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« Very Good Sentences -- from Best Friends Animal Society | Main | Dearborn County, IN joins growing list of communities repealing breed-specific laws »

June 05, 2014



Correlation is not causation, and reasons stated in your article are valid as potential indicators for a higher likelihood of incidence of bites, but dog breed is likely a factor as well.

There is a significant preference shown by those in deprived areas for bull breed dogs (see, which should be considered as a factor as well as issues of husbandry, veterinary care, fencing, etc.



Along the correlation does not equal causation front, I submit a different theory.

Given the large amount of science on dog behavior and breed behavior:

As well as other studies on the factors involved in fatal attacks in the US:

I'd submit that the over-representation of certain breeds of dogs in major bite cases is because they are far more common in deprived areas where the other factors exist. If other breeds were the most common in these deprived areas, the results would be more likely skew to the different breeds in the deprived areas. We've seen that repeatedly happen in communities that have banned breeds...


Wow. England still has a class system. Even their dog bites are subjected to a class system, LOL.


Just to be clear, I think BSL is a bad solution to any problem, let alone the problem of dog bites.

However, I struggle with the lack of any grey area between "all [insert breed] are bad, evil and must be destroyed" and "[insert breed] are no different from any other breed and breed should not be considered a factor."

There is a really cruel experiment (one which I hope will never happen) where an experimenter takes a number of similar sized dogs of different breeds, with roughly similar conformation, let's say a Pit Bull, a GSP, a Coonhound, a Chessie, and a Ridgeback and emulates the biggest husbandry risk factors for biting:

- Not exercised/socialised
- Tethered
- Intact male
- Not included in family life

(Even in my mythical experiment, I wouldn't include unsupervised interactions with a child!)

In this mythical experiment (which again, I would not endorse), where factors are controlled, I would expect to see differences in behavior that could be attributed to breed traits.

Breed traits and tendencies are possibly not the MOST significant factors, but it seems disingenuous to discount them as factors at all.


Jo -- yes, I would expect there to be breed differences. But based on the research that is currently available, I would suspect that breeds other than the ones most people target with laws would be more apt to perform poorly in the experiment.

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