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
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.
Anchorage, AK - USA
Bulls By Michael Moyer - Ketchikan, AK - USA
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