According to Richardson Zoo, Shelbyville is considering a breed ban on pit bulls after a couple of attacks. Y’all know that I think breed bans are stupid, but I’m really tired of reading about "pit bulls" attacking people. It is just not that hard to own a pit bull that doesn’t go around attacking people. What the fuck is wrong with people?
I, at the least, have some advice for pit bull owners (or the folks in charge of pit bulls, if you’re just watching the dog for someone else).
1. Unless your dog is so well-trained that it will always drop whatever it is doing, no matter how interesting, and return to you when you command it to, do not let your dog outside off-leash. My dog has lept into a tree over my head after a squirrel. A fenced-in yard is really no deterrent to a determined dog.
2. Don’t leave your dog outside unsupervised. If you are not outside, the dog is not outside. The pitbull breeds are bright dogs.
a.) If they see that all the pack is going in and out of the house at will, they may use their time to figure out how to move up in the pack. If you have kids who go in and out of the house and a pit bull who’s never allowed in the house, you are creating a recipe for disaster, because that dog may see taking that kid out as a way of moving up in the pack and thus into the house.
b.) Or they may think that they’re being left outside to defend the pack’s territory. Sadly, most pit bulls are not well-acquainted with the concept of property lines, and so, if it seems like your little old lady neighbor and her yappy dog are coming too close to what your dog has decided is its pack’s territory, again, you are creating a recipe for disaster.
3. Some dogs do have bad experiences with children. It’s just a dog, no matter how bright or special, it’s still just a dog. If you know your dog has had bad experiences with children, don’t continue to put it in situations where it has to deal with children. Mrs. Wigglebottom, for instance, once got hit on the head with a cow femur by a little boy and she reacted unpleasantly.
No one was killed, but stitches were involved and that’s why she came to live with the child-free people in our family. She likes kids, but she’s uncertain around them. So, we’ve instituted a rule that, when the kids are here, they can feed the dog whenever and whatever they like–dog treats, pizza crusts, dog food, partially-hamburgers, whatever–and no one else may feed her. We’re creating a new connotation for her for little boys. When they show up, it’s a grand and special time for her and they are the cause, not of pain for her, but for getting fed, which she loves.
But the kids understand that they have to be careful around her and treat her gently. And she knows that they aren’t here on a permanent basis.
I’m not saying that a pit bull is the easiest dog in the world to own–they’re not types of dogs I would recommend to inexperienced dog owners–but really, there is no excuse for all of the pit bull related problems there are except that people are assholes who don’t take their responsibilities as dog owners seriously.
I advise you to consider Uncle’s advice, which is slightly different than mine, but along the same lines.