It seems I can’t turn on the news anymore without at least ONE story about an attack by a pitbull. Last night’s story involved a guy throwing himself over his dog to save its life whilst it/he was (were) being attacked by TWO pit bull. Off leash OF COURSE.
People. If you MUST own a bully breed, you really REALLY need to understand what’s behind it.
- You need to have it under your direct control AT ALL TIMES when it’s not in it’s yard enclosure. And the enclosure needs to be WAY stronger than a cheap chain link or wood fence. These are motivated animals with DECADES if not CENTURIES, of dog/small animal aggression bred in.
- You need to understand that any small creature, especially small furry creatures, but little kids too, may trigger an instinct in your dog. If that gets triggered and your dog is not on leash or well fenced, it can be potentially disastrous. And not least of all for your poor damn dog, who will most likely be euthanised. Unless someone has a firearm.
- You really need to understand that behind your lovely sweetheart is a breed that was selected, in part, for its willingness NOT TO LET GO. Don’t think running up and saying “Oh Boxy, drop it” is going to have any impact. Especially if you haven’t done anything more intense than a couple of classes at your local PetSmart or Petco.
- Cesar Milan’s dog Daddy was a good dog. He was also managed, handled and trained every freaking day. Your dog, who stays at home whilst you’re at work and gets spooled up behind a flimsy fence, is not Daddy.
I have Shepherds. These are the Kings and Queens of obedience. These are working dogs who(it turns out) have a stronger bite that a pitbull, but they have been bred to LET GO. These are insanely loyal dogs that will sacrifice themselves, their prey etc for their masters. But I don’t EVER trust them off leash. Because a) they’re still dogs and b) we don’t live in a wide open rural area where they’re unlikely to be hassled. We live in a suburban area with a high population density. I want to be on the other end of a leash in case something happens and I need to redirect my dogs.
Of course, I mostly DON’T take my dogs out because, well see the beginning of this blog as well as my “I hate Pitbulls” blog.
So I know, more hatemail for me. Whatever. Inattentive owners and bad breeding are bringing the breed(s) to a crossroads. And in the current political climate, I’m not holding out much hope for sane discourse.
In 10 years, remember – better handling, more knowledgeable ownership and overall higher civic concern* could have changed the outcome.
I hope I’m wrong because even though I don’t like the bully breeds, I don’t want to see any group decimated because of human thoughtlessness.