Science news: evil doesn’t mean the pit bull

A new study has shown that the majority of shelters for dogs are often mistakenly identify dogs belonging to the breed of pit bull. This leads to the fact that in the future this animal will be very difficult to find a new family, because the breed is classified as highly aggressive.

The research team from the University of Florida, with the assistance of the College of veterinary medicine compared the DNA samples of more than 120 dogs from four shelters and found that vets giving animal pedigree assessment visually, often mistaken. The results of the study showed that dogs identified as pit bulls, only 75% are. Other animals do not have even a hint in the genes on this breed. In some shelters the error of determining the breed was 48%.

Says lead researcher Julie levy, it was found that visually the dogs belonging to the breed can not determine even professional dog handlers, not what the shelter staff. And the label “pit bull” is often intuitively that prevents further animal and leads to lulling him at the expiration of the term of search owners.

Formally, the definition of “pit bull” includes three breeds – the American Staffordshire Terrier, the Staffordshire bull Terrier and the American pit bull Terrier. They all fall under a common marker of aggressive pit bull – though all three breeds have completely different breed characteristics and degrees of aggressiveness.Places for dogs of this category are often considered as the most dangerous for children, adults and dogs of other breeds. After research, scientists have suggested that these dog breeds have different genetic traits and it is almost impossible to imagine the degree of aggressiveness of the animal in the future, is largely influenced by the upbringing of the animal. “The appearance of the dog especially can’t talk about her aggression and behavior,” says Julie levy. Even dogs of a similar kind, same breed and from the same litter, exhibit different behavioral characteristics, as well as people, brothers and sisters have different characters.

The results of the study, according to levy, raise difficult issues, because shelter workers and veterinarians, are trying to determine the breed “by eye” daily. In addition, they are often called as experts in contentious situations. Improperly installed rock may disqualify an adult dog or puppy. In addition, in some cases, this leads to confiscation of the animal as these breeds require special permits for their content. When the error rate for such an animal is very high, in some cases, if incorrectly established the breed, the decision about the euthanasia of the animal, as in some States with the death of the owner of such animals do not transmit to the shelter, and euthanized. Identification of dog as pit bull can cause a range of consequences from loss of shelter, to death. Additionally, this label greatly influences people’s ability to find a new home. After all, people rarely dare to take an animal with an initial hint that she is aggressive, although it is not so. That is, the chance is reduced to zero.

Levy suggests that such animals is easier to put a label purebred animal and to recommend new owners to closely monitor the behavior of dogs and children to teach them behavior in the family. Any animal should be given only on the condition that the new owners know how to communicate with an adult pet and will be ready for the adaptation period. In most cases, the most effective way to resolve aggression is neutering.

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