Friday, May 19, 2017

Not All Dogs Are the Same?

Over at The Collared Scholar, Meagan Karnes has a very nice piece about the high cost of Pit Bull denial and the broken canine lives that too often follow:

I happened to choose a little roly poly pit bull pup with drive – and lots of it. At just 10 weeks old, this little heathen walked into my life and completely turned it upside down.

For a while I blamed myself. There were no bad dogs, only bad owners after all. And as I gazed upon the labs, the border collies, and the hounds who behaved like superstars in our group classes, I felt inadequate. I felt like a bad owner, watching my dog’s eyes bugging out of his head, alligator rolling at the end of his leash, trying desperately to get at any dog he saw.

He was friendly and overzealous at first, completely overstimulated in any new environment. But as he matured, he developed some more serious behaviors including a pretty hefty dose of dog aggression.

I felt fully responsible. And no matter how much help I sought, I couldn’t get a handle on his behavior.

Read the whole thing! Then, if you have time, read this piece, if for no other reason than to see the graphics.


jeffrey thurston said...

I read this post and the linked article- better than some about "Pit Bulls" but still it has some logical gaps. There are 3 things with which I generally disagree with you posted on this blog: 1. politics in general which I promise to just let go... 2. the dog/wolf speciation argument 3. and finally the whole Pit Bull "problem". I am not convinced that Pit Bulls are more inherently dangerous than any large dog- not at all towards humans and probably not even towards other dogs. has been proven to be an absolute fraud- a bitter yuppie woman with an ax to grind has polluted the internet. In my own experience here in Oakland a majority of the dogs in my neighborhood are pit bull types. At least 65 to 75 % are what your average person would call a Pit Bull. I've never seen one hurt anything. Most are rescues but what I am talking about are the smooth coated, muscular, big-headed dogs everyone calls Pit Bulls. Some are absolutely terrifying looking with large grinning heads, tank-like bodies and intact to boot. They are big boisterous scary looking creatures- I think this is what causes the statistical bias. The chances of being killed by ANY dog are beyond miniscule so even if a majority were Pit Bulls (and I don't think they are- read some of the rebuttals to it is not a danger one needs worry about. I have experience with dog aggression and Pit Bulls because my 2 JRTs have attacked pits on many occasions, they play hard and when it gets out of control THEY act like stereotypical pits, latching on to flesh and not letting go. Every time this has happened the pits react with bemused tolerance. All dog aggression I have seen in 5 years of dog parks here in Oakland comes from medium sized mutts, one that bit off the ear of a Rottweiler (again-IT did not react) and two that attacked their owner during a squabble. These two incidents involved a lot of blood. All the other scores of dog fights were just regular dogs being assholes- but I've never seen a serious dog incident involving a pit type. I have a good friend who is an Animal Control officer in a large Bay Area city - she is right in the middle of the heartbreak, and she reports that far from being the worst Pit Bulls are amongst the easiest to deal with, she tells hilarious stories of big square-jawed cops terrified of pits, drawing guns etc. Therein lies the heart of the story- people have been propagandized and are afraid.

So we have our 3 arguments- Politics which I'll let alone (let's just say I feel very burned these days); Wolf/dog speciation which we can argue about in 2018 when the Great Canine Genetic Survey comes out and I'll be proven so right about everything- and now this Pit Bull "problem"which I think is bunk.


PBurns said...

You are prattling away here like someone stays up nights caring about what you think. Why do you think that? I assure you it is not true. Please read the comment rules which require folks to do more than type. No one has time for time wasters. If that sounds rude, it was meant to be. When you left because I called you on your antisemitic bullshit, it was not a bad day and that was certainly not about "politics".

As I note here >> >> "Please do not confuse anecdote with statistics or typing with writing. If you are writing really long and have no sources, you are doing something wrong."