Today North Carolina held a hearing on a potential breed specific adoption ban affecting bully breeds, rottweilers & chow chows. Originally I had quoted a post from The Examiner but have since been warned that it may have been an exaggeration.
Since then the hearing has been held & things looks a little less grim than when I had made this post several hours ago. According to an article on the FayObserver, “Animal Control staff would work with rescue groups from around the state and country to place the dogs” elsewhere. Residents would not be able to adopt them. This is kind of what California does with their homeless by shipping them to Hawaii, I guess. However, this is another step towards Breed Specific Legislation & it’s sad because ultimately it’s the dogs who are penalized for the failures of irresponsible owners & breeders.
Katie Crenshaw’s post explains specifically how breeders & families in Fayetteville create this problem.
Acquiring a puppy of these breeds in Fayetteville is simple. There are always pit bull puppies for sale in the paper and signs for puppies can be seen frequently around town. These are largely owners of pregnant dogs looking for a supplemental income instead of reputable breeders looking for the right home for their dogs’ progeny. You won’t be handed a certificate guaranteeing the dogs’ providence, health, or bloodline.
The culture of Fayetteville is partially responsible for the ownership and abandonment of these bully breeds. A military town hell-bent on proving masculinity, adding a big scary dog to your household is just one more way of upping that testosterone level. The problem is that most of these guys don’t have the time needed to make these dogs suitable family pets. Unless time is taken to train and socialize these bigger, more aggressive breeds, the dog will do what dogs do: chase prey and protect their turf.
My American Bulldogs have been difficult to raise. Yes, they are naturally more aggressive than Golden Retrievers. And they can be raised to be totally obedient, to completely ignore other dogs when out & about, & still be solid security on the homefront. However, it’s a long road & it takes a lot of commitment, time, & mental stretching.
It also takes good breeding. When Boomer’s mom & dad got together, both parents were examined for temperament as well as physical attributes. Both parents were mild mannered, intelligent, & obedient. Both were exemplary physical specimens without defect, & had no history of dysplasia for 5 generations up. The puppies, when born, were monitored constantly & received stress exercises throughout their first 8 weeks to stimulate brain development. If every breeder was this meticulous when breeding, there would be a lot more dogs like Boomer – happy, confident, obedient & gentle. True, I wouldn’t trust him in a dog park; he does have some dog aggression. But then that’s where being a responsible owner comes in. I’m aware of my dog’s limitations.
There’s no denying that certain breeds of dog are capable of doing a lot of damage. And sure… if you just wiped all damage dealing dogs from the face of the earth you would eliminate any potential threat. But if we decide to think that way then maybe we should eliminate all humans as well. In fact, we should eliminate them first. They’re the bigger threat.
But seriously, if a person wants to own a breed that has potential aggression issues, they should do their homework & learn how to handle the dog. If they are not willing to step up then they should go get a Golden Retriever. Or if they really, really need to have something fierce, then perhaps a Chihuahua. That’s the most aggressive breed I’ve ever seen, hands down.
Update: here is an NBC post on the results of the hearing, where instead of limiting adoptions the board recommends doing background checks on individuals looking to adopt dogs. Excellent!