As the owner of a Malamute husky/ wolf hybrid, I have often been presented with breed discrimination. Some of it is unintentional, such as someone backing away from my dog on the street because society has taught them that dogs of this size are dangerous. These are the same people who run up to Golden Retrievers and Pomeranians with no fear at all, when in fact these dogs have the same brain construction.
These people aren’t the ones I am even angry about. It is the other type of person. This person consciously picks on a certain breed of dog because of one specific incident they saw in the newspaper or on the TV. This was a huge problem for my family and our beloved dog when a story of a husky killing a baby traveled worldwide across every media outlet. People began blaming the dogs involved, and any dog that slightly resembled them. Walker bys would make comments towards me, asking why I wasn’t killing my dog/ having him put down, as he was apparently dangerous. I’ve never really seen my dog hurt a fly, so this greatly upset me. He is charming and loveable and wants nothing more than to be everyone’s best friend.
The countless attempts to eliminate certain dogs as family pets on the sole basis of their breed, size or any other physical characteristic is just quite simply unjustifiable and has been going on for far too long. A dog being judged by their breed is unacceptable as statistics cannot support the statements that any one breed is dangerous. Saying the breed is to blame angers me more than anything, certain groups argue that these breeds are “vicious” but all this does is distract attention from the real problem which is irresponsible dog ownership.
After the Netherlands banned pit bulls in 1993, the amount of dog bites did not decrease; therefore they actually lifted the ban in 2008. In England, the Dangerous Dog Act was put in place in 1991, targeting pit bulls and several other breeds and have since had an increase in dog attacks. Do these facts not begin to prove the assumptions wrong?
Any breed can be trained to be aggressive and irresponsible owners can simply move on to a different breed if one is banned. For example, the term “pit bull” actually applies to a type of dog rather than a breed. American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Staffordshire Bull Terriers, mixes of these breeds, or dogs with physical characteristics resembling one of these breeds are lumped into the “pit bull” category. This means that with a ban against a specific breed, several dogs who are mixed or resemble the breed slightly would be ceased and euthanized because no one is going to pay the costs of DNA testing each animal.
Bans and labeling of certain breeds because they are “dangerous” make it difficult for responsible owners of these breeds to find places who will rent to them and to find proper insurance. It doesn’t matter how gentle or well trained their companion is, the prejudice is already happening. Even cities without bans have people dealing with this issue.
Now, which breed causes the most dog bites per year? There are no credible facts to know this for sure. The so-called “dangerous dogs” jaw mechanism is no different than any other dog of equal size and locking the jaw is physically impossible for any breed. While examining the wound of a bite victim doctors may be able to tell if it was a large or small dog. It will never prove the specific breed. Pit Bulls, Rottie’s, Shepherd’s, Mastiffs, and Husky’s as well as all of the smaller breeds…none of their brains are any different than that of any other breed of dog.
The lack of education people have on the topic has even begun to create bans at certain airlines, hotels and other every day needs. This needs to stop. Take a moment to get to know a dog personally before judging it! Get to know its owners, as this is the true personality test. A well trained dog is a well trained dog no matter what its breed!