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Is it finally the end to Breed Specific Legislation?

Last week I gave two examples of dog aggression and two further incidents highlight the problem that it is not how the Dog laws work her in Spain but in fact how ineffective they are particularly in the real dangerous cases.

The first article I read here in the Costa Blanca News and it refers to the Police in Torrellano having to kill a Pit Bull. The dog had previously escaped from its owners and with its phenomenal biting strength it ripped apart three tyres of a parked car. Now that is one powerful dog. Fortunately, on this occasion they restrained the dog and returned it to the owners. Later residents again informed the police it had escaped again and this time they found it trying to force its way into a parked car in which was a young child who was hiding.

Despite repeated attempts to subdue the enraged dog and so not to let it attack anyone else the Police had to kill it.

Imagine how that child must have felt with such ferocity trying to get to him or her. Any child subject to such an attack would probably be traumatise for the rest of their lives but what could have happened had the dog gained entry I dread to think.

What surprised me was the comment from a Police spokesman to say they regretted having to kill the dog but this was only to protect the public. Protecting the public should be never allowing such owners to have such a powerful dog in the first place. Who signed the paper to say they were competent and on what grounds did they judge them or is it just another of the Spanish rubber-stamp activity again so in fact anyone can own one.

You may ask me do I have any qualms in the police shooting the dog shot on the spot when I write about correcting problem dogs. Euthanasia would have been better but in some cases I have written about, like this one, it was the only course of action at the time.
The owners, possibly unintentionally, trained the dog this way because they must never have been bothered or interested in their responsibilities towards other people. The result was the dog became territorial instead of being socialised so it saw all people dogs, cats, and children not of its pack. Yes, I could correct the dog but would you trust it in your area again. Would you take the risk?

How often do we hear so many owners with dogs aggressive to strangers using the defence that it is only doing its job of guarding the family? Please write in and tell us all why having such a dog is worth it. Most of us have be invaded by crime during our lifetimes but tell us is the wife’s’ expensive necklace that cost a fortune and may have sentimental value is it along with other materialistic insured property worth more that the life of a child of a relative or of a stranger.

How many members of families currently sit at home with a dog that they know shows aggression to anyone but not towards the family? How many are there that have to actually say to someone you cannot come in because the dog will probably bite you. How many dogs have even bitten a relation? Such an attack was simply because someone forgot to shut a door and the dog escaped. Was it only good fortune that because they were relations they did not take any further legal action? Even after such attacks, the owners still do nothing to change the dog’s attitude towards people. Do such owners think they have some God given right to own such a dog thereby placing their dog before children? Do owners of aggressive dogs have no conscience of their dog’s actions?

The two Pit Bulls I wrote about last week owned by a Spanish couple where one dog escaped and savagely attacked a Germans smaller dog. The last I heard was the owners were prepared to try a compressed air collar to subdue the barking, regularly walk the dogs, clean the excreta from the garden, and they stated the dogs could no longer escape.

Only the other day the bitch Pit Bull escaped and stalked an English lady with its teeth bared and growling. So much for the owners promises of improved security. The lady had to pretend she was a more aggressive dog by growling back. This is actually not a good idea as bitches are often more aggressive than the male. They also lack the control and will often fight to the death where a male only fights for submission. Fortunately, she did manage to make the dog go away. If this ever happens to you then the best way to do this is to try to ignore the dog and not even look at it. Try licking your lips to indicate to the dog you mean it no harm and move slowly at an angle to the dog. This method works for me.

She called for the Police but the owners were not even at home. They were in fact away on holiday for a week so he had to radio for help from the Protectora of Animales to take the dog away. Alas, at 7.15 pm they had all gone home. The Police office apologised to the lady but said there was nothing else they could do. Later a patrol car arrived and they photographed the loose dog. A little later, a car arrived and a relation had come to feed the dogs twice a day whilst the owners were away. Now the dogs were like pussycats and even the Police could stroke them. My understanding of the law is that it is illegal to leave a dangerous dog unattended in an insecure area but again owners regularly ignored this law. The relation took the dogs away only to have them returned two days later.

The lady asked should she make a Denuncia but the Police said as they now had seen the dog on the street they would be making one.

From the start of these articles I spoke of the fact that though people complained about the Dogs laws and lack of implantation it is for dog owners to look to their responsibilities towards others when they think of purchasing a dog. Having a dog and then inadvertently teaching it unsociable or enforcement type training so it is more likely to bite someone is hardly being friendly to our neighbours is it.

One commonly used excuse for a dog that bites is to blame the dog. The owners will often say they have do everything they can so what more can they do. Owners of dogs from shelters may well find the dog they adopt could well have problems because of the way it was treated by it earlier owners. Never the less many problems are solvable.

The Dangerous Dog legislation basic belief is that dogs are aggressive because of their genetic breeding. Certain breeds are targeted by named breeds or even if they look like an aggressive breed. Only in Section C has the law any credibility. This goes back to the days when police officers wished they had the power to approach an owner where they considered there was a possible danger. They wanted to be able to offer free correctional training from Police dog handlers but this never happened yet it is the only option left even today.

I have picked out the Pit bull as appearing to be the aggressive dog no one should own. In fact, the majority of them are very sociable dogs. It is only I see such a powerful dog as a potential danger as sort of over-kill in the dog world. I do not believe any dog should have the biting capability of these dogs because when it all goes wrong they can do such horrific damage to humans.

What we must accept is that dogs are not aggressive by genetics. Owners teach their dog aggression and owners who fail to socialise their dogs will most probably end up with an aggressive territorial dog.

The belief is that dog aggression has become worse over the last 30 years. This we are certain is a result of dog laws creating restrictions where owners no can longer allow the dogs out to play as they did so many years ago. Restrict a dog’s movements then it learns that all humans and animals outside their territory are not of its pack and can be engaged in battle. Dogs must learn about the infinite pack so that all people, dogs, and cats are all part of the same pack.

The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe is the most influential with the European Union government. They have now made representations to the EU making it clear that the current situation of breed restriction measures does not work. They state that countries that adopted breed-specific legislation there is no scientific or statistic evidence to suggest these have reduce the frequency or severity of injuries to people. To date there is no scientific criteria to identify to determine a dog is dangerous by its physical parameters. Breed-specific legislation is proving difficult to apply because of how to define a breed. Such legislation engenders a false and dangerous perception that breeds not included will not show aggression. Any breed can show aggression. Finally, breed-specific legislation does not discriminate between individual members of a breed where most of the litter will not show any disposition towards aggression.

The suggested way forward by the FVE is that it strongly believes that the most effective means of preventing and controlling aggression is to direct measures at the individual dog and its owner. They see the need for further research to develop tools, which will allow a proper risk analysis of individual dogs.

They suggest that there must be education of owners towards a responsible attitude. To introduce mandatory identification that can link dangerous dogs to their owners. They suggest more research into dog behaviour, genetics neuro-phychology, and physiology to help breed assessment and formulate testing programmes to show how to create simple testing and to assess the environment as this too can lead to a predisposition towards aggression.

These are the following recommendations to the European commission and member states.
(1) Promote education and training of dogs to dog professionals.
(2) Postpone the adoption of further breed-specific legislation.
(3) Introduce mandatory identification for all dogs across the Union
(4) Encourage research into dog behaviour, monitoring dog bits educate professionals to educate dog owners.

We now have the Supreme court of Alabama stating that following a number of cases regarding Pit bulls its ruling is there is no genetic evidence that one breed of dog was more dangerous than another, simply because of its breed.

Such a judgment is finally based on evidence from genuine canine experts as apposed to evidence from veterinarians and politicians makes it legitimately possible to use the ruling to fight Breed-Specific legislation throughout the world.

What is annoying is that when governments introduced such measures dog experts had already given them the same evidence all those years ago. They failed to listen then and still fail to listen now. More and more cases will appear in courts all over Europe but will it ever change a government bent on reducing dog ownership to only those dogs weighting under 20 Kilograms because that proposal still exists on a shelf.

It is up to owners and dog trainers to teach not obedience training but socialbility not from six months but from puppies. Only this way will puppies grow up as well socialised dogs.

Puppies should learn to meet people, dogs, cats, children, scooters, fireworks etc. This sort of training is what all puppies desperately need. Hopefully learning about the way to teach sociability training we hope all owners and dog trainers will then know how to teach this in order all puppies do not learn aggression towards others by leaning about the infinite pack.

Let’s be careful out there


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