Should Dangerous Dog Breeds Be Banned

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Should Dangerous Dog Breeds Be Banned

‘A five month old baby girl has died after being attacked by two Rottweiler dogs in Leicester, police said on Sunday. Leicestershire police and ambulance staff were called to a pub in the New Parks area of the city on Saturday afternoon, before the baby was rushed to Leicester Royal Infirmary, where she later died from her injuries’ (Metro 2010) When tragic stories like this are reported there are often calls for dangerous breeds to be banned. After the death of John-Paul Massey by a pit bull style dog in Liverpool the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown backed the Daily Mirror’s campaign on dangerous dogs which it demands: ‘Outlaw all vicious cross-breeds currently being used to get around the Act, which specifies particular breeds’ (Lyons 2009) Dangerous dogs in the U.K. reports several stories of dog attacks on children highlighting certain breeds (UK and Spain 2010). It is easy to understand why some countries ban breeds. Dublin has banned 11 (O’Boyle 2010). Switzerland has banned fifteen (Lenouvelliste 2010). In the U.K. the American Pit bull Terrier, the Japanese Tosa, the Dogo Argentino and the Filo Brasilero are banned (Directgov 2010). Is it true some breeds are more aggressive? In the U.K. last year there were over 5000 dog attacks on people (Macrae 2009). The Dachshund, Chihuahua and Jack Russell were the most aggressive (Heck 2010). Labradors, Ridgebacks and Poodles were the least aggressive. Rottweillers, Pit bulls and Ridgebacks showed least hostility to strangers (Harrison 2010). So smaller breeds are more aggressive. People might argue that a small dog can’t hurt someone like a bigger more powerful breed. Try telling that to the parents of a six week old girl that was killed by a Pomeranian mix (Millan 2007). Any dog can bite. Stand United reports of dog attacks around the world which shows that there is no specific breed that is prone to aggression including Dalmatians, Poodles and Golden Retrievers (Miller 2005). Certain breeds are more powerful than others though. It is in connection with the size of the head (Retrieverman 2008). However it is a myth that certain breeds can lock their jaws (Maddock 2006). So what should be done? Muzzle all dogs keeping them on a leash whenever they are in public? There have been several cases of dog bravery only possible because they weren’t muzzles (The Dog Guide 2010). Keeping a dog on a lead on the public highways is common sense. However dogs are animals that are born to run as much as birds are meant to fly and fish to swim. So there needs to be places where owners can let their dogs off. Putting a ban on certain breeds is known as Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) (Best Behaviour Ltd 2009). This places the problems of dog behaviour on the dog, while failing to look at the owners. Dogs mirror their owners not because they look like them but because they mimic their behaviour (Borland and Derbyshire 2010). There is a reason for this. When dogs are born they are blind and deaf (Coran 2009), relying only on scent. A dog has more than 220 million scent receptors in its nose as opposed to 5 million in humans (Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities 2001). What they pick up from scent is energy. That energy is either positive or negative. A dog will mimic the energy of its pack leader. People are not so different. Being in the presence of someone that is happy and calm (positive energy) is uplifting, but being in the presence of someone that is either angry or sad (negative energy) is draining. Dogs are much more in tune to energy or emotion than humans (Hartie 2009). If the owner of a dog happens to be calm the dog will be calm. If they are aggressive then the dog will learn aggressive behaviour from them. So it is a bit of a fallacy to say there are aggressive dog breeds. What is happening is that certain types of owner are attracted to certain breeds. This is the cause of the problem. A person might be attracted to a Pit Bull Terrier...
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