did imply that. Again, thank you for making this clarification.

      Another point I appreciate you making is this dog is for the experienced owner ONLY. The absolute best dog I’ve ever had the honor of owning was a Rottweiler. But having her as a pet came with great responsibility of early socializing, extensive training, and kindly reminding her she wasn’t ‘alpha dog’ but that I was.

  6. Oh my. Such a sad, sad, story. (Realize I’m late to the game on this post.) It always breaks my heart to hear about things like this, because of the loss of life…and because so many people read it at face value, ie:

    “_________ breed is a bad type of dog.”

    In the US, it seems like the Pit is the breed that has the worst rap, but every Pit I know is endlessly sweet and owned by people who are kind, loving…and educated about the breed. (My best friend’s Pit even snuggles next to her 5 month old son’s crib. Adorable.)

    Gabe and I always say that whenever you bring home a pet, you have to realize that you’re bringing the wild into what is, for a dog or cat, an unnatural environment. It’s a chance! Especially so if there are also young children in the house, who don’t realize that certain human behaviors might lead to an aggressive response if turned on a dog. We never know what that animal experienced before it wound up at our door, and can’t predict what could make them snap…I guess it’s all about being educated, and providing an engaging, warm and safe environment for our pups and kitties. 🙂

    Anyway, thanks for your thoughtful post and for sharing this info.

    • I’m also always very saddened by this type of story. Regardless of how uncommon it is, it just shouldn’t happen at all. Things like these are preventable.

      We’ve decided when we get to the U.S. we’re going to adopt a shelter dog. Someone who really needs a second chance at a good life. So I’ve been reviewing the adoptable pets at my local shelter back in NC and find 99% of the dogs and puppies are Pit Bulls. Our shelter is one of the few in the area that really invests a lot of time in testing, trainng, and trying to place this breed. Some shelters have resorted to an automatic ‘kill’ when they get a Pit Bull — deeming it an aggressive breed and difficult to find homes for. That being said, I suspect we’ll end up with something Pit Bull’ish upon adoption.

      You and Gabe are exactly right. Even the most domesticated breeds still aren’t ‘people’ — though we certainly love them like family 🙂 It’s important we provide them a schedule, structure, and gentle discipline so they can easily fit into our lives. A pet is supposed to be a companion that comfortably fits into our lifestyle, hence the requirement for research before getting one. Our little Amira is still jockeying for alpha position, and sometimes winning. We’ll work a bit more on that when we’re fully settled in America.

      Thank you as always for your insightful comment. I look forward to posting pictures of the new addition to our crazy little family in a few months… from the greenery of our yard.

  7. I am the person who had to make the final evaluation of that Cane Corso while in the custody of N.Y.’s Animal Care and Control (A.C.C.) The owner was a dog trainer from Brooklyn and had rescued the older mastiff from a shelter. He also had a young pure bred Belgium Malinois. What happened in this family’s home was a serious tragedy and there were no signs of abuse with these dogs. Its a shame that you are writing this with no primary or EVEN secondary sources; really you have done no thorough research at all beyond a Google search and are passing judgement on a family that lost their child. The bottom line is one has to have a basic understanding of the animal they bring into their home and the potential dangers surrounding it. I too had a Cane Corso (who passed away) and he was wonderful with my family. But I would not let him interact with my child freely, all interactions were controlled and under strict supervision. If I had to use the bathroom, I’d ask him to go to his crate and was locked in even for those few minutes. There was a child barrier in front of the crate so my daughter couldn’t walk up to the crate. Again this was with a well socialized dog that had advanced obedience training. I understand that my child would be defenseless in an event of an attack and was extremely careful to ensure my daughter’s safety all the while saving a dog’s life from the horrors of shelter life. The way I managed my dog would be make me look like a control freak, but I understood the power of my 150lb mastiff and made sure my family was safe. Yes I am a man, I am brown skin, I am from the inner city, I have a college degree, I am a certified Master Dog Trainer/Behaviorist and I do my research before passing judgement on anyone or a situation. I think people need to get past relying strictly on their intuition and experiences and study actual facts – otherwise we will always continue to hurt others. Take Care.

    • Thank you for your comment, however, it seems you’ve misunderstood much of what I posted. Or perhaps I didn’t communicate my point very well.

      In no way did I imply this dog had been abused by its owner. However, I did state that other articles I came across led me to believe there was more background information than had been shared in this particular article. Though because the owner had not been charged with a crime, I didn’t see a reason to post the articles as I felt it took away from the topic at hand. The newspaper which posted this article is certainly sourced in my post. The remainder of my post is regarding personal experience with breeds who have a ‘reputation’ and my dear friends who are reputable breeders and trainers of the Cane Corso. Just as your comment shares your personal experiences, so does mine. You even validate many of my points by sharing in great detail the lengths you went to in hopes of preventing similar tragedies in your own home. My personal experiences are in no way a judgement of the family who suffered this tragic loss.

      Finally, the color of your skin, gender, where you were raised, and your education play no role in how I would view you as a person, and I certainly hope my loyal readers would share my sentiments. I prefer to ‘judge’ (for lack of a better word) people based on their values, morals, and character, as that’s what truly defines us.

      Again, thank you for your comment and I wish you all the best in your career. The well being of animals is something I’m very passionate about and would love to hear more of your experiences should you want to share them.

  8. I stumbled upon this page by accident and noticed you have some misinformation. Cane Corso are not not never have been a mixed breed and are not part Pit Bull. The are molossars and date back to the roman dogs of war. Which dates them to around 400 BC making them way older than the oldest Pit Bull. American Pit Bull Terriers were classified around 1907. If you could please correct that. I own Corsi and have in the past APBT. It’s a little upsetting when these breeds get mixed like that especially when in the context of being informed. I wouldn’t call a chihuahua a miniature pincher. Please don’t confuse people by saying they are similar. There are HUGE differences between them.

    • Hi Brooklyn, thank you for your comment. You’ll notice in the previous comment someone else pointed out the Cane Corso is not a mixed breed dog, which I am aware of. However, I can see how my post failed to communicate that point. Though I did acknowledge it in the comment section.

      The point I was trying to make is that the characteristics and personality traits are a ‘mix’ or combination of a Pit Bull and a Mastiff; powerful, strong, muscular, and large. I used those two as an example since I believe people are more familiar with those breeds. Again, in no way did I mean to imply otherwise.

      Again, thank you for your comment and correction. As well as your love and concern for the breed.

  9. I am the first Cane Corso breeder I know of west of the Mississippi. I echo the post of the Corso not being a mix, but a dog developed from war and arena fighting dogs which themselves came from the toughest lion catching dogs ever made. And over the last 2000 years have became the dogs they are today. Pleace be advised, a cross between a pitbull and an English mastiff can look so much like a Cane Corso that a big mistake can be made. Also as a very longtime breeder of catch dogs bandogs and Cane Corsos I can say, the Bandogs which are the mastiff pit cross are very dangerous, and should never be considered pets. I consider myself one of the best trainers and handlers of these types of dogs, and they flat out scare me. Mastiffs have a bloodthirsty history, and to mix a dog with a current predisposition to fighting as does a pitbull and you also awaken a dorment agressive nature in the mastiff which will turn some of the mastiff pit mixes unpredictable, especially if kept in a home around small kids and some strangers.
    Please be advised that the saying, “Their is no bad dogs only bad owners”, is stupid, and totally ignorent!!!! And the idiot that said that dog was trained to kill is an idiot too!!! Just because a dog goes for the throat dont mean it was trained like that, if a dog goes into fight mode that is normal behavior, training to do that is next to impossible. In pitbulls, if it has to be trained to fight, you cant use it for fighting, that instinct has to be born into that dog, and can not be loved out of it. Their are thousands of pitbull owners that have learned that leason after an attack on a person or dog landed them in court. Back to the Cane Corso, 23 years ago when I started breeding them their power scared me after my first male Axel whipped the Hell out of a 500 pound black bear that got into my camp. It seemed their power was unmatched, their ability to kill extreemly easy. But when my 4 year old son was grabbed by a crazy man one day, one of my Corsos came to the rescue. She easily tore out of her pen, then ripped through my chain lenk fence like butter, and chased the man down. She grabbed his leg and took him off his feet only causing him 20 stitches, just enough damage to stop him and save my son. I have also seen them attack a burgler, take them down in the yard without breaking their skin, only using their claws and muscle. So if the death of the child was done by a Cane Corso it was something extreemly rare. Because of the rarity of the dogs, and their price, I would think it might of been inbred, which is a horrible problem I have dealt with.

  10. My puppy was frightened by a pit bull type dog today (the prompt for my search). My husband was also very apprehensive. The man with it could barely keep hold of its lead. Previously he had to pull 2 Rottweilers from our old German shepherd and was not frightened as much as he was today with the pit bull without any attack. It was so aggressive and not muzzled. As you say its the owners who cause the problems more than the animals.

  11. My mother was responsible for introducing the Cane Corso to the US.

    Cane Corsos are not at all pitbulls. They are a coursing and believe it or not herding at some point mastiff. They are also protectors yes, but they were not raised for the pit fights like the “Bully”.

    The personality of the Cane Corso is not unstable like other pit mastiffs such as the Dogo and the Fila.

    Pit mixes of Canes are unfortunately all over the US being passed off as pure breeds, and look nothing like what I saw brought into the US. They are now light colors and in the past never were. The only ones that were in the states in the beginning were dark colors and brindles.

    Rottweilers, Neos, Filas, and Pits were mixed throughout the last 10 years to make the wtf Canes we have today. There are honestly few true Canes from what I see out there. However I would say that some that are true get confused with pit breeds.

    Pit breeds are made for one thing only. They were bread to do nothing but pit fight, and are very unstable no matter what animal planet tells you. That right there, is the huge factor in difference in the breed.

    Do not be fooled, and look for proper breeders. The person claiming to have been breeding them for over 23 years might be full of crap since I do not personally know him btw being that I came from ground zero,…. but maybe he went to the fake importers claiming Neo-Rottie mixes were Canes. IDK. But apologize if I missed you in the Italian breeding circle.

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