Whenever you hear about a dog attack, whether toward another dog or a child, do you automatically assume it’s a Pit Bull? If you answered yes, have you ever asked yourself why? Why is it when the attack does involve a Pit Bull, the media reports about it ad nauseam? Why don’t we hear about dog attacks involving other dogs like a Lab or Golden Retriever? I believe the reason is a biased view against Pit Bulls, or any bully breed for that matter. The media perpetuates fear and the Pit Bull is sensational. If it’s a bully breed, the dog is automatically labeled a Pit Bull.
Let’s take a look at the 2011 report from the National Canine Research Council. Based on investigations, their report clearly shows that most of the dog attacks resulted from improper care by the owner, whether through neglect, abuse or isolation. The common denominator is the human. It’s always the human. Dogs are not naturally aggressive, not even the Pit Bull. Factually, the Pit Bull loves people. They were bred with that outstanding trait. Yes, they have a high prey drive but not toward other humans but other animals such as squirrels and cats and Pit Bulls aren’t the only breed to have a heightened prey drive. Prey drive is not aggression. This is a cultivated trait to ensure the dog’s temperament as herders, hunters and vermin killers. Even the Border Collie could not herd sheep without it. The prey drive comes from a dog’s wolf ancestry.
The tendency to be aggressive results from the environment the owner creates for the dog. Take Pit Bulls for example. Sadly, the lowest forms of society tend to be attracted to the Pit Bull mainly because they look tough. These same people treat the dog poorly and do not bother to properly care for the dog or socialize it. Aggression is fear magnified. If that very same dog was placed in a loving household with a responsible owner, you would have a very different dog. Spend some time with a Pit Bull from a happy home and you will see for yourself.
Here’s the report. National Canine Research Council Report 2011
Make sure to check out the National Canine Research Council’s website. It’s very informative.
So why the Pit Bull? Good question. I’m not sure of the exact answer myself but it does seem that this is what the media wants to play out. Just last week in Toronto, a woman was walking her Border Collie when a dog came out of nowhere and attacked the dog and killed it. The Toronto Star shamelessly reported that the dog is a Pit Bull. The paper also went so far to say that the woman said it was a Pit Bull. However, when you watch any video of her speaking, not once does she say it was a Pit Bull. On top of that, the dog is nowhere to be found. When you click on the link to the Toronto Star story, they even posted a picture of the toughest looking Pit Bull that they could find. Note, that is not the dog wanted in the attack. The police are still searching for the dog.
What upsets me about this is why can’t the media hold off on saying which breed killed the Border Collie until the dog is found? What if it wasn’t a Pit Bull? Maybe it was a horribly abused dog or a dog that was trained to fight other dogs? The point is that we don’t know. Until the dog is found, I say we hold off on the accusations. I also have to wonder if the media will bother reporting if the dog is found and it is in fact not a Pit Bull.
The CBC in British Columbia aired a program on the media bias against Pit Bulls. I encourage you to listen to it.