Letter: Pit bulls are bred to be aggressive

You would like to hunt birds. To do this effectively, you need a dog.

According to the advocates for pit bulls, you could pick any dog at random and have an equal chance of ending up with a good bird dog.

Training is all that counts.

Dogs have been mated to achieve specific characteristics for centuries. Hence, we have different breeds. They are bred both for specific physical traits and specific temperaments. Bird dogs have the characteristics necessary to hunt birds. Fighting dogs have those for successful fighting.

All traits follow a normal curve. If you mate for aggressiveness, that breed will be more aggressive. Within the breed, the majority will be of average aggressiveness (for the breed) with lesser numbers falling on the less or more aggressive ends of the curve. If you’ve successfully tamed a pit bull, it may be that you started with an outlier. But the aggressive nature of pit bulls in general is clear in the outsized numbers of maulings and deaths they cause in the U.S.

And the aggressiveness is clearly recognized by their defenders, all of whom stress the imperative of training.

Sometimes a ringmaster decides to adopt a tiger from his act. If he later gets mauled, we don’t say he didn’t train the animal well enough. We say the animal was a tiger.

We can’t exclude people based upon the probability they won’t socialize their dog but we can ban breeds based upon their proven resistance to socialization. And we should.

Carolyn Bronston,

Wausau

via Letter: Pit bulls are bred to be aggressive.

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