END BSL… Breed Discrimination in America
Lies, negative stereotypes and myths
In the book Pit Bull Placebo by Karen Delise discusses how dogs of various breeds have been demonized since the 1800’s. People’s perception of ‘dangerous dogs’ has changed over the centuries.
Consider the impact of these images imprinted upon the human psyche …
l. Eliza and her baby (Uncle Tom’s Cabin) being chased by snarling teeth gnashing Bloodhounds.
2. Super-predator Nazi guard Doberman Pinscher dogs became a symbol of cruelty
3. The Time Bomb Pit Bull depicted on the cover of Time magazine
“My kids are around pit bulls every day. In the ’70s they blamed Dobermans, in the ’80s they blamed German shepherds, in the ’90s they blamed the Rottweiler. Now they blame the pit bull.” Cesar Millan. “Pit bulls get a bad rap because of irresponsible owners.”
From the Pit Bull Placebo
“…for over half a century in between, 1920 to 1970, millions of Bulldogs, Bull Terriers, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and all their mixed breed cousins served Americans well in every possible capacity and circumstance.
‘…The first half of the 20th century finds new and different breeds involved in fatal/severe attacks. Collies, Boston Terriers, St. Bernards, Airedale Terriers, Great Danes, Chow chows, German police dogs (German Shepherds), Doberman Pinschers, and Huskies were only some of the new breeds seen in aggressive encounters with humans.”
A combination of the media’s need for scary pit bull stories (to sell papers), dog fighters using bully breeds for fighting, and society’s need to blame dogs for humanity’s problems have joined together to give the pit bull a very bad rap.
“…The early 1980s find the media continuously churning out emotionally charged articles about Pit bull anatomy and behaviors that were based on rumors, myths and unproven claims by both experts and laymen.
“When Pit bulls lost an arranged street fight they were subjected to unimaginable cruelty and violent deaths, because they became a source of embarrassment or failed to uphold the machismo image of their owners.”
“…In 2004 the media reported this Pit bull attacked and killed a 4-year-old boy. It was not reported that this chained, intact male dog was visibly underweight with numerous old scars on his head and neck. Veterinarian examination revealed the dog was heartworm positive, flea-infested, and suffering from internal parasites (hookworms). He was anemic with a low-grade fever and was diagnosed as having very poor body condition and muscle mass. Stress and wear marks along the teeth suggest the dog did not receive adequate nutrition during development. The dog was poorly socialized and very fearful.”
Elevate the conversation
Find the pit…
Many people have never met a pit bull and could not pick one out of a lineup such as this…
Pit bulls are not a breed of dog, there are numerous breeds all lumped together and called pit bull…American Pit Bull Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Bull Dogs, Bull Terriers or mixed breeds that have the appearance or characteristics of one of these breeds…
Does this make ANY sense?
There are NO incidents to date of a spayed/neutered indoor family pit bull ever having killed anyone.
…[S]ince 1975, dogs belonging to more than 30 breeds have been responsible for fatal attacks on people, including Dachshunds, a Yorkshire Terrier, and a Labrador Retriever.” (It’s also key to point out that you are more likely to be killed by lightening than a dog, and dog bites are at historic lows.)
Pit Bull: Fact or Fiction
1: Pit bulls are inherently dangerous, as the Maryland Court of Appeals recently labeled them.
It’s all in the upbringing, the socialization, and how their owners treat them.
German Shepherd Dog, American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT), and Rottweiler were tested using a bite sleeve equipped with a specialized computer instrument to measure bite pressure. The APBT had the least amount of pressure of the 3 dogs tested. (Source: Dr. Brady Barr of National Geographic)
“There is no scientific evidence that one kind of dog is more likely than another to injure a human being than any other kind of dog.[i][ii] In fact, there is affirmative evidence to the contrary.[iii]
Numerous places have recently repealed their bans on pit bulls/bully breeds aka Breed Specific Legislation.
Cincinnati Ohio’s vicious dog ordinance, which previously made ownership of pit bulls within city limits illegal has been repealed.
DeKalb County ban repealed
2. Pit bulls have locking jaws that make it virtually impossible to separate a pit bull from people or animals they bite.
Fiction. There’s no scientific data to back that up. They’ve actually studied it and found that the pit bull skull is no different than any other dog. There’s no locking mechanism.
Dr. Lehr Brisbin of the University of Georgia wrote:
“The few studies which have been conducted of the structure of the skulls, mandibles and teeth of pit bulls show that, in proportion to their size, their jaw structure and thus its inferred functional morphology, is no different than that of any breed of dog. There is absolutely no evidence for the existence of any kind of “locking mechanism” unique to the structure of the jaw and/or teeth of the American Pit Bull Terrier.”
Pit bulls are unpredictable and more likely to bite people than other dogs.
Fiction. There are known factors that contribute to dogs of all breeds biting and becoming dangerous. If the dog is male, not neutered, kept chained or roams loose in a pack, etc.
Factors that affect a dog’s tendency toward aggression include reproductive status, sex, early experience and socialization/training. According to the Centers for Disease Control, these concerns are well-founded, given that:
More than 70 percent of all dog bite cases involve unneutered male dogs.
An unneutered male dog is 2.6 times more likely to bite than is a neutered dog.
A chained or tethered dog is 2.8 times more likely to bite than a dog not chained or tethered.
97 percent of dogs involved in fatal attacks on people in 2006 (the most recent year statistics are available) were not spayed/neutered.
A female dog usually chained with a litter of newborn puppies
Unsupervised dogs, roaming loose
All dogs, before they bite, give warning signals.
Three MOST aggressive breeds
The number one aggressive breed out of the 33 dogs surveyed, The Dachshund. Yes – the wiener dog. The study found that “one in five dachshunds have bitten or tried to bite strangers, and a similar number have attacked other dogs; one in 12 have snapped at their owners.”
“Number two on the list is an even more diminutive breed – the Chihuahua, while Jack Russells came in third.
“The researchers say that the bite statistics that have been released in recent years are skewed because most dog bites are not reported. Big dog bites are more likely to require medical attention, but this does not mean that those breeds are doing the majority of the biting.”
4. Pit bulls are good with children.
Fact. Pit bulls were considered the nanny dog. Consider ‘The Little Rascals.’ Petey was a pit bull and he never hurt Alfalfa or any of the Little Rascals.
Adopting a pit bull
Of the 4 to 6 million dogs and cats still being killed in shelters each year, most – roughly 1.5 million – are pit bulls. The great majority of these are healthy, good natured and adoptable dogs.
Public and private agencies spend $2.5 billion each year caring for and /or killing homeless dogs and cats. Pit bulls represent one in four of all animals taken into shelters. More than 80 percent of pit bulls in shelters will die before their second birthday.
Some guidelines in adopting a pit bull…
1. Adopt a shelter or rescue org dog due to the above. Also, irresponsible breeders are only interested in your money, not dogs. (this goes for all breeds but especially pit bull type dogs).
2. The dog should be spayed/neutered and given obedience training (basic commands).
3. Are you equipped to give your dog an hour of exercise a day?
4. Do you have a home of your own? If not, make sure that your landlord is ok with your adopting a pit bull.
5. If you are going to keep your dog chained up as a lawn ornament, used as a guard dog, or to show off how macho you are, please do NOT adopt a pit bull. Bullies make terrible guard dogs, they love people too much. And w do not need any more irresponsible owners.
6. Do you have small children? NEVER leave your dog (of any breed) alone and unsupervised with a child.
7. Are you lifetime committed to give the dog a forever home?
8. Volunteer at a local shelter and get to know the dogs there before you adopt. Do some research and then decide what is right for you.
9. Consider fostering a pit bull before you adopt.
10. Do you have the time, energy and patience for a dog who wants to be with you and cuddle all the time?
Contact your local shelter and/or local pit bull rescue organizations to adopt.
Best Friends Animal Society
Shorty’s Pit Bull Rescue