Friday, May 13, 2011

Tearing Apart The Pit Bull

Recently, there was a study released by doctors in Texas stating that the "Pit Bull" was the most lethal dog and it's bite victims needing more hospitalizations. Now, as if we haven't heard enough bad news about the breeds that make up the "pit bull", here we go with another. As an owner of three American Pit Bull Terriers I can honestly say, I have more trouble from my Chihuahua than any of my Pitties.

But, let's take a look at this study. Dr. Stephen Cohn, professor of surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center, states “I think this is a public health hazard, this particular dog.”... now, which dog would that be? The dog that was responsible for the attack or the entire group of dog breeds that are defined as "Pit Bulls"? It just might be the dog (or monster) at the other end of the leash, or should I say, the one that WASN'T at the end of the leash! I am referring to the owner.

Where are these responsible owners when these dog attacks happen? Have they been responsible enough to have their dog taken to obedience class or have they just let them run wild in the street or worse, in the fighting ring? Now don't get me wrong, I am in no way saying that there aren't any unprovoked attacks, but they can happen with ANY breed at ANY time. We all have relatives, friends, and coworkers who are the same way, should we ban them? The Toyota Camry is the lead vehicle for auto accident claims, should we ban Toyota?

Fifteen years of records for the hospital produced 228 attacks leading to admissions and/or deaths according to this study. Of those 228 attacks, only 82 reported the breed of dog responsible for the attack. Of those reported, only 29 were reported as "Pit Bull" related. That's 35%. So what breed(s) have the rest of the tabulation? No one knows because there are no studies that I have found on this.

The American Kennel Club has states that the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed on it's records, I am more than sure that there are quite a few bites by them, they just don't gain the spotlight like the Pit Bull breeds. Also, isn't it quite logical to assume that the size of the dogs mouth is also going to be a factor in this? A Chihuahua can not possibly do the same damage during a bite as a Pit Bull or even a Great Dane. Their mouths are much smaller. That doesn't mean that damage isn't going to be done, but no one is going to waste the gas running out to do a report on a Chihuahua bite like they will on such a highly volatile subject like the "Pit Bull".

The Pit Bull breeds have gotten such a bad rap because face it, it's the fad right now. All dogs go trough their fazes of popularity. In the 80's, it was the Doberman and Chow Chow. There was the Chihuahua explosion and the Pug and the SharPei. It's just so unfortunate that these gangs and bad, bad owners have used and abused the Pit Bull in fighting rings and media has grabbed a hold of them and turned all the Pit Bull breeds into monsters, which they are far, far from being.

If you look through history, Pit Bulls have been a favorite and even the face of this country. Sgt. Stubby and Jack Brutus were two war hero Pit Bulls. There are several working right now to protect our borders from drug runners and dealers that are killing our kids at an alarming rate. There are countless service Pitties working right now from helping someone cross a busy intersection to bringing a smile to someone's face in a nursing home. Let's not forget about RCA, the certified hearing service dog. There are just so many to mention, but perhaps the media needs to jump on THAT bandwagon and stop reporting bad news and start having a few feel good stories.

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