I’ll start off by saying that I am strongly opposed to BSL (breed specific legislation), and I’ll tell you why. I don’t believe there is any one specific breed of dog that is “bad” or should be banned. As a trainer, behaviorist and animal rights advocate, I’ve seen great pit bulls that would never bite, and ones that will – I’ve seen golden retrievers that would take your arm off as well as dachshunds and chihuahuas. So, legislating against any one breed is idiotic. Most of the issue with problem dogs is their problem owners. Yes, some dogs are bred for a specific purpose and that purpose should be understood when acquiring a dog. Breeders are a big part in this, and responsible breeders can lend a hand in “fixing” the issues with the dogs that may have issues.
For example, we understand that pit-bulls have been bred for fighting dogs; the strongest and most aggressive were bred further and the weaker, submissive dogs that showed no aggression were culled. Most other breeds that are used for pets, or protection would be culled if they showed these radically aggressive tendencies. I will say that pits, for the most part show the slightest amount of aggression toward humans, this was bred out of them to keep their handlers safe in the pit. Since its proven that we can breed a trait into a dog, its only logical that we can breed it out. Now, when you have the morons breeding dogs in their backyards and selling them on the street corner for $100, that is a huge problem and must be stopped.
Its not my point to get into breeding in this post, it is my point to address serious issues. The first and foremost is that we can not legislate on one specific breed of dog, just like we can’t draw a line around a specific group of people. Say for example white-protestant males were the number one cause of sexual abuse crimes in a particular city. Would it be fair to require all white-protestant males in that city to be castrated or wear tracking devices? Its just as stupid for a law banning one breed of dog irrelevant of individual issues.
Now, my biggest issue is the people fighting against BSL. Every time I see an article or picture from a group trying to prove their point it involves a big dog: rottweiler, pit bull, mastiff, etc, laying next to a baby or a small child riding on it. I can tell you this is beyond stupid, and even if your dog is ok with it (at that moment), another dog may not be and by showing this picture you are giving others the impression that it is OK to put a child in a dangerous situation like this.
IT IS NOT OK. Dogs and children are a tricky thing, and dominant breed dogs must be desensitized and socialized to children properly. Just winging it and hoping for the best is putting a child and the dog at the greatest of risks.
If we want to make a point how good a dog is, it can be proven through proper training and socialization. I would not put any dog -NONE in a situation with a baby laying on top of it – or the dog laying on top of the baby.
Everyone should know that ALL dogs should be trained, socialized and safe. It is our responsibility, not the dogs.
PLEASE – if you care about dogs and are against BSL and you want to voice your opinion, do so in a rational manner. Understand that showing a dog in a situation that could be construed as dangerous or provoke someone else to put a dog and human at risk is irresponsible, stupid and proves no point. Every time a dog attacks a child I see one of those idiotic pictures and wonder if the victims family saw that and thought, “We can do that with our dog.”
All dogs deserve a fair chance at a good life, that chance hinges on us.