• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Kansas City Joins the Pit Bull Banning

And plans on killing every “pit bull” they can get their hands on. I find these kinds of laws despicable and based completely on ignorance. More often than not these “pit bulls” are not American Pit Bull Terriers, but are often mistaken for other types of dogs (go here to see how hard it is to spot an APBT). This story indicates that the breed of the dog is not known. Granted some highly irresponsible owners either mistreat their APBTs so that they do become human aggressive or just ignore them and leave them in the back yard so that they become fear aggressive, but these are the exceptions not the rule.

The truth is that the APBT is the only dog that I know of that was breed specifically not to bite humans. If you were a breeder of APBTs back when they were used in bull and bear fighting and later dog fighting, having a dog that was also human aggressive was dangerous for the handlers. As such any APBT that showed signs of human aggression was removed from the gene pool, literally such dogs were killed. Over the course of generations APBTs are far less prone to bite a human than just about any other dog.

And as Radley Balko notes, the law and the Mayor’s temporary ban on fines is just stupid as it will have precisely the opposite effect than what is intended.

Let’s put up two hypothetical put bull owners.

Owner A is a family who had the misfortune of picking a pit bull from the pet store, breeder, or pound. They’ve raised the dog as a pet, and it lives in a happy, loving home. It’s harmless.

Owner B is a drug dealer who bought a pit bull to protect his supply. He has trained the dog to attack. The dog, obviously, is dangerous.

Now ask yourself, which dog owner is more likely to care enough about following the law to take advantage of the amnesty? Which dog is more likely to be turned over and euthanized? How many harmless dogs will be taken from their families and killed, then, because of this stupid policy? How many truly harmful dogs trained to protect illegal endeavors will be?

The APBT is a powerful dog and the responsible owner should make sure the dog is well socialized in terms of both people and other dogs (dog aggression is the biggest problem with these dogs). Also, make sure that the dogs realize that all humans in the household are higher in the heirarchy than they are. Finally, make sure the dogs are well exercised. A dog cooped up in a small backyard all day or a crate is a dog with lots of energy. Take the dog for a good long walk (at least 1.5 to 2 miles each day). If you can’t do all of this, then be responsible and don’t own this type of dog.

Related Posts:

  • None Found

About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research.

Comments

  1. madmatt says:

    but every year there is another “family friendly” dog that goes nuts and kills or injures somebody…get a beagle or a lab and incidents of that nature go down dramatically. I am sure a properly trained dog is safe, but who is going to license dog breeders and hold them liable if the dog does attack?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    Sorry Matt you are just simply wrong. You are looking at the problem and ignoring the selection bias and reporting errrors. Studies show that the dogs most likely to bite are working class dogs, male and under the age of 2 years. APBTs are not working class dogs.

    In fact, here are some of the numbers on this,

    The Washington Animal Foundation did a survey on human fatalities by dogs in 2001 and came up with these figures, Rottweiler (6); Labrador (2);
    Pomeranian (1); German Shepherd (2); Chow (1); Wolf-Hybrid (1); Akita (1); Doberman (1); Beagle (1); Presa Canario (2); Pit Bull (1); mixed breeds (6). When comparing these figures with the human fatalities from 1975-80 by Pickney & Kennedy, Traumatic Deaths from Dog Attacks in the United States, the report identified the following as responsible for human fatalities during the study period from May, 1975 to April, 1980: German Shepherd (16); Husky (9); St. Bernard (8); Bull Terrier (6); Great Dane (6); Malamute(5); Golden Retriever (3); Boxer (2); Dachshund (2); Doberman Pinscher (2); Collie (2); Rottweiler(1); Basenji (1); Chow-Chow (1); Labrador Retriever (1); Yorkshire Terrier (1); mixed and unknown breeds (15).

    Link

    Also, we hear about men who beat their wives, and even kill them…should we ban men? How about going after the real culprits, the bad owners who mistreat their dogs or are irresponsible. Most dog attacks occur off-leash and off the owner’s property.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  3. don surber says:

    When dogs are outlawed, only outlaws will have dogs.

    Think about it.

    You hear barking, you send the police in and they catch the bad guys.

    Nifty plan

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  4. Michael says:

    Pomeranian (1)?
    Dachshund (2)?
    Yorkshire Terrier (1)?

    Am I the only one who saw these and wondered how they caused a human fatality? Are they counting attack fatalities, or does tripping over them count too?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  5. Tano says:

    My instinct is to be sympathetic to your arguments, since I generally accept the fact that most legislation, of all kinds, is based on ignorance and emotion, and those factors do seem to be at play here.

    Having said that, I dont find your arguments very convincing. You highlight the fact that APBT’s were the only breed specifically selected not to bite humans. Well, the first thing to come to my mind is that this breed is very dangerous, and probably needed to be trained / selected to leave humans alone.

    You also seem to argue that considerable responsibility must lay with the dog-ownber, to insure that the dogs arent a danger. Given that we all know that humans are basically irresponsible (just like legislation is usually ignorant), this doesnt make me more comfortable. Sure responsibility lies with the owner. But all that tells me is that I know who to blame when something happens. The point of the legislation though, is to prevent things from happening.

    The statistics you cite in response to above comments are also not convincing. APBTs are a very small breed, in terms of numbers, relative to other breeds. Clearly, if you wish your stats to support your points, you would need to present number of attacks relative to size of breed population.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Steve Verdon says:

    Michael,

    My guess is that those might be toddlers or even infants.

    Having said that, I dont find your arguments very convincing. You highlight the fact that APBT’s were the only breed specifically selected not to bite humans. Well, the first thing to come to my mind is that this breed is very dangerous, and probably needed to be trained / selected to leave humans alone.

    No, it wasn’t training, but breeding. Human aggressive dogs were put down–i.e. killed. A dead dog does not have descendants and hence human aggression is selectived against. The exact opposite is true about training that an APBT has to be trained, quite a bit since it goes against their genetics, to be human aggressive. APBTs make poor guard dogs for property as they are so human friendly. There have even been stories of people walking up to an APBT that is not theirs and putting a leash on it walking off with it. When I got my APBT it was running loose in the park. I walked up to it, petted it and it followed me home.

    You also seem to argue that considerable responsibility must lay with the dog-ownber, to insure that the dogs arent a danger

    APBTs can be dog aggressive and the owners should take precautions against such as never going to a dog park, never going out without the dog on leash, making sure the yard is “escape proof” or crating the dog when not under direct supervision, etc.

    Given that we all know that humans are basically irresponsible (just like legislation is usually ignorant), this doesnt make me more comfortable.

    Then ban driving, drinking and smoking and be done with this and usher in a true Nanny State.

    The point of the legislation though, is to prevent things from happening.

    Again this is false. The legislation is aimed at APBTs not things like American Bull Dogs, Presa Canarios, Cane Corsos and other fighting breeds. Further, any dog can be aggressive such as akitas, rottwielers, chow chows, and so forth. At best this will eliminate attacks from a specific breed of dogs not dog attacks and dog related fatalities.

    The statistics you cite in response to above comments are also not convincing. APBTs are a very small breed, in terms of numbers, relative to other breeds.

    This is quite simply false. The APBT is one of the most popular breed and when it comes to registered dogs they most popular breed. So in relative terms the APBT is likely more safe.

    Clearly, if you wish your stats to support your points, you would need to present number of attacks relative to size of breed population.

    Given that many people do not register their dogs in general this is going to be difficult.

    APBTs have a great history here in the U.S. Petey from the Little Rascals/Our Gang was an APBT. Helen Keller owned an APBT as a companion. America’s first war dog was an APBT named Stubby. There are more stories here of APBTs helping and saving people here. For example, Weela,

    Gary Watkins, eleven years old, was absorbed in chasing lizards when Weela, the family Pit Bull, plowed into him with a body slam that sent him sprawling. Gary’s mother, Lori, saw the whole incident and remembers being surprised at first, because Weela always played kindly with children. But her surprise quickly turned to horror when she saw a rattlesnake sink its fangs into Weela’s face. Somehow Weela had sensed the snake’s presence from across the yard and rushed to push Gary out of strinking range.

    Luckily for thirty people, twenty-nine dogs, thirteen horses and a cat, Weela recovered from the snake’s venom. Luckily, because that’s how many lives she saved a few years later. For her heroism, Weela was named Ken-L Ration’s Dog Hero of the Year in 1993.

    [snip]

    Finally, during one of Weela’s trips back from delivering food to stranded animals, she came upon a group of thirty people who were attempting to cross the floodwaters. Weela, by barking and running back and forth, refused to allow them to cross at that point where the waters ran deep and fast. She then led the group to a shallower crossing upstream, where they safely crossed to the other side.

    In Kansas City they’d have killed Weela.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  7. Greg Tinti says:

    As a pit bull owner myself, it pains me to see stuff like this. They are excellent dogs with great temperments so long as they have the right owner. It’s not the type of dog that just anyone should get. As Steve says, they need a lot of excercise, proper training (much more so than any other dog), and they need to be socialized as best as possible. It’s not the dog that gives pit bulls bad reputations but really crappy owners.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Dave Schuler says:

    Being in the fancy myself I’m skeptical about breed-specific laws. Even though my breed (Samoyed) is involved in serious incidents relatively rarely, one has to wonder whether a ban on “husky-type dogs” will expand to include breeds like mine as well.

    The pit bulls I’ve encountered have been, by and large, very sweet dogs but the reality is that they have been bred to fight other animals, particularly other dogs, purebred dogs have a natural desire to do what they’ve been bred to to, and it takes a committed owner and determined socialization to overcome that.

    I’ve encountered APBT’s that had been incredibly abused by their owners and given up to rescue that were still among the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known.

    Rotties, too, are very sweet dogs (130 lb. lapdogs) but far too many owners buy big dogs “for protection” and abuse the dogs under the mistaken idea that they’ll be better guard dogs that way. It’s the owners that should be banned rather than the breed but I doubt that’s going to happen.

    I’ve encountered a number of Cano Presarios (favored by drug dealers) over the years. IMO it’s a breed that should be banned. Every CP I’ve ever met has been unpredictable. Several have turned on their owners and had to be euthanized.

    Wolf-hybrids, too, should be banned. They’re unpredictable and no amount of training or socialization will overcome that. Dogs and wolves are biologically different than wolves (a big difference is in cortisol production). I sincerely believe that people who believe that they can control wolf-hybrids in an urban setting are kidding themselves.

    Other than that I oppose breed-specific bans. I’m not sure I’d oppose specific requirements for owners of specific breeds of dogs. Different breeds entail different responsibilities.

    Don’t be surprised about dachsies being in the dangerous list. A standard dachshund isn’t a small dog: it’s a medium to large dog with a medium to large dog’s jaw and small legs. They were bred to be feisty.

    I also think that we should consider the reason that people have large herding, working, and hunting dogs. By and large it isn’t because they want to herd cattle, pull carts, or hunt big game. It’s either because they’re afraid of crime or want a big guard dog to help them perpetrate crimes. Deal with the crime rather than the dogs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. Dave Schuler says:

    Did I really type “Cano Presario”? Mental lapse. Should have been “Presa Canario”.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. Anderson says:

    “Racial” profiling, it seems to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. Kent G. Budge says:

    I’m sorry to see two fatalities inflicted by dachshunds, my favorite breed. But not too surprised: Some dachshunds are rather high-strung, and infants and toddlers are vulnerable even to something the height of a weiner dog.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Mario says:

    Educating people on what a raw deal apbts get and how terrible BSL is will continue to be a life long mission of mine. It’s good to see other apbt lovers here. Just some info for the less informed:

    It is true that the correct apbt is bred to love people. But the reasons aren’t exactly commendable. If a dog bites the referee or opposing handler during a dog fight, he is dq’d. Therefore, dog men made sure ALL human aggressive dogs were culled. Pits can be in an absolute frenzy and still have the state of mind to not bite a person. I’ve seen this with my own apbt.

    APBTS are nowhere near the most dangerous breed out there. Take away apbts from drug dealers, and say a prayer when they get their hands on presa canarios and fila brasilieros. FYI, it was a presa that killed a woman in SF. These dogs are man killers. Pit bulls tend to bite and hold because of their fight background, while filas and presas bite repeatedly until death.

    It is an absolute fact that most, if not all, news outlets exert ZERO effort to corroborate whether the attacking dog was an apbt at all. A local news station has admitted it asked no questions at all and just assumed. Others may ask if it looked like a pit bull. As you see from the above link, the apbt look is very common. A local paper of mine did a story about an apbt that was shot when it roamed into a daycare center playground and “attacked” children. Turns out the extent of the “attack” was the dog knocking one child over, most likely trying to play.

    Even when acknowledging an attacking dog was not a pit bull, the paper/station will be sure to mention the words “pit bull”, as in the SF case, comparing the presa to a “pit bull on steroids”.

    And i’m sorry but i must laugh at the individual who mentions buying a lab and not worrying about an attack. Like apbts, labradors are among the most over-bred breeds in this country and in recent years have become much less friendly and stable than they once were considered. The bottom line is this: You overbreed and breed irresponsibly, you’re gonna get some bad dogs.

    I would absolutely love for this country to do away with this BSL nonsense and enact a law which requires ALL prospective dog owners to take classes to gain a license and be obligated to offer vet records to the breeder when buying a new dog.

    But hey, that would make sense and not be foolishly reactionary. What am i thinking?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0