I Guess I’m A Socially Deviant Criminal Too
Based on the idiocy of this article, I’m a socially deviant criminal.
WASHINGTON – People who own vicious dogs such as pit bulls have significantly more criminal convictions — including crimes against children — than owners of licensed, gentler dogs such as beagles, researchers reported on Thursday.
A study of 355 dog owners in Ohio showed that every owner of a high-risk breed known for aggression had at least one brush with the law, from traffic citations to serious criminal convictions.
And 30 percent of people who owned an aggressive breed of dog and who also had been cited at least once for failure to register it had at least five criminal convictions or traffic citations. This compared to 1 percent of owners of low-risk, licensed dogs such as poodles, beagles or collies, the researchers reported in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.
Can we say “Biased Sample”, sure we can. If we look at two different sub-populations of dog owners should we be surprised that we get two different results? That is, would it be asking too much for the researchers to compare people who own and register their American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, and Staffordshire Terriers to people who have registered poodles, beagles and collies?
They used agreed definitions of vicious dogs used in writing local ordinances. “A ‘vicious dog” means a dog that, without provocation, has killed or caused serious injury to any person, has killed another dog, or belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog,” they wrote in their report.
Talk about assuming that which you are trying to prove. A paper like this submitted to a statistic journal (I hope) would be rejected.
The definition excludes dogs used in law enforcement or dogs protecting an owner or property.
I have a neighbor who is a complete and utter moron. He has a dog that he used for protecting his property. He’d put the dog out front of his home at night, all night, and it was trained to attack people–by definition vicious. It was not a “pit bull”1 So, we have measurement error as well that can bias the results as well.
The most frequent low-risk breeds seen in the study included terriers, beagles, collies and poodles.
Let me see, looking at the American Temperment Test Society statistics, we see that collies, beagle and many terrier breeds (save for the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Stafford Bull Terrier) pass at a lower rate thant the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and the Stafford Bull Terrier.
“One can argue that choosing to own a vicious dog is a marker of social deviance because a vicious dog is, by definition, a socially deviant animal,” said Barbara Boat, director of The Childhood Trust at the University of Cincinnati, who worked on the study.
And here we see that a broken clock is indeed right twice a day…well in the case of these researchers once a day,
“We suggest, regardless of dog breed, that failure to license a dog is a potential warning sign of other deviant behavior,” they wrote.
You know, if local communities actually made more effort to make sure that dogs were licensed we’d probably have fewer issues with dogs.
For an amusing take on this study, check out this video. The gentleman in the video owns Wallace the Pit Bull who is quite an accomplished agility dog (video of Wallace in action). Note that Wallace was on the verge of being euthanized because he is a dog with a high energy drive. However, that doesn’t have to mean a dangerous dog. Look at Wallace, or K9 X-Dog, an American Pit Bull Terrier, who is working for the Washington State Police as an explosives detection dog. And K9 X-Dog is not the only pit bull working for the Washington State Police.
1American Pit Bull Terriers usually make lousy guard dogs since they are typically so human friendly/submissive.