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Another view of pit bulls

October 8, 2013 - Burt Angeli
Pit bulls are front page news these days. This newspaper and the Boston Globe both ran stories this week regarding the behavior of this dog breed.

Gary Patronek, an animal epidemiologist and assistant professor at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, told the Boston Globe he has seen so many examples of non-pit bull attacks that he has been encouraging people for more than two decades to stop measuring dog behavior and risk by breed.

“There’s a certain amount of hysteria that comes with that type of measurement,” said Patronek, who has written extensively on dog bites. “But the hysteria doesn’t match the facts. I’ve simply seen no evidence over the years that pit bulls are any more of a risk than any other breed. In fact, what I’ve found is that the risk rests almost entirely in environmental factors like a dog’s surroundings and how it’s treated by its owners.”



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