DEBATE: Dog Aggression

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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 24th, 2010, 11:19 am

Does dog aggression still have a purpose in the APBT anymore, and if not, should breeders try to breed away from it? DISCUSS!
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Postby Pit♥bull » November 24th, 2010, 11:31 am

They are trained to be aggressive, bred to be game.
No, the gameness should remain.
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Postby TheRedQueen » November 24th, 2010, 11:38 am

I think this discussion needs a good definition of *GAME*. I'm with Bob...I don't see a reason for DA...but a game dog is good...a drivey dog to put it another way. Tenacious, eager, etc....yes, yes...but DA...no.

And I've met many nice non-DA dogs with great structure, great drive, etc...so I don't think it's something that *needs* to be there to make the breed.
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Postby mnp13 » November 24th, 2010, 11:45 am

For this discussion, I'd say a good definition of "game" is drive that over-rides other normal instincts. In the pit, it was willingness to continue to fight even when horribly injured. It could also be a dog that refuses to quit when it is obviously over matched.

Dogs that just-don't-quit no matter what is in front of them can be considered "game" for this discussion in my opinion. The "real" definition of game can only be tested one way, and that results in a dead dog so is quite useless anyway.
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Postby mnp13 » November 24th, 2010, 11:49 am

I would disagree that dogs necessarily need to be "trained to be aggressive." Can it be encouraged and fostered? Sure, but some are just like that on their own.

As for breeding out dog aggression, I think that is folly. There are so few dogs that are breed worthy to begin with that also selecting out dog aggression would reduce the gene pool to about nothing.

That said, when dogs are so dog aggressive that they can't be bred without muzzles, stands, etc. - no matter what breed - I don't think they have any business being bred. Reproduction is the most basic of instincts, if the dog can't get past its aggression to do that, then pass on the breeding.
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Postby LMM » November 24th, 2010, 11:55 am

mnp13 wrote:That said, when dogs are so dog aggressive that they can't be bred without muzzles, stands, etc. - no matter what breed - I don't think they have any business being bred. Reproduction is the most basic of instincts, if the dog can't get past its aggression to do that, then pass on the breeding.


I agree 100%.
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Postby Malli » November 24th, 2010, 3:17 pm

LMM wrote:
mnp13 wrote:That said, when dogs are so dog aggressive that they can't be bred without muzzles, stands, etc. - no matter what breed - I don't think they have any business being bred. Reproduction is the most basic of instincts, if the dog can't get past its aggression to do that, then pass on the breeding.


I agree 100%.


I also agree with this.

After owning a dog for quite some time with dog issues, it just doesn't really bother me any more. We just deal with it :| I honestly don't think its important enough to be a factor in breeding, besides the above mentioned scenario; there are other much more important factors to consider when selecting an individual for breeding.

People see dog aggression with a lot of stress and alarm, but its really not that much of a big deal; you learn your dog's limits and respect them and keep the dog safe.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 24th, 2010, 3:50 pm

But if there's no use for the dog aggression any more because pit fighting is illegal, why not try to breed it out?
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Postby mnp13 » November 24th, 2010, 4:19 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:But if there's no use for the dog aggression any more because pit fighting is illegal, why not try to breed it out?


What else is attached to it? Game ness? Athletics? Drive? Who knows. Personality traits don't exist individually, they mingle together.

I'll say the same thing here that I say anywhere, if you (general "you") don't like the dog aggression, find another breed. It's part of owning a Pit Bull, you have a much higher chance of having it surface than most other breeds, and it's just part of it. Lots of people hate the aggression, I just deal with it, with the 300 or so breeds out there, there has to be something that's better for you.

I look at Connor's easy going nature, and if dog aggression is his only fault but the rest is good, I'm not going to play with it.

Do I think that breeding to increase aggression is good? No, of course not. If two dogs are equal in every way, sure, take the less DA one. But are two dogs ever really "equal in every way"? No, of course not, and I don't look at "normal levels" of DA to be a negative; or a positive really. It's not good or bad in my mind, it just "is."
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 24th, 2010, 4:41 pm

Just for the record, I was totally being a devil's advocate with that question. I also fear that breeding specifically for lowered dog aggression will cause a host of other changes. What if people friendliness is related to dog aggression? Or like you said, the athleticism and drive?
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Postby furever_pit » November 24th, 2010, 8:10 pm

mnp13 wrote:
pitbullmamaliz wrote:But if there's no use for the dog aggression any more because pit fighting is illegal, why not try to breed it out?


What else is attached to it? Game ness? Athletics? Drive? Who knows. Personality traits don't exist individually, they mingle together.

I'll say the same thing here that I say anywhere, if you (general "you") don't like the dog aggression, find another breed. It's part of owning a Pit Bull, you have a much higher chance of having it surface than most other breeds, and it's just part of it. Lots of people hate the aggression, I just deal with it, with the 300 or so breeds out there, there has to be something that's better for you.


Agreed.

I think that were someone to undertake a breeding program in which one of their primary goals was to decrease or eliminate DA that the other aspects of these dogs that make them such great workers and such great dogs would be put at risk. It's like breeding for the conformation ring...your line will lose working ability over time.

I don't think dogs should be bred or selected for or against DA. It's just something that is there. It's not even a factor for me personally when I am looking at a breeding or a prospect. It's basically something that shouldn't be taken into consideration at all imo.

To be honest, I wouldn't even consider taking a dog from a kennel that was purposefully breeding away from DA. Their focus is in the wrong place for me to be interested in the dogs they are producing.
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Postby Muttkip » November 24th, 2010, 9:52 pm

They did breed away from the DA, and what did we get?

The Am Satff and the Am Bully.
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Postby ArtGypsy » November 24th, 2010, 10:09 pm

Muttkip wrote:They did breed away from the DA, and what did we get?

The Am Satff and the Am Bully.


Really??? :?
So I would have gone out and LOOKED for an AmStaff, I would have had all the great bully traits but less chance that the dog that had DA?

I did not know this...... :|
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 24th, 2010, 10:28 pm

The AmStaff is touted as a "watered down" version of the APBT - maybe my next debate will be whether they are the same breeds or separate. :wink: Some people say the AmStaff has been bred for less DA, but there are plenty of DA AmStaffs.

Am Bully's I'm not as familiar with. I know they brag that their dogs are much less DA, but how much of that is related to them being so physically deformed that they don't have the energy to be DA?
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Postby TheRedQueen » November 24th, 2010, 10:33 pm

I don't understand why getting rid of the DA would make a dog less athletic, tenacious, game, etc.

And yes, I'm coming from a "I won't own a pit bull because of the DA issue" side of things. ;) And yes that's why I have other breeds...:dance:
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » November 24th, 2010, 10:37 pm

It might not get rid of all those good things, but nobody knows WHAT would change. In my opinion (as a person who enjoys owning only one dog!) it's not worth the risk. Just like you have done, if somebody doesn't want to risk the possibility of DA they can get another breed. :)
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Postby TheRedQueen » November 24th, 2010, 10:57 pm

I'm very, very, very tired...so I'm just rambling. But if there are examples of great dogs that aren't DA, why would everyone think that getting rid of DA mean that everything good about the breed would disappear?
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Postby mnp13 » November 24th, 2010, 11:54 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:I'm very, very, very tired...so I'm just rambling. But if there are examples of great dogs that aren't DA, why would everyone think that getting rid of DA mean that everything good about the breed would disappear?


There are also horrible examples of the breed, that their only redeeming quality is that they are not DA.

Would you consider a "herder" a "herder" if it no longer wanted to fetch? No, I'm not saying that dog aggression defines the Pit Bull, but the origins of the breed are the pit, part of the foundation of the breed was dog aggression - but it was also the easy going temperament, the drive, and everything else. How do you keep the two dozen fantastic traits, but remove one? My answer - you don't.

Riggs is very dog aggressive. He likes most girls, (I said most) but males of his size or bigger? Not a chance. This past summer, a Rottie went after him out of fear/defensiveness, he looked at it and ignored her completely. He knows the difference, and doesn't care about what he doesn't perceive as a "real" issue. The dogs he wants to kill, he is silent and happy. He's not the best of examples, but his drive and willing to please is truly over the top. He also is controllable around dogs that if given the chance he'd kill, but he does as he's told because (most of the time) he wants to make me happy.

Connor has all of Riggs' good stuff, none of his bad stuff. Ruby has the easy going "no limit" temperament, but sucks in the drive category. Connor is DA, Ruby is not.

Sure, there are exceptions, but the dogs with screaming high drive also tend to be DA, it's part of the "package." That's not to say they are not controllable, but the aggression is there. When the drive levels are high, they tend to all be high in my opinion.. My friend who does JRT rescue and I have discussed this many times, the highest drive dogs she gets through her group are usually the most DA as well.
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Postby mnp13 » November 24th, 2010, 11:56 pm

Muttkip wrote:They did breed away from the DA, and what did we get?

The Am Satff and the Am Bully.


Well, as the owner of a "Foundation Line" AmStaff (Tacoma) I would disagree.
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Postby furever_pit » November 25th, 2010, 1:34 am

mnp13 wrote:Sure, there are exceptions, but the dogs with screaming high drive also tend to be DA, it's part of the "package." That's not to say they are not controllable, but the aggression is there. When the drive levels are high, they tend to all be high in my opinion.. My friend who does JRT rescue and I have discussed this many times, the highest drive dogs she gets through her group are usually the most DA as well.


Well put Michelle.

I just think that when running a breeding program that one has to identify the different traits they want in a dog and develop a priority list. If producing dog social dogs is one of the top goals for a program then there is something else that program is not focusing on (that, in my opinion, it should be).

It is so hard to find truly good working dogs that to focus on DA (or not) is going to further limit what the dogs could be or would be.
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