I'll see myself out
Now contrast that to crossing lawns individually house by house...
39.51M / 782 = 72139
29M / 402 = 50524
Surprisingly higher rate, especially considering I'd -guess- more dogs in CA are kept indoors, although obviously the dog-ownership-rate is another important adjustment. This is all fairly meaningless data without loads more controls.
782 bites / 39.51 M people = 19.8 bites per million people per year (CA)
402 bites / 29 M people = 13.9 bites per million people per year (TX)
Of all the reasons people cite for moving out of the city, I think this one is my favorite. :)
"Sure, Williamsburg was awesome when I was single and in my 20s, but now that I have a family, I'm looking for somewhere better suited for a good dog attack."
What I found odd is why Huston is number 1. Seattle is known for how many dogs it has and is a much larger city! I wonder why they have more.
No it isn't.
Seattle metro is 3.9M, Houston is 7M.
It would allow focused efforts on rescue and enforcement of aggressive dogs. And perhaps even give insight into crime in certain areas.
Though this is an important metric. I don't think pitbulls are inherently more likely to bite, but I do think they cause a lot more damage when they do bite. Minor bites are unlikely to always be reported. Note that all of the dogs listed are big powerful jawed dogs.
It's very plausible that a responsible dog owner would have a dog out in the fenced yard when a postal worker came by, and then the breed is definitely going to be a factor.
Most people saying this have no proof of their claim.
(I've been bitten twice when riding, both times by labs. They're goofy dogs, but have a mean streak if they don't know you.)
You can absolutely think broder collies are naturally driven to herd dogs, or Newfoundlands are naturally driven to fetch from water without being racist to your fellow human. I mean wtf!
However, I think the more powerful correlation is that of owners selecting breeds and training for expected behaviors: Some Newfies can be trained not to jump in the water at every opportunity (mine is capable of this restraint, but will always let me know she wants to). Few Newfies will be afraid of the water. But dog owners who know they want their dogs in and around water may select Newfies, swim with them, and otherwise encourage that behavior. More relevant to the article, owners who want dogs to guard their property will select certain breeds who may have only a slight nature for guarding but will nurture that behavior.
And while yes, dog owners do have a huge influence on a dogs character, it's undoubtedly harder to teach a collie how to hunt and a terrier how to herd than it is to teach them the role they are actually known for. That's not true for humans, and his comparison is just incredibly uncomfortable because it implies a similar difference between say, pitbull and a greyhound. Which is not true.
A useful study would be able to provide a recommended course of action an owner could take to reduce the likelihood their dog bites, which is what my proposed study above would do. TRAIN YOUR DOGS PEOPLE.
Dogma. Prove it. Link to any amount of supporting evidence.
1. Serpell, James, ed. The domestic dog. Cambridge University Press, 2017. (start on page 70, available on Google books, too long to quote)
2. "We found that a large proportion of behavioural variance across breeds (among-breed heritability) is attributable to genetic factors (figure 1a). The mean among-breed heritability was 0.51 ± 0.12 (s.d.) across all 14 traits (range: h2 = 0.27–0.77), and significantly higher than the null expectation in all cases (permutation tests, p < 0.001). These estimates are also significantly higher than those in previous studies assessing heritability of the same traits in large within-breed samples (mean difference = 0.37, 95% CI = 0.44–0.30; t13 = −12.25, p < 0.001; , but see ). Incorporating among-breed variance thus yields h2 estimates that are on average, five times higher (range = 1.3–25.5 times higher) than traditional within-breed estimates, which could be due to limited genetic and phenotypic variation within breeds." (MacLean, Evan L et al. “Highly heritable and functionally relevant breed differences in dog behaviour.” Proceedings. Biological sciences vol. 286,1912 (2019): 20190716. doi:10.1098)
General consensus among proper studies is the opposite: behavior is not highly heritable.
Table 1 is quite extensive. Nearly all of the two dozen studies show less than 10% heritability of the measured behaviors.
Humans were. And are.
The act of identifying dog breeds by behavior statistics and the act of socially discriminating human beings are nowhere near comparable - not in terms of real harm nor theoretical harm nor practical usefulness.
How did you come to that conclusion?
I used to have a couple dogs and now I have children. I walked the dogs on leashes and made them poop outside. I've never done either of those things with my children, or any human.
Show a single study that finds that dog breed influences aggression. Just one. You'll find plenty that correlate the two and maybe even some that stop there and ignore the existence of other factors. It's The Bell Curve for dogs.
If harm avoidance is the goal then why not take it on by promoting better dog upbringing?
Also relevant is that the breed has an effect on the seriousness of injury if an attack does occur. Obviously I'm going to be less fearful of a chihuahua even if they're more aggressive than the terrier. It's the difference between antibiotics and stitches vs. facial reconstruction.
>Or would it be better to only discriminate against dogs and not their owners? We all know how much the dogs use USPS.
I don't know what this means.
>why not take it on by promoting better dog upbringing?
I do promote that. I don't know where you're getting this from.
Back to the idea of harm avoidance:
Let's say we discover that the only factors that determine bite risk are how the dog is raised and how you behave around it. And let's say there is a non-causative correlation showing breed X has a high bite risk. Then it would be reasonable when adopting a puppy to not consider breed X a high bite risk, but it would also be reasonable to consider breed X a high bite risk when encountering one you didn't raise yourself, and therefore e.g. not allow your child to interact with it (or whatever precaution makes one feel comfortable). More information is better.
>I don't know what this means.
I'll explain my meaning with a hypothetical.
What if one breed were responsible for a high number of USPS delivery worker attacks? Promoting this information begs a policy response against this breed. What if most of this breed were owned by a certain demographic? From the outside this looks like a policy response against a demographic with window dressing to justify it. The outcome is what matters.
I agree with your later point. However, dog owners and parents are responsible for their dogs and children (respectively). More information is better, but selecting some specific information here is clearly targeting something or someone, regardless of intent. That is what I take issue with. Target the issue, not the demographic.
> People care less when it's done to dogs because people are not dogs
I mean, okay.
Which breeds are more likely to attack mail carriers.
You do it for dogs because you're not a dog, no big deal. Maybe you'd do it for people with a different skin color because you are not their skin color. It has happened continuously in the past 100 years and continues to happen.
If a certain breed of dog is responsible for more attacks than any other breed, then breed-specific legislation is not pseudoscience.
Funny you should ask. I own a herding breed right now.
1. Socialization has really no impact on what a dog is bred to do or what it has an aptitude to do. Socialization mainly teaches dogs how to read "dog cues" and how to fit into the dog world. That is - to understand when another dog does or does not want to play, who the dominant one is, what the polite greetings are, etc.
2. My breed does certain things that are unique to the breed, and exhibits behaviors unique to the breed. She was not trained to do so. She lays prone on the outskirts of the field, anticipating a command from a human to move the stock in a given direction. She does this, despite never seeing a sheep/cow in her existence, nor being trained for herding in any way.
Whenever I see dogs of this breed at a dog park, they exhibit the exact same behaviors, down to the posture and eye focus.
The more I read your comments in this thread, the more I realize how little you actually know about dogs, nor did you actually read my comment before labeling it pseudoscience.
Partly, what I meant was that the causation is also irrelevant - if 1 breed is responsible for most attacks, and there is legislation against it that solves the issue - that doesn't mean anyone has been discriminated against. It just means there's going to be less attacks in the future.
Because they do. That's what they were bred for. This has nothing to do with human race analogies. Dog breeds influence behavioral traits heavily. I'm not convinced you know anything about dogs.
So if a rigorous scientific study concluded that pit bulls are more likely to attack mail men than golden retrievers, normalized to the same starting conditions, is it ok to make discriminatory policies against them?
My neighborhood it is pretty good. A few blocks over is complete chaos. Every house has a dog that seems frantic and freaks out over everything and they're all only held back by an invisible fence.
I don't get it. What do these people get out of a dog that is clearly frantic / stressed like that when any person comes by, or another dog or anything?
If you're not going to invest some serious time / effort to train your dog, please don't get one.
Rural VA/WV vs suburban VA is night and day. The former has ill-tempered dogs roaming at large - rare is a weekend I go cycling out there and don't get chased by at least one dog (and of those, 1/10 are willing to bite). Locally, the dogs are on leashes and generally more socialized.
And suburban VA compared with anywhere in Scotland is again night and day. Dogs everywhere in Scotland, mostly off-leash in open areas (on leash in where appropriate), but almost always well-behaved. At least when I've visited family (Edinburgh, various towns in Perthshire, plus some time vacationing in the Highlands). Totally different culture with dogs - allowed in pubs, people don't freak if the dog is off-leash like they do here, etc.
All this after kids and people getting mauled by dogs back on the 90s became a common news item.
Again, this proves the original point of people not being able to control their dogs. I'm not a fan of certain dog breeds, but that's my hang up and I'm certainly not going to tell someone that the can't or shouldn't own a dog because of my own preference. I'm all for the mandatory training and registration, but the outright banning of breeds seems unnecessary if you trully are enforcing the training.
Usually if the dog is well socialised then you’re unlikely to have too many issues. If not, it can be difficult to correct the behaviours and I’d wager most people in that situation probably just put up with it.
Most don't even need a leash, they're content to just hang out, play, and socialize if someone shows interest.
Other neighborhood, it's dog chaos.
Everyone is quite intimidated until they come visit and have a proper meeting. He also remembers guests quite well, and reacts differently to them. He learns mailpeople's faces / walks and gives a cursory "gruff" for old ones, and the full-throated threats to new ones.
That's a feature: Dogs are the best break-in / intruder deterrent around. My wife originally bought him for that reason. There's never been a problem with kids, friends, neighbors, or anything, but if you were walking through our neighborhood and saw him threaten you, you'd probably say he was a menace. He's not.
In fact I keept a chewed up tennis ball and dog dish next to my back door for ages. No break in attempts, despite it happening to neighbors ... no dog, but it seemed to be enough ;)
Having said that as a more practical point if I were some super burglar (granted I suspect most criminals are not) ... I really think most angry dogs would happy change their mind and be your best friend if you just dropped some treats for them. They really wouldn't care what you did after that.
If we need more deterrent, there are other options in the house, but it's nice to have early warning at least, I'd imagine.