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Just when you think the NP stinks-Great Story Printed!

October 26th, 2004, 12:23 AM
by George Jonas!!

Don't blame the breed

George Jonas
National Post

Monday, October 25, 2004

:: 'Newspaper of record'? Hardly

If the bite of Ontario politicians is as bad as their bark, expect a
province-wide ban on a mythical breed of canine known as the "pit

The breed is mythical for two reasons. One, its fabled ferocity is
the stuff of legends. Two, it's a breed that doesn't exist.

You might think that even a politician would have trouble banning a
non-existent breed, but don't underestimate our elected
representatives. An attorney-general in full flight, such as
Ontario's Michael Bryant, is capable of banning anything, whether it
exists or not.

Still, why on Earth would you want to ban a breed that doesn't
exist? Why, for that matter, would you want to ban one that does?

Easy. You ban a breed because it's vicious.

But wait a minute. Breeds don't bite. Individual dogs may bite, but
breeds don't. Especially breeds that don't exist.

Stop being technical. Whether a breed exists or not is a piffle for
pedants, like kennel clubs or veterinarians. Details can be sorted
out. "If one of your four grandparents was a boxer, a Frenchie or a
Patton's dog, you're outlawed as a pit bull." Why not? They did it
at Nuremberg. A politician with a vision bans first and asks
questions later.

All right. Let's calm down.

Let's disregard for a moment that -- as the bemused members of the
Ontario Veterinary Medical Association pointed out earlier this
month -- "the 'pit bull' is not a specific breed." Let's disregard
that a ban on a breed that doesn't exist creates a bureaucratic
nightmare as owners and breeders of countless existing breeds and
crossbreeds -- from Boston terriers to American Staffordshires --
face the costly and wasteful task of satisfying some clueless
official that their dogs aren't covered by the ban.

Let's pretend that "pit bull" is an actual breed. What then?

Putting the question "Should any specific breed of dog be banned?"
to a person who knows anything about dogs, elicits a concise
reaction, such as the one I got from the eminent veterinarian Mark
Spiegle, past president of the Veterinarian College of Ontario.

"No," was Dr. Spiegle's terse reply. It was the kind of "no" you'd
expect in reply to the question: "Should any specific human race be
banned?" from a person who knows anything about human beings.

I wouldn't push a comparison between dogs and human beings too far
(it might be unfair to dogs) but in one respect canines are like

Vets know that the disposition of individual animals, just like that
of individual people, is determined by their pedigree and training,
not by their "ethnicity." Banning "pit bulls" to eliminate dog-
attacks makes about as much sense as banning Irishmen to eliminate
bar-room fights.

Memo to the A-G: There are bad breeders. There are bad masters.
There are even bad dogs. There are no bad breeds.

There's only periodic mass hysteria. It's "pit bulls" today -- some
yearsago it was Dobermans. At least Doberman was an actual breed, if
rather sweet-tempered. How and why Dobermans were defamed is
anybody's guess.

Though all breeds aren't the same, banning breeds is pointless. A
Labrador could be made ferocious (admittedly it would be an uphill
struggle). Anyway, if your idea of a good time is to keep a dog that
intimidates passersby and mauls children, many breeds will suit your
purpose as well as the "pit bull." Better, actually, because at 90
or 100 pounds an ill-tempered Neapolitan or bullmastiff will do more
damage than a 40-50 pound American "pit bull" terrier. You can turn
Rottweilers, Akitas, Shar-Peis, and dozens of other breeds into
junkyard dogs.
The German Shepherd, this magnificent animal that performs so
brilliantly as a companion, a police dog or a guide for the blind,
can also be bred and trained to terrorize the postman.

Vets, incidentally, would frown at this list. They don't like naming
breeds suitable for the production of junkyard dogs, not so much
because they worry about giving ideas to unscrupulous dog owners,
but because they worry about giving ideas to unscrupulous dog
banners. Like attorneys-general.

Politicians are curs, to use an old-fashioned expression that
happens to fit the topic. They're cowardly, yappy and easily
spooked. When confronted, they usually tuck their tails between
their legs and slink away, but they bare their fangs when they think
they can get away with it.

In short, politicians are the opposite of the "pit bull" family of
breeds, the butcher's or gripping dogs of earlier times, bred and
trained for cattle control. Butcher's dogs are powerful, tenacious
and brave. Given the right lineage and upbringing, they're also
loving and obedient. I wouldn't hesitate leaving my grandson with a
well-disposed "pit bull." I wouldn't leave him with an ill-disposed

Unlike bulldog types, who lock their jaws on a bull's nose and cling
to it until the butcher arrives to take it back to the pen,
politicians are a breed whose bark is worse than their bite. Still,
I'd recommend banning politicians before I'd recommend banning "pit
bulls." It would do far more for the safety, intelligence and moral
tone of the nation.

National Post 2004

October 26th, 2004, 01:20 AM
:thumbs up :thumbs up Way to go George. This will be the next letter I email to all the MPPs.
Might add "Next time we'll ban the Liberals from office, because of a few bad 180lb politicians you all have to be voted out!!.... reference Dalton and Michael"

October 26th, 2004, 07:59 AM
Excellent article!! Sounds like George has done a little more investigating than our beloved AG, Mr. Bryant :rolleyes:

October 26th, 2004, 09:21 AM
I think George is the one who needs to be in office he has obviously done his homework. Very well written article I especially liked
Politicians are curs, to use an old-fashioned expression that
happens to fit the topic. They're cowardly, yappy and easily spooked. When confronted, they usually tuck their tails between their legs and slink away, but they bare their fangs when they think they can get away with it.
How true is that. He really takes a few nice jabs at the whole mess MB has created. I think we should let him know what a great article it was, we need to support those who support us as well as writing those who don't.

October 26th, 2004, 11:37 AM
Hooray!!! This article is wonderful!

October 26th, 2004, 11:47 AM
I was going to email this George Jonas and tell him to keep up the good work, but I can't seem to find him on the list of staff at! :confused: