Diva’s Domain – The Problem With Pitbulls
This is an entry that probably won’t make some folks happy. It surely doesn’t make me happy. I’ve been against breed discrimination for a long time, and continue to be. I don’t think any breed or type of dog should be banned or regulated on appearance.
Pitbull is a general term. It can include multiple purebreds as well as crosses and, increasingly, any short stocky dog with a boxy head. It might be an American Staffordshire terrier or a cross that has none in it. Last fall I wrote an entry about careless owners.
I’ve come to the conclusion recently the problem with (some) pitbulls is their owners. So how did that come about?
A friend in Illinois recently lost a beautiful Australian Shepherd. A dog who was a show dog, 4-H project, home companion and helper. Tucker was killed on his own farm by a group of roaming pitbulls. For her, foaling season is coming up, and these dogs not only eliminated her dog but pose a very real threat to the horses.
Then a few days ago another friend sent me a message on Facebook – a friend’s miniature horse had been attacked by a pitbull.
Last week a white and spotted pitbull was coming in front threatening to attack Chase (who was confined) before I stepped out to even the score.
Earlier this week two dogs, one the same pitbull, showed up in the back yard trying to get into the chickens and rabbits. When Paul went out to chase him off, the dog turned as if thinking about charging him. We now have two baseball bats in the back yard.
This morning those two dogs were back, and well into the back yard. Bella Sr. is standing guard at the back entry now by necessity. The dogs will be back, if not here at someone else’s. And someone will shoot them. And the owner will cry for her dog that “didn’t deserve to die”.
Yet the dog is allowed to roam. He’s found a roaming buddy, a black lab type dog. At about 50-60 pounds each they can do an incredible amount of damage if not checked. They could tear into cages and pens. They could injure our dogs. The black dog appeared to have an injured leg, so has already been ‘warned’ somewhere.
The problem with pitbulls, as I’m seeing, isn’t that they’re bad dogs. It’s that too many are in the hands of people who don’t train them, who allow them to determine their own actions or who have the illusion that their dog is so special that he’d never do anything wrong.
I’ve seen such comments that bring hoards of comments of “my dog is trained agility and around other animals” or “this dog is a pitbull and does Search and Rescue” or the fantastic job the Washington State Patrol has done with LawDogs, transforming high drive pitbulls to detection dogs for drugs or explosives.
And that paragraph is key. The dogs are TRAINED. They’re kept home. They’re not left to find their own entertainment. May there be a day that no dog is left to be killed for attacking livestock. The owner of the dog, or sometimes many owners, failed the dog by not properly training and directing the dog. If the owners of the dogs in the above incidents were serious, they’d prevent their dogs from ever repeating the actions again. They would no longer drag down the many good owners of pitbulls who do therapy training and equip them to serve as service dogs and keep them happy and home for life.
The problem with pitbulls is owners who don’t see what a pitbull can do, both good and bad. It’s the owners who deny their dog will do anything but do nothing to insure that is the case. It’s the owners who say “but any dog can bite/attack/be unruly” to justify their lack of action. Any dog can. But it’s not collies, setters, poodles or show dogs doing it.
It’s not breeders. It’s not the dog that barks from his own yard. It’s pitbulls with irresponsible owners. The problem with too many pitbulls isn’t breed, it’s lack of owner involvement. It draws attention over the many good owners and dogs, and results in negative stories, legislation and penalties against those good dogs and owners.
The owners causing it simply get another dog when their pitbull pays the price. Other animals pay with their lives because of their dogs actions until their dog pays.
And that’s inexcusable.