If you want a dog for protection, get a German Shepherd. Or a doberman. Or a rottweiler.
Owning a pit bull is like walking around with a cocked gun that has a hair trigger.
The aforementioned dogs in the opening sentence provide security without attacking out of the blue (for the most part). The pit bull clearly has some issues.
They come in waves, these pit bull attacks. And when a wave comes, it's of the tidal variety.
We're on the crest of one now. Pit bulls are running amok in Metro Detroit these days.
Yesterday, a four-month old baby's scalp was bloodied. The other day, a family's five-month old puppy was mauled to death and its teenaged owner was badly injured by a pit bull gone mad.
Those are just two of the recent pit bull incidents reported over the past several weeks.
It's not just the dog itself---the owners of these violent animals are culpable. For example, it's amazing how many pit bull owners don't keep their dogs chained, tied, or otherwise under control.
I'm a dog lover. Let's get that straight right off the bat. We currently own an epileptic Jack Russell Terrier who is precious to all of us. So my anti-pit bull stance isn't because I wish a pox on dogs of all breeds.
Too often, the missing ingredient is that elusive element we like to call "common sense."
Pit bull owners will tell you that their breed gets a bad rap. They'll say that the pit bull only attacks when provoked, or that if it is violent, it was somehow made that way by an irresponsible, perhaps sadistic owner.
I can go along with the latter, but what's provoking about a teenager walking his puppy without trespassing? Or a four-month old child minding his own business? If that's considered enough to provoke another dog to attack, then something is wrong with the attacking dog.
The lovable pit bull
I'm not sure what the answer is, because it's not easy regulating who owns what pet. What muddies the issue further is that when pit bulls attack, it's very often the first instance of violence that the animal has ever exhibited.
In other words, if you own a pit bull you own a ticking time bomb that only counts down internally, so we can't see the detonation coming.
I don't think that pit bull owners are bad people, any more so than the owner of any animal is a bad person. But I do think that too many pit bull owners lack responsibility and that much-ballyhooed common sense.
The pit bull attack is scary because the animal's jaws are so strong and so is its barrel chest, and the ferocity is mind-boggling when it happens. A smaller dog or even a human can be killed within a minute or two.
Do we dare try to eradicate pit bulls? They aren't on any endangered species list, but if we make their breeding illegal, that might be a start.
For all who think that might be unconstitutional or otherwise tromping on dog owners' rights, come talk to me when we start reading of a spate of Golden Retriever or Pomeranian attacks.