my mood has been become cloudy, once again.
why? my pet peeve (p.i. = pun intended): dog fighting. of course, my first two pet peeves, repeating myself and uncleanliness and disorganization, will incur my wrath the fastest, but dog fighting and animal abuse most certainly rounds out my top five. i was watching random youtube videos with jenga (she likes to watch puppies play and cats fighting, believe it or not…) when i noticed several videos titled “dog fighting”. i thought they might be anti-animal abuse videos, and clicked on them. luckily i decided to pause it and scroll through the comments before watching – what i inferred was that the video was pro-dog fighting! i was aghast. there were comments that read, “dogs are animals, it doesn’t matter” and “tell me how dog fighting hurts you, really”, “dog fighting gives me such a rush” and “look at how they wag their tails; they love to fight”. i couldn’t believe it. any responsible dog owner (i’m thinking of all my friends who own dogs) can easily answer any of those comments with the right and obvious answers. i’m painfully aware that getting on my soapbox is a slippery slope for me; it’s 4:40 AM, and if i don’t stop myself from laying verbal waste to all these unbearably disgusting and stupid people who think dog fighting is acceptable, it will result in my getting zero sleep. i’ll just have to console myself with e-mailing or calling youtube’s parent company, google, on monday to have a word with them.
i will leave my fellow dog owners (and especially fellow pit bull/staffie/german shepherd/rottie/dobie owners) with some insight on defending your position against dog fighting: as you may already know, dogs are famed for their loyalty, and i’m sure many of you have already seen it in your pets. fighting dogs fight because their owners ask it of them, and they will do anything to please them. this is especially true for pit bulls and the dogs in the staffie family. seemingly impervious to pain and renowned for their unquestioning obedience, they take to any task asked of them eagerly and willingly. this attitude is what uneducated and misinformed dog fighting owners nincompoops misinterpret as “enjoying the fight”. this couldn’t be more wrong, or (wait for it…here comes spock…) more illogical. animals are not naturally combative. animals fight for either defense or dominance, where defense includes protection of home, mate, offspring, territory, food…etc. even if someone wanted to argue that some animals are naturally combative (whereupon i will take you on and you will lose), dogs are not in that group. dogs are pack animals, and therefore must be able to live harmoniously in number. animals that live on their own, such as lions (one dominant male) and panthers usually ignore each other as long as there is no encroachment (threat of hostile takeover of the defense items mentioned above). the statement that dogs are naturally combative is even more illogical when many dog fights are fights to the death. are they saying that dogs are naturally murderous? a dog killing another dog in fight after fight serves no natural purpose; the death of the other dog makes the normal, natural goal of dominance defunct. (god, people are dumb.) humans are the only species that is capable of and can afford to start fights for no damn reason. animals are not irrational, nor illogical – the blessing of instinct (aka logic, which we don’t have enough of). finally, animals follow a hierarchical system. as i’ve shared before, an owner has to be the dominant member of the family in the eyes of their dog to be an effective trainer. your dog will obey you, show submission when you take away toys or food, heel when you walk together…etc. of course, in the eyes of your dog, you as the leader of the family also means it is your responsibility to protect the family. this has been proved through observation of groups of dogs being walked the wrong way (not heeling): the dog in the front of the group is the leader; this dog leads the actions of the rest of the dogs. if the lead dog passes other dogs or people with no reaction, the rest of the group is also silent. if the lead dog barks or attacks, the group follows suit. in all cases, the first dog acts first, and the rest follow. following these canine rules of hierarchy, you as the leader should be in the ring, fighting the other dog’ s owner, alongside them. putting two well-trained (aka submissive family member) dogs into the ring to fight while abstaining from fighting yourself is confusing to the dog. this is also the logic behind heeling in general – when your dog heels, he/she is giving up control of the “group” to you. your dog should follow your behavior during a walk where you are leading, and the dog is not “walking you”. so what have we established? 1. it is illogical that dogs “like to fight”; 2. dogs (especially staffie breeds) will do anything out of loyalty and desire for reward and praise; and 3. fighting dogs goes against their logic of the natural hierarchy.
animal owners and lovers: do what you can to help stop this ridiculous nonsense, even if it’s just to spread the word, turning off a faucet spewing garbage by speaking up when you hear uneducated people running their mouths, or simply flagging and reporting abusive and illegal content.
kiss your dogs (and other pets) goodnight!