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Bully Breeds
By Kelly Needham


September 08, 2006

Once again, I have been misunderstood. I am responding to Mr. Moyers' last letter and to bring to light a little more information about bully breeds.

Where exactly did I attribute human characteristics to dogs in my letter? I didn't. What I did write about is that breed specific legislature alone is insufficient in determining risk potential, just as race specific legislature would be insufficient in determining risk potential of individuals. Nowhere does that even imply that dogs have human characteristics. It is simply a comparison of classifications.

Pit Bull Terrier breeds have always working place in modern society and continue to have a working place today. The Pit Bull was used to represent the US in WW1. Companies like RCA and Buster Brown Shoe Company used Pit Bulls as their mascots. In the t.v show Our Gang (later known as The Little Rascals), the starring dog was Petie,(Lucaney's Peter, the first dually registered Pit Bull/Staffordshire Terrier). A Pit Bull Mix named Stubby became a decorated WW1 hero and inspired the formation of the K9 corps. Today, Pit Bulls are employed as police/armed services dogs, search and rescuers, therapy workers, service dogs and livestock workers. They compete (and excel) in all organized dog sports, from agility to conformation to herding to obedience to flyball to weight pulling, and bite sports like Schutzhund and French Ring.

If bully breeds were never meant to be on a leash, walking on a sidewalk, then no dog was. Pit Bull Terriers are as much a part of American history as anything else we have chosen to represent the US.

"While 30 Staffords may never exhibit the genetic behavior of their forefathers......." -Mr. Moyer

I cannot disagree with this statement strongly enough. In the early 1800's, a very strong bite INHIBITION towards humans was bred into this line of dogs. This was done so that handlers could reach into a pit and seperate dogs without worrying about receiving a redirected bite. So it can be said that although this breed has the genetic disposition to NOT be aggresive towards humans, what is does have is a genetic diposition to be aggresive towards other dogs. This breed is well known for its loving devotion and trustworthy nature with humans.

".....even if one does, and a child is mauled because of it, then the genetics of the breed are more of a liability than society can tolerate." -Mr. Moyer

With the logic of this last half of this statement, the genetics of EVERY BREED OF DOG is seemingly more of a liability than society can tolerate. According to the CDC, since 1975 more than 30 breeds have been cited for being responsible for fatal human attacks. These breeds include Collies, Dachshunds, Labrador Retreivers, Yorkshire Terriers, Alaskan Malamutes, Chow-Chows, and Great Danes to name a few. These are just a few examples of breed that have caused death to humans in attacks, and in no way represent the many breeds involved in non-fatal attacks to humans.

Up until the last 30 years, Bull and Terriers breeds have been a prominent dog of choice for households in America, households that did indeed have children present. Unfortunatley, the historic fighting ability of this all American breed has been exploited on a large scale since the 1980's. This breed soon after became associated with poverty, crime and newspaper headlines. For the FIRST TIME in this breeds history, we began to hear accounts of attacks on humans by badly bred and poorly socialized "pitbulls". The press went wild, the public panicked and the reputation of an entire breed was destroyed with sensationalistic headlines and a few rotten examples owned by irresponsible owners.

Kelly Needham
Anchorage, AK - USA



Related Viewpoint:

letter Pit Bulls By Michael Moyer - Ketchikan, AK - USA



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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Sitnews.


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