Monday, February 6, 2012
Pit Bulls and Discrimination
I recently heard a pit bull advocate talking about some of the myths about
pit bulls. Another person asked him if a pit bull's jaws locked. He answered
that they did not lock but their PSI had tested the strongest. The PSI test is
an unsubstantiated test that tested the bite pressure in dogs. The study sets up
articficial circumstances. It doesn't include whether the dog is scared,
agitated etc. I'm assuming that the bite pressure in any test can change from
dog to dog or circumstance to circumstance. This study included a Rottweiler,
German Shepherd, & an American Pit Bull Terrier. In the test the American
Pit Bull Terrier had the weakest bite pressure out of the 3 breeds.
The advocate quoted the study incorrectly first of all, in so many
words indicating that the American Pit Bull Terrier had the strongest bite
pressure. Then he mentionied that it's proven that they're stronger and they
just "don't let go". Huh? Who are "they"? My dogs are pit bull dogs, I don't see
this. I don't see it in many of my clients' dogs. It doesn't mean that some of
our dogs aren't strong but some are weaker than others as well.
We need to look at what OUR dogs are doing, what we actually observe. A
dog's reaction to things in the environment is going to vary from DOG to DOG.
It's an individual thing. A dog "not letting go", as the advocate said, has to
do with behavior, individual behavior, not bite pressure as a constant.
Bite inhibition is the most important point here. This is where a dog
will lower his bite pressure so as not to cause harm. Again, this is a behavior
thing to lower bite pressure. Bascially bite pressure is meanlingless without
the concept of behavior and what sets an individual dog up for a behavior or any
Please, even advocates need to stop promoting our dogs as some singled out
type, group or profile. It's very damaging, and many things seen in studies may
or may not be true for individual dogs. It does defame our dogs and they deserve
to be judged on their own merit, not a study, not what a famous person said and
so forth. We need to listen to what THAT ONE dog says he is.
Study link: http://dogfacts.wordpress.com/2008/02/03/national-geographics-dr-brady-barrs-bite-pressure-tests/