You have all, once again, lost The Game.
I had a dream last night that I posted up some pretty satirical stuff. Mostly stuff I thought was funny, and capable of generating lively debate. But, in my dream I knew not everyone had the mental capacity to handle satire and sarcasm with a smile and a chuckle... when I woke up I had a strange urge to watch youtube videos of other people training their dogs, hanging out with their dogs, etc. It was a strange sensation since it was like deja-vu all over again. And again.
It's been a long time since I posted up here. I bet you all thought I forgot about you, or got bored. I'm sure you haven't forgotten about me though! No, I've been around. Reading. Learning. Realizing that everyone is just... amazing.
I also read something funny... a Marine was hosting a boy scout troop at Quantico. The intent was to help them learn Land Nav, teamwork, etc. Part of the program included archery and shooting sports. The interviewer, a female reporter from some news station, asked the Marine why he would teach kids to use guns. Wasn't he teaching them to be killers, and equipping them for such a purpose? His response was "you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you aren't, are you?" To which the interviewer had nothing to say. The interview was over, because she knew his point was right.
It relates. Dogs have teeth. They're equipped for, and instincts wired for, hunting for survival, protection, etc. You all know this. But, just like the prostitut... I mean reporter... that doesn't mean that's what they're absolutely GOING to do. Proper training and education has made it possible for that woman to be a reporter, and the same can be applied to domesticating dogs.
However, I still don't agree with taking a dog which has already had so much negative media attention, and training it to appear to be more dangerous with bite work, etc. It doesn't matter that YOU know what you're doing, and YOU understand it. The average mom over in Denver isn't going to see the discipline, time, and training put into that dog. She's just going to see a danger to her kids and home. Showcasing these animals in such a way (showing them being aggressive, even if by command) is therefore more detrimental to the public view as taking one to a park.
I've spent a lot of time and energy interviewing, researching, and formulating my case. The general consensus I seem to be getting is "yeah, they're great animals! Heck no, I'm not ok with training them to bite, I don't care how professional the person thinks they are!" Everyone seems to sympathize with the negative reputation given to these animals, and they wish it weren't so. And they all seem to agree that showing off your dog by recording them "attacking a suit" is irresponsible. One of the people I interviewed was indeed... a COP! One who works with canines daily, and knows a lot more about them than I do... in general. He was blown away to see those youtube videos. Other opinions were from people like professional trainers, administrators for rescue organizations locally, AKC officials... I even spoke to some of the more experienced professionals at the Pet Expo here a couple of weeks ago. Reps from AKC, local kennels, and other reputable trustworthy organizations all gave me the same impression: Bite work with Pits is a bad idea. Dog parks are ok, under close supervision, if the dog seems like they can handle it.
Sure, have fun training your dog. Great, I admire your tenacity. But, the simple fact is, you can't expect everyone to have an objective perspective. And you can't dismiss the "monkey see, monkey do" mentality that so many average people have. Someone will attempt your work, poorly, and they'll end up creating a monster which then tears some baby's face off... then we're all screwed.
So, there you have it. Take it or leave it. But don't even try to preach to me that I'm destroying everything you stand for by participating with my local dog park when you're clearly creating an even more dangerous situation with your own animals.