There’s a horror story making its way around the ‘net again. I’ve heard several variations of it, and I’m sure there is some basis in fact. Just not sure which pieces.

Short version is that a loving pitbull gets stuck in a shelter, lives in a cage with insufficient space and little or no socialization, and then nips at someone and is immediately put on doggy death row.

Thought some folks here may be interested in what I’d like to think is a well-reasoned response to the emotionally charged discussions of abuse, dominance, racism, cold-hearted facts, and so on.

Any human or creature could become problematic with that history!

Quite frankly, if we killed everything that was “male aggressive”, there wouldn’t be a lot of human males left, either 😜. Two men get into a fight? Kill the one who started it!

Sounds ludicrous when put that way, doesn’t it?

Regarding the aggressive breed comments and folks wondering why data show some breeds to be more prone to this behavior.

If you have a smart dog who’s also powerful and large, it’s up to his/her person to train and lead them properly, using love and not fear. Actually, that’s true of any breed, but it’s the power factor that makes a huge difference.

A toy poodle nips, and people are more likely to giggle at the little dog acting all big and rowdy.

Note that the breeds most people refer to as pit bulls were actually very popular 100+ years ago because they could help around the house and farm (hence the phrase, “work like a dog”), and then protect the homestead at night. This means they’re strong, smart, loyal, fierce enough to ward off animal and human predators, and have the stamina to be ready for any of those activities in an instant.

Now if you put this noble creature in the hands of someone who’s aggressive himself, the dog may become male aggressive due to the established history with men during the dog’s lifetime. Same of female abusers, btw. Just using men as the example here because it’s easily provable that this is more commonly a male pattern of behavior.

Again, this may sound ridiculous to some readers now, rather than “it’s just data”.

For example, if the original woman surrendered Jake after years of having him as a pet, but then the boyfriend said get it out of here, there’s a high likelihood that the boyfriend was also “male aggressive“ and may have abused Jake.

Additionally, many dogs will become aggressive if there’s no clearly competent alpha, because there’s no foundation of trust and comfort. The dog cannot trust that a human has his back, so to speak, and has to remain hyper-vigilant to protect themselves. Which humans often misinterpret as aggression instead of a survival mechanism. And quite frankly, so do most people. Men interpret a woman doing that as being a feminazi. Whereas when other men show this behavior, these “leaders” are seen as someone to fear, admire, or conquer.

Same behavior, different socially acceptable outcomes based on external factors, and therefore different rewards and punishments.

Which is a good working definition of racism, btw.

Once again, it all sounds far-fetched when the paw’s on the other critter, doesn’t it?