Saturday, May 11, 2013

Newsflash/Nature Strikes Back: Acts of Dog.

If you're a regular follower of this blog, you know my stance on dogs. Specifically, people see dogs through glasses so rosy that they forget that there's another species beneath that fur. Yes, dogs are helpful animals. Yes, they were the first domesticated animal. Yes, they can effectively mold themselves into human habits. Are they people? No. There's still a fair amount of wolf in there, and anthropomorphizing that away causes a lot of problems.That includes canine-related fatalities.

Dog attacks happen all the time. This most recent of reports shows exactly how easily it occurs. It's not even news- dog attacks just happen. That is how common they are. Granted, it still dwarfs the overall amount of dogs owned, but it's still pretty common.


That said, it takes special stuff to get a dog attack into the news. The blog above mentions a "pit bull" in the reports. I love the quotes around "pit bull," if only because it's a huge buzz word that practically guarantees a media review. The dog involves could have been 25% pit bull with retriever mixed in, but as long as there's some pit in there, it's legit fodder to get the attack reported. No wonder pit bulls have the most reported attacks; people know what the media wants to see.

Yes, reporting animal attacks has a lot to do with reputation. While I am not a dog person, know that these attacks are reported and/or occurred because the breeds listed are raised for aggression. The blog is 100% right that dogs that are not well-socialized become aggressive as well. You raise a dog to attack? Oh, and leave its balls on? Yeah, no kidding, you're asking for a bite. "My own dog bit my face off!" should not be a surprise at that point.

The reality? Chihuahuas bite far more than pit bulls ever will. Again, it's an issue of training, but this time in reverse: there's something called "Small Dog Syndrome" that occurs very frequently with small dogs, including Chihuahuas. Long story short, SDS occurs when a small dog presents dominant behaviors, but the human owners do not do anything about it, leading to all sorts of issues. Chihuahuas in particular have to be bred for docility. No doubt bites from Chihuahuas are frequent, but no media outlet would report on it because, well, no Chihuahuas have actually gone "killer bunny" on people and left corpses in their little wakes. Now that would be a news story!

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