Arkansas Mayor punts talk of pooch prohibition, peeving local pet owners


You would think that, after 10,000 or so years of selective breeding, we humans would be a little more cognizant of our role in the behavior of our dogs.

After all, this is a creature that we spent millennia domesticating, taking the raw, visceral nature of the wolf and squashing it under innumerable generations of breeding for sport and show.

As such, we purposefully worked to remove the wild violence of the wolf, replacing it with a varying temperament that is professional measured by experts.  In these scientific studies, large samples of a breed’s population are administered identical temperament tests, and the passing percentage is used to rank the canines.

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For example, the American Pit Bull Terrier’s pass rate tends to hover around 87%, with dogs such as the Border Collie, (82.4%), and the Golden Retriever, (85.6%), coming in not far behind.

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That hasn’t stopped a number from locales from discriminating against “pit bulls” using breed bans.

In Jacksonville, Arkansas, a proposal to remove the towns’ breed ban on was to be the subject of a public debate recently…until the Mayor pulled the plug.

The original proposal would have lifted the decade-old ban, but would have put restrictions in place for owners- like insurance, registration fees, and the pit bull would have to be chipped.

“There was a lot of changes wanted to be made to the ordinance and a lot of input from different people,” says Mayor Johnson.

Mayor Johnson decided to table the conversation so he can monitor how other cities transition from the ban.

“I think getting feedback from your citizens is really important, maybe even to the point where we have a Town Hall meeting one day,” says Mayor Johnson.

“Pit bull” advocacy groups are constantly working to educate the public on the archaic bans and the vagaries construed by them, noting that the term “pit bull” does not refer only to the breed recognized as the American Pit Bull Terrier, but to a number of breeds who happen to have large heads and short hair.

This includes the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, often referred to as “pocket pit bulls”, whose temperament testing pass rate is currently 90.9%.

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