Wisdom From Across the Pond
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?