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« Putting a cap on 2008 | Main | Let me officially introduce -- Boomer »

January 01, 2009

Comments

Christopher

While I'm not 100% convinced that Pit Bulls have been bred into lambs, and have even witnessed a Pit Bull bite a fellow competitor at a Frisbee tournament in the face (drew blood on the nose and hand), BSL isn't the answer to anything.

And really, nothing the Government can do is going to make one lick of difference. IMO, the problem with certain breeds is not that they're legal, it's that a segment of the culture likes and encourages their aggressive side and what that says about the owners.

Banning them just helps that image and creates a vacuum for all the responsible owners and breeders.

And I think the Akita is a thuggish and stupid breed. Kind of like the Chow. I'm not fond of either.

All that being said, in the great debate of dog catchers vs. vicious dogs, the only serial killer I'm aware of is on the dog catcher side. I think that says a lot.

Anon

I can`t help but notice the Headline

How come the Breed is almost never in the headline when the dog can`t be described as a 'pit bull'?
Every other Breed is a dog and every dog with a square head,short hair and a whip tail is a 'pit bull'.

As far as the Parents go,I guess it`s easier to blame the dog and the Breed than to own up to making a serious error in judgment.
This could have happened with any Breed of dog or any mutt and supervision more than likely would have prevented it.
If they don`t realize that they`re bound to place this child in danger again.

Who knows what even happened.
This toddler might have just been caught up in a dog fight.


I googled this attack to see if it`s been picked up by AP.
Can you just imagine how many Papers would be carrying this story if it had been described as a 'pit bull'?

Kara

So i work at a Animal Hospital and Pet Resort... i see HUNDREDS of dogs, everyday..
I see plenty of akitas.. some are people agressive, some are dog aggressive, while others LOVE Doggy daycare, and love being with people. It's really the dogs own personality and how he/she has been raised and trained.

Christopher-
You find akitas and chows as "stupid" breeds?
How about this- My Chowx is a registered Therapy Dog through Delta Society. Every monday, we go to nursing homes, and visit with Hospice patients, and those who do not have any visitors. My dog brings JOY to thier life, when they have NOONE there, or when they know their time will be short.
We also go to librarys and help children read through the READ program. (Read Education Assitance Dog)
Please- tell me how my accomplishments show how the chow BREED is "stupid".

Siani

Who in their right mind leaves a child unsupervised with any dog, yet alone a large, powerful breed, and a dog they don't know very well? The parents were foolish in the extreme. That poor child. My dog is a little Shih Tzu, but I would NEVER leave him alone with a child, as small as he is. People seem to forget that even the gentlest of dogs can show aggression in certain circumstances, and some dogs are more prey-driven than others. Even a small dog can cause a lot of harm to a child, yet alone a powerful Akita. Banning particular breeds is no solution. Research has shown Jack Russells, toy poodles, chihuahuas, papillons and dachshunds to be amongst the most aggressive breeds, but their small size means their attacks don't hit the headlines. The key to preventing most dog attacks is responsible ownership, including correct training and socialization, and keeping dogs under control at all times.

Melissa

Another example of why BSL doesn't work. It just spreads the message that only certain breeds of dogs can be aggressive. I have a 5 year old pit bull mix, and he's going to be my last dog. Properly supervising children with dogs is a lot of work. Too many people believe that their dog could never bite someone, I think when it comes to large dogs, you can never be 100% sure, and dog owners should read up on aggression so they can notice the early signs and correct it.
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=5a10fdb9-100f-41bb-8584-a514cefaa619

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/horror--attack-is-worst-ive--ever-seen-says-dog-warden-13425039.html?startindex=-1

http://www.wowt.com/news/headlines/30805534.html

http://www.wlwt.com/news/13122852/detail.html

Brent

Christopher said:

"And I think the Akita is a thuggish and stupid breed. Kind of like the Chow. I'm not fond of either".

That's exactly the type of comment that goes against what this whole blog was created for. Like any breed of dog, the behavior of the dogs is a direct refletion on the type of owner that the dog has. If the owner is "thuggish", there's a good chance the dog will be too. If the owner takes the care to train and socialize their dogs, then the dog will be fine: whether it's a pit bull, rottweiler, chow, Akita or otherwise..

Karina A.

@Brent You're right on the money on your words -- stupid are the humans who don't take the time to learn more about breeds and their temperament instead of selecting pups just because of their looks. All dogs are trainable; that's what makes them domestic and not wild. But when you throw a wild human into the mix, all the thousands of years of evolution it took for them to be domesticated are like they never existed. I just found your site and can't wait for your next post!

linskykitty

This is what happens when you follow a line of thinking that starts with a faulty premise. The faulty premise: that breed alone determines behavior in dogs. If you believe this, then it makes sense that if a dog bites, ban it. If another breed bites, move on to banning that breed. This is how you end up with cities like Fairfield, IA, where dogs over 100 lbs are banned, or countries like Italy, which has restrictions on over 92 breeds, including the Corgi, the Collie, and the St. Bernard. Here's a quote from Girolamo Sirchia, Italy's health minister, in 2003: "Scientifically, it's difficult to define which dogs are aggressive or not, so it's better to group them all together." Yes, it is scientifically impossible to determine which breeds of dogs are more aggressive, because 1) there are more variations in temperment between members of the same breed than dogs of different breeds (Dr. M.L. Nitschke, PhD, Psychology), and 2)dogs, like people, have complex personalities, determined by a combination of genetic and environmental factors -- Nature AND Nurture, NOT Nature OR Nurture. Faulty premises = faulty solutions. What is next, when you run out of breeds to ban? No dogs at all? It reminds me of the Independence city councilman who quoted biblical scripture when the ban on pit bulls was enacted, saying that the Jews chose not to let dogs live among them.
Imagine if we applied the same logic to humans. Let's look at some stats obtained from the Dept. Justice on violent crime and the discrepancy between the genders. Here's a link http://social.jrank.org/pages/1253/Violent-Crime-Gender-Differences-in-Violent-Crime-Offenders.html
Men have been shown by these stats to be more violent than women. If we work under the premise that proponents of BSL believe, the next step is to ban men, or forcibly sterilize them, right? In the interest of public safety? We don't do this, because we know people are more complicated than that; that gender alone does not determine behavior. One interesting note, on those stats, is that men are also most likely to be the VICTIMS of violent crimes, as well. Sound familiar? Makes me think of our old friend, the trusty pit bull...

linskykitty

Just a note on my comment, I realize Fairfield, IA, and their ban on dogs over 100 lbs is not a good example of BREED bannig, I meant to say that they have a ban on several breeds, as well as dogs over 100 lbs...also shows people can take a faulty solution and run with it -- we're so "ban happy" with everything; don't like it? Ban it! Ban cigarettes in BARS (!), ban carports in KCK, ban dogs based on breed, size, looks, grouping (all terriers banned somewhere...don't remember where.)

Kara

You are exactly right. You couldn't say :ban foreigners becuase they are terrorists: because we all know that not ALL foreigners are terrorists. Just to say ALL pit bull areNOT aggressive, vicious monsters.

doug

Linskykitty.....thank you....for your insight....as soon as I clear my cobwebs out...I will post a reply

doug

Acording to BAD RAP...

"The dog was the breed of choice for use in Bull Baiting",
Average bull size is about 1500 pounds give or take....you all know how big pit bulls are.

"Bull Baiting was in Place from the 100's to 1835, when it was stopped and replaced with Dog Fighting" This statement in itself is not that bad, however when they follow it up with the below statement, it goes against every pit bull talking point web site out there.

"at the same time a very strong bite inhibition towards humans was encouraged through selective breeding so handlers could lean over into the fighting pit and pull their dogs apart without getting bit, dogs were culled out who showed signs of aggression toward handlers.......So according to BAD RAP.....you can selectively breed Pit Bulls to be nice to people thought breeding.....but you can not breed a pit bull to be aggressive....I find his statement to be in direct conflict of everything which has been talked on this board for over a 1.5 years and against all Pit Bull experts....however we must take BAD RAPS statement as one of FACT, because they are experts in the field of Pit Bulls....and as such if you can breed Pit Bulls to be Nice you can breed Pit Bulls to be .....less than nice...at the same time......the statement can be confirmed as FACT that in the process of breeding the dogs to be nice......the breeders are also breeding the dogs to be very dog aggressive.....the below link is to BAD RAP.
http://www.badrap.org/rescue/breed.cfm

I love this statement from BAD RAP.........

(Starting in the 1980's) Pit Bulls were soon associated with Poverty , crime and back ally dog fighting. AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN BREED HISTORY , we started hearing disturbing accounts bites and attacks on humans by poorly socialized and badly bred APBT.
......so lets break this statement down.......form the early 100s through 1980 (or their abouts), the population of people owning Pit Bulls which were trained to attack Bulls and be Professional Dog Fighters, were more responsible than that of the civilized people from 1980 through 2009....so what is this really saying....the dirt bags of today's DRUG DEALING, GANG RUNNING, CRIME RIDDEN generation have done a great dis-service to the breeds good name....
Because in reality, the breed has not changed, the ownership has.

Crime Stats for Male 'vs' Female are not a good example.....but lets break that down for giggles....since I am on a roll.....and I have to clean the house......would you rather be attacked by a Man or a Woman....would you rather be Attacked by a Man who was raised by poor parents and nurtured to be mean?.....when a man and a woman are caught in an attack are they treated the same......I think we all know the answer to that question.....you don't have to look too far to see woman sex offenders in our schools getting off with probation when a man doing the exact same crime gets 20 to life....we currently do have tighter controls on men than we do woman in today's society.....just ask men in divorce, men accused in Sex Crimes, Men Accused against violence against women, or a man trying to get out of a speeding ticket by flirting....or a man trying to get into a bar for free on ladies night...

I am anxious to see the response to this.....seeing how BAD RAP is pretty high profile in the pit bull community, but they have such a contradiction on their main page which goes against every recent book out their on Pit Bulls.

So all these debatable facts......lend to my argument that you should restrict who can own pit bulls....seeing how its been our society as a whole which has destroyed the great name of Pit Bull in the last 30 years.

It also states in the BAD RAP web site, that bad breeding is part of the cause.......again....if you have massive breeding operations and BAD BREEDING can lead to bad dogs....why not put more controls in place on such a noble breed to prevent if from falling into bad hands....plus.....dont you are doing Pit Bulls a favor by limiting who can own them.....the more you give bad people a chance to own them leads to the chance that Pit Bulls will be hurt, neglected and killed, which goes against everything this blog stands for.

btoellner

Doug,

There is a lot to comment about here in your comment, but, here's a quick rundown:

1) The ability of genetics to pass along aggression from generation to generation is VERY much in doubt. We've had a lot of discussions here about that, and I won't get into it again, but suffice it to say that science doesn't really prove that theory. But for the sake of argument, I won't get into that here.

2) So it appears that we agree that Bad Rap's statement that a certain element of owners have tarnished the breed over the past couple of decades. No argument there.

3) It would also then be safe to assume that because there was nothing wrong with the 'breed' before these owners came along, then there is no problem with the "breed" now. Even if behavior is genetic, there would certainly be thousands of lines of 'pit bulls' that have not been raised by these poor owners over the past 2 decades.

4) In your argument about men vs women, you make some assumptions on sentencing that may or may not really be true. But let's assume it is -- and men do get sentenced more harshly than women because of they are statistically more likely to be violent criminals. They ar still innocent until proven guilty and only punished more harshly AFTER an incident, vs before. There are no restrictions on men prior to them causing a crime.

5) We've established that it's an owner problem. Not all pit bulls are a problem, and that nowhere else in our society are people guilty of things before a crime has been committed, there appears to be no rational or precedent for restrictive measures BEFORE an actual incident has taken place.

6) Enforcement again becomes an issue, because according to your own statements, you would need several veterinarians, and possibly dollars for DNA testing, in order to enforce BSL -- and would have to enforce BSL against 99.9% more people (and their dogs) than are actualy ever going to be a problem in their lifetime. Thus, you have diluted your animal control resources from dealing with the actual .1% of the population that is actually causing the problem.

7) At the same time, you have created an uneducated community, who thinks it's the breed, and not the owners, that are the problem -- which leads people to not watch their own behavior -- which leads to attacks just like in the incident above.

8) All of this is why BSL has NEVER ONCE been an effective way of dealing with an owner problem - -because it is not focused on the right problem.

9) Wouldn't it be INFINITELY better to just focus the limited resources on the small part of the community that has caused the problem in the first place? The communities that have done this have had success -- while the ones that have focused on breeds have failed. Which leads us to an answer of -- Let's focus on the derelict owners that are causing the problems.

I have no idea why this is such a hard concept to grasp.

doug

Brent....you the man.....all great points...which I can't wait to debate...

doug

Your Points....

1. I have read plenty of arguments on agression....but to have BAD RAP say on their web site...they they have been bred to be kind to dog fighting handlers is in direct contrast toward the anti-agression stance...If a dog can be bred to be kind to humans...it can be bred to be mean to humans or other dogs/animals....yes/no.....if no then BAD RAP needs to change their web site.

2. Common Ground yeaaaaa

3. Common Ground yeaaaaa - People are the problem

4. When a conflict arises with a man and a woman...the man is at first thought to be a fault....generally....due to power, size and BAD RAP...but no more arguments here...just threw it in because someone brought it up....

5. Pit Bulls are not the problem...but some things in society are held to a higher standard when owned by people who are problems (guns)...i.e. drug dealers, criminals, Homeless....if a homeless woman has a baby....odds are she is going to have that baby removed from her custody because she can not care for it...

6. Nothing worth doing is easy...work out the kinks later...a proper DOL "Dangerous Owner Law" will weed out the bad owners and be seemless for the good ones, no matter what breed they own.

7. Again with DOL, its called "Dangerous Owner Law", which states in itself that it is the owners which are mornos....and unfortunalty in the wrong hands powerful dogs can be made dangerous in the wrong hands.

8. Your right BSL sucks, they way it is....feel good, bubble gum laws...they have no bite...and put morons in control of dogs, putting a muzzel on a dog or just random killing, does nothing but hide more dogs from being registared and licensed.

9. I love this question.....this is what is wrong with America....we need help with Enforcement....just look at the latest banking scandle with Berrnie Madoff. He stole 50 Billion Dollars in the most regulated Industry there is from people who are smart, educated and in the know..

We are not too far off....we just have one sticking point....and we are both like a dog with a bone...(i guess we are food agressive)

Just like in the Bernie Madoff scandle, the SEC was casting a wide net looking at everyone, where they should have been focusing on the bigest people/companies first and then scaling down....you think this country is in better shape because we put Martha Stewart in Jail?

Same with DOL, the local communities should be looking at who is applying for a dog license, their history and what kind of dog they are getting. And then scale down from there....

People with Felonies should not be able to own dogs over 30 pounds; you should not be able to sell Pit Bull puppies if you are not a licensed company...little thing like this can help prevent, 1000's of Pit Bulls from being mistreated each and every year.

And if you look at the 2008 deaths...some of these could have been prevent if they followed the some of the DOL guidlines. You can bet if someone is going to face 6 months in jail and a $5,000 dollar fine for someone getting bit by a pit bull they are going to have them trained or put down...

Also as far as the deaths go....I would never have an infant around any kind of dog...

But I would be interested to see in the last 3 years, how many people over the age of 15 have been killed by dogs and what breeds they are?

Is there a database out there which has this data. Any type of dog can kill an infant, or a small child...

Brent

It's pretty interesting that you mention the gun control laws as an example of the higher standard.

And yet, about 70% of homicides are caused by guns.

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/homicide/tables/weaponstab.htm

The bottom line, if someone wants a gun for bad purposes, or drugs, or a vicious dog, they're more than likely going to end up with one.

And enforcement is the problem -- and will always be.

Any attempt at laws that put restrictions on people that have to be enforced on otherwise law-abiding citizens, takes enforcement resources away from dealing with the people who really are problems - -who are going to own whatever is the problem regardless.

The fatalities thing is interesting. Obviously the vast majority of fatalities are very young children. There were 5 people over the age of 7 killed this year -- with 4 different breeds of dogs represented. Every single incident involved more than one dog.

The best rundown of last year's data is here:

http://canineaggression.blogspot.com/2008/01/2007-fatal-attack-facts-and-figures.html

In 2007, there were 15 adults killed (Yeah, terrible year). A couple were killed by packs of dogs (breed unknown), but of the ones that are known -- there were at least 8 different breeds involved (most involved multiple dogs).

While 'pit bulls' are over-represented in the stats, I think it's very interesting when you look at the circumstances behind the attacks, the circumstances are all very similar, regardless of breed.

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