To the editor:
Re: Children Mauled: Dog Attacks Revive Calls for Pit Bull Ban, Aug. 30 Capital News.
There are misleading errors in this story. For one, a pit bull isn’t an actual breed but rather a general term used to refer to several different breeds including American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers, and others. They are not inherently aggressive and with correct training, like any other dog breed, they can be great family pets.
The American Temperament Test Society is a professional organization that objectively tests the temperaments of various dog breeds. As a result of the tests and observations done by the American Temperament Test Society, the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier scored 83.4 per cent, 83.3 per cent, and 93.2 per cent respectively. The average scoring that year was 81 per cent, for the 200 dog breeds tested.
The American Temperament Test Society has ranked pit bulls better in temperament than many other breeds including breeds such as beagle, border collie, shih tzu, pomeranian, and others.
Failing to include more information will influence readers’ opinions in a negative way and contribute to the stigma surrounding the breeds that fall under the label pit bull like the American pit bull terrier.
Owners are responsible for disciplining their dogs and reinforcing correct behaviours. A dog does not suddenly snap and bite someone, there is always a reason and it does not lie in the breed.
People need to be reminded or educated of the effect that improper training has on dogs, with the owners being at fault if the dog displays bad behaviour.
A dog owner may truly be loving and caring but that does not mean they are properly educated in dog training or behaviour. Bad behaviour comes from a dog that is not trained properly, not a specific breed.
Please do not continue to contribute to the stigma surrounding this amazing breed by not providing all the information, it is a disservice to the breed as well as to your readers.