Is it just me? Or are there more “pit bulls” in peril now than ever before? It seems to me that every day I am sent yet another petition for yet another “pit bull” on death row somewhere in the world. I sign them all of course, but in the back of my mind I wonder why so few of us seem to find this indiscriminate killing of animals for their looks to be a disturbing trend. Then I remember, this isn’t a new thing. It is estimated that over a thousand “pit bulls” have been murdered in the province of Ontario in the past seven years! That’s a thousand beautiful animals slaughtered for nothing more than their physiology.
It is not that it is happening more, it is simply that the death of Lennox in Northern Ireland last month has drawn international attention to the plight of “pit bulls” living in areas of the world in which BSL exists. More people are speaking out, and more main stream news services are reporting on these cases. Lennox, it would seem was the poster dog for Anti-BSL. His legacy has been to draw attention to the mass murder going on everywhere BSL exists. Lennox has united the world against BSL.
Today I am obviously on a bit of a rant. I am trying so hard not to become discouraged by the recent numbers of animals fighting for their lives because of their looks. I would like to believe that we are an enlightened bunch. I would like to believe that we all understand that the way a dog looks does not determine it’s temperament. I know that as a society we are not thusly enlightened. I still argue with people that think a snarling snapping Chihuahua is “cute” yet would report a snarling snapping “pit bull” type dog as aggressive. They look at me like I have two heads when I insist the behavior is cause for alarm no matter what the size or breed of the dog!
My point here folks is; ANY DOG CAN BITE! It makes no difference whether it looks like a “pit bull’ or a teacup Chihuahua, if it is a dog, it is capable of biting, plain and simple. I have been training the most difficult of rescue dogs for over twenty years, I don’t claim to be the Canadian Dog Whisperer or anything, (although some of my friends do jokingly call me the Dog Whisperer of the North) I just have a way with abused and abandoned dogs. No dog is a hopeless case, because it usually isn’t about the dog, it’s about what the dog lived with before coming to me.
“It’s about what the dog lived with, BEFORE coming to me.” Let’s look at that sentence for a moment. What exactly does it mean? It means, that a dogs temperament is molded by the way in which it is raised and treated. Raise it right with proper training and socialization, and it will be a good dog. Raise it without proper training and socialization, and you have an unstable animal no matter what it’s breed. In effect what this means is that improper handling will create a red zone dog. A red zone dog can be very dangerous. ANY dog can become a red zone dog, breed has nothing to do with it, and no one “breed” is any more likely to become red zone than another. Just for reference sake, a red zone dog is aggressive and unpredictable, and very dangerous.
There are many uneducated idiots out there that would have you believe that certain dogs are inherently vicious. They argue that these breeds have been bred to fight. Have been bred for aggression. Let’s address that for a moment, because it actually supports our argument that there are no bad dogs just bad owners. Whom are dogs bred by? HUMANS. Whom are dogs trained by? HUMANS. Whom are dogs kept by? HUMANS.
Hmmmm, it would seem that the common denominator here is HUMANS! Therefore HUMANS are responsible for creating aggressive dogs. So tell me again, why is society blaming the dog? Why are our beloved family pets being wiped out by the witch hunt that is BSL? The answer to that one is simple, humans are expert at placing the blame elsewhere.
Governments need to learn to look to the other end of the leash! BSL is not the answer!