Please watch this clip, and count the number of times the word ‘pitbull’ is used:

Im sure you will be shocked to hear this, but the anti-science OK legislator Paul Wesselhoft is also violently against these family pets. I guess the ability to interpret scientific data is not his particular strong suit.

H/T lowcountry dog blog

Comments

  1. #1 Jason
    March 12, 2009

    awww, poor puppy =(
    good thing he seems ok though.

  2. #2 minimalist
    March 12, 2009

    Aww, whoozagoodpuppy!

    That reminds me, we haven’t had an Arnie update in a long time. I guess you would have if you’d had any particularly adorable pictures/stories, but I just thought I’d let you know I’m at least interested. Even though I’m much more of a cat person, I like dogs at the other end of a monitor screen (you don’t have to smell ‘em).

  3. #3 HalfMooner
    March 12, 2009

    It’s a Pit Bull to the newsies when it scares or bites law-abiding citizens, but a “family dog” when it saves lives.

    Paul Wesselhoft is an exception. One that bit him, in my book, would be a fine family dog.

  4. #4 foolfodder
    March 12, 2009

    Alternative headline:

    Handgun saves man from vicious dog.

  5. #5 Ranson
    March 12, 2009

    I’ll admit to an irrational bias against pit bulls (larger dogs in general, actually; I have a rational bias against small ones). I grew up in white-trash, drug-dealer redneckistan, where dogs were either completely untrained or trained to attack anything that got close. From a young age, I was routinely chased by everything from pits and boxers to collies and labs. I had one “former” dealer only call off his pit after it had a grip on my leg (for the crime of walking down the street on my way home, apparently a high-offense task). So, given that, I admit I have a distrust for most dogs of any real size. I am willing to learn, as I have manged to be friendly with well-trained or otherwise very good-natured individual dogs (I had a great relationship with a big Austrailian shepherd pup that briefly lived with my sis-in-law). However, It’s likely that my children will not realize their dream of a puppy until they move out.

  6. #6 D. C. Sessions
    March 12, 2009

    I had a great relationship with a big Austrailian shepherd pup that briefly lived with my sis-in-law

    Of course — Aussies are about as socializable as a dog can get. High energy, but amazingly mellow — and scary smart. One raised my kids.

    However, they are not properly “large” dogs. Technically they’re medium-sized, with 30 pounds for females and a bit more for males being standard. Doesn’t mean that there aren’t some larger (ours was huge for a male Aussie, at over 50 pounds.)

  7. #7 Ranson
    March 12, 2009

    @ D.C.

    True, they aren’t mastiffs by any measure, but this one was really only half-shepherd; he expressed most everything as one, and was the son of a purebred. The other half was apperently a Sherman tank, ’cause that sucker was bigger than 40 pounds at about six months. He didn’t stick around, mostly because my sister-in-law didn’t understand exactly how much care a dog like that takes. We ended up finding another home for him, because he was being roundly neglected, and thus causing some destruction, and it was sort of sad to watch this playful, energetic, friendly dog tied up and ignored. Had my kids been older (my oldest is only five now), I might have ended up with a dog against my wishes. With some training, it would have been amazing, because it was by far the most naturally friendly dog I’ve interacted with. Speaking of smart, I watched the pup constantly herding my kids by leaning on their legs. He’d put them together, and try to keep them from the road (100 yards away, but he clearly drove them the other direction).

    I’ll admit, dogs can be great. I just had my tastes in that direction mauled at a young age, and they aren’t for me.

  8. #8 Chris
    March 12, 2009

    I don’t get it. All your Wesselhoft link says is that his legislation would punish owners for “serious” dog attacks and nothing about punishment for dogs or banning breeds (in this incarnation). It also has no resemblance to the ‘scientific data’ – the lifted Dutch ban.

    The Wesselhoft story is from over a year ago. Was the legislation introduced? Did it pass?

  9. #9 Joshua Zelinsky
    March 12, 2009

    I doubt our pit would do this. Luquillo would probably first try to jump up and lick the guy. And after the first gun shot would probably turn her tail down and start whining.

    I’m amazed that the dog didn’t only survive but seems pretty ok in this video both mentally and physically. The poor dog. Is it wrong for me to wish that they find who did this and put the guy away for a very long time?

  10. #10 ERV
    March 12, 2009

    Um, that article notes all of the instances Wesselhoft has tried to ban pits since 2004, even though dog leash/bite laws are already on the books, BSL is unconstitutional (its specifically been ruled unconstitutional in Oklahoma already), and BSL has proven over and over and over to not ‘work’. It also quotes Wesselhoft as saying he only introduced the ‘gorsh golly mean dogs’ bill because he thinks it will ‘“dramatically” reduce the states pit bull population’.

    Banning pits is a nonsensical obsession of his.

  11. #11 Chris
    March 12, 2009

    Yeah, I get that he’s introduced pit bull bans before (which is why I said ‘in this incarnation’), but this particular legislation isn’t BSL, and is nothing like the Dutch law (you’ll notice that the main criticism of the Dutch ban was that it had nothing to do with aggressive tendencies, only the look of the dog.) Wesselhoft v3.0 appears to only applies to all breeds and singles out owners of dogs who have attacked and caused injury. And nowhere does it say he *only* introduced it to reduce pit bull numbers, just a hopeful side effect.

    I have no idea what the current OK leash/bite laws are. Is there a reason to think they’re inadequate? Is the proposed legislation we’re talking about just ‘tougher punishment’?

    And his republicanism, other motives and existing legislation aside, is there anything wrong with a law that says “‘If a dog gets off its property and if that dog attacks someone and if that attack is serious — that is if a prudent person would seek medical help’ that it’s an offense for the owner”? (Superficially, of course. It would depend on what would happen to the animal in question and other details not mentioned in the article)

  12. #12 Uncephalized
    March 12, 2009

    Hmmm… video no longer seems to be available. ‘General error’. Or maybe it’s because I’m currently browsing from an Ubuntu LiveCD. Have to try it later when I have everything properly installed.

  13. #13 Judy
    March 12, 2009

    It has to be education, not legislation, that resolves the issues around “dangerous” dogs. More people get bit by Chihuahuas, although they don’t do as much damage with one bite, than by all the dogs that get mistakenly called “pit bulls.” It’s a shame that so many people let dogs do their dirty work for them to protect their own criminal interests, and then all dogs similar to those get the guilt by association rap. We can’t let the control freaks take away our right to have pets, or to choose what pets we want to have in our homes. Google “responsible pet owners” if you want to find a way to make a difference.

  14. #14 William Wallace
    March 13, 2009

    You should come see what the family dogs pit bulls of N. Minneapolis can do. And be careful, because if you claim it’s not the dog breed, but the class and culture of people, you’ll end up sounding like an elitist to the dog breeders/trainers, who often come from historically oppressed ethic groups that breed these dogs.

    And, since you’re an evolution partisan, can you explain why “those” people should not breed and train their dogs to fight? They claim their dogs love to fight, that their dogs get very excited when they realize they are on the way to the fight pen. And, from a scientific perspective, (since as a scientist you probably don’t believe in a physical conscience, which is, in the terms familiar to Dawkins’ fans, the byproduct of sophisticated simulation software running in your brain, originally programmed through evolution), why are the pit bull owners wrong to breed the winners, and send the losers to the humane society (if they live), where they get fixed–leading to a population of pitbulls trending toward an ever more tenacious population of pit bulls.

    After all, they are just applying what Darwin described as “survival of the fittest” and a semi-natural selection?

    Besides, many of the pitbull owners no longer have the right to apply for a permit to carry, and the vicious but loyal pit bulls are an effective defense weapon in otherwise very dangerous neighborhoods. (And even the video you highlight illustrates their effectiveness.)

    And how is getting dogs to fight, something the dog fighters claim the dogs like, worse than say, using dogs to flush rabbits, pheasants, and foxes, so that hunters can brutally kill them–something those other animals do not like. How is it worse than those who breed and train birds of prey for falconry? How is it worse than kosher slaughterhouses?

  15. #15 Anton Mates
    March 13, 2009

    And be careful, because if you claim it’s not the dog breed, but the class and culture of people, you’ll end up sounding like an elitist to the dog breeders/trainers, who often come from historically oppressed ethic groups that breed these dogs.

    Why is it that the only alternative you can think of to “pit bulls are evil” is “poor/brown people are evil?”

    And, since you’re an evolution partisan, can you explain why “those” people should not breed and train their dogs to fight? They claim their dogs love to fight, that their dogs get very excited when they realize they are on the way to the fight pen.

    They’re lying. It takes months of systematic and intense abuse to get a dog to fight as it’s supposed to fight in the ring. Even then, many dogs refuse, and they’re tortured to death as punishment. Remember what Michael Vick did to his dogs?

    There are animals which, under the right circumstances, will voluntarily fight to the death. But dogs aren’t particularly built to do that.

    (since as a scientist you probably don’t believe in a physical conscience, which is, in the terms familiar to Dawkins’ fans, the byproduct of sophisticated simulation software running in your brain, originally programmed through evolution)

    What? You just outline (badly) the sort of “physical conscience” Dawkins or Abbie would argue for, and then claim that they don’t believe in it? How does that work?

    After all, they are just applying what Darwin described as “survival of the fittest” and a semi-natural selection?

    Darwin also described scenarios where artificial selection would be morally unacceptable, because it involved, y’know, doing horribly evil things on the way. There’s that pesky is/ought problem again.

    Besides, many of the pitbull owners no longer have the right to apply for a permit to carry, and the vicious but loyal pit bulls are an effective defense weapon in otherwise very dangerous neighborhoods.

    What does this have to do with dogfighting? A fighting-trained dog isn’t particularly better at defending you against a human attacker. Indeed, a good fighting dog has to have unusually strong bite inhibition when it comes to humans, particularly adult humans, so that people can wade into the fray and pull dogs apart without getting hurt.

    And how is getting dogs to fight, something the dog fighters claim the dogs like, worse than say, using dogs to flush rabbits, pheasants, and foxes, so that hunters can brutally kill them–something those other animals do not like. How is it worse than those who breed and train birds of prey for falconry? How is it worse than kosher slaughterhouses?

    I don’t particularly approve of any of those activities, but (except for maybe fox-hunting) they involve much less prolonged suffering than a dogfight. Falcons in particular tend to kill their prey on impact.

    Dogfighting is designed to be long and bloody and painful–that’s what entertains its patrons. In hunting, as far as I’m aware, most of the thrill comes from the chase, not the actual demise of the animal.

  16. #16 Optimus Primate
    March 13, 2009

    Good thing he wasn’t a pit/chow mix. They would have called him a cat!

  17. #17 John Phillips, FCD
    March 13, 2009

    Poor wee Willie you really are wonka aren’t you.

  18. #18 W. Kevin Vicklund
    March 13, 2009

    “I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law.” – Aristotle

  19. #19 Wes
    March 13, 2009

    Hi Abbie,
    Did you get to see Pam Spaulding’s article on pit bulls and breed discrimination?

    http://www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do;jsessionid=1D46DDA0548B7F12139B320297122BDD?diaryId=9893

  20. #20 William Wallace
    March 13, 2009

    WW: How is it worse than those who breed and train birds of prey for falconry?

    WKV: Falcons in particular tend to kill their prey on impact.

    See this video: Kazakh wolf hunting with eagles. During hunting festivals (not shown in this video), a single wolf is kept alive and reused for several trials.

    This type of eagle hunting is fascinating to me–I hope to someday see it in person.

    Others will eventually implore relevant governments to outlaw this sport, as it is as “barbarous” as shooting wolves from airplanes in Alaska.

  21. #21 William Wallace
    March 13, 2009

    Oops, I guess the hunting festival was shown. However, this video is much better: hunting wolves with a golden eagle in Mongolia

  22. #22 Lee
    March 13, 2009

    William Wallace, being routinely and not unexpectedly stupid beyond belief, says:

    “And how is getting dogs to fight, something the dog fighters claim the dogs like, worse than say, using dogs to flush rabbits, pheasants, and foxes, so that hunters can brutally kill them–something those other animals do not like.”

    Well, outside of the fact that nothing in hunting is designed to cause the prolonged, painful, and despicably sadistic dismembering and death of one animal by another for the enjoyment of people who glory in the pain and gore, you mean?

    I hunt. I sometimes hunt over dogs. That means that yes, I shoot and kill animals, which I then take home and eat. I’d be happy to have the ethical discussion, but I suspect ERV would not welcome that distraction here in this thread. I will point out that when hunting, using dogs or otherwise, I and every hunter I know work hard to minimize the suffering of my prey animals, and that I’d stack up my methods over the slaughterhouses that serve up the neatly packaged porterhouse steaks and pork chops in your local butcher – and that in each case, an animal dies so that you and I can eat meat.

    WW, to try to compare this to a case in which cogs are set to dismember and eviscerate each other, so that bloodthirsty onlookers can wager on it – and to offer all this as if it somehow offers some challenge to evolutionary theory!!! – fails to rise even to your own usual standards of complete idiocy.

  23. #23 Anton Mates
    March 13, 2009
    WKV: Falcons in particular tend to kill their prey on impact.

    Kevin didn’t say that; I did.

    See this video: Kazakh wolf hunting with eagles.

    Eagles and falcons are not the same birds. And eagles, of course, are not well-suited to hunt wolves, which is why they are frequently badly injured or killed in this sport. Wolf-hunting in this manner is more akin to other combat-based blood sports than to other types of hunting.

    Others will eventually implore relevant governments to outlaw this sport, as it is as “barbarous” as shooting wolves from airplanes in Alaska.

    If not more so; I would say there’s more suffering involved in this case.

    You seem to like the idea, though, which suggests to me that our Dawkins-style “physical consciences” are a superior model to whatever it is that you’ve got.

  24. #24 eddie
    March 13, 2009

    Apart from the obvious but telling quote-mine;

    “…it is as “barbarous” as shooting wolves from airplanes in Alaska. I hope to someday see it in person.

    WW is another creo that deliberately conflates evolution with eugenics. Does he hanker for the old days when they were allowed to do it with people? The used to use tortue to force slaves to fight as sport. (And they claimr they enjoyed it.) That they still do this with dogs is a matter of great shame. It isn’t about the dogs but about the behaviour and attitudes of their ‘owners’.

    Finally, this quote from the latest edition of The Now Show

    “Religion is like a huge dog. When its yours, it seems comforting and safe. But it scares the hell out of everybody else, and the least you can do is keep it away from kids.”

  25. #25 William Wallace
    March 13, 2009

    Kevin didn’t say that; I did.
    Pardon.

    I would say there’s more suffering involved in this case.

    You seem to like the idea, though, which suggests to me that our Dawkins-style “physical consciences” are a superior model to whatever it is that you’ve got.

    On what objective basis is your conscience superior?

    Subjectively, I would like to see the wolf hunts in real life. Those people seem to be the salt of the Earth…the ones that will allow the human race to continue after leaders of the civilized world commit technological and cultural suicide.

    Strange thing about many evolanders, they claim we evolved from hunters and gathers, but loathe hunting.

  26. #26 Anton Mates
    March 13, 2009

    On what objective basis is your conscience superior?

    None. Hence the “to me.”

    Subjectively, I would like to see the wolf hunts in real life. Those people seem to be the salt of the Earth…the ones that will allow the human race to continue after leaders of the civilized world commit technological and cultural suicide.

    …okay? I think the Kazakhs and Kyrgyz would be rather confused by your apparent characterization of them as “noble savages,” but what does this have to do with whether pitting wolves against eagles is ethical? Do you think berkutchi is the only thing keeping them from becoming sophisticated degenerates?

    Strange thing about many evolanders, they claim we evolved from hunters and gathers, but loathe hunting.

    Um, in this thread, no one has claimed to “loathe hunting” in general, and one person who accepts evolution has said that they hunt. And this has no logical connection to whether or not we evolved from hunters; yet again, is/ought.

  27. #27 William Wallace
    March 13, 2009

    Lee wrote: I hunt. I sometimes hunt over dogs. That means that yes, I shoot and kill animals, which I then take home and eat.

    Has your dog ever caught a live bird? If not, I’m sure you’ve heard stories from your hunting buddies. How does one kill the bird if your dog brings a live one to you? (A: He picks it up by the head, and gives it a spin, breaking its neck.) Or what does a hunter do when his dog captures a live hen, and wounds it? (A: Lives it in the field to rot, and hope natural resources doesn’t find out).

    I will point out that when hunting, using dogs or otherwise, I and every hunter I know work hard to minimize the suffering of my prey animals…

    Mostly true, in that they take good clean kill shots. But if a good hunter makes a good kill shot on a deer, he lets it run, and lets it rest, to let it die in peace, slowly, so as to not spoke it while wounded and risk a much more difficult tracking, or complete loss of the prey. He will wait for 30-40 minutes before tracking the deer, as the deer bleeds out.

    A novice hunter will go see if the deer is still alive much sooner, thinking he will kill it if it is suffering, often leading to the deer getting spooked, and running to die in deep cover, where it stands a good chance of becoming magot food.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against hunters, but in a moralistic relativistic world, you should realize that many leftists loathe hunting and hunters, and prefer to purchase their meat pre-packaged at the grocery store.

    And, many on the left and right loathe pit-bulls, not because all pit-bulls are evil, but because they are being bred as weapons, and sometimes because of the race or culture of those organizing the dog fights.

    Standard pro-choice disclaimer, I don’t like dog fights or wolf or coyote hunting in general–unless the wolves or coyotes are causing damage to livestock. Even so, I would like to see a wolf hunt using a golden eagle, and do not think it should be banned. Dog fighting should be banned if the majority of those in the culture think so (and I think this is the case).

    To be honest, characterizing the pit-bulls I’ve actually seen as family dogs is laughable. Sure, they exist, but not often. Not in the neighborhoods I’m talking about. I’ve seen many more rototillers and boxers as well behaved and lovable family pets.

    The question on pitbulls is: If people are breeding them for viciousness, why shouldn’t pitbulls be banned, assuming you think owning domesticated lions, tigers, and chimpanzees should be banned.

  28. #28 Azkyroth
    March 13, 2009

    Wallace, what the hell is your point here?

  29. #29 LanceR, JSG
    March 13, 2009

    Limp Willy is actually at the point of knee-jerk rejection of anything any “evolander” says. He can’t make an actual argument, so he has to resort to this sort of name-calling. The only thing more pathetic that his attempts at argument is his complete lack of comprehension of what “Dawkins’ fans” and “evolanders” actually believe.

    It’s all rather silly, and that’s why we call him Limp Willy.

  30. #30 Militant Agnostic
    March 14, 2009

    W squared blathered
    I’ve seen many more rototillers and boxers as well behaved and lovable family pets.

    I don’t own a rototiller, but i do have a garden tractor and I would never let children pay with it.

    If Abbie had a labrador retriever Limp Willy would be bringing up cases of people being bitten by labs.

  31. #31 William Wallace
    March 14, 2009

    Labs are great family dogs.

  32. #32 Sili
    March 14, 2009

    It looks like my tenants’ association is gonna try to ban ‘fight dogs’. Could you link me to some stats about what dogs do indeed maul people most often? (My guess is on poodles.)

    Actually this was to be discussed on the ordinary meeting last month, but I missed that despite intending to go just for that issue. That’s what you’ve done me. Damn you.

  33. #33 windy
    March 15, 2009

    Damn, Willy poisons everything. Even a thread about a heroic puppeh.

  34. #34 Anton Mates
    March 15, 2009

    Could you link me to some stats about what dogs do indeed maul people most often?

    I put excerpts from several studies below–most of them are from pay-to-view journals, I’m afraid, so I can’t link. As you can see, there is little consensus about what breeds are most responsible for attacks, whether you’re counting all bites or “serious” bites or fatal attacks. This isn’t terribly surprising, since are several obvious difficulties in gathering data. Do you identify the dog’s breed by the victim’s report? Then every big-headed, stocky dog with short fur is a “pit bull” and every Spitz-ish dog is a “husky” and half of all other dogs are “German shepherds”…but almost no dog will be identified as (say) a “poodle” unless it actually is a poodle. If you measure risk by the raw number of attacks assigned to a given breed, then common breeds will be penalized. If you normalize risk against the number of licensed dogs of that breed in the area, then breeds which are less frequently licensed will be penalized. (And of course, any breed commonly owned by poor people, found as strays or used for fighting will be less frequently licensed.)

    Beyond this, it’s almost impossible to statistically control for treatment and training by the owner…which is almost certainly the biggest factor involved in a dog’s behavior.

    Almost all the studies in question conclude that breed-specific policies are pointless; there are too many breeds capable of biting, no consensus on which breeds are the most dangerous, and no way of reliably assigning a given dog to a given breed.

    Anyway:

    Jeffrey R. Avner and M. Douglas Baker. “Dog Bites in Urban Children.” PEDIATRICS Vol. 88 No. 1 July 1991, pp. 55-57

    A study based in Philadelphia.

    More than 12 different purebreeds or crossbreeds were identified as perpetrators, including German shepherds (n = 35), pit bulls (n = 33), rottweilers (n = 9), and Dobermans (n = 7). Most (54%) animals were contained (ie, leashed, fenced, in-house) at the time of injury. Fewer (46%) were provoked prior to biting. Significantly more pit bull injuries (94% vs 43%, P l.t. .001) were the consequence of unprovoked attacks and involved freely roaming animals (67% vs 41%, P l.t. .01).

    —-

    Kenneth A. Gershman, Jeffrey J. Sacks , and John C. Wright. “Which Dogs Bite? A Case-Control Study of Risk Factors.” PEDIATRICS Vol. 93 No. 6 June 1994, pp. 913-917

    A study based in Denver.

    Results. Children aged 12 years and younger were the victims in 51% of cases. Compared with controls, biting dogs were more likely to be German Shepherd (adjusted odds ratio (ORa) = 16.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.8 to 71.4) or Chow Chow (ORa = 4.0, 95% CI 1.2 to 13.7) predominant breeds, male (ORa 6.2, 95% CI 2.5 to 15.1), unneutered (ORa = 2.6, 95% CI 1.1 to 6.3), residing in a house with ge1 children (ORa 3.5, 95% CI 1.6 to 7.5), and chained while in the yard (ORa = 2.8, 95% CI 1.0 to 8.1).

    Later:

    Pediatricians should advise parents that failure to neuter a dog and selection of male dogs and certain breeds such as German Shepherd and Chow Chow may increase the risk of their dog biting a nonhousehold member, who often may be a child.

    —-

    JH Bandow. “Will breed-specific legislation reduce dog bites?” The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 1996

    A study based in Toronto.

    Seven breeds were identified in bite reports disproportionately to the percentage they represented in the license register. These breeds were: The German Shepherd, Pit Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Collie, Doberman Pinscher, Great Dane and Poodle. Collectively those seven breeds represented 12.9% of licensed dogs but 27% of the dogs identified as having bitten.

    Later:

    Experience has shown that many people who have not had any specific dealings with some of the Terrier breeds, when asked to describe a Pit Bull terrier, will offer a description that will more correctly identify either a Bull Terrier (e.g.: “it looks like TV personality Don Cherry’s dog”) or a Bullmastiff. Therefore this calls into question at least some of the identifications made by those who claim that they were bitten by a “stray pit bull.”

    —-

    Jeffrey J. Sacks, Randall Lockwood, Janet Hornreicht, and Richard W. Sattin. “Fatal Dog Attacks, 1989-1994.” PEDIATRICS Vol. 97 No. 6 June 1996, pp. 891-895

    A nationwide study.

    Pit bulls, the most commonly reported breed, were involved in 24 deaths; the next most commonly reported breeds were rottweilers (16) and German shepherds (10).

    Later:

    Breed-specific approaches to the control of dog bites do not address the issue that many breeds are involved in the problem and that most of the factors contributing to dog bites are related to the level of responsibility exercised by dog owners. To prevent dog bite-related deaths and injuries, we recommend public education about responsible dog ownership and dog bite prevention, stronger animal control laws, better resources for enforcement of these laws, and better reporting of bites.

    —-

    Sacks JJ, Sinclair L, Gilchrist J, Golab GC, Lockwood R. “Breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks in the United States between 1979 and 1998.” J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2000 Sep 15;217(6):836-40.

    A nationwide study.

    At least 25 breeds of dogs have been involved in 238 human DBRF during the past 20 years. Pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers were involved in more than half of these deaths. Of 227 reports with relevant data, 55 (24%) human deaths involved unrestrained dogs off their owners’ property, 133 (58%) involved unrestrained dogs on their owners’ property, 38 (17%) involved restrained dogs on their owners’ property, and 1 (l.t. 1%) involved a restrained dog off its owner’s property.

    Later:

    Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates. Because of difficulties inherent in determining a dog’s breed with certainty, enforcement of breed-specific ordinances raises constitutional and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and, therefore, should not be the primary factor driving public policy concerning dangerous dogs. Many practical alternatives to breed-specific ordinances exist and hold promise for prevention of dog bites.

    —-

    Tiny De Keuster, Jean Lamoureux and André Kahn. “Epidemiology of dog bites: A Belgian experience of canine behaviour and public health concerns.” The Veterinary Journal, Volume 172, Issue 3, November 2006, Pages 482-487

    A review of dog bites of children in Belgium.

    In this survey, the dogs most frequently responsible for the bites were: German Shepherds (28 times), Rottweilers (11) and Labradors (9). Multiple bites were more frequently caused by German Shepherds (15/25 multiple bites) and Rottweilers (5 times). According to the national Dog Registry, the following breeds of dogs were registered in the areas and at the time of the study: Labradors 510, German Shepherds 392, Rottweilers 371.

    Comparing the number of registrations of each breed to the frequency of the bites, a significantly greater frequency of bites was found for German Shepherds, with this breed making up 29.3% of the population but accounting for 51.9% of the bites (χ2: 11.485, P l.t. 0.001). The frequency of bites was approximately proportionate to the number of registered dogs for the Rottweiler breed (27.7% of the dogs for 20.4% of the bites). For Labradors, the frequency of the bites was significantly smaller in proportion to the number of registered dogs (38.1% of the dogs for 16.7% of the bites; χ2: 9.316; P = 0.002).36

    Later:

    In various countries, several breeds of dogs have been outlawed by “dangerous” dog laws (AVMA, 2001). The efficiency of radical laws prohibiting ownership of animals on the basis of breed remains to be evaluated. This study indicates that “dangerous dogs” such as Rottweilers or Pit Bulls were not the most frequent contributors to the accidents. Therefore, singling out one or two breeds for control might result in a false sense of accomplishment and ignores the true scope of the problem. Judging and outlawing particular breeds as ‘dangerous’ will not result in a responsible approach to protecting community’s citizens (AVMA, 2001). Alternative solutions, such as the application of legislation for the protection of public safety, bite reporting and restraining measures still remain to be evaluated (Overall and Love, 2001).

  35. #35 Anton Mates
    March 15, 2009

    You might suggest to your tenants’ association that, if they’re interested in banning fighting dogs, they should look to policies that specifically target fighting-related traits. For instance, they could require that all dogs (or all dogs over a certain weight, or what have you) pass a behavioral test, such as the American Temperament Test Society’s test, or the various Canine Good Citizen Tests offered by individual cities, the AKC, humane societies, etc. Another option is to permit only spayed/neutered dogs. Fighting dogs are always left intact, of course; neutering would not only reduce their aggression in the ring, but would make them far less valuable since they couldn’t be used in breeding.

    Doesn’t matter if a dog is eight feet tall with jaws that can bite through steel–if it’s spayed or neutered and can pass a temperament test, nobody’s going to be using it to fight.

    And for what it’s worth, here’s my anecdotal experience with dog bites. I’ve been bitten four times: by two dogs I fostered, a miniature poodle and a cavalier King Charles spaniel, and by two dogs belonging to acquaintances, a hound/collie mix and a lab. My best friend’s been bitten four times: by her landlady’s Manchester terrier, by my mom’s German shepherd, and by a Chow and a Samoyed she met on the street. Between us we’ve fostered and lived next door to several pit bulls–no bites. Heck, the spaniel I fostered used to pick fights with strange pit bulls where he would jump on their back and try to gum them to death (he was a bait dog rescued from a dogfighting ring, and had an implacable hatred of pit bulls). No bites. Of course, none of the pit bulls we interacted with had been trained to fight.

    When I lived in Columbus, though, I did have the misfortune to live in the same apartment complex with “backyard breeders” who were, I’m fairly sure, breeding for dogfighting. They owned a female bit and were trying to breed her with a couple of labrador males–why, I don’t know, but probably because they were morons. The pit was always quite friendly, but the labs repeatedly charged us and tried to bite my friend once. Again, I’m guessing that the pit wasn’t actually trained to fight. (The labs probably weren’t either, but they were untrained, unneutered males.)

  36. #36 Sili
    March 15, 2009

    Thank you.

    The most aggressive dogs I’ve met were German shepherds. But that was as a paperboy and I was intruding on their territory. And their owners were fully aware of this behaviour and the dogs were not running loose.

    I’ve been bitten by a poodle and a dachshund (as well a horse, several cats and a ferret (after I’d wrenched him from the jaws of a marten)).

    I think there was one doberman in the hamlet, and while I was a bit afraid of it, it never touched me.

    I’ll try to say my piece about the stupidity of wanting to ban dogs when the problem the want to control is the owners (I’m not paying much attention to my neighbours, but I wasn’t aware dogs were a problem around here. My and my neighbour’s cats are running around on their own as they see fit. I don’t think they ever leave the immediate area, though).

  37. #37 eddie
    March 16, 2009

    Ah. From eugenics to racial profiling. Sili – did you ever consider the common factor in all those biting incidents?

  38. #38 Sili
    March 16, 2009

    Of course I did: stupid owners.

    That’s the only reason, I’m getting involved here.

    “First they came for the pitbulls, but I did not speak up, for I did not like pitbulls …”

  39. #39 eddie
    March 16, 2009

    Just to be clear; I love dogs, especially our Toby. All dogs are individuals with personalities and can be raised well or badly regardless of so-called breed.
    I truly despise people that do dog eugenics and value their aryan purity above their companionship.

  40. #40 Pohranicni Straze
    March 22, 2009

    “I truly despise people that do dog eugenics and value their aryan purity above their companionship.”

    Hey, I resemble that remark! ;) Really, though, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. I’ve owned several German shepherds, and I enjoy the genetics/genealogy aspect of the breed as well as their company.

  41. #41 Hippymorons
    June 12, 2009

    stfu you limp dicked hippy faggots.

    Animals are NOT Humans you retards, they have no RIGHTS which is a concept that we Humans came up with in the first place.

    Great to see Mongols still carrying on the great tradition of Falconry passed down from their forefathers, shows that not all the “men” in the world have become new age tear jerking hippy morons.

    Long live bloodsports including those involving Humans such as MMA.

    The fags who don’t like it here can go watch “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”.

  42. #42 Tyler DiPietro
    June 12, 2009

    So I take it Hippymorons likes big manly men who get all nice and sweaty playing big manly sports.

    No homoeroticism there.