James Sharp reports today that “Juanita is actually doing very well. She was up and walking around yesterday. My grandson and I went to the hospital and spent the day with her — had a picnic in the grass at the hospital where she is allowed to go outside and she is able to carry her pump in her right… .”
Many California town, cities and some Counties (including San Bernardino County) have adapted pit bulls neuter and spade laws. It’s understood these laws not only minimize the number of homeless pit bulls and drastically reduce the numbers that are euthanized in public shelters, but they also save money in the long run.
Where is the Yucca Valley Town Council on this? How many pit bull attacks and public safety issues may it take? Surely, it’s too early to make any judgments as to what town leaders will do to promote public safety on the streets and roads in town.
The town needs to show leadership and courage in implementing a pit bull neuter and spade ordinance – just ask Mr. and Mrs. James and Juanita Sharp — medically speaking, Juanita nearly lost her very life while in harms way by those two vicious, flesh-eating pit bull man killers.
Many other towns and cities continue to hold to the false view that animal aggression is purely an issue of environmental cause and effect. While environment is a factor in behavioral problems in dogs, some dogs are inherently dangerous.
Case in point: My neighbor since moved to Texas — a state where the economy is healthy and where jobs are available.
He owns a mastiff/bull. When his dog was a puppy, our dogs would have fun playing in the yard. As “Champ” grew older, his behavior unintentionally became way too aggressive. The problem with Champ — in spite of his good home — was that he simply couldn’t distinguish the difference between play and survival. During playtime with Champ’s owner’s father’s dog, Champ would just snap and instinctively go for the throat and not let go. His master struggled to break Champ’s canine death hold. Consequently Champ could never be allowed to play with any dog. Champs genetic mix confused him in terms of disguising between play, survival and aggressive behavior.
The following article deals with a study in which throws light on interesting connections between canine aggression and genes that are involved in neurotransmission in the brain
ScienceDaily (May 26, 2010) — The control of different behaviours is a complex process that is influenced by both genetics and environmental factors. A new study throws light on interesting connections between canine aggression and genes that are involved in neurotransmission in the brain.
For his doctoral thesis, Jørn Våge has studied genetically controlled behavioural aspects in dogs, with particular focus on aggression.
Behavioural problems in dogs, particularly aggression towards people, are often the reason why otherwise healthy dogs are put down. Aggression and anxiety-related behaviour also has a negative effect on animal welfare because stress influences both the mental and physical health of dogs.
Different breeds of dog with various forms of specific behaviour act as genetic isolates and are therefore suited for use in studies of complex characteristics such as behaviour. Similarities in diseases in dogs and humans also provide good opportunities for comparative studies in the field of medical genetics and dogs can therefore be valuable genetic models for various human disorders.
The central nervous system and its neurotransmitters and intricate networks of receptors play a key role in this study of behavioural genetics. Serotonin and dopamine are neurotransmitters in the brain and have an important function in the control of behaviour. Many of the medicines that are used for the treatment of psychological disorders have an effect on these neurotransmitters.
The neurotransmitter systems have many different receptors and enzymes that regulate the production and breakdown of psychoactive substances. All stages of these reactions are controlled by genes and can be potential sources of behavioural changes.
The doctoral study has revealed a variation in genes related to serotonin and dopamine in dogs. Våge used these variations as markers in the study and discovered connections between individual variants of genes and aggressive behaviour in dogs.
The thesis also covers studies of genetic activity (expression studies) in different areas of the brain in aggressive and non-aggressive dogs respectively.
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