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Thursday 1 July 2010 8.45am
I don't think we profoundly disagree Edward as we clearly both think the problem concerns issues of ownership and your criticism of my comparison to cars and cricket bats is valid. Perhaps it would have been more appropriate to compare dogs to children. For me children raised poorly present much more pressing issues than dogs but here too I would resist attempts to 'screen' or 'ban' parenthood as a step too far towards state control and loss of freedom. I do however think the growth of parenting classes to be a good thing and I could see benefits in having such classes for dog owners too but enforcement of such interventions is almost inevitably doomed to failure. My additional suggestion would be for proper enforcement where an owner is seen to be acting in a way that is not in the best interests of the dog or society, such that dogs used to fight or attack others are removed and the owner prosecuted and then banned from owning another dog.

I also think it problematic to identify dogs which are inherently dangerous (or those that 'pose a threat'). All dogs can bite if treated poorly (even those that might otherwise be considered to pose little risk - pugs, chihuahuas, pomeranians etc). Whilst the damage they could do is likely to be less than a large dog it is still possible for them to do serious harm (to a baby or toddler, for instance) so where do we stop: ban them all? We always end in that position with crude bans (and it was the notion of banning particular breeds that was my primary objection to the previous post).

Best
Dan
Thursday 1 July 2010 2.55pm
Most or all of the vicious dog attacks are by Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
I am a licensed dog trainer and have found Staffies to be very unpredictable. There might be a very small percentage that are ok but that is rare. So many idiots with a chip on their shoulders do give the breed a bad rap but the dog is also responsible. Concerning the comment from the person who clearly has no clue....MASTIFFS are unpredictable and are the third down the list for vicious attacks along side another macho breed like the Rockweiller.
As a heavy campaigner to have these Bully breed owners and their dogs brought to justice...Councils and the government have finally smelt the coffee as the dangerous dogs problem has increased by 78%
The laws will be changing very soon as a result.
Read about the pregnant woman and her puppy who were savaged recently in Bath, by guess what dog breed? "3 staffies" off the lead and the disgusting owner tried to walk away leaving this poor woman and her chewed up puppy laying on the floor in the park. Luckily he was stopped by a member of the public and now faces a heavy jail sentence. Also read ukandspain.com/dangerous-dogs before making any comments about NOT banning Staffs.
Its too intimidating walking in the parks anymore. Until these Bully breeds are muzzled and on leads there will be more deaths.
Zoe
Thursday 1 July 2010 6.14pm
I think you'll find that "most or all of the vicous dog attacks" aren't by Staffies. In fact dog attack figures are profoundly affected by the levels of ownership, dogs like GSD's, labs and greyhounds are very well represented in the bite figures, as are small dogs (possibly because people will tolerate bites from small dogs more).

Bad behaviour is the most common reason for dogs being destroyed and it's not Staffies that are being put down but a whole range of dogs.

Staffies aren't 'pit bulls' (a very vague term) and shouldn't be muddled with them, and as a licensed dog trainer I'm quite suprised that you don't know this.

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that any breed has a tendency to being unpredictable, it's all about how they are socialised at a very young age. A bad dog owner will breed a bad dog, a good dog owner will breed a good dog, it's as simple as that.

What we need are controls on breeding and owning dogs, such as a dog license scheme and compulsory training. Banning breeds doesn't work, which is why there are more 'pit bulls' now than ever before, despite them being banned for many years.
Thursday 1 July 2010 10.05pm
one of the local drunks who has two mutts always off leads , bailed up a lady and her dog ( no idea what type)in the corner shop today. people couldnt get in or out due to his badly controlled dogs.

and as I write this 2 of the local crackheads are wandering past with their little black mutt off a lead

3 prime examples of owners who should be put down.
Friday 2 July 2010 12.20am
bigphil wrote:
one of the local drunks who has two mutts always off leads , bailed up a lady and her dog ( no idea what type)in the corner shop today. people couldnt get in or out due to his badly controlled dogs.
and as I write this 2 of the local crackheads are wandering past with their little black mutt off a lead

3 prime examples of owners who should be put down.

Local drunks, crackheads, all with dogs... I couldn't afford a dog because of space restrictions, working 10 our days, cost of living (note: buy son new shoes for 3rd time in 6 months) etc etc. I must be doing something wrong... And by the sound of it, things will only get worse in the future.
Friday 2 July 2010 8.48am
More misinformation Ms Reeve, just where are you getting your statistics from? I really would like to know (though what I do know is that accurate bite statistics are almost impossible to come by due to a huge number of problems in data collection - most notably under-reporting of minor bites, often by small dogs, and misidentification of breed). Zoe is absolutely right in that dog bite by breed occurs in proportion to breed popularity. Many of us have lived through the dog panics of the past with particular breeds singled out (GSDs, Rottweilers, for instance) on the basis of growth in popularity and a large dose of media hype. This has recently meant that problems concerning Staffordshire Bull Terriers have increased but that is due to more people owning them (and yes that is often people who should not own any dog at all). There are no inherent problems with Staffies when they have been bred correctly and looked after well (two conditions I would place on any dog) and any good dog trainer should know this. As I said earlier, I would like to see swifter action when these dogs are not looked after properly and cause distress to other people (and indeed agree with recent calls by Battersea Dogs Home for greater control over the breeding of dogs) so surely no disagreement there. I have no need to trade experience in dog handling but know more than enough about dogs, breeding and handling than to make unsubstantiated and inaccurate claims about particular breeds of dogs.
Friday 2 July 2010 9.09am
For information, just checked with the Kennel Club and Mastiff breed registrations have been falling in recent years so that they are less than 400 dogs per year. Compare that with the huge increase in Staffordshire Bull Terriers (along with Pugs, Chihuahuas etc), which are around 15,000 per year (about the same as GSDs). Of course it is worth noting that this only accounts for legitimately bred dogs and many Staffies will unfortunately have been produced by puppy farms and in people's back yards, probably accounting (alongside bad treatment) for poor condition and temperament that differs from the breed standard. Finally worth noting that it is thought few Mastiffs are bred in other circumstances as their size means they are incredibly difficult to breed and they remain a very rare breed.
Friday 2 July 2010 12.33pm
After all this tittle tattle,
does anyone know if the poor attacked dog is ok?
Friday 2 July 2010 12.52pm
bankside wrote:
does anyone know if the poor attacked dog is ok?

She is still at the vets. She may be making a weekend visit home, but she will be going back. There will probably be a skin graft. The visit home may help her morale and will certainly be good for her owner and her companion, an older male dog.
Friday 2 July 2010 4.17pm
I have observed that the fenced off section of the small park on Balfour St which is a childrens play area and is clearly labelled as "no dogs" is often used as a dog run in the evenings. On several occasions I've walked past and the owner is standing at the gate on their mobile / playing with their phone whilst the dog runs off the lead in the fenced area. No evidence of watching for doggy deposits or clearing them up.
I've been wondering what if anything can be done about this. It must leave some very nasty things for the kids to walk in the next day. Isn't getting the dog much exercise either as this is hardly a large enclosure.
I echo the earlier comments that there are some owners who just don't seem to appreciate the related responsibilities to the dog or to other people.
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