May 11, 2018

UK: MPs must scrap the “Dangerous Dogs Act” and save innocent dogs

Jack BuckbyRebel Contributor

One thing you might not know about me is that I used to be a dog handler. From my early teens to early 20s, I showed English Bull Terriers all over the country. My show dogs Dennis, Dot and Doris and I even attended Crufts.

My first show dog, Dennis, sadly passed away recently. He was the sweetest, gentlest dog you’d ever have met, but for many who just glanced at him on the street, he was different. He was a big dog with big teeth and scared a lot of people. The old adage says that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and in the case of "dangerous dogs," that’s definitely the case.

In 1991, the Dangerous Dogs Act was passed. It was a piece of legislation designed to protect people from being attacked and killed by dogs, but the legislation didn’t work. All it did, in fact, was result in many innocent dogs being killed by authorities. The Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro were all deemed dangerous dogs and banned. Technically, some people could get a certification of exemption if they proved the dog wasn’t dangerous, but this wasn’t common.

I’ve heard many horror stories over the years about "dangerous dogs" being put down, when in actual fact they were sweet, loving, family pets.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that these dogs have strong jaws, and when they do attack, it can be lethal. That’s why it’s important to nurture a culture of responsible dog ownership. We always said in showing: “It’s not the breed, it’s the deed.”

If you raise a dog to be violent, it will be violent. If you raise a "dangerous dog" to be loving and well-behaved, it will be loving and well behaved. Big dogs should always be trained properly, and precautions taken when they’re in a new environment. This is the best way to stay safe and keep other people safe.

This idea is proven to be true when one considers the fact that hospital admissions for dog attacks have risen by 76 per cent in the last ten years, even after dangerous dogs were banned. So what gives?

Well, numerous studies have shown that the dogs most likely to bite you are not dangerous dogs at all. Pet insurers Animal Friends reported in 2016 that the most common canine breeds to attack delivery men (who make up a third of personal injury claims) were German Shepherds, Border Collies, and Labradors. Another study showed that Chihuahuas are the most likely breed to bite veterinarians.

I know the statistics won’t include dangerous dogs because they’re technically illegal, but doesn’t this show the obvious truth that all dogs, given the right situation, can be violent? Any dog can turn. It’s just the unfortunate case that when a dangerous dog attacks, it does so with more power and a stronger bite.

That’s why responsible dog ownership is important.

Studies show us that all dogs have the potential to hurt you, which is why I’m glad to see that Members of Parliament will be reviewing the Dangerous Dogs Act. MPs will be examining whether the public is being properly protected, and whether animal welfare concerns are being properly thought through. Is it really fair that innocent, beautiful dogs are put down for no reason other than being born with big teeth?

The Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has shown that of the 30 people who have been killed by dogs between 1991 and 2016, 21 of these people were killed by dogs that were not banned. Updated figures show 37 deaths, with 28 killed by non-banned breeds.

I hope something comes of this. Pit Bulls and other banned breeds are beautiful dogs. They deserve a chance.

If we’re going to review legislation, why don’t we look at dog licences? Why don’t we look at other measures that can be taken to ensure that breeders, handlers, and owners are responsible? Not only will this reduce attacks and even deaths, but it will crack down on people who are abusive to "dangerous breeds" and help us reduce underground dog fighting industries.

Dogs love us unconditionally. It’s time we gave some love back and gave these dogs a chance.

Comments
You must be logged in to comment. Click here to log in.
commented 2018-05-15 23:55:21 -0400
Also be aware that Certain Middle East Ethnic people don’t like dogs as it prevents’ them from threatening you if you are not of their religion or you do not agree with them! Many would like you to not be able to own a dog so that when they want to they can have their way with you! The writer of the article didn’t mention that is going on in the UK as well! I am making sure by exposing this so that, the cat is out of the bag!
commented 2018-05-12 20:29:53 -0400
So what are you saying Terry
commented 2018-05-12 18:02:42 -0400
“Dangerous Dogs Act”? What a joke! I made the mistake of knocking on the door of a Whitbread Pub in Cambridge, UK looking for accommodation for the night. when the proprietor opened the door I was attacked by a vicious, black guard dog. I was left bleeding with my sweater torn off and the proprietor refused to help me get to the hospital. After eventually making my own getting and getting stitched up I went to the police detachment who charged the proprietor with keeping dangerous dogs. I was required to attend the court case as a witness. Whitbread brought in two London lawyers and I was grilled over as though I was the guilty party. They brought in three large black dogs of a similar breed and presumably the attacker was among the three. I was required to identify which one attacked me, otherwise all three might be destroyed because the proprietor owned the three. I refused ( couldn’t ) and the bloke got off! This is a true story.
commented 2018-05-12 17:42:46 -0400
The most aggressive dog I was exposed to was the poodle my parents had when I was a kid… Vicious thing it was.
commented 2018-05-12 17:29:39 -0400
George Luck it used to be different dogs , the media used to headline them.
commented 2018-05-12 17:28:47 -0400
George Luck that is complete crap. My female Chihuahua is more aggressive than a Pit Bull. And the media sensationalizes this.
commented 2018-05-12 16:46:51 -0400
My step-mother adopted a pit bull from a rescue 5 years ago, the shaking dog only needed a few hours in her company to understand her ordeal was over. She is a sweet dog and has never bitten anyone or showed her teeth in a menacing way.
This was her second pit bull, the first one lived to be fifteen and was also a gentle and loving dog.
commented 2018-05-12 15:09:36 -0400
No such thing as a bad pitbull… Just a bad owner .
commented 2018-05-12 11:17:06 -0400
What a pant load. I am sick of apologists weeping over their poor little ‘Pitties’. The Pit Bull is a dangerous dog. It is four legged threat to humans. Too many owners, after their dogs have mauled a helpless child, or chewed the arms off a senior citizen have declared in mock shock: “Oh Killer has never bitten anyone before. He is a kind and loving dog!” (who now has human flesh on his breath. Too many owners have come home and said: “Have you seen the baby?”

Heard of any attacks by Beagles lately? When was the last headline about a vicious Chihuahua, or Spaniel attacks? (Hint; Don’t hold your breath)

The Pit Bull breed needs to be eliminated . . . . . .. yesterday.
commented 2018-05-12 02:25:00 -0400
This all sounds very muslim to me as they will find ANY excuse to remove dogs from the streets. It is common now to find posters up asking people not to bring their dogs to parks (taken over by muslim families) in much of the west. The pastime of many muslims in the ME who find such enjoyment in watching what happens when a dog eats a sausage full of powdered glass or tacks and who are probably responsible for the disappearance of 90% of missing dogs in the UK. The way that even UK muslims treat animals (watch a halal abattoir in action) should give(but fails) those idiots who allow them into the UK, a clue about how venomously violent they are.
commented 2018-05-12 02:20:49 -0400
Jack Buckby your dog had a loving home. It is so hard to lose them.
commented 2018-05-12 02:19:40 -0400
So tired of this bigotry against certain dogs, in the past there was Rotties , Dobies and others.
I would choose a Dog over a good percentage of the people on this planet for a friend.
commented 2018-05-12 02:18:07 -0400
Allen Peterson they were used as Nanny Dogs in the past. The humans ruin them.
commented 2018-05-12 01:06:20 -0400
When I was a little kid, I went with my parents on a visit to family friends. They had this tiny dog called a Pomeranian, I put my hand out to make friends and pat him and he bit me very badly on my third finger, he was quite vicious. So it’s not just big dogs you have to look out for. But a few years later while at summer camp I got attacked by a St. Bernard. Don’t know where he came from, didn’t even see him till he was on me. The breeds I have had the most come at me in attack mode have been Springer and Cocker Spaniels. They made out like they were friendly, then when they were close enough they pounced. A lady owner told me, he won’t hurt you he loves everybody, ten seconds later he bit my hand without me even going near him. I have had to back off a couple of other breeds and send them away, a few Shepherds, another St. Bernard and a Newfie dog. The friendliest dog breeds I ever encountered were British Bulldogs, English Bull Terriers and Great Pyrenees. But the way a dog reacts to strangers, does have a lot to do with the influence of the owners mental state.
commented 2018-05-12 00:56:13 -0400
Alan Peterson; Speaking of guns and dogs I just heard on the news about a dog who stepped on a gun and shot his human. Cop couldn’t believe it. But I wouldn’t ban the gun or the dog. Just the human.
commented 2018-05-11 23:03:42 -0400
My buddy raises chocolate labs and they are retrievers… They must be trained to polish an instinct… Most any dog can be taught to chase a ball and bring it back . But if you let them dogs will fight over territory, females and naturally over bones .

No such thing as a bad dog just a bad owner
commented 2018-05-11 22:56:05 -0400
My dog is a dangerous breed.!!! Lol
He is 16 lbs of American Rat Terrier who kills mice, rats, squirrels and chases rabbits ( if he can catch them ) foxes, cats and other vermin on sight..
He barks at strangers fiercely until he is sure they are not a threat but under no circumstances will he ever bite.!! He is also a very loving family pet…as well a criminal who understands the game of extortion. They are a good breed of dog and he is 100% Terrier . Dogs should be judged on an individual basis and not lumped together in breeds .! Poodles bite more people than pitbulls do. Once again in closing dogs should be judged on an individual basis not lumped together in breeds… When you find a mean dog you generally find an insecure dog owner unless that dog has been trained as a soldier or law enforcement .
I find it kind of funny when the military or the law is looking to train an aggressive dog they generally use a German Shepherd or a Belgian Shepherd never a pitbull or a mastiff.. they use the reasoning that those dogs are easier to train but the truth is they are naturally more aggressive to people .
commented 2018-05-11 19:08:06 -0400
Jack, dogs are bred to have certain instincts. Pointers don’t have to be trained to point they do it naturally. Retrievers retrieve with out training.

Pit bulls were bred for fighting so they kinds have the kill or be killed instinct from the get go.

Guns on the other hand have no instincts at tall. They have no self awareness and cannot formulate thoughts about attacking. In this instance it is not the breed does it is the deed.

If anything we should ban certain dogs, not guns. Guns have never and will never attack anyone on their own volition. Dogs will.
commented 2018-05-11 18:18:40 -0400
Thanks Jack, good article.
commented 2018-05-11 14:56:19 -0400
I agree with Jack but try telling it to a Muslim.