Tuesday, June 5, 2012


The author and year citations below refer
to papers published by students or faculty of 
 The University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany. 
For the full titles see the Annotated Timeline of TiHo publications.

These excerpts are drawn from the conclusions and summaries
of TiHo dissertations and papers written between 2002 - 2008.

The SRUV commentary follows the citations.

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Mittmann (2002)

The assessment of the breeds and the Pitbull-type dogs did not show any significant difference as far as aggressive behaviour . . . is concerned. Consequently, splitting the dogs into two categories and the resulting different legal treatment is not justified.

Johann (2004)

Comparing the MITTMANN (2002) group and the comparison group no significant difference in the frequency of inadequate aggressive behaviour could be observed.

The results show that it is neither legitimate to discriminate against certain breeds nor to submit them to the rules and regulations of the so called breed-lists.

Hirschfield (2005)

In conclusion, there were no indications found for inadequate or disturbed aggressive behaviour in this Bull Terrier breed line. Furthermore, throughout the entire study the broad majority of the dogs proved to possess excellent social skills as well as the ability to communicate competently and to solve conflicts appropriately.
Ott (2008)
However, no significant difference between the 415 dogs tested by Mittmann (2002) and the 70 golden retrievers of this study was found.
. . . . no significant differences in the occurrence of aggressive behavior in inappropriate situations were found when comparing golden retrievers and 6 dog breeds affected by legislation. Therefore, assuming that certain dog breeds are especially dangerous and imposing controls on them cannot be ethologically justified.
Schalke (2008)
Furthermore, no significant difference between the breeds and type of [sic] concerning exceptional aggressive signaling or aggressive behavior in inappropriate situations could be found.
Therefore, the temperament test did not suggest particular dangerousness of these dogs with regard to their behavior toward people.
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SRUV Commentary:

It is impossible to miss the consistency of language and thought, as if someone were directing the argument. These conclusions are clearly written with legal proceedings in mind, rather than as scholarly conclusions.

SRUV has previously argued that the TiHo test does not provide an accurate measure of canine aggressive behavior. But for the moment we will assume that it is a valid test and examine one of the indicators.

The dogs were rated on a scale of one through seven, on each of 35 different subtests. According to several of these papers, 13% of the American Staffordshire Terriers reached a scale level of five on at least one subtest; 13% of the pit bulls reached a scale level of five; and 12% of the Staffordshire Bull Terriers reached a scale level of five.

One Golden Retriever reached a scale level of five. This amounts to 1.4% of the Golden Retrievers, compared to 12 and 13% of the fighting breeds, having reached a scale level of five.

There is reason to doubt the veracity of the subtest on which the single Golden Retriever received the scale level of five. SRUV has previously ( in The 11th Subtest ) referred to this unique occurrence and has asked TiHo to post the video of this subtest.

Despite the gap in percentages (and the persistent doubts about the single Golden Retriever which was assigned a scale level of five) TiHo papers repeatedly claim there is no significant difference between Golden Retrievers and fighting breeds. They are unable to acknowledge the difference between 1.4% and 13%.

In our view these numbers are meaningless, in part because idiopathic aggression is not measurable or predictable. But the TiHo authors, as scholars, must acknowledge their own findings.

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See the TiHo Index for complete list of posts on TiHo.

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