Today posted in the comments:
I think Marjorie's research on dog bite stats is brilliant (thank you very much for that) and highly commendable, however must strongly disagree that all dogs are created equal based on genetics.
In fact I think it is misleading to suggest that genetic similarity creates a completely level playing field. To say that a Golden Retriever and a Presa Canario have the same temperament just because they are genetically similar makes zero sense to me.
I'm going to confer with two good friends of mine about DNA/genetics etc. who are both PHD's in biology and see what I come up with in respect to our canine friends.
I completely agree with the first paragraph :)
But the 2nd paragraph I'm going to have take severe umbrage with. I said originally that I didn't think Angela had been to the Goodpooch.com website - and I'm going to have to say that I still don't think you've been there Angela! Because if you did then you'd have become convinced by Marjorie's very articulate writings about temperament as it relates to aggression and know that the 2 are not related. And if temperament and aggression are not related - then temperament and genetics doesn't matter either.
And I also have a problem with saying that golden retrievers are different than presa canarios on a molecular level. That's like saying that black people are different than white people - or muslims are different than catholic - which I'm sure that any person in their right mind would disagree with. A dog is a dog - a human is a human. Temperament is determined by upbringing and propensity. Behaviour can be changed with training - bad behaviour that has been learned - even behaviour that has resulted in the death of a living thing can be trained out of an animal.
That is what is so truly dangerous about breed specific legislation and picking out certain breeds - people think they're going to be safer if they just get rid of the "problem" dogs because "those" breeds are bad. The real problem is NO breed is bad - only certain DOG OWNERS are bad. Lazy people, angry people, crazy people - those are the problems. All DOGS are exactly the same. And to say anything else is intellectual masturbation. A golden retriever really can kill a child if he's given the right amount of abuse and taunting and teasing and tethering. Really - he can. And one of these days I'm going to be proven right - and it'll probably be in Ontario, or maybe England or Winnipeg - or maybe even the municipality of the distrit of Guysborough. Because all of those places have banned pit bulls - so they'll be in short supply pretty soon.