Thursday, April 14, 2011

Anecdotal Pit Bull #16, 17, 18, 19, 20

More examples of dogs that would be targeted by breed specific legislation simply because of the way they look, not the way they act.

If we used BSL-type logic at the clinic, we'd waste a lot of time "protecting" ourselves from friendly/neutral/nondangerous dogs. And not enough time looking for behavioral signs that a dog (any dog) might injure us.

Lacey
Lacey is a 6-year-old spayed female rescue dog. She's possibly a catahoula mix, but who knows. With her smooth coat and head shape, she would definitly be targeted by BSL as a "pit bull type" dog. She is owned by a co-worker who also has three young children that Lacy loves and gets along wonderfully with. Lacey has killed cats in the past, and can be cranky with the other two dogs that live in the same house. She recently came into the clinic to be treated for a broken toe. She hates being held down to have it bandaged, but never shows aggression.



C
This pathetic face belongs to a 6-month-old neutered male pit bull terrier. His family (husband, wife, toddler) doesn't speak very much English, and my Spanish is too rusty for me to ask many other questions about him. All I can tell you is that he is incredibly friendly to all people he meets.


F
This is a 7-year-old spayed female American Staffordshire Terrier. In this photo she's in considerable pain from arthritis in her neck. She's a well-loved family dog. She never acted aggressive as we handled her to examine and take x-rays.



S
This ridiculous, neutered male dog is, according to owner, an Alapaha Blue Bulldog. At nearly 90 lbs, he's certainly much larger than any pit bulls I've seen, but because of his short hair and head shape, he would without a doubt be targeted as a "pit bull type" dog by BSL. He was in for a minor lump removal surgery and aside from being a leash puller, acted very nicely for everyone. He has the kind of face I want to smoosh.



T
When you first see Toby, the first thing you think is "rottweiler mix of some kind". His huge blocky head, short hair, wide set front legs and deep chest would easily fool anyone who didn't know his ancestry. He is actually half boxer, half black lab. He is one of the goofiest dogs I've ever met, and that's saying something. He's been at the clinic for almost a week now, and we have to shove pills down his throat twice daily, and hold him in the sink to flush his wound once daily. It sometimes takes 2-3 people to hold him, but he's never aggressive. I've personally had my hand up to the wrist in his giant gullet several times and at no point did I fear losing it.

17 comments:

mb. said...

we have a staffordshire/German shorthair pointer mix. When people ask if he is a pit bull we say No, he's a Grand Coeur Galoot. Mostly they just say Oh, he looks like a pitbull, but he's so friendly. Right.

CyborgSuzy said...

If BSL came to your area, it wouldn't matter if you renamed your dog's breed or if your dog was friendly. Short hair and that head shape would be enough. Many people have had their dogs confiscated even when they knew the parents were, say, lab and boxer.

Retrieverman said...

Cat killing dogs catch all kinds of flak.

The dog at the bottom looks like my late cat-killer.

CyborgSuzy said...

Cat killing is definitely separate from aggression towards humans, or no one would be able to own a terrier of any type.

DubV said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DubV said...

You said it all, ANECDOTAL pit bull. Are you attempting to disprove a generalization based upon a handful of counterexamples?

CyborgSuzy said...

The implied (or baldly stated) claims made by anti-pit bull people are exactly the type of over-arching generalization/stereotype that are easily refuted by examples such as these.

"Pit bulls are dangerous"
"Pit bulls are aggressive"
"Pit bulls don't make good pets"
"Nice families don't own pit bulls"
"Pit bull owners are all dogfighters/don't vaccinate/don't spay/neuter"

My "handful" of examples are just tiny when added to the multitudes out there.

CyborgSuzy said...

Oh, I forgot to remind you, since your reading comprehension obviously needs some work. As I stated a few posts ago, my main goal with this "Anecdotal Pit Bull" series was to showcase normal, everyday pets that would be harassed or killed if BSL came to the area simply because of their looks, not because of dangerous behavior. Being as I handle these dogs while they're under stress and pain, I'm in a position to make an educated assessment if they should be given a blanket designation of "dangerous".

You'll note that most of the dogs I post are unregistered, mixes containing pit bull, or mixes without any pit bull at all but that just look like they might.

DubV said...

Suzy, no reason to be insulting. I did not bother digging into past posts of yours. I'm sorry to insult your sensibilities by not making reading your blog a higher priority.

You are incorrect that anecdotes disprove generalizations. They do not. They would disprove UNIVERSAL statements, however. Universal statements and generalizations are not the same thing. What you listed are universal statements and not generalizations. It's interesting that generalization and stereotype has acquired a pejorative sense. I hope you realize that it is absolutely necessary to human thought to generalize. Relating to the matter at hand, dog breeds were created specifically so that you could generalize about aspects of form, function, and behavior. So generalizing about dog breeds is kind of the point.

No credible people, like the people taking your arguments apart on the skeptifem blog, are making universal statements about pit bulls. If you pretend that they are, and therefore that your anecdotes refute what they say, then you are constructing a strawman and being dishonest or just incognizant. Go ahead and refute universal statements if it makes you happy, but it should not be convincing to anyone able to think through the issue.

DubV said...

"Being as I handle these dogs while they're under stress and pain, I'm in a position to make an educated assessment if they should be given a blanket designation of "dangerous"."

One day the world will be so enlightened that they will just take Suzy's word for things like this. However, until the dawning of that golden age, we will be forced to look at data and the account of many people, understand breed genetics, ponder our own experiences as well, and think for ourselves.

CyborgSuzy said...

This is pretty typical of conversations with anti-pit bull haters.

1) They make some kind of unsupported claim about pit bulls.
2) Someone who knows more than them about dogs gives real-world examples that refute the claim.
3) Pit bull hater shifts the goal posts and say that "anecdotes prove nothing"

CyborgSuzy said...

"One day the world will be so enlightened..."

DubV (or Dude, or whichever sockpuppet I'm speaking to at this point), these dogs I post in my "Anecdotal Pit Bull" series are normal family pets that, if BSL were to be enacted where I live, would be labeled "pit bull type dogs" therefore "dangerous" because of the way they look and not their behavior. This is an asinine waste of time and money to ignore the real dangerous dogs out there in order to focus on what these dogs looks like. That's the point that you keep missing.

DubV said...

"This is pretty typical of conversations with anti-pit bull haters.

1) They make some kind of unsupported claim about pit bulls.
2) Someone who knows more than them about dogs gives real-world examples that refute the claim.
3) Pit bull hater shifts the goal posts and say that "anecdotes prove nothing""

Again, you are refuting someone who says something along the lines of "I was attacked by a pit bull and so they are all dangerous dogs".

You are picking the weakest argument (or arguer) out of the pack to confront. I will maintain that anecdotal evidence proves nothing. Anecdotes cancel each other out, so good job on that. So, there is no shifting of the goal post here. As far as your real world experience, it is narcissistic to say "trust me, I know". Again, someone else who claims the same experience but with a different conclusion cancels you. Everyone is an expert on the internet these days.

There have been multiple studies showing that pit bulls are disproportionately represented among severe bites. This would be predicted based upon what they have been selectively bred to do.

DubV said...

"DubV (or Dude, or whichever sockpuppet I'm speaking to at this point),"

I guess I deserve this type of treatment for coming to your blog and daring to disagree with you. I'll just point out that the way you write actually discredits you to some degree.

I personally am less concerned about BSL, I am more concerned about misinformation being spread about this breed that compromises the ability of people to make an informed decision.

CyborgSuzy said...

"I am more concerned about misinformation being spread about this breed that compromises the ability of people to make an informed decision."

Funny that. So am I!

CyborgSuzy said...

"There have been multiple studies..."

Again, all the breed-based bite statistics have the same flaw. There's no dog breed census out there, so how do you put those numbers in perspective (even if breed identification were not an issue)?

Even if that weren't true, the same studies you cite show that more mixed-breed dogs bite than all "pit bull types" combined.

"This would be predicted based upon what they have been selectively bred to do."

Pit bulls aren't bred to bite humans. Not even the fighting-bred ones. Pick a different talking point, or cite your source.

DubV said...

How about this

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19644273

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/dog1.pdf

and this

http://www.dogsbite.org/pdf/1979-1998-breeds-dogs-involved-in-fatal-human-attacks-us.pdf

the last is a link to a CDC study, so don't let the first part of the URL fool you.


Suzy, what you need to do is look at the percentage of deadly bites from each group. One group would be pit bulls. Then you estimate what percentage of the dog population is a pit bull. Then you divide the first number by the second. This ratio informs you of the increased risk for the breed. When you have serious bites being over 50% pit bull, only a fool believes that 50% or more of the dog population are pit bulls. The reason some breeds (like labs) and mixes are in there with numbers even close to pits is that mixes and more popular breeds vastly outnumber pit bulls. The little ratio trick will show you this result.

The several breeds called pit bulls were ALL selectively bred to fight dogs. Asking me for a citation on that is like asking me to define a simple word or asking if balsa wood is more dense than lead. It does not reflect on me, but your lack of reading on the subject.

Pit bulls were selectively bred for explosive, dog-directed aggression, dead gameness, and a deadly hold and shake bite style.

People are often attacked while defending their animals. Also, the pit bulls' natural dog aggression misfires often (as evidenced by perusing media accounts which you seem to swear off). So, the meme that "manbiters were culled" is not only disputed but also not assuring human safety. I say continue culling manbiters, but that often results in a candle light vigil and copious donations to Bad Rap.

If you look around, many animals attack non-target species. The more seriously they can affect a target species, the more so for non-target species as well.

Do you deny that pit bulls were bred for dog-directed aggression? If you do, everyone except "fur mommies" and "rescue angels" will laugh (including the more responsible and knowledgable pit bull owners). You either will deny that the breed was created to fight or maybe you don't care.