Monday, August 25, 2008
South Georgia - WALB television serves the South Georgia community. They recently covered the Larry Pullen story. The 5-year old boy was severely attacked by his neighbor's pit bull in early August. WALB did not publish Larry's photos before surgery; they were too graphic. This experience with Larry, and other pit bull attack victims, likely led the staff to write this editorial:
ViewPoint: Dangerous DogsBy the WALB Staff, WALB.com NewsWe have seen a rash of dog attacks lately in South Georgia. The animals doing the attacking have been pit bull dogs or pit bull mixed breeds. There's no debating the danger these dogs can pose to people, especially children, when they decide -- for whatever reason -- to attack. The dog blamed for a recent attack on a child in Dougherty County even chased our reporter back into her vehicle when we went out to report on the incident.
August 21, 2008
We expect owners of American Pit Bulls to call and e-mail us with tales of how gentle and loving their dogs are. They will also say that when the dogs attack, it's the owner's fault, or that particular dog's, and not the breed's. That can be debated, but the fact is that these dogs possess size, strength, tenacity, and aggression that is very different from the average dog. They are bred specifically for these traits.
The Michael Vick case brought dog fighting out into the open, and sadly, this activity hasn't ended. What breed was Vick training? Of course, you know the answer. Yes, any dog can bite, even the beloved Cocker Spaniel.1 But when a pit bull attacks a person or another animal, the result will be quite different, and is usually very serious.
Ordinances to ban pit bull dogs, or dogs with those characteristics have been introduced in Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and other states. Denver, Kansas City, and Miami are some of the largest cities with pit bull bans. With over 100 breeds of dogs to choose from for a pet, we do not see this as a major inconvenience...If not an out-right ban, we call for the owners of pit bull dogs, or dogs with those characteristics, to meet stringent restraint requirements, including posting a substantial bond.
08/19/08: Toddler Attacked by a Pit Bull Outside Day Care Center
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| 8/25/2008 11:05 AM |
Just a comment on the oft-repeated pro-pit mantra, "But cocker spaniels bite more often than pit bulls!"
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.
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 other wise 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. These 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 genetiocs. Even though we can quantify and prove that MANY, MANY pit bull breeders are breeding dogs FOR human aggressive and/or dog agressive temperaments, and the majority of those who are not SELECTING for agression are not BREEDING AWAY from it...we are asked to believe that pit bulls could not possibly be suffering from the same problems as Cocker Spaniels. Pit bulls are almost exclusively bred by back yard breeders, dog fighters, or worse. 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 who gets loose and mauls the neighbor must have been "trained" to do it.
Genetics matter. Its time to stop believing the fairy tales told by pit bull apologists and spay and neuter pit bulls out of the pet population.
| 8/25/2008 5:04 PM |
That second post was a wonderful analysis and should get it's own entry. It is the same argument I have had with many pit bull owners. All breeds have genetic traits than enable them to do a specific job, traits that were bred in and can be counted on in each litter. Yet with pit bulls they want us to believe all their job traits are trained. What makes pit bull genetics different from any other dog genetics? Where is the scientific report that proves such an difference exists?
| 8/25/2008 6:43 PM |
One of the craziest arguments I keep reading over and over again from pit bull owners is that "pit bulls were bred for human friendly temperaments". No, they were not. They were bred for their fighting ability, by degenerate gamblers. Period. There is plenty of evidence that many famous fighting dogs were manbiters... none of the dogmen culled a dog that won in the ring and made him money because the dog snapped and growled at a person.
These dogs weren't pets, period. No one bred two pit bulls together because they had "nice personalities", they bred the dogs that won in the box. Its another myth perpetrated by the bybers and rescue angels who refuse to ackowledge that basic principles of animal husbandry apply to breeding pit bulls.