I have decided to test one of our adoptable dogs out of sheer curiosity. We named her Jojo. She is a mixed breed dog that is about 6 months old. She is full grown. Her brown eyes make you melt inside, and I swear she is smiling in this photo! When you look at her adorable photo, you will immediately say that she is a pit bull. She only weighs about 20 lbs!
I have listed Miss Jojo as a beagle/boxer mix on http://www.jewellanimalhospital.petfinder.com/ . I have no way of knowing if this is her true heritage. She is the size of a small beagle with longer legs. She has the build of a miniature boxer. I cannot explain where the freckled feet come from. Freckled feet are not a "pit bully" trait.
I fear that Miss Jojo is missing out on a new forever family of her own due to her resemblance to a pit bull. I am not claiming that she is not a pit mix. I don't know or care if she is a pit mix. I don't even know if this testing will help us in her plight for a new home, or hurt us. I do know that she likes dogs, cats, and kids. She has showed us no signs of aggression. She is a playful happy puppy awaiting a family to love her, yet she continues to be passed over. She is in a foster home learning to behave in a home setting, being potty trained, and living happily with two other dogs.
Watch Video 1 of Jojo
Watch Video 2 of Jojo
With breed specific legislation becoming the societal "norm", I worry about this little girl. I have had clients and non-clients with mixed breed dogs say that they have been approached by police officers enforcing their local "vicious dog ordinances". Perhaps little tiny Jojo would fall into this category of legally vicious dogs despite her sugar-coated sweetness.
These ordinances define dogs as vicious by breed rather than behavior. People with dogs that are gentle and loving are being forced to prove their pet is not a pit bull or rottweiler or german shepherd, when there is no true way to do that if you do not own "papers" on the dog. Sometimes, the dog in question is a purebred boxer or bulldog that I am comfortable declaring "This dog is not a pit bull." Other times, the dog might be a boxer mix, a pit mix, an american bulldog, but I cannot declare that this dog is not a pit bull or pit mix with any degree of certainty based only on appearance. If you mix a wrinkled nose, purebred boxer with almost any other dog (ie lab, shep, golden), you are going to lengthen that nose, and the mix puppies will suddenly appear "pitty". These dogs would all be susceptible to this type of breed specific law or legislation.
Another issue with this legislation is that the affected, breed-defined dogs often have no aggressive history. They are being blamed for crimes that they have not committed. This is not unlike racial profiling. It is breed profiling. Dogs should be deemed vicious by historical documentation of vicious actions, and punished or cited as a result of these actions, rather than on their appearance. I discuss this in a previous blog, Breed Specific Legislation or BS Laws? .
I don't want to place blame on the law enforcement officials. They are following the rules bestowed upon them by others. This is their job. It is the breed-biased laws and the people that pass them that need to be addressed.
I found a photo on the Internet that expresses my concerns about laws such as these:
I have ordered one of each of the following DNA test kits:
Mars Veterinary Wisdom Panel
$79.99 free shipping, used coupon code INSIGHTS10 and got $10 off
total cost $69.99
DDC Animal DNA Testing
Can detect 62 of the AKC's most common breeds.
$68 free shipping No coupon codes
Over 100 breeds
$79.95 free shipping. accepts coupon codes but unable to find any.
I ordered all three tests between 8 am and 9 am on Thursday, September 30, 2010. The test kits vary in price, and vary in the number and kind of breeds they test for in their procedures. More information can be found on their websites linked above.
Once we receive the tests, we will post new blogs and let you follow us through the testing procedure. You may join us here as we perform the tests, and as we anxiously await the results of each test.
I am putting my own dollars and my "breed guessing skills" on the line and inviting you to follow along with our testing of Jojo, and her results. The results of each test will be discussed, and you can voice your own opinion.
I hope these tests can identify a primary breed in Jojo. I have heard that they often do not. We may continue rowing in the same boat of uncertainty at the end of this expensive and time-consuming testing procedure. My hope is that by the end of the procedure, Jojo is already with her new forever family regardless of the results.
I am not saying that Jojo is not a pit mix...she may be one. Unless these three DNA tests concur and identify substantial primary breed results, I have no way of knowing that. Unfortunately, neither do our law enforcement officials when they look at your dog.
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