RSPCA - Dogs should be judged on behaviour not appearance

XxCoriexX

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On the news this morning they were discussing the Dangerous Dogs Act, it stated that police have seized 5000 dogs under this act in the last three years. Finally the RSPCA has come out and publically admitted that the majority of these dogs were friendly and posed no threat to the public, saying that the animals should be judged on their behaviour rather than their breed. Now please so not misunderstand, I believe that a truly aggressive dog should be muzzled in public and kept on a lead and if worst come to worst and they are unmanageable and a danger to the public they should be put down HOWEVER as an owner of a dog who looks like he would be considered dangerous (Rottie x bull mastiff 11 stone) I am tired of my big soft lump of a dog getting treated like this when he would honestly not harm a fly! I have had situations where I have been shouted at in public because of my dangerous dog and he was a disgrace and should be put down all while he was sitting nicely on his lead at the park. He has never so much as growled at another dog or person but can give a protective vibe when men or dodgy people go past........to be honest though if they said boo he would hide behind my legs!
I just wanted to see what the general thoughts were on this? Does anyone else agree with me that dogs should be judged on behaviour?
 

lindsay1993

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I agree completely!

I have a gorgeous Springer Spaniel who is very aggressive with other dogs due to a very bad start in life. He is NEVER off the lead in public and I find the ignorance of people unbelievable!

He is muzzled if I'm likely to meet lots of dogs. I have had so many people come up to him with their dogs saying 'Oh isn't he lovely, he's very excited' or 'Oh look he wants to play.'

No, no he doesn't!! His body language should be an immediate red flag, he is often very alert, tail up high, tense and starts barking uncontrollably. If a dog unexpectedly enters his space, he flips! He will attack as he feels so threatened by strange, over-excited, disrespectful dogs. People also try to stoke him when he's like this, even though I plead with them not to touch him. They then act surprised when he snaps at them.

I have never ever had an incident where he has attacked someone else's dog, as I know him so well and can remove him or avoid the situation. He has had many fights with our own 3 dogs though. Never serious and they all play live quite happily together now.

My neighbour has a massive rottie who is soft as anything. She just wants love and cuddles and is very respectful of other dogs, including mine. She is very submissive and only enters a dogs space if they allow her. My dog never has issues with her and she has really helped his behaviour.

Dogs should be judged on their behaviour in that exact situation. Not the breed, or not what a dog has done in the past. If a dog approaches mine calmly and submissively, slowly from a distance, he is much better and we can both process what's happening. If he needs removed from the situation he can be, calmly. However, if 3 out of control, barking, excited dogs run at him out of nowhere, he will completely lose his mind.
 

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As an owner of a GSD I couldn't agree more. My boy is harmless, and pretty chilled, but I've had people come round a corner see him, pick their dog up, and run the other way! I'd love to know why anyone thinks running from what is essentially a hunting animal is ever a smart move. My boy has never even showed the slightest inclination to follow these running lunatics but a wicked part of me would love to see what exactly they would do if he did.

On the other side of the scale, lovely as my boy is, he is a bit nervous so when ever he sees(/thinks he sees) pretty much anything his hackles go up, he's fairly long coated and they go from his ears to his tail so he looks like a porcupine, it's quite impressive, and I've had random people run their hands through them backwards and forwards. Now apart from his hackles, there is nothing else to suggest any sort of aggression so maybe these people are dog mind readers and know this, but it still makes my jaw hit the floor a little. (ps his hackles also go up when he plays, but not when he kicks of at someone coming to the gate, I'm stating to think he doesn't know what they're for)
 

Moomin1

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What have the RSPCA got to do with police seizures? I don't get what you mean by 'they've publically admitted that most of the dogs were friendly'?
 

XxCoriexX

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It was the RSPCA that brought up the subject on dogs being seized, and they have done a review on the reports written about the dogs. Police seize dogs under this act not the RSPCA, but obviously the RSPCA don't agree with it and that's why they have decided to speak about it
 

Dry Rot

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I have four GSDs from working lines. One is trained for man work, two are in training, and the fourth is not interested. The trained dog can be a real softie or a ferocious guard dog depending on the circumstances. But he is always under control, either in the kennel or with me, and to my mind is perfectly trained.

The question is, when is he a 'dangerous dog' and when is he a soft pet? I wouldn't want to rely on either the police or the RSPCA to decide that as in my experience neither have much of a clue. Sorry, blunt but true. What would be more appropiate, in my view, would be a test to see if the owner can control the dog in various situations. A lot of owners cannot make their dogs comply with basic obedience so how they expect to be able to control them is beyond me -- licence the owners, not the dogs! That's what they do with other dangerous items, like cars and firearms.

max_zpswumjhmxx.jpg


Same dog... One word of command and he will cease the attack.

Max%20bite_zpspnjrof5r.jpg
 

XxCoriexX

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I have four GSDs from working lines. One is trained for man work, two are in training, and the fourth is not interested. The trained dog can be a real softie or a ferocious guard dog depending on the circumstances. But he is always under control, either in the kennel or with me, and to my mind is perfectly trained.

The question is, when is he a 'dangerous dog' and when is he a soft pet? I wouldn't want to rely on either the police or the RSPCA to decide that as in my experience neither have much of a clue. Sorry, blunt but true. What would be more appropiate, in my view, would be a test to see if the owner can control the dog in various situations. A lot of owners cannot make their dogs comply with basic obedience so how they expect to be able to control them is beyond me -- licence the owners, not the dogs! That's what they do with other dangerous items, like cars and firearms.

max_zpswumjhmxx.jpg


Same dog... One word of command and he will cease the attack.

Max%20bite_zpspnjrof5r.jpg

I very much agree with your statement here! I'm sure if push really came to shove my boy could be very protective of me BUT I always have him under full control! to be honest I also agree with your statement that the RSPCA and police have no clue about how to define a dangerous dog. I feel like all dogs should be tested on their behaviour (with owner) before a judgement is passed on if they are dangerous! Although who would be competent to asses that? im not sure .
 

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I am astonished they would admit that!

I own a dog that will look like a wolf when she's older. Apparently, her full brother (3yrs old now) used to get adoring looks when he was a pup, but now he's big, often people will avoid, even though he and his cousin are harmless!

Punish the deed, not the breed!
 

sarah.oxford

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As the owner of 2 Staffordshire Bull Terriers that compete in agility, I very much agree that dogs should be judged on their behaviour and the ability of the owner to correctly and responsibly manage a situation. Some dog owners do not have a clue how to read their own dog's body language, let alone any other dogs in the surrounding area and I think that being tuned in to what messages your dog is giving out is a large part of preventing a 'situation' kicking off. If this aspect of dog ownership could be improved and common sense applied, we would all be better off, I think.
 

chillipup

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I am astonished they would admit that! ............

....Punish the deed, not the breed!

Admit what exactly? It's the police that have seized these particular dogs, not the RSPCA. The Rspca are saying that these seized dogs should be evaluated by their behaviour, not just their looks. (predominately bull breeds in most cases). They are saying the same as you, 'punish the deed not the breed'
 

chillipup

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......
The question is, when is he a 'dangerous dog' and when is he a soft pet? I wouldn't want to rely on either the police or the RSPCA to decide that as in my experience neither have much of a clue. Sorry, blunt but true. What would be more appropiate, in my view, would be a test to see if the owner can control the dog in various situations. A lot of owners cannot make their dogs comply with basic obedience so how they expect to be able to control them is beyond me -- licence the owners, not the dogs! That's what they do with other dangerous items, like cars and firearms.



I agree DR, I wouldn't want a dog of mine assessed by the Police or the RSPCA. I'd be happy to be tested as an owner but would want an independent panel of qualified people to oversee this.

However, the updated Dangerous Dogs Act, means that anyone who happens to be frightened of a dog and feels threatened by it, can report it to the Police as a dangerous dog, especially if happens to be off lead at the time and this will then be interpreted as it being 'dangerously out of control' too. The dog doesn't have to actually threaten, bite, bark, sniff, cock its leg, lick the hand or even wag their tail at someone, the 'person' only has to feel 'threatened' by it to report it. This means all our dogs, from those teacup Chihuahuas to Great Danes and everything in between can be reported.
 
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splashgirl45

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it is a small step in the right direction IMO...so many pit bull types are big softees both with people and other dogs but it is the owners who want tough fighting dogs that make it bad for everyone else....,,, dangerous dogs are not limited to those type of breeds, we have a corgi cross locally who hates all other dogs (he is never let off lead) and will bite people if he gets the chance..he looks very sweet and recently a boy of 11 who has dogs at home stood near the owner and bent down to speak to the dog and it jumped up and bit his arm..if that had been a pit bull type there would have been a big fuss and demands to PTS.
 

Alec Swan

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Judge the deed and not the breed? I'm sorry to say that both sides of the statement should be applied. There will be those breeds which have a propensity for a certain behaviour pattern, and to deny that would be no more that day dreaming. The reality is that without experienced handling, those dogs which are bred to hunt, fight, attack or in any way express themselves in a way that their owners are unable to grasp, will do just that, get the breed a bad name, and with many owners being unable to cope with them.

Take Dry Rot's current dogs; Who in their right minds, with no experience would (or should) take on such dogs? DR being an experienced dogman has applied his experience and has dogs which he 'manages'. Would they be ideal in the average pet home? I'll leave others to decide that for themselves.

I have no confidence in the rspca or their ethics or work principles, but the simple fact is that all dogs, in the wrong hands, can be dangerous. It's also true that those with the least experience seem to acquire dogs which call for a certain level of knowledge.

It remains true that considering the less than experienced owner and their aspirations, that breeds certainly SHOULD be judged, and specifically those which would be likely to test the novice. Take just one breed, the Akita; I'm sure that they exist, but I've yet to meet one owner who has a clue what they're doing, and the Akita has the potential to be extremely dangerous. Advice never seems to work and the best hope is that legislation will.

Alec.
 

Dry Rot

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it is a small step in the right direction IMO...so many pit bull types are big softees both with people and other dogs but it is the owners who want tough fighting dogs that make it bad for everyone else....,,, dangerous dogs are not limited to those type of breeds, we have a corgi cross locally who hates all other dogs (he is never let off lead) and will bite people if he gets the chance..he looks very sweet and recently a boy of 11 who has dogs at home stood near the owner and bent down to speak to the dog and it jumped up and bit his arm..if that had been a pit bull type there would have been a big fuss and demands to PTS.

A bit of an aside, but a canine behaviourist friend of mine was consulted over the problem a certain lady was having with her corgis biting the footmen! I didn't hear if the outcome was sucessful or not! :D
 

chillipup

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it is a small step in the right direction IMO...so many pit bull types are big softees both with people and other dogs but it is the owners who want tough fighting dogs that make it bad for everyone else....,,, dangerous dogs are not limited to those type of breeds, we have a corgi cross locally who hates all other dogs (he is never let off lead) and will bite people if he gets the chance..he looks very sweet and recently a boy of 11 who has dogs at home stood near the owner and bent down to speak to the dog and it jumped up and bit his arm..if that had been a pit bull type there would have been a big fuss and demands to PTS.

I quite agree SG45, the owner of the Corgi cross should have it muzzled at all times whilst outside the house, much like the dog who attacked the OPs dog, in the 'dog walking etiquette' thread. If an owner knows their dog is likely to bite a human or another dog, it has to be in everyone's interest, including the dogs, not to just keep it on a lead but to muzzle it as well? This is just common sense surely?. Sadly a lot of dog owners don't seem to possess this.
 

chillipup

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A bit of an aside, but a canine behaviourist friend of mine was consulted over the problem a certain lady was having with her corgis biting the footmen! I didn't hear if the outcome was sucessful or not! :D

LOL :D If I remember corrrectly, didn't one of her daughter's dogs kill another whilst out walking?
 

Fenris

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On the news this morning they were discussing the Dangerous Dogs Act, it stated that police have seized 5000 dogs under this act in the last three years. Finally the RSPCA has come out and publically admitted that the majority of these dogs were friendly and posed no threat to the public, saying that the animals should be judged on their behaviour rather than their breed. Now please so not misunderstand, I believe that a truly aggressive dog should be muzzled in public and kept on a lead and if worst come to worst and they are unmanageable and a danger to the public they should be put down HOWEVER as an owner of a dog who looks like he would be considered dangerous (Rottie x bull mastiff 11 stone) I am tired of my big soft lump of a dog getting treated like this when he would honestly not harm a fly! I have had situations where I have been shouted at in public because of my dangerous dog and he was a disgrace and should be put down all while he was sitting nicely on his lead at the park. He has never so much as growled at another dog or person but can give a protective vibe when men or dodgy people go past........to be honest though if they said boo he would hide behind my legs!
I just wanted to see what the general thoughts were on this? Does anyone else agree with me that dogs should be judged on behaviour?

Hypocritical of the RSPCA yet again. Do they really think that the dog owning public have forgotten that it was the RSPCA who campaigned for the Dangerous Dogs Act? Or that the RSPCA have consistently said that the banned b reeds should remain banned, even going so far as to state in the last consultation on the issue that they opposed BSL but then stated that they wanted the banned breed to remain banned?

Even more hypocritical that the RSPCA used to provide Jan Eachus to identify dogs that were 'type', thus condemning many happy and friendly family pets to death or the misery of the restrictions on the register.

If the RSPCA is so opposed to BSL, why is it even now reporting dogs as 'type'? Why has it not demanded that the Animal Welfare Act 2006 be applied to dogs in police custody?

We had very good legislation in the Dogs Act 1871 which allowed Magistrates to order a dog to be kept under control. We should repeal the newer legislation and return to it.
 

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dogs should definitely be judged on behaviour not appearance - who judges the behaviour is a bone of contention (pardon the pun). The reason lots of mastiff/staffordshire types end up in the news (apart from the stereotyping) is because of the sheer amount of damage they can do should they react - plenty of dogs DO react, just not all of them have the same consequences.

There are no 'harmless' dogs out there - no matter how soft your dog, and no matter the breed, given the right triggers at the wrong time they can and will bite. For the person with the 11 stone rottie giving off a 'protective vibe' as men pass i would encourage you to get the help of a good trainer or behaviourist to ensure your dog stops seeing men as a threat. if a drunk staggered past while you sat on the park bench with your dog, and your dog felt threatened enough to react, do you really think you could stop an attack? If your dog shows any kind of fear aggression to people you should be prepared to work on it, or always have your dog on leash and muzzled in a public place. the risks are too great and not fair on others. I've seen too many dogs where the warning signs were there, owners ignored it, one day the dog tips over and then all hell breaks loose and more often than not its the dog that suffers. People should absolutely be taught how to behave around dogs, but it's also down to us as dog owners to work on building a massive tolerance window in our dogs to cope with bizarre (as far as they are concerned) human behaviour.
 

Alec Swan

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……..

We had very good legislation in the Dogs Act 1871 which allowed Magistrates to order a dog to be kept under control. We should repeal the newer legislation and return to it.

Back then, and even until recently, Society and the Law worked on the basis that every dog was allowed to bite once and before it was 'judged'. That was OK until we had the now modern theme where are were those who seem to want dogs which were bred for a purpose, to be aggressive. The modern aggressive-bred dogs simply can't be allowed the 'freedom' that they once were. Many of these modern breeds are able to inflict serious damage and as 'breeds', they simply aren't suitable for pet homes.

OK, so there will now be those who tell me that their dogs, bred to fight with others, or inflict damage upon humans, are pussy-cats, and so they may be. The problem arises when such dogs are mismanaged, allowed to express themselves for the purpose of their breeding, and they have those who will defend them as a breed.

I remain of the opinion that dogs which are specifically bred to be aggressive, including the often more dangerous crossbreeds, should be outlawed. Every dog should be allowed one bite? Not with the modern breeds which are being imported and which put both their inadequate owners, and the totally innocent at risk.

Alec.
 
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Country_gal

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Judge the deed and not the breed? I'm sorry to say that both sides of the statement should be applied. There will be those breeds which have a propensity for a certain behaviour pattern, and to deny that would be no more that day dreaming. The reality is that without experienced handling, those dogs which are bred to hunt, fight, attack or in any way express themselves in a way that their owners are unable to grasp, will do just that, get the breed a bad name, and with many owners being unable to cope with them.

Take Dry Rot's current dogs; Who in their right minds, with no experience would (or should) take on such dogs? DR being an experienced dogman has applied his experience and has dogs which he 'manages'. Would they be ideal in the average pet home? I'll leave others to decide that for themselves.

I have no confidence in the rspca or their ethics or work principles, but the simple fact is that all dogs, in the wrong hands, can be dangerous. It's also true that those with the least experience seem to acquire dogs which call for a certain level of knowledge.

It remains true that considering the less than experienced owner and their aspirations, that breeds certainly SHOULD be judged, and specifically those which would be likely to test the novice. Take just one breed, the Akita; I'm sure that they exist, but I've yet to meet one owner who has a clue what they're doing, and the Akita has the potential to be extremely dangerous. Advice never seems to work and the best hope is that legislation will.

Alec.

I have an Akita (well she actually belongs to my boyfriend) and we absolutely have a clue! His Mum trains dogs and he worked endlessly training her. many have told him what a great example of the breed she is and she was actually always one of the best behaved in her classes. Lives peacefully with my two whippets and befriended a daschund at the beach the other week! We actually put a lot of time and effort into changing peoples stereotypes....because my boyfriend has tattoos and walks an akita the initial judgements that are made (and have been admitted on more than one occasion) are frightening! I think he feels for his dog because he too is judged on his image......
 

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DDA falls down badly because when it refers to Pit Bulls (which is a type), it is based on measurements. This can (and has) resulted in incidents whereby some dogs from a litter are destroyed and others allowed to live. There is also no clear way for a responsible owner to take a premptive route, and take the actions required before the dog is seized and they are taken to court. So, a Stafford X lab or Stafford X boxer could easily fall under these measurements and frequently do. Someone who breeds (as an example) a Stafford X Mastiff is grossly irresponsible as these are exactly the type of dogs to fall foul. I have Staffords. They are well socialised but I don't take risks with strange dogs. The new law whereby someone can call the police because they feel vulnerable has already failed. I do know someone who had her dogs reported by a neighbour because they barked at the door. Police came out, assessed the dogs and were happy with how the dogs behaved and that there was not a threat. Neighbour did then admit she had not ever "met" the dogs..
 

Dry Rot

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DDA falls down badly because when it refers to Pit Bulls (which is a type), it is based on measurements. This can (and has) resulted in incidents whereby some dogs from a litter are destroyed and others allowed to live. There is also no clear way for a responsible owner to take a premptive route, and take the actions required before the dog is seized and they are taken to court. So, a Stafford X lab or Stafford X boxer could easily fall under these measurements and frequently do. Someone who breeds (as an example) a Stafford X Mastiff is grossly irresponsible as these are exactly the type of dogs to fall foul. I have Staffords. They are well socialised but I don't take risks with strange dogs. The new law whereby someone can call the police because they feel vulnerable has already failed. I do know someone who had her dogs reported by a neighbour because they barked at the door. Police came out, assessed the dogs and were happy with how the dogs behaved and that there was not a threat. Neighbour did then admit she had not ever "met" the dogs..

I'll venture an opinion that The Kennel Club will be behind this thing of judging dogs by the tape measure. Isn't that pretty much what they do all the time?

I think some may have missed the point in my earlier posts. Before I can take a car on the road, I need a licence and instruction. Before I can buy professional chemicals and spray a field, I have to go on a course and get a licence. If I want a gun, I need a licence and to prove I have reasons for owning one. Etc., etc. But anyone can look on Gumtree and buy a puppy without having any experience or qualifications whatsoever. Now that doesn't seem quite right to me.
 

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I'll venture an opinion that The Kennel Club will be behind this thing of judging dogs by the tape measure. Isn't that pretty much what they do all the time?

I think some may have missed the point in my earlier posts. Before I can take a car on the road, I need a licence and instruction. Before I can buy professional chemicals and spray a field, I have to go on a course and get a licence. If I want a gun, I need a licence and to prove I have reasons for owning one. Etc., etc. But anyone can look on Gumtree and buy a puppy without having any experience or qualifications whatsoever. Now that doesn't seem quite right to me.
I agree, not all breeds of dogs are suitable for first time owners and these people seem to be the ones who buy a puppy on a whim, there should be some sort of training available for the owners...... there are too many people who don't research the requirements of certain breeds and there are also breeders who sell dogs to just anyone without making sure the people know what they are doing. money counts more than care for the dogs...but the same also applies to horse ownership , any twit can buy a pony or horse and its the animal that usually suffers...
 

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it is a small step in the right direction IMO...so many pit bull types are big softees both with people and other dogs but it is the owners who want tough fighting dogs that make it bad for everyone else....,,, dangerous dogs are not limited to those type of breeds, we have a corgi cross locally who hates all other dogs (he is never let off lead) and will bite people if he gets the chance..he looks very sweet and recently a boy of 11 who has dogs at home stood near the owner and bent down to speak to the dog and it jumped up and bit his arm..if that had been a pit bull type there would have been a big fuss and demands to PTS.

I think the legislation is an ass but the trouble here is a corgi cross could leave a bite mark, a pit bull would do a lot more. They have jaws that are unbelieveable until you see them, think of a land dwelling great white shark. Lovely dogs mainly, yes, but they have been bred until very recently to fight and fight effectively, it is a hard thing to breed out. Why do labradors carry sticks in the park? Breeding.
 

Alec Swan

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……..

OK, so there will now be those who tell me that their dogs, bred to fight with others, or inflict damage upon humans, are pussy-cats, and so they may be. ……..

Alec.

I have an Akita (well she actually belongs to my boyfriend) and we absolutely have a clue! His Mum trains dogs and he worked endlessly training her. ......

See above, and it bears repeating, there will be those who have the experience and understanding to be able to control and manage those breeds which have the potential to be difficult and dangerous. Clearly you've made a great success of your dog and you're to be applauded, but the problem still remains that there are many who with neither understanding nor experience will take on the most unsuitable dogs.

'Generally', the experienced trainers don't take on those breeds which are known for their recalcitrant attitudes to training and compliance, and there's a good reason for that! Why oh why those who haven't a clue what they're doing take on the breeds that the pro-trainers 'generally' steer clear of, is beyond me.

Alec.
 

splashgirl45

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I think the legislation is an ass but the trouble here is a corgi cross could leave a bite mark, a pit bull would do a lot more. They have jaws that are unbelieveable until you see them, think of a land dwelling great white shark. Lovely dogs mainly, yes, but they have been bred until very recently to fight and fight effectively, it is a hard thing to breed out. Why do labradors carry sticks in the park? Breeding.
I agree the damage a pit bull type would be a lot worse, but I still think the smaller dogs should be subject to the same treatment if they bite. this corgi cross was rehomed by a rescue knowing his problems which IMO is very irresponsible..
 

Alec Swan

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…….. . But anyone can look on Gumtree and buy a puppy without having any experience or qualifications whatsoever. Now that doesn't seem quite right to me.

How would you restrict the buyer's freedom of choice? Would you prefer the route of 'education'? We both know the answer to that one, don't we?!

I'm sorry DR, and though it would be rare for me to disagree with you, the only answer is the one which is in place, I'll grant you that it isn't working as it should, but it should be that breeds are legislated against.

Think of this; Consider the Chech Border Patrol dogs, …….. would you put them in family homes with those who are ill-equipped to deal with them? No, and neither would anyone with any sense. The problem remains that as we have the right of free choice, so we have the right to decide for ourselves, …….. 'ourselves' all so often being those who most would consider unable to cope with a x-bred family pooch, far less a dog which was bred for a job, and one job only.

I loath legislation just as you do, but I can't see any other way, sadly.

Alec.
 

sarah.oxford

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I think the legislation is an ass but the trouble here is a corgi cross could leave a bite mark, a pit bull would do a lot more. They have jaws that are unbelieveable until you see them, think of a land dwelling great white shark. Lovely dogs mainly, yes, but they have been bred until very recently to fight and fight effectively, it is a hard thing to breed out. Why do labradors carry sticks in the park? Breeding.

The thing many people don't realise, and I've been told this by many different people, is that ANY dogs (pit bulls or SBTs) that were used for the horrific 'sport' of fighting, were absolutely not human aggressive, in fact Staffords were always kept as part of the family (hence the name 'Nanny dogs' due to them being so good with children).
Of course, there is always risk when separating 2 angry dogs of being accidently bitten - I have thankfully never been in that position, but as far as these dogs traditionally being bred to fight, yes they were but aggression to other dogs is not the same as aggression to humans.
Early socialisation and having your wits about you when other dogs are around, as well as being able to read your dogs body language is essential if you want to be a good dog owner, but especially if you have a Stafford with a 'firey' nature as they are quick off the mark. It is said that a good SBT should NOT be out looking for trouble, and mine avoid any dog that is giving any sort of body language that suggests they are not friendly. However if another dog starts something, then they might wish they hadn't in some cases. My 2 are very different to each other, but both avoid trouble and Mason has not retaliated when he has been bitten, he just wants to get out of there asap. Lyl, my little white bitch, has never been bitten, doesn't seek out trouble and like Mason competes in agility with no issues (apart from handler issues, lol), but she is more firey than Mason and would put something in it's place if she needed to. She does react very swiftly to me hollering on the odd occasion I've seen her push her luck with Mason - thieving his bone for example and guarding 2 bones in the corner, luckily he is such a wimp he'd rather come and tell me she's picking on him, and as soon as she hears me, it's all waggy tails and little Miss Innocent.
I do think that if more people got to know more about their breed of choice, and talked to more people who love with ANY chosen breed that they have set their heart on, then maybe people would be better prepared and would not have to learn from their mistakes and more importantly there would be more dogs in homes that they were suited to, a quick look on the Gumtree ads usually shows how little thought many people put into the needs of a breed, and choose on looks or dare I say it what is fashionable at the time. Heartbreaking for the dogs involved as they are always the innocent participants in the dog rescue/rehoming /BSL/DDA scenarios.
 

Clodagh

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I agree the damage a pit bull type would be a lot worse, but I still think the smaller dogs should be subject to the same treatment if they bite. this corgi cross was rehomed by a rescue knowing his problems which IMO is very irresponsible..

Of course they should, but the corgi would enver have been seized under the appearance rule.
 

Dry Rot

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(snipped)

Think of this; Consider the Chech Border Patrol dogs, …….. would you put them in family homes with those who are ill-equipped to deal with them? No, and neither would anyone with any sense. The problem remains that as we have the right of free choice, so we have the right to decide for ourselves, …….. 'ourselves' all so often being those who most would consider unable to cope with a x-bred family pooch, far less a dog which was bred for a job, and one job only.

I think you have your wires crossed a bit over these working GSDs. Their instincts have been focussed by careful selective breeding and they are in the main great family dogs -- but naturally territorial and suspicious of strangers. They are not dangerous per se and for man work have to be trained for it, just as fighting dogs are trained to do what they do. My GSDs are naturally friendly to all visitors, so long as I am around. If I am not about, they are suspicious and react accordingly by barking a warning. I know the different tones and the bark for the postman is instantly recognisable, "It's that man again. We just thought you ought to know".

It is a different matter if I confirm that a visitor or helper (in training) is to be 'watched'. I am guessing that your sheepdog does not need to be kept permanently on the lead to prevent it from working sheep? They know when it is work and when it is time off. Dogs are not as stupid as some believe.

On the other hand, dogs do not have our understanding. A unusual noise or situation can trigger that biting/protection/aggression mode. That is why I would not trust ANY dog to be alone with a young child. Small children, especially babies, are not something dogs are normally used to. Children and babies don't know the rules of how to behave around dogs as we adults do. That's why these attacks on young children, and sometimes adults behaving oddly, happen.

So, Alec, would your law prohibit an old man living alone in a relatively isolated location from owning a dog for personal protection, just because many people do not know how to manage them? Isn't that more legislation against stupidity? My proposals would require the intending owner to acquire or show that they have the knowledge and experience to handle such a dog. There are similar requirements if you want to drive a car, own a gun, spray a field, or (I'm told) buy a chain saw! Nobody has suggested banning cars, guns, sprayers, or chain saws....yet.
 
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