Sunday, April 18, 2010

This Dog Not A Pit Bull ... Or A Boxer-Lab Mix

This dog is 7-mos old. He lives on a tiny, slender chain. He is accused of biting (or, if you are the dog's owner "nipping") a child. The victim's mom claims the dog broke the "chain". The owner claims otherwise.

I'm looking at that chain and, well, I know a 15-lb terrier who could break that chain, let alone a 55-lb large puppy.

The dog is called a Pit Bull in the bite report. This dog is not a Pit Bull. The owner claims this dog is a Boxer-Labrador Retriever mix. That is about as accurate as calling the dog a Pit Bull.

He looks like a Catahoula to me, but that does not make him one. I can eliminate "pure breeds" he isn't, but I have no evidence to prove the breed or mix he is.

Regardless, what breed gets put down for the registered report? When statistics are gathered, which label will this dog be given in the amassed data?

This is the problem with legislation based on phenotype. The only data set you have to work with are generally witness reports, not pedigrees or genetic analysis. We know witnesses are notoriously unreliable - this is seen in car crash reports as much as dog bite reports.

Anti-dog zealots do not care. They see this dog and he is enough like the look of a Pit Bull to be called a Pit Bull. They use bite reports as factual evidence that some breeds of dogs are worse than others. I'm not adverse to using bite reports, but it must always be with the caveat that they rely on potentially faulty and inaccurate source information. Treat dog bite reports as suggestions, not as facts. Don't use them to legislate against types of dogs. Makes sense. Except to some lawmakers and all anti-dog zealots.


Retrieverman said...

The merle gene is dominant.

Many catahoulas turn out to be Australian shepherd x's.

Anonymous said...

merle is impossible in purebred APBTs.
This pup looks like a GD/something with merle coloring mix.

Ashley (the mom), Dixie (the Catahoula) and sometimes Lola (the Pit Bull) said...

You would not believe how many people think that a Catahoula is "a special/weird kind of pit bull"
The other half respond with Cata....wha?
And seriously...even if the dog is only part 'houla, a chain is NOT the place for it. No dog is meant to be on a chain but it is especially bad for such an active working type dog.

Liz said...

It looks like a Merle Great Dane to me. Too large as a puppy to be a Catahoula.

Merle IS possible in APBT, but is NOT accepted, and considered a huge "fault."

Anonymous said...

no Liz, merle is not genetically possible in the APBT.

Merle is a disqualification in the UKC

The ADBA has accepted merle "APBTs" in the past, but more shame to them; it only confirms their reputation as a paper-hanging registry. They used to be exclusive for APBTs, but now look:

You can't even find the standard for the APBT on their site any more.. This is what it used to be:

The phony part of this is that lots of dogs with "major faults" achieve champtionships.. and that's why there are now merle mutts called APBTs. But they are not.

Anonymous said...

Looks like a Great Dane mix to me.

CyborgSuzy said...

Or better yet, keep breed out of the reports completely. We've been trying to use these types of breed stats for decades now, and they're still useless. Leave further breed-specific analysis to actual scientists.

Bite reports should stick with things that can actually be measured like weight and height.

Retrieverman said...

Golden retriever/Boxer X:

I've seen photos of Lab/Boxer X's.

They look almost exactly the same.

No merles.

Liz said...

Emily, the ADBA has never been a legit registry. There HAVE BEEN Merle "Pits" but like I said if you had read my previous comment, they are a HUGE disqualification, and not accepted. However, there is no standard, as you said, for the APBT. A ruined breed indeed.