Going to the root of things is always a good idea if you really intend to change things.
Breeds in dogs, just like races in humans (2)(3), are an inescapable reality, and in dogs this reality is not limited to appearance, but also concerns behavior.
Genes versus training
“No bad dogs, but only bad masters”?
“Unpredictable & incredibly violent”
(See Why pit bulls will break your heart, by Beth Clifton.)
Statistical black hole
- Registration of dogs is not required in each of the municipalities of the province.
- The application of this obligation, when it exists, is often uneven and incomplete, as it is not mandatory to report the breed of the registered animal.
- Unlike in much of the U.S., police officers, doctors, and veterinarians are not required to report bites unless rabies is suspected.
- The right of veterinarians to secrecy in the case of an aggressive dog is also a substantial obstacle.
- To make things worse, since all dogs are legally equal, some mass media, CBC for instance, for egalitarian reasons no longer name the breeds of canine delinquents involved in a biting incident.
Without knowing the population of each breed, the number of bites as well as the breed involved, it is almost impossible to find out precisely which breeds are the most dangerous. This lack of statistics might be good for business, but it is also a flagrant flight from responsibility as well as a denial of breed reality and the importance of biology in behavior.
The case of Toronto
Society must choose
Charles Danten earned his undergraduate degree in agricultural sciences program at MacDonald College, McGill University, and his veterinary science degree from the University of Montreal. A practicing veterinarian for 18 years, Danten now works as a scientific translator.
His book Un vétérinaire en colère, originally published in Quebec in 1999, was reissued in 2008 in Spanish as Un veterinario encolerizado, and then appeared in English as Slaves of Our Affection: The Myth of the Happy Pet in 2015.