Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Vicious Dogs

I see that the quest for new and stiffer laws for the disposition of vicious dogs in the county has taken on a bit of a fast track. I cannot say I disagree at all with what is trying to be accomplished. To be honest with you I didn’t realize that the current laws were so lax. I was of the opinion that when an unprovoked dog attack took place, the dog was surrendered by the owner or captured if possible and disposed of. Several years ago a neighbor’s dog bit my son. When the neighbor moved in he advised me the dog did like people. He and his family had no problem handling the dog and he would keep the dog on a chain. My son was 14 at the time and he understood perfectly not to go near the dog. The neighbor’s children often removed the dog from the chain for play. One day they did not re-chain the dog and as my son was walking back from his Grand-mom’s house the dog bit him. The bite did not break the skin but it left a terrible bruise. Needless to say, I had words with the neighbor and I notified the sheriffs department. The next day the dog was gone and I was given papers later saying it had been taken to the humane society and was euthanized.

O.K. I can see some business having dogs for protection and those dogs may be vicious. That’s their training. However dogs such as these must have competent handlers and have to be properly kenneled when not on duty. However, there is absolutely no excuse to have and maintain a vicious dog as a household pet. As part of the responsibility of dog ownership it falls to the owner properly socialize their dog to society. I understand there may varying degrees of this depending on the dog and it’s use. Many show dogs are limited in socialization because their attention must be concentrated to the show ring. Household pets, although may be aloof by nature certainly do not need to be vicious to visitors of the home.

Other issues abound as well such as dogs that are tormented, teased into violence. That can be another ball of wax altogether. This post simply refers to dogs that have not had the proper level of care in growing up and the owner's lack to properly contain the animal. The task before the county council concerning new and stricter laws is not an easy one. Many things have to be considered surrounding the circumstances of an attack. I don’t envy their job, but I hope a comprehensive set of rules can be formulated quickly.


Idiot! said...

I am confused aboout your story. Was the dog properly socialized or not? Are you saying that it is the breed that caused him to attack?

I am not an animal nut, I swear. Just wanna understand what you are saying.

If you want a laugh, go into certain public forums that have subforums for PET discussions. There are always crazy passionate discussions about breed vs breeding/"dangerous breeds" that inflames people more than Albero ever could.

JoAlbero said...

Breeds, breeding, training, good dog - bad dog.......really gang it's about owner control over his pet-investment-family member whatever.
All dogs are capable of being mean and all dogs can and will under certain circumstances bite. NOT ALL DOGS are dangerous though. A small breed may be a nipper but generally they are not going to kill anyone.
Great Danes, Pitbulls, rots, shepards and other larger breeds that are capable of knocking someone off thier feet and getting at that persons neck and face CAN BE dangerous. But not necessarily. I don't wnat to make enemys here but it's the FRIGGING OWNERS that make a dog dangerous. It's the owners that need to be held accountable.
Who owns Joe...they need to carry liability insurance. ROFLMAO.

Soapbox said...

I really do not know if the dog was properly socialized or if the bred was a factor. It seems some breeds are blamed more often than others for attacks, and there probably is a hereditary factor that affects the behavior of most dogs but again I believe it is mostly how the dog is raised.

I guess the main point I am truly trying to convey is owner responsibility. The owner must be responsible in raising the animal correctly for acceptance into society. The owner must maintain proper control over the animal at all times, and if the animal, for whatever reason, does not fit well into society it is the owners responsibility to make sure this animal does not pose a threat to anyone, even if it means euthanasia.

I’m suggesting euthanasia is the ultimate answer either. Possible a new owner or a new environment is all that is needed. Again the owner should be able to recognize this and take an appropriate course of action before someone is injured.

JoAlbero said...


Bunker Britches said...

I am a dog owner myself of two dogs that pose a danger of licking someone to death when they come to visit. Both were adopted from the Humane Society and from the behavior of one of them we think he had been mistreated before we adopted him. Now he is 180 degrees from the fearful, always expecting to be mistreated creature we brought home.

I would like to see stricter laws or at a minimum the laws we have strictly enforced. I can't see all dogs being painted with the same brush though. There are incidents of dogs being tormented or teased until they bite as well as dogs biting during unprovoked attacks. It would be a shame to have someones pet put down just because they bit someone who was teasing or tormenting them. I think each incident should be evaluated and not just a blanket condemnation for one incident of biting. The cause of the attack and the severity should be taken into account along with any history as well as the capability for severe injury. Even tiny breeds can and will bite if injured. Step on him and he can bite in defense. Should he be put down? I don't think so, he was defending himself.

I do agree that the owhers hold the responability for their dogs and should be held accountable for them. Dogs should not be running lose with no control.

I do think that some of the larger breeds of dogs have a bad reputation and just the sight of them can create fear in some people. There are people who will defend these dogs until the cows come home and others who would like to see those breeds banned simply on the strength of their reputation. I will admit that a dog bounding toward me unrestrained creates more concern if it is a Pitbull, Rot., Sheppard, Chow etc than if it were a Beagle, Bassett, Sheltie, Goldie, Dal. or such. The attitude of the dog has a great deal to do with the amount of concern I feel as well. If it is growling and snarling, bareing it's teeth and acting in an aggressive manner as opposed to tail wagging, smiling, tongue lolling out in a happy and playful manner determins the degree of concern I experience.