Yet another Pit Bull ban

pit-bullWe’ve talked about this before, how people blame the dog for how his owners train him.  Now, no less of an authority than the United States Marine Corps has joined the fray.

It seems that a 3-year old boy was attacked and killed by a pit bull about a year ago, and there have been 12 reported dog attacks in the past year in base housing at Camp LeJeune.  So, base commander Colonel Richard Flateau, Jr. has issued an order which prohibits full or mixed breeds of Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, wolf dogs, or any breed “with dominant traits of aggression.”

Can someone please define that for me?  First of all, doesn’t the military train guard dogs to be aggressive?  My other argument would be that any dog, sufficiently provoked, will have a dominant trait of aggression.  For example, my Vizsla, who regularly sleeps under my bed covers and sits on my lap with his head cuddled on my shoulder, bit me the other day because I happened to get in the way when a child was teasing him.  I have a very sore arm with two fairly deep puncture wounds, but does that mean that a Vizsla has a dominant trait of aggression?

Given the fact that the military already has a problem with pets being dropped off at shelters when single service men and women deploy, you would think they would be taking steps to help people keep their pets, rather than forcing them to give them up.  In addition, since studies have shown that having pets actually is therapeutic for people, it seems that returning soldiers, who often suffer from PTSD and depression, should be encouraged to adopt dogs.

In their defense, the brass is not making current residents get rid of their aggressive dogs.  As long as they have an approved pen, current base residents can keep their Pits, but people who move onto base after the effective date of the ban cannot bring a Pit or Rottweiler with them.  Visitors to the base must leave theirs at home.

It is not just the Marines.  Several Army posts, as well as at least one Air Force base, also have bans on these types of dogs. In addition, at least 12 states and many smaller municipalities have breed-specific legislation.

In case you were thinking of enlisting and already have pets, here are the rules at LeJeune:  No pets in the barracks, but if you live in other types of base housing, you can have any combination of dogs or cats, so long as you don’t have more than two animals.

Until next time,

Good day, and good dog!

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20 thoughts on “Yet another Pit Bull ban”

  1. I have always been an advocate of the owner dictating the dog. In the UK every couple of years a child is savaged by a pit bull or pit bull mix. In all the instances I remember the dogs have been owned by people that do not know how to look after a dog. They see them as a status symbol for their tough reputation. They keep them separated, hit them and in one instance train them to fight. I have never heard of an instance of a well brought up dog savaging any one.

    That is not to say I treat them anthropomorphically, Beth is right they are not human and should not be treated as such. But I trust my dog as much as an old friend with certain limitations (I could not ask him to watch the dinner, he would just let me down). There are also plenty of humans with aggressive traits and as long as we understand the limits to allowable trust, then instances where they let us down are reduced.

    As for banning pit bulls. People who previously raised violent pit bulls would raise say violent German Shepards. So do we licence these animals? Who would pay the cost of policing this service? The answers are not clear. I do believe that a licensing system is nearer to the answer. The UK did have such a system but it was abandoned over 20 years ago. Policing of this system would allow animals at risk to be removed from their environment. I am unsure what could be done with them if they are too much of a risk to re-homed and I would not advocate large number of animals being destroyed.

    That is enough of me ranting… what do you think?

  2. OK, Alex. I just figured out you were talking about the commenter, not about me. I still don’t agree with the bashing, but I take back the evil thoughts I was having about you.

  3. Excuse me, I never said I agreed with Beth and I definitely don’t think Pits should be banned anywhere (A direct quote from my comment up above: “I entirely disagree with the bans”) I also said that any issue you MIGHT come across owning a Pit can be dealt with with “reasonable ease” (from a later comment I made). I worked in a rescue shelter and 90% of our dogs were Pits, the ones with unfortunate backgrounds, and they were all the sweetest dogs you’d ever meet. If you kept up with this blog you’d know that I am always right there defending the breed. I’d also like to clarify that I was defending Beth the Dog Lady because I didn’t see that the person who commented above was ALSO named Beth. And I don’t think you actually sat down and read what I said thoroughly because there is no way I condoned anything commenter Beth said and I actually agreed with Beth the Dog Lady in saying “dominant traits of aggression” don’t really have a clear meaning.
    And Gail, read what I said about the number of pits: there are 2.5 times more pits than people in the US so I’m sorry yours had issues, but the fact that only a few are like that relative to the total Pit populous isn’t surprising. I don’t understand how ONE bad experience is enough to destroy an entire breed in your eyes.
    Breed biases are like racism, one bad experience with a race turning you against that race is wrong, and it’s the same with dogs,

  4. Wow! Such venom! Did you actually read the article Alex? I am not advocating any such thing! I am simply reporting the news that the Marine Corps has banned aggressive breeds at some of its bases. I hope when you calm down you will read the entire article and reconsider your opinion of both me and Pookie.

  5. All I’ve got to say is this: Who the fuck is this cunt Beth to think that we should ban an entire breed. And who the hell is this Pookie to defend her as a PB lover, even though she CLEARLY stated they should be banned nationwide. You people need to be FIXED.

  6. I want all of you pitbull advocates to get mauled by a pitbull like I did, by a dog who was raised in the most loving environment – then you can say whatever you want, pro or con……my physical scars will fade; but the emotional ones – probably never. So stupid to proliferate a breed that is so deadly – I don’t care what you say……

  7. Another breed I’ve heard of issues with is German Shepherds. Well I work with dogs and where I work we have a trio that comes in, two German Shepherds and a weenie dog. The weenie dog is dominant and the size of a paw of the Shepherds. When you walk up to their gate the weenie dog sticks her head under and licks your feet while the Shepherds jump up and lick your face. So what’s the issue? I was attacked by a Shepherd as a small child, as I remember it, but I was 8, but a few years later I saw a Shultzhund demonstration and understand better now dog “aggression” and psychology and it is rare to find a dog that intimidates me these days. I think that if people knew or understood half of what they think they know and understand we would not have the controversy we have now.
    Idlehands brings up an excellent point that many people are unaware of or overlook, that pit bulls are terriers. The owner of any terrier will agree that they tend to have quite an edge of stubbornness, if not tenacity, not that it cannot be dealt with effectively and with reasonable ease.

  8. From I was a kid I have always had a bull terrier of some kind. I had a big red pit bull terrier and he was quite placid, good with the kids, and quite clever. At about 50Lb he was a big boy too.
    I had a couple of English bull terriers they were saints, Very placid too, but not much affection showed they always kept up their decorum, and could dismiss any potential problem with a look and a snort. They shared with a mini weener dog and he was the boss. I didn’t have these guys from pup, I looked after them for a lady when her husband died. They were probably about 8 years old when I got them, and to be honest I reckon the weener kept them right.
    What I have noticed or think I have noticed over this past 30 years or so is that there are combinations of breed that don’t mix well. For example a jack russell terrier living with a staffordshire is probably about the worst combination you can get. The little russell is almost always a dominant aggressive little tearaway , and the staffy is happy to have someone else be dominant and follow along regardless..
    Pit bulls are terriers and have to be handled as terriers, they don’t have much reasoning ability beyond instinct or habit and although they are quick to learn and obedient, without consistant proper handling they are quick to forget too.
    Those snow dogs and husky types frighten the shit out of me.

  9. As long as a pit is brought up in a loving household and not by people who mistreat them, train then to be aggressive, etc. then Pits are fine. I never liked bigger dogs and when my fiance decided to get a Pit pup I was nervous. It’s been over a year and I am completely in love with our Pit. He is the SWEETEST dog ever! We have socialized him with other dogs and people and is NEVER aggressive towards others. He wags his tail and licks people to death that he doesn’t even know! The ONLY time he has ever been “aggressive” is when someone started arguing with my fiance. All he did was bark. I know that even if my fiance got into a physical fight with someone, our Pit probably wouldn’t even attack the person, he would probably just bark. If someone were to break into our house, he would just bark. He would never even attack a burgler.
    The reason there have been so many fatalities with Pit’s is because #1, a lot of people get these dogs for “protection.” but protection in a bad way. They see these big dogs who are extremely muscular and have powerful jaw power, and figure they are the best kind of dog for ATTACK. Now to my point, If a little or medium size dog bites someone it may draw a little blood or do some damage but it’s usually never hard enough to actually kill someone. However, Pits on the other hand have extreme jaw power and are very strong dogs (they were breed for work to push and pull heavy things and to use their mouths) so when a Pit bites, it’s more likely to be fatal because of the damage the bite can do.
    With ANY dog, if someone hugs them hard enough, runs at them, etc., they are apt to get defensive and bite.
    I had a Schnauzer once and my friend hugged her too hard and she bit her face. Yet, she has never bit anyone else (because nobody has given her that reason to). My Mom also has 2 Yorkies and whenever people come by that they don’t know well or at all, and they go to pet them, they bite their hands. My Pit on the other hand, has NEVER bitten anyone. My Mom’s Yorkies are more aggressive than my Pit and growl/bark and bite people they don’t know well. Yet, they are raised in an EXTREMELY loving home and rediculously spoiled. My pit, goes up to any and everyone he see’s and wags his tail and licks and wants you to play with him.
    People should compare dog bites in general insteaf fatal dog bites (the difference I explained above) and also keep in mind the fact that many Pits have been and still are raised for aggression, fighting, and the wrong kind of protection.

  10. Ok, so, this ban really hit close to home. I live in Jacksonville and my husband is a Marine at Camp Geiger, which is part of this ban. Anyway, I have a blue pitbull. She is the most wonderful, loving, loyal dog I have ever owned. She was properly socialized and spayed and she is not dog aggressive AT ALL! In fact, she is not aggressive to any animal. We have a cat and she snuggles on the couch with him. I also have horses and she plays with them but pitbulls are great farm dogs so that is no surprise. My daughter, who is 2, could not live without her deemie(which is what she calls her). Every stranger that she encounters is a new friend. She goes everywhere with me.. The bans on these “vicious dogs” is not going to work. It is not the dogs fault if they end up with an irresponsible owner that does not socialize their dog. It is not their fault that they end up with an owner who thinks it’s cool to have a “vicious” dog. It is not their fault that they are abused by the people they love. It IS the owners and breeders fault for breeding irresponsibly. It IS the owners fault for not having their dog on a leash. It is ALWAYS the people. Owning one of these dogs comes with certain responsibilities. If you can’t handle them then you shouldn’t have a dog in general.

  11. This is an outrage to have to give up your animal because of its breed. Like most, my pitt bull has never bit anyone even after being provoked by several kids onpost. He has been in our family for 3 years and now that I am on a new post I have to get rid of him even though we were protected by the grandfather clause on the last post. I feel like I am being forced to kill my dog because he has be catorgorized as a “vicious dog” even though he has no histrory of hurting anyone.

  12. i think its such a shame that pit bulls get such a hard time. in england they are banned everywhere. this isnt to say that you dont see them because plenty of yobs have them. this proves that the ban is completely pointless as all it does is places them in the wrong hands. i watched a program on national geographic wild the other day called dogstown. 52 pitbulls were seized from a vile man who arranged dog fights. the dogs were in a terrible state. one female who had scars all over her ,had had all her teeth removed by a qualified vet so she could be bred from. now you tell me who the dangerous ones are, man or dog? every dog was succesfully rehabillitated and rehomed. and not one single one was human aggressive. all dogs need supervision around children, whatever the breed. a 5 pound pommerainian killed a baby. i own american bulldogs and american bulldog crosses. all are friendly, obedient, loving and loyal companions. i am pack leader to 12 of these dogs. ive had my oldest one for 8 years and have kids. not once have one of my dogs so much as snarled at me. let alone tried to bite and some have been abused before they came to me. dogs are extremely forgiving. more focus needs to be on what these poor dogs suffer at the hands of nasty or irresponsible owners who havnt a clue how to train a dog. instead of breed bans, dogs should be licenced with the proceeds going towards mandatory education into adequetly training a dog and caring for it

  13. Pit bull bans are not the answer. This great breed of dog is being owned by the wrong people in these cases. This few people shouldn’t ruin the breed for the rest of the people that raise these dogs to be loving family pets. The people that are fighting these dogs and using them as a mean of protection or street cred are the ones ruining the reputation of the breed. They need to enact extremely tough laws against people fighting and mistreating dogs of any breed. That is the only way to truly solve problems with dog aggression towards people.

    You can ban a breed, but there are hundreds of other breeds of dogs that have the same potential to kill and maim people and children. Banning the breed will only change the breed responsible for the attacks. It will not stop dog attacks.

    Pit bull were never bred to be human aggressive, only dog aggressive. Even the dog aggression has been bred out of this breed for the most part. Human aggression is not a characteristic of this breed and it never was.

    It’s the rare cases where a person tries to train these dogs to be human aggressive with no knoledge on the breed, or how to properly train a protection dog. They end up with a dog that is unstable and unpredictable. The other type of people that are respnsible for dog attacks are people with little or no knoledge of the breed that do no socilize their dogs with people or other dogs. Socilizing dogs of any breed is essential in preventing dog attacks. Also, dogs need daily exercise to avoid building pent up energy that can be potentially released in the wrong way.

    There are hundreds of dog attacks each day. The media only focuses on pit bull attacks for the most part. They do this because it sells their story and gives the public the misconception that pit bulls are responsible for most dog attacks. In reality they are responsible for very few dog attacks.

    If anyone takes the time to do research on strong breeds of dogs you will find hundreds of breeds that have the potential to kill. Therefore banning one breed of dog is not only pointless, it’s unfair to dog owners that treat this breed with love and consider them as part of their family.

  14. I agree that it’s not necessarily the dog but the people who have the dog-it’s like the saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.
    I have a very lovable English Setter but she turns into a raging mad animal when the mail comes to our house. It’s like having two diff. dogs. Maybe rather than ban a pitbull, someone should be licensed to have this type of dog, and license them only if they have the proper education and knowledge to deal with the pitbull. I, myself, think they are a cute dog, although I don’t think I would ever own one due to the time necessarily to train them properly.

  15. Ok sweetheart now that we have this off our chest let’s learn to be nice. I’m a die-hard Pit supporter and when you consider the 50,000,000 Pits in the US it’s no surprise a couple people are killed by them. Nonetheless, noone wants to listen to someone who argues their point with STFU and Go $%^& yourself.
    I read Beth’s blog all the time and she is not an idiot and if you look at the profile for Pits on here you would see she is not a believer that Pits are evil AND she even says on here the definition “with dominant traits of agression” isn’t sufficient. As much as I love Pits (I work with almost 20 and they’re all sweeties) they are dominant dogs and when you don’t train them properly, get them out of a bad situation, or get them bred correctly (ei with aggressive parents) they can be sketchy. Mine was no less than the spawn of the devil because he’d been severely abused. But most of the time it’s nothing that can’t be controled with proper training but still a lot of people don’t have the time, money, patients, or means to do this. Don’t get me wrong, I entirely disagree with the bans but really let’s calm down and not argue like a petty little kid.

  16. STFU Beth!

    I own a pit bull and a yorkie. My yorkie is more likely to bite that my pit bull. You don’t know what you’re talking about. Pit bulls are NOT people aggressive. Any dog can be made aggressive by irresponsible owners. You need to watch the Dog Whisper, since Caesar Millan has more experience with pit bulls and dogs in general than you seem to have. Pit bulls get lumped in with other breeds or mix breeds that have attacked people. You can look on a number of sites for that information.

    My pit bull is NOT aggressive. She has NEVER tried to bite anyone. She is super sweet and has never attack my other dog or my cats. It’s ignorant people like you that perpetuate this myth of them being mean and vicious. You’re an idiot. Go %^%$ yourself you idiot!!!!!

  17. Pitbulls are instictivly aggressive and unlike a little fluffy dog that might occasionally give a little irritated snip, this is a dog that can and has killed and maimed many people. So this FACT in mind, it seems to me that regardless of who or what is at fault in this equation, the fact remains this is a potentially very dangerous breed of dog. My thinking is that with so many less aggressive breeds to love and have as companions why promote one with such a track record ? Do you have no compassion for the next victims which there will surely be as history records indicate ?

    I love dogs too but can not tolerate ignorant blind love for an animal that elevates it above the concern for human life and safety. Even if we had the perfect situation for these dogs, only perfect humans who perfectly raised and kept these dogs (which is impossible ), it would still not change the fact that they are bred to be aggressive, it is their nature and when and how it might errupt is not predictable. You can never say with any logical truthful reasoning that your pitbull would never attack and harm a child or adult. Pitbulls are excited by a child running, screaming and playing ….poor provoked pitty. The reasoning for a dog can not be equated with the reasoning of a human being. Please stop giving dogs human feelings and reasoning ability.

    Finally, I repeat, because of imperfect people, imperfect conditions, and the documented history of destruction by these dogs which is at least ten times worse than any other breed, they do not need to exist and should not exist.

    Are their any “good” pitbulls that never have harmed anyone? Yes, I agree there are but that does not change the fact that the overall profile and record of this breed and the fact that so many have harmed by them that it outweighs the argument for them. Bottom line is if a few good owners and dogs have to suffer to prevent children from being killed , then it is worth it.

    This dog should be banned in the US and it should have been banned years ago. Our congress and lawmakers are surpose to protect us. But instead, we have thousands of backyard breeders of this dangerous dog being sold to anyone with 100 dollars or even less. I know where there are two such litters right now . This breed attracts the ignorant and the outlaws , another reason it has to be banned.

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