Meat Industry and NRA Oppose North Carolina Puppy Mill Bill

The North Carolina Meat Industry has joined the fight against a bill the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and its vegan president say is meant to protect puppies. They are not alone, joining another unlikely opponent to the bill, the National Rifle Association. Could it be that these organizations are against cleaning up the abuse and maltreatment of dogs so often found in the news? Abuse solely based on the greedy desire to make money selling the puppies?

Or are they opposed to the biggest supporter of the bill (HSUS), and the potential consequences should the bill pass?

Kay Johnson, executive vice president of the Animal Agriculture Alliance, has said “The public is very unaware that the Humane Society of the United States has a very direct agenda to eliminate the use of animals for food.”  National Rifle Association told its members that the bill is “part of the same old lie” by the HSUS, which it says wants to eventually ban all hunting in America.

I am not sure I agree with the NRA statement “Kennel owners who own and train hunting dogs will be hauled into court under the provisions of the legislation and will be forced, at great cost, to put forward an affirmative defense pursuant to the exception,” since in the definitions section of the bill it clearly states:

For purposes of this Article, commercial breeding operations shall not include those kennels or establishments operated primarily for the purpose of boarding or training hunting, sporting, herding, or guide dogs.

However, I do believe that it is a bad thing for HSUS to get a foothold in NC politics, though. Other states are already feeling the pain from that association.

For example, Proposition 2, passed in California last November, requires that hens be given room to roam, a move that most feel will drive California egg production out of the state and result in the loss of about 3000 jobs. Paul Shapiro, HSUS spokesman, said “We will be looking to expand the number of states that have implemented these sorts of measures.”

Don’t misunderstand my reservations…I fully support punishing people who abuse any animal, not just the puppy mill owners, to the fullest extent of existing law, and even to strengthen sometimes week cruelty laws. I just don’t want the effort to be spearheaded by a group who has the end goal of taking my pets away from me, and make me eat a vegetarian diet!

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New Dog Behavior Book by Dr. Dodman

This morning, on Good Morning America, they had an interview with Dr. Nicholas H. Dodman, a renowned animal behaviorist with several books to his name. The purpose of the interview? Of course, to promote his newest book on dog behavior, “The Well-Adjusted Dog: Dr. Dodman’s Seven Steps to Lifelong Health and Happiness for Your Best Friend”. This book will lay down a seven step approach to caring for an adult dog, including the dog’s health, behavior and environment. As part of the interview, GMA also posted an excerpt from this book, which can be found at http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/Story?id=5332761&page=1.

After reading the preview on the GMA site, I immediately ordered the book. It is a well laid out plan to help anyone understand why their dog does what it does, and what can be done to change unwanted behavior. This book includes such discussions as how much exercise is the right amount for your dog, and why, how what your dog eats, and how much, greatly affects your dog’s behavior, how to truly communicate with your dog, how to be a leader in your dog’s eyes (yes, a leader, not the “Alpha”… Dr Dodman was just a little critical about Milan’s Dog Whisperer methods), and much much more.

If anyone truly wants to understand their dog, and stop unwanted behavior problems, then I highly recommend that they add this book to their library.

The Well-Adjusted Dog: Dr. Dodman’s Seven Steps to Lifelong Health and Happiness for Your BestFriend

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My Dachshund is Meaner than Your Pit Bull?

A recent study on dog behavior was conducted by Deborah Duffy and James Serpell of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society, and Yuying Hsu of the National Taiwan Normal University. This study consisted of surveys both on recognized breed clubs and an online survey. Surprisingly, the results from both sources tended to agree!

The results of the online poll were posted on the Discovery News: Born Animal blog. After looking at it for a minute, I decided it was really hard to interpret. So I transferred the data to my trusty Excel spreadsheet and did a little figuring. The original table had column 1 being the breed, column 2 being the number of that breed in the survey, then columns 3 through 6 being the numbers of times the dog had bitten, nipped at, or tried to nip at either a human or another dog. So I will break this up into tendency towards Human Aggression (HA) and tendency to Dog Aggression (DA).

Human Aggressiveness

Columns 3 and 4, respectively, were the number of bites/attempts on a strange human and on the owner. What I did was take the total bite attempts from these two columns and divided the result by the total number of that dog breed in the survey to arrive at a percentage. The higher the percentage the more apt that breed of dog is to be HA. The most aggressive dogs? It may surprise you, but it didn’t me ;)

  1. Dachshund – 26%
  2. Chihuahua – 21%
  3. Beagle – 16%
  4. Jack Russell Terrier – 12%
  5. Australian Cattle Dog – 11%

So where are the dogs that the media always places the stigma of being such aggressive and dangerous? Under the sort performed above, the Pit Bull can be found in spot #8 and the Rottweiler way down in spot #19!

The least human aggressive of the dogs in the study were the Poodle, the Rhodesian Ridgeback, the Brittany Spaniel, the Greyhound, and the Golden Retriever.

One last interesting fact was that the Cocker Spaniel (spot #6) appeared to be more likely to bite the hand that feeds it (the owner) than to bite a stranger! This is probably more because of the amount of exposure to the owner the dog has to its owner, but strange none-the-less.

Dog Aggressiveness

A similar sort was done using columns 5 and 6 (Other Dogs and Dog Rivalry) to come up with a rating on which breeds were the most aggressive towards other dogs. Not surprisingly, the Pit Bull does appear in this top 5 list, but, once again, the Rottweiler placed in spot#20.

  1. Terrier – 31%
  2. Pit Bull – 30%
  3. Dachshund – 25%
  4. English Springer Spaniel – 25%
  5. Australian Cattle Dog – 24%

So the Dachshund and the Australian Cattle Dog appear on both top 5 lists (apparently they don’t like anyone :P). Wait! Don’t bite my head off, I was joking! There really is no way to determine if the same dog that displayed human aggressiveness also tended to be aggressive to other dogs.

The least aggressive toward other dogs? Greyhound, Whippet, Havanese, Bernese Mountain Dog, and Labrador Retriever.

There you have it, my dice and slice of the numbers. Hope you found this useful ;)

Note that there is a basic flaw to the math I did above. Since these are raw numbers, there is no way of telling if the same dog that was aggressive towards strangers also attempted to bite its owner. So, if any displayed both tendencies, it would tend to skew the numbers slightly higher. This is minor though, since it would still represent two separate acts of aggression.

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