Wisdom From Across the Pond

By Editor
In Dangerous Dog Law
Mar 5th, 2007
2 Comments
1703 Views

According to K9 Magazine,

“What the victim[s] of [dog attacks] fail…to realise is that, if every dog capable of inflicting a bite on a human was destroyed, we would have no dogs left/Every dog is capable of an attack, but no dog just “turns” or “goes for someone”. Dogs are not capable of unprovoked aggression, there is always a trigger. The problem is that people are not trained to understand the warning signs. Even the most placid, gentle dog can be provoked, by fear, intimidation or other factors into behaving aggressively, but the solution to an incident should not always be to put the dog down.”

It is nice to see such wisdom from our Briton friends across the pond. We were beginning to think the U.K. “authorities” had gone quite mad and were going to cull all domesticated pets (which I’m sure would make the animal rights groups behind the U.K.’s outlawed dog breed “amnesty” quite happy).

Indeed, the “one bite rule” seen in various American dangerous dog laws is derived from the magna carta so it is a shame that in American states like Texas, there is an effort underway to eliminate the one bite rule which has served its purpose so well. After all, everyone deserves a second chance, though K9 Magazine is right, many dog bites or attacks could be prevented if people were more educated about how to read dogs. Regardless, after an initial bite or attack, a dog’s owner can hardly claim ignorance and can then reasonably be expected to take action and contain their dog or seek out a behaviorist, etc.

And yes, certainly dogs have signs or “tells” if you will signaling an impending bite or attack. But somewhere along the way we forgot how to speak a dog’s language. You could attribute this societal “forgetfulness” to a move from a predominantly agrarian-minded society to an urban/suburban one. Or you could say that parents not teaching their children how to behave around a dog (for instance not approaching strange dogs to pet them) is part of the larger societal problem of parents bearing children that they leave for the city and state to protect.

Parents are clearly not reining in their children as they ought to be. After all, there seems to be a constant stream of articles each week about children taunting dogs until the dog turns on the child(ren). The dog usually pays for the “attack” with its life, even though in reality the dog was only defending itself. And still the parents are often aghast that their child would be “attacked” by a dog, frequently threatening legal action as a result. If such a case ever went to court, hopefully the first question asked upon cross-examination would be, “Where were the parents?” or “Why didn’t the parents take five minutes to explain why it is dangerous to approach an unfamiliar dog?” (let alone taunt the poor animal).

Whatever the cause of a dog bite/attack, as K9 Magazine phrased it, “if every dog capable of inflicting a bite on a human was destroyed” the end result would be that “we would have no dogs left.” One is left to ponder if having no dogs left in the U.K. is the objective, and if so, is it only a matter of time before America sees the same?

2 Responses to “Wisdom From Across the Pond”

  1. Deirdre Doherty says:

    As a victim of Pit Bull savagery, I think that there is too much talk and not enough action by the responsible4 authorities. The Ballymena amnesty was actioned as a direct result of the attack on my entire family, (by that, I mean my family of 9;5 human and 4 canine). Yes, every dog is capable of attack but generally, the predominant nature of any animal will always come out, as in our case, our much loved Labrador protected our son, paying with his own life. I would gladly give years off my own life span to have prevented my baby (Troy) dying such a horrific agonising and prolonged death at the Pit Bull’s jaws to save his master, not to mention the bone crushing fear of watching my own 10 year old child being run to the ground by this assailant. This idea that no attack is unprovoked is ridiculous, and I am speaking from experience. That dog had targeted my family before we had even seen him and my dogs were no threat to him, as they didn’t even know what to do or how to fight when attacked.The other 3 didn’t even intercede when he attacked our biggest Lab. first, they simply circled our children to protect them, and Troy only stepped in when it was clear to him that myself and my husband were simply out of Ben’s reach and completely unable to stop him being mauled.
    It is easy for the public to say that it is all the owner’s fault and nothing to do with the breed. I feel that whilst a certain amount of this kind of attack is down to the owner and his training of the dog, or lack of it, but, we should never forget that the Pit Bull was bred for extreme violence and fearlessness.
    There are no words that could ever do justice to the emotions felt by the victim during a dog attack, but I would ask you to do something very simple. When your child or other loved one is sleeping peacefully tonight, take a good look at them and then try to imagine that their body is being viciously ripped limb from limb. Add to that the fact that you are out of their reach and completely helpless to save them. How would you feel listening to their frantic screams for help before they are mutilated to death. Would you ever be able to live with yourself knowing that you had put them in that danger by allowing them to be near a dog of that breed.
    I am not trying to rid my country of any particular type of dog, I am simply campaigning for higher awareness levels of this particular danger. I want the law to be fully enforced on anyone who trains their dog to be violent, but I also feel that as a race, we should rethink the wisdom of having these animals in our homes.

  2. Moderator says:

    First of all, you’re personifying a breed of dog by saying things like the dog “targeted” your family or that bulldogs were bred for extreme “violence” and “fearlessness” as if bulldog breeds are mercenary contract killers. Dogs don’t operate by vendetta. They operate by instinct. Dogs don’t have a system of morality like humans do and therefore you can’t hold them responsible for their actions. That’s why the law holds the owner responsible (or at least the law used to hold owners responsible before this “amnesty,” which could more accurately be described as a slaughter). It WAS the owner’s fault because s/he let the dog free-roam. And you don’t know that the attack was unprovoked. Perhaps your dogs gave the bulldogs a challenging look. If that did happen, would you have even known?

    Moreover, you have no right to judge a breed of dog you know nothing about other than what you’ve read in the newspapers. How would you feel if the woman in France who had her face ripped off by a LABRADOR and consequently had the first successful face transplant judged all Labradors by what one Lab did to her? How would you feel if she said about the breed of dog you own that they are bred for violence and fearlessness (even though you knew it was wholly untrue) the result of which was that you had your beloved Labrador taken away by “authorities” because a victim of a very rare event — a dog attack — was given a voice for purely political reasons?

    I’m sorry for what happened to you with this ONE dog but you should know you’re being made into an animal rights activist pawn and you’re giving AR groups just what they want: the fuel to push for the end of domestic pet ownership via the slaughter of one breed at a time. Still if this were a sane, rational world, your victim status would not allow you to be so illogical. Have you thought through what you’re saying at all or have you just been operating on emotion and the fear of what you don’t understand? We who responsibly own these breeds of dog are just as innocent as your family and we’re being victimized for what other PEOPLE’s dogs do, not what WE do or OUR dogs do.

    And don’t give me your “Why won’t anyone think of the children?” nonsense. I’m so tired of this ploy. Your attempts to capitalize on your victim status will do you no good here. If you truly care about the safety of your children then do something that has actually proven to make them safer while you have that soapbox to grandstand on. Educate the public about responsible dog ownership for ALL dog owners. Stress leash laws. These things WILL keep your children safe. You say you’re not trying to rid your country of a specific breed of dog but that is precisely the result of the ignorant things you’re saying. “Pit bulls,” as they are erroneously called, are British breeds or derived from British breeds, and yet you know nothing about them.

    And when “authorities” have taken all your dogs, you know, so you can look at your children sleeping at night and sigh with relief that they’re supposedly “safe,” then you’ll know how much people like you have made people like us — that is, responsible bulldog breed owners — suffer. We’re not just losing our dogs. We’re losing our rights. And it’s people like you who are taking them from us, or act as the instruments by which our dogs are taken. Your victim status shouldn’t buy you the slaughter of thousands upon thousands of innocent dogs. Regardless, one day when the animal rights activists have finished with their bulldog breed slaughter, they’ll move on to another “dangerous” breed like Labradors. Unfortunately, you probably won’t “get it” until then.

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