Part II: Dangerous Dog Diatribe

What kind of dog is that? This is a question many people ask whenever they see a dog. I am asked what kind of dog my two dogs are at least once a day. Even the best eyes in the dog business are often puzzled as to what types of breeds a dog may be or even what supposed pure breed it is. Of course there are the dead ringers; you see a “Poodle” or “Shepherd”. You can see the “types”.  Or can you?


With the many fad breeds and new breeds in addition to mixes, crosses and in some cases mind boggling concoctions of breeds that have been intermingled; how can anyone be 100% sure of what a dog is unless there are reputable papers by a reputable breeder or you get a dead ringer of a unique breed such as an English Bulldog. Even the new DNA tests for dogs are proving to provide questionable results.

When it comes to identifying Pit Bulls try your skill at this popular game of Find the Pit Bull


To take it even a step further, identifying a specific breed as “dangerous” is like saying there should be a ban on sports cars or motorcycles because they might be more dangerous than a minivan. These vehicles are as dangerous as the people driving them and this goes for dogs as well.


The dangerousness of a dog is directly related to ownership practices.


Unfortunately this is where things get muddled. The pro-BSL crowd will inevitably volley with “Yeah, but the car won’t chase me down the street”. My retort is while indeed that is true, you still have a much higher statistical likelihood of being killed or even hurt by an automobile than by a dog on any given day in any city in the US.


In 1976 a fatal dog incident in California found many newspapers across the country reporting on the story. Many identified the dog as various forms of the bulldog breed. Some called it a bulldog; some called a “pit bull”, and some called it a pit mix. In the end the breed of dog it was does not matter because that information doesn’t help people avoid being bitten or educate dog owners how to deal with their dogs in the way of proper training and humane management.


That story in 1976, which was in many ways the touchstone of the press prejudice towards the pit bull, launched an era that saw the breed and anything “like it” vilified throughout the horrendous 1980’s. A Time magazine story and Sports Illustrated cover sealed the fate the pit bull. The Internet media of the late 1990’s would only serve to hype the already sensationalistic image of the breed. The predominant breed represented in the press for the past 30 odd years has been the “pit bull”. I would venture a guess that with all the Vick dogs in the press the pit bull is still top dog in media today. BSL proponents get much of their gusto from the over-reporting of pit bulls in the media.


For example, in March 2006 as I watched the news a live shot of a street in New Jersey came on with a voice-over saying “there is a pit bull running loose”. No film of the dog, no account of an injurious incident, just a pit bull is running loose based on a call by some person. My question was “is anyone looking for the dog because they are concerned about the dog being harmed”? It appeared to me they just wanted people to feel afraid of a dog. To me that was sad.


“Pit bull” as a term has been imbedded into the American consciousness as a catchall for toughness and gameness since the origins of the breed. It is also a term associated with fear and prejudice. When you mention the term pit bull it elicits a reaction, just like sex and violence. This is why the media has chosen to malign the breed. It sells headlines. Selling headlines and creating monsters out of innocent creatures is a really low thing to do, especially when it can be proven that “pit bulls” are historically, genetically, and mathematically a safe dog.


Pit bulls are one of, if not the most, sound types of dog in the pantheon of the human canine dynamic. However, here is the caveat - as long as their human companions and breeders are responsible. But of course this “responsibility caveat” goes for dogs of all breeds of dogs.


Pit bulls supposedly make up anywhere from 4 - 6% of the entire canine population in the USA. (Est. 74 Million dog in the US) This is based on the registered dogs in America I suppose. I am not sure how these numbers are decided, as it seems to me an impossible task to get an accurate count on any breed or type, especially the “pit bull type” dog. People are plain bad at identifying dog breeds.


Purists will argue many of the “pit bull type” dogs you see are not real pit bulls. Instead they are fad-bred dogs, products of image. Bred for looks, not for health or temperament. In addition, many of these fad-dogs are bred for size. Due to nature’s fascinating unknown, and despite human meddling, the “Pit Bull Dog” as a “type” is statistically found sound by all respectable temperament tests. And furthermore, every major organization involved with human/canine interaction is opposed to breed-specific regulations.


We know for a fact that the worst facial injury by a dog was caused by a Labrador Retriever. It required major reconstructive surgery. There is no ban on the Labrador breed, and rightly so. The press focused on the fact that there was going to be a historic transplant surgery, how if it were a success it would be a medical triumph. To this day there is no mention about a dangerous Labrador epidemic.


If the dog involved in the attack had been a pit bull or anything that looked like a pit bull, it surely would have been another if not the final nail it the proverbial coffin for pit bull-type dogs. Had it been another frequently maligned breed such as a Chow or a Rottie, I suspect that breed would have then taken the mantel as most dangerous dog.


Generalization, over-reacting, and what amounts to blind fear is what fuels pro-BSL people. When it comes to animals with pointy sharp teeth people lose the rationale needed to work through this disconnect of human/dog concerns. This so called pit bull “epidemic” is a not an epidemic. Handled correctly it can be the catalyst for change towards better understanding dog in general.


What we learn when we look at the transplant/dog attack story in-depth is that the women was not mauled by some crazed aggressive dog, she was unconscious and the dog for an unknown reason licked at and bit her face repeatedly and with horrible consequences. Some speculate the dog was attempting to wake her. This dog was put down against the wishes of the family. If you assess the behavior it is consistent with other cases where dogs have tried to wake or drag humans who either pass out or were dead. We saw this with Ving Rhames’ dogs when his caretaker had a heart attack and the dogs were pulling at the man’s body.

In any fatal dog or non-fatal dog attack there is always the mix of the circumstances, actions, and behavior of the humans involved, both the victims and the owners of the dogs. The morality and responsibility must to fall towards the human side of the equation. Dogs are the product of their environment. Humans by and large are responsible for the context many dogs find themselves in; to impart some lavish moral construct into the dog’s educational history is ludicrous.


The one thing we can look at and quantify in all dog human interaction is dog & human behavior, regardless of breed, economic status or age.


We have the statistics and the knowledge of canine behavior to help educate people about aggression (and other behaviors that look like aggression) and humane ways to work with the dogs that need basic training or behavior modification. This is where the pro-BSL crowd could actually help. If the proponents of BSL actually wanted to make the streets safer and reduce the number of fatal incidents by dogs, they would cozy up to the positive, non-force, shock-free, humane dog trainers and in addition seek the council of well known canine behaviorists. These are the people that have the proper knowledge to educate communities, which in turn could help the very people that are so concerned about dog behavior.


Dogs are simple creatures once you are educated about their actual behavior. Most importantly, you must be connected to your dog and your ability/life/ education about dogs, furthermore if you are afraid of dogs please become properly educated about them before you plan any sort of cause against them.


Dogs are not simply what you want them to be, or what you “think” the dog is “thinking”. It seems this is the approach people take often. Unfortunately this made up belief system about dogs and their behavior leads to the detriment of dogs. Whether they have basic impulse control issues or aggressive behavior, if you do not know how to address dog behavior appropriately things will surely worsen or at least stay the same. Stopping dog behavior and shaping or modifying dog behavior is not always the same thing. The main thing we have to ensure that people learning about dogs grasp is how to do things safely and patiently using the basic science of how dogs learn.


The general public’s lack of understanding of dog behavior is where dogs, and pit bulls in particular, have been sucker punched by us humans. Some people have created false beliefs about dogs to the point where dogs are being judged by a set of values that are not inherent to their intrinsic make up. We humans have all this intelligence and access to knowledge, yet some fail to view the dog as it really is. Many people have the unmitigated audacity to actually believe they know what dogs’ internal agendas are, they propose to know the dogs mind and intentions. It is, of course, impossible to ever really “know” the mind of another being.


Beyond the pedestrian understandings of a dog’s need for food and water and that dogs needs some play, attention, and some sort of “training”, most people are adrift in a sea of littered “training advice”. Most people do not have the proper knowledge given to them by “experts” and that is a shame, because it is the key to unlock many of the “dog mysteries” that most people ponder, disagree upon, would like to see resolved.

The good news is all these aspects that many people are missing in their relationship with their dog are half in place and just need some basic tweaks and training is also easy and fun most of the time. When it gets difficult it is patience and some basic math & science that will get them through. It will not help the dogs or the people for or against them to approach our concerns about dogs with force or pain and surely not by banning breeds. It is time we began a new path towards actually understanding dogs.


By being called man’s best friend some people believe this means dogs should behave consistently to the standard of human expectation no matter the stimuli present, no matter the lack of socialization, no matter the lack of physical and mental challenge daily, no matter the amount of torture or abuse in the name of “training”. Dogs are just supposed to take it all and be “good” dogs.


Well to those people I say that is not the way it is all the time. Nature is not designed to curtsy at our whims. It is not how the sun, wind, the rain or even an ant behaves. It is not how birds or elephants or humans are designed, all sentient beings are affected by what happens to them and their environment. We afford this natural respect to other living, sentient beings, why not dogs?


I say it is about time we cut the dogs some behavioral slack. After all they are part of our history and according to some historians we would not have survived without them. Remember at one time humans needed help in protection and acquisition of food and dogs provided an excellent source of both.


Why is it that some people believe dogs should work or behave or do anything we desire for no pay off? We expect all other beings and animals to get something for their efforts, especially humans. Why is it that some people believe that dogs are not affected by stress, bad diet, and lack of mental and physical stimulation?


There is no other living organism that works for free or is supposed to be a statue in the face of all other things present, or is subjected to punishments without adverse effects. Why dogs? It seems we’ve become hoodwinked by the Disney ideal and some very out dated approaches to dog behavior.


Dogs are not either good or bad, nor are they are either nice or mean. There are in between modes of behavior as well. Dog behavior is contextual. It shifts and the mechanics of training and husbandry is our responsibility as humans, the trainers of dogs. The ways humans deal with a dog’s behavior will directly affect it’s association to the world.


Dog Behavior 101

The ABC’s of learning are Antecedent Behavior Consequence. All animals adhere to this ABC learning. Most dogs develop a decent “sit” upon request as it usually follows some kind of pay or reward. The dog learns the relevance of the request. A treat of food or a door opening or something the dog views as a reward. It is the consequence that drives the behavior.


Conversely many dogs become undone and aggressive because people follow bad advice or “lose it” on the dog once or too many times or neglect to meet the basic needs of the dog. These same ABC’s of learning are also part of inhumane, cruel or negligent scenarios. Many dogs tied up in the back yard, or left in the house all day, or trained with aversive methods are also learning. Unfortunately they are learning that life is stressful and that people sometimes predict being unsafe. When animals are stressed out or feeling unsafe they have few options to relieve that stress. Compounded daily stress will eventually take its toll on a dog’s behavior. We have to help dogs feel safe and relieve stress that is just the way it is. Otherwise the dog will find a way to alleviate it’s stress.


Often parents and people involved in a fatal dog incident are quoted as saying the dog “attacked out of nowhere”. I would challenge that out of nowhere “theory” and propose that the humans in the equation either did not know what they were looking for or were not around to see it coming. Furthermore, it is highly likely that the unwanted aggressiveness, or fear or stress the dog was experiencing was dealt with inappropriately or in an aversive fashion thus temporarily suppressing and eventually worsening the behavior that the humans did not like. This is iatrogenic; which means a procedure that is making the illness/behavior worse.


The definition of learning as it relates to dog behavior is a change in behavior based on experience. Dogs, even your friendly neighbor’s dog can have a bad experience that leads it to be aggressive/stressed out/afraid in certain contexts. That does not mean the dog is always a danger or a “bad dog”. It is a sign that that the dog needs help and the owner has to be proactive and savvy about where to get that help.


The vast majority of dogs that bite do not do so with fatal force that causes death or severe injury. Aggression’s main function for animals is to create distance, to help avoid a confrontation. Humans have agendas and pre-meditated thought - dogs do not. Fighting or attacking is expensive behavior for a dog; it takes a lot for it to happen because the energy expenditure and risk is so high. This is perhaps one of the reasons why humans do not suffer death at the paws of dogs more than 20 times a year. Among the millions of dogs and people in the US we can clearly see there is no epidemic.


Animals and dogs do not want to be aggressive or exposed for fear of being vulnerable to harm. Dogs that become aggressive or dangerous are products of their environment and the total experiences that encompass over time.


Another damaging myth about dogs is that you can train a dog once and it’ll be trained for life. Generally this is false. However, the irony of nature is sometimes cruel. A traumatic incident can cause single-trial learning and can cause a dog to be undone. As resilient as dogs can be they can be equally fragile. Superstitious learning or events in a dog’s life that predict danger are realties people need to come to terms with for a host of reasons. Dogs are great at generalizing fear. If this generalization is not padded or dealt with humanely you can have a good dog go down the wrong behavioral path.


Errant behavior or fatal dog incidents do not happen in a vacuum. There is always a combination of human failings through negligence or ignorance and many times the dog has been put into a situation where it is either over threshold i.e. stressed out/abused and this triggered it to react. These triggers are often over looked in place of a moral judgment that the dog should “know better”.


People who say, “I never saw the dog act that way before” are in some ways dead-on correct. Perhaps they did not have the eye for the protracted warning signs that were part of the behavioral package. When people say dogs are unpredictable what they mean to say is unpredictable to them. However, protracted warning signs preceded the behaviors they finally saw.


Many times people take the approach of “teaching the dog a lesson” with some cockamamie dominance method, and in turn teach the dog that when you do this – fill in blank with dog behavior owner does not want - then this happens – fill in blank with training methods based in pain, force, shock, startle. If the predictive value of that picture / context represents fear, stress, pain these = unsafe; to the dog it will either flee which in many cases it cannot inducing more stress, or it will growl or bite to create distance. Sometime the intimidation training will temporarily suppress a dog’s unwanted behavior or stress-reaction (biting).


Make no mistake, when a dog shuts down and bottles up the fear it is still feeling unsafe in that situation. This is often the result of aversive training; the dog learns to stay still for fear of getting the aversive. Then one day the dog is around a smaller or perhaps less forceful human or the stress level is simply to great and the stressful triggers are still present. In this case the dog still feels the fear or stress but now the picture is still in the frame but slightly different, the dog owner who “thinks” they have the dog “trained” let’s down their guard usually in some over reaching ideological nonsense based in some patch work of ego and pseudo science, and the dog lands a bite on a human, or kills a cat or another dog etc…It surely is not the dogs fault.


These triggers are often incorrectly interpreted and diagnosed as aggression, or as the dog “knowing better”, or being jealous/spiteful, or the grand champ of all panaceas - as “dominating us”. These lines of thought take the dog owner/trainer down a path with no direction towards actually correcting or improving the dog’s behavior. In fact it only serves to sour the relationship. In order to correct an unwanted behavior one must address the root cause, not just stop the action, which is only a symptom.


Humane guidance and being humanely assertive, or as some call it providing structure, or leading the proverbial “pack” with gentle and consistent dog training and behavior modification would help many basic impulse control issues, obedience etc. Benevolent leadership, being kind, is the way to go when training and communicating with a dog. Dog training is a leverage game and it does not require violence or recrimination, or some special gift from on high. This is what we need to start teaching people, especially children.


This same line of “thinking”, that dogs should act a certain way just because, is what fuels much of the pro-BSL crowd’s “proof” of a breed’s dangerousness. It seems the proponents of BSL thrive on knowing so much about dogs yet they have no one in the respected canine community to back them up. How is that? Some of the BSL grand champs even own dogs that are considered the number one biter of humans, which happens to be the German Shepherd.


One thing we know about dogs for certain is that they either feel safe or unsafe, regardless of breed. They do a great job of telling us that with protracted warning signs. If more people would stop pretending they knew what they were doing, stopped making up narratives about dogs and got the proper education by reaching out for help from sources based in actual canine science we would see a change in the overall well being of dogs and I believe we would also cut down that 4 million non-fatal dog bite statistic that the CDC retrieves from emergency room records each year.


Education costs much less than any BSL program and will accomplish so much more in the way of dog bite prevention.


At this point I do not see what we have to lose by educating people and utilizing humane approaches to dog training and behavior on a grand scale.


If you look behind the headlines and get the real facts about the dogs and the owners involved in fatal incidents you would see an alarming pattern taking shape. The criteria surrounding fatal dog incidents are always the same, negligence/abuse and ignorance that is fostered by the littered landscape of “training” information available. No matter the case or cause you will find owners on some level culpable. I feel bad for the people who have been sold a pack of lies about how to address their dog’s behavior and then the dog got worse. I help people like that every day. I feel bad for dogs tied up and left out and one day get free and get into trouble because no one was there to humanely guide it.


One other alarming consistency is that the people behind BSL are usually people that have been involved in a fatality or seriously injured by a dog or an attack happened to someone in their city/state. The pro-BSL crowd knows little about actual dog behavior and has not sought council with people who are respected dog behaviorists or humane science-based trainers. It also seems there is the slimy presence amongst the pro-BSL crowd of lawyers and “groups” with their own agendas hiding in the shadows.


Dogs and Dog Owners Are Individuals

I stood in the bank one day waiting for the ATM with my pit mix Mojo. The women in front of me had a small child who was afraid of Mojo. As she cowered behind her mother’s legs, I said, ”it’s ok he’s friendly” and the women said, “she was bitten by our neighbors dog”. I could see she was worried.


I responded by backing up to give them room, then I said I was sorry her child had been bitten and then mentioned that, "this is not your neighbor’s dog though”, she looked at me and said, “yeah that’s true” with a look of relief. It seemed she realized that just because a dog bit her daughter it does not mean all dogs are bad or pose a threat. She should be cautious around unknown and even known dogs, yes indeed; the same way she should be cautious with her child around swimming pools and other risks like skateboards and bikes.


If all one knows about dogs is that you were bitten once and it was bad, or some poor child in your town was the victim of a fatal dog incident, I am not surprised you are afraid of dogs, or that they would stay away from them. However, just because you were bitten by a dog does not make my dog a danger. Just because a pit bull owner was negligent does not make all pit bull owners criminals. It seems the pro-BSL crowd is filled with people who think this way. Just because you are afraid of something does not make it an epidemic. BSL does not make any sense to anyone who has common sense or has given it logical thought.


When I spoke to Dr. Nicholas Dodman of Tufts this past spring for my documentary on pit bulls he said he felt that behind every fatal dog incident is an “irresponsible owner” and that “it has to do with the owner’s practices with a dog”. Another dog expert, Diane Jessup, echoed this sentiment as did every other person I interviewed, be they dog professionals or fans of Mr. Vick.  I interviewed many of his supporters at his sentencing in Virginia in Dec of 07. Even the young hip hop kids understood that dogs are innocent and the common view on the street among 99.9 % of the people I spoke with that day in Richmond VA as well as in NYC, NJ, Seattle, CA since starting the documentary in 04 is this “it’s all how you treat `em & train `em”, simple but very accurate. It is about the humans.


There is no advantage to moralizing dog behavior whether you are pro or anti-dog. We do not do it when it comes to the lion or cheetah, we do not attribute this grandiose moral constructs to any other animal other than dogs. The pro BSL crowd looks foolish when they argue some dog breeds “know better” and some dogs are inherently dangerous while others are not, who are they to decide this, and on what grounds?


The same goes for the pro-dog crowd, to quote one of my mentors, “Stay out of the dogs head”. The real question is what is the dog doing and what is the owner doing or not doing to address the behavior? These are the focal points of the debate whether we want to get solutions to fatal dog incidents or want to get a dog to wait patiently in line with you at the store.


Many dogs are being undone by the use of force or showing the dog who is boss. This is especially true of the dogs with reputations undeservedly attached to their breed by myth & media. In many cases what could have been prevented with proper education about humane approaches to behavior, responsible breeding, and proper training becomes aggression.


What I am saying is this, as a dog owner the actions and behaviors of other dogs and their owners should not reflect on my dog. It is tantamount to saying John smith in California killed someone, now be on the lookout for all people named John Smith. Statistically it is more likely that I will be killed by another human than by a dog, we can then parse it out down to the age and socio economic status of a person who is most likely to kill as well. We are not rounding up these people, so why are some states rounding up dogs they are not even qualified to asses or identify?  BSL is over inclusive and under inclusive. It includes millions of dogs that will never cause a problem and fails to capture the dangerous dogs or negligent owners of other breeds not on the banned list.


The last time I checked I lived in the USA where you are innocent until proven guilty. Dogs as a species are still innocent. So are the dog owners who are responsible. Guess what? Those people whose dog gets into some incident fatal or otherwise are also given the right to a fair and unbiased review/assessment/hearing/trial etc…That is what the USA is all about, fairness.


The burden of proof that a breed of dog is inherently dangerous should be on the pro-BSL people. Burden of proof is not opinion. The millions of dogs that do not cause fatal harm every year are all the proof the anti-BSL people need. The BSL crowd should have to prove that a breed of dog is dangerous based on empirical data done with a large control group and they should have to back up their claims beyond the media and their opinion. The pro-dog people have the studies by reputable dog professionals and behaviorists based on logic, science, math, reason, and history. Where is the research from the BSL crowd? Opinions, media hype and feelings do not count as research.


It is a people problem for sure.


Responsibility

On December 1st 2007 I attended the American Bar Association Animal Law Committee Regional Conference. The conference attempted to discuss dangerous dogs and what to do about reckless owners. At one point a women asked, “what do we say to people on committees that want to ban dogs when they counter with questions such as ‘will you be responsible for the blood of the next child killed by one of these dogs’”? First of all, one is only responsible for the dogs they own or a dog in their charge. I am surely not responsible for someone else’s negligence. We can be responsible for each other’s education though.


What I would say to the pro BSL crowd is this, will you be responsible for the pain and heartache caused by banning dogs en masse, are you going to be responsible for the millions of dollars wasted on resources to round up the innocent dogs and then euthanize them, will you deliver the pink juice? Will you be there when some little kid is in tears because his dog that has done nothing wrong has to be taken away and euthanized? No you will not be there. You will turn a blind eye and feel safe in your ignorance. This is what you are accomplishing with BSL more pain and misery and wasting taxpayers’ money.


Just because you are afraid of dogs does not make them dangerous. That is a fact. Dogs become dangerous when people are negligent and ignorant. Education is the only answer that makes sense.


To the people who feel dogs have a moral construct on the level with humans, whether you are pro or anti-dog, you are wrong about this, dogs are amoral, not immoral.


Approaching dog behavior or legislation with the belief dogs are moral is doing a huge disservice to dogs. Innocence by its very definition is not knowing right from wrong. Morality in its simplest definition is knowing right from wrong. Dogs do good things, dogs do great things. Sometimes dogs do things that are harmful to humans, it is sad and it is a shame. Dogs do a lot of things that mystify us and make us wonder. As much as we know about dogs there are things we don’t, let’s just stop blaming them for our lack of understanding, and let’s start utilizing the knowledge we do have on a mass scale.


I am not going to tell you every pit bull in all the rescues and shelters is 100% safe to be re-homed; some dogs are too far-gone. Usually those dogs get euthanized, sometimes undeservedly so, sometimes it is the best course of action. There are worse things than death, a life housed in a caged box feeling stressed out is far worse than being humanely euthanized. It is not the dogs’ fault though. It is the collective fault of humans.


I am not going to tell you every dog can be saved either, please do not let my passionate tone mislead you to think I am a fanatic or living in a fantasy world. I am aware the resources are not there in most cases of dogs in shelters that are behaviorally challenging or out-and-out aggressive.


These resources being: one, qualified people with the proper education to assess and train shelter dogs, and two, proper environments and adequate time to efficiently evaluate a dog and proof some things that will be part of the dogs potential life in society. The environment in which many dogs get assessed is harsh or chaotic and they are stressed out. This leaves the evaluator in a tough position. Then there is always the concern over good homes for dogs which need behavior modification; or the dogs that simply need the right people with the time & energy for its high drive. These homes and dog owners are always at a premium for any dog going out the shelter door, much less for the dogs who get an undeserved reputation by way of cultural memes.


The good news is that the pet care industry is a 48 billion dollar business. It grew 6% in 08. This is good news because where there is money surrounding dogs, this provides motivation and that can lead to education.  We are going to follow the money on both the pro and anti-dog camps in this series on BSL. The 48 billion dollars made in the pet care industry proves there are more pro-dog people in the USA than anti-dog people.


How did we get to this point? My research shows it is the insidious media and some “do-gooders” with law degrees, people with an ax to grind against dogs because they got bit or regrettably they were involved in a fatality. These are the people that are fueling BSL. It surely is not the rise in dog bites or the number of yearly deaths by dogs (which has held steady before and after BSL).  That fact alone proves BSL is a flawed concept at lowering dog bites or fatalities. Even if there were a spike in dog-related fatalities it would prove BSL has not worked. The big concern to the proponents of BSL is people being safe; it is also a concern for people against BSL. In the end we all want the same thing, which is safer dog/human interactions. This can be achieved only through education.


There are currently 41 states that have some type of BSL or proposed BSL. It is also legal in all states to choke or shock your dog in the name of “training”. Is this the 21st Century?

References:
http://www.animalfarmfoundation.org/topic.php?id=21&topic=17
http://kenfoster.blogspot.com/2008/01/dogs-bites-pit-bulls-owned-strays-...
http://www.kirotv.com/news/13541159/detail.html
http://www.forloveofunderdogs.com/ArePitsDangerous.html
http://btoellner.typepad.com/kcdogblog/bsl/

http://rdows.wordpress.com/category/breed-specific-legislation/

http://denver.yourhub.com/Parker/Stories/Pets/General-Pets/Story~132312....

http://dogpolitics.typepad.com/my_weblog/2005/07/ok_to_shoot_dog.html

http://caveat.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2008/2/13/3522280.html
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/06/27/BAGTQDF9DS1.DTL

http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=e407de67-23f7-45ab-9c...
http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20051649,00.html
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/iatrogenic
Excel-erated Learning, Pamela J Reid
ABA TIPS ANIMAL LAW COMMITTEE REGIONAL CLE CONFERENCE
December 1st 2007 NYU New York City

Behavior Modification Principals and Procedures Miltonberger
(4th edition Thompson Wadsworth)

The Canine Aggression Workbook - James O’Heare 4th edition

The Guide to Getting a Dog – Free on Dunbar Academy