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« Little Rock starts enforcing "pit bull" laws | Main | Some new research on spay/neuter »

June 15, 2008

Comments

Becky

I have been gone and have returned to this, trying to catch up. There is far too much to comment on -- so many subjects, so many opinions, theories, etc etc. Excellent post that should be discussed forever!

1) I would like to comment that with so little time, I have come to rely on Brent, Michelle, Donna, and those who agree with them to educate me on dog issues. My mind is not closed -- I read everyone's opinions and knowledge, and usually stick with what very obviously makes the most sense. I already know how much research these people have gathered and studied for us, as well as the extensive knowledge they have acquired. It is very deeply appreciated and I hope that these folks realize how much good they are accomplishing thru their mission of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears.

I won’t bother commenting on the idiots who are trying to destroy our dogs – that’s too long a rant. But I want to add a couple of things that I am learning, from personal experience:

1) Tiny dogs are, as far as I am concerned, an increasing problem at my off leash park. These are not just small dogs, they are tiny toys,dogs you can hardly see until they are under your feet. Dogs that are brought to the park as fashion accessories. I know it is wrong to generalize any dog population, but too many of these dogs charge, snarl and badger larger dogs. I know they have their reasons and I realize that they do not like the looks of my dogs or their manner of approach.

I must be responsible for my dogs' reactions, but, it is difficult, when I have chosen an area of the beach as far away from the crowd as possible for my 'pit bull type mix' to swim, and people purposely bring their tiny dogs to my side and throw them in the lake, next to my swimming dog. Or walk them on a leash right under my nose, as I am retrieving the large stick from my excited dog. The owners either think it's 'cute' for their little dog to try to take my big stick, or they are not paying any attention at all. Important to note, that once again, it is the tendency of the owners that is a problem, not the breed of dog.

The place that once was a haven -- to get away from the boundaries and restrictions of our apartment and work, to get out into the open world and experience nature and unleashed exercise, has become a nerve wracking, stressed out struggle. All because people do not understand or care about dog behavior. Small children -- unattended, running, screaming, arms flailing are an increasing problem as well. The height of excitement and stimulation is too high for most dogs. Unfortunately, my tension rubs off on my dogs, so we must work all the harder.
I used to return home de-stressed and 'deprogrammed'. Now I go home in knots, exhausted.

2) Related to the above and comments about breeds, behavior, inherent traits, etc, I would like to plug the book I am currently reading, which many of you have probably already read, 'The Dog Listener.' We have not taken the care or the time to learn how our dogs communicate, therefore, we are not communicating with them effectively or kindly. We expect them to understand and obey OUR commands, thru discipline and training, in spite of the fact that we do not take the time to understand THEIR inherent nature and ways of communication.

Ms. Fennell teaches us how to understand our dogs' needs and how to convince them to follow our lead, willingly, just as they do in the wild. No leash jerking, no harsh words, no anger or frustration.

Because we share our homes w/ so many dogs, we MUST learn how to co-exist in peace with them or we will lose them ALL.

3) I believe that those who are gathering stats on ‘pit bulls’ are still doing injustice to pit bulls. It is not only that the media has been purposefully irresponsible, but also because 'pit mixes' are labeled as 'pit bulls' while OTHER mixes are labeled as 'mixed breeds'.

If studies and stats counted all GS mixes as GS’s, then the same smear campaign could be waged against them or almost any breed. Are lab mixes counted as ‘labs’ in bite stats? Unless we know that someone involved in a story is a breed ID expert, which is next to impossible, the headlines and the stats are worthless.

Our dogs, ALL dogs are in serious danger because of human failures. I am appalled at the human behavior in all of this. To me, this is a very serious and horrible sin. Someday, we will realize it is unforgivable.

Thank you to those who never stop fighting and for arming us with such important information. To those who want to debate all the negative aspects and theories regarding dogs, I would ask, could we let some of this crap go and better use our energy and knowledge to help our dogs, whatever the breed or debated 'inherent' traits??

We already know that any dog can be taught to attack and/or fight. I agree that people need to be more educated about certain breed tendencies, such as terriers’ and border collies’ needs for rigorous exercise and challenge. But I believe it is destructive to harp on origins like fighting for the same reasons already stated in comments. It’s as unjust as it is to label humans’ personality traits according to the history and location of their ancestors, and how they may have lived.


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