Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, April 24, 2017

Installment 1: Dog fighting and philosophy

Dog fighting and philosophy

Most people in the world assume the position that dog fighting is a cruel and abusive activity that should be outlawed and participants should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. When looked at on the surface, this seems like the “right” and logical choice, but when diving deeper into what dog fighting is and how it came to be, arguments can be made against this idea. The first thing one must understand when making an educated judgement on the topic is that dogs are never forced to fight. An animal will not choose to fight if (s)he does not want to. The breed typically used in dog fighting, the American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT for now), was bred for centuries for dog-on-dog combat. The modern day result of that extremely selective breeding is a dog with very high energy, high drive, and high animal aggression. Animal aggression will not be mistaken for human aggression though, as these dogs were also bred to be excessively friendly and submissive towards people. The dog aggression instinct can show up in purebreds at any time, usually around maturity (1.5-3 years old), but has shown up in puppies as young as three weeks and there are reports of dogs not “turning on” until seven or eight years. Once the trait shows itself, it can never be trained or loved out. These are the types of dogs used by dog fighters around the world. They have an obvious desire to fight, and will if they are allowed within close proximity of one another. The myth that the dogs are forced to fight would not make sense in organized dog fighting. Winning dogs make money, and a dog who does not want to fight does not make money, therefore (s)he will not be used. This leads into the idea of pain. Two well bred dogs who are put in the box together will fight until one dies, one refuses to scratch (cross the scratch line in the corner to meet the other dog in the middle), or one is picked up by their handler. Dogs locked onto each other must be separated by a breakstick, a wooden or plastic wedge used to twist open their jaws.The point is, most times the dogs will not separate because of pain, they have to be split apart manually. The scars that the dogs bare after a fight look extremely painful to most people, yet they do not react to being torn apart during a fight. Pain is relative, is it possible that centuries of selection for “game dogs”, or dogs that are enthusiastic to win even when they are losing, has produced a breed of dog with such high pain tolerances that they can enjoy fighting? If that is the case, is dog fighting still cruel?

1 comment:

  1. "is dog fighting still cruel?" Yes, and the humans who've bred dogs for aggression to amuse themselves are barbaric. It's not an issue of "choice" for our canine friends, but for us. We've got to be better.