Brain study suggests dog bites more likely from certain breeds

Every breed of dog has its devoted owners and some of the most loyal owners have pit bulls. However, recent research seems to provide evidence that these breeds are more prone to inflict dog bites. Minnesota is home to many dogs and owners are responsible for keeping their pets under control. 

The recent study did not intend to prove that certain breeds are potentially more dangerous. The goal was to study the brains of select breeds to understand how the brain structures vary from breed to breed and to determine if there are significant differences according to the purpose of the breed's development. Researchers were seeking information on whether select breeding leads to changes in brain structure and function. 

Pit bull advocates argue that these dogs are not genetically prone to aggression. They claim that bad behavior is a result of an individual dog's environment and training. However, the study, which involved taking scans of the dogs' brains, revealed that the areas of the brain that correlate to aggression and prey drive are more highly developed in certain breeds -- particularly those with the physical characteristics most often displayed by pit bulls and similar breeds. This study indicates that breeding for defined purposes does result in differences in the brain and in behaviors. 

The physical characteristics of pit bulls, such as the square-shaped head and muzzle with well-developed jaws, correlates to behaviors such as unpredictable violent episodes. When it comes to pit bulls and other dogs bred for aggression, nature plays a significant role in how an animal behaves. Minnesota is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. Owners are held liable for any harm their pets inflict through unprovoked attacks. Those who have suffered serious injuries may seek compensation through the state's civil courts.

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