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After 20+ years of ENDLESSLY playing the breed ID game, haven’t we had enough? Great article on Dogsbite.org the other day. I left some comments.
The gist of it is, dog nuts in the UK have found several creative ways to side-step / cheat on the breed restrictions there. The UK dangerous dogs act of 1991 banned the following 4 breeds: Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Pit Bull Terrier and Japanese Tosa. Lets pause for a moment: Is the Japanese Tosa a popular dog breed anywhere? Who knew.
In any case, UK dog nuts and power breed fanatics have been cross-breeding, designer breeding, and discovering various other ways to side step this restriction. This is in addition to the fact that you can still own pit bulls in the UK if certain conditions are met. Thank dog for that!
This illustrates one problem with trying to limit or restrict a couple dog breeds: Dog nuts will figure out a way to mix their breed of choice *just enough* to side step the ban, adopt a power dog not on the list (i.e. Presa Canario), or just go ahead and create a new breed. Think about it: A dog breed is essentially just a consumer product line. The producers can create new lines all they want. How many brands of underarm deodorant could we have? Think about that.
Note the operative words above include “one problem”. Another problem is enforcement. As long as the policy is to give Fido a pass on everything, enforcement is going to be very lax.
Many times over the past 10 years I have made the point that allowing large (40+ lb) dogs in cities and residential areas is grossly unreasonable. How do you justify that when EVERY other animal in these areas is either limited to small pets (reptiles, cats, etc… ) or zoned out entirely (goats, sheep, horses, etc…). If anything, you would restrict large dogs in cities as an animal welfare measure.
To those who remark about their Great Dane, St. Bernard, etc…. “My Fido is super sweet! He’d never harm a fly!”. Yes, precisely the same words uttered by every Pit Bull fanatic in existence. Do you even hear yourselves? Let me ask you something: Could you stop your dog from assaulting someone? If Fido knocks someone over, that could injure them pretty badly. Are you willing to take responsibility for that? How about if I push YOU over onto the concrete? How about this: Is keeping a bunch of St. Bernards in a 400 square foot downtown apartment a good idea?
So, with all that said, here is my proposition: Lets limit ALL pets in cities and residential areas to 35 lbs or less. "Limit" meaning that you would need a variance to exceed the threshold. THIS puts an END to all of these endless rounds of breed ID Bull Shit! And while we are at it, lets de-normalize assault-by-dog.
MuttHeads episodes 0 through 12! (well, 1-12 coming!)
Pitbulls. Pitbulls, everywhere! The other day, my ring cam chimes. I go to the door (should have checked the video first), and what do I see? An at-large pitbull, what else would it have been? He charges when I open the door, so I slam the door in his face. Fido may have only been selling girl-scout cookies, maybe not. Best to err on the side of caution.
The proliferation of pit bulls is just astounding. It seems that, everywhere I go I see pitbulls. Many of my neighbors now have them. Its very common to see someone walking one or more pitbulls whenever driving in or out of here. The other day I saw a woman walking her 2 pitbulls: She is totally detached, focus entirely on her smartphone, holding the leashes loosely. I was hiking a state park yesterday and saw multiple pitbulls, one of them off leash (who growled at me).
I have a hypothesis that may explain this mass proliferation of pitbulls. I now hold the belief that pitbulls reproduce similar to single celled organisms, not mammals. Each pitbull undergoes a mitosis every 24 hours or so. By that I mean that each pitbull divides in half, creating 2 pitbulls in its place. The exponential growth of the pitbull population can't be explained in any other way.
The below meme sums up what I am contemplating here:
Have a great Sunday!
When hiking, I am often dismayed (but not surprised) at finding poop bags* along the trail. Apparently, people pick up after their pets, bag the poo.... only to leave it behind.
(*I am sure these bags contain anteater poop as no dog owner would ever do anything like this!)
Dog lovers always deflect. When a dog mauls or kills, they say "don't blame the dog" because the dog is a not a moral agent (moral agency requires a certain level of intelligence that dogs lack). They say this because they do NOT want the dog put down under any circumstances. Should dogs that maul and kill be summarily put down? Unqualified YES!
But, didn't I just say the dog can't really be held accountable for what it did? Indeed, it isn't: Summary destruction of all dogs that maul and kill is strictly an exercise in risk mitigation. It has nothing to do with accountability.
As an allegory, lets consider an event that occurred outside of the Animal Uncontrol universe.
June, 2021: The Champlain Condo tower in Surfside Florida partially collapsed. The building was roughly "L" shaped, and the arm of the "L" perpendicular to the beach went down. The incident is still being investigated, and the apparent cause is a variety of factors.
Champlain Towers immediately after the collapse:
What is interesting to us in the above case is, soon after the initial collapse, authorities ordered the demolition (destruction) of the still-standing portion of the building. Why would they do that? Similar to a dog, a building is not a moral agent - it doesn't know what its doing. Were these authorities thinking "We will hold that building responsible! We will show it a thing or two!!! Let this set an example for the rest of those buildings!" No, that is not why they brought it down.
The remaining portion of the Champlain Towers structure was demolished strictly as a risk mitigation measure. The remaining structure was clearly unstable and unsafe and was brought down before it could cause any more problems. What problems? Well, while not 100% sure it would collapse on its own, there would be no way to be sure when it would collapse or in what way: It could collapse into a neighboring building or into the street, for example. Furthermore, such things create an "attractive nuisance" whereby homeless people would try to squat in it and teenagers would force entry in search of a good place to party.
So, the remaining portion of the Champlain Towers was brought down in an orderly and controlled manner to mitigate the risk it posed.
So, with that said, any dog that fails its real-world temperament test (the only test that means squat) must be summarily put down as a risk mitigation measure. It has nothing to do with holding the dog accountable (though you can believe that if you want to, whatever).
Lets stop enabling "dangerous dog laundering". No more get out of jail free cards, Fido.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!