83 Marine Dogs Can Stay on Base

In an earlier story, it was reported that the Marine Corps had banned three breeds of dogs from living in Marine housing because they were potentially dangerous.  They gave the dogs 60 days to pass a personality test or move off the base. 


The first groups of dogs were tested at three bases in South Carolina by experts from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.  Out of 85 dogs that belong to the breeds banned, only two were found to have a “potential to be aggressive and could pose a danger to other Marines and their families.”  They were asked to leave the base.  


The other 83 dogs were given a waiver and are welcome to continue living on Marine installations worldwide until 2012.  Two of the 83 dogs showed aggressive tendencies, but the ASPCA experts thought they would be fine with further training and getting neutered.


The Marines banned purebred and mixed dogs from three breeds they determined to be aggressive: Rottweilers, Pit bulls and wolf hybrids.  The ban came after two incidents where children were attacked.  In one case a 3-year-old boy was killed while in the other attack a 9-year-old girl was maimed.


When the ban was announced, animal rescue groups worried that many of the dogs would be surrendered to municipal shelters or abandoned.  They encouraged Marines to apply for the waiver and they listed the names of dog trainers on their websites.


But the Marines at the Paris Island Marine Recruit Depot, the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and the Beaufort Naval Hospital happily surprised everyone by having their dogs assessed and overwhelmingly passing the test. 


The ASPCA pointed out to officials at the base that although they tested the dogs, they did not agree with a breed specific ban. 


“We saw a lot of big, macho dogs, but they were safe dogs,” said ASPCA animal behavior expert, Emily Weiss. 


“We believe breed bans cannot be effective because of this.  We found some really great animals and families,” said Weiss who prefers individual personality assessments. 

“We don’t think it’s a breed issue.  We think it’s an individual behavior issue, and what we saw at the base verifies that.”


Captain Brian Block, a Marine Corps spokesperson noted what happened with the 3-year-old child from Camp Lejeune and said, “Having one dog who would do that is not an acceptable risk from our point of view.”


“If the dog passes the temperament test, that’s great.  The dog gets the waiver,” Block said.


The rest of the Marines on other bases have until October 11, 2009 to have their dogs tested and receive a waiver.  Let’s hope they have similar results as the bases in South Carolina.




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CR C8 years ago

Great to hear they are take responsable measurers for the dogs and people care. I also hope the 2 found a safe home.

Tina Mcginley
Tina Mcginley8 years ago

My son is in Afghanistan and his wife lives on base housing in Havelock,NC . I am appalled at what she told me she has to do to keep her housing or get rid of her dog:
She recieved a letter saying that her dog must pass the Canine Good Citizen(CGC) Program at AKC standards in order to keep her dog.
There is too much text to list here. Please visit this site to see what is expected by these familes pets to pass. You will be surprised unless you currently go to dog shows with your pet and win prizes. My Australian Shepherd would fail alot of these tests, Especially the ones that require the dog to not approach an oncoming dog. (excuse me) they handshake by sniffing at contact-it's called canine instinct) Read for yourself: http://www.akc.org/events/cgc/training_testing.cfm

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M8 years ago

agreed! i have a rottie mix and she is the most loving dog i've ever met. it's corny but for the most part, there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. the decision by the marines is heartening. thank you for letting us know.

Helen Laray
Helen Laray8 years ago

A lot of dealing with animals is plain old common sense. Treat the animal the way you would like to be treated and chances are 99.9% that they will respond in kind. There are always a few that won't but that is also true of people. We don't euthanize people for murder, rape, etc. and we should not euthanize animals who bite. Many times the animals bites because someone tormented it and the animal cannot tell you this.

Anumpeshi Aduddell

Dogs are the most loyal and loving of all spirits
they should be honored and respected as such

Karl M.
Karl M8 years ago

Dogs are the best! All dogs. Breed specific laws are simply doggie racism written by ignorant humans. My 2 legged kids were all raised with Pitbulls (my 4 legged kids). I think all the breeds and those in between are wonderful but Pits are tough enough to take whatever a child can dish out without getting mad....Perfect companions for active little boys and girls.

jim h.
James h8 years ago

I've seen some pretty vicious small dogs like Daschshunds and even beagles in my day. We have a eight year old rotty who still has the temperment of a 16 week old puppy.

Sue L.
Sue L8 years ago

You must never judge an animal as a group. Each is an invidual as with humans and must be assessed as such.In the very few cases where a dog may have aggressive tendencies, it is the dropkick humans who made them that way. Don't blame the poor defencessless animals.Prosecute the bad owners!!

darla h.
Darla H8 years ago

All Animals mirror owner's no matter Pit Bull or other's thought to be aggressive... It always goes back to the owner and how is raised!!!! Not the breed!!! People need to be held accountable for a change!!!! Animals are kind,sweet and loveable unless they are owned by mocho men!!!! They have no power so they train the dog to be overly aggresstive!!! Let us stop this now!!! Save the poor animals from this abuse!!!

marie T.
marie C8 years ago

Nicholas P why are you so aggresive Life is about good people and bad often depending on their backgrounds dogs are the same you can not hope for a breed to die out do you feel the same about aggresive nations perhaps we should castrate all the men and sterilize all the women (What rot) I know the sweetest pit bull his name is Halo he lives with 2 cats and a poodle and is so gentle and adorable Please do not make sweeping statements there are good and bad in all breeds often depending on how they are brought up Listen to Carol H and Kim K Beth P also knows what she is talking about