Today, I am going off Alaskan topics for what is basically a political rant. Some of you may be on the other side of this argument, and I am sure you have your reasons … but I have mine. Specifically, this guy:
This is my pup, Auggie … also known as “Auggie the Doggie”, “AugDog”, “Auggers”, “Fullthrottle’s Gold Rush King”, “Pooper”, “Pooper Dooper”, “Mosieur Stinkybutt”, and on a very very rare occasion “good boy”. He is a pure blood Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The breed is considered to be a “bully breed” put together with the American Staffordshire (AmStaff), American Pit Bull, and sometimes the Boxer. Bully breeds are typically all thrown together with ‘pit bulls’ in general because, well, they are from the same historical tradition of breeding from bull baiting and fighting in the 1800s. Because poorly trained and poorly managed dogs existed, bully breeds gained the reputation for being aggressive towards humans, some would argue that was a fair reputation, some wouldn’t.
There was a rush in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s to impose what is now known as “Breed Specific Laws”. These laws were in intended to punish the whole breed based on situations and incidents. Towns & cities enacted laws that either required sterilization & micro-chipping, muzzling, or an outright ban on the breeds. The argument against such laws is that dogs and humans are much alike that we react to our environment and upbringing. Breeds known for their aggression can easily be managed by basic training and mindful ownership — and while its arguable that bully breeds need a different kind of attention, it ain’t rocket science. Auggie’s daddy is an idiot. No seriously, I knew nothing about owning a dog when I bought him, and the learning process was a strange experience to me, and while I still have to work to adjust some of his behaviors .. if I can do it, I am sure anyone can tame a bully. I mean, does this look like a bully to you?
Since the issue is legislative, it’s also political, which means that there is extremists — like “Pit Bull Holistic” (no I did NOT make up that name), or groups who make the owning of a doggie like Auggie the equivalent of owning an assault weapon requiring background checks and special owner licensing. Less aggressive campaigns like DogsBite.org simply support legislation like a lobbyist but suggest education and research are as good of a route to improving breed ownership (of course, the means they use to gain support is a daily blog of dog bites). The state that these breeds need to be legislated because they are dangerous to mankind; however, they are as statistically backed up by a legislation to prevent people from swimming on beaches out of protecting us from sharks.
The good news is for us on the opposite side, we have groups carrying bigger sticks. The American Kennel Club (AKC) led the fight to ban Breed Specific Laws (BSL). They state: “Like racial profiling for dogs, BSL summarily penalizes responsible dog owners without holding owners of truly dangerous dog accountable.” Caesar Milano (The Dog Whisperer) is pretty anti-BSL as well, saying “Other breeds are more aggressive than bully breeds in wrong ownership, but just because a Chihuahua isn’t as big and strong as a Rottweiler their behavior is ignored.” While it is the local governments that are imposing BSLs, it is the states that are calling a halt to it. For instance, there is an law in Boston that no ‘new’ bully breed dogs are allowed to move into the city, and all existing bully breeds must be muzzled in public. This was put in place in 2005. But since then, Massachusetts passed a law stating that any BSLs were not allowed, meaning the Boston law was nullified. For what it’s worth, Alaska has no BSLs and have no intention to put them in place … this is just a rant, and you never know where we will end up at.
I am sure that there is a good chance that some of you out there are on the other side of this issue. You probably have your reasons to think so. I’ll admit I am really biased on the issue. But can you blame me? I mean … I have a hard enough time saying “no” to this guy when he chews on the fence, or crawls on my lap in the car, or sits on my head & farts, or when he wants to slobber all over my face at 4am. Can you really pass a law against this face?