You can’t totally take the breed out of the dog

The purpose of pure breeding is to maintain and pass on these bred traits

You can’t totally take the breed out of the dog

Whenever a pit bull attack hit the media there is both an immediate defence and prosecution of the breed.

The defence always is, “there is not such thing as a bad dog — just bad owners”. Yes, that statement cannot be disputed. But what is a constant failure to be brought into the equation is “breeding”. All pure bred breeds of dogs are bred for a specific purpose: hunting, herding, guarding, companionship, etc. The purpose of pure breeding is to maintain and pass on these bred traits — hence why pur breeds exist.

Unfortunatley the pit bull was an illegally bred dog, bred specifically to fight and kill other dogs, mainly pit bulls, in a pit ring for the illegal purpose of monetary gains in the form of bets. Dog fighting is illegal in the United States and many other countries world wide.

The pit bull was not bred for companionship or gentle temperment or eve a guard dog — quite the opposite. The animals were deprived of human contact and any form of compassionate treatment. Tragically, the puppies were deprived of food for great lengths of time to the point of starvation and then were thrown live kittens for which the starving puppies would ruthlessly fight each other to the point of death for the right to eat. The tough, aggressive survivors went on to breed and fight to their own death.

Unfortunately, a pure bred pit bull was bred solely for an aggressive nature, physical strength, massive locked jaws to specifically fight to the death of another dog.

Yes, as time goes by and puppies are born into a gentler environment and are loved, cuddled, fed, cherished by human beings, the unfortunate fact is that a pit bull still is genetically predisposed to what was bred into the breed. A pit bull can sadly be a “ticking time bomb”.

In my capacity as president of West Vancouver and later the Cowichan SPCA, I experienced the tragedy of West Vancouver’s mascot Ike, a pit bull puppy the shelter adopted as their mascot, being euthanized. Ike was around seven when he suddenly became very aggressive, attempting to attack staff and other animals at the shelter. Up to that point Ike had been a loving, kind, intelligent and wonderful dog. We had no other choice, not for just the staff, other people and animals, but for his sake, to have Ike euthanized. It was heart wrenching for me and the staff.

The decision by 32 countries, some provinces and municipalities to ban the breed is a humanitarian act of kindness to the breed. The bans are not promoting the euthanizing of existing pit bulls, but the exercising of mandatory spaying, neutering, no breeding and ownership of pit bulls.

Yes, bad owners can made any breed of dog vicious — but all dog owners, kind or not, cannot take all the breeding traits out of a breed. I cannot take the herding instinct our of my corgi, or retrieving out of my golden retriever. Sadly for pit bulls, killing cannot be totally bred out. Statistics cannot be ignored; 80 per cent of all dog attacks on other animals and humans world wide are attributed to pit bulls.

Marsha Todd

Cowichan Valley