Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Truly, why BSL is bullshit

I was in the lunch room at my work and we were talking about my rottweiller Daisy and my coworker said she'd had a rottweiller too and it was the best dog ever, and it had been very protective of her - and I talked about Daisy's past history and how it didn't affect her too negatively now and somehow the subject got on to pit bulls - and my coworker said that she was really leery of them - she didn't think it mattered how they were brought up - they could still turn on a dime. Her cousin had 2 pit bulls that they got as puppies, and they treated them like gold - they took them for walks, gave them the best food, kept them indoors - put clothes on them - and then all of a sudden one night out of the blue one of them attacked the other really bad and when her cousin tried to break it up the dog attacked her - they had to put both dogs down.

I responded to her that we don't know how her cousin treated the dogs really - how many boundaries did she give them? Did she let the dogs play until they were totally over-aroused and completely out of control? Dogs of any size can hurt each other - not just pit bulls, and if you let them play day after day after day with each other with no supervision - wrestling and you never intervene - and they never learn any self-control - and they're always over-aroused - eventually they're going to reach a point where it goes from being play to a fight. And if they're a dog of any size - it's going to turn into a fight. And in this case the fight was lethal - and then transferred on to a human.

My co-worker said that there was no warning - but I told her there are always warnings - her cousin just didn't notice them. When I explained it all to her - she said - yes, that all makes sense.

The worst part of this whole story is that her cousin got a new puppy this past Christmas - another pit bull - but it was only one puppy, not 2. I told my co-worker that I hope her cousin doesn't get a smaller 2nd dog - because the larger dog will probably kill it if she treats these dogs the same way she treated the first crop.

But this post is about breed specific legislation - and what does all that have to do with BSL? That story could have been about any breeds over say - 60 pounds. It doesn't have to be about pit bull type dogs.

Look at this photo - how would you like a drug dealer, or a person who doesn't have control of this dog - walking down Spring Garden Road. Do you think this dog is banned anywhere in North America? I don't think so. Isn't it a magnificent, amazing dog?

It's a breed called a "Mioritic" - it a large breed of livestock guardian dog that originated in the Carpathian Mountains of Romania.

They can make some pretty funky dog breeds over there in Eastern Europe, I must say.

Another breed that I was really smitten with for quite awhile and had been planning on getting one at one point was the "black russian terrier" - it looks just like a bouvier - only BIGGER - it can get up to 154 pounds! Can you imagine! That's a like a tank on paws. I could ride that thing to work in the morning.

But imagine the damage that a 154 pound dog can do. A 70 pound pit bull is nothing compared to that. I remember last year we had a story here locally where a police officer shot a dog to death - and the dog was originally mis-identified as a "pit bull" - because all scary dogs are labelled as such - and when it was properly identified as a boxer/mastiff cross - they had to keep the story scary sounding by then retagging the story line - literally - as "brown mixed dog was 80 pounds of muscle"

I think 154 pounds would trump 80 pounds of anything. Even when it's fluffy, any colour - and cute looking.

I think it really shows you that all breeds of dog need to be treated exactly the same. They should be treated based on their behaviour, and their owner's actions - not on their breed. It's so simple - maybe my brain is just too small and there's something I'm missing.

Down in Michigan - this week they're trying to decide whether to ban TEN breeds of dog. Talk about going from the ridiculous to the sublime.

To end this story - my coworker also said that when she was growing up her next door neighbour also had a pit bull - and it was one of the nicest dogs she'd ever known in her whole life - and her neighbour really treated the dog like shit, so much so that the dog used to run away - but still the dog stayed really nice and friendly and was a super dog - even though it was a pit bull. And I said to her - pit bull type dogs generally are a lovely dog - but they are like any other large breed dog - they need to be managed so that they don't get out of control and allowed to express any type of aggression - because that's when they get into trouble. No dog should be allowed to be aggressive in any way - whether they're a pit bull or a poodle.

It's too bad my coworker bought into the storyline of her cousin's "un-explainable" aggression as typical of all pit bulls rather than remembering the friendliness of her childhood pit bull memories. But that's the way our brain's work unfortunately.

Saginaw may restrict ten breeds of dogs

Saginaw’s City Council is considering an ordinance restricting “dangerous” dogs.

It would restrict the ten most statistically dangerous dogs according
to the CDC, including Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds,
Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows, Great
Danes, St. Bernard’s, and Presa Canarios.

“Every year there are about a dozen people killed across the country,
often by these breeds,” said City councilman Dan Fitzpatrick.

He says his dog Otis is part German shepherd and would be restricted
under the ordinance. He says he realizes not all dogs of these breeds
are dangerous, but says statistically certain breeds are more
dangerous. He also says the point of the ordinance is to influence
dog owners to be more responsible.

Under the proposal owners of dangerous dogs would have to pay a $50
registration fee. The city would then provide them with a sign
warning they have such a dog. That sign would have to be placed on
their property. It would be a violation of the ordinance to walk a
“dangerous” dog without a muzzle.

“Owners need to be responsible, and we’re going to help them to be,”
says Fitzpatrick.

He says he has received numerous calls from unhappy dog owners. Many
fear the city will ban their dog. He says that is not part of the
plan. Violating the ordinance would mean a $100 fine for the first

The city council is also looking at an ordinance limiting the number
of dogs a resident can have to three. Violating this ordinance would
result in a $50 fine for the first offense.

“This isn’t just about protecting people, it is about protecting
dogs,” says Fitzpatrick.

He says the city has had an issue with dog fighting and these
ordinances could prevent that from happening.

City council is expected to look at the ordinance as soon as next
month. If approved, it could go into effect as soon as this April.


  1. Nothing makes me angrier than BSL. Okay, maybe puppy mills, but BSL is pretty high up there on my rant list. I have met many more aggressive chihuahuas than I have pit bulls or huskies. (Huskies?? Really??) But no one is suggesting we ban chihuahuas now are they? Of course not, as they shouldn't.

    I see what you are saying about the size thing. It is absolutely true. All dogs, all animals (all HUMANS) are potentially dangerous. But larger dogs clearly even more so. It is the owner's responsibility to prevent any problems. Not the dog's. The dog is just trying to live in this human created society as best he can with what resources he had.

    I am tired and I really should try to comment in this type of mood but I couldn't help myself. I agree with you 100%. BSL is ridiculous, not only does it put the blame where it doesn't belong, but it doesn't even work.

  2. BSL is BUNK ... dangerous dog bylaws is the only was to go - wonder if the Council person who owns a Shep mix will have to put signage on his property?
    Huskies in Canada have attacked and killed but the mitigating factor is that these sled dogs that are fed and worked in the winter yet are left to roam free in packs off season to fend for themselves. Or the dogs on the reserves that are communally DISowned that roam.
    Education too is the key and responsible pet ownership.

  3. It is usually one of these:
    lack of exercise, lack of discipline, lack of interaction, lack of love, lack of food.

  4. How do these people explain the Michael Vick dogs that have been abused, yet some are certified therapy dogs? My friend has a "pitbull" (American Staffshire Terrier) who was a show champion, is a therapy dog (goes to the children's hospital once a month), has extensive training in stressful situations (helicopters, fire engine sirens, boats, etc.) and I have never heard her bark and she would sit beside me for hours as long as I petted her. I agree with Wolfies - lack of training, stimuation (the right kind) and exercise make the difference.

    I am more afraid of the chihuahuas in my neighbourhood that my HOA allow than the dobermans that my HOA also allows. But I could never have my friend's dog live with me eventhough she is impecabily trained and taught to focus on the human, not other dogs (she lives with two others). That drives me nuts and I'm sorry that I moved into this neighbourhood but I guess the good part is that I don't have the lifestyle that would be fair to a dog so I won't be getting one anytime soon.

  5. I happen to run two blogs one is just for sci-fi stuff but the other is to raise awareness of a animal abuser who runs a blog on this site. Please check it out. Anyway back on topic.

    I was shocked to see that Newfoundlands were considered dangerous dogs along side Pugs and St Bernard’s. That just proves that it is the owner not the dog. I did however find out that terriers are more aggressive than most breeds of gods because of their breeding; they are breed to hunt vermin. However if properly bred, socialized, trained and humanely disciplined(meaning don’t hit of beat the dog just for peeing on the carpet) you can have a wonderful terrier or any dog for that matter. I myself happen to fancy Pit Bulls and I plan on adopting one first before I go and buy a puppy, I love all dogs but my main favorites are;

    American Pit Bull Terriers

    American Staffordshire Terriers

    Staffordshire Terriers

    Bull Terriers


    Douge de Bordeaux


    Alaskan Malamutes

    Siberian Huskies

    German Shepards

    Cane Corsos

    Presa Canarios

    English Mastiffs

    Bull Mastiffs


    Neapolitan Mastiffs


    St Bernards

    Burnese Mountain Dogs

    Dogo Argentinos

    Great Danes

    All are wonderful breeds and if raised properly they can be a wonderful companion. I also like small breeds too but I like the big breeds.