Posts Tagged ‘Dog breed’

Lights Camera Action!!

Posted: April 3, 2013 in Pit Bulls
Tags: , , , , ,

So today I saw an interview that was recently aired on the news. They had a woman and her pit bull mix on the show to be interviewed and asked their opinion on whether pit bulls were dangerous dogs or if  the person holding the leash was to blame. You guys know how I feel on this issue. The person holding the leash is responsible period. The dog is either doing what you have taught it to do or what you allow it to.

I held my breath. The truth is a lot of people when it comes to pit bulls tend to say things damaging to the breed and the notion that pit bulls are no different from a German Sheppard or strong breed of dog. Most of the time these people are totally well-meaning it’s just the way they phrase things or a blanket statement. For instance don’t mix pit bulls with other dogs or small dogs for that matter. My small dog has lived all her life with pit bulls and has never had a problem (she currently lives with 3). Does that mean all pit bulls will tolerate small dogs, no. But I know plenty that do well with other dogs and for that matter animals in general.  I thought she did a really good job fielding the questions and answering them in a responsible educated manner. Even better was the interviewer Manu Raj who drew some pretty good conclusions. First being that any animal abused and mistreated has the potential to become aggressive. He has cats and compared it to that. If he mistreated his cats and taught them to react to humans aggressively it isn’t going to be a huge surprise when they act aggressively towards people. It was refreshing to see someone in the media not attempt to garner views by asking negative questions or tying to provoke an argument. He had an open and honest way of asking his questions, that showed he honestly just wanted to know. He had no hidden agenda. He also touched on another key subject. Kids and proper interactions with pets. Again he used a scenario relevent to his life. His young nephew liked to pull his cat’s tail. When he did this the cat scratched him. Manu made an excellent point saying it is not the cats fault but the parents for not teaching the children proper interactions with cats and other animals. So I wonder in many of these children dog bite cases in what manner did the child approach the dog? It’s a shame parents don’t educate their children more about dogs and the proper way to approach and greet a dog. I mean imagine if someone just walked up and grabbed your ears and nose. Chances are you’d react in a negative manner. Some dogs are more tolerant than others it comes down to temperament not breed. It was awesome to see someone in the media with this kind of thinking. It was also amazing to see both of them paint the “pit bull” in a positive light. So cheers to both of you and hopefully we’ll end BSL in Ontario in 2013.



So today I was having a bit of a hard time deciding on a topic. I had spent a few weeks before starting this blog getting ideas together for posts. My goals are to talk about pit bulls in a good light, my fostering experience, and the BSL here in Ontario. Sadly I read an article that again painted pit bulls in a negative light and unjustly so. If you’d like to read it you can click here. These were my thoughts.

The article leads with  that the attack was un provoked as many do. Dog language can be subtle and more than likely it was missed dog language that lead to the attack. It is something that people commonly  miss out on. It could have been as something as small as a lip curl or one dog displaying another subtle form of dominance. At times the body language can be very hard to pick up on.

The article goes on to paint a pretty vivid and negative image of pit bulls. The story is that she was walking by a group of men who “called out at her”. The next thing she knew there was a un muzzled “pit bull shaking her small dog every which way”. Let me say in no way am I excusing or condoning what happened here. Everytime a dog bites someone  it is tragic. A bite usually comes from a negative situation from both sides human and dog. The article goes on to say the man fled and the police are still searching for him and his “pit bull”. I have to ask this. During the chaos of a dog attack how was this person, whose profession is not identifying dogs, properly identify that this dog was a “pit bull”. Shelters are wrong 87.5% of the time when identifying dogs. These are trained professionals who have time to examine each dog not just a look during a moment of complete mayhem. It makes me think about a dog we had in BIN named Guinness. He was labeled a pit bull when he is actually a swiss mountain dog. So I wonder how in the mix of all the chaos and a dog fight that this person was able to positively identify that this dog was  pit bull. It may have been one or not but the point is here are pit bulls in the media being portrayed as a “snarling mass of muscle and teeth”. The authorities stated that if it was a pit bull it should have been muzzled not committing either way. Yet the article says pit bull over 5 times.

I did some research into dog bites and the articles that surround them. Many dog attack articles sight that the attacking dog was a “pit bull” or “pit bull mix”. Many of the police reports accompanying these attacks site no breed of dog at all. So I wonder where did this magical pit bull come from. Well let’s face it a small dog biting someone’s hand and the person requiring 5-10 stitches is no headline grabber. On the contrast a head line like “Pit Bull Mauls Man, requires 50 stitches” pulls people in and grabs readers. It’s a shame that so many journalists are being so irresponsible and ruining the reputation of a whole breed just to entertain readers. On average pit bulls score much better on temperament tests than many other “family dogs”. Lilly has grown up with pit bulls her whole life.  In many instances there is no hard evidence  at all  to support that  the attacking dog was in fact a pit bull. In many cases it seems some writer took it upon themselves to just assume what kind of dog it was. If this author was reporting on  a plane crash  I find it hard to believe that people would be so understanding of falsifying facts just to gain headlines.

I’ve said it in my past posts that pit bulls fall into what I believe are power breeds of dogs. These guys require the extra mile in most cases. Some popular ones including Dobermanns, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Mastiffs. Many of these breeds at one time or another were subject to BSL laws in the past. Not everyone has what it takes to responsibly own one. Many people buy dogs to selfishly fulfill something inside themselves or portray an image never thinking about what the dogs needs are. What the article fails to do is place the responsiblity where it belongs on the owner. They talked about his tattered clothes as if that had anything to do with his out of control dog or maybe it was to add to the negative image many people have of pit bull owners.  Today it seems as if people just get dogs and assume that they will behave with little to no effort on their part. Or maybe that they should behave because we humans are “in charge”. They couldn’t be more wrong. When we get a dog we are making a commitment to giving a dog what it needs to feel fulfilled each day. It is our responsibility to train them show them rules, boundaries, discipline (which is different from punishment), and appropriate interactions with the world around them. I guess it’s just a shame people aren’t more responsible with their pets and journalists with their words. Both create a bad image for a loyal and loving breed of dog.

2013-03-27 22.07.17

Thought I’d include a picture of one of those “snarling masses of muscle”.