Also, didn't Ontario just pass that new law to ban Pitbulls? Has it gone into effect?
These dogs will be put down. Dangerous breed, I tell you.
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man.
-- Samuel Langhorne Clemens
A clear distinction needs to be made between canine homicides (i.e., incidents in which dogs kill people) and the dog bite epidemic. The attention given to the homicides has put the spotlight on pit bulls and Rottweilers. Without a doubt, these two dogs are usually the number one and number two canine killers of humans. (See below, The dogs most likely to kill.) It therefore is correct to single out those two breeds when talking about canine homicides, because those two breeds cause half or more of the deaths.
However, an incorrect impression is given when talk shifts casually from the canine homicide issue to the dog bite epidemic. These are separate problems, not to be confused with each other. While killings definitely are news, and while pit bulls and Rottweilers are definitely over-represented when considering human deaths, there must be a line drawn between the homicides, for which two breeds are largely responsible, and the dog bite epidemic, which involves many different breeds.
Canine inflicted homicides have remained at the same general level (15 to 20 annually), which cannot be said for the number of dog bites, which is too high (5 million annually) and appears to be growing higher (see statistics, above). Considering the fact that there are 65 million dogs in the United States (see above), the homicide problem is minuscule. This is not to denigrate it, but to point out that eliminating it entirely would save only 15 to 20 people, out of the 5 million who are bitten by dogs.
The confusion caused by discussing the homicides and the dog bites in the same breath has its most important ramification in the area of prevention. Some are advocating the banning of pit bulls and possibly other breeds, for reasons that range from their alleged dangerousness to the fact that they are very often treated inhumanely. Those who hear about the homicides often support breed bans. (See Breed Specific Laws, Regulations and Bans.)
However, while banning the pit bull might lower the number of human deaths, such a ban would probably not reduce dog bites in any significant manner. After the United Kingdom banned pit bulls in the 1990s, a study showed that the number of dog bites remained the same even though the number of pit bulls had steeply declined. (Study cited in B. Heady and P. Krause, "Health Benefits and Potential Public Savings Due to Pets: Australian and German Survey Results," Australian Social Monitor, Vol.2, No.2, May 1999.)
As a practical matter, the current tide of public outrage should be focused on the enactment of measures that would deal effectively with the broader problem, not the more narrow one. It would be unwise to enact all kinds of controls on one breed alone, not necessarily because it would be unfair, but because it would be ineffective. The war against crime isn't a war against just the bank robbers, but against all criminals; the war against drugs isn't a war against just the Colombian drug lords, but all drug lords. For the same reason, the dog bite epidemic must not focus on just one breed and stop there.
We should be careful to distinguish between these two problems, because it would be a pity to miss what might be an opportunity to take a real bite out of the dog bite epidemic.
In all fairness, therefore, it must be noted that:
Any dog, treated harshly or trained to attack, may bite a person. Any dog can be turned into a dangerous dog. The owner most often is responsible -- not the breed, and not the dog.
An irresponsible owner or dog handler might create a situation that places another person in danger by a dog, without the dog itself being dangerous, as in the case of the Pomeranian that killed the infant (see above).
Any individual dog may be a good, loving pet, even though its breed is considered to be likely to bite. A responsible owner can win the love and respect of a dog, no matter its breed. One cannot look at an individual dog, recognize its breed, and then state whether or not it is going to attack. (emphasis added)
So much for snotty references to anecdotal evidence, by those who have only deployed anecdotal evidence themselves.
Have you never acted like a pitbull in the political forum?
Snotty? Not at all. If you'd bother to look through my posts in this thread, you'd see that I've made it perfectly clear that my opinion is based primarily on anecdotal evidence. You are obviously a poor judge of snotty.
You might have anecdotal evidence of a gentle pit, but I have tons of anecdotal evidence of dangerous and violent pits.