Sunday, April 07, 2019

Who Are the Pit Bull Owners?

Pit Bulls can be a problem breed.

That said, a big part of the problem are numb-skulls up the leash.

Let's start with the fact that Pit Bulls are way over-bred by people who say they "love" Pit Bulls even as nearly a million Pit Bulls a year are killed in this country, most of them for nothing more than the crime of no longer being a puppy.

How fucked up is that kind of "Pit bull love"?

Then we have the former Pit Bull lovers who dump their dog down at the pound when they are 6- months or a year or two old. The dog has gotten to be "too much."

Given little or no exercise or training, these young dogs have barked too often, chewed one pair of shoes too many, or perhaps growled at the cat or bitten another dog (or a child) in the house. Off to the gas chamber for them!

How fucked up is that kind of "Pit bull love"?

How often does this happen? 

About a million times a year.

Deniers say their breed is simply being discriminated against.

How ironic!  You see, the discrimination is being done by the owners themselves who too often are young wanna-be toughs who gravitate towards risky and imposing dogs in order to project a certain image.

Do you think  I am gratuitously kicking Pit Bull owners?

Do you think I being unfair?

I'm not. 

Almost a million dead Pit Bulls a year down at the pound -- some 400 million pounds of dead Pit Bull a decade -- are a once-living indictment of a very wide swath of Pit Bull breeders, buyers, and owners in this country.

Own your shit, people. 

More Pit Bulls are killed down at the pound every year than ALL dogs registered by the American Kennel Club that same year.

Sure, individual Pit Bull owners can be terrific stewards, great trainers, and loving people who have always turned a square corner.

I count many friends in this group, and perhaps you are one of them.

But if you are, then you know I am telling the truth.

The single greatest threat to Pit Bulls are Pit Bull breeders and Pit Bull owners. No one else is more responsible for the death of healthy young dogs in this country than Pit Bull breeders and owners; not PETA, not the AKC, not HSUS, not the Amish, not the Hunte corporation.

So what's going on?  A toxic combination. 

Mostly we talk about the dogs.  I've done that before. Now, let's talk about the people.

Who are these Pit Bull people?

A hell of a lot of them are idiots.  Criminal idiots.  And no, I am not just tossing these words around.

Studies of Pit Bull owners show a far higher than expected correlation between having a criminal record and owning a high-risk dog.  In Ownership of High-Risk (“Vicious”) Dogs as a Marker for Deviant Behaviors; Implications for Risk Assessment, Jaclyn E. Barnes, and her co-authors summarize:

When differences in criminal convictions and traffic citations between the owners of  high risk dogs (HRC) and owners of low-risk dogs (LRL) dogs were examined, owners of HRC dogs had significantly more criminal convictions and traffic citations in every category. Relative to owners of LRL dogs, owners of HRC dogs [Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Akitas, Chows] were 9.1 times more likely to have been convicted for a crime involving children.... 3.0 times more likely to have been convicted on a charge of domestic violence.... 14.1 times more likely to be convicted of crimes involving alcohol... 7.7 times more likely to be charged with drug convictions..... 7.1 times more likely to have been cited for a major traffic violation... and 5.8 times more likely to have been cited for a minor traffic violation.

The Barnes study is not the only one coming to a similar conclusion.

Laurie Ragatz and her co-authors did a study entitled Vicious Dogs: The Antisocial Behaviors and Psychological Characteristics of Owners in which they conclude:

[V]icious dog owners reported significantly more criminal behaviors than other dog owners. Vicious dog owners were higher in sensation seeking and primary psychopathy. Study results suggest that vicious dog ownership may be a simple marker of broader social deviance.

In reviewing the Ragatz study, Stanley Corren details the personality characteristics that were found to be common to many high risk dog owners.

In general high risk dog breed owners were significantly more likely to engage in sensation seeking and risky behaviors. As a group they were also more careless, selfish and had stronger manipulative tendencies. They also seemed to engage in more self-defeating behaviors than the low risk dog owners.

One final distressing finding suggests that the high risk for aggression dog breed owners did not appear to be as well bonded to their dogs as the other groups of dog owners. This conclusion comes from the fact that their attitudes were much more accepting of the maltreatment or abuse of animals than was found for owners of low risk for aggression dog breeds.

To be clear most Pit Bull owners are not criminals, and most criminals are not vicious dog owners.

That said, there IS a correlation, and it is not weak one.

In fact, the data confirms what we actually see in the world of high risk dogs: a too-common combination of the ignorant, the thrill seeker, the person unable to delay gratification, and the person with too little empathy for dogs and other people.

When looking at owners of Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Akitas, Chows, Dobermans, and Wolf‐mixes, Allison M. Schenk, et al. concluded in Vicious Dogs Part 2: Criminal Thinking, Callousness, and Personality Styles of Their Owners that

Vicious dog owners reported significantly higher criminal thinking, entitlement, sentimentality, and superoptimism tendencies. Vicious dog owners were arrested, engaged in physical fights, and used marijuana significantly more than other dog owners.

None of this is news to the observant.

Insurance companies have long used statistics to designate breeds at highest risk for serious biting. The six breeds most often cited are (in alphabetical order) the Akita, Chow, Doberman Pinscher, Pit Bull (sometimes called American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, or American Pit Bull Terrier), Rottweiler, and Wolf-hybrid.

Does owning a Pit Bull make you a criminal?  Of course not.  Do all criminals own Pit Bulls?  Of course not.  Are all crimes equal?  Of course not.  Does racism exist?  Of course. Are there terrific Pit Bull owners who are not young, unsettled, numb-skulls with personality disorders?  Of course.

That said, we come back to it:  Why are nearly a million Pit Bulls a year being bred and dumped to be killed down at thousands of shelters across the U.S.??

The dog is part of the problem, but so too are the people up the leash. 

Put a large game bred dog in the hands of a young, arrogant, ignorant idiot, with an unstable life, who thinks the rules don't apply 100 percent of the time, and see what you get. 

So far, the answer is a hell of a lot of dead dogs.

400 million pounds of dead Pit Bulls a year.

Imagine what that looks like.

1 comment:

tuffy said...

all true.

just be careful: ''vicious dogs'' are more than pitbulls. there are a other host of ''vicious'' dogs mentioned. your own words focused only on pitbulls. also know that the same phenomenon has occurred in the past with other breeds--it was GSD's, Dobies, and Rotties, before pitties came along...i know, i saw them at the shelters and clinics...

also, ''vicious'' is a misnomer. that is such a media, sensationalist word. vicious really implies bad intent, deliberate cruelty. that is not what dogs do. they are predators genetically, and they do have a moral backbone regarding protecting their property and defending themselves. they aren't intending cruelty...
what they are is motivated, beyond the average ''passive'' canine individual...this motivation expresses itself differently in different breeds and dog individuals. it can go to human injury, but i must say, it is rare, compared to the numbers of motivated dogs out there. in my experience at shelters and vet clinics, pitties inflicting human damage are far less common than more genetically human-suspicious breeds like working protection-bred dog breeds--ex Dobies or Rotties, or GSD's.
however, if they do inflict damage, it can be severe. they are bigger than the same bite from a smaller dog...