Dangerous Dogs

Us owners of ‘dangerous dogs’ flock together. Though pits are virtually always a target (if not the only target) of Breed Specific Legislation, owners of other breeds arent stupid.

First theydo-nothing politicians who need an election platform come for the pits, to play on their rich white constituents inherent racism (lol whites dont own pits!).

Then theythe same morons who dont understand risk assessment come for the Rotties.

Then theyshrill half-retarded parents who left their babbies at home alone with their dog come for the German Shepherds and Huskies.

Then theythe government is practically required to come for the Great Danes, cause their brains dont stop growing, and they eventually go crazy and kill their owners.

Then theyyou might as well come for the rest of the bully breeds, cause their jaws lock when they bite!

And then the only dog you can legally own is a Dachshund, Chihuahua, or Jack Russell Terrier cause theyre so tiiiiiiiny eeeeeeeee cuuuuute!!!!!!

So as a PSA to my Rottie comrades, I post this hysterical YouTube vid:

In other news, Arnie apparently saved a Yorkies life today, just by being his goober self.

So we were on our walkie this afternoon, when Arnie starts pulling backwards. Me: “WTF Arnieman?”

Turn around, this teeny Yorkie had gotten away from her mama and was going on a joy-run, making a beeline for me and Arnie. Her poor mama was an older lady, and there was no way she was going to catch her pup before she got to Arnie, so I just stopped and let Yorkie catch up. No point in walking away, cause Yorkie was gonna follow us anyway. Besides, Arnie follows the same rules as Max– if the dog is smaller than you, PLAY! Bigger– Assume play, prepare for fight. I knew Yorkie was in no danger.

So Yorkie zips up to Arnie and Arnies tail is all waggy and everybody is happy.

Just when Yorkies mama is about to catch up, Yorkie realizes the joy-run is almost over, and tries to bolt again. I stomp on her leash and hold it until Mama gets to us. She thanks me for catching her pup, we laugh at this 6 lb dog fearlessly introducing herself to another pup ten times her size, hehe.

I turn around to continue our walk, and who do I see but The Dog With One Eyebrow, no more than 25 yards away, eyeballing the whole situation. TDWOE is a neighborhood off-leash, intact male pit bull (he has owners, theyre just too fat and lazy to walk him. its easier just to let him roam about and terrorize the neighborhood). Hes bitten Arnie once, and Arnie remembers this fact vividly. So before Arnie sees his nemesis, I turn on my heel and walk back towards Yorkie to avoid TDWOE, and warn Yorkie mama.

I dont think anything of it, but Yorkie mama gasps “If your dog hadnt stopped [dogs name I forgot] she would have run straight into the jaws of that other dog before I could catch her!”

Good boy, Arnie.

Edited for clarity

Comments

  1. #1 Sili
    October 17, 2009

    Good boy, indeed.

    I’ve only been bitten very few times (not seriously). One of those a dachshund.

    A king poodle was one of the craziest on my paperroute.

    I’ve been the most scared by schäfers owned by friends of my parents. Pretty damn protective on their families, those two. One of them supposedly held up a burglar to the point that he had to wet himself (or perhaps I’m conflating memories).

    Small dogs are usually the noisiest and thus most annoying.

  2. #2 Lou FCD
    October 17, 2009

    Good boy, Arnie!

  3. #3 Tyler DiPietro
    October 17, 2009

    That Rottie seems to have pretty good dental hygiene…

  4. #4 Optimus Primate
    October 17, 2009

    Arnieman to the rescue! What a good boy.

    Max says “Moo.” He also wants to know if you’re making Arnie wear a costume for Halloween. His mom wants him to dress up. I’m voting against it. If Arnie doesn’t have to dress up, I’m pretty sure Max is going to use that as leverage.

  5. #5 PalMD
    October 17, 2009

    remind me how regulating animals bred to be dangerous is in any way analogous to the Holocaust?

    Remind me why someone who rocks out the retrovirology can be so blind? I understand you love Arnie but you know, there’s lots of breeds out there.

  6. #6 ERV
    October 17, 2009

    wtf are you talking about? Im talking about the slippery slope of the non-science behind BSL– you go after pits for their reputation only, once theyre gone, other dogs fit the old reputation, so you get rid of them, and then a different breed fits the reputation… etc etc, over and over.

    The ‘reasons’ politicians go after pits could be applied to any medium/large breed of dog, and owners of non-pit dogs recognize that (best allies I have irl against BSL are Rottie and German Shepherd owners, they know theyll be next when pits are ‘gone’).

    Im not talking about that Holocaust poem/quote thing.

  7. #7 Douglas McClean
    October 17, 2009

    ERV, I totally agree with you, but I gotta say I thought you were referencing the Niemoller poem.

  8. #8 PalMD
    October 17, 2009

    Um…so what if we never have another pit bull or doberman born? Why the fuck should we care? What’s wrong with friggin cocker spaniels?

  9. #9 jose
    October 17, 2009

    Hi Abbie, this is my first comment here. I only wanted to say that your dog scares me so much. Even so, I know this fear of mine is based on prejudice and dog-racism (breedism?). I have a german braco and people use to be ignorantly afraid of her so I understand you. I don’t know shit about ERVs so this post seemed like the right one to, well, just join in and kudos you for all your work and this amazing blag. And for badly bashing the tards in the head.

    Just that. Cheers from Spain!

    (PS I think “cheers” is rather British. What do you American people say?)

  10. #10 ERV
    October 17, 2009

    American Temperament Test Society scores, December 2008:
    Cocker Spaniel– 81.9%
    American Staffordshire– 83.9%
    Pit Bull– 85.3%
    Stafordshire– 88.0%

    Technically, Pal, we should be legislating ownership of Cockers over Pits, if we want be scientific about pruning out ‘bad breeds’.

  11. #11 PalMD
    October 17, 2009

    And what about stats on actual significant injuries or deaths?

  12. #12 PalMD
    October 17, 2009

    You probably know the literature better than I do, but for example:
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00047723.htm#00002439.htm

  13. #13 Optimus Primate
    October 17, 2009

    Why the fuck should we care? What’s wrong with friggin cocker spaniels?

    Umm… how about the fact that cocker spaniels aren’t as sweet, gentle, or loyal as pits, “Pal”? How about the fact that, at least in my personal experience, they aren’t as intelligent, nor are they as loving? How about the fact that some of us prefer the rowdy playfulness of a pit or pit mix to the paranoid neurosis of so many inbred cocker spaniels?

    No offense to anyone who likes cocker spaniels, of course. My aunt has a houseful of them and loves them to death. More power to her. Hers aren’t aggressive because she raised them well, so yay for her if that’s what floats her boat.

    You’re right about (exactly) one thing. There are lots of breeds out there. And any one of them can be dangerous, assuming its jaws are large enough to allow it to bite someone. So you can take your eugenics and shove ‘em, “Pal.” I’m a pretty big guy. People who don’t know me oftentimes look at me and assume I’m dangerous. (I’m not, of course. I’m a freakin’ teddy bear.) So, what, you think I shouldn’t be allowed to breed, just because I’m a little more physically imposing than most guys?

    Who would you rather meet in a dark alley? Me? Kinda burly, but girly on the inside and raised as a momma’s boy? Or a torqued-up pipsqueak with a knife and a little-guy complex?

  14. #14 ERV
    October 17, 2009

    Well, since we were just talking about the risk of HPV vaccines, lets illustrate the risk of being killed by a pit bull!

    About 30 people are killed by a dog every year in the US. Your odds of being killed by a dog this year are slightly less than 9,000,000:1. Your lifetime risk is at about 115,000:1. Assuming pits are responsible for 50% of dog homicides (they arent), lets be overly generous and say your lifetime risk is 200,000:1 for pits specifically.

    Even assuming pits are the most dangerous dog in the US, theyre safer than the HPV vaccine (145,000:1).

    Hell, even assuming pits are responsible for 100% of dog homicides, they still beat out ‘train crash’.

    So, fear of pits is as irrational as a train phobia.

    Have I illustrated, or is my reference to trains also defiling the Holocaust? :)

  15. #15 Optimus Primate
    October 17, 2009

    And another thing…

    Look at the quotation marks around “pit bull” in the link you provided. Know why it’s there? Because most people wouldn’t know a pit bull in the highly unlikely event that it bit them in the ass. Most people see pointy ears and a kinda square head and say, “pit bull!”

    I suggest that you check out this link and educate yourself a little.

  16. #16 PalMD
    October 17, 2009

    I suppose what bothers me is the intentional blindness here. For fatal dog attacks, kids are the most frequent victims, and dogs (fairly or unfairly) known for their aggression are the usual culprits (and their owners, of course).
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/97/6/891

    Of course, given that there are more than half a million reported dog bite injuries per year, many different breeds will be involved, but not all have the strength to kill a kid.

    Perhaps the stats are wrong and these breeds are not the usual killers (and drop the bullshit about how hard it is to ID the breed). Perhaps there are roving bands of toy poodles killing kids. But it seems like pure and simple denialism and selfishness to keep dogs that have the power to kill kids when there are so many options for a companion out there.

  17. #17 ERV
    October 17, 2009

    So, Pal, you want to ban every dog that can hurt kids?

    *high five* You just illustrated my point in this post.

    Also, FAIL. Technically, DOUBLE FAIL, off the top of my head. Oh wait, TRIPLE FAIL.

    C-C-C-COMBO!

    Not typing a href anymore.

  18. #18 PalMD
    October 17, 2009

    Abbie, you know better than most that a few anecdotes, while interesting, are not as telling as actual stats. Most serious injuries and deaths are inflicted by a limited number of breeds. If we wish to reduce risk, it would make sense of course to control individual aggressive dogs, but also tightly regulate breeds responsible for most deaths. I know you lurv your dog, but why must that blind you to this? Or whaqt am i missing here?

  19. #19 Optimus Primate
    October 17, 2009

    And I suppose what bothers me is the willful ignorance. You have’t a fucking clue what you’re talking about, but you certainly don’t have a problem speaking with an air of moral superiority.

    Why, exactly, is my point about breed ignorance “bullshit”? It’s a perfectly valid point. People as a rule fail to correctly identify pits by sight, yet so often, any time a canine with pointy ears and a boxy head attacks a child or another canine, eye witnesses swear the attacker was a pit bull. So the stats you provided are worthless. Pits have become so unjustifiably vilified that their very name conjures up images of canine bogey men for most people.

    You’re abusing statistics you don’t even understand here, which in my book puts you on the same level as a creationist. I mean, if we want to use your sort of logic, let’s look at crime statistics among humans. When it comes to homicide, offending rates are something like seven times higher for African-Americans than for Caucasians. Jeez, I guess if good old PalMD were running things, we would stop letting those pesky old coloreds breed, right? I mean, after all, there are plenty of other options for skin color, right?

    Douche bag.

  20. #20 PalMD
    October 17, 2009

    Interesting. So you’re understanding of biology is that “race” is the equivalent of dog breed? Nice. Say hi to Rush for me next time you’re on his show.

  21. #21 ERV
    October 17, 2009

    I dont know how I can make this any more plain, Pal.

    Assuming all dog homicides are caused by pits, assuming that they are Satan in dog form, you are more likely to die in a train crash, than die via pit. 30 people are killed every year by dogs. 30. Fear of pits is irrational, even if all dog homicides are caused by pits.

    Read that over and over.

    Your position is irrational.

  22. #22 ERV
    October 17, 2009

    American Pit Bulls, as a breed, are younger than races.

    So Pal, *you* are saying that all humans are equal, but dogs are not equal, even though human races have existed longer than breeds.

    LOL!

    Dude, go to sleep.

  23. #23 Optimus Primate
    October 17, 2009

    I wasn’t making a point about race, you contrarian moron; I was making a point about statistics, and you know it. Quit the pathetic deflection or bow out before you make yourself look like an even bigger idiot than you are.

  24. #24 ERV
    October 17, 2009

    Actually, lets keep this race-line going to see if Pal can get it!

    Okay, Pal, you get how ‘blacks’ arent more aggressive than ‘whites’, right? How sometimes there is a sociological/political bias against ‘blacks’ which manifests itself in a disproportionate ratio in jail/prison? Nothing to do with their genes, just the way our society is?

    Okay, now stick with me, do you think that *maybe* there could *currently* be a sociological/political bias against pit bulls? Maybe this bias was against dobermans 15 years ago? Rotties 30 years ago? German Shepherds 45 years ago? But nothing about the breed has really changed, just the sociological/political bias? This bias manifests itself in an irrational fear of The Target?

    Okay, now, know how its hard to tell if someone is ‘black’? Might be any mix of anything, it just aint white, so The Man calls it ‘black’? Hell, I dated a guy who thought he was black the first 30 years of his life– turns out hes half Japanese, half white (adopted, 6’4″, black eyes, shaves his head, dark skin– he looks ‘black’). He got pulled over, and The Man called him black, even though hes not? That got put in The Books as a mark against ‘blacks… but dude isnt black. Think ‘maybe’ that could be happening to some breeds of dog, especially when there is a sociological/political bias against that breed? Maybe think any large black dog could be called a Rottie? Any shepherd mix a Germie? Any box-headed dog a pit? Funny story– when I take Arnie to PetSmart, he regularly gets IDed as a lab. ‘Hes so nice’, people dont see him as a pit bull. Just sayin.

    Lots of people have this same fear, Pal, so Im really trying as many angles as possible for you to ‘get it’.

  25. #25 BGT
    October 18, 2009

    geez, PAL is normally so up on his data. As a former St.Bernard owner, they may not look scary (cute buggers), but FFS those things get huge. And, dog help you if they think you are going to hurt their owner. They are very slow to get angry, but Cujo had nothing on a regular St. Bernard protecting it’s owners kids.

    For the vast majority of domestic dog breeds, it is the owner, not the breed that is the problem. Pit’s, Rotts, and Dobies are actually gentle dogs if they have a normal human being as an owner. The little breeds like Poms and Chihuahuas are the worst with children since they are the most likely to bite. The only domestic breed I can think of offhand that can be really dangerous is a breed out of Russia that is somewhere between a Rott and a St. Bernard in size. I can’t remember the name, but they are very territorial with any animal (including humans) but are pretty loyal to their owners. Those require a firm and gentle hand.

  26. #26 PalMD
    October 18, 2009

    I’d love to see a better explanation or more accurate data regarding the “fact” from the studies I’ve found that most deaths due to dog attack are from a few breeds that we popularly consider aggressive.

    I’m gonna let abbie and her weird-ass commenter keep digging themselves into that hole of comparing dog breeds to human “race”.

  27. #27 ERV
    October 18, 2009

    Oh! Great data here!

    Okay, 13/23 dog homicides last year were “pit bulls”.

    OMFG 53% OF DOG HOMICIDES ARE PITS!

    Well, read about those cases. I see a few things.
    1– Large dogs + toddlers. This is stupid no matter the breed or the size of the dog. Agree?
    2– Drugs/’guard dogs’. Eliminate all pits from planet earth, and another dog will take its place in this category. Obvious?
    3– Abuse. Arnie gets cabin fever if it rains for a week. If he was tethered to a steak in the yard his entire life, he would go insane. You abuse a dog, you cant act surprised when shit goes down, no matter the breed.
    4– Strays. There are a ton of strays and off leash dogs in OKC. *see above post* I once had to save a poor international student from a pack (5) of mixed breed dogs. Can we agree that things would be better if strays were reduced? Think maybe pits might be prone to being ‘strayed’ when they arent the killers their ‘badass’ owners had hoped (Arnie, the two I saved a couple summers ago, the emaciated pit I found last weekend)?

    Ignore the numbers– Pretend pits killed all 23 people. Do you see how any breed could fill in for ‘pit’ in those situations? Do you see that 23 is nothing compared to the thousands and thousands of good family pets that are out there? Assuming pits killed 23 people a year, you know their risk ratio is about the same as than the risk ratio of the HPV vaccine? You get that anti-vaxers are nutty for thinking theyre gonna die from a shot, so why do you think a fear of pits is rational?

  28. #28 ERV
    October 18, 2009

    No one is comparing dog breeds and race.

    Optimus tried referring to race because he was under the impression you understood statistics and reductio ad absurdum.

    Im trying a race ‘angle’ in response to your comment because you ‘get’ race relations.

    Youve been irrational since your first post in this thread, and Im trying to help you.

    I really dont know how to make it any more clear. Please read my posts again.

    Or just admit you have an irrational fear of pits, or maybe all large dogs. I think thats what DrugMonkey finally did, which is fine. But like religion, keep your religious laws/personal phobias out of my government. You want to ban pits for a scientific reason, youre currently up shit creek without a paddle… in a raft with anti-vaxers. *shrug*

  29. #29 Jeb, FCD
    October 18, 2009

    Pal,

    Between this post and your post whining about nurses having to follow their processes and waking you for a cough, you’ve really dropped the intellectual ball.

  30. #30 ERV
    October 18, 2009

    Jeb– Im working under the assumption hes drunk, and tomorrow morning we are going to get a “Ummmm… o_O … sorry…” apology and we can go back to watching cute puppy videos and talking about dog costumes.

    jose– Thanks! I say ‘w00t’ :P General comment for happiness and good wishes.

    Optimus– Arnie usually wears a sweater in the fall/winter cause he doesnt have any fur. Pits basically just have thin hair over their skin, not a quality coat. Arnies current sweater is bright blue with beaded snowflakes, with a white fur collar. I think it is sufficiently embarrassing that Max doesnt get out of a Halloween costume.

  31. #31 ceridwen
    October 18, 2009

    Pal,

    I think the thing that makes it the most obvious that people, not pit bulls (or any other specific breed) are the problem is when you look beyond the breed portion of the bite statistics.

    What are the things that make a dog more likely to attack and seriously/fatally injure a human?

    1) Unaltered male
    2) History of being chained up
    3) Running loose at time of attack

    These things describe dogs kept by irresponsible owners. And what is the current dog of choice for irresponsible owners right now? Pits.

    Still don’t believe it? How about the fact that places that ban pits don’t see a reduction in the number of dog attacks or fatalities compared to cities without such laws?

    It’s not about pits being innately more dangerous, it’s the sheer number of incredibly stupid people who own them right now and the sheer number of pits out there period. If you go to the shelters pits outnumber the next most popular dog breed by at least 10:1. And breed specific laws just make things worse, by preventing responsible people from adopting the dogs.

    We would accomplish much more by educating dog owners (especially those with children) and fining/punishing bad owners than we do by banning particular breeds.

    Disclaimer: I don’t own a pit. I don’t intend to own a pit. They are not the type of dog that appeals to me. I still think BSL is stupid, ill-informed, and a waste of resources.

  32. #32 Aquaria
    October 18, 2009

    I’m not a dog person. I admit it.

    But my best relationships with dogs have been with the “scary” breeds. Rotts and Dobermans love me for some reason, so I’m cool with them.

    It wasn’t a pit or a Dobie or a Rott that tore a huge gash in my leg when I was 11. It was probably the very pinnacle of what’s considered a “friendly” dog, “perfect” for kids: a Labrador Retriever.

    Any large enough dog can be dangerous, regardless of breed. Singling out one particular breed is foolish if any of the large breeds are capable of hurting people, even killing them, and when so many people are so appallingly irresponsible with their dogs.

    Owning a dog is a huge responsibility. They need training and careful attention. It takes time and effort and dedication, things I can’t give, and don’t want to give. I realize that, so I leave dogs alone. The problem is that way too many people don’t understand themselves that well, don’t really understand what they’re getting into with owning a dog. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to expend that effort, but there is absolutely no fucking reason to make a dog suffer for it.

  33. #33 BGT
    October 18, 2009

    I still say the thing that Pal keeps missing more than anything else is this: “it’s the owner more often than the dog that is the problem”.

    Seriously Pal, I read you five days out of seven, and you are always calling out for cites of papers. Give me a cite on a paper that shows that it is the breed, not the owner. Skip the wolf/dog hybrids and the Caucasian Shepherd dogs, I will give you those. But show me some studies that have some correlation between dog attacks and their owners. Dogs are pack animals, and we have been specializing those animals for millennia. They normally take on/react to their owners personality. Give me some sort of cite.

  34. #34 Azkyroth
    October 18, 2009

    I’d love to see a better explanation or more accurate data regarding the “fact” from the studies I’ve found that most deaths due to dog attack are from a few breeds that we popularly consider aggressive.

    How were the breeds in question identified? Among other issues, including your failure to engage above a two year old level with Abbie’s death rate statistics, you are demonstrating a Creationist-like level of willful obtuseness with regard to the fact that the prejudice against “pit bulls” makes eyewitness identification of dogs involved in attacks extremely questionable, possibly because this undermines your case (again, Creationist-like). This is…disappointing.

  35. #35 Reed
    October 18, 2009

    Unless you are prepared to ban ALL large / strong dogs, banning specific breeds is idiotic. Yes, Pitbull like breeds are one of the dogs-du-jour for people who want a “tough” dog. Ban them, and it will be something else. Ridgebacks, Rotties, German Shepherds, Huskies… all the way to unidentifiable mutts. Even if you ban all the (allegedly) aggressive breeds, how do you stop them from breeding others for aggression ? Breeds aren’t something that is fixed for all time.

    Breedism is dumb because it doesn’t solve the problem, while at the same time laying odious restrictions on the ownership of what are, with proper care and training, wonderful animal companions.

    It’s also dumb because it’s impossible to enforce fairly. If you ban “pitbulls” are you banning certified American Staffordshire terriers (dumb, most of the dogs in question aren’t) ? Proven crosses of certified dogs (dumb, impossible to prove) ? Dogs that have a particular physique ? If you go by physical traits, how do you objectively determine if a dog qualifies ? If the cop doesn’t like you and decides your dog looks a little too Pit-ish, can he have it destroyed ? I would bet BTW that the 13 “pitbulls” in the statistic above were only pits in the vaguest sense.

    I don’t doubt that you can breed for temperament, but it’s clear that socialization plays a huge role in dog behavior. Moreover, many of the people breeding pits and rotties today are not breeding them as fighters. The people who want them as pets will be selecting the other way, and have been for generations.

    If you really want to tackle the problem of poorly trained and controlled dogs, make some kind of permit/licensing process for people who want to own dogs over a certain weight. If they fail to control their dogs, they lose their license. Require them to demonstrate certain levels of training and socialization when the dog reaches a certain age or changes owners. This would actually address the problem, and encourage responsible ownership.

    Politicians like BSL because it looks like they are doing something, and doesn’t cost them any real effort.

    That video is ridiculously cute BTW. Thanks for that :)

  36. #36 Militant Agnostic
    October 18, 2009

    Regarding breed identification – a neighbor’s Lab was attacked twice by an American Bulldog belonging to a DARN (Dumb Ass Redneck) resulting in a trip to the vet for stitches the first time and trip to the hospital for stitches the second time. The owner of the lab always described the dog that attacked his dog as a pitbull even after I told him it was an American Bulldog (It was way too big to be a pitbull).

    A coworker once put it this way “The problem with pit bulls is that the people who own them are usually the last people that should own pit bulls.” If pit bulls are banned, these people will switch to something else – rotties, shepherds, malamutes, mastiffs etc. Anecdotal, but there seem to be a lot of friendly pit bulls and pit Xs in the shelter – like ERV, I think they were abandoned because they were not aggressive.

    In Canada the typical fatal dog attack is a Husky or Husky cross killing a native child.

  37. #37 Militant Agnostic
    October 18, 2009

    In Calgary there was talk by city politicians about BSL aimed at pit bulls after 3 dog attacks occurred in short period of time. None of the incidents involved pit bulls or pit crosses.

  38. #38 PalMD
    October 18, 2009

    A coworker once put it this way “The problem with pit bulls is that the people who own them are usually the last people that should own pit bulls.” If pit bulls are banned, these people will switch to something else – rotties, shepherds, malamutes, mastiffs etc.

    That’s probably the most sensible thing said on this thread. The rest is denialist bull whining about “dogs don’t kill people, people kill people”.

    Still, given the stats on deadly attacks, which have not been refuted, several breeds of large, strong dogs are responsible for most deaths. That’s an important public health fact.

  39. #39 ktbug ladydid
    October 18, 2009

    It’s frustrating that an entire breed can get a bad reputation from the actions of a few-and many of those actions are preventable. Sometimes it’s the owner in the wrong, by not training their dog to handle certain situations (or training them to fight), other times it’s the other person, by confronting the dog in a negative manner (or not being able to read/understand signals that the dog’s upset). And of course, there are some unfortunate cases where the dog is just angry and temperamental, but I like to think that with training and care, all dogs can be happy and healthy. Hope your Arnie can continue to be such a wonderful ambassador for his breed for a very long time.

  40. #40 Optimus Primate
    October 18, 2009

    Abbie,

    We had a beautiful white staffy when I was a kid, so I feel Arnie’s naked pain. Rover (I named him when I was four, hush!) hated wintertime. He spent nights under my covers at the foot of the bed.

    Max, on the other hand, has more chow in him than pit, so he has a nice thermal undercoat. But he did inherit the pit wallow-cuddle. :)

    I’m not sure where the mooing comes from.

  41. #41 KristinMH
    October 18, 2009

    You know I love you, Pal, but I’m with Abbie here.

    Imagine: a dog, any dog, is a predator with a killer instinct. In North America at least dogs are an incredibly common pet/familiar animal. (In my neighbourhood the human:dog ratio approaches 1:1.) And in a country as big as America only 23 people were killed by dogs last year. That’s unbelievably low. I mean, how many people get killed every year by, say, toasters? Or electric razors?*

    Anyway, here in Toronto Huskies and Husky crosses do appear to have replaced pits as the “big scary dog of choice for people who probably shouldn’t have big scary dogs”. I personally find them much scarier than pits – they can be so wolf-y and quiet, they seem like aliens to me. Because of Ontario’s pitbull ban pits have become quite rare, and the ones you meet are almost always rescue dogs owned by hyper-responsible dog lovers, and they seem to be happy, playful, goofball dogs.

    *I don’t actually know or have any clue how you’d find out but would bet it is more than 23.

  42. #42 Joshua Zelinsky
    October 18, 2009

    That video is hillarious. The little guy never seems to give up. Around 1:15 or so it looks like the Beagle is going for the Rot’s nuts. It is nice to see the Rot respond so well.

    There’s a slight point in PalMD’s favor here: There’s a distinction between trains, cars and the HPV vaccine and dogs in that all three of those provide large scale benefits to many people so the notion that they are worth having around despite the risk makes sense. The argument is slightly harder given that dogs only provide immediate benefit to the people around them and that benefit isn’t as large.

    We do need stricter rules to punish people who abuse or neglect dogs they own. Any serious record of abuse and it should simply be illegal for that person to own a dog. Period. Something like that and similar laws would make a lot more sense than any rules aimed at specific breeds.

  43. #43 mad the swine
    October 18, 2009

    The privilege in this thread is just sickening.

    So you guys in your nice suburban houses with your fenced yards and so on and so forth are able to raise your pits responsibly and protect yourselves and your children from the aggressive, unneutered pit bulls like TDWOE who “roam about terrorizing the neighborhood.” Congratulations. You are, in PalMD’s wise formulation, the responsible gun owners. And – to carry the analogy further – you’re also arguing for the complete deregulation of handguns in high-crime, inner-city areas, because the people living there have the same rights and responsibilities you do – ie, the right to own potentially dangerous dogs, and the responsibility to protect themselves from their neighbors’ dogs; if they or their children get mauled because someone in the same apartment building keeps a set of angry, frustrated, stir-crazy dogs, that’s their own lookout, amirite?

    This is why I say that the anti-breed-legislation people need to examine their own privilege. They can’t seem to see beyond their own selfish interests, to recognize that maybe, just maybe, protecting the lives of other, mostly poor and underprivileged people, the people most in danger from attacks by the sorts of dogs coming under the breed bans, is more important than your own ‘right’ to own whatever breed you want.

  44. #44 ChrisE
    October 18, 2009

    Mad, the analogy is wrong. You want to legislate against the brands (no, not the type) of weapons that are used most.

  45. #45 ERV
    October 18, 2009

    I live in a ‘bad part’ of OKC.

    There is a halfway house next door.

    There is a halfway house across the street.

    There is yet another halfway house next door to the halfway house across the street.

    And then another halfway house across the street in the other direction.

    The apartment buildings around me are for people with low income. My neighbors car is literally held together with duct tape. Another apartment ‘house’ like mine, they all share a rusted out SUV.

    I didnt mention that all of the humans involved in the story are black. Yes, even the old lady with a Yorkie. Owner of the Giant Schnauzer is black. Owner of another responsible dog owner I interact with, a Rottie, is black.

    The kids Arnie plays with when we see them in the park on our walkies are all black. Theres one girl with Downs Syndrome who LUVS giving Arnie lovies before she gets on the school bus every morning. Yes, a black girl with Downs Syndrome, whos being raised by her elderly grandma, loves Arnie, and he loves her.

    And I dont have a backyard.

    It doesnt require money, a suburban house, a yard, or a specific race to be a good dog owner.

    Do you think poor people are too dumb to treat a dog properly?

  46. #46 ERV
    October 18, 2009

    Pal– which have not been refuted
    I have done better than ‘refute’ the statistics youve posted.

    I not only grant your preposition, I go further.

    If pit bulls were the only dog that ever killed any human ever, if 100% of all dog homicides were the result of pits, worst case scenario, your risk of dying via pit is equal to the risk that you will die in a train crash.

    You are more likely to be struck by lightning.

    Worst case scenareo using an extreme of the data!

    Your fear is not rational.

  47. #47 Optimus Primate
    October 18, 2009

    mad the swine, that’s a cute little analogy you have there, and I’m sure you patted your own back when you cooked it up, but you forgot one thing:

    Canines are not weapons. Guns are not living, breathing beings with feelings. A gun can’t love you. A gun doesn’t have a sense of humor. A gun serves no purpose but to hurt or kill or threaten to do one of those things. A gun will never be a part of my family.

  48. #48 Mal Adapted
    October 18, 2009

    I’m in awe of MtS’s mastery of the poe: we really can’t tell if he’s serious or not. We might even agree with his comment, whether or not we think he’s serious. I declare him the winner of the thread.

  49. #49 mad the swine
    October 18, 2009

    “Do you think poor people are too dumb to treat a dog properly?”

    I don’t know. Do you have aggressive, unneutered pit bulls wandering around your neighborhood seeking whom they might devour?

    Seriously, I think that dumb people are too dumb to treat a dog properly. And when you live in a low-income, high-density, high-crime neighborhood, you get a lot of people who, deliberately or accidentally, raise aggressive, insufficiently controlled dogs, the vast majority of which are breeds chosen for their capability of killing human beings. And, I think, when your very own story features an aggressive dog that’s deliberately left loose, that has bitten before and that sooner or later will kill someone, to deny that there’s a legitimate problem with certain breeds and certain owners requires a certain amount of willful blindness.

    (Protip: the fact that small breeds like Jack Russells are more aggressive, on average, than pit bulls is a common defense of pit apologists. It’s also completely irrelevant – the people who are the targets of breed-specific legislation don’t choose the most aggressive breeds; they choose the breeds capable of doing the most damage and then make them aggressive, which is why those particular breeds need to be regulated, rather than dealing with owners on a case-by-case basis. The time for the law to act is before someone gets mutilated or killed, not after.)

    “If pit bulls were the only dog that ever killed any human ever, if 100% of all dog homicides were the result of pits, worst case scenario, your risk of dying via pit is equal to the risk that you will die in a train crash.”

    And so the hell what? NRA apologists love to point out that more people are killed by automobiles than handguns. Apples and oranges. The fact that the risk of X is equal to or less than the risk of a completely unrelated and irrelevant Y doesn’t mean that we should ignore X. Besides that: you have no need to own a pit bull, or a rottie, or whatever other large dangerous breed. If protecting other people from irresponsible dog owners, while still treating all people equally under the law, requires that you give up your giant canine phallic substitute, that’s a regrettable but necessary part of living in society. Don’t like it? Move somewhere else.

    “Canines are not weapons. Guns are not living, breathing beings with feelings. A gun can’t love you. A gun doesn’t have a sense of humor. A gun serves no purpose but to hurt or kill or threaten to do one of those things. A gun will never be a part of my family.”

    Dogs are domesticated livestock, like cattle or pigs. Dogs are tools. Dogs are extremely effective weapons, if properly trained. Dogs do not love. Dogs do not have senses of humor. Your soft-hearted anthropomorphism, when weighed against the actual lives of actual human beings mauled by aggressive dogs, is utterly pathetic. Though expected, I suppose, in a post that began by comparing pit bulls to Jews killed in the Holocaust. FFS, get a sense of proportion.

  50. #50 ERV
    October 18, 2009

    Oh thank god mad is a Poe.

    *tips hat*

    You got me, sir/madame. Touche!

  51. #51 mad the swine
    October 18, 2009

    Addendum: yes, I would support a ban on all dogs over a certain size and weight, as is being enforced in public housing in NYC.

    The NYC Housing Authority has prohibited pit bulls from all the housing projects it administers, and placed a new weight restriction on all pets, requiring them to weigh no more than 25 pounds [...] Queens Councilman Peter Vallone praised the ban, telling the Daily News, “Finally someone is realizing that these potentially dangerous animals have no place in a confined urban space.”

    I stand with Vallone and the NYC Housing Authority. If you want big, dangerous dogs to supplement your gun collection, live out in the country where you’re only a threat to yourself. If you want to live in a civilized society, follow civilized rules.

  52. #52 Optimus Primate
    October 18, 2009

    He/she got me, too, Abbie, until that last big spiel. Srsly, that kind of stupidity can only be intentional.

  53. #53 Mal Adapted
    October 18, 2009

    Srsly, that kind of stupidity can only be intentional.

    If that were true, there’d be no need for Poe’s law, or artists like Mad the Swine.

  54. #54 Shirakawasuna
    October 18, 2009

    “Still, given the stats on deadly attacks, which have not been refuted, several [types of blacks] are responsible for most deaths. That’s an important public health fact.”

    Thanks, Pal, for demonstrating the fallacy of cum hoc ergo propter hoc (correlation is not causation) and then pushing it to the extreme by prioritizing an extremely small risk as “an important public health fact”.

    And yes, your reasoning applies to races as well. The physiological basis for the danger of Pits vs. other large dogs is just as undemonstrated as inherent nasty qualities in ‘those blacks’. The risk is low. The statistics can be misused in the exact same way. Don’t respond with emotion (‘I’m not racist!’), think about the arguments.

  55. #55 Nico
    October 18, 2009

    We have a corgi/rottie cross ( pause while you consider what the hell was going on….) and she looks like a very short rottie. People have panicked and run off when they see her and her big toothy smile.

    But as municipalities bring in breed legislation, they often rope in rottie crosses and I’m wary, waiting for the day when they decide my dog is a danger.

    Because unless you’re wearing a suit of bacon, she’ll ignore you.

    I’ve met very well mannered rotties and pits and while i’m wary of some, mostly because the owners can’t manage to demonstrate control over their dog, the dog itself isn’t at fault

    oddly, its usually the smaller dogs in our building that start crap. They launch at my dog, bark, nip and she just happens to have a very basso profundo woof. Inevitably, people assume it’s MY dog that starts it, when it’s these wee ill socialized ratdogs because hey, who really needs to socialize a jack russell or a pom?

    Yech.

  56. #56 Sili
    October 18, 2009

    I think the pitbull haters would do well to drop the line of argument that claims that the dogs are inherently dangerous weapons.

    The more they push that, the closer you come to constitutionally protected in your ownership.

    Not that that works over here, of course.

  57. #57 Militant Agnostic
    October 18, 2009

    Still, given the stats on deadly attacks, which have not been refuted, several breeds of large, strong dogs are responsible for most deaths. That’s an important public health fact.

    Way to miss my point Pal MD – If you ban those breeds, other large strong dogs will replace them as the dog of choice for the irresponsible owner who wants an intimidating dog. If you are going to have a ban it will have to be based on size and it will include St Bernards, Newfoundlands, Labradors etc.

    Breed targeted legislation is a way for politicians to be seen to do something without tackling the more complicated problem of irresponsible owners. See my post at 37, right after the one you thought was so sensible.

  58. #58 Azkyroth
    October 18, 2009

    Still, given the stats on deadly attacks, which have not been refuted, several breeds of large, strong dogs are responsible for most deaths. That’s an important public health fact.

    How could they have been refuted when you won’t even provide references or engage the multiple objections that have been raised? Arguing with you is like arguing with the kitchen table. I had no idea Science Blogs employed people this dishonest and this dumb.

  59. #59 ildi
    October 18, 2009

    From dogbitelaw.com: Starts off with data on dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada September 1982 to November 13, 2006.

    I’m quoting from his analysis:

    Of the breeds most often involved in incidents of sufficient severity to be listed, pit bull terriers are noteworthy for attacking adults almost as frequently as children. This is a very rare pattern: children are normally at greatest risk from dogbite because they play with dogs more often, have less experience in reading dog behavior, are more likely to engage in activity that alarms or stimulates a dog, and are less able to defend themselves when a dog becomes aggressive. Pit bulls seem to differ behaviorally from other dogs in having far less inhibition about attacking people who are larger than they are. They are also notorious for attacking seemingly without warning, a tendency exacerbated by the custom of docking pit bulls’ tails so that warning signals are not easily recognized. Thus the adult victim of a pit bull attack may have had little or no opportunity to read the warning signals that would avert an attack from any other dog.

    Later:

    The humane community does not try to encourage the adoption of pumas in the same manner that we encourage the adoption of felis catus, because even though a puma can also be box-trained and otherwise exhibits much the same indoor behavior, it is clearly understood that accidents with a puma are frequently fatal.

    For the same reason, it is sheer foolishness to encourage people to regard pit bull terriers and Rottweilers as just dogs like any other, no matter how much they may behave like other dogs under ordinary circumstances.

    Temperament is not the issue, nor is it even relevant. What is relevant is actuarial risk. If almost any other dog has a bad moment, someone may get bitten, but will not be maimed for life or killed, and the actuarial risk is accordingly reasonable. If a pit bull terrier or a Rottweiler has a bad moment, often someone is maimed or killed–and that has now created off-the-chart actuarial risk, for which the dogs as well as their victims are paying the price.

    Pit bulls and Rottweilers are accordingly dogs who not only must be handled with special precautions, but also must be regulated with special requirements appropriate to the risk they may pose to the public and other animals, if they are to be kept at all.

  60. #60 Azkyroth
    October 18, 2009

    Again, breeds identified how?

  61. #61 ildi
    October 18, 2009

    This is what Merritt Clifton (the author) says re. the source of the data:

    Compiled by the editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE from press accounts since 1982, this table covers only attacks by dogs of clearly identified breed type or ancestry, as designated by animal control officers or others with evident expertise, who have been kept as pets. Due to the exclusion of dogs whose breed type may be uncertain, this is by no means a complete list of fatal and otherwise serious dog attacks. Attacks by police dogs, guard dogs, and dogs trained specifically to fight are also excluded.

  62. #62 ildi
    October 18, 2009

    He also addresses concerns expressed here re breed identification and legislation:

    What all this may mean relative to legislation is problematic. Historically, breed-specific legislation has proved very difficult to enforce because of the problems inherent in defining animals for whom there may be no breed standards, or conflicting standards. Both pit bull terriers and wolf hybrids tend to elude easy legal definition; neither can they be recognized by genetic testing.

    The traditional approach to dangerous dog legislation is to allow “one free bite,” at which point the owner is warned. On second bite, the dog is killed. The traditional approach, however, patently does not apply in addressing the threats from pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, and wolf hybrids. In more than two-thirds of the cases I have logged, the life-threatening or fatal attack was apparently the first known dangerous behavior by the animal in question. Children and elderly people were almost always the victims.

    Truthfully speaking, I do not know how an effective, fair, enforceable, humane dangerous dog law could be constructed. Any law strong enough and directed enough to prevent the majority of life-threatening dog attacks must discriminate heavily against pit bulls, Rottweilers, wolf hybrids, and perhaps Akitas and chows, who are not common breeds but do seem to be involved in disproportionate numbers of life-threatening attacks. Such discrimination will never be popular with the owners of these breeds, especially those who believe their dogs are neither dangerous nor likely to turn dangerous without strong provocation. Neither will breed discrimination ever be acceptable to those who hold out for an interpretation of animal rights philosophy which holds that all breeds are created equal.

    One might hope that educating the public against the acquisition of dangerous dogs would help; but the very traits that make certain breeds dangerous also appeal to a certain class of dog owner. Thus publicizing their potentially hazardous nature has tended to increase these breeds’ popularity.

  63. #63 Brian English
    October 18, 2009
  64. #64 Tsu Dho Nimh
    October 18, 2009

    The nastiest dog bite I ever had came from a #^&#$~@! Chihuahua!

    It was unvaccinated, unleashed, and came yapping off its owner’s porch, across the unfenced yard and sank its nasty little fangs into my ankle. The @#%!#$%!@ nicked a large vein and I bled all over the sidewalk … couldn’t bend down and apply pressure because it was bouncing and yapping and snapping and snarling.

    The owner was not amused when Oopsie Poopsie went into the doggie hoosegow for rabies observation and I sent the bill for the medical treatment.

  65. #65 Anton Mates
    October 18, 2009

    PalMD,

    You probably know the literature better than I do, but for example:

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00047723.htm#00002439.htm

    The article you cite says that fatality rates by breed could not be calculated, because we have no reliable breed-specific population data, and it recommends against breed-specific legislation.

    On a previous ERV post on this topic, I posted excerpts from quite a few different studies on dog bite incidence. Several of the authors–including Jeffrey Sacks, whose work your article cites on this point–commented on the difficulty of reliable breed identification, particularly of “pit bulls.” Virtually all authors said that legislation should target owners, not breeds.

  66. #66 Anton Mates
    October 18, 2009

    ildi,

    This is what Merritt Clifton (the author) says re. the source of the data:

    Compiled by the editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE from press accounts since 1982, this table covers only attacks by dogs of clearly identified breed type or ancestry, as designated by animal control officers or others with evident expertise, who have been kept as pets.

    In case it’s not clear from that excerpt, Merritt Clifton is the editor of ANIMAL PEOPLE. He’s also 1/3 of the Board of Directors. Which is just to say, this is his personal tally via perusing the mass media; it’s not remotely a serious study, let alone peer-reviewed.

    Another blogger has critiqued Clifton’s analysis here and here.

  67. #67 Anton Mates
    October 18, 2009

    Oh, and the blog I link to above is LASSIE, GET HELP. If you haven’t read it, Abbie, you’d probably enjoy it.

  68. #68 Nomen Nescio
    October 18, 2009

    given the stats on deadly attacks, [...] several breeds of large, strong dogs are responsible for most deaths. That’s an important public health fact.

    no it isn’t. without information on the relative commonality of the dog breeds in question — without which data we can’t even begin to calculate relative rates of attacks or fatalities — it’s not even a meaningful fact, much less an important one.

    here’s an “important public health fact”: motor vehicles with four wheels kill a lot more people per year than ones with only two. clearly we should all be riding motorcycles all the time.

  69. #69 LKL
    October 18, 2009

    Laws requiring neutering and socialization for pet dogs would do far more than BSL to reduce dog attacks, and teaching ‘dog language’ in schools would do more to protect children. Laws prohibiting chopping off a dog’s tail and ears would do a lot to end the ‘attacks without warning’ reputation.

    Unfortunately, those laws would impact *humans* more than dogs, making them much harder to pass.

    As for dogs being weapons, let’s throw this into the mix: how about laws that prohibit anyone convicted of a violent crime, or diagnosed with severe mental illness, from owning a dog >40 lbs?

    Not advocating that – it just occrued to me in the course of reading the comments, so I’d be curious to see the comments people have. On the one hand, it could prohibit some dog abuse (people deliberately training their dogs to be vicious); on the other hand, therapy dogs are really good for people who’ve had problems in their lives and some of the best, calmest dogs are the larger breeds.

  70. #70 Azkyroth
    October 18, 2009

    Laws requiring neutering and socialization for pet dogs would do far more than BSL to reduce dog attacks, and teaching ‘dog language’ in schools would do more to protect children. Laws prohibiting chopping off a dog’s tail and ears would do a lot to end the ‘attacks without warning’ reputation.

    How about laws requiring neutering and socialization of convicted abusive dog owners?

  71. #71 Uncle Glenny
    October 18, 2009

    PalMD’s on a roll!

    First he ticks off the nurses, now the pit bull lovers!

    HAHAHHAHHAHA

    I took the pit bull quiz and got it on the first try. I had to go back to see what all those other breeds were – I never heard of most of them. (When I got my pit I didn’t know what a pit bull was. Imagine three people taking a full grown pit bull stray, found only days before, and forcing it to take a bath.)

  72. #72 chrisD
    October 18, 2009

    Current owner of a two boxers, fawn and black, and a former owner of a rescued staffie. I also own a Shepherd and Labrador. All of these dogs would be the target of BSL, which is why I call it BullShit Legislation, because that’s what it really is. None of my dogs have ever snapped, growled or acted hostile towards any one of my relatives, neighbors or other dogs, not even once.

    On the other hand… My cousin has a Bischon Friese. It has bitten 3 of his playmates to this date and they are getting rid of him. My aunt owns a yorkshire terrier, she bit my 6 year old cousin in the face, arm and abdomen and she required 4 stitches and was very distraught afterwards. My neighbors when I was growing up had a pug who got off his leash and the first thing he did was make a b-line for a neighborhood kid riding his bike, knocked him off and proceeded to aggressively attack him.

    My dogs don’t even jump up and paw children to greet them. They know and tolerate the limits of interaction. Most smaller dogs know this too, but from my experience it’s been smaller dogs who are first to attack.

    My notion for why smaller dogs are not reported for attacks is that they usually lead to minor damage and to avoid unneighborliness or risk impugning the “cute widdle famwee dawgee” they go unreported. Attacks by larger dogs are reported more often because they would lead to larger lawsuits.

  73. #73 chrisD
    October 18, 2009

    Also, another reason why reports of larger dog attacks are received more often is due to the demonization of large breeds. People that get attacked probably view the owners of large dogs as irresponsible owners, which they most likely are; not due to the circumstances of the attacks, but due to the portrayal of large dogs in popular culture as menaces. Such stigma leads people to believe owning large dogs is irresponsible behavior in and of itself and view reporting as their “duty” in order to out the irresponsible owners.

    Rationale with smaller dogs? “Oh, dogs will be dogs! Shit happens! Bygones be bygones! No harm, no foul!” I have heard some of these at the dog park when one smaller dog obtains the cojones to menace the park, followed by laughter. My dog reacts to a smaller dog harrassing another with a snarl and it’s “You better keep him on a leash!” Fuuuuuuck!

  74. #74 Tyler DiPietro
    October 18, 2009

    “Still, given the stats on deadly attacks, which have not been refuted…”

    You’re a fucking idiot. There have been plenty of comments point out the difficulties involved in reporting bias and breed identification, and your only response was to race-bait because someone made an entirely appropriate analogy to similar problems with racial crime stats. No wonder you and Isis are BFF’s.

  75. #75 Uncle Glenny
    October 18, 2009

    PalMD@38:

    Still, given the stats on deadly attacks, which have not been refuted, several breeds of large, strong dogs are responsible for most deaths. That’s an important public health fact.

    Um, no. If, say, the dogs cursorily identified as pits are actually represented by multiple breeds, the stats for pits go down and for the others are underrepresented. Did you take the pit bull test Optimus posted earlier? Granted, a single picture is not the same as an “in person” identification, but given the variation in size, conformation, and color of pits – not to mention the existence of mixed breeds (and I don’t necessarily mean pit mixes) – I can have no problem believing misidentification is a significant issue.

    ktbug ladydid@39:

    other times it’s the other person, by confronting the dog in a negative manner (or not being able to read/understand signals that the dog’s upset

    George W. Bush’s dog (yorkie?) nipped a reporter on camera. Reporter was an asshole; on low quality video I could tell the dog was stressed. Actually, person walking the dog was an asshole too and should have been able to tell that.

  76. #76 windy
    October 19, 2009

    Douglas:

    I gotta say I thought you were referencing the Niemoller poem.

    Maybe the meme has taken on a life of its own.


    PalMD:

    Interesting. So you’re understanding of biology is that “race” is the equivalent of dog breed? Nice. Say hi to Rush for me next time you’re on his show.

    Interesting. So your understanding of biology is that “Communists” are a race? Do you even know what’s in the poem that you’re apparently freaking out on behalf of?

  77. #77 Uncle Glenny
    October 19, 2009

    windy,

    To be fair, it seems pretty clear to me that Pal (as you quote him) was responding to Optimus Primus’s comment in #19.

    And yes, in my opinion, the Niemoller has rather taken on a life of its own; after all, it ends with “they came for me” without characterizing the “me.” (So I disagree with Pal that utilizing the Niemoller diminishes the Holocaust.)

    For instance, I had heard back around 15 years ago that another state (Idaho?) attempted an anti-anti-discrimination amendment or referendum like Colorado Amendment 2 (which led to the Romer v Evans case) due to wariness of the Mormon population. Hearsay I can’t document and a glaring contradiction to California Proposition 8, but hey.

  78. #78 Uncle Glenny
    October 19, 2009

    Let me paraphrase part of my bad editing:

    Another state attempted a referendum like Colorado Amendment 2, which would have prohibited localities from enacting anti-gay discrimination. It was defeated.

  79. #79 Uncle Glenny
    October 19, 2009

    I’m on a clarity roll tonight.

    #78: “…from enacting sexual orientation non-discrimination statutes…” although I suppose by now anyone who reads this and cares would have figured this out.

  80. #80 windy
    October 19, 2009

    To be fair, it seems pretty clear to me that Pal (as you quote him) was responding to Optimus Primus’s comment in #19.

    You’re right, I got ahead of myself there. I was also thinking of his comment #5 but I didn’t make that clear.

  81. #81 Enkidu
    October 19, 2009

    I don’t own a pitbull, although a good friend of mine once owned as many as 5 at one time. I stayed at his house for a weekend and woke one night to find one of the pits snuggling up to me in bed. LOL

    I do own 4 dogs myself, though, and those stupid BSL lists have a variety of dogs on them. I have a chow/corgi (chow = BSL) and a Norwegian Elkhound (looks like a wolf = BSL). The only thing BSL lists is going to accomplish is the eventual banning of every medium-to-large sized breed.

    For the people who think it’s okay to ban pitbulls… Petey the puppy from the Littel Rascals was a pitbull! And the buster brown dog! When I was growing up this was all I knew about pits… the “scary” breeds were Rotties and GSD. Once the drug dealers and dog fighters took a liking to pits, they went from having a reputation as “nanny dogs” to that of horrible killers. Shameful. And it can happen with any breed.

  82. #82 Prometheus
    October 19, 2009

    1. Can we give “diminishing the holocaust” a rest. Hogan’s Heroes ran 168 episodes and it was a hit in production and reruns for over twenty years with all the Nazis being played by German Jewish ex pats. Whatever cultural sensitivity we affect at this point is an amorphous pretense.

    If Abbie wants to goose step around the local pound singing the Horst Wessel song and wearing a tiny mustache it may be unfunny but it certainly doesn’t “diminish the holocaust” anymore than bitching about “diminishing the holocaust” because that is what happens to be fashionable to bitch about this week. This breed specific stuff is a pretty interesting corollary to the Nuremberg laws (structurally speaking)so meh…..

    2. More people die or are injured by their own bathrooms than dogs.

    3. Does, “There is a halfway house next door.There is a halfway house across the street. There is yet another halfway house next door to the halfway house across the street. And then another halfway house across the street in the other direction.” mean Abbie and Arnie live between two whole houses?

    4. Old people love little dogs. Little dogs get over boarded and groomed. Little dogs are more susceptible and more often exposed to kennel cough. They give it to their owners who die of pneumonia, cause they are old. We must stamp out the threat posed by Shih Tzus. So much for the Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Jack Russells. I think there is a case to be made for Jack Russells causing PTSD.

    5. There is a big movement to prohibit breeding of Boston Terriers because some of them have breathing problems. Most don’t. Mine does not (just snores and is gassy). I think it is a plot because Bostons have similar facial markings to Hitler (who was also gassy).

  83. #83 Zuska
    October 19, 2009

    @ Abbie #6:
    wtf are you talking about? Im talking about the slippery slope of the non-science behind BSL– you go after pits for their reputation only, once theyre gone, other dogs fit the old reputation, so you get rid of them, and then a different breed fits the reputation… etc etc, over and over…Im not talking about that Holocaust poem/quote thing.

    Mm hmm. And I just saw a unicorn, too.

    Jesus, at least have the nerve to own up to your shameful Holocaust analogizing on behalf of your dog.

  84. #84 PalMD
    October 19, 2009

    I hate to disagree with Prometheus, cuz it never happens—but it’s not a Godwin. To compare “breed discrimination” to actual human discrimination, etc is, if intended, sick and twisted and very much like our buddies at ALF/etc.

  85. #85 LKL
    October 19, 2009

    The effects of the Nazi movement were almost entirely evil, but the movement in itself was complex and multi-faceted. It’s easy to find similarities between some facet of Naziism and just about any group or movement, good or bad, currently extant today – hence, Godwin’s law.

    Nazis have grown to represent everything evil and vicious about humanity. They have become a cultural bogey-man. I think, however, that we should be careful to distinguish between Nazis as historical figures and Nazis as evil incarnate; otherwise, we risk distorting history and losing track of one of the primary lessons of the Holocaust, which is that it is easy for the *public* (not just the evil Nazi camp guards) to go along with the demonization of a minority by the authorities as long as it does not negatively impact them. It means that each and every one of us has to guard against simple answers and overgeneralization of others, be they Jews, illegal immigrants, Catholics, atheists, or whatever. Even if they are pit bulls, though the impacts of anti-dog legislation is nowhere near the impact of anti-human legislation.

    The lesson of the Holocaust is to not demonize whole groups and blame them for all the problems that exist in the world, and it does not lessen the evil of the Holocaust to generalize that lesson far and wide.

  86. #86 ERV
    October 19, 2009

    Pal– Technically, ALF/PETA/HSUS are on your side. They are abundantly clear about their position on pit bulls: All pits should be killed, regardless of the dogs individual personality or upbringing.

    The president of PETA, Ingrid Whats-her-face, has used your reasoning, specifically:
    People who genuinely care about dogs won’t be affected by a ban on pits. They can go to the shelter and save one of the countless other breeds and lovable mutts sitting on death row through no fault of their own.
    ie, “Whats the matter with a Cocker Spaniel?”

    The ‘dog fighting expert’ of HSUS, an arsonist for ALF, wanted all of Michal Vicks dogs killed.

    ALF/PETA/HSUS are on your side, as are right-wing politicians and pundits.

    Does this give you pause?

    Are you willing to admit that maybe, just maybe, you arent educated on this topic, thus your opinion is formed by emotional bias (ie anti-vaxers), and that maybe you should educate yourself, for you make a fool of yourself?

    Additionally, you realize that this has nothing to do with the Holocaust or racism, right? Once again, granting your premise that I am so anti-Semitic and racist, you realize that fact has no impact on the validity of the relative lifetime risk stats compiled by a completely independent organization?

    You realize that what you are doing (ANTI-SEMITE!! RACIST!) is the equivalent to what Creationists do, ie, Johnny Wells and Behe calling me ‘foul mouthed’? Me, or anyone, saying ‘fuck’ or ‘boobies’ has nothing to do with the validity of science?

    Your inability to follow this conversation has nothing to do with the Holocaust. It has to do with your irrational fear of pits and/or all +medium sized dogs.

  87. #87 Prometheus
    October 19, 2009

    “I hate to disagree with Prometheus, cuz it never happens—but it’s not a Godwin. To compare “breed discrimination” to actual human discrimination, etc is, if intended, sick and twisted and very much like our buddies at ALF/etc.”

    I am just lousy at describing things today.* I think we are on the same page. Irrational discrimination based on a complete disregard for facts whether we are talking about humans, other animals or support joists in bridge construction is a recipe for disaster.

    Using one such disaster to demonstrate another such potential disaster is not necessarily a Godwin. That’s why you can compare asinine politicized scapegoating legislation like the third reich used, to demonstrate asinine politicized scapegoating legislation we use provided you don’t claim equivalence of the subject matter.

    I was objecting to the use of the “diminishes the Holocaust” button over the use of the “bad example” or “not funny” buttons in post modern internet critique as being faddish and in worse taste than the original comparison.

    * The U2 concert was about two blocks from my house. My dog officially hates U2 and expressed his opinion until the wee hours.

  88. #88 Optimus Primate
    October 19, 2009

    Get your labels straight, Abbie: You’re the insensitive Anti-Semite; I’m the garden-variety racist. :P

  89. #89 Tyler DiPietro
    October 19, 2009

    “Jesus, at least have the nerve to own up to your shameful Holocaust analogizing on behalf of your dog.”

    It is quite obvious that we need a Holocaust of people like Zuskaids and PalMD.

  90. #90 Anton Mates
    October 19, 2009

    PalMD,

    To compare “breed discrimination” to actual human discrimination, etc is, if intended, sick and twisted and very much like our buddies at ALF/etc.

    What? You can compare anything to anything else; that doesn’t require you to consider the two morally equivalent. You’ve clearly concluded (correctly, I think everyone here would agree) that breed discrimination isn’t as bad as Nazi-level human discrimination, so obviously you’ve compared the two yourself.

    The problem is when you take some relatively minor point of similarity and use it to argue for moral equivalence. You know, kind of like you did just now when you said anyone who’d compare the two forms of discrimination is “sick and twisted” and ALF-like.

  91. #91 Nomen Nescio
    October 19, 2009

    @Tyler, #89: now that was an offensive Holocaust analogy. Zuska and PalMD take note; that was not like what had been done on this thread up until then.

  92. #92 Tyler DiPietro
    October 19, 2009

    I may have just started a lollercoaster.

  93. #93 Tyler DiPietro
    October 19, 2009

    Oh come on, where is everybody else? Denounce me, everyone!

  94. #94 Azkyroth
    October 19, 2009

    Mm hmm. And I just saw a unicorn, too.

    Jesus, at least have the nerve to own up to your shameful Holocaust analogizing on behalf of your dog.

    Have you even read the thread, or did you just pop in here to help out “your side,” right or wrong?

  95. #95 titmouse
    October 20, 2009

    I may have just started a lollercoaster.

    Hehehe.

    Mommy, Daddy, please don fite!

  96. #96 Anton Mates
    October 20, 2009

    Only Hitler would make such a horrible analogy, Tyler. Only Hitler.

  97. #97 Uncle Glenny
    October 20, 2009

    Oh come on, where is everybody else? Denounce me, everyone!

    Bad, Tyler! Bad!

    ::waves rolled up newspaper threateningly::

  98. #98 RBH
    October 20, 2009

    Well, I started scrolling down the comments in order to remark that I’ve got a Dobie/Rottie mix who plays with our little beagle cross puppy like the one in the video. Now I’ll just say I’ve got a Dobie/Rottie mix named Sherlock (because it’s shorter than “Hound of the Baskervilles”), and I’m glad he walks (on leash, always) with my wife on the bike path out in the country where there have been several incidents of threatening behavior (by humans). For some reason no one has implicitly or explicitly threatened her and Sherlock. :)

    When one is pushing 70, as we are, and lives out in the country, as we do, Sherlock and an equally large setter/Lab cross named Watson are not only companions, they’re also comforting to have around when strangers drive in the driveway.

  99. #99 Abstruse
    October 20, 2009

    My baby is a 90 pound monster of unidentifiable extraction, perhaps Boxer Pitt cross? He’s the love of my life. Recently, my town has started to pursue BSL. I brought my dog to the meetings so people could meet him.

    He was a hit. BSL failed to pass.

  100. #100 scripto
    October 20, 2009

    “When one is pushing 70, as we are, and lives out in the country, as we do, Sherlock and an equally large setter/Lab cross named Watson are not only companions, they’re also comforting to have around when strangers drive in the driveway.”

    Yep. A big woof from even a little dog is the best burglar alarm ever. Not so good if the cops come busting in, though.