Friday, February 22, 2008

Dog-Fight II

One of the first postings to this blog discussed Michael Vick, multi-million dollar quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, dog-fighting, and pit bulls, all of which were very much in the news at the time. A new reader has discovered my blog, an event for which I am always excited and appreciative, and has registered his objections to that posting. I am not a particular fan of anonymity. Although I blog under a pseudonym, a whimsical notion I blame on my grandson, my birth identity is no secret and appears in plain sight regularly on my blog, as if anybody really cares. I enjoyed the exchange with my objector so much that I thought I should bring it out from the blog comments and present it front and center stage:

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Size Of The Fight In The Dog":

You are confusing two issues here; aggression toward human beings by dogs and dog aggression toward other animals. While a "pit bull" is not an actual breed instead American staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, and the UKC only recognized, American Pit Bull Terrier are all distinct breeds. All have some fighting background which in no way correlates to human violence. In fact if you believe a dog inheritantly natured toward the way they are bred, these dogs were all bred to not show violence toward human beings. This can only point toward some sort of human intervention effecting their nature. If you accept that as true than you must also accept that a dog that attacks other dogs can be altered or controlled in that respect as well. It starts with training them at an early age. Any dog can and will attack another dog if left unsupervised irrespective of its breed if it is a non-neutered male. Just as two male bulls will fight to establish dominance. However dogs that are violent toward human being pose a much larger threat to our society than one that attacks another animal. As such a guard dog breed is far more dangerous than a "pit bull" because they were bred to attack human beings. Look at canine temperment tests a German Shepard is far more likely to bite someone as is a Rottweiler than what you call a "pit bull." Yet you fail to consider that. Also your commentary about football, an American sport indicates a glimpe as to the basis for your opinion. I personally think American staffordshire terriers are very attractive dogs and sheepdogs and the dog your claimed was attacked are the most ugly useless things on the planet. I think its pathetic that you're trying to pass yourself off as an expert of any sort ondogs or animals in light of such a terribly flawed argument. Stick to politics you might make some friends in that rhelm with your bias opinions.

Paw Paw Bill responds:

Imaagine what joy it gives me to see not only that someone has read anew a posting that has been around this long but also that I have managed to raise some hackles. I would not want you to think that I am offering myself as an expert in anything, least of all breeds of dogs. The things about which I might consider myself an expert would not make interesting reading to many. I will gladly yield to anyone's superior knowledge of the difference between AKC breeds. I have owned Welsh Corgie's, both kinds, and frankly I find them infuriatingly and endearingly alike. I also once owned a Border Collie, which was an impressively smart and athletic dog, but I had to get rid of her when she got it in her head that anything in a baby stroller was a mortal enemy. I did not fail to consider the dangers of "guard dog breeds." I just did not mention them. I have also owned a beloved German Shepherd, but you must understand that the blog posting in question had a more or less specific subject, and did not lend itself to discussion of everything. Indeed, the only dogs that have ever bitten me were a dauschund, a chihuahua, and a Jack Russell. All in all, I believe dog ownership is the source of more irresponsibility than even ownership of firearms, and I do not remember dogs mentioned anywhere in the Constitution of the United States. Regarding the flaws in my arguments, I take pride in careful avoidance of the over use of logic. I prefer impressionistic impressions and the employment of humor, if not outright silliness, if possible. Additionally, everything I write is political, no matter if it is about dogs, football (American or otherwise), or people who against all common sense want to be President of the United States. Finally, I have never written anything with the goal of making friends. I do hope, however, to contribute to your not being bored to death.

Copyright 2008 by William C. Cotter


Tina said...

Almost any dog could probably be turned into a weapon by its owner which brings me to the conclusion that dogs don't kill dogs, people do. Or something like that.

Paw Paw Bill said...

Absolutely the prize winner, Tina. "Best in Show."

Annette said...

My take on dogs as killers is this: Since all dogs are domesticated from wild canines, they all retain a subterranean level of killer/territorial protector/carnivore. And at times, this level of wild breaks through the acculturated, domesticated behavior. If the "wild" breaks thru and the dog is a poodle or dachshund, some sense can be slapped back into this dog before the lapse becomes life threatening. In the case of dogs such as pit bulls (o.k. pit bull terriers then) rottweilers, etc., who have a jaw strength which can kill (and is beyond the power of most humans to break) the lapse can become life threatening and in some cases life ending. This is obviously why these breeds are chosen for fighting, guarding, etc. Unfortunately, in modern culture, pit bulls are frequently used as an extension of personal macho, as in their appearance in hostile rap videos and most recently in the Oscar winning movie "No Country for Old Men", in which the breed was used to guard drug stashes and money. Is this art reflecting life? Could be. And I'm wondering why every two weeks in Atlanta a child or older person out walking is attacked by a pit bull and hospitalized with permanent injury, and sometimes these vulnerable people are killed. I've never heard the owner of one of these killer dogs that didn't declare, "this dog has never shown any sign of aggression. My children grew up playing with this dog." A pit bull defender said to me recently "the breed is the victim of a media campaign against them". I have weighed this theory, and just can't convince myself that the media covers up the attacks by labs, golden retrievers, poodles, etc., and only reports attacks by pit bulls ( oh, make that pit bull terriers...makes them sound just like jack russells and west highland terriers doesn't it?) NOT!


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