Pit Bull Prohibition: Oregon Moves Toward Banning Pit Bulls

180px-ww1While it has become common for cities and counties to ban pit bulls, Oregon is considering a bill to ban the dogs from the entire state. Oregon may be the first state to declare owning pit bulls a crime, if the legislation passes.

Pit bull owners insist that their dogs are not more vicious and that it is the fault of the owners. However, the Oregon legislation may become a model for other states. While I do not expect dog smugglers to follow this prohibition, it could lead to some interesting challenges. However, such cases would likely fall under the low rational basis test for states to satisfy.

For the full story, click here.

[Update: The Oregon legislators have indicated that they may pull the bill for further study this year]

46 thoughts on “Pit Bull Prohibition: Oregon Moves Toward Banning Pit Bulls

  1. I’m a huge proponent of the idea that there are more bad owners than there are bad dogs, but this is an inherently dangerous breed precisely because of how they were bred. As evidenced by the CDC, they are a disproportionate risk to the public. From Wiki – “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a study concerning deaths from canine attacks in 2000. According to the study, between 1979 and 1998, one-third of all fatal dog attacks were caused by Pit Bull type dogs. The highest number of attacks (118) were by Pit Bull type dogs, the next highest being Rottweilers at 67.” That’s nearly twice as many attacks as the next most aggressive breed. The original CDC report can be viewed here (.pdf) – http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/dogbreeds.pdf – but that kind of number makes it hard to argue they are not intrinsically a dangerous animal. 2:1 is statistically significant. While it makes perfect sense to let the legal onus fall on the owner for attacks, it also makes sense to ban or limit ownership of such an animal as a matter of public safety just like you would expect big cats, primates and other dangerous animals to be prohibited from private ownership.

    I love animals of all sort, but not all of them make good pets.

  2. May be correct Buddha, but isn’t thát exactly their main selling point? I don’t think too many buy them for their looks, not considering the wisdom of the buyers.

  3. Let’s just make things all the more safer and ban everyone in America from owning any type of pet, except for goldfish. Then no one will get hurt.

    We can just put all the animals in a huge zoo and you can go there to see your old dog or cat and remember the good ol’ days.

    That should make things fair, right ?

  4. Sally,

    Please. That’s just reflexive. Not all animals are suitable pets. Keep in mind that pets, by their very nature, have to interact with more than just their “immediate family”. The owner has a responsibility to make sure the animal remains under control. The evidence points to this being a difficult to control AND dangerous breed (due to bite characteristics). Fair has nothing to do with it, safe does. I’d love to be able to have a Siberian Tiger as a pet. Beautiful animal. But I wouldn’t do it. Forget that it’s cruel to keep a wild animal as a pet. Forget that it’s illegal in many places. I wouldn’t do it for the assumed risk alone. Even if that tiger LOVED me and I was fully confident it would not harm a hair on my head, I could never be sure it wouldn’t take exception to another human and attack. It’s his nature. To quote Chris Rock, “That tiger didn’t go crazy! That tiger went tiger!” Just like aggression is the nature of pit bulls as evidence by their frequency in being involved in fatal attacks. I’m not suggesting people get their pets taken away. That’s just mean. I’m suggesting not allowing any more of the breed into circulation. How is that not fair?

  5. I’ll admit Buddha, there are certain types of dogs that I don’t like, most of them are those little bitty yappy ones.
    I’m not fond of pit bulls or german shepherds either. I do feel that both of those types of dogs are agressive.

    A friend of ours used to have a german shepherd that was extremely protective of her. Then she and I each had a baby and of course, the dog became protective of her son. I always feared that the dog would attack my daughter if she took a toy away from her son and made him cry. So to avoid such a problem, the dog not was near the children when they were playing. The dog died shortly before our kids each turned one year old. Although I was sad for my friends loss, I was secretly relieved.

    I do see your point though

  6. If breeders created a Pit-weilers or Dober-bulls, would they be legal under this proposal?

    Or will the courts know it when they see it?

    I think another avenue would be to compel homeowners to carry $2M in liability insurance to get a pet registration for a Pit Bull, thereby making registration nearly impossible.

  7. Although I never tried training a pit bull, I have little doubt that I could train one to be as gentle as I wanted and still be an effective watchdog. A dog’s personality most often reflects that of his trainer and/or owner.

    Bear in mind the nature/nurture aspect of behavior when considering whether a particular breed of animal is doomed to certain *undesirable* traits.

    Every breed of dog has intrinsic value and must have every opportunity to exist. The owners are the responsible parties in this human/non-human animal partnership that has culturally evolved over some 14, 000 years.

  8. I think we can all agree that there are several layers to this problem: Owners who have little to no experience with a more protective\aggressive dog breeds; owners who try to bring out the aggressiveness so they can use the animal as a guard dog, but don’t know enough to train the dog properly; backyard breeders who either have low breeding standards or try to cater those seeking junkyard dogs. When you combine bad breeders with bad owners, and pit bulls seem to attract both, you’re always going to end up with a breed that gets known for having many undesirable traits.

  9. Yes, Virginia, we now have a President Doofus:

    ‘Fuzzy Math’ on War Funding.

    Obama Begs Moscow “We will scrap missile-defense for help with Iran”.

    Dow drops another 300 points; off 2,500 just since Obama inaugeration, 3,500 since Obama election, and 6,500 since Obama nomination – investor message – WE DON’T TRUST or BELIEVE IN Obama’s fruitcake answer to our problems.

  10. Budda
    “I’m a huge proponent of the idea that there are more bad owners than there are bad dogs”
    One could make the same statement about parents, auto drivers, bicycle riders, buffalo owners, rodeo livestock owners, Boer hog owners (they can run faster than a horse(so says my dad)), Billy goat owners, and I could go on and on. Just where do you stop protecting the public and suggest the individual has some responsibility for his own protection. But at that suggestion you would not be involved. Is that not the real issue???

    “We can just put all the animals in a huge zoo and you can go there to see your old dog or cat and remember the good ol’ days.” But Sally??? What about those drunk Mary Jane smoking dudes that climb the fence and then get eaten by the zoo animals… No zoos??? Gotta keep the natives safe??? Whata ya call that one for the tort lawyers… Not zoo ambulance chasers but funeral parlor opportunities???
    Survival of the smartest or is that the thinkinst???
    Learned the reality of that from Bullet my neighbors collie named after I seem to recall Roy Rogers collie after I antagonized him and he grabbed me and pulled me outa the tree I had climbed which bent over from my weight where he could reach me after I antagonized him. Got the scars still.. And he licked me in the face when he hung on and pulled me outta the tree after all that… With me a bleeding too, crying and screaming bloody murder… He missed the family jewels that I had no clue I would later for sure learn so really appreciate… Whewwww… Since then I ALWAYS carry big boneS in my pocket when biking and ah walkin to have POSITIVE influence with all the big dogs…. Littlins ones too…. They can get it to ya bike spokes… Kinda sounding like the survival of the fittest/thinkinst(my word)???

  11. I think something should be done for the dogs’ own good. We’ve been looking to adopt a dog and the shelters around here are overflowing with unwanted pits and pit mixes. They far outnumber any other type of breed or mix in need of homes and they seem to either be bred or allowed to breed way in excess of any demand for them. Add to that the fact that homeowners insurance will often penalize you for owning a pit or certain other breeds and they’d be better off if there were fewer of them in the future.

  12. How long till they ban ALL scary-looking potentially aggressive breeds? Dobermans, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, German Shepherds, you name it. And what breeds are NOT potentially dangerous? For Pete’s sake, former French President Chirac recently had to be hospitalized after being mauled by his tiny pet Maltese poodle: http://tinyurl.com/7ts93c. The doggy was “clinically depressed”.

    People, it’s the training, not the “breeding”, that makes an aggressive dog. A Pit Bull raised like a Cocker Spaniel will be as sweet-tempered as you please. Maybe more so; I’ve known some nasty little Cockers.

    They’re going for the easy solution here, banning the breed instead of keeping an eye on the breeders/trainers. If my super-friendly Korean Jindo goes nuts and bites a kid I’m liable, just like a Pit Bull owner. There should be no general verbot.

    It’s a similar picture with gun ownership. A semi-automatic rifle that looks like your grandfather’s deer gun works exactly the same way as a semi-auto AK-47 (full auto guns are already illegal unless you jump through some very tight hoops, and no, contrary to urban myth it’s NOT easy to convert from semi to full). But there’s again a move afoot to ban so-called “assault rifles” primarily because they LOOK sinister. Yet I can assault you just as effectively with a gun that looks like it should be hanging over a rustic mantelpiece.

    Let’s get away from simplistic solutions that go by appearances. There are many responsible Pit Bull owners with perfectly behaved dogs right here in my neighborhood. The Nanny State should worry less about breeds or gun styles and – well, in fact, the Nanny State should just go away and stop trying to protect everybody from everything. Life is risky. Get used to it.

  13. you people who defend these blood-thirsty dogs from Hell make me want to just PUKE!How many people have to die or be permantly disfugered by this pyschotic breed,How many innocent animals have to die at the hand of these monsters till they are banned?It is always a pitbull doing it!Nine out of ten fatal dog attacks are pitbulls.They are proving their own reputation.Incidently Sally since you seem to be their fan,I hope you come acroo one.Maybe you’ll lose that stupid arrogance!It’s people like you that make this country as screwed up as it is!


  15. Do we all need to be reminded of the micheal vic case? Out of all the dogs that were confiscated, only ONE had to be euthanized (and that was because she was so far gone with cancer that it would have been cruel to keep her alive). All of these dogs were, YES, rehabilitated and adopted out to homes with children, other dogs and cats. These were deemed “fighting dogs”, and under other counties and cities “bans” would have been all put to death! Some of these dogs even went to DEA and Search and Rescue organizations as well as becoming therapy dogs for the elder and disabled community. I have owned and been part of this spectacular breed for many years and would not own any other dog. I find it crazy that people go on and on about what the dog was “bred” for. If you do your research, the dogs were originally bred for hunting, not fighting. They are in fact, still used today in many areas for what they were intentionally meant for which is mainly bear and boar hunting! They as well do NOT have “locking jaws”, but more pounds per square inch bite force than other breeds (although they did a study for national geographic with three breeds, a german shephard, rottwiler and pitbull, and the german had MORE bite force than the pit bull, the pitbull coming in last)! So what I am saying in closing is “knowledge is power”!

  16. I just want to say that I own two American Pit Bull Terriers, and I also have 6 small children and another on the way. My dogs are very sweet, and loving to everyone they come in contact with. They have been trained to be that way. My daughter got bit by a blue heeler when she was 1, at the play ground because, well the dog wasn’t a “pit bull” so the owners let their dog just run loose. I didn’t even get an apology from the dog owners. Both of my dogs have been attacked by other dogs in the town I live in, while they we’re being walked, on a leash by my husband. Both seperate incidents, and all of these dogs we’re different dogs, and all of them running loose because how could they be dangerous, they aren’t pit bulls. My dogs did nothing back to these other dogs, they just kind of looked confused. Again, no one in my town thinks that it’s a big deal because they couldn’t possibly hurt anyone because they aren’t pits. I am tired of the ignorance that people have towards these dogs. Like Laurie Bell wrote, please remember the Michael Vick dogs. I am so proud and happy that they we’re all re homed! I knew they would be, because I know the breed. My moms little mini dachsund has bitten my daughter. My dogs get down on their bellies when people come up to them. They are sitting pretty waiting to be loved on. People who are responsible for aggressive dogs, of any breed, need to be held responsible for their actions. I wish everyone would stop trying to make this breed responsible for their own ignorance. This breed, like any other will be as loving as we allow them to be. They are big goof balls! Don’t get me wrong, if either of my dogs attacked someone, I would put them down, but that can happen with any animal, dog, cat, bird, horse, whatever animal you may own. Knowledge is power, and a lot of people in this world need to learn more about this breed. Also, a lot of “pit bull” attacks, aren’t even really pit bulls. There are a lot of breeds that look similar to pits. Mine are UKC registered, Purple Ribbon dogs, so I know they are APBT. So the statistics aren’t completely accurate on how many attacks are really Pits.

  17. My son was bit in the face by a rotwieler he was at the sitter’s house i was at work. it was a 8 month old pup that was kept in a dinky apt. with a bunch of wild kids. my son was only 3 at the time he didnt know your not supposed to put your face by them when they are eating. Of course he needed stitches was very lucky it just missed his eyeball and he has gaping scars by his eye socket and his cheek and chin. i find that 90 percent of owners that get these dogs do nothing to discipline them they don’t study the breeds and they don’t understand how to train them. This leads to the dog taking charge instead of the owner due to boredom from lack of exercise and uselessness from having no job or purpose, big dogs need to keep busy, period! if you dont have the time dont buy the dang dog.

  18. just to edit that the sitter i took him to didnt own the dog it was brought over by her older daughter i was not aware of the arrangement. I did take them to court for medical expenses and to pay for future surgery and it took 3years to settle. ya know when ppl fight each other one or the other or both go to jail there is usually fines to pay and court costs etc..but humans have the capacity to decide whether to engage in the fight, dogs don’t. So to say that its the owners isn’t entirely a fair assesment. Who do you blame if the owners are responsible? Thats why if you aren’t sure you can handle the consequences if your dog has an episode whether financially or emotionally then really consider that no matter what breed you buy.

  19. Mr. President:

    Pit bulls will be forced to have natural or innate impulses? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

    And all by next week?

    That’s so awesome, but do you think you could do something about DADT or health care instead?

  20. Health care is going to be forced into instinction?

    Now that’ll be something to see. I better set the DVR.

  21. Did I mention the pit bull breed is involved in fatal attacks two times for every one attack by the next most vicious breed (Rotweiller)?


    If your car was twice as likely to explode when you ride in it as the next relevant competition, would it make sense to keep the car? If so, please call me. I have some vintage Ford Pintos in mint condition to sell you.

  22. Buddha:

    every pit bull I know that is just brought up as a regular dog is very loving.

    I think the problem is not the design but how it is used.

  23. Pit Bull breeding has been banned in Ontario for the past 3 years. In addition, if you are the proud owner of the breed and are out walking it without a muzzle you will be fined and your pet could be taken away on the spot.

  24. I just want to say to all of the people who are in support of all of this pit bull or breed specific legislation. You clearly don’t have a clue what yo are talking about and your ignorance is apparent. Your living out of fear and that is driving your viewpoint. I have been raising these dogs and have been a breeder of them. In the entire time I have been working with them I have not ever once had an issue with these dogs. In fact I trust them more than most other breeds. It is not the dog that is bad, it is the owner that neglects a dog or mistreats the dog. These are amazing animals and are considered members of the family. You are talking about taking peoples family members away from them and killing them, imprisoning the owners and so forth. This is wrong.
    Hey you there, the one all for restricting me from owning a perfectly good and loyal dog. What if your child grew up and was violent. Is the next step to ban people from having children because people have this inherent ability to loose it when they don’t get their medication, or they are drunk. it really is no different. We don’t ban you from having a child because your a bad parent. People are prosecuted on an individual basis, and so should a persons animal. Does the CDC (who has no place dictating anything of this nature) do a study on different nationalities and declaring that certain races of human are more disposed to violence and therefor banned or sterilized. You people should get a clue before you start judging animals in which the extent of your knowledge is from new reports and isolated incidents.

  25. To the last person who commented on this website. You posted that u agree with most owners are responsible for the way that the dog is treated or otherwise raised. U also stated that rottweilers are bumber on the list most dangerous dogs. I have a rottie mix. He is 1/2 rottie 1/4 chocolate lab adn 1/4 saint bernard. He is the most wonderful loveable dong i have ever had teh pleasure of owning. He was raised well and he is very smart. So if a rottie can be trained well then why cant a pitbull be trained well? My cousin has a pur breed pitbull and she has never bitten anyone or tried to bit anyone even wen she did have puppies to protect. they have 4 pits adn every single one of them are very nice adn obediant dongs. Yes some can be taught to be mean, but that is only because they are people pleasers adn want to please thier owners. If you want the dog to be a fighter he will try his hardest to be one and kill. If u want the dog to be nice and be able to have a 2 year old play with him and not relatiate then u would raise him as a good love albe dog. i think that people who want to ban this breed are crazy and will just cause more harm then good. It would be like the 70’s with drugs. Once you ban it, it gives people the more of a feeling of wanting than anything. Once u tell someone they ant have soemthing or cant do something the first thing they are going to so is prove u wrong. So i think that banning people to have pits would be better than just banning the breed. Maybe setting up classes and then having a certificate or somthing that says that u may own a pitbull. Just like driving without a lisence. same concept.

  26. Actually Pitbulls have tested better than labs on temperment test Buddha. A true pit is not aggressive towards humans (they were actually made so that they would not be that way. Not only that but if you did your research, you would find that the only way to see if it was a pit that did attack, they would have to do blood work, which they don’t. So they are only classified according to their looks.

  27. i have one female pit bull and one chihuahua…shes the biggest baby you’ll ever meet. shes a protective dog but also lovable..Our chihuahua is more over protective then our pit. I have 4 kids all close in ages from 0-7 years old and our pit loves them dearly. She never shows aggresion towars our kids or towards us. It all depends on how the owner trains them. Its just like teaching kids from right and wrong. When we take her to the dog park, she does not go nuts! shes friendly and very mellow. You show them aggresion and anger and discipline them with thoughs feelings, they’ll follow in those feelings. But if you show them love and compassion, they’ll act on that. Yes pit bulls comes off as being a dominate breed. BUT NOT ALL OF THEM LIVE OFF OF THAT! =) SO STOP LOOKING ON ONE SIDE OF THE STORY. THERE ARE PIT BULLS SUCH AS MINE THAT ARE LOVING AND HUMBLE PETS THAT IS APART OF OUR FAMILY. WHY BLAME THEM ON THEIR OWNERS ACTIONS. ITS JUST LIKE BLAMING YOUR KIDS MISTAKES AND MESS UPS ON HOW YOU DISCIPLINE AND TEACH THEM!!!

  28. Chassie,

    My guess is that you’re motivated to write because you have some self-doubt about whether or not it’s appropriate to have four kids under 7 years old and a pit bull in the house. Statistically, you’re taking a much greater risk of injury or death of one of your children and their friends than if you had a retriever, say. If it were me I would give up the dog in your situation.

    For more on the realities of these risks, see here.

  29. First of all ill start by saying, that the banning of Pitt Bulls is TOTALLY RIDICULIOUS!!!!!!! I am the proud owner of a Brendal Pitt, that not only is he beautiful, but very LOYAL!!!! In the year that ive had him, not once has he shown any aggrestion towards ANYBODY…..in fact hes, loving, playful, and very obedient!!!! I firmly believe that theres is no such thing as bad DOGS, just bad owners! Dogs only become as mean as there owner, and if the dog is tought to be mean and vicious, well then guess what folks…U WILL GET A VERY MEAN DOG! I think that people need to STOP sterotyping dogs, especially PITT BULLS. For the longest time, or least as far back as i can remember, all here is that pitts are bad and that there dangerous, and ill never get nor own one. I hope that all petitions in the near future reguarding pitts, help in keeping pitts from being banned here in oregon and in any other state……thanku!

  30. that is just insane if they are gonna do that i have some one in mind to maybe stop the legistlation from passing

  31. pit bulls are better than any other breed of dogs.
    did you know that goldenretreivers will bite more people than a pit bull in a year and that is the truth dont fight it, i hate what the U.S. is doing and all their doing is thinking about them selves because they think that if they ban the pits they well not lose money anymore well think about people who love pits

  32. As i said before, people NEED to STOP sterotyping Pits!!! Not only are they a beautiful dogs, but there VERY loyal! I have read that in the last five years theres been more attacks from Rotts and Labs, than there has been from Pits. Again, there is no such thing as bad dogs just BAD owners!!!

  33. More people that own a Pit, need to desprately get involved in tring to stop the banning of Pits in oregon.

  34. arturo is right, but let’s not forget there are also bad dogs. And some breeds just need to be destroyed. Pits are the prime example.

    I propose a forced sterilization for the animals, and perhaps some of their owners.

  35. Good point. Depends on if the owners have already had children. May have to sterilize their kids as well.

  36. What other sites is there, to find out more info on the Law tring to ban Pits? I wonder how famlies would feel if one there children attacked someone….hmmm? I know that theres dog owners out there that reguard the pet as if they were one of there own children…hence the FAMILY pet! So with said, would they choose to have there children banned or even worse????

  37. Pitbulls are no more aggressive than a Poodle. Its all in the way they are raised. I have W and she is 6 months old and we atte going to be aqiring 2 more when they are 6 weeks old. All I know is that the parents of these pups are VERY well ehaved and would not hurt anyone. Yes there are some who raise them for fighting but that is not always the case. Even Rotwielers are a fighting dog and nobody is complaining about them. Futhermore if they were treated right like any other animal they would not be aggrssive. This includes people teasing them and beating on them as well as throwing things at them. If someone was to do that another person they would fight back too.So therefore its not the dogs fault its the people teasing them, throwing things at them,and beating them as well as the owners who don’t treat them right.

  38. its entirely on the owner and the approach of a person.
    ive worked with , evaluated and rehabbed many dogs ,primarily pitbulls.
    you have to teach them but also learn from each one there own comforts, just as you do people. and people have to learn to approach properly as well and not assume. the dog could seem ok but the closer you get or try to play in a quick moving way could startle the dog just as it would a person to protect itself,its owner, its belongings. get to know the dog and the owner better. period…… you couldnt get my pit to be aggressive,, unless another dog takes his food or toy. and he is a rescue dog that was on the streets and a bate dog we believe. anyone and everyone that has come across him talks about how gentle he is eating from your hand like a bird,,he barely barks,, he may look intimidating at first pulling or whining but its to play and get attention…. now granted, ive also worked with dogs that do the same but will attack another dog because they were trained and beaten and rewarded for doing so,,,,so there are those out there that think they are getting a steak afterwards,,and that falls on the owners , awareness, approachment.
    you speak primarily of pitbulls being bred for aggression,,fight dogs. yea i guess not many people would pay to see a bunch of minpins or weener dogs fights, but they would if starved and taught to do so. sick people.

  39. Stop blaming the owners/training of the dog. This breed CANNOT be trusted! In the wrong hands it’s just twice as likely to attack someone or another dog. It’s genetics people, you cannot train genetics. It’s in their very nature to snap into attack, lock-in and kill mode.
    I own a extremely friendly Siberian husky. Adopted him when he was 1 year old (he is 13 now). One time I was walking him and someone had their pitt in the passenger seat of the car, as soon as that Pitt saw us he jumped out of the window and went strait for the kill! We were very lucky that day, we were able to get him off my dog.

    Fast forward to last Sunday. I’m walking my dog with my son around our neighborhood, and I see a dog charging at us! Big surprise, a pitbull! No stop and smell like normal dogs, but straight to kill! Luckily his owner grabbed him in time before locking in. His excuse…the chest collar broke.
    To his (pit’s owner) he was a decent, educated family man. He said the dog is AKC certified, blah blah blah.

    My point being, IT’S IN THE PITTBULLS GENES TO BE AGRESSIVE AND ATTACK. Yes, some might seem friendly but you never know when they will snap.

    Just type in “dog attacks” in YouTube and the results speak for themselves.

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