#BSLbytes #140: Cool answers to those "pit bull" questions

Posted by Chantelle Mackney on

After there’s a “pit bull” story in the news, you’re likely to see lots of chatter on social media and maybe around your work’s water cooler. Many of us are able to express the numerous issues around the great BSL debate, but some may not be as well versed, or may struggle to articulate the errors made by media outlets or other people.

We hope to devote a few #BSLbytes to making sure that you feel comfortable having productive conversations with people.

For example, in the recent episode of CBC’s The Fifth Estate, a number of scary statistics were bandied about. If you are familiar with the source of these “statistics” (ahem…rhymes with frogs kite dot smorg) you know that source has one agenda and many flaws. But a lot of people will hear the numbers coming from a source like CBC and will take them at face value.

We simply point out that the source organization has a clear and transparent agenda to ban “pit bulls” and Rottweilers, and compiles their own “studies” based on the breed identification language in media reports (not a valid source of data). The real irony of a CBC program leaning on this source for statistics? The organization was debunked last year by another CBC outlet!

(See link in comments)

When calculating total “pit bull” bites they also use a loose definition which includes all Molosser breeds: boxers, mastiffs, bulldogs, etc. On top of this, they never include Canadian statistics.

So when we hear things like this:
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“Did you know pit bulls kill more people than any breed combined?”
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We’d say something like this: “While I can understand your fear, thankfully dog bite related fatalities in Canada are incredibly low.


Since 1983, only one out of over 30 dog bite related fatalities has been associated with a “pit bull” type dog. The majority of serious injuries or deaths in Canada have been attributed to mixed breed dogs. It may seem like more because media outlets (such as the one you watched) over expose stories with the word “pit bull” because they know that they can captivate their audience and get a stronger response. “

If you really want to blow their minds, explain that a “pit bull” isn’t really a thing. At best, it’s an umbrella slang term that varies in definition depending who you ask.

The majority of dogs called “pit bull” are dogs of unknown parentage that share common attributes common to over 20 breeds. The American Pit Bull Terrier is fairly uncommon, and for the most part could not be identified by the majority of dog handlers.

Let us know: what questions do you often get asked? Which do you struggle most to answer?
#endBSL #notoBil128 #Canada150 #BSLbytes
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#BSLbytes is a joint initiative of Hugabull Advocacy & Rescue Society and Justice for Bullies.
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