Punish the Breed of Dog, or the Owners, A Miss604 Poll

Comments 14 by Rebecca Bollwitt

The only pets I’ve ever owned are a hamster and my Kitty (who is pushing 17 years old and going strong) so I’ve never really known either side of the story, but growing up I knew which house to avoid walking past on my way home from school. You know, the one with the growling, salivating dog behind the weak fence post which could have even been a Pomeranian but you didn’t care because it’s bark was enough to make you quicken your pace? Yeah, that one.

I am well aware this is not a Pibtull, the image simply amused me
Photo credit: Travis Smith on Flickr

Recently Surrey’s been in the news because of a recent rash of dog attacks on humans. Some are now calling for a ban on dangerous breeds.

Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts says a ban on the breed is not up for discussion. Watts says the city has some of the toughest rules in the province governing vicious dogs. She says there’s absolutely no way they’re ‘soft on safety’ despite what some critics might say.

A few years back the city did consider a breed ban but instead Watts believes the responsibility should be on the owner. [News1130]

The Province of Ontario banned pitbulls a few years ago, and Saskatchewan did a few years before that, but it seems dozens of breeds could be deemed vicious. In most cases bylaws and provincial legislation requires an animal or person be killed or seriously injured before a dog is deemed dangerous.

An argument is that responsibility lies with the owner and malicious dogs are not bred, but raised, which leaves this open for another Miss604 poll.

14 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. colleenTuesday, May 27th, 2008 — 1:43am PDT

    i am a dog owner, and I am very annoyed when people blame the breed. i have a border collie/retriever of some sort. he’s very nervous, but we think that’s based soley on the fact that he’s a rescue dog vs anything else.

    I’ve met some pits who are sweethearts but are treated as 2nd class citizens because of their breed. It bugs me. Yet, on the other hand, i had friends with a lovely chihuahua named Chica who was killed in front of them in their hallway by a pit.

    at this point, i’m all over the owners and breeders. they’re not aggressive dogs unless you MAKE them that way.

  2. buzz bishopTuesday, May 27th, 2008 — 6:23am PDT

    This breed is particularly attractive to the skids of society. Yes, some loving happy people pick them up too, but mostly it’s the Pil swilling, truck driving, tattooed, swearing, aggressive, criminally inclined, vocabularily challenged high school drop out that’s got one chained in the back of their monster truck.

    Ban the owners. We’d all be better off, not just the dogs.

  3. Tyler IngramTuesday, May 27th, 2008 — 6:56am PDT

    I believe the owner should be held accountable. The times recent incidents where the pitbull or rottwieler attacked were when they escaped from the yard they were in.

    They should also be properly socialized. The very first dog i ever played with was a rottie and I love them. We used to actually ride them (I was like 4 yrs old) and would never think of it trying to attack me.

    I’ve had friends with Pitbulls (and various breeds close to them) and they were pretty gentle and fun to play with.

    Now these dogs that attack how are they raised? Are they beaten into submission? Are they wound up and ready to explode at any time? Are they trained as guard dogs etc? To ban an entire breed is ridiculous, their owners should be held accountable for their actions if not properly trained. If they are to be a guard dog ensure they are unable to leave the property.

    This sort of conversation goes on and on and on everytime someone is attacked and last I heard, the owners have nothing done to them. They just put the dog down. If a dog kills someone, why can’t we charge the owners.

    I could go on and on, but I won’t.. I’ll start rambling worse!

  4. TrevorTuesday, May 27th, 2008 — 7:06am PDT

    Just to note that the picture you used is of a boxer, not a pitbull, in case there was any implied associations. I’m an owner of a boxer and I often get very mistrusting looks from those who don’t know the differences and it’s a bit frustrating to me.

    While I’m not a fan of breed-specific legislation for the most part, a boxer and pitbull generally are very different ends of the spectrum in terms of aggression (with the usual exceptions in all cases caveat). I would prefer the control to be directed at owners. We have a pitbull in our neighborhood and it is owned by a very responsible couple who put a muzzle on it anytime they go for a walk….responsibility is within reach for all owners if they make the effort.

  5. mort-yTuesday, May 27th, 2008 — 8:13am PDT

    It doesn’t matter how ‘nice’ the owners are, or how ‘nice’ the pit or rott is, they could play ‘nice’ with children for years, but then, becuase it is in-bred, they can turn on you without notice. They cannot be trusted! It is in their nature to attack, no matter what! It is the breed! You CANNOT trust them!! I don’t care what the owners say! These dogs should be out-lawed! Don’t get me started!

  6. ChrisTuesday, May 27th, 2008 — 8:20am PDT

    Having known several Pits, it is always the owner that makes a dog dangerous. Pit Bulls can be the sweetest, most gentle dogs if they are simply raised in a structured, loving household like any dog should be.

  7. TaniaTuesday, May 27th, 2008 — 12:29pm PDT

    I grew up with ‘pitbulls’, so I will admit my personl experience probably biases me on this subject. I have always believed that there are no ‘bad’ dogs, only ‘bad’ owners. I think the breed, given it’s physiological make-up, has the propensity to be dangerous … so do humans.

  8. RodTuesday, May 27th, 2008 — 6:23pm PDT

    I had a pitbull owner get offended when I wanted his dog away from my kids – he said that his dog was fine around kids and that he trusted the dog around kids. My reply was simple.

    “I don’t give a damn if you trust your dog around my kids. *I* don’t, and when it comes to my kids, *mine* is the only opinion that matters.”

  9. julieWednesday, May 28th, 2008 — 12:06pm PDT

    I think owners should be licenced to get a dog.
    First, do you have a criminal record/history of cruel behaviour towards humans or animals? Yes? Then no dog for you.
    Second, do you intend to have a large breed dog or cross-bred dog resulting from one on the large breeds? Yes? Then you must prove completion of a professionally accepted training program (must find the right one that doesn’t use punishment…) or prove successful control of your dog. (Start with the large dogs – any dog expected to be greater than a 50lb. adult, and move down from there.)
    I don’t have this all worked out but I’ve thought about it a lot. It’s the owner’s responsibility to manage their dogs and if we had stricter regulations about who could own animals, we might just get closer to a better life for the dogs and those around them.

    I think if this was thought through and worked out in a fair and complete manner, we might even be able to make improvements in attempts to curb puppy mills, too. (I’d also like to see “fallow” years when no breeding could take place but this might be pie in the sky).

  10. JodiWednesday, May 28th, 2008 — 2:17pm PDT

    Oh, I’m a big fan of the Dog Whisperer, so I know for a fact it’s the owner’s fault. 🙂

  11. KrisWednesday, August 20th, 2008 — 10:13pm PDT

    All I can say is…
    Rod, keep your kids away from my dogs. I don’t trust those “well mannered angels” will not hurt or abuse my dogs.

    It’s all reciprocal buddy.

    I have seen neighbor kids trying to poke sticks through the fence at my dogs, and scream and yell at them to try to get them to barkor some sort of reaction. They will also, if given the opportunity chase other dogs down the road if they see them out and about. Who is the bully here? Not any of the neighborhood dogs, but instead the kids. Our neighborhood lives in fear of the hoodlums…not the dogs.

    Quite frankly I am more than happy to keep my dogs away from most children. Most children do not have enough sense and invariably do something that will potentially injure or hurt the dog they are around.

    “Those who live in glass houses, shouldn’t throw stones.”

  12. NatalieSaturday, July 4th, 2009 — 4:23pm PDT

    I am the proud owner of a pitbull. She is 2 1/2 years old and I don’t know what I would do without her. I love her and she loves me. She is an extremely loyal dog.

    I don’t really care what people say or think about pitbulls. . .some people like to discriminate against certain animals, people, or other things they know little about. Maybe the people who say negative things about this breed of dog have had a negative experience once in thier life? Dogs, like other animals are creatures of habit. Pitbulls by nature are dogs that are easily trained and manipulated because they aim to please.

    I saw a comment about the Dog Whisperer on this board – Did you ever notice that the dog he usually brings to train other dogs is a pitbull named Daddy? I am sure a different atmosphere for even that dog could turn him into a killer – just like a certain atmosphere for your kids can turn them into drug users and losers.

    Thats all I have. and FYI for everyone out there – all dogs have teeth and can bite – not just pitbulls.

  13. MindiSaturday, August 29th, 2009 — 4:52pm PDT

    I think it’s ridiculous to talk banning “dangerous” dogs. You know the saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”? Well that’s what we have going on here. More often than not (it seems), people are getting “dangerous” dogs because they are not the most law abiding citizens and need protection or wish to present that sort of image.

    ALL dogs, when provoked, bite. ALL DOGS. I’ve been bite a handful of times in my lifetime (not counting the odd nip here and there from the young pups). The ONLY time I’ve ever NOT had to shake a dog off when bit, was when a large, snarly Rottweiler bit me. That dog was more than capable of causing some SERIOUS damage, yet didn’t. The only thing I have to show from that bite is tiny scar the size of a freckle. The bite I got from a Norwich Terrier (about a 10 lb dog breed) left a scar about 2 inches long along the back of my leg for a few years.

    but i digress…

    If you’re trying to reduce the amount of dog attacks and the number of dogs known for violent behavior, make it harder to own dogs.. or even a number of specific breeds of dogs. If people are getting Pitbulls, Boxers, Rottweilers, Dobermans, etc and using them as weapons then respond in kind. Have the cities enforce registration and licensing processes similar to the gun registration process. Make it illegal to breed/sell those specific dogs unless you have a license to breed/sell them and have undergone a series of criminal record and background checks. Make it illegal to BUY/ADOPT those dogs unless you’ve gone through a criminal/background check as well and have waited a certain amount of time to get a dog owner license, much like if you were to buy a gun.

    Yes, running this kind of program (have the crim checks come out of the prospective breeder/owners pocket) may seem cost prohibitive initially, but then when you see the results of fewer attacks, and perhaps even fewer cases of animal neglect, you’ll see that you (the citizen) will have saved money in avoided medical expenses (by fewer attacks) and avoided criminal/animal neglect trials.

  14. AveryMonday, March 15th, 2010 — 11:25am PDT

    I’m frightened that the Pit bull requirements a exclusive type of proprietor…these pet dogs, no matter how ‘adoring’ still have teeth, are still animals with out moral concepts and when they DO bite, won’t let go. As in all animals…some often be far more suseptable to instinctual habits and time and time once again, this breed tends to complete just that.

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