Dog Problems


I got an email today from a confused person who says that “any dog of any breed can have bad temperament, poor training and poor socialization, and can therefore be a problem.”

Pit Bull

Fair enough, but there are “problems” and then there are problems, and if you don’t account for the size and strength of the breed, you’ve got a pretty silly argument on your hands.

In our neighborhood, we have an angry Chihuahua with a crazy owner. The owner is crazy and the dog is crazy. We see them sometimes when I’m out walking Lightning. The dog yaps and yaps and strains at the leash and Lightning just looks at him like, “You’ve got to be kidding.”

A poorly socialized Chihuahua doesn’t create the kind of problem that anyone really cares about.

On the other hand, there’s another aggressive dog — a pit bull mix, much bigger than a Chihuahua. He got out of his yard one night and attacked a Shih Tzu and its owner . . . and by “attacked” I mean the woman was bleeding on the sidewalk when I ran out to see what all the screaming was about.

Attacking people and pets — that’s the kind of dog problem people care about.

Not to pick on pit bulls, there’s another pit bull on the next street over from us, still a puppy but already pretty big. She’s obedient and sweet. Lightning and I both like her.

We have a couple of Rottweilers in the neighborhood. I like Rottweilers. Good-looking dogs. I see them out for a walk and when the Rottweilers want to cross the street, they cross the street, whether the owners want them to or not. They seem like nice dogs, but when an owner has a big dog that they can’t control, that has the potential to create a problem that people care about.

The CDC opposes breed-specific dog laws but in a study they found that when people manage to get themselves killed by a dog, it’s always a large dog and it’s usually a pit bull or Rottweiler.

Amazingly, in 20 years not one person was killed by a pug.

  1 comment for “Dog Problems

  1. MS
    5 Jun 2011 at 11:09 pm

    I read a blog post by a confused person today too. What a strange coincidence.

    First of all, pit bulls “types” are not considered large dogs. They’re terriers, and as such, are medium dogs. Not big. Not large. So the statement “when people manage to get themselves killed by a dog, it’s always a large dog and it’s usually a pit bull or Rottweiler” is both false as well as contradictory and does nothing to help your argument.

    Also, your CDC fatality study results show totals for a group of breeds called “pit bull types” compared to individual specific breed totals. If you wanted it to look bad for Spitz-type dogs, you could lump the Chow Chow and Akita together and inflate the total for Spitz-type dogs too. If you lump together totals for multiple breeds, the numbers are higher than each breed individually, so ultimately these results are deliberately misleading.

    God, educating people is so difficult sometimes.

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