The process of erasing all distinctions among subspecies is moving to its next logical phase: Breed-denial. The city of Medford Oregon is considering a ban on pit bulls and some people are in a tizzy over it.
A Medford woman, who has started a petition to prevent the ban, writes:
My pit bull, Smokey, is just like my son. So when the City Council of Medford, Oregon, proposed a ban on pit bulls on the grounds that they’re a dangerous breed, I started a petition asking Medford not to propose such an extreme measure. Prevent a discriminating ban against pit bulls in Medford OR. …
I’ve owned Smokey for the past five years. Pit bulls are truly loving and playful animals when they are raised right. When the Medford City Council recently proposed an outright ban on pit bulls and a measure requiring them to be sterilized, I had to take action.
I started a petition on Care2 asking the Medford City Council to do the right thing and call a halt to any plans to ban pit bulls. Click here to sign my petition.
According to the Medford police, there have been 89 dog attacks in the past few years with just about half involving pit bulls. Calling for a ban on one particular breed unfairly stereotypes them as violent and aggressive. Dogs like pit bulls and other “bully breeds” are no more vicious than any others.
When pit bulls act aggressively, the problem is that their owners have been irresponsible. There is actually proof that dogs are what their owners make them. In testing done by the American Temperament Test Society, the American Pit Bull Terrier scored 86.8% on their temperament rating scale, beating out the Golden Retriever, who scored an 85.2%. When a pit bull acts aggressively, it’s the owners who are responsible, not their animals.
The ban on pit bulls and other “bully breeds” proposed by the Medford City Council is discriminatory. It is simply a step in the wrong direction and will not prevent animal attacks. The real solution is to create measures under which owners would face stricter penalties, if their animals were involved in any incidents.
Notice her use of the words “discrimination” and “stereotyping.” She takes the typical liberal position (which might be true in this case) that a dog’s temperament is the result of nurture, not nature.
In other words, she’s treating Pit Bulls in much the same way the Establishment treats blacks. They’re not violent by nature; it’s environmental factors, such as racism and the legacy of slavery, that make them so.
I’m not an expert on dogs, but I do have a friend who owns a Pit Bull. In fact, he even wrote a post about them for this blog. When that dog was a puppy, it was the cutest thing in the world; absolutely adorable. Now that it’s grown, it’s frighteningly powerful. The dog never threatened me in any way; it can sense that I’m a friend. But I wouldn’t want to be the target of its aggression, if there were some sort of misunderstanding or unusual situation. Those jaws are capable of doing great damage.
It’s odd that, while Tyler Woodard (the author of the above petition) denies any genetic difference in violent proclivities among breeds, she does appear to recognize the American Temperament Test Society’s testing. Here’s what the society has to say about dog temperament:
What is temperament?
W. Handel, German Police Dog Trainer, in his article, “The Psychological Basis of Temperament Testing,” defines temperament as:
“the sum total of all inborn and acquired physical and mental traits and talents which determines, forms and regulates behavior in the environment”
The ATTS test focuses on and measures different aspects of temperament such as stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness as well as the dog’s instinct for protectiveness towards its handler and/or self-preservation in the face of a threat. The test is designed for the betterment of all breeds of dogs and takes into consideration each breed’s inherent tendencies.
In other words, there are inherent differences in temperament between breeds. Glancing through the testing statistics, on the society’s website, I noticed that breeds that were tested only a few times seem to have erroneous scores. If a breed was tested only twice, and failed once, its score is only 50%, as is the case with the Alaskan Klee Kai. They should have omitted breeds that were tested less than 100 times or so.
Furthermore, the temperament test only measures the dog’s reaction to various scenarios. It does not measure the overall danger it poses to people. I may be wrong, but I doubt many breeds can match the American Pit Bull when it comes to sheer jaw power. Would readers who are dog experts please tell us if the Pit Bull’s more powerful jaws, and muscular frame, make it overall more dangerous than Golden Retrievers, even if both have about the same temperament?
On another note, though I’m an animal-lover, it bothers me to see people (mostly white people) treating their pets as if they’re their children. A pet is not a good substitute for your own flesh and blood. That Woodard can state that her dog is “just like her son” without raising eyebrows reveals the rot in our society. This is one reason the number of whites is declining in America: People are having pets instead of children. It’s pitiful.