Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Who let the--no. I can't. I just can't.

Maybe it’s a summer thing. But in the last week or so, a handful of stories have bobbed to the surface of the Internet regarding bans on specific breeds of "predisposed to violence" dogs. This almost always refers to the American Staffordshire Terrier, aka the pit bull.

I’m not an expert on dogs—didn’t even stay in a Holiday Inn last night—but I can bring two bits of anecdotal evidence to the table here.

First of all, my good friend Aaron has a pit bull puppy. I’ve met Sharky, watched her slobber all over anything that wanted to play with her. She’s a sweet animal. Aaron gets her a lot of exercise, treats her well and makes sure she’s well-trained. There’s about as much chance she’ll carry off someone’s child as there is Voltron being elected president. The point here is that like any domesticated animal, temperament is directly correlated to responsibility of ownership.

And second, actual veterinarians with actual expertise in actual animal behavior have recommended American Staffordshire Terriers to me as a great breed to own. Very smart, very loyal, they say. Granted, at least one of these recommendations came at a cocktail party, but it was early in the evening.

I think the takeaway here is that banning a specific breed of dog is getting the chicken and egg question (dare I say? I do dare) scrambled. Pit bulls, because of their reputation as "fighting dogs," probably have a much higher incidence of owner stupidity and irresponsibility. The problems that appear related to the breed are really just related to the morons who want to own a dog like other people keep a pistol under their pillow.

Of course, this is the type of dog I'd recommend for any home, anywhere....

1 comment:

M. Gants v4.0 said...

Hmm, I think you could breed just about any dog (or semi-intelligent creature) for that matter to be violent (or not violent). However, certain creatures have a physique that is more dangerous when coupled with violent behavior.

The damage sustained after being mauled by full grown, violent pitbull will of course be much worse than being mauled by a full grown, violent chihuahua.

Oh, but I do like your puppy very much. How is she doing these days?