Monday, October 26, 2015

The Truth About Bouviers Des Flandres and Pit Bull Awareness Month

We've all seen the hype and push to sell pit bulls to just anyone this month with Pit Bull Week, Pit Bull Awareness Day, and Pit Bull Awareness Month.  And we’ve all seen at least one of the hundreds of articles entitled “The Truth about Pit Bulls” or “Pit Bull Myths” telling us that pit bulls have an undeserved bad reputation and make great pets for just about anyone and please go get one today.

Other breed clubs have the equivalent of "The Truth About Pit Bulls" information pages. But, while "Truth About Pit Bulls" pages are created to encourage just anyone to impulsively buy a pit bull by distorting history, making false claims and just plain lying, Truth pages written about other breeds serve to protect the breed from being abused in the hands of those same kinds of impulsive, low-information, naive potential owners.

Bouvier des Flanders
Ronald Reagan's Bouvier, Lucky

The grandma of Truth pieces is "Don't Buy a Bouvier" by Pam Green (1992), perhaps written after the Bouvier des Flanders breed jumped slightly in popularity after people saw Ronald Reagan with his Bouvier, Lucky. As the title indicates, it was written to warn off impulsive, uncommitted potential owners from buying Bouviers thus preventing Bouviers from being abused, neglected and prematurely killed. There are 9 Bouviers listed for adoption in North America on Petfinder. Though Bouviers are a large, dominant, protective breed that have been used for police work, Clifton's "Dog Attack Deaths and Maimings" report lists zero Bouviers killing or maiming a person in North America as of 2014.

The breed is strong, can be aggressive and potentially dangerous in the wrong hands. But the breed is rare and few dogs end up in shelters, so it presents virtually zero threat to public safety and Bouviers can live long and happy lives in the hands of committed and responsible owners. That is called breed stewardship.  Stewards and protectors of a breed do not want their dogs to become popular or to pawn their dogs off on just anyone by lying about the characteristics of the breed because that gets people injured or killed and hurts the dogs, too.

The gold star of breed stewardship and advocacy goes to the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America. Their Truth page pulls absolutely no punches. They push back hard against the increased public awareness and potential impulse buyers that followed Eddy's (Frasier TV show) and Wishbone's appearances on TV. They carefully explain how a dog actor gives a very misleading impression of the real Jack Russell Terrier's temperament.  They even made a logo with the slogan:  


Contrast that with this pit bull pushing craziness:





Here’s a sample of other breed clubs that have adapted or been inspired by “Don’t Buy a Bouvier”


Contrast that with the pit bull pushers and the myths and lies they perpetuate to sell pit bulls to any and everyone with disasterous results when they should be screaming to the rafters for Mandatory Spay and Neuter and demand that pit bull ownership be regulated:


Update from a 2011 post




Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Scorched Earth, the Politics of Pit Bulls: A Facebook post that deserves to be seen.

Scorched Earth, the Politics of Pit Bulls: A Facebook post that deserves to be seen.: This comment turned up on Facebook this morning.  These are not my words but I urge you to read them to understand the fury pit bull owners turn on the victims of their bred-for-blood-sport dogs. Thank you to the author of this comment but I will not share her name in an effort to protect her from the vile rage of pit bull owners.