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  1. #41
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    IdahoRider, Michael Vick's dogs were poorly bred as companion dogs. I am WELL aware that the puppies were sold for a lot of money. Are YOU aware that there was a rape stand used to make those puppies? In other words, the females were SO dog aggressive that they were not even amenable to being bred?
    And yet, many of those dogs (the very ones you claim you cannot train or socialize) are now successfully rehabbed.



  2. #42
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    Yes, many of them have been successfully rehabbed. Some live in multi-dog households, some live in single pet homes and some are still living in sanctuaries like Best Friends. The requirements for living situations varied greatly from dog to dog. What worked for one, didn't work for the next.

    I am just disagreeing with the statement that they were poorly bred. They were very well bred, for what their purpose was.

    I am not claiming that you can't train and socialize "gamey" dogs to be happy, safe members of society. For some dogs that is absolutely true. But for many others, it is NOT true. They are what they are. Which is why some of the Vick dogs will live out their lives at Best Friends, solitary from other dogs. And why some of them required they go to a home without other pets.

    There were tons of resources available to the Vick dogs. A boat load of money was donated. Shoot, Vick himself had to put up a lot of money to be used as restitution to the dogs. I have read in various media accounts that his restitution fee was $1,000,000. That is a lot of money. And yet, even still, some of the Vick dogs couldn't be made "safe" for adoption despite all those resources.
    Sheilah
    ETA: People from Bad Rap were in my area just a couple of weeks ago and I had the opportunity to have a wonderful discussion about their process. The Vick dogs came up, and I was fascinated by their results. I came away more convinced than ever that there are groups out there advocating for these dogs in a responsible, realistic manner. Bad Rap does it right, and I was very impressed.


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  3. #43
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    Idahorider,
    First you said the following:
    But to imply that you can train and socialize something into or out of a dog that just is or isn't there genetically?

    then you say "yes, some of the Vick dogs were successfully rehabbed"
    So, which is it?
    If it is all about genetics, then how ARE there dogs like mine and many others who live happily with other dogs and animals (right now, Scarlett has a Siamese "scarf" on top of her).
    How DID they successfully rehab Michael Vick's dogs (bred SPECIFICALLY to be fighters) into living in multi dog homes?
    It is neither all genetics NOR all training. The media WOULD have you believe that there are more badly bred dogs out there when in fact, there are PLENTY of good breeders out there....and even if one rolls the dice and has them BE poorly bred (as companions), they HAVE been successfully rehabbed.
    Given what those dogs had to endure (Are you even aware of what exactly they had to endure?), is it ANY wonder that some of them do not trust humans enough to be successfully trained?
    A pit bull's love for its master is the stuff of legends. But when your master does to you what Michael Vick and his cohorts did, it is a wonder to me that ANY of them were successfully rehabbed. For the record, I was of the opinion that they should be PTS when they were found.



  4. #44
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    Well, pit bulls can be dog aggressive. Many terriers and working breeds can be also. There are varying degrees of dog aggression across breeds, but it is common in a number of breeds. It may not be something that was bred specifically for in some breeds, but it is common in many working breeds. It is a scary situation for dog owners if any breed bred for some type of aggression is banned because that encompasses a lot of breeds.


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  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by chancellor2 View Post
    Idahorider,
    First you said the following:
    But to imply that you can train and socialize something into or out of a dog that just is or isn't there genetically?

    then you say "yes, some of the Vick dogs were successfully rehabbed"
    So, which is it?
    If it is all about genetics, then how ARE there dogs like mine and many others who live happily with other dogs and animals (right now, Scarlett has a Siamese "scarf" on top of her).
    How DID they successfully rehab Michael Vick's dogs (bred SPECIFICALLY to be fighters) into living in multi dog homes?
    It is neither all genetics NOR all training. The media WOULD have you believe that there are more badly bred dogs out there when in fact, there are PLENTY of good breeders out there....and even if one rolls the dice and has them BE poorly bred (as companions), they HAVE been successfully rehabbed.
    Given what those dogs had to endure (Are you even aware of what exactly they had to endure?), is it ANY wonder that some of them do not trust humans enough to be successfully trained?
    A pit bull's love for its master is the stuff of legends. But when your master does to you what Michael Vick and his cohorts did, it is a wonder to me that ANY of them were successfully rehabbed. For the record, I was of the opinion that they should be PTS when they were found.
    Genetically hard wired behaviors are going to be on a continuum. Some traits are going to be expressed more strongly in some dogs than in others. My very unprofessional opinion is that those dogs that have been able to integrate into multi-pet households are the ones that were farther away from absolute-I-Am-Going-To-Kill-Any-Other-Animal extreme.

    The other dogs? The ones that were not able to integrate into multiple-pet homes? Or the ones that were not able to be integrated into homes at all? Those dogs would have fallen closer that extreme.

    Look, it is just like the lady from Bad Rap said. Dog aggression has been selectively bred for over many, many generations. That is just the way it is. You can train and socialize from Day One, and for those dogs that fall towards the extreme end of the spectrum (the end of the spectrum that was the desired end as the breed or type was being developed), it won't make any difference. Just like a strong retrieve has been selectively bred for in other breeds. Or a strong guarding trait in others. Any given dog within a breed's population is going to fall on that continuum, that spectrum, of traits that have been selectively bred for. And dog aggression is a trait, just like any other, that was selectively bred for in the Pit Bull.

    The dog's love for his master has nothing to do whether or not the dog is dog aggressive. Human aggression and dog aggression are two totally different things. And in the Pit Bull they are even farther apart than in other breeds, because they were also bred to be very, very human friendly.

    I totally agree with you. What Vick and his buddies did was reprehensible. I don't pay too much attention to what the media says about dogs, because they often get it wrong. I spent over 6 years doing weekly temperament tests on dogs in a high volume, open admission shelter. I am basing my opinion on my hands on experience, my observations and my discussions with people who are considered the experts in the field. Experts with Pits.

    Yes, with many Pits you can get a wonderful companion that is safe with every other animal they come across. Tolerant of everything and everyone. And some of these dogs don't need anything special regarding socializing and training to be that way. Others can be that way with careful socializing and training. Other dogs, despite an owner who does everything "right" and who heavily socialized and trained, will have a dog that has to be carefully managed and matched with appropriate doggy buddies. And other dogs just can't be around other dogs safely.

    I think it is wonderful that the Pit Bull has so many passionate defenders. Considering what they are up against, they need it. But the best advocacy is the advocacy that is realistic and honest about the breed, it's history and what many of these dogs need in order to live the best life possible. You can't simply socialize and train away genetically hard wired traits. Some Pits fall more on the dog social end of the genetic spectrum, and others don't. The vast majority fall in between those two extremes, and many, many of those dogs need careful management in order to be safe around other dogs.

    I am not sure what it is that I am saying that has you so angry? If that is the correct word. Vick's dogs were horribly mistreated for human gain and entertainment and that stinks. They had a ton of resources available to rehab them, the attention of the world, and even still they were not all able to be safely rehomed into multi-pet homes. Some were, because they fell more toward the dog social end of the spectrum to begin with. Some were not, because they fell more toward the dog aggressive end of the spectrum. The best training and socializing money could buy (and these dogs had that and then some) couldn't change that. And it had nothing to do with how they were raised or treated by Vick and his buddies. Otherwise, all the dogs would have been lost, since they all lived the same life.
    Sheilah


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  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casey09 View Post
    Well, pit bulls can be dog aggressive. Many terriers and working breeds can be also. There are varying degrees of dog aggression across breeds, but it is common in a number of breeds.
    Dog aggression is written into the standards for many breeds. Or at least dog intolerance. The Akita comes to mind.

    Often, in the terrier conformation classes, the judge will have handlers stack their dogs head to head because the judge wants to see that "gameness", that willingness to engage.
    Sheilah



  7. #47
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    There are a whole lot of breeds far "scarier" than pit bulls. Heaven forbid these gangsters and drug dealers start arming themselves with dogs actually bred for human aggression and guarding.

    Countries all over the world are realizing that their long standing breed ban/dangerous breed laws don't change the statistics behind dog bites in their countries. The laws are completely ineffective and some places are starting to repeal them. I'm happy to live in a state that doesn't allow municipalities to pass breed specific laws.

    If you think banning pit bulls is a good idea, beware. As others have said, it is a slippery slope. Rotties, Dobes and GSDs will be next. The big guarding breeds like the numerous mastiff breeds will follow. Huskies will be in there. Your lab mixes will be pulled in as pit mixes.


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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by chancellor2 View Post
    What Vacation1 and MistyBlue are forgetting is that these dogs WERE bred to fight. Yes. But fight OTHER DOGS. Historical breeding (for umpteen years) has been to show aggression to other dogs.....NOT humans.
    This is the most telling thing about the pit bull argument. Pit bull fans want the support of the whole dog-owning world, and yet they make this argument over and over, shamelessly, openly, without blinking at the extraordinary ugliness of it. "Our pibbles shouldn't be banned, because their aggression is directed at dogs." I own a dog. Dog-aggression, when combined with an animal bulk, athleticism and deliberately bred to have an obsessive drive to grab another living being by the throat and grind down until it dies, is profoundly dangerous to dogs.

    There are, of course, other problems with the "it's only dog-aggression" argument. Like the total malarkey that old-timey fightin' folk bothered to cull to eliminate human-aggression. Sure they did. They undoubtedly shot or clubbed a pit bull that bit them, but did they really bother if ol' Grippy mauled a tramp or bit that jerk in the next haller over? I kinda doubt it. Also, if they were really being carefully bred to "fight" other pit bulls, how come so many attacks are on old, small dogs? I think pit bull breeding was successful in only 1 area - they managed to light a fire under aggression, and build a body and a brain that made it very difficult to stop that aggression. The finer points, like no human-aggression, or only "fighting" versus straightforward predation? I don't think they quite got there, assuming they bothered to try.


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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miraya View Post
    Please read the following links in order to educate yourself on the breed and BSL....
    We disagree profoundly on this issue, very obviously. Please do me the courtesy of accepting that my position is not based on ignorance and refrain from telling me to educate myself. It's insulting. I don't tell you to go to anti-pit bull websites and blogs (and they are quickly becoming as numerous and as angry as the pro-pit bull sites) to "educate" yourself. I've been on both sides of this issue; my position has evolved with exposure to different pit bulls and different owners. I started off pro-pit bull, believe it or not (I was 22, I knew everything), and changed after I saw a pit bull attack. That didn't change my mind immediately; pit bull owners eventually did. None of them - none of you - take any responsibility. They say "blame the deed", but every pit bull threatened with euthanasia after an attack is defended by angry emails from Pit Bull Nation. They say "blame the owners" - but the pit bull fans have never shown any interest in pushing for decent enforcement of existing dangerous dog laws. These are notoriously unpopular with the authorities, who hate "wasting" time on dog cases, so a little public support for their use would be a big help, but pit bull supporters don't seem interested.


    Pit bulls are everyone's problem now, because their own best friends can't be bothered to do things that would actually help them. Restricting pit bull ownership would devastate the "fighting" breeders who mass-produce them and dump them at shelters by the thousands. But fight for your "right" to pretend your pit bull is the same as your neighbor's Sheltie, and so what if that "right" to a serene fantasy life means millions more pit bulls born, abused and killed in the future.


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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    We disagree profoundly on this issue, very obviously. Please do me the courtesy of accepting that my position is not based on ignorance and refrain from telling me to educate myself. It's insulting. I don't tell you to go to anti-pit bull websites and blogs (and they are quickly becoming as numerous and as angry as the pro-pit bull sites) to "educate" yourself. I've been on both sides of this issue; my position has evolved with exposure to different pit bulls and different owners. I started off pro-pit bull, believe it or not (I was 22, I knew everything), and changed after I saw a pit bull attack. That didn't change my mind immediately; pit bull owners eventually did. None of them - none of you - take any responsibility. They say "blame the deed", but every pit bull threatened with euthanasia after an attack is defended by angry emails from Pit Bull Nation. They say "blame the owners" - but the pit bull fans have never shown any interest in pushing for decent enforcement of existing dangerous dog laws. These are notoriously unpopular with the authorities, who hate "wasting" time on dog cases, so a little public support for their use would be a big help, but pit bull supporters don't seem interested.


    Pit bulls are everyone's problem now, because their own best friends can't be bothered to do things that would actually help them. Restricting pit bull ownership would devastate the "fighting" breeders who mass-produce them and dump them at shelters by the thousands. But fight for your "right" to pretend your pit bull is the same as your neighbor's Sheltie, and so what if that "right" to a serene fantasy life means millions more pit bulls born, abused and killed in the future.
    Way to lump us all together.

    True pit bull advocates have no problems with humanely euthanizing dogs who are not emotionally, behaviorally, and mentally sound representatives of the breed. You'll never see a place like Bad Rap or a good, open admission shelter argue that all pitties should be adopted into new homes no matter what. There are a lot of asses out there breeding larger breeds in for size and aggression. Just like they did with rotties, and before that dobermans and before that german shepherds. It wasn't until I met some of the Vick dogs that I realized pits were supposed to be 30-40 lbs. Here in CA I'd always seen 80 pounds and bigger - likely with cane corso, etc bred in.

    This "save them all" mentality is a product of the mis-named "no kill" movement and the all too common thought process of "I don't want to take responsibility, but you better for me!" There was a petition recently from a woman in southern CA. Her beagle bit her kid in the face badly enough to require hundreds of stitches. She took the dog to Animal Control, who was going to euth due to the bite. She started a petition and raised money from strangers, so angered that the dog would be euthed, although she wouldn't take it back.

    There are a lot of great pitties out there. There are also poorly bred pitties and mixes that need to be carefully managed or euthanized for public safety. That said, many "pit bull" attacks are not really pitties, almost all pit bull attacks are poorly managed intact males, or more rarely intact females. A lot of dog bites are from dogs on chains or running at large. All issues that could be solved by more responsible owners. The case in question that started this thread is blatantly obviously an owner issue - and two of the dogs are unidentified by breed. Frustrating that breeds are rarely mentioned unless they are pits but that's another issue.


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  11. #51
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    I hate when people bring up 'but Chihuahua's bite, so that makes my pit bull's bites okay.' Seriously? What kind of logic is that? Chihuahuas break skin; pit bulls take body parts. That's why it's a 'DANGEROUS' dog ban... not a 'Dog biter' ban.

    To those who think pit bulls aren't people aggressive... work in a vet's office. I'm a vet tech. A lot of our pits are super friendly, and just want to crawl into your lap and snuggle. And some want to eat our head off as soon as the vet turns around with an ear cone. What I see in most of the pit bulls is not 'aggression', it's FEAR aggression. There's a difference, and that part seems very well-ingrained in a lot of them. They are quick to bite/snarl when they're scared, where others won't. And there's a lot of power behind those jaws--why do you think their heads are so big?

    I've snuggled with pit bulls when they woke up from anesthesia, and was flung around a room by countless others. Three "rescue" pit bulls attacked my niece while she was trying to protect her small JRT. My uncle (who works in the city) walked in on one eating a young boy's leg off and had to kill it to get it off of the kid.

    These dogs are strong, and quick to bite (as a whole). People who advocate them as family friendly dogs are idiots, imo. These are not 'beginner friendly' dogs. It'd be like getting a green, hot OTTB and giving it to a teenager. If you want one, you need to understand them and understand their play/prey drive. Pits with smart owners are wonderful. Pits with average owners are not. To think they are anything more then that is foolish. (Of course their are exceptions... there are with any breed).


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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by BostonBanker View Post
    Your lab mixes will be pulled in as pit mixes.
    That's very possible, considering that a huge number of "lab mixes" today are pit bulls. Go on Petfinder, and there are a lot of mixes that claim to be anything but pit bull, and are clearly pit bulls. My favorite evasion by irresponsible shelter staff is the Dalmation mix.

    Spotted pit bull mix = Dalmation mix
    Leggy black pit bull mix = Lab mix
    Reddish pit bull mix with slightly longer hair = Chow mix
    Mottled/merled pit bull mix = Catalouha mix
    Black-and-white pit bull mix with slightly longer fur = Border Collie mix
    Small pit bull mix = Boston Terrier mix
    Pit bull mix with longish nose = Boxer mix
    Large pit bull mix = mastiff mix

    Quote Originally Posted by Casey09 View Post
    Well, pit bulls can be dog aggressive. Many terriers and working breeds can be also....It is a scary situation for dog owners if any breed bred for some type of aggression is banned because that encompasses a lot of breeds.
    The reason the pit bulls get banned while, say, Airedales or GSDs are not, is not because they were developed with some levels of aggression desired. It's because of their kill record. There's no other way to say it. The aggression in "fighting" breeds may be the same as in a guard or attack breed, but the outcome is almost always different - in the worst cases, a bad bite versus a catastrophic one. Pit bulls were designed to ignore pain and external cues, to become one purpose in a "fight" - to not stop biting. This is very different from guard/attack breeds, which were designed to work with people - yes, grab the fleeing suspect and pull him down, but then release on a signal, and stop. And the flood of pit bulls over the past 20 years makes this a problem from hell. There just aren't that many Airedales or Akitas in circulation.


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  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by BLBGP View Post
    Way to lump us all together. True pit bull advocates have no problems with humanely euthanizing dogs who are not emotionally, behaviorally, and mentally sound representatives of the breed. You'll never see a place like Bad Rap or a good, open admission shelter argue that all pitties should be adopted into new homes no matter what.
    You lost me at Bad Rap. The name alone indicates they're part of the problem, by emphasizing the idea that the issue is misunderstood victims of media bias. And please - they're great for not arguing that pit bulls should go into every home? How about being realistic and admitting they should only go into rare homes? The same way you'd admit that, say, a Cane Corse or a Fila should only go into rare homes?


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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    That's very possible, considering that a huge number of "lab mixes" today are pit bulls. Go on Petfinder, and there are a lot of mixes that claim to be anything but pit bull, and are clearly pit bulls. My favorite evasion by irresponsible shelter staff is the Dalmation mix.

    Spotted pit bull mix = Dalmation mix
    Leggy black pit bull mix = Lab mix
    Reddish pit bull mix with slightly longer hair = Chow mix
    Mottled/merled pit bull mix = Catalouha mix
    Black-and-white pit bull mix with slightly longer fur = Border Collie mix
    Small pit bull mix = Boston Terrier mix
    Pit bull mix with longish nose = Boxer mix
    Large pit bull mix = mastiff mix



    The reason the pit bulls get banned while, say, Airedales or GSDs are not, is not because they were developed with some levels of aggression desired. It's because of their kill record. There's no other way to say it. The aggression in "fighting" breeds may be the same as in a guard or attack breed, but the outcome is almost always different - in the worst cases, a bad bite versus a catastrophic one. Pit bulls were designed to ignore pain and external cues, to become one purpose in a "fight" - to not stop biting. This is very different from guard/attack breeds, which were designed to work with people - yes, grab the fleeing suspect and pull him down, but then release on a signal, and stop. And the flood of pit bulls over the past 20 years makes this a problem from hell. There just aren't that many Airedales or Akitas in circulation.
    I agree that mislabeling is a sign of an irresponsible shelter.

    But since we're talking BSL I do have to point out there are countries with BSL on german shepherds, rotties, dobermans, and the like. And BSL was discussed on all those breeds here in the states when they were the drug/gang dogs of choice in the 70s and 80s. The "bad guys" just moved on the f*ing with another breed.
    Last edited by BLBGP; May. 16, 2013 at 10:56 PM. Reason: clarity



  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    You lost me at Bad Rap. The name alone indicates they're part of the problem, by emphasizing the idea that the issue is misunderstood victims of media bias. And please - they're great for not arguing that pit bulls should go into every home? How about being realistic and admitting they should only go into rare homes? The same way you'd admit that, say, a Cane Corse or a Fila should only go into rare homes?
    Thanks for taking one (two?) words and discounting my whole post. BADRAP stands for Bay Area Dog Lovers Responsible About Pit Bulls. The believe strongly in responsible ownership, owner education, CGC titles, etc. They don't believe a pit bull should be in every home.


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  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post
    You lost me at Bad Rap. The name alone indicates they're part of the problem, by emphasizing the idea that the issue is misunderstood victims of media bias.
    Actually, they are realistic advocates for the dogs. They don't hesitate to acknowledge that the Pit Bull is not the breed for everyone, that you do have to have realistic expectations and you have to be responsible. They do a really good job of educating the adopting public on how best to be good owners, and they often speak up on the whole, "All they need is love" belief and stress how that doesn't do anyone any good.
    Sheilah


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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by vacation1 View Post

    Pit bulls were designed to ignore pain and external cues, to become one purpose in a "fight" - to not stop biting. This is very different from guard/attack breeds, which were designed to work with people - yes, grab the fleeing suspect and pull him down, but then release on a signal, and stop. And the flood of pit bulls over the past 20 years makes this a problem from hell. There just aren't that many Airedales or Akitas in circulation.
    Really Vacation? A problem from hell? Do you have any clue about how many GOOD pit bulls are out there? No, you don't. Why? Because the media who educates you, rarely does stories about the good dogs.
    The media's job is to get ratings and that is it. They couldn't care less about facts. In a peer reviewed paper, it was determined that there was no way to conclusively state that several dogs were in fact, pit bulls despite being reported as such. Do you ever see retractions from the media saying "We were wrong. It was a black lab or some other dog"? No, you don't.

    I cannot believe that ANYONE can believe that a breed ban is going to stop the dog biting problem. A breed ban WILL punish those responsible owners who DO properly socialize their dogs because we follow the laws.
    A breed ban will NOT discourage dog fighters. After all, the dog fighters are ALREADY breaking the law by dog fighting. None of the pit bull detractors has spoken about this.
    IdahoRider, please don't take my blunt writing style as anger at you. At least you appear to be willing to listen to what those of us with these dogs have to say. It is greatly appreciated!


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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by oliverreed View Post
    Holding the owners of these particular dogs responsible would be great. But what do you want to bet that they don't have insurance that would cover it/don't have money or other assets?
    Make it a criminal offense.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



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    it already is. If your dog causes damage or bites people or kills other dogs, guess who is responsible? the owner. You can get charged with homicide if your dog kills someone. Might want to head to training class after thinking that one over. Dog fighting is also illegal. Owners who can't manage to keep their dogs from harming others need to think about what they are doing. Any signs of aggression are not acceptable, towards dogs or people, and need to be dealt with. People are totally irrational on the subject- they want Fido to "protect them", but then get mad when Fido acts on this desire.

    Breed bans are ridiculous primarily because it's frequently impossible to identify what breed(s) the dog is. Current identification systems rely on useless visual cues. Have you ever noticed that labs and pitbulls look rather similar? chunky, big heads. Labs have double coats. Any chunky big headed dog with a smooth coat is going to be dubbed a pit bull, and double coat, it'll be a lab. Unless it bites someone, in which case it immediately gets dubbed a pitbull.
    It's stupid. The debate is about the wrong issue- we need to get rid of dog fighting, and stop breeding for dog aggression, and stop using dogs as weapons. And stop being so unrealistic about dogs.


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    We need to punish the people who own fighting dogs (and who attend dog fights and bet on them.) Because the only people who obey breed bans or special licensing will be the people who already don't own aggressive dogs or participate in illegal activities.

    As far as punitive spay/neuter laws, that won't cut down on much. Our rescue group here volunteered as traffic control and scribes (filling out forms) at the county shelter discount vaccine clinic. Lots of people came in with intact dogs, lots of them were also getting/renewing licenses, and they just paid the four-times-higher fee for an unaltered animal. In one case an adorable pittie-type puppy got surrendered because they had two and couldn't afford the license fees or neutering for both. You can't force every single person, even those who do license and vaccinate, to spay/neuter unless you want to enforce that by SEIZING dogs from people who don't comply.


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