Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Breed Ban

Heads up. This will be a bit of a rant. This is just my opinion - right or wrong, it is what I believe.

This morning on a local radio station, they were discussing whether or not Alberta should implement a breed ban. The reason they were discussing it in the first place was because of these recent incidents.

I read that article and instantly thought that the owner is an idiot and shouldn't be allowed dogs of any kind.

Any dog, regardless of breed, will bite under the right circumstances.

I would never leave my dogs unattended with strangers. I would never leave my dogs unattended with kids. I would never leave my dogs tied to a post where anyone can approach them. I would never leave my dogs loose in the backyard while I'm not home.

Have they ever bitten anyone? No. Have they ever come close? No. Would they in any of those above situations? I don't know - it isn't worth the risk to find out. I do my best to make sure they are never put in a situation where they feel biting is the only option.

I'm not trying to say that these particular dogs in the article were feeling scared, or threatened or uncertain. They were probably untrained, under-socialized and obviously not well supervised. Is that the dog's fault? Is that the breed's fault?

At least 25 different breeds of dogs have been involved in the 238 dog bite-related fatalities in the United States. And those are just for the fatalities - who knows how many different breeds have bitten someone. When was the last time you heard about a dog bite that wasn't a pit bull or pit bull cross? These other breeds don't seem to be covered in the media at all. Does that mean there are 25 different breeds that we should ban? I'd love to know what they are all. Is a golden retriever one of them? What about a terrier? I wouldn't be surprised. It isn't about the breed - it is about the situation and about their socialization.

I believe a lot of a dog's temperment has to do with genetics. I think Lacey was born to be a bit of a scaredy cat. Does that mean she can't get over her fears? Absolutely not! I just have to work harder with her than I did with Coulee to teach her that people aren't as scary as she thinks. Will she ever be a happy-go-lucky, carefree dog in a room filled with a crowd of people. No. I don't think she could ever get her to that point and I would never make her try. It is my job, as a good pet owner, to make sure my dog is not exposed to situations that she can't handle. That doesn't mean I won't try and push her to get better, but I won't overwhelm her. And I'll adjust my life if necessary to make sure she doesn't need to do things that are beyond her capabilities.

Okay - sorry. I'll stop now. I waited 6 hours to write this so I could calm down before I started. As Amanda mentioned this morning - if you ban one breed, you'll just force the bad dog owners to get a different breed, and we'll be right back where we started - bad owners, raising good dogs that don't know any better.


Sam said...

There is not a word of this that I disagree with. Excellent post.

Alana said...

Well said Wendy! I called in, it's amazing that I didn't utter any profanities.... I did, just not when I was actually talking to him.

Diana said...

I agree. I use to work at a childrens hospital in Tenn. I took care of a bunch of kids with dog bites and guess what, not one was a pit bull. Any dog will bite. Diana

StellaStar said...

W00t w00t! It's too bad there are so many people out there who don't EDUCATE themselves on issues before they propose and support ridiculous laws like breed bans. I remember a few years ago when Rottweilers were the victims. Now, it's pit bulls. You're 100% right that bad owners just move on to different dogs. And what's really sad is it's the dogs who are the most obedient who are the easiest for bad owners to pick on. (Okay, so I'm starting to go off on a dog-fighting tangent...) *whew* I'll stop there. My word verification word is byter. How appropriate?

Whitney said...

Having some experience with dog behavior, I completely agree. It's just an incident the media latches on to to give certain breeds a bad name. What's amazing is they never interview for the 'OTHER' side of the story - about WHY these dog incidents happen (no socialization, no exposure to new things, etc). It's always just BECAUSE it's a certain breed and then they close the book. It's a shame.

PoochesForPeace said...

I'm happy to see I'm not the only one who blog-rants about this topic. I spend so much of my time reading up on this as well as FALSE media reports about pitbulls. Once you see some of the stuff out there and how obvious it is that so many incidents are bc of bad owners you just feel like banging your head against the wall-when will people see what the real problem is!? Every dog is an individual, regardless of breed. A blog i follow recently posted about a lawmaker man who proposed a ban on pitbulls and shortly after his golden retreiver attacked his neighbor. Ironic?