Irresponsible dog owners spoil life
Last updated at 13:41, Wednesday, 18 April 2012
LIKE most responsible dog owners, I was appalled at the recent story of an amiable Labrador called Dozer which was attacked in its own garden and left for dead by a marauding pack of ten dogs, led by a Staffordshire bull terrier.
The dog’s owner, housekeeper to Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, has now begun a petition calling for dog owners to be held liable for attacks by their dogs on other animals.
As the law stands at present, the owners of dangerous dogs are only liable if a human is attacked (and it precludes attacks which take place on private property).
Whilst I applaud the sentiment – after all, why should Dozer’s owners be landed with a costly vet’s bill while the owner of the attacking dogs walks away scot free? – I wonder how this could be effectively applied.
Unfortunately, ill-disciplined dogs and their irresponsible owners are becoming a worrying feature of modern life. But it’s difficult to blame the dogs. A dog bred for aggression will act aggressively in certain situations. It is, after all, only doing what comes naturally.
It is the owners who ignore, condone or even encourage their dogs’ bad behaviour who need to change their ways. Like children, dogs need discipline and boundaries – and to know their place in the pack.
As the owner of two daft-as-brushes, friendly bearded collies, I cannot imagine why anyone would deliberately choose a pet dog in which aggression is part of its breeding.
The owners of bull terriers and the like invariably protest that their dogs are unfairly given a bad name. Yet the statistics regarding dog attacks speak for themselves: certain breeds are far more disposed to aggression than others.
Sadly, the irresponsible owners who allow their dogs to roam and attack at will, taint the rest of us by association.
For, along with the petition to change the law on owners’ liability regarding dog attacks, there appears to be a growing call for all dogs to be kept on leads at all times in any public place.
And that I simply cannot agree with. I would consider myself a cruel dog owner indeed if I were to deny my two gentle (if a trifle exuberant) dogs the pleasure of running their hearts out on our local beach or on a country footpath.
One of the greatest joys of owning dogs is to see them bounding along, enjoying their surroundings and giving free rein to their energy and joie de vivre. It would be a much-diminished life for them if they were never allowed to do this.
In the unlikely event of such legislation ever finding its way onto the statute books, who would enforce such a law? Police patrols on every beach, common or public footbath? Unlikely, one hopes.
In the meantime I, for one, shall continue letting my dogs run free at the seaside. If animals had rights, this one would be at the top of the list.
First published at 13:09, Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Louise your absolutely right!I blame the Labour party, starting with Blairs new labour. And benefit scroungers too.............. and don't get me started on the unions.Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! Bring back the death sentence for these dog owners.Bring back Maggie and Norman 'on yer bike' Tebbitt and these irresponsible dog owners will taste good old British justice and get us out of the EU at the same time.Yours, angrily,D
I have a dog who is the oldest breed of terrier, his prey drive is inbred in him. I dont put him in situations where this drive might come to the fore. Running and playing children and small furries....he gets nowhere near them. He has never attacked anyone, because he has been raised properly.
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