“…so preoccupied with whether they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.” -Ian Malcom, Jurassic Park

o-PITBULL-570This is Hulk.  At 175 pounds, he is the world’s largest pitbull (which yes, I know isn’t even a breed, but rather a conglomeration of different breeds).  He is owned by Marlon Gannon of Dark Dynasty K9.  Hulk has been bred, and according to Gannon, is a trained professional guard dog, who will heed his owners every command and protect them with his life. Lisa Gannon claims she trusts him around her toddler “precisely because of his thorough guard-dog training” and even lets her toddler ride him(!), a very dangerous (and stupid) thing to do.

Because nothing shows respect so much as letting your children ride your dog

Because nothing shows respect so much as letting your children ride your dog

Let me start by stating that anyone who claims their dog will follow their “every command” has some ego problems.  My dogs and I are pack members. I have nothing to prove to them except that I will always take care of them, and in a crisis situation (say, intruder breaks in or a zombie apocalypse) I know they will do their best to protect me.  I will never claim any animal (or human, for that matter) will obey every command, as every creature has a breaking point.

I’ll admit it: I don’t respect guard dog trainers very much.  I think it takes a special kind of bully to turn a dog into a compensating appendage.

Contact your doctor if you try to compensate for more than four hours.

Contact your doctor if you try to compensate for more than four hours.

I do realize that there are indeed special circumstances that actually require a guard dog, and that there are indeed wonderful trainers who can train dogs to safely handle these situations.  Police dogs, military dogs, even personal protection dogs, are all a necessary evil.  However, I do wonder at the ludacris number of “guard dog trainers” out there. Especially the ones who use pitties as guard dogs.  One of the worst choices for the job.  Yeah, they’re muscular, but so was Michael Clarke Duncan.  Who was a vegetarian.  

So wait, muscular individuals don't dine on baby flesh?

So wait, muscular individuals don’t dine on baby flesh?

I stumbled across the best statement about this whole “Hulk” debacle on Facebook.  Trainer Shannon Duffy, from Your Good Dog, had this to say about it:

“This may come as a surprise but I am not a fan of Hulk. Well, Hulk I love, the situation around him is despicable in my opinion. Hulk, the 175 pound “Pit Bull”, is the latest internet sensation. Hulk is also a mutation that is the result of irresponsible breeding that is done purely for looks and size with no regard for the health or temperament of the dogs created. He seems to be a great family dog even when the parents, showing extreme poor judgment, allows their child to ride him like a horse. I wish him all the best and hope that he continues to be a good ambassador for Pit type dogs but I cannot support the concept of breeding based purely on appearance (looking at you too AKC).”

And that sums up everything despicable surrounding poor Hulk. I, too, wish you the best in this crazy world you’ve been thrust into, big guy.

Keep calm and pilot on


Kerry Stack
Darwin Dogs
Dog Training in Cleveland, Ohio


6 thoughts on “Hulk

  1. I totally thought of you when I saw the video of the son riding Hulk. So…. not smart. (or respectful!) Have a good week.

  2. Wow. He should be trained as a therapy dog, instead. You know what’s stupid is taking a monster of muscle and tapping into aggression. Not sure how they cannot possibly foresee some awful consequence from this. The what if is what should guide their choice. Nice baby. Nice snack.

  3. So, tell us how you really feel. A while back, some demented soul left two Rotty mix puppies near the street in front of our home. The woman at our local shelter said they were about 6-8 weeks old. My dogs and I found them when we went to get the paper in the morning and I still pray there were only two and nobody was hit by a passing car. Our local shelter could only keep them for a week before taking them to the main shelter. The woman there was concerned that, if they went to the main shelter, they would end up as “junkyard guard dogs” and suggested that I try to take them to another county where they might have a better chance to get on a farm or happier circumstance. As there were already hints that these two would be small ponies in a couple of years, we took a trip to the other county where they were well-received because they were really cute puppies. At the time, we had a middle-aged dog with severe arthritis who was already quite cranky about the short time we had them and I did not want for her to have to put up with two, very large, very active puppies! I am sure they have gone to the “rainbow bridge” and hope I made the right decision. This was before there was much of an internet.

  4. I couldn’t agree more. It’s people like that who continue to contribute to the poor reputation that pits are vicious,unpredictable, and untrustworthy dogs. I feel sorry for this dog whom is just doing what he is told by his owners during these training sessions; as pits are definitely easy to train and people pleasers. It’s the dog that will possibly lose it’s life when it attacks someone it sees as a threat; not to mention perpetuating the continued fear around the breed causing them to end up in shelters in staggering numbers and be banned from certain communities.

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