Is The Problem at the Other Side of the Leash?
Displayed teeth, pinned legs, an unbreakable stare, sounds like the stuff of horror films, when what is actually being referred to, may well be snuggled up at your feet as you read this. Your loyal furry friend can quickly and unpredictably turn from friend to foe.
An angry dog is a frightening thing to behold and taps in to a fear many of us hold within us. Fortunately few of us get to experience such a thing, though sadly there does appear to be an increase in dog on human attacks, all to often the victim being a child, leaving families destroyed and tragically in some cases childless. So what can be done to avoid this danger?
Although it is a fact that 'all' dogs have the potential to be dangerous and unpredictable, it is generally accepted that there are undoubtedly certain breeds of dogs that pose a greater risk than the vast majority, it is indeed the very reason why certain breeds of dogs are in-fact illegal. This law - passed in 1991 - 'the dangerous dogs act' banned the sale, exchange and breeding of 4 breeds of canine, those being the Japanese Tosas, Fila Brasileiros, Dogo Argentinos and finally the 'dog of choice' for too many people Pit Bull Terrier type breeds.
What is it that makes these breeds so dangerous though, so dangerous that they are in-fact illegal? This debate is very current, and indeed very divided. Some argue its purely instinctual, that it is an innate aggression within these breeds that make them so volatile and ultimately deadly. Others argue that this is actually within all dogs, that is, in fact, the other side of the leash that requires closer inspection.
Sadly it may be argued that when a certain type of pooch falls into a certain type of hands the results can be catastrophic. With such dogs comes 'status' comes 'kudos' becomes a 'weapon' though - as all to often reported - this 'weapon' can not differentiate between 'target' and 'child'.
What can be done about this? It appears that the law is so shrouded in red-tape and is such a grey area that there is no deterrent to owning these dogs, surely though the responsibility lies with the 'owner'? there has been much talk in the media of such dogs being 'status' symbols - sit back and observe mothers very deliberately crossing the street with their child when the alternative is to squeeze past - they really do this! Can we blame them? Absolutely not!
Its down to the government to 'do more' on this issue, the message needs to be loud and clear, the message needs to be a priority.
To take the argument even further, one could argue that anyone wanting to own a dog needs to undergo stringent 'investigations' prior to doing so. We need a licence to drive a car, we need a passport to travel, we need 'legal documentation' for almost everything, and we do it. Why? Because it's the law! Surely it makes sense, we need to pass a test to drive, why? Because an 'amateur' could kill an innocent bystander, surely we should need to 'pass' something to own a potential killing machine??
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