Tag Archives: BSL laws

How Media Hype Fuels Inaccurate BSL Laws

How Media Hype Fuels Inaccurate Laws from Animal Farm Foundation on Vimeo.

 

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Are Pitbulls Dangerous?

In a word: no. Many people THINK they are, and if you ask them for proof, they send you lists of bite statistics and news reports of Pit Bull attacks.

But that doesn’t prove anything.

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Rarely do the writers perform actual research. One obvious question they could investigate: Was the dog actually a Pit Bull? It’s impossible to determine breed by appearance alone. And given that the CDC non-fatal bite statistics come from counting newspaper reports of attacks claiming it was a “pit-bull type” dog, there are bound to be gross inaccuracies.

No DNA tests were ever done, which are required to determine breed.

This is highly related to the reason why breed specific legislation doesn’t work. And it never will. Even the CDC agrees:

“Breed-specific legislation does not address the fact that a dog of any breed can become dangerous when bred or trained to be aggressive. From a scientific point of view, we are unaware of any formal evaluation of the effectiveness of breed-specific legislation in preventing fatal or nonfatal dog bites. An alternative to breed-specific legislation is to regulate individual dogs and owners on the basis of their behavior” (JAVMA, Vol 217, No. 6, September 15, 2000 Vet Med Today: Special Report 839-840).

For these reasons, and many others, both the CDC and the American Veterinary Medical Association do not recommend discriminating based on breed.

The frenzy against Pit Bulls is nothing but blind fear fueled by the human need to find a scapegoat. There is not a single shred of proof that the American Pit Bull Terrier is a vicious, dangerous breed.

What are the facts?

The American Temperament Test Society (http://www.atts.org) perform their temperament tests regularly on popular breeds. You can visit their web site to view upcoming testing dates and location and actually get your own dog tested. The most recent aggregation of all test results was in 2008. Description of the test:

The test simulates a casual walk through a park or neighborhood where everyday life situations are encountered. During this walk, the dog experiences visual, auditory and tactile stimuli. Neutral, friendly and threatening situations are encountered, calling into play the dog’s ability to distinguish between non-threatening situations and those calling for watchful and protective reactions.

The dog fails the test if it shows:

-Unprovoked aggression

-Panic without recovery

-Strong avoidance

-American Pit Bull Terriers passed the test at a rate of 85.3%.

This is higher than Collies, Golden Retrievers, and other dogs generally considered “family friendly”. The average dog population is around 77%.

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As most dog behaviorists and trainers will tell you, a dog is almost 100% a product of it’s owner and the training it receives.

And if the APBT is so inherently dangerous, how come they are so successful as therapy dogs? As search and rescue animals?

Honestly, more people die drowning in their backyard swimming pool every year than die from dog attacks. That doesn’t make it any less tragic, but to call it an “epidemic” is a little far fetched.

Pit Bulls are not the first breed to be unfairly labeled dangerous, and they won’t be the last. Politicians love to act important and pretend like they’re doing something, and media outlets love to sensationalize. Don’t let them get away with nonsense. Learn the history of the breed and educate yourself.

The only thing that can be said about them is that sometimes, they tend to be dog aggressive. But almost every breed of dog is aggressive toward some other animal. Where did foxhounds and wolfhounds get their names from?

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What exactly is a pitbull anyway?

If you wouldn’t know a pitbull if you saw one, you’re not alone. Pit
bull is actually not a breed of dog. Instead, the term “pit bull”
refers to not one, but three dog breeds. Add to that, the fact that
there are over twenty different dog breeds that are regularly mistaken
as being pit bull and you can see how easy it becomes to mis-identify
them.

The three breeds that fall under the pit bull umbrella are the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier. One quick way to keep them straight is to think “small, medium and large” in the order listed above. Some people feel that the American Pit Bull Terrier and the American Staffordshire Terrier are essentially the same breed. And indeed, many
owners are now getting dual registrations on the same dog. Registering the dog as an APBT with the United Kennel Club and as an Amstaff with the American Kennel Club. Here is a picture of each type of pitbull dog grouped together for comparison.

 

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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American Bull Terrier

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American Staffordshire Terrier

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So what do you think? Are the APBT and the Amstaff essentially the same breed or not? My point is not really to debate that here. After all, if the experts can’t agree, why should you or I lose sleep over it? But, if you ever find yourself locked in a room with a pitbull aficionado, at least now you can perhaps hold your own. Aside from the pretty obvious differences in sizes, there are some very striking physical similarities. And the ancestries of all three breeds are very much intertwin. The pitbull head is often described as being wedged-shaped. But, I think spud-shaped is really more descriptive. The eyes are wide-set. There’s the signature strong jawline and muscular body. The ears when left natural (as they are in the above photos) are either rose or half pricked. Some breeders do still like to crop the ears. It’s a matter of personal preference.
And, personally I prefer natural for two reasons.First, I just think natural ears look better. They look so militant with their ears cropped. Secondly, the cropped ears and docked tail are vestiges of the breed’s fighting days when cropping and docking had practical value because it gave an opponent less to grab on to. Now that dogfighting has finally been outlawed in most countries, there’s just no need to do it.So, do you think you’d be able to recognize a pitbull now? If you want to test your mettle, you can play

Find the Pitbull.

But, a word of caution–don’t get discouraged. Few people get it
right the first time. Here’s a hint: the pit bull you are looking for
in this game is an American Pit Bull Terrier. Good luck!

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Train Your Pitbull To Obey Your Commands

People say that you cannot teach an old Pitbull new tricks. Hopefully we can help you prove them otherwise with the tips and tricks in this article. All of the methods have been hand picked for your older Pitbull that you either have never trained, never trained well, or obtained from someone else.

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Bad Behavior

In order to train a well-mannered Pitbull you should always be consistent with your punishments. If you let your dog with a particular bad behavior when you normally punish him for it, then your dog will be more likely to revert to bad behavior in general and not as likely to listen to your commands in the future.

Give your dog plenty of positive reinforcement. Discipline isn’t only about punishment for bad behavior. You should make sure to reward good behavior with lots of affection and praise. It will ensure that your dog understands when it is doing the right thing, and it will help it develop trust in its trainers.

Just as reinforcement of good behavior when training a dog should be immediate, so too should punishment for bad behavior be immediate. Saying “no” in a harsh voice tells the dog he has acted inappropriately but he only connects the message with the targeted behavior if that message is delivered immediately after that act.

Correcting your dog with a short, sharp and clear message will really get the point across. Too often people explain wrong doings to their dog in complete and complex sentences, leaving the animal completely perplexed. Be brief, firm and repeat the same phrase for the same bad behavior every time.

It is important that you never hit your dog or slap it in the face. That will not deter the bad behavior and it could cause some potential problems. Your dog may begin to fear you every time you get near it, so avoid hitting your animal during dog training.

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When your canine has misbehaved, do not give it too much attention. In doing so continually, your dog will equate bad behavior with receiving attention from its owner(it does not matter to your pet that it is negative attention) and this will only reinforce bad habits which are difficult to break in the long term.

When you are training your dog, do not blame it for bad behavior if it is sick. You should never force a dog to do obedience training when it is not feeling well. Take your dog to the vet to see what is making it sick, and put off the training until it is doing better.

When teaching your dog discipline, regardless of what training method you use, you should always apply it with speed and consistency. Not correcting your dog for bad behavior every single time, sends him mixed signals that may only make the problem worse. Likewise, not correcting your dog immediately, may make it hard for him to understand why you are punishing him.

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In conclusion, training an older dog can prove to be extremely difficult but not impossible. Depending on how the dog has been raised, your challenge may vary greatly. As long as you follow the specialized tips provided in this article, you are set up for success in training your older dog.

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How To Train A Pitbull- The Secret To Raising A Gentle Pitbull

When “Rocco”, our 8 month old Pitbull started getting out of control, we wished that we knew how to train a Pitbull. Unfortunately, my wife laura and I had waited until “Rocco” was close to full grown, to begin out Pitbull puppy training. Luckily, we took the advice of a professional Pitbull, and we applied the secret to raising a gentle Pitbull.

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When I say that “Rocco” was out of control, I don’t mean he was vicious. In fact, “Rocco” was more likely to “kill” a person with “kindness”, than any other method.

When Laura or I would return home from work, “Rocco” would almost knock us over in his delight! And, at over 80 lbs, “Rocco” was our worst nightmare with his habit of jumping.

“Rocco” had also developed a chronic barking habit. He would bark at just about any, or everything. He would even bark at people INSIDE their cars. And cats? Forget about it!

“Rocco” would go nuts!

Frankly, Laura and I were clueless about how to train a Pitbull. The problem became so severe that we were strongly considering putting “Rocco” up for adoption.

Luckily, we ran across some information written by a professional Pitbull handler. We uncovered the reasons for Rocco’s behavior, and what we could do to change it. Basically, we learned about 4 strategies for raising a gentle Pitbull:

1) Begin the training process at the youngest possible age- one word commands can begin at 8-10 weeks.

2) Give your Pitbull puppy PLENTY of exercise.

3) Don’t isolate your Pitbull for long periods of time.

4) Give your Pitbull puppy ample opportunities to socialize with other dogs/people.

FOR MORE ON DOG TRAINING Click Here