Ethics Alarms has discussed the unfairness, bigotry and ignorance behind the vilification of pit bulls and related breeds on many occasions: here, here, here , here, and here. Now Joshua Holland has written an excellent primer in Salon for the pit bull-phobics to chew on, and he did a superb job of debunking the illusion that this is a monstrous breed rather than what it really is, an uncommonly delightful one.
Among the highlights…
- “Pit bulls are the dog of choice for irresponsible breeders, dog-fighters, people who want a tough-looking dog to tie up in their yard and those who refuse to have their male dogs… 86% of fatal canine attacks involve an unneutered male, according to the American Humane Society.”
- “A 2009 study in the Journal of Forensic Science, found that the owners of vicious dogs, regardless of the breed, had “significantly more criminal behaviors than other dog owners”…According to the ASPCA, “Pit Bulls often attract the worst kind of dog owners.”
- “We have tragically betrayed our children’s beloved nanny-dogs, raising them irresponsibly, training them to be aggressive and then turning them into pariahs when they behave as any dog would in similar circumstances.”
- “Controlled studies have not identified this breed group as disproportionately dangerous… The American Temperance Testing Society (ATTS) [tests] thousands of dogs for skittishness, aggression and their ability to differentiate between threatening and non-threatening humans. Among all of the breeds ATTS tested – over 30,000 dogs through May 2011 — pitbulls… showed an above average temperament, with 86 percent making the grade.”
- “Pit bulls are the second most tolerant breed tested by ATTS, after only golden retrievers.”
- “Pit bulls are disproportionately involved in serious attacks on humans, just as African-Americans are found guilty of a disproportionate number of crimes in the United States. That’s simply what the raw data say. Most people consider the claim that blacks are inherently more criminal than whites, based on that raw data, to be pretty darn racist as it ignores the social, economic and legal context of crime and instead ascribes it to some imagined genetic or cultural flaw among African-Americans. And yet, when you strip away the overt falsehoods about pit bulls … the raw statistics, stripped of social context, is the entirety of the case against these animals (made even worse by the unreliable nature of data based on media-reported breeds in attacks).”
Read the whole thing here.
Next time a friend smears the breed as dangerous, have him read it too.
Then, if you want a great, fun, loving dog, adopt a pit bull.