BSL is another rights stripping phenomenon that has gained momentum through fear tactics. This is another example of individual’s willingness to accept anything from the media as the gospel truth. BSL has snowballed in that last couple of years. What this type of legislation does is either outright ban a certain breed of dog or impose ridiculous restrictions.
One example of the restrictions on American Pit Bull Terriers is the owner is required to install reinforced windows in the home, carry a minimum of 100k insurance, dog must be registered yearly with a cost of 35 dollars per year, outside dog pen must have a top, be 6 ft tall and have a concrete pad, and while walking the dog in public must be muzzled with a leash no longer than 4 ft. This is just a way to strong arm folks into not even owning a Pit Bull, Rottweiler or Doberman because of the extreme restrictions.
These three types of canines are described as vicious dogs by our government due to their “aggressive nature”. A study of dog aggression has shown that smaller dogs like Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Rat Terriers are more apt to show aggression towards, strangers and even owners.
The American Canine Temperament Testing Association conducted a test of 122 breeds of canines. They reported that 82.5% of the American Pit Bull Terriers that took the temperament test passed, compared to a 77% passing rate for all breeds on average. In the test a dog is placed in a series of confrontational situations. The first sign of aggression or panic is a failure of the test. Pit Bulls ranked 4th highest in the passing rating of these 122 breeds. (ref. www.atts.org)
We don’t need more laws; just enforce the ones we have. Pit Bulls used to be a staple of American dogs. They are currently used in fire and rescue and the United States Customs. Famous Pit Bulls in the past include the RCA dog, T-Bone from the Clifford books, Petey on the Little Rascals, Eveready batteries dog and Wells Fargo. Check out the article on Sgt Stubby a decorated war hero, he was a Pit Bull.
Pit Bulls are the athletes of dogs. They were bred in Britain as a cross between English bull dog and the rat terrier for game hunting. The dogs needed to be small enough to chase small game but strong enough to fight off bigger game. There athleticism along with their willingness to please their masters is why these are used in dog fighting. The dog is not naturally aggressive. Studies have shown one of their traits is they are eager to please, which is why they will fight to the death, to appease their masters. Comparing this to humans we look at professional sports.
Mike Tyson for example was an exceptional fighter in his late teens and early 20’s. However his mental instability led him down a road of humiliation and defeat. Pro Football players are constantly in the news lately because of drug charges or shootings, etc. Maybe we should ban Football or possibly just athletes from the ages of 18 to 35. How ridiculous does that sound? No different for Pit Bulls, Rotts, or Dobermans.
With BSL in effect most shelters will euthanize these dogs upon receipt to the shelter with no chance for adoption. Ignorant comments like Sarah Palin’s “lipstick” comment are the kinds that breed hysteria about these animals. Once these dogs are banned in America, some other breed will have to take the mantel, possibly your Cocker Spaniel.
If you are interested in having a Pit Bull in your home, fear not, most of your local rescues have thoroughly evaluated and trained these dogs. We have owned 4 Pit Bulls, our current one is a rescue from MABBR. He was already house and basic obedience trained, and neutered at just a year old. He did have early heartworms we found out but the rescue picked up the bill and the dog is now heartworm free. A good reliable rescue will do a home evaluation and brief interview to make sure these animals go to good homes. Like anything, get informed. The best way is to do the research yourself.