Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Given the volume of indiscriminate breeding of pit bulls, plus a history of breeding for dogfighting, aggression and tenacity, are we supposed to believe that the pit bull's temperament and attack traits are not rooted in genetics? That instead, all of these traits were taught to the dog by its owner? Few people argue that the basis of the cocker spaniel's temperament problem is genetic. Pit bull advocates, however, refuse to apply this principle to their breed.
Comment: The American cocker spaniel started to become popular back in the 1940's, and as its popularity grew, so did the number of back yard breeders looking to cash in. The breed was a good choice for puppy mills and back yard breeders because of its relatively small size; you could cram a lot of them into small kennels in a tiny area, they didn't cost much to feed, and there was a constant, steady demand for them as pets. Today, we see them widely used to create mixed breed "designer" dogs such as the cockapoos by breeders whose only goal is to make money.According to WikiAnswers, 53 cases of US "cocker rage" have occurred in the last 17 years (this answer is likely invalid and was left by a pit bull advocate). Still, every day, at least several US citizens are severely injured by pit bulls. So in the last 15 days, pit bull rage has injured as many people as cocker rage has in 17 years. Much work has been done to eliminate cocker rage as well. The pit bull community, on the other hand, continues to breed for aggression. Here are just a few examples:
But this indiscriminate breeding came with a price...the breed suffered from serious temperament problems, and genetic seizure disorders like "rage syndrome", where the dogs suddenly lash out biting at anything near them. The breed standard for a cheerful, friendly companion dog was ignored by all of these bybers and puppy mills, and many of the dogs produced were nervous, snappish, fearful or otherwise unstable. Here is where the irony lies in the pit bull apologists argument that cockers are more dangerous than pits.
The basis of the American cocker spaniels temperament problems are genetic. Careless breeding created dogs with poor temperaments. No one was breeding cocker spaniels FOR aggressive temperaments, as guard dogs, as fighting dogs, etc. They were simply being bred to make money by filling a demand for a popular family pet; these were lap dogs, little old lady dogs, family dogs. No one was starving them to make them mean, chaining them in the back yard to a barrel, beating them or abusing them. They were not being fought, or used to guard drug operations. An aggressive temperament in a domesticated animal can result from careless or indiscriminate breeding, because temperament in domesticated animals is under a strong genetic control.
Yet according to pit bull advocacy groups, cocker spaniels as a BREED have aggressive temperaments, but pit bulls don't???? Pit bulls, which have been selectively bred for fighting another dog to the death in a pit, it seems, are unaffected by genetics. We can quantify and prove that MANY pit bull breeders are breeding dogs FOR human aggressive and/or dog aggressive temperaments, and the majority of those who are not SELECTING for aggression are not BREEDING AWAY from it. Yet, we are asked to believe that pit bulls could not possibly be suffering from the same problems as cocker spaniels.
The vast majority of pit bulls in the pet population were created by people who not only bred them carelessly, but often bred them for their dangerous aggressive temperaments. Pit bull advocates want us to believe that "its all how you raise them", and that only pit bulls who have been abused or not raised to be "nice" are dangerous. But how do they explain the biting cocker spaniels they are always talking about? Aunt Millie's nasty cocker was socialized, well loved and cared for when it nipped her grandchildren. Yet we are asked to believe, again and again, that the family pit bull that gets loose and mauls the neighbor must have been "trained" to do it.
08/06/08: Comment: Pit Bulls are 14 Times More Likely to Break Constraint...
06/17/08: Comment: High Marks on the ATTS Test is Pit Bull Propaganda
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| 8/26/2008 2:35 AM |
The WikiAnswers person is clearly a pit bull advocate. Futhermore, the report: Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, US & Canada September 1982 - November 7, 2007, shows that cockers have not killed a US or Canadian citizen since 1982 (25 years) when Animal People began documenting the incidents.
The 20-year CDC study from 1979-1998 shows that 1 (0.4%) death of 227 was attributed to a cocker spaniel and 76 (33%) were attributed to pit bulls. Given the high population of cocker spaniels during the time period (particularly versus the low population of pit bulls), one would think that the "cocker rage" reported by pit bull advocates would taken more lives...
| 8/26/2008 3:02 AM |
It looks like Serpell is a key author on the subject of cocker rage.
Podberscek AL & Serpell J A (1996) The English Cocker Spaniel: preliminary findings on aggressive behaviour. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 47: 75-89
Podberscek AL & Serpell J A (1997) Environmental Influences on the Expression of Behaviour in English Cocker Spaniels. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 52:215-227
Podberscek, A.L. & Serpell, J.A. (1997) Aggressive behaviour in English Cocker Spaniels and the personality of their owners. Veterinary Record, 141: 73-76
This is Serpell's most widely and cited book:
Serpell, J.A. (Ed.) The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour and Interactions with People. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
| 8/26/2008 6:06 AM |
The nutters mindlessly stat that cockers are the number one biter...yet in just about every recent city stat which has been published they are not even listed. It's pits that are number one is almost every place without a ban. even then a 45 bite pit incident carries the same weight as a pin-prick from a chihuahua.
Breed only matters when it is useful for them.
| 8/26/2008 6:57 AM |
I'd just like to point out the quality posts that are made on this site. Many are so good they get their own entry. Compare that to the many pit bull owner comments left on forums and news articles that often contain foul language, incorrect spelling and grammer, and are generally incoherent/nonsensical. This difference clearly shows which people are calm, educated, and logical.
| 8/26/2008 9:13 AM |
I clicked on the first link for World's Largest RedNose Pit Bulls. Right there on the first page it says they specialize in double breeding, line breeding and out crosses. Unfamilar with these terms, I looked them up. Line breeding is basically inbreeding - breeding dogs close together on the family tree. Searching for double breeding gave me this:
This means that the father of the puppies is unknown. It means that this breeder allowed the female to tie with more than one male during her cycle.
Good breeders would NEVER allow this.
I would seriously reconsider getting this dog and would look for a reputable breeder from which to purchase instead.
What the hell is wrong with people?
| 8/26/2008 12:54 PM |
''People call because there is a bat in their house. OK, well, there is a whole [phone book] with pest control people, but we have gotten into the mode where every single call we respond to,'' Pawlowski said. ''Unless it's a pit bull that is terrorizing the neighborhood, we are going to alert the animal control department.''
Notice the only breed of dog police will respond to is pit bulls. Not Cocker Spaniels. Not anything else.
| 8/26/2008 1:46 PM |
They have the same mantra on Labradors yet I can't find any bite story on the dutch internet except stories where the lab is the victim of an attack usually ofcourse by a pit.
That is not counting the stories that were posted by pit owners! They post lots of stories about how they were bitten by other breeds than pits.
| 8/26/2008 2:45 PM |
Excellent Comment About Genetics and Pit Bulls
Your premise that “aggressiveness or other problem behaviors in any dog aren’t really related to the type of dog it is” is completely backward. Of course it is related to the type of dog it is! And even more so in the case of pit bulls - a class of dogs that were specifically created to fight with other dogs to the point of death. Traits that have been bred into all pit bulls for the fighting purpose include attacking without prior warning, a heightened sense of excitement that can lead to aggression, and the ability to hold on and continue to fight despite physical pain. These traits are not learned nor are they the product of irresponsible handling, they are in the genes and with the dog since birth. Of course each dog is an individual and will have different levels of these traits, which can also be impacted by proper or improper training and handling, but they are there in each pit bull nonetheless. To say anything else in an age where pit bulls are routinely banned and regulated due to constant attacks is blantantly irresponsible and can only lead to further damage. Every dog’s behavior is first and foremost controlled by its genetics, something that can never be changed by training, socialization or love. That is why we use certain dogs for hunting and others for retrieving, some for herding and others for guarding. They are not interchangable which is why there is such a great many breeds of all sizes, shapes, abilities, and temperments. Pit bulls have a bad rap because they attack people, pets, and livestock on a daily basis - and this primarily happens because well-meaning owners are given the wrong information and are not in a position to care for them properly, allowing accidents to happen. Please don’t continue the spread of misinformation but instead become greater educated yourself by reading sites like Pit Bull Rescue Cenral and the Real Pit Bull Terrier. Many breeds are victims of abuse and neglect, none more obvious than the gentle racing greyhound that does not share the pit bull’s history of attacks. And there are many pit bulls that have attacked and killed fmaily members yet were never abused or neglected in their life. Clearly, treatment is not the issue here, it is genetics and it is breed. And if owners are not willingly to deal with that fact on their own, regulations will be needed to ensure the public’s safety.
| 8/26/2008 6:12 PM |
Oh, you just scratched the surface of the creepy pit bull breeders...try this one;
Look at the names of the kennels listed....look at the prices they want for dogs that are not even titled; these dogs do nothing. They don't herd, hunt, or perform in obedience. Most have horrible confirmation, and none of the listed breeders do any health testing. Does anyone think nice, honest hard working people who want a nice family pet are going to one of these breeders and spending thousands of dollars for these dogs?
Here is a website from convicted dogfighter Tom Garner...
Note that he has currently 12 litters on the ground. He will ship a puppy "anywhere in the world", even to countries where dog fighting is legal. He offers "volume discounts" on his puppies. His dogs are bred to be "uncompromisingly game". Tom Garner is one of the most prominent and well-known breeders of fighting dogs in the world....do you think the people who have dogs shipped to them from his kennel are looking for a nice family pet? Do you think he is trying to breed away from explosive dog aggression? Who do you think is buyiing dogs from Tom Garner?
If you spend some time on the pit bull discussion boards you will quickly learn that the pit bull fanciers think Tom Garner is a hero....the same folks who condemn Michael Vick for dog fighting are somehow convinced that the old-time dogmen were different, that it was a "gentlemans sport", that the dogs that lost were not culled, etc. They credit dog fighters like Tom Garner with preserving the breed that they love...the gamebred pit bull. They fail to see these dogmen for what they really are; greedy sadists who are simply making a buck off of the suffering of these animals.
The pols should keep this in mind when they capitulate to the pro-pit lobby on BSL....this is the strange and scary group of dog owners, criminals, and animal abusers whose warped logic finds it perfectly acceptable to continue to breed dogs that want to slaughter other dogs.
| 8/27/2008 5:41 AM |
Mere say anything-do anything tactics to keep the forethought of malice/intent legal concepts out of the liability equation for as long as possible. Gotta hand it to the Pit Bull breeders...they have been extremely successful at programming their customers to recite myths to keep the peddling of their dangerous product unregulated and liability free.