Monday, July 21, 2014

When dogs attack the debate renews.

The news yesterday that a young man (17 years old) was attacked by the family's dog will no doubt renew the call to ban certain breeds. That call will also bring out the usual 'defenders' of that particular breed, claiming that it is 'how the dog is brought up that is the main contributor.' I have a certain amount of sympathy fo that 'opinion,' given my fairly limited contact wity that breed. I am of course talking abaout the dogs we call 'Pitt Bulls in New Zealand and possibly some of their close 'interbred' relations. I come accross them in my walks down at my favourite walking huant, the 'Bay' in Onehunga. OK, there, the dogs in question are under control and I have not yet seen an example of one that has run amuck and attacked anyone or any other dog. Indeed, it is sometimes the least likely, if one goes by size, that causes the issues. In those cases it may be a combination of lack of control and plain old 'doggie personality.' BUT---it seems that the other side of the coin is also a major facotr. So mnay of the attacks reported in the news media are from 'that' breed. The 'loving' owners jump to their defence, quoting all sorts of spurious 'facts and figures' to justify their possession of the dogs. They make outrageous claims about other dogs quoting figures that for the most part are mere figments of their deluded imaginations. The bottom-line? Pitt Bulls may be loyal, and some say loving pets, but they possess qualities out of all proportions, that given the right (or worng) circumstances,they attack and when they do so, it is often with disastrous results, even culminating in death on the odd occassion. They are 'not to be argued with' and they try to shift the blame to other factors. It is this unpredictability that leads these dogs into that area where we just 'cannot be sure.' I say again--the dogs of this breed that 'I know,' are fne examples and after my innitial 'meeting' with them, I am reasonably confident as to mine and others safety around them. Like all dogs though you cannot guarantee such peaceful and fun outcomes; it is this that makes many people wary and leads to the outcries we will hear over this latest incident. Perhaps we need to take a long, hard and careful look at how other countries are handing this issue. I doubt that our 'dogs' are any different to those from overseas. Let's keep this discussion rational though, eh!

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