This week we saw President Obama come out against dog breed-specific legislation. He is recommending these kinds of asinine laws are banned at the federal level. This is a good thing as it still kills me that we live in such an ignorant society who believe laws like this do any good. Here in Denver we have dumb-ass politicians who have passed bans on pit bulls. I don’t have any stats on the overwhelming decrease in dog attacks, but I doubt any such numbers exist to help prove the validity of these laws. I’d prefer we have a law banning shitheads who raise dogs to be aggressive and dangerous. Banning one breed doesn’t stop these folks from going out and getting other large and strong dogs with formidable bites.
And while we’re at it, it has not been my experience that the large and strong dogs with formidable bites are ever the issue. The Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinscher’s, Mastiffs, etc, etc I’ve all met have been pretty darn cool and friendly. Most are quite, calm, and non-aggressive. They know they are bad-ass and don’t have to prove it to anyone. They seem to embody the age-old saying, ‘Don’t start nothing. Won’t be nothing’. Very specifically, every Pit Bull I’ve ever met has been happy, friendly, super cuddly, and always down for a good time with nothing but sweetness in their heart. You can see them smiling from far away and you know they just want to make friends and play.
We take our 50-pound mutts to the open space dog park at least 3 times a week. They’re off leash and are free to run up to all the other dogs and people at will. To be honest, the only time we’re ever concerned about a potential altercation is when the tiny fluffy ‘grandma dog’ comes onto the scene. They are typically very yippy and aggressive. Unlike the big dogs who are calm and comfortable, I guess these little guys are scared and trying to over compensate by talking a big game and acting aggressively.
To make matters worse, whenever our dogs do show an interest in the little fluff-muffin making all the noise, the owners will inevitably bend down and scoop them up. Little do they realize that this only enforces the little dogs ignorant assumption that other dogs are dangerous, but it does nothing to quiet them down and our dogs only show more interest.
Now, I want to be very clear. Our dogs have NEVER attacked a little dog. The worst they’ve done is give chase when the little guy comes running by and yipping, which is dog-speak for ‘Chase me, chase me’. So our dogs oblige. Of course, what then usually happens is the little guy gets scared and stops, which causes our dogs to knock them over a bit, or it turns and tries to bite.
This almost happened just the other day. Little white dog comes running over and past yipping at us and our dogs. Our dogs give chase. The little guy then decides he doesn’t want to be chased, but instead of stopping it keeps alternating between running and turning around to snap. The owner of the little instigator starts to get upset and says something like ‘I don’t need a dog attack today’. We smile and explain our dogs have not, and will not attack, and they are just providing the chase her dog started. She then replies, ‘Well, my guy is known to bite’, and she is still indignant that our dogs are chasing.
Ummm, excuse me? You have a dog which you know is prone to bite, running off leash and starting altercations in a dog park. And on top of it, you expect everyone with larger dogs, which is EVERYONE, to take heed and keep their dogs, who are minding their own business, from getting involved with the instance your dog created? Ah, okay, you must be the same type of dumb-ass who agrees with dog breed-specific legislation since you are a dog racist. (breedist??) Whatever. You’re so stupid you judge a dog by it’s looks and not its manners. And to only add to the hypocrisy, you’ve managed to take a small dog and raise it to be both afraid and aggressive.
So, back to my original thought. There are no bad dogs, but only bad dog owners. Breed-specific legislation is stupid, but I wholeheartedly support legislation which can help rid the world of idiots. You raise an aggressive dog… go to jail. For a LONG time.
(Creative Commons photo courtesy Denise, Flickr)