The Pit Bull Issue - A Reply
Staysea recently posted an article on her blog about the 'Pit Bull problem'
I've been asked recently why I haven't commented on the Ontario governments idea to ban Pit Bulls. To be honest with you I haven't commented because I think the whole business is a piece of garbage and theyll never pass province wide breed discriminatory legislation. I am, however, commenting because the experience Jason and I had tonight while out walking Happie made me realize the situation is much worse than I had thought. Not everyone is dismissing the issue as nonsense like I am.
Hopefully some good will come out of this issue being brought to the governments attention. Most likely the legislation that will result from this will be new laws and stricter enforcement/sentencing for people who own and train aggressive dogs of any breed.
Problem comes in during enforcement of laws. I don't think they can because of illegal breeding (aka Puppy Mills) exist now and nothing rarely gets done about it. Pits come in from the states that were bread for actual bit fighting -- a hobby for some less than well-to-do people in Detroit.
I don't think out right banning of this breed is going to work either, we don't believe in the death penalty for known rapists and murders but we are willing to kill thousands of possibly innocent dogs at the tip of a hat? I'm not cool with that. I'm also unsure of what a dog registry is going to do, why does whenever an issue come up they think a registry is going to fix it? Can someone explain the logic there?
I also think that charging owners for their dogs behavior may not work well either. If an owner adopts a dog that was brought in from the states -- lets say one of those dogs that was trained and participated in pit fighting -- and the dog was deemed rehabilitated so it was safe to be adopted. Now that dog has a bad day and strikes out, is that really the owners fault? More often than not a dog is perfectly loyal to its dog owner, and they may never know the true aggressive nature of their dog. Owners who train/breed aggressive dogs need to be dealt with, but blanket laws that are too wide in scope might punish the innocent.
So what do we do then? Honestly I think we need to do something... Licenses not just for our pet(s) but for pet ownership(aka mandatory dog training at a certified establishment) ?, stricter import laws of 'aggressive breeds'?, properly enforce and charge puppy-mills and dog trainers who train for aggressive purposes. I think these could all help.
Now I'm going to say something that may contract all I said above, I don't mean to... Shannon and I picked Brittany Spaniels for our pets for a number of reasons I wont go into here, but what I will say is that I can't train Watson's pointing capabilities out of him, nor either of there energy levels (although sometimes I wish I could :)) What I'm trying to say is that if you think that you can train out what centuries of breeding has put in, then you may be sorely mistaken - pun not intended.