Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The "All in the Owner" fallacy

I was originally going to put this in the comments as a response, but I am so sick of hearing this garbage that I thought I would address it in a post instead.  Someone answered a story posted in the comments about a pit bull suddenly, and without provocation, attacking a child it had been raised with in her bed because it was aroused by the squeak of a stuffed toy by saying that "all breeds do this and it is only a matter of how you raise them".

What a load of garbage.  You could tie my loving retriever cross under a porch for 7 years and beat her with a board 3 times a day, and I could NEVER make her harm a child.   She came out of a scenario not much different than that before she was rescued, yet she doesn't have an ounce of aggression toward anyone or anything, no matter how many unfamiliar squeaks she is peppered with.  This nonsense is an affront to every wonderful dog that was ever neglected and abused and then rescued and loved and TRUSTED.  Most normal dogs would NEVER intentionally harm the people they live with.  A dog snapping at someone to convey a message is a far cry from a pit bull latching on to an arm and beginning the shake and hold, with the full intention of killing the victim.  Normal dogs DO NOT attempt to kill their social partners, no matter HOW they are raised.  

If irresponsible pet ownership is "where the problem lies" then we should see serious attacks and maulings in numbers that EXACTLY reflect the breed numbers in a given area.  Irresponsible ownership is not breed specific so if a given area has 70% sporting breeds (which is typical), then sporting breeds should be responsible for 70% of the severe and fatal attacks.  This is NOT the case, anywhere.   Serious attacks are never proportional to breed numbers, they are always biased toward fighting breeds.

In Calgary, by Bill Bruce's own admission and documentation, pit bulls lead the serious bite count with 13% of the city's serious bites attributable to pit bulls, yet pit bulls account for less than 1% of the city's dogs.   In fact, pit bulls are responsible for nearly as many serious bites (13%) as the ENTIRE sporting breeding category (15%), which includes all of the most popular breeds (Labs, Goldens, Poodles, Spaniels, etc) and houses 70% of Calgary's dogs.   Why aren't these breeds attacking in the face of irresponsible ownership?

What a crock.  It IS the breed.  Sometimes the owner contributes, and let's face it, human garbage likes to own a pit bull, but it is the breed that is the problem.   When you breed dogs to override every social instinct and attempt to fatally injure social partners you get dogs that are genetically dangerous.  It isn't rocket science.  And Calgary, at the mercy of Bruce and his influx of pit bulls, will learn that lesson in the coming years.