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I'm frustrated that this thread has deteriorated this way. For a split second, I thought people weren't going to go off tangentially on Foxglove's post and the thread was going to continue to be constructive. Oh well...

 

Lisa

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[While my comment will diverge from the main topic, I would agree that, no matter what the circumstances, one should be prepared to fend off an attack (whether on one's person or on one's dog) from another dog when out in public. With that said, a sawed-off baseball bat could be viewed as a weapon, and in many locales may even violate local ordinances. Pepper spray is NOT a good idea; some dogs only become more enraged by it.]

 

Great advice. I'm thinking Bear spray. 'Curious to know if you think that will be ineffective? There's also the police grade spray. Either of these will stop a bear, at least for a few.

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I'm frustrated that this thread has deteriorated this way.

 

I'd have to agree with this comment, I was reading along and suddenly it went off-course. She said the breed CAN be the problem, not the breed IS the problem - it's ok to say that BCs were developed to herd, some breeds were developed to pull carts, some were developed to go to ground after rodents, some were developed to be water retrievers, so why should it not be ok to say that some breeds were developed to bite-and-hold?

 

Hispanics were only mentioned as the group she had observed in her area that tends to have bully breeds. In my area it's young, caucasian men, who appear to be of a certain socio-economic attitude - what could be called rednecks - who need a dog to project their chosen image for them. To be fair and politically correct that would have to be labeled stereotyping also rather than an observation.

 

I don't think there was an intention to be bigoted - toward canines or humans - nor was there any mention of BSL.

 

Suzanne

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I agree with Suzanne. I don't think Foxglove's statement was meant to be bigoted, just an observation from her day to day experience. In my day to day experience, bully breeds are mostly seen with young black men here in the city limits and young white "rednecks" in the outer areas. Both groups have the same attitude toward the dogs and it's all about testosterone.

 

 

I think I posted this experience we had shortly after getting Finn, but a "redneck" type guy was visiting a friend of his in our neighborhood and they were out walking their dogs. The guy had an enormous Great Dane (really beautiful thing). So, of course we commented on how beautiful his dog was and how pretty the lady's Sheltie was.

But we were a bit surprised at the guy's reaction to Finn.....he proceeded to tell us how agressive BCs are and that he wanted one because a BC would defend you to the death and he KNEW this because his father had a BC that killed a pit bull. So of course, any dog that could kill a pit bull is the BEST and he can't wait til his Great Dane dies so he can get himself one of those aggressive BCs.

 

Pit Bulls are for sissies, yo.

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I don't support BSL. However, in the heat of the moment, after an incident with an aggressive dog or when one is habitually faced with aggressive dogs, it is tempting to support any kind of public safety constraints that limit some of the freedoms of breeds that may have a propensity toward aggression or have the capacity to do a great deal of damage in a short time. I live on a street that has an aggressive dog often running loose with the several other dogs roaming at large. My town is sort of being gentrified, trying to decide whether it wants to be suburban or rural. There are no leash laws here, though clearly we need some. The aggressive dog on my block has attacked someone's dog, but that person didn't want to report it (due to fear of retaliation by the owner and his friends). So now we must wait for this dog to attack another dog before we can limit its freedom. I know this dog could be any breed, but I worry that an incident with this dog might result in injuries greater than that by another dog. So BSL is not the answer, but I don't know what is. Getting leash laws enacted and then enforced in my community, I guess. It'll be a slow process, so until that happens, I suppose carrying this Direct Stop mentioned by Clara will be a start for me.

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I don't think it's ever OK to just sit back and say nothing and let racism slide. Nor is it impolite to call someone on it. It's the responsibility of a decent human being and concerned citizen.

 

This board may be about dogs, but it exists in the context of our broader society, as do we all. There are a lot of topics from the "real world" I'm willing to allow don't really belong here. But sticking your head in the sand and ignoring flat-out bigoted statements in the spirit of being "polite" is not acceptable.

 

This thread didn't deteriorate when we called Foxglove on it; she shot it in the head with her own statements.

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I can't help but believe that this "race" conversation wouldn't even be happening if the group of individuals in question were a "bunch of Irish dudes."

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You can believe what you like if it makes you feel better, Jodi.

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I can't help but believe that this "race" conversation wouldn't even be happening if the group of individuals in question were a "bunch of Irish dudes."

 

Let's try it!

 

The problem is stupid people think they are "bad asses" with these bully breeds and they let them act like "bad ass" dogs. I know this is not the greatest thing to say, but I really am not a very big fan of bully breeds. I also live in an area that has a huge Irish population.. that thinks that they are the most "bad ass" if they have the largest pit bull on a huge chain and a collar with the largest spikes......

 

And how does it spoil the thread if someone raises her hand and points out, "Y'know, that's one offensive whopper of a generalization"?

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My dog and I both got hurt getting attacked by other dogs - twice but by different dogs. I bought a stun gun and carry it now.

 

http://www.safetyenforcement.com/stunguns.html

 

If I had it to do over again I would have bought a stun baton but I don't remember seeing any when I went shopping.

 

http://www.safetyenforcement.com/stunbatons.html

 

It isn't always a nice world and there are a lot of irresponsible people. I sure hope Sage is doing better.

 

Robin

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I am quickly becoming of the opinion that bully breeds should not be allowed loose in public.

Sounds like support for bsl to me. I'd love a requirement that people have to pass a test to get a dog, similar to getting your driver's license. Doesn't stop stupid drivers but at least it ensures some basic level of understanding. I'm all in favour of dangerous dog laws that punish bad owners. Make the fines huge if your dog attacks or injures another person or animal. Make it a three strikes rule so the person can't own another dog without some dog education and volunteer time in a shelter.

 

I feel for what you've been through but if a dog can be listed as a "problem" dog on the basis of someone else's say-so without any documentation to back the complaint up, that is rather disturbing for reasons I am sure you can see.

You'd love bsl in Ontario. While there is a ban on bullies, anybody can have a dog declared menacing by filing a report and it is up to the owner to prove that their dog isn't a problem. If your neighbour hates dogs, they can report your maltese or BC as having been "menacing" and your dog can be seized. Scary stuff. Italy started with a list of 13 breeds and now have more than 90 that are banned or restricted including the Border Collie.

 

If it had been a bunch of Irish dudes, race may not have been mentioned in the first place. We've got idiot dog owners here of all types - Asian, East Indian, Native, European, assorted white types, Canadian born and immigrants...stupidity crosses all races.

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I'd love a requirement that people have to pass a test to get a dog, similar to getting your driver's license.

 

I've been thinking a LOT about this for the last couple days, and that's where my brain goes, too. I've also been thinking there should be some minimal prep/education before you get a license - like driver's ed. Maybe the inconvenience of just having to take a class would avoid some of the impulse buys or the "gotta show off my testosterone" buys. Minimally, the class could teach about socialization, fear periods, and building trust with a dog, as well as stressing the dangers and fines faced if a dog becomes aggressive and hurts someone.

 

But then my brain goes to how any idiot can have a kid, and has to have no understanding, empathy, responsibility, or preparation. ::Sigh::

 

Mary

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I can't help but believe that this "race" conversation wouldn't even be happening if the group of individuals in question were a "bunch of Irish dudes."

 

Sure it would, just probably not on this side of the Atlantic. But if you go to some of the British boards, at least the horsey ones anyway, and do a search for "tinker" you'll find some conversations, pretty similar to this one, about "a bunch of Irish dudes." While you're there, type in "chavs" as well. Or heck, for prejudice a little closer to home, do a search for "hillbilly."

 

Prejudice doesn't require a difference in skin color - culture and/or economic status will do just fine. Which is, I think, relevant to the pibble discussion. There are people who want bad-a$$ dogs and nowadays that's pit bulls. In the past it's been chows, dobes, rottweilers, GSDs or what have you. It's the way some people deal with being powerless. Not good for the dogs, of course, who are even more powerless than the people. But that's kind of the point, IMO - "here's an animal that inspires fear but who in turn fears me."

 

I don't think it's ever OK to just sit back and say nothing and let racism slide. Nor is it impolite to call someone on it. It's the responsibility of a decent human being and concerned citizen.

 

You're right, Melanie, and thank you for the reminder. I bowed out of the thread when it took this turn because I have to make that call so many times IRL. Especially this year. *sighs* It gets tiring. So thank you for the re-inspiration this morning. :rolleyes:

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Wow, am I the only one depressed by FoxgloveBC's entire post? I hope not.

 

Depressed, and disgusted, seem mild in my mind.

 

I really (not!) love this part:

 

My whole opinion is that only certain people who can become qualified should be allowed to own bully breeds. They should go through some sort of procedure or something..

 

Perhaps were could apply the same to Border Collie *breeders* so we wouldn't have to hear about all these wacked out sport lines and high priced color dog breeders.

 

When they do that....we will talk about what to do about "qualifications" to own a dog like a bully :rolleyes:

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Apologies in advance if this offends, but I just can’t let this go. IMHO, I think there is a great problem in semantics here. Racism is a strong word with many implications. It is just altogether too easy to brand someone a racist. It is a horrible condemnation and should be used carefully. Please, look it up in the dictionary: 1) a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others. 2) a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination. 3) hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

 

I read the statements as the observations of the poster, nothing more. I did not read anything more into the post. Perhaps a better word to describe the post would be "stereotyping", not racism. I would think you would need to hear more or know the person a little better before you label them “racist”.

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I've stayed out of this one, but I just wanted to make one quick comment, not only about BSL, but also about this idea of requiring some sort of test or educational program before getting a dog (because I'm not sure if this idea was serious or not and I think it is as dangerous as BSL).

 

First of all, the only people who are affected by laws are law-abiding citizens. Those who have bully breeds or other macho-breeds for the wrong reasons will still have them even if they are banned. The harder they become to obtain, the more desirable they will become--like drugs or guns. Meanwhile, those of us who are responsible dog owners are punished for the sins of others. Additionally, how many of these dogs do you think are actually licensed? Licensing is basically at the discretion of the owner. Unless your dogs gets loose and is picked up by the police or bites someone, the cops (at least around here) don't go door to door checking dog licenses. Even if obtaining a license became a pre-requisite to adoption or purchase from a state-licensed breeder, how many of these dogs do you think come from those reputable sources?

 

Second, what type of education would be required, what type of requirements would the government impose, and who would get to decide? Would all shelties be required to be de-barked so as not to disturb neighbors? Would all german shepherds and doberman pinschers be required to be muzzled at all times? What type of obedience classes would the government mandate--surely they wouldn't put as much educated thought into the pros and cons of different training methods as we do ourselves? Would the state design a curriculum and require that all dogs attend that specific class? Personally, I think I know what is best for my dog and I no more want the State involved in those decisions as in what type of dog I can own. And if you think about it, if the state can impose these types of requirements on dog owners, they can certainly differentiate the requirements by breed. From there, breed bans are just one step away. (As a side note: similar legislation is currently under consideration in my state, appointing a committe to study whether educational requirements should be mandated for owners of specific breeds. For the reasons described above, this worries me.)

 

Personally, I think private citizens who step up and not only conform their own conduct to what is right but make an effort to educate others are far better at making lasting change in society than any group of legislators ever will be.

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Yep, racism is a strong word with many implications and I meant it exactly as such.

 

Idiocy cuts across all human groups. The only pit bull I've ever run into that seriously scared me was with a white guy who had a British accent. This particular intact male pit was stalking my dogs (Fly, mostly) with predatory intent. Its owner insisted that I should let Solo off leash to "work his issues out." In fact, its owner was so determined that I should learn this lesson that he refused to leash his dog, which consequently kept us trapped in a corner of the park we were in for over 30 minutes since every time I tried to leave, the dog would cut off our route of escape. It was utterly terrifying. Finally I threatened to call the police on my cell phone, and the guy leashed his dog. I will never forget the look on that dog's face as the guy dragged him away -- cold, calculating, and just plain chilling. He'd just been waiting for me to get out of the way. By the time we finally escaped I was over 45 minutes late to get a ride to a departmental retreat, and ended up missing the retreat altogether.

 

To be perfectly honest though, I have way more trouble with dumb Lab owners who insist "don't worry, he's friendly!" than I ever do with pit bull owners. And the only dogs that regularly attacked Solo (they have since moved out of my building thank doG) were a pair of "Puggles."

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SoloRiver, if someone had said "... such and such was a white person", would you have been so quick to pull out the racist card?

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SoloRiver, if someone had said "... such and such was a white person", would you have been so quick to pull out the racist card?

 

What an offensive question. I let SR answer for herself, but you might be wise to back track a bit here and consider that ...SoloRiver...is not Caucasian or "white".

 

I am myself "white", and I found the whole post we are discussing as offensive. You can insert any race or ethnic group you want in it.

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What an offensive question. I let SR answer for herself, but you might be wise to back track a bit here and consider that ...SoloRiver...is not Caucasian or "white".

 

I am myself "white", and I found the whole post we are discussing as offensive. You can insert any race or ethnic group you want in it.

 

Should it matter is SoloRiver is Caucasian or not? Should it really matter is someone is black or blue or purple?

 

Too many people are offended far too easily.

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The only pit bull I've ever run into that seriously scared me was with a white guy who had a British accent.

 

:rolleyes: Oh I am so offended! What a racist remark!

 

And the only dogs that regularly attacked Solo were a pair of "Puggles."

 

And the breed bigotry! Oh my virgin ears!

 

Seriously, people. Hasn't this thread gotten a little out of hand?

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I believe that racism exists and runs deep. I also believe that about sexism, and ageism. And, frankly, I think that youngish, stunning women get treated a hell of a lot better by waiters, servicepeople, and traffic cops than I do. So, lets throw lookism in there. A fun thought experiment is to imagine your life had you been born either incredibly more attractive than you now are, or incredibly less attractive than you now are.

 

However, I think we are also so tuned in and reactionary about race in the US that we can't have a truly thoughtful debate or discussion about it.

 

I do believe it's possible to use a description of someone's background - Irish or Scottish or English or Cambodian or Vietnamese or white - without being a racist. If I walked down a neighborhood street in Lowell, a few miles south of here, the people I saw would likely be be Cambodian, and my brain would likely classifty them as such. In Lawrence, a bit closer, they're more likely Dominican or Puerto Rican. The other night, I saw three blond girls at a restaurant, and my brain immediately classified them (based on their distinct accents) as being Spanish and Castilian. I know that my Asian friends are far better than I am at classifying people as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Filipino, based on facial features.

 

I think that classification is a very natural part of who we are - and I suspect, when I walk through neighborhoods where my whiteness puts me in the minority, that I'm immediately classified as "woman" first, then "white," and THEN seen as middle-aged, middle-income, frumpy, dumpy.

 

I lived in a Yup'ik Eskimo village for 2 years. (No, that word is not racist. The people themselves used the word "Eskimo." I deliberately choose not to use the PC term "Inuit," because the people were not Inuit. Nor do I use "Alaskan Native" because they didn't use that term, and I feel it's silly.) I was distinctly the minority there, and I am pretty certain that the native people viewed me and dealt with me through their own cultural lens, which saw in my "guss'aq" background a lot of oddness and differentness. I know that when the village people were talking about the non-native folks in their village, they called us guss'aq and classified a lot of our behaviors and reactions as being "typical guss'aq." And they were right! My way of being, thinking, and acting were largely determined by the fact that I grew up in a blue-collar, white suburb of Boston. I had a lot more in common with other suburban white folks than I would ever have with them.

 

Meanwhile, I also could have pointed out mannerisms, ways of speaking and interacting, and seen them as "typical Yup'ik Eskimo." And I also would be correct. Their way of being was established by their having grown up in a tiny subarctic village where subsistence hunting and fishing were still the norm.

 

In my two years there, I grew to respect the people and culture deeply, and in many ways to see their way of living as superior to my own. I like to think that they respected me, too, despite the strangeness and "otherness" of my suburban, white culture sitting in their village. But I was going to be "Guss'aq" till I died, and they were clearly not going to be suburban white people, and it was not wrong or racist or harmful to consider and discuss those facts.

 

Since I've returned to 'mainstream' US (carrying with me what I learned in Alaska), I've tried to talk about how teaching kids in inner-city neighborhoods, where cultural influences might be more strongly those of the "old country" than those of the white suburbs, probably requires a different approach from teaching in the white suburbs. A few times, my mere mention of "cultural differences" has had younger teachers (most of whom are from the same lily-white background as I am, and who have never left their own home turf) nailing me with dirty looks and disgusted grunts. Clearly, I must be an oldish, old-school, racist white person! How dare I mention cultural differences!

 

Which, of course, shuts down any kind of meaningful discussion.

 

I do believe it's important to describe and discuss why saying "X" or "Y" might be offensive to a given group of people. But I also think it's too easy to write people off as racist or prejudiced when they are merely describing and classifying others in a very natural and seemingly organic human way. Especially when dealing with young and inexperienced people, who are probably quite open to learning and growing, I think we should maybe be less judgmental than we often are.

 

Mary: white European, middle-aged, pale, mousy-haired, glasses-wearing, chubby, overly wordy

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