Don't take my Neurotoxins away, FCB!
My grandfather used to point out quite often that he and every kid on his block in lower price hill had pit bulls. They were the american dog...and wasn't that one on the Little Rascals?
He knew pit bulls better than I and he would have been the first to admit that they can be killers. But he always said that you can make a chihuahua vicious just the same, but that it would only able to mawl your shins. A pit bull, on the other hand, has all the tools to kill and could be made into a dangerous dog. At the same time, he said that it was very rare for a family owned pit bull to turn vicious, that in those days it was clear that some people bred the dogs for fighting (and thus fed them black powder...), but that the rest of the folks for the most part did not.
Rottweilers were all the rage in the West End when I was working there and I had heard reports from the neighborhood that there were several dangerous ones in nearby. However, that particular breed had always been familiar to me for its docile, good natured temperment. A vicious Rottweiler? It was hard for me to believe, but it was very true.
And then there is the fact that Retrievers, through bad breeding practice and unscrupulous dog farming have begun to show signs of neurosis, biting, and general anxiety. The legitimate breeding community is very concerned for the well being of Retrievers, as I remember finding out when I first got a Lab pup.
But, should we ban breeds because they can be killers? I wish it were that simple. Unfortunately, I fear that there are other breeds waiting to become the next "killer dogs" and that those who want vicious dogs will find them or create them on their own. So, while banning Pit Bulls may solve an immediate problem, what will we do when someone successfully gets a Chihuahua together with a Bull Mastiff and creates a supersized, angrier than a hill of fire ants "Mastihuahua"?
I hope that dog is not in my neighborhood...