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Pit Bulls: Objectivity Or Prejudice?

Updated on January 28, 2010

Here's The Defendant In The Case

Let's See If You Are Really An Objective And Fair Minded Person

Stories of pit bull maulings are all over the Internet. If you live in a community of any size and you follow your local news, you've probably encountered at least one pit bull attack story in your own hometown. However, have you ever asked yourself, how did the journalist or the Website author identify the pit bull that mauled the human being? Let's see how good you are at identifying pit bulls.

Tell The Truth!

How many dogs did you misidentify as the pit bull until you finally got the right one? I have owned two pit bulls in my life and I misidentified quite a few until I finally got it right. If you're anything like me, and I suspect you are, how then are dog attack victims, witnesses, journalists, and Website authors so much better than we are at identifying pit bulls? The answer is clear. They aren't. Pit bulls are misidentified very frequently as the culprits in attacks against humans and it is they that are the victims of prejudice and discrimination.

Let's Look At Reliable Data

How much is one and one? If you ask your accountant, and he's good at what he does, he'll ask you "what do you want it to be?" So, there's good reason not to trust data unless you're sure it comes from a reliable source. Frankly, I know of no reliable sources of data when it comes to dog attacks in America since the vast majority of attacks go unreported and since the identification of the culprit breeds is so incredibly inaccurate. That being said, what data can be trusted? Well, here's the answer in a nutshell. The American Temperament Test Society, Inc. is a national not-for-profit organization that conducts objective dog temperament testing, which focuses on stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness. In a study of 28,955 dogs, they found that the average percentage passing the test for good temperament was 81.9. At 85.3%, the American Pit Bull Terrier's percentage passing was higher than average. Keeping in mind the pit bull's score of 85.3%, check the statistics on the following dogs that are held in high esteem by Americans:

Beagle                                             81.0

Chihuahua                                       71.1

Cocker Spaniel                                81.9

Dalmatian                                         81.9

German Shepherd                           83.7

Jack Russell Terrier                         83.1

Miniature Poodle                              77.3

Shih Tzu                                          77.5

Toy Poodle                                      82.4

Yorkshire Terrier                             82.1

While the temperament scores for a handful of dogs exceeded that of the pit bull, it should be clear that pit bulls are simply not the aggressive breed they are made out to be by a prejudiced public.

Additional Objective Data

The Center For Disease Control supports the position that irresponsible owners, NOT BREEDS, are the chief cause of dog bites. They have done studies and have concluded that the most dangerous breed of dog changes with popularity and reputation. In short, objective data shows that pit bulls and other large breeds are NOT the aggressive killers the public has been led to believe they are. Are you ready to be objective or will you hang onto your prejudice despite the facts?


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