Opinion

Pit bulls - taking the rap for irresponsible owners?

Pit bulls. Somehow, these dogs have got themselves a very shady reputation, and, for those that do not own the breed, the bad rep they have got for themselves is going to be hard to shake.

There have been a number of high profile news stories where pit bulls have attacked people, and when a certain breed is making the news in such a negative way, it doesn’t take long for mud to stick and for people to start asking for a ban on the breed. The Free Press has been receiving letters from pit bull owners saying they have witnessed no aggression from their pets, following a letter from someone who had their dog attacked by a pit bull in Elkford.

Pit bull owners argue that it is not the breed of dog that is at fault, rather the breed of owner. Any neglected dog is going to misbehave. Any dog that is taught to be aggressive (or not taught to be passive) will be aggressive. Every breed will have a few “bad apples,” but it just happens that pit bulls are a very common breed, so there will obviously be more rotten ones. Plus, kilo for kilo, Pit Bulls have the advantage over Chihuahuas. An attack by an angry Pomeranian is unlikely to make the front page.

The real solution here is not to blame the entire breed, but rather each dog that is a problem, regardless of breed.

Dog owners should be held responsible for their animal’s behaviour.

If incompetent and irresponsible dog owners are the target of legislation, the number of poorly bred and reared dogs would decrease, resulting in better breed stability and elimination of vicious animals.

The manner in which you raise your dog ultimately determines what kind of dog you will have.

Dog owners must realize the key role that socialization and training play in the development of the temperament of their dogs. If, after socialization and training, your dog still doesn’t particularly care for other dogs, then don’t put him in a situation where he could get into trouble. Be a responsible owner.

 

 

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