Sunday, March 28, 2010

Marines Say Enough is Enough

No more Semper Fido.

Nine months ago, Marine bases across the nation laid down the law: Marines owning full or mixed breeds of pitbulls, Rottweilers, wolf-dogs mixes or any breed with "dominant traits of aggression" would have to register their dogs by April 1, 2010 and apply for a waiver if they wanted to continue to live on base and get taxpayer-subsidized housing.

The order came from General James Conway, the Marine Commandant, and stated the reason for new rules:

"The rise in ownership of large dog breeds with a predisposition toward aggressive or dangerous behavior, coupled with the increased risk of tragic incidents involving these dogs, necessitates a uniform policy."

Now, with only a few days to go until the deadline, Camp Lejeune reports that only about a quarter of the 200 dogs in the "vicious breed" category known to live in base housing have been registered.

Meanwhile, at other bases, dog trainers report that some dogs that have come forward to be trained for a Canine Good Citizenship certificate have proven to be more vicious and more poorly socialized than the trainers expected.


Seahorse said...

I suppose the brass don't have to supply any data to support their decision. They own the bases, they can institute their rules. If a Marine wants to receive discounted digs and services for the family, they must comply. Must be a reason for all of this, eh?

Certain dog breeds heighten concern because they've earned it. In my little world I've had huge problems with "pets" who have been allowed to roam free, pack up and attack my animals. These have been pure bred GSD, shepherd mixes and pure bred Border Collies. Singly, they might not have been such a problem, but pack behavior gets going and they are ALL a problem. All had one thing in common: irresponsible owners. By contrast, I had a Presa Canario living next door, and initially it made my blood run cold. But, those responsible owners NEVER allowed that dog to run loose. The various other dogs on my road are never a problem, and I give them very low priority in my head space because they are not allowed to run "free".

Now I have an American Bull Dog living VERY close to our farm, and before they were even moved in he tried to attack my animals twice in two hours. I had to break things up both times. Owner completely oblivious even after I explained and the law explained. Now, I'm forced to be hyper-vigilant until I have confidence in this new owner, who clearly has a LOT of catching up to do regarding his breed. Breed-blindness is a killer.


PBurns said...

YES, the Marines have had problems with large vicious dogs on base in the past.

And yes, those dogs have been disrportionately pitbulls, rotties, and wolf-dog crosses.

I suppose it is no huge surprise to find out that if you get a lot of young testosterone-centered men at a single location, they would end up getting large powerful dogs that they might not be able or willing to train, guide, house, or accept full responsibility for.

The Marines simply got tired of hosing off the blood, dealing with the chaos, and listening to the nonsense from Pitbull and Rottie defenders. I can undestand.

I am against breed bans as a rule, but the U.S. Military is like any landlord, and can do whatever it wants. The proper respoonse is: Sir, Yes Sir!

If the pitbull and rottie community had LED the push for CGC's as a condition of having their dogs (or all dogs) on base, they would not have been singled out. But, of course, they didn't. They simply continued to voice their mantra, that their dogs are just like all others, and never mind the fact that evidence has shown that that is pure bunk.

The Marine Corps is not a place where cuddling your inner child is valued, or where they are going to listen to a bunch of nonsense that flies in the face of reality.

Anyone want to argue that the Marine Corps (which has had a bulldog as its logo for more than 80 years) is anti-molosser? No? I guess not!

Dogs are not a right; they are a responsibility. The Marine Corps, at least, gets that.


Novus said...

You said a ways back that you were surprised that dog clubs and trainers were not pushing for some sort of mandatory training as a alternative to breed-bans. A good example here!


HTTrainer said...

There are K9 units within the services. Here is an opportunity for the Marines K9 units to develop a win-win program, to provide the "basic training" for any dog to remain in housing.
Yes, it's work, more work in fact, but if any Marine wants a dog, can't handle a dog and doesn't know how to handle a dog. This is the what I would consider the absolute basic requirement to help solve the problem of aggressive dogs on any base.

joyce kesling, CDBC said...

As a dog trainer and behavior consultant, i think it would be a great idea if the military, i'm only addressing their problem, required all dogs kept and housed on base have mandatory training and behavior counseling.

Pat said, "I suppose it is no huge surprise to find out that if you get a lot of young testosterone-centered men at a single location, they would end up getting large powerful dogs that they might not be able or willing to train, guide, house, or accept full responsibility for."

and this is no surprise, i run into the problem on a regular basis out in the real world. and as an owner of similar breeds i understand the responsibility and the thought processes that must go along with ownership. this is what is lacking in dog training, we have this foo foo view of dogs and think it's applicable to all dogs. the problem is a tiny yorkie might bite, but their bite isn't going to be life threatening, these larger breeds kept with naive perceptions can do a lot of damage and/or kill. i'm not about to find myself emotionally nor legally responsible for my dogs hurting another animal or individual.

It's about time we are honest about dogs and their behavior as well as our own when training and/or interacting with them 8-)

Rick said...

It wasn't the five well contained Timber Wolves across the street that worried my former neighborhood, it was the five un-contained Dobies that my landlord let run free.

Gentleman Jockey said...

I saw with interest your earlier post where you cited a study about dog bites by breed. Showing pit types account for 2-3% of dogs, and half of the serious dog bites.

My friends called BS and said your source was a total lie. I feel like i was passing bad info. You don't seem like the type to link to fabrications, what's up?

PBurns said...

Well GJ, to be charitable, your friend is either misinformed, ignorant, or an idiot. You can, of course, be all three things at once, but let's assume just one this time. Your choice!

For citation, see >> Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982- December 2009 at >>

Read the paper.

Of course, this is not the only paper to find similar data, is it? See a loger run down of the data here >>

While you are at it, look up Boxer, Rottweiler, Pit Bull, and American Bulldog in a source as obvious as Wikipedia (to make it easy).

All of these breeds have a common origin -- butcher dogs bred to grab animals and hold them. Variations on a theme, and historically "distinctions without too much of a difference". For a visual on this see >>