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KOMO 4 TV Interview – Service Dog Racism

My wife’s dog, Sagan, was featured in an interview of Ellen Taft, a woman who wants to ban pit bulls and many other breeds as service dogs. My wife’s dog has a big head and looks like a pit bull, though she’s actually a Boxer mix, possibly with Greyhound. Ellen Taft definitely has it out for pit bull type dogs, but also mentioned that, among other breeds, Greyhounds shouldn’t be service dogs because, and I quote, “A Greyhound is a very, very stupid dog. It was trained for one purpose, it was trained to run.”

I have to counter that statement. One, any dog can be trained to do a task, given enough determination on the part of the owner/trainer. Two, I’m pretty certain the word she wanted there was “bred” to run, not “trained.” If it were trained to run, wouldn’t that make it a trainable dog? 🙂 Who is she to say whether the greyhound she saw had been trained to do the tasks required by that person?

Statements like these are no more than blatant racism. Dogs are dogs. Their genetics do make them awfully hard to train to fly, but certainly they can be trained for service dog work, especially since every disability requires a different set of skills from the service dog. If she wants to make it so that no aggressive dogs are on the street as service dogs, I’m fine with that, more than fine! You’d have to do temperament tests to certify the dogs themselves, not wipe out an entire set of breeds in a racist way. And if you require all service dogs to be professionally trained, than many people who need them would not get service dogs, because of the $5,000-$10,000 price tag.

Click here to see the interview which includes me training my wife’s dog, Sagan (a Boxer/Greyhound mix), to do a service dog tasks, picking things up for us. I’ve had a bad back for years and some days it’s better than others. I don’t need a service dog to take out into public right now, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a dog ready if things do get worse. And she’s very handy around the house already!

A final comment – American Pit Bull Terriers had a passing rate of 84.3% when tested by the American Temperament Testing Society. Golden Retrievers had a passing rate of 84.2%. If a pit bull does something bad, it makes the news, and the breed is in the headline. When a Labrador Retriever does something bad, like kill a baby, the headline skips the breed and says, “Dog Kills 2-Month-Old Left Alone in Swing.” Please don’t let the media brainwash you and poison you against a family of breeds like pit bulls.