Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dog-aggression studies don't support claim that pit bulls are dangerous

By Leslie Hinojosa, from M Live

I get frustrated over the policies Saginaw keeps trying to force on its residents. I feel we are becoming a socialist society — always trying to tell us what we can or can’t do based on other residents’ fears or ideals. 
In my opinion, handguns pose a much more serious threat to this community. I am against handguns and have my pit bulls for protection against potential home invaders, but mostly as companions. With our declining neighborhoods, and drug and crime problems, I feel much safer having my loving companions in my home.
Recently, I came across a study called “Breed Differences in Canine Aggression.” The conclusion reached in this study was that pit bulls (and Akitas) only showed a significant score difference in aggression directed at unfamiliar dogs; however, this type of aggression was the most severe. 
The breeds that showed the most serious aggression toward both owners and unfamiliar people were Chihuahuas, dachshunds and Jack Russell terriers. 
Pit bulls really only showed higher incidences of aggression aimed at a specific target. If you ask me, breeds that show aggression toward people and other dogs would be far more “dangerous.”
The study “Which Dogs Bite? A Case Control Study of Risk Factors” concluded that German shepherds and Akitas were two breeds more prone to bite. Other factors such as having a male dog or an unneutered dog also increase the risk for biting. They never once mentioned pit bulls. 
In all fairness, this study is 17 years old, so we must consider these breeds may not be as popular today as they were 17 years ago.
A rise in dog bites from a certain breed may be more of an indicator of the popularity of the breed than the inherent dangerousness of the breed itself.
These are only a few studies I have on hand from a research paper I did and for my upcoming thesis. Education is important, but we need to be sure we are looking at the right sources of information.
I feel just as we have trouble with unfair racism, we are now headed toward a new term, and new unfair act I call “breedism.”

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