Letters to the Editor

Breed friendly pit bulls

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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Dear Editor,

Understanding dogs such as pit bulls requires knowledge of the results of selective breeding, and it will make the individuals promoting this breed more cautious in so doing.

In Russia the selective breeding experiment of black foxes by Demitri Belayev assisted by Lyudmila Trut is instructive as to what is happening in pit bulls. It started in 1958, only 60 years ago, and they had two streams of selection; one selected for tameness and the other for (and this applies to pit bulls) aggression.

After only six generations, noticeable movement towards the goals became apparent. Please note that pit bulls have been selected for aggression for far longer than 60 years or six generations.

Today the fruits of the experiments are a breed of vari-coloured, friendly foxes and a vicious, aggressive breed. These are distinct traits, and even if they implanted the embryos of the friendly type into the aggressive type the pups came out friendly, and the reverse also. See YouTube videos, Belyaev Experiment Docile Foxes and Belayev Experiment Aggressive Foxes.

Nowadays the breeding of pit bull dogs is a haphazard business, mostly with no regard for the initial aim, although some breeders, I suspect, are intentionally breeding for aggression. So, I have seen some very, very friendly pit bulls, and I read in your newspaper and others of vicious ones attacking and on occasion killing humans.

I am aware of a friendly one who has been triggered on occasion to attack and kill two other dogs — one was a friendly, harmless, elderly, female beagle.

This is a consistent behaviour with how they are being bred now; some will throw back to a friendly type, and some will exhibit the traits originally selected for (yielding a really dangerous dog).

I have Corgis, and although they have never interacted with cows that they were bred to herd, occasionally they will exhibit a behaviour — marked by nipping at my heels as I walk — used in herding cows. If we select pit bulls for friendliness, this killing of humans would stop.

Howard Chin

hmc14 cwjamaica.com

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