Just what is a “pit bull”? According to Ohio state law, a vicious dog “belongs to a breed that is commonly known as a pit bull dog.” The legal definition of “pit bull” in Ohio hinges on the words “commonly known.” But who decides common knowledge? (I’m not aware of Ohio holding any public vote to determine which breeds count as “pit bulls.”)
The dogs in question in this article, Cane Corsos, are also called Italian mastiffs. They are one of the many molossoid/mastiff breeds out there (i.e. English Mastiff, Bullmastiff, Great Dane, Neapolitan Mastiff, Boxer, etc.). They are related to “pit bulls” only in the same way any of these other mastiff breeds would be—distant cousins sharing an ancient molosser ancestor.
Another ‘vicious dog’ case in the courtroom
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The eventual focus of this case – just what is a Pit Bull?
[…] Three dogs are being held at the warden’s office. The owner claims they’re Cane Corsos, not Pit Bulls. The dog warden disagrees.
[…] “There’s no question. They are not Pit Bulls and we can prove it right now. We have paperwork showing that they are Cane Corsos and that their parents were, and their great-grandparents were Cane Corsos,” says Smith.[…]
Full article retrieved 10/21/09 from http://abclocal.go.com/wtvg/story?section=news/local&id=7066998
Thanks to KC Dog Blog for the link to this article, and thanks to Smith’s attorney for the heads up.