Charles Danten, former veterinarian
Going to the root of things is always a good idea
if you really intend to change things.
Let’s start with pit bull advocate Anne-Marie Goldwater’s delirious statement: “We use derogatory words to identify a certain subgroup of dogs which does not form a ‘race.’ Like blacks, Latinos, Arabs... these aren't races. Just like there is only one race, the race of human beings, there is only one ‘race’ of dogs, it's called dog: canis lupus familiars.”(1)
Not so, Ms. Goldwater. The dog is in fact a domesticated subspecies of the wolf, itself divided into more than 450 breeds or variants, easily identified by their morphology (phenotype) and able to predictably produce offspring true to type. No one has ever seen a couple of registered pit bulls such as the american staffordshire terrier produce a litter of poodles.
Breeds in dogs, just like races in humans (2)(3), are an inescapable reality, and this reality is not limited to appearances, but also concerns behavior.
Genes Versus Training
People often say: “there are no bad dogs, but only bad masters.” Bill Bruce, for example, the deceased author of the current canine municipal regulations of the city of Calgary, was a staunch believer of the above saying as the following quote demonstrates: “We believe that canine aggression is essentially a human problem, and if we solve the problem at its source, the canine problem will resolve by itself.” (4)
This is in fact, the solution that was recently adopted by our present liberal government: more surveillance and the obligation by dog owners to keep their pets on a leash, but without a muzzle, in the case of pit bulls. In other words, since breeds and behavior are a social construct, it would be unjust to discriminate against one or another canine.
But would it really be unjust? Of course not! As most honest breeders, agronomists, and veterinarians can tell you, genes play an important role in aggressiveness, even if the acquired or training aspect of behaviour also matters. (5) All dogs are not born equal. The favorite saying of the pro pit bull advocates, copy-pasted from Jean Jacques Rousseau's preposterous theory of the noble savage, “there are no bad dogs, but only bad masters,” is completely untrue. Depending on the breed and purpose, breeders will select at birth or shortly after, the most docile specimens of a litter for company, and the more aggressive ones, for protection. The others are sold for reproduction to a puppy mil or simply culled.
Does this mean that all pit bull dogs are dangerous? No. An undetermined number is not (see below). But since there is presently no test for effectively separating the wheat from the chaff, it would be safer to banish them all together. These born killers have a very heavy genetic past. They were made by mating extremely aggressive breeds that were selected for thousands of generations for their gameness, strength, overdeveloped predator instinct, high pain threshold, and impulsiveness. These factors combined with the incredible power of their jaws cause extremely serious injuries. Furthermore, pit bull attacks are by definition unpredictable and incredibly violent.
The most dangerous pit bulls are those that are trained to be aggressive by mostly ill-reputed individuals, such as drug dealers or gang members or even ordinary persons who like to scare or intimidate others. Although law prohibits them, dogfights still occur and dogs are still bred for this purpose. Only the most aggressive dogs are used while the other less performing subjects are sold on the market where there is a high demand for pit bulls. Others are sold to breeders, both black market and legal, where they are reproduced cheap by the dozens without any consideration for their behaviour traits as long as they are true to type. Unsuspecting clients end up buying these Jekyll and Hyde's without knowing where they come from. Many of these dogs are quite innocent looking until the day they change without warning into the monsters they really are.
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