Category Archives: Pitbull Freedom

Why Do People Still Fear Pit Bulls? Aggressive Dog Breed Social Experiment!

Pitbull Dog Breed General Information

Note: Starting in 1936, the American Kennel Club accepted for registration in the AKC Stud Book, the breed known as Staffordshire Terrier. However, to avoid confusion with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the name was changed effective 1 January 1972 to the American Staffordshire Terrier. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier gained official acceptance by the AKC in 1974. The Canadian Kennel Club does not recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier, however both the American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier are officially recognized in the Terrier group. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is acknowledged as a breed of British origin and was officially recognized by the CKC in 1953. In North America, the American Pit Bull Terrier has been recognized under this name by the United Kennel Club (UKC) since 1898.

* — The FCI is the World Canine Organization, which includes 84 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 339 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries of the breeds write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.
Origin:

United States
Height:

Males: 18 to 19 inches at the shoulder; – Females: 17 to 18 inches
Weight:

Ranges from 50 to 75 lbs
Height and Weight should be in proportion.

Breed Profile:

The American Staffordshire Terrier originated sometime in the 1800s, when dog fighting was a popular sport in the U.S. The Am Staff was also used for farm work, hunting large game such as wild pigs and bears, as a guard dog, and for general companionship. The breed, known over the years as the Half-and-Half, Yankee Terrier, Pitbull Terrier and American Bull Terrier, was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936 as the Staffordshire Terrier. The name was changed to the American Staffordshire Terrier in 1972 to avoid confusion with the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Although the American Staffordshire Terrier resembles the American Pit Bull Terrier, it is a separate, distinct breed.

Today’s Am Staff is mostly seen as a companion and show dog. He is courageous, muscular, and agile. His working abilities, intelligence and high activity level make him well suited for many dog sports and activities. He is very loyal to his family and makes a good guardian. The Am Staff is very people oriented and requires interaction and plenty of attention from his family. The breed is not naturally aggressive towards humans. However, because they are extremely loyal, if trained by an owner to be aggressive toward humans, there is a possibility that the dog may become aggressive toward humans.

The American Staffordshire Terrier comes in all colours — brindles, parti, patched, or any combination. His short coat is easy to maintain and requires little grooming.

The term “Pit Bull” is often used to refer to a breed type as well as different breeds of dogs, including the AmStaff. Other breeds commonly referred to as “Pit Bulls” include: the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Some believe that all of these breeds of dogs originally came from the same pit fighting stock over 100 years ago but have been bred to differing standards and are now known as distinct and separate breeds. Others believe that these dogs are simply different strains of the same breed. History aside and whether or not they are distinct breeds, if well bred, they all share a natural love for people and the Bulldog as a common ancestor.

Breed Specific Legislation – How it effects American Pit Bull Terrier owners

Breed specific legislation or BSL for short, is on the rise around the world. BSL targets specific breeds of canine and either (A) restricts them severely or (B) completely bans them from areas.

Countries like Germany, Australia, England, and France have bans on the American Pit Bull Terrier and the ones that were already living in the country are restricted.

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Usually the law states the dogs must be muzzled and on a very short 12 inch leash when out in public.

BSL is very much alive in the United States and the APBT is the number one target for such laws.

Expensive insurance is also required in many of the cities were BSL has been accepted. Sometimes it can be as high as $200,000 per dog. Hundreds of cities, towns, and states are implementing BSL.

As time goes by supporter’s for this ridiculous band-aid approach are getting the laws passed with ease.

The number one restricted breed in the world is the American Pit Bull Terrier or any cross thereof. Meaning, even if your dog is suspected of having APBT in it’s blood it can fall under the power of these laws.

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BSL is nothing more than breed profiling and as of yet it has not worked to curb the amount of serious dog attacks it was put in place to stop.

Matter of fact, the only thing it has done is make life hell for ordinary law abiding dog lover’s.

Why breed specific legislation will never work:

BSL was a flawed concept from the moment it was conceived. In most cases the dogs are targeted leaving the owner, which is the responsible, rational thinking party, out of it.

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Some impose fines along with their laws but are often not enforced to the maximum so the owner gets away with a slap on the wrist.

Dogs are not the problem and BSL does not recognize this. People are the problem and until we find a way to punish people for their neglectful actions which allow dogs to bite and terrorize the public we will never stop the problem.

First problem is, take one breed away, these people will find another breed to replace it.

Since the APBT bans the Rottweiler is now on the rise as the most popular breed.

Now these dogs are taking heat from the general public and the BSL supporters. Again they are restricting the dogs and not the people.

BSL can be compared to gender profiling or racial profiling. Simply because a dog appears to be a dog on the restricted list, it is therefor treated as one.

What if you were driving down the road and the police took you to jail, sentenced you, and placed you on death row just for looking like a certain ethnic group? BSL does exactly that to dogs.

So why is it then that more BSL laws are implemented daily? God forbid a person have to take responsibility for their irresponsible actions and BSL supports these people by not placing very harsh punishments on them.

We have to fight!

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Fighting BSL is the only way to keep all breeds safe. Soon BSL will encompass any dog that can bite (which is all of them) so where does that leave the dog lover?

Supporter’s of BSL will argue that it works, but there is very little evidence of this as many laws are drawn up to encompass several breeds and their crosses.

Even experts of the American Pit Bull Terrier have a hard time identifying a mix from a purebred. Sometimes it is obvious, but in most cases it’s not that easy.

Experts are needed to enforce the BSL law and testify in court that an offending dog is the breed restricted. Results can be manipulated to fit the agenda.

For example, you can poke a dog in the face until it growls or snaps at you. Now the dog is deemed vicious. Fair? Not at all.

In short BSL has nothing to offer the public but confusion and loss. BSL will not and will never be a practicable means of regulating vicious dogs and severe attacks. Until the law makers see this fact of life we will be faced with more BSL laws.

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Well said.

According to https://plus.google.com/114864920981335422615

Dogs vs. Fiction

BY LISA SKAVIENSKI

OCTOBER 11, 2016

I recently wrote a blog entry addressing the fallout caused by the absence of regulatory controls and licensing requirements in the dog training industry. It was hardly the first to highlight the glaring discrepancy between fact-based information from learned animal behavior experts and the dangerous misinformation routinely peddled by so many in the largely uneducated dog training profession. I felt compelled to write the piece, in part, by my frustration that the arguments between pursuers of scientific data and purveyors of behavioral fiction were even still occurring, particularly among those actively involved in dog advocacy, rescue, and shelter work. It was an attempt to suggest we all have an obligation to access legitimate information from recognized academic authorities; and that dogs and their owners deserve an evidence-based approach to their training and overall care. Anything short of that really isn’t in line with the goal of animal welfare.

Given this continuing entrenched cognitive divide, perhaps the most achievable near term goal is to steer people toward critical thinking with the hope of capturing those persuadable fence sitters at least willing to consider the evolving science and consequent data. Until the middleman dealing most frequently with dog owners is intellectually current, the valid stuff isn’t trickling down any time soon.

That’s a problem because even dogs living in loving homes are not totally free on some level from the fictions mankind has built around them. Years of misinformation about their nature, faulty speculation about how they think and what drives their behavior erroneously presented as fact over and over again, and our own familiarity with dogs all have a way of dulling our perceptions and snuffing out curiosity. Instead of a climate of inquiry about this species we share our lives with, there often still prevails a dull-witted acceptance of fictional constructs that only serve to justify our chosen approach to them. Not good news for dogs. Even worse news for dogs labeled “pit bull.”

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Pit bulls are finally embraced by most in animal welfare, but some of the most recognized names in their advocacy are among those who strongly eschew the current science of animal learning and behavior. In fact, some of these groups are very vocal proponents of aversive training tools and methods, in spite of the stark divergence from all of the available scientific research.

The one area in which everyone in the animal welfare community seems to share common ground and embrace evidence and critical thinking is the opposition to breed-specific legislation (“BSL”). One might think such a commonly shared position a win for dogs everywhere; yet as we saw last week in Montreal, valid facts are hardly enough to protect these dogs from the fiction-based, misinformed agendas of man in plenty of other arenas.

When Montreal proposed banning pit bulls several months ago, a responsive multifaceted effort immediately commenced to provide city council members with data proving the ban uninformed and misguided. Position statements from highly credible sources in both Canada and the U.S. were presented: The veterinary community (Ordre des medecins veterinaires de Quebec, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior); government agencies and national associations (Ontario Health and Safety Board, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Animal Control Association, the American Bar Association, and even the White House); and scores of animal welfare organizations and trainers’ associations. All of them stated their unequivocal opposition to BSL based on ethics and any such program’s clear lack of efficacy.

Reputable sources informed the city council about what actually leads to dog bites and how to prevent them, along with the clear data confirming that BSL is not conducive to dog bite prevention. Communities are no safer, the cost is astronomical, and the lives of thousands of innocent dogs are needlessly lost in the wake of BSL. In the Montreal case, there was only one vocal minority pushing the BSL agenda from the outside. A fringe hate group led by a woman – a former internet fortuneteller – who was bitten by a dog years ago. She has no credentials in animal behavior or statistics; she simply has a vendetta and a small group of loyal disciples. Much to the horror of any rational thinking person, the city council members chose to pass this genocidal ban with a sickening in-favor vote of 37-23.

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As a dog trainer, a longtime advocate for pit bulls, and guardian of two, the Montreal decision is extremely upsetting. Recognizing the failure in empathy and reasoning by your fellow man feels a bit like being swallowed by a tidal wave of despair. There is a moment of questioning whether all of this advocacy is worthwhile. Why do we keep doing it, day after day, year after year? Why is it so hard to get people to understand facts and how to constructively recognize and question information sources? Why is it so hard for people to realize that not everything is subjective? And in those moments, it’s tempting to give up, because it’s clear that so few seem capable of getting their heads around this species in any meaningful way. Quite briefly, I allowed myself to detach in sheer disappointment.

But the next day, like every single day without fail, I am contacted by prospective clients who tell me their previous trainer instructed them to bully their pet dogs with prong collars or electric shock or forcing them into situations that scare them so they learn to “toughen up” – that it made the dogs worse – and I then know I can’t give up. I see national welfare organizations promoting this kind of dangerous trainer as a “behavior expert” to shelters across the nation. I see a prominent pit bull advocacy figure making a snide comment on social media that training dogs with food makes them “obnoxious” and how she cannot wait to contact a famous punitive trainer when she comes across a dog “needing” to be electrically shocked. These are people who stand squarely in the way of the facts getting to the public, regardless of what good work they might otherwise do in advocacy, which makes this willful ignorance extremely dangerous – they have the ear of so many in the dog-owning public. Their heavy handed, simple solution position has nothing to do with the full and tested body of scientific evidence and truth, and so how can we give up?

Every day, somewhere on the planet, inhumane and ineffective legislation claims the lives of innocent dogs, tearing families apart under the guise of “public safety.” No amount of reasoning seems capable of breaking through the sensationalized media-driven image of a man-eating beast for those who support such laws. Ironically, it is abusive treatment that is a primary cause for aggression in dogs (among other important factors, none of which include the arbitrary physical characteristics of the dog), but that fact is conveniently ignored by most. It is madness, and further evidence that there is no room for giving up.

Because there are those who continue to place their own misinformed agendas ahead of the welfare of dogs, and even the well being of people, it isn’t okay to give up.

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I shouldn’t need to tell anyone that just like it’s not okay to beat your wife or scare a child, it isn’t okay to choke, prong, or electrically shock a dog. Not ever. I shouldn’t need to because there are studies clearly proving the harm of aversive methods to dogs, even if there aren’t yet laws (at least in the U.S.), and we have non-invasive alternatives available – a point where all valid experts in the field of applied behavior concur. No, not the pseudo experts being held out as such because they’ve been intimidating dogs and their caregivers for a decade or two; I’m talking about legitimate, academically sound experts. The very people those in the animal welfare arena and training industry should be looking to for guidance. But not all of them are.

Likewise, I shouldn’t have to tell anyone that banning a type of dog based on its appearance – and make no mistake, that is precisely what it boils down to – is not okay, because the verdict is in on this, as well. These bans don’t work because they don’t target the reasons dog bites occur. That’s what the facts tell us – no, not that pseudo “facts” that a single hate group with an official-looking website touts, but actual facts from legitimate sources. No one should need to be told that law officers entering someone’s home in order to forcibly remove and kill a family pet because it has a blocky head is appalling. But clearly they do.

Whether a rescue, shelter, dog trainer, policy maker, civil servant, or animal welfare organization, we all have an obligation to let go of dangerous fictions about dogs. Like it or not, there is a reality that exists outside of our personal agendas. Where there is an absence of critical thinking and empathy, there will be times when deeply entrenched fictionalized thinking will be challenged. To many, this can be an unwelcome and uncomfortable exercise. But this is the way social change and progress always occurs. Challenging harmful bias is unpleasant, but necessary.

It simply is a long, messy road to a world in which unhealthy, unfair, and destructive behavioral constructs are less prominent in the dog world. So long as mankind is exploiting dogs to suit its own needs with the audacity to say it is for the good of dogs and/or people, I am committed to this fight for rationality. And lucky for the dogs, I’m not alone. In the battle between dogs and the fictions we human beings have saddled them with, there are plenty of us willing to keep speaking out. And fair warning: we have science on our side. Policy will follow, as it eventually always does.

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