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Topic # 57677 21-Feb-2010 18:25
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Just seen the recent news article about two pit bull type dogs attacking people.

In all of these cases the owners say "He/She was so gentle, I would have never expected he/she to do this" 

I can understand that no one expects their pet to do something like that, but we must all remember that they are pack animals, and to them a stranger is a threat to the pack.

My views are slightly skewed when it comes to pit bull type dogs, as I don't like them at all.  And from what I understand they were initially breed for fighting, and when it comes to selective breeding only the traits that are wanted are breed into the dog.

What are your views on this?

Oh also, I do commend the recent cases the owners have said "I don't trust the dog anymore so put it down"  It must be hard for them, but i respect them for taking the correct action IMO.

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  Reply # 300915 22-Feb-2010 09:47
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And just how many of those dogs that attacked were actually registered ? Quite farcical actually.
IMNSHO, one menacing act, and it's bullet time - no reprieve, no comeback, no nothing. Same goes for those sh!tty "rat on a rope" dogs !




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  Reply # 300926 22-Feb-2010 10:37
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IMO, it should be illegal to keep Pitbull / Bull-Mastiff breeds of dogs. OK, such a law will never entirely weed out such dogs from our society as there will also be backyard breeders who operate outside the law, but at least it would drastically reduce the numbers that are out there.

Also, when the inevitable next attack happens caused by someone who owns one of these breeds of dog, the police can really throw the book at the offending owner, as not only did he/she fail to ensure that the dog was securely contained, but secondly, the simple act of owning that breed of dog is an offence.

Of course, with laws like this, there will always be grey areas according to which type of dog it is, but you have to start somewhere, and outlawing the above breeds of dog would be a good starting point IMO. They were primarily bred for fighting, and such dogs have no place in our society. It's like allowing people to keep lions in their backyard i.e. just another tragedy waiting to happen.





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  Reply # 300928 22-Feb-2010 10:49
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Not a short article but you should read it: http://www.gladwell.com/2006/2006_02_06_a_pitbull.html (pdf availabe for download too).

"A Georgia-based group called the American Temperament Test Society has put twenty-five thousand dogs through a ten-part standardized drill designed to assess a dog's stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness in the company of people. A handler takes a dog on a six-foot lead and judges its reaction to stimuli such as gunshots, an umbrella opening, and a weirdly dressed stranger approaching in a threatening way. Eighty-four per cent of the pit bulls that have been given the test have passed, which ranks pit bulls ahead of beagles, Airedales, bearded collies, and all but one variety of dachshund. "We have tested somewhere around a thousand pit-bull-type dogs," Carl Herkstroeter, the president of the A.T.T.S., says. "I've tested half of them. And of the number I've tested I have disqualified one pit bull because of aggressive tendencies. They have done extremely well. They have a good temperament. They are very good with children." It can even be argued that the same traits that make the pit bull so aggressive toward other dogs are what make it so nice to humans. "There are a lot of pit bulls these days who are licensed therapy dogs," the writer Vicki Hearne points out. "Their stability and resoluteness make them excellent for work with people who might not like a more bouncy, flibbertigibbet sort of dog. When pit bulls set out to provide comfort, they are as resolute as they are when they fight, but what they are resolute about is being gentle. And, because they are fearless, they can be gentle with anybody."

"Then which are the pit bulls that get into trouble? "The ones that the legislation is geared toward have aggressive tendencies that are either bred in by the breeder, trained in by the trainer, or reinforced in by the owner," Herkstroeter says. A mean pit bull is a dog that has been turned mean, by selective breeding, by being cross-bred with a bigger, human-aggressive breed like German shepherds or Rottweilers, or by being conditioned in such a way that it begins to express hostility to human beings. A pit bull is dangerous to people, then, not to the extent that it expresses its essential pit bullness but to the extent that it deviates from it. A pit-bull ban is a generalization about a generalization about a trait that is not, in fact, general. That's a category problem."

No, we don't have a dog now. In the past I had one cocker spaniel and one siberian husky. My in-laws have a german shepperd and she's really good with the kids (six grandchildren aged one through fix now) and actually gets out of the way when the kids are around - perhaps to be on the safe side?

But yes, read the link, in its entirety.





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