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Lennox and the Lessons of BSL

Unless you just crawled out from under a rock, you know that Lennox’ appeal was denied yesterday.

In case you aren’t familiar with Lennox, he is a mixed breed dog that was seized by Belfast, Ireland, officials because he looks like a pit bull, and breed specific legislation (BSL) there makes it illegal to own a pit bull or pit bull mix.

The ruling was a bit hard to swallow, because it hits close to home.

You see, insurance companies have a list of dog breeds they consider “dangerous.” And yep, Yours Truly made the list. A dog that cries when cats fight. A dog who lets June Buggie smack him around. I am a dangerous dog.

I have mixed feelings about this topic, because I don’t think it’s fair that an entire breed is singled out because of what some have done.

But I also don’t think it’s fair that so many people are injured or killed by dogs, especially when children are victims. I don’t want victims of dog attacks to think I don’t get it, because I do.

Let’s look at the numbers. The Centers for Disease Control compiled statistics from dog bite fatalities over a 20 year period in order to determine which breeds cause most risk humans.

Most attacks were by pit bulls.

If we want to put an end to Breed-Specific Legislation, we first have to face the facts (from American Humane Association).

Male dogs are more likely to attack than females (92% of fatalaties caused by male dogs).

Intact males are more likely to attack than neutered males (94% of those male dogs were not neutered).

Chained dogs are more likely to attack than unchained dogs (25% of fatalities involved chained dogs).

Most attacks involved unrestrained dogs (24% off the owner’s property, 58% on the owner’s property).

If we don’t want to ban an entire breed, what steps can we take that can reduce the likelihood of dog attacks?

Spay/neuter should become mandatory.

Dogs should not be chained. Period.

Dogs should not be off-leash in unfenced areas.

Of course passing such legislation leads to another problem- how on earth do you enforce those laws, especially in a climate where most people (at least here in the US) want less government intrusion? After all, my town has a mandatory leash law now, and lots of people violate it with no fear of getting caught.

I don’t have all the answers. I’m just a dog. But I do know that while BSL may seem as though it would lessen the number of attacks, it’s not going to solve the problem.

And personally, I don’t want to be next on the hit list.

About Rumpy's Kitty Siblings

Rumpy has gone on from this plane. We, his kitty siblings,continue to blog about animal welfare- and other things- at rumpydog.com in his stead. You can follow us on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE our Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

69 thoughts on “Lennox and the Lessons of BSL

  1. over zealous legislation

    Posted by jmgoyder | June 14, 2012, 1:17 AM
  2. Reblogged this on Stan the dog and commented:
    Some food for thought here – if we move further down the route of breed specific legislation – i.e. banning specific breeds – where will that end and will it really work to reduce dog bites? Dog don’t really cause dog bites – bad owners who don’t set boundaries for their dogs do cause dog bites.

    Rumpy Dog is clearly a great big softie (sorry Rumpy) but this lovable cuddly dog could end up on the list of dangerous dogs!

    Like Rumpy I don’t have the solution to this problem but I do think we need to bring it more into the public forum and make sure it is discussed and debated and a better idea hashed out than BSL which Lennox’s case illustrates is just plain unfair.

    Footnote – June Buggie is clearly more dangerous than Rumpy! Is there a dangerous cat list?

    Posted by Tina Holmes | June 14, 2012, 1:21 AM
  3. I couldn’t click like as this seemed inappropriate considering what has just happened to Lennox. We all need to ensure this debate carries on – BSL is not the answer and we can only hope to come across an answer by ensuring enough people carry on discussing the issue.

    Posted by Tina Holmes | June 14, 2012, 1:25 AM
  4. Thank you for this great post.

    I cry for Lennox. I read the judgement, I read the witness statements. It seems to me that neither side has listened to the other side. And the judge ruled in the interest of public safety. I suppose she could do nothing else given the circumstances, because IF Lennox had attacked someone after a reprieve the row would have been heard on the Moon. But I shake my head at how this all started with the council dog warden, who stands to become quite infamous in her actions. I hope she doesn’t get to do TV and magazine interviews or get a movie deal from this.

    I agree with your suggestions re. reducing dog attacks. As the (responsible) owner of two very powerful Boxer dogs, I am constantly reminded how stupid/ignorant many people are about dog behaviour, and I include here the owners of SOME small dogs who allow them to run off lead.

    I NEVER allow the Boxers off lead in the woods and on the farm. For one thing, there is plenty of livestock which could be frightened by the dogs. And for another thing, there could be cyclists, horse-riders, runners, walkers, children in the area – all of whom could react in an unpredictable manner if they saw my Boxer dogs running like mad.

    Let’s be clear – my dogs have never attacked anyone, but they have knocked me over in my own garden because they weren’t looking where they were running (they were looking at each other)!

    Dogs can be dangerous, they don’t always intend to be so. Anyone with a bit of common sense will see that dog behaviour is most often associated with the actions of the human beings around them. Don’t blame the dog.

    BW,
    Lesley and the Boxers x.

    Posted by shacklefordlb | June 14, 2012, 1:25 AM
  5. You and me both Rumpy! I fear the day that I’m targeted by BSL.

    This is the first time I’m hearing about Lennox and it’s disappointing. Even with so many supporters, the government was absolute tyrannical. Pet owners have to take more responsibility especially if they’re on the hit list. It’s hard to come up with some sort of resolution as this subject is quite controversial.

    Posted by learningdog | June 14, 2012, 1:35 AM
    • I disagree. I think they were taking into account the realities of the situation. Elected officials have to do what they think is best for all people, and they really think this is best to keep people safe. It’s up to us to convince them that if you ban pit bulls, then we’ll just have another breed step up to be the “most dangerous.”

      Posted by rumpydog | June 14, 2012, 6:02 AM
      • I don’t know… They had certified behaviorists evaluate the dog with positive outcomes. Activists attempted to have the dog relocated rather than euthanasia but the judge threw it out the door. The owner couldn’t even visit their dog or see their dog from a distance. I understand that they’re trying to keep citizens safe but with so much supporters, it seems it was just decided too easily.

        Posted by learningdog | June 14, 2012, 6:23 AM
  6. Any dog can bite. The fact that Lennox never bit anybody (that I can find mention of) is just one item on a list of things that makes the situation so piteous.

    A lot of people say “ban the deed, not the breed”, and I think that is the approach everybody should adopt. Maybe one day.

    Posted by Jen | June 14, 2012, 1:41 AM
  7. Anyone with a large breed or a dog that looks vaguely like a Pit Bull should be worried. Banning specific breeds or ‘types’ (as in the UK) is not the answer, but they are not listening to people who understand dogs.

    Here’s a link to the rules in the UK – it tells the powers they have to snatch a dog and how you have to prove that your dog isn’t of type.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/HomeAndCommunity/InYourHome/AnimalsAndPets/DG_180098

    Posted by Clowie | June 14, 2012, 1:41 AM
  8. People don’t realize that the pitbull is the most likely to be abused and tortured than any other breed. Why? To train them to become killers. Abused dogs in general either become aggressive or submissive. It’s not the breed of the dog, it’s the bad owners who are to blamed. Also parents in general need to educate their children not to provoke dogs or any animals by throwing them rocks, kicking the fence, or tease them.

    Posted by Carolina Garcia | June 14, 2012, 1:52 AM
  9. GREAT NEWS!!!!! IT”S OFFICIAL!!! LENNOX WILL GO TO A HIGHER COURT!!!!!!!! http://www.examiner.com/article/lennox-s-family-s-historic-fight-against-breed-specific-legislation-continues?CID=examiner_alerts_article

    All is not lost yet – the fight to save Lennox is still going on. The fight is moving now to the UK and to a higher court.

    The whole BSL is wrong in my view.

    Posted by Charlie | June 14, 2012, 2:07 AM
  10. People need to train their dogs, regardless of the breed!

    Posted by Tandy | June 14, 2012, 4:14 AM
  11. I hate BSL too. I think what is really causing the bites is chaining and poor management. The answers are simple train, leash, and keep in doors, and socialize from an early age. If you do have a potetentially fear aggresive dog make sure to keep the dog contained at all TIMES. All bites are caused by human error

    urban hounds

    Posted by Urban Hounds | June 14, 2012, 4:52 AM
    • You guys are wise, and I like how you started your new pup right from the start. People that do care about their dogs don’t always know that. Like Jen. She had no clue what she was getting into when she picked me up. She honestly thought she was going to find my owner and return me home. And yet, 6 years later, here we are, and she has learned many lessons (the hard way) about caring for a dog of my breed.

      Posted by rumpydog | June 14, 2012, 6:05 AM
  12. I don’t like the idea of BSL. Once I was attacked by a pit bull and had to get a LOT of stitches. But on the other hand, Dottie, the sweetest pit bull ever, works with me at the VA Home where we’re both therapy pets. My brain is tiny, so I don’t know the answer, but I recognize a slippery slope when I see one.

    Posted by Genevieve Petrillo | June 14, 2012, 5:32 AM
    • Good point. Chihuahuas are biters, but you’re more likely to survive an attack. But if a pit bull attacks you, it’s gonna hurt. And sadly, we can’t legislate responsibility. We can legislate BSL.

      Posted by rumpydog | June 14, 2012, 5:44 AM
  13. It was months ago when I read about what happening to Lennox and his family, that made me so sad and cried because he had to stay away from his family. In Japan, we haven’t heard “Pit Bull” often, but some Japanese breeds are considered as dangerous. In fact, we sometimes hear news that humans are bitten by those kind of dogs and sadly lost their precious lives…..Although I’m still not sure if that happens because of the breed of the dog or not…I strongly think that humans who own their dogs have to be more responsible….I don’t want to see sad endings happen to both humans and dogs… 😦

    Posted by eripanwkevin | June 14, 2012, 5:38 AM
    • Hi there – I have one of the dogs you are talking about! She’s half American Akita and half Japanese Akita – and in Ireland the Japanese version is on the dangerous breeds list and is meant to be muzzled in public. I just don’t say what she really is, because she looks like the American version. She would – and has – run from a scary situation before she would ever bite. But, again, I’m a responsible owner of a big, wolf-like breed.

      Posted by heretherebespiders | June 14, 2012, 2:28 PM
  14. Hey Rumpy,

    Long time no speak. I hope your family is well. i could tell a dozen long stories about us but suffice to say “We still wiggle when they kick us; so we must be
    Ok.

    I was just thinking of asking for a Lennox update when I saw this. I am so sad about this poor dog.

    I wish we had the power to right the things like this (and so many others) that people do either through cruelty or a misguided wish to do right.
    If there is more we can do; please let us know.

    Saddly; it may be too late for Lennox even if he were released as we don’t know what kind of cruel treatment he has received from his jailers.

    I do know that in many cases here in America; captured and impounded animals are often treated less than gently.

    I have heard too many sad and tragic stories of all kinds of horror.

    In our local “Humane” Society ; (my cousin worked there for a time) They used to hold races to see who could euthanize the most cats in the least time.

    Animals never get a break.

    When I was a child german shepherds were said to turn on their ownwes.
    Then it was Dobermans
    Now Pits.
    The Maryland circuit court has just declared Pits as “Inherently Dangerous animals.
    The only inherently dangerous animal I see on earth is man

    Posted by angrymanspeaks | June 14, 2012, 6:57 AM
    • I agree.

      Posted by rumpydog | June 14, 2012, 7:06 AM
      • I’ve been bitten by three dogs in my life – a German, a Rotweiler, and a Chiuahua. The only one I think was a ‘bad dog’ was the Chiuahua. The other two times I was too young and ignorant, so I was the bad one.

        Posted by heretherebespiders | June 14, 2012, 2:30 PM
      • So if the dog had caused serious disfigurement or death, would you still feel it was your fault? What if that was your child?

        Posted by rumpydog | June 14, 2012, 2:37 PM
      • Well, if I’d died, I wouldn’t have much of an opinion 🙂 But the first time I was younger than five, and walked up to a strange dog tied in its own yard. My parents were not nearby, I always would take off on my own and I’m lucky worse never happened to me. I was the kind of kid you put on a leash. The second time, I was a young teen and in a strange house again, and didn’t know anything about dogs. The rottie bit me on the arse, and didn’t break the skin. Had a good bruise though. Again I shouldn’t have been there, and the dog was a guard dog in its own house. If it had been worse on me, I still don’t see how my ignorance leaves me free from sharing the blame for these incidents. I know a guy who had his face quite well bitten by the family dog, and is quite scarred physically. He crawled into the dog house with the dog on a hot day, and I think (but I’m not entirely 100%) that he lit a small firecracker or banged a cap gun. He blames himself and not the dog, which was put down.

        Posted by heretherebespiders | June 16, 2012, 2:47 PM
  15. Your story makes me sad, rumpydog. I’ve been bitten twice. One of them happened when I was a kid cutting thru the dog’s yard to get to my house. So, that one I understood. But breed-specific rulings are dangerous and wrong. I hope something is done to correct that before more animals are hurt.

    Posted by earthriderjudyberman | June 14, 2012, 7:25 AM
  16. It all begins and ends with the human factor! 😦

    Posted by Bassetmomma | June 14, 2012, 7:33 AM
  17. As many people have already said, you shouldn’t blame the dog but blame the human who either didn’t have a clue how to train a dog or trained it to do just that. Children should also be taught very early on how to interact with dogs, especially dogs they don’t know.

    Posted by Animalcouriers | June 14, 2012, 8:20 AM
  18. I think BSL is BS but you certainly made some very good points. Your research is commendable and is a lot more than what most people have done when they write about BSL legislation. You are so smart Rumpy!

    If we don’t want increased policing to be a solution, then we need to continue to educate the public on the importance of spaying and neutering in general as well as adopting v buying; and continue to protest against chaining dogs and dog fighting. Keep spreading the word and hope that the law can do something about those who ignore it.

    Posted by Dawn | June 14, 2012, 9:24 AM
  19. It’s unfortunate that certain breeds are singled out. I think your solutions are a great start – but I agree, how would they be implemented? It’s unfortunate that many people choose NOT to follow rules and laws (like picking up after their dog!) and the dogs end up getting punished for it 😦

    Humans need to take responsibility and work together. BLS is NOT the answer.

    Posted by Julie | June 14, 2012, 10:32 AM
  20. apparently I just crawled out from under a rock 😉

    Posted by hottabb | June 14, 2012, 10:42 AM
  21. BSL sucks. I think we need to make owners responsible for their dogs. That and teaching the proper way to raise and treat a dog to our children. Perhaps animal education in our schools would go a long way.

    You certainly can’t raise your hand to your child without being threatened by the cops, perhaps if we start with the kids….it will trickle up.

    Posted by Jodi Stone | June 14, 2012, 10:44 AM
  22. We hear ya, Rumpy. Stupid humans. Guess they must have missed all the great posts on pibbles Blogville did for Corbin’s birthday.

    We know all about that insurance list. Our humans wanted to change insurance carriers to get a better rate. That’s when we found out our breed was on the list. Mom got our vets from here and where we lived before, a bunch of neighbors, and our obedience trainers to all write letters about what super dogs we were! It worked but Dad says we won’t be changing carriers again for a long time.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

    Posted by Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning | June 14, 2012, 11:01 AM
  23. I also think that it should be mandatory for pet owners to take their dogs to dog training courses. That way, people become more responsible pet owners, and they know what to do if their dog becomes aggressive, etc. Also, breeds should not be singled out. It is not the breed’s fault – pit bull, Husky, etc – it is the owners fault. Most of the time, the media will leave out the “small” fact that the reason a dog attacks is because the owner either TAUGHT the dog to be aggressive, or because the dog has never had proper care and affection, and does not know how to interact with humans and kids. Oh, and it also doesn’t help that dog fighting exists and pit bulls are the main fighter breeds. This makes people think differently about them and is the reason why many shelters put down pit bulls.

    This is very sad, and I did not know your breed, Rumpy, was on the “hit list”. People need to be educated that if you raise your dog right, or if you get an elderly dog and try to rehabilitate it, the dog will not be aggressive. Most of the time, it is the OWNER’S fault, NOT the dogs!

    Thanks for sharing this.

    Posted by Palm Trees & Bare Feet | June 14, 2012, 12:21 PM
  24. Rumpy, the German here. I’m so upset ’cause I’m listed, too. And it’s so unfair. My people are so upset about Lennox because if they start with one breed, who knows! And besides he’s a mix and looks like so many other dogs. (DNA tests tried?) Everyone knows dogs look to their owners to keep them out of trouble. And what about the ER statistics about long haired and short haired domestic cats! (that was a shocker)
    People must step up and be responsible.
    But the dogs that get into trouble – like the ones who killed FFA lambs here (for the second time) recently seem to have irresponsible owners – so they are the ones that should suffer – not generalize about breeds!
    Grrrrrr so upset going to go tear into my squeaky toy.

    Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | June 14, 2012, 1:11 PM
  25. It is very sad to hear you are on the list Rumpy. I’ve never heard of problems with your breed. It is also very sad when breeds are singled out. But whoever is breeding these banned breeds knows they are illegal and will be put down when found out and I do not believe the owners of them do not know this either. The fact there may be doubts over “type” doesn’t excuse the owner for choosing to purchase such dogs further increase the risk of dog attacks on people. These dogs are a fighting breed and I cannot see any reason why the average person would choose to take on a dog which dormant or not will have all the traits of an aggressive fighter bred into it. They are also ultimately wolves in dog’s clothing and instinctivly hi-prey drive dogs. It does seem unfair on dogs such as Lennox but surely if you breed and buy dogs of questionable, possibly illegal origin, then this sad scenario is a risk you take. Even the most responsible of dog owners cannot always counter the effects of bad breeding and a bite from dogs of this type, where the teeth cross is likely to do far more damage than the average dog bite. I have seen what those cross-over teeth did to a young collie’s leg…I’m not sure that dog ever walked properly again. And I will never forget it’s almost human screams of pain when no-one could dislodge the the pit-bull type attackers jaws and it refused to release it’s grip even when the leg was almost severed through. Now imagine if that was you…there are valid reasons for the legislation. And harsh though it is, if people stopped purchasing the breed types there would be no market for them and the breeders would go out of business, ending the problem of “innocent” pit bull types being put down, because there wouldn’t be any.

    Posted by europasicewolf | June 14, 2012, 2:09 PM
    • THANK YOU! I was hoping someone would speak up and mention that fact. In the CDC statistics, it’s not just that Pit Bulls killed more people than any other dog, they did so by an overwhelming margin.

      Since we can’t legislate responsibility, we have to do the next best thing, and that’s to ban a dog that, if not responsibly cared for, can cause serious damage or death.

      Posted by rumpydog | June 14, 2012, 2:36 PM
  26. Poor Lenox.
    I grew up with dogs like pitbulls, Bull terriers and staffords. They are seen as dangerous dogs. — in Germany, a bull terrier has to be muzzled. It’s a law. Because they see it as a dangerous dog.
    I know from experience that those dogs are the most friendliest dogs I have ever met! They are perfect nannies! Stubborn, but a heart of gold!

    It’s usually the owners fault of how the dogs character ends up.

    Posted by Dianda | June 14, 2012, 2:15 PM
  27. Well said. Common sense and cool heads should prevail. Sadly, often this is not the case.

    Posted by daysofourdogs | June 14, 2012, 2:36 PM
    • I am trying to stay middle-of-the-road. But let’s be real about something. If a little dog bites you, you’ll probably survive. Hurt like hell, but live. But if a pit bull bites you? You can’t say the same thing. And then there are SO MANY irresponsible owners, can we really say that BSL isn’t at least to be considered?

      Posted by rumpydog | June 14, 2012, 2:40 PM
  28. Unfortunately for me this post just gives me the chills because I was attacked twice by dogs growing up; one caused eye damage as well as a partial hearing loss and the other required that I go through a series of rabies shots (the dog had rabies and that is why it attacked). I have owned dogs and you have to be in control and train your dog; be responsible. It is not solely the breed and there is bad breeding going on, but the human needs to be in control of the animal the majority of the time. I realize dogs are in a way like children turn your back for 2 seconds and they could be into something they should not be into. Enough said – off the soap box now. Have a Great Day!

    Posted by cravesadventure | June 14, 2012, 3:22 PM
  29. Breed bans don’t work! We MUST demand responsible pet ownership. Here’s a link to one of my posts.
    http://everybodycandosomething.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/do-breed-bans-work-no-responsible-pet-ownership-is-the-only-solution-to-preventing-dog-bites-and-attacks/

    Posted by nanawith2dogs | June 14, 2012, 3:23 PM
  30. Rumpy what a clever dog you are and I so commend you on your research.

    I don’t know much about your BSL except what you have written here but I do know about the UK’s DDA….. It lists 4 dogs that are banned. That was the American Pit, Japanese fighting dogs, the banned dog and Rumpy forgive me I can’ remember the other one..I think it might have been called a Towser but what ever it was was another dog refused import and the only one already in the UK had to be neutered. Any way that took care of those as all the American Pits ijn the UK had to be neutered and none could be imported.

    They then moved out to the UK’s Pits which are staffie crosses (actually often to Labs in the fighting world) and they also had to be neutered and muzzled in public places. They hardly ever are and more attacks have happened, one quite recently.

    Under the those on the DDA were a list of other dogs… You would be on that list but so are retrievers and labs its that long and that stupid.

    It came in to legislation after a very nasty attack by pits (the uk staffie cross type) which resulted in a deaths and injury when they went into a school playground.. It is a knee jerk law and has had a few knee jerk additions added to it.

    Thankfully now they are sending the owners of dogs that maim or kill to jail here.

    But one of the real problem we have is as pits are a type…. what is a pitbull. Thats how family pets who have never put a foot wrong get seized and destruction orders on them. Some folk win appeals and sadly some don;t.

    Now the real problem… Rumpy I so agree with you about neutering. I have a thing about what we call back street breeders….. They spill out dogs that there are no good homes for. They end up with idiots and we know where that one leads….

    I don’t like breed bans at all, I agree where will they stop….

    I do think by starting to jail and fine and sue etc it does show the idiots they will need to be more careful….. I hate dogs being PTS purely for the stupidity of their owners but I can’t begin to defend any dog that has maimed or killed.

    The trouble is when it happens you get more knee jerk amendments to the DDA and it never makes it better or even less ambiguous.

    Sorry gone on for ever here but in the UK the only cure is to go after the owners before the dogs have done any harm and long sentences for those caught breeding, training or fighting the pit types… they really are the scum of the earth to me.

    Sorry Rumpy long post but you really have done a good post here (mind you always do). You say to Jen I hope she is a bit better today as well. x

    Posted by skezier | June 14, 2012, 6:11 PM
    • I believe owners should go to jail if the dog hurts or kills someone. Here the laws are lax. For example, a man owned a dog that got loose from its kennel and it seriously injured two children.
      The owner retrieved the dog but did not help the kids. He got a few months in jail. The parents sued him and won, but he filed bankruptcy and paid nothing. Those children are scarred for life and that man hardly got a slap on the hand.
      And that is why there is a problem- no accountability.

      Posted by rumpydog | June 14, 2012, 6:18 PM
      • Rumpy your right. A woman left her staffie in with her grandchild not so long ago and the poor little mite was killed. The dog was PTS and the woman got 2 years and a life ban for keeping dogs…..

        I don’t kno about you but I wouldn’t take on a dog that was beyond turning back to a nice dog. I get asked to take them and I wont as they are such a liability and though I hate the PTS thing a dog that has really bitten…. I wouldn’t enjoy having to be honest.

        The DDA is draconian. not sure if its different actually in Northan Ireland but its a problem in both North and Southern Ireland and its all down to the idiot owners and bad breeding as temperament can be inherited.

        I don;t know what the answer is. Like you said the laws are there bt nobody enforces them. You see so many Pits with idiots on the lead…. There is a rescue here (don’t remember its name off the top of my head) that are going out, seeing the morons and getting them to go on a training course to learn how to have a dog.

        But as ever some decline and do the macho look at my dog thing….

        I wish you weren’t on the list though and hope the new amendments to our DDA don’t put Staffies in the neuter and muzzle bracket…..That ould be the end of Staffies in time. Its the owners they should go after it really is. You take care and Haz has left you a chew stick x

        Posted by skezier | June 14, 2012, 8:33 PM
  31. Rumpy we are so sad about Lennox. You have no business being on that list! Humans can be so ridiculous!

    Bella and DiDi

    Posted by Paws To Talk | June 14, 2012, 6:19 PM
  32. i have no right answer…but did raise this line of questions on my post today and linked back to you Rumpy…I worked hard for Lennox on Monday and Tuesday…but the BSL issue was new to me…I am just a cat…did not know…now I do…

    Posted by Savannah's Paw Tracks | June 14, 2012, 7:10 PM
  33. Oh, Rumpy. Big sigh. We’re glad that you wrote about this because we need to get smart people thinking about this. My feeling has always been there are no “bad dogs”–just the owners of the dogs that need to be educated!

    Posted by Moxie Dogs | June 14, 2012, 7:18 PM
  34. Dear Rumpy,
    has yous heard the quote about statistics? “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” Corgis is ne brieed that bites more than others and did yous see them in those statistics? NO! |They is the queen’s dog!
    Rumpy! Mes would sleeps with yous any day.
    Kisses
    Nel;lie

    Posted by catfromhell | June 14, 2012, 10:08 PM
  35. Dogs need training and people need training. A car can be a dangerous thing and people need a license to drive one – despite this there are thousands of accidents and fatalities but training and the requirement for a license must have prevented many more.

    Posted by Bassas Blog | June 14, 2012, 10:54 PM
  36. Currently a debate has started on facebook “looking at the issue of ‘dangerous dogs’, dog control laws, and dog welfare” some good thoughts – some rubbish but it is at least extending the debate which needs to be discussed in mainstream press rather than being a twitter and blogger issue with large numbers of dog lovers knowing nothing about it.

    Posted by Tina Holmes | June 15, 2012, 4:42 AM
  37. Excellent post Rumpy. It’s the oomans’ fault that have some dogs because they don’t know the proper ways to handle a dog. I think every dog owner should be forced into attending obedience school with their doggie. You are right on alt points – dogs should not have to be chained up either. There are people that have pets (cats or dogs) that never should have them because they don’t know how to treat them or work with them.

    Posted by mariodacat | June 15, 2012, 6:28 AM
  38. Thank you, rumpydog, for your efforts to bring awareness to this issue.

    Posted by lemonysqueezes | June 15, 2012, 12:42 PM
  39. Great awareness raising post Rumpy, and even better tangible ideas to reduce the incidence of dog bites/attacks. Makes so much sense. My dog Bo was a Queensland Heeler Cattle Dog and when the breed made it to the Australian top 5 dangerous dogs lists it was a horrible feeling to be tarred by the brush of statistics helped along by a big dash of self serving media sensationalism. Reduce the risks, deal on a case by case basis, early recognition of reporting would also help in many cases where people believe a dog is being kept inappropriately, and powers for something to be done to mediate.

    Posted by EllaDee | June 15, 2012, 8:19 PM
  40. I’ve been following the story of Lennox for some time and what concerns me most about BSL is that assumptions are made about the breed of a dog without any real evidence. The owners of Lennox have declared that Lennox is an american bulldog labrador cross and not a pit bull yet council seized him because he looks like a pit bull type, for the first five years of his life Lennox had been registered etc without any issues raised. In Australia just recently two young dogs were seized and put to sleep because they looked like pit bull types when they were in fact bred from a bull mastiff/bulldog cross and a staffordshire bull terrier/ridgeback cross. These laws are terribly flawed and many innocent dogs will suffer.

    Compulsory desexing of dogs is a great idea and unless you are a registered and legitimate breeder then you shouldn’t be breeding dogs, too many unwanted puppies and strays are filling our shelters and pounds.

    One question for you Rumpy, what is the percentage of pitbulls owned versus other breeds? Here the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was discovered to be one of the more noisy breeds in terms of barking complaints, however, they are also one of the most popular breeds in our state so it makes sense that they would be one of the great offenders.

    I’m not trying to diminish the deaths caused by dogs or the suffering of those that have been on the receiving end of a dog bite and attacks, but I do not think that BSL is the right solution and that we humans need to get smarter about how we solve problems instead of writing reams of legislation that is too often ineffectively applied if at all.

    Posted by twoblackdoggies | June 16, 2012, 5:44 AM
    • The assumption is that BSL did the opposite of what it was intended and more people acquired pit bulls.

      More dogs, especially when owned by humans that don’t train them, equal more attacks.

      My premise is that just yelling ‘punish the deed, not the breed’ does nothing to solve the problem at hand, which is really a HUMAN one. We need to work WITH victim groups to come up with realistic, viable solutions.

      Posted by rumpydog | June 16, 2012, 7:11 AM
  41. Fatso…. although you state “most attacks were by pittbulls”, you forgot to add the most important word “reported”…. “Most attacks REPORTED were by pittbulls”… What about the hundreds that go unreported because the Bischon bit a kid of the toy poodly bit the cat…….. These are ignored because who wants their little dog destroyed??? Sadly the pittbull type just makes more mess so of course it will be reported more.

    I also am boss of the FATDOG who lives here, I can eat his food and he will not touch me, he is currently all wrapped up in a blanky on the couch cause he’s just had a warm shower after his big run (In our local “off the lead” park), where he played with a foxy and a little schnousar. FATDOG follows mum everywhere, he is her baby and is the perfect house AND lap dog in her opinion. BUT……. she also knows he will protect her and if someone pushed her round down the park, she knows he might attack them, and then the counsil will look past all his good points, and the fact he was protecting MY mum, and he would be destroyed, because he is not a foxy or poodle protecting mum, he is a BIG Mastiff X dog thay people THINK looks like “one of those dogs” and can’t see past that prejudice.

    You know I thinbk ALL dogs are FATDOGS but I am 100% behind the FATDOGS on these stupid rulings where it’s people gone bad, not dogs gone bad.

    Posted by r.drummond@xtra.co.nz | June 16, 2012, 5:20 PM
  42. Well said! I agree with each of your points. Thank you for this post!

    Posted by roughwighting1 | June 20, 2012, 7:30 PM
  43. We let our neutered little guy out on a cable in the back yard sometimes. Does that count as a chain?

    Posted by anotherboomerblog | June 27, 2012, 6:10 PM
  44. So sad that irresposible breeders and owners have brought us to this point. We owned a dog with aggressive tendancies. We neutered and got expert help in training, but could never really trust this dog around strangers and other dogs. After he nipped a neighbor child, we had him euthanized. It was a difficult decision, but the right one. I am just glad we had the freedom to make it ourselves and were not forced to do it by some inhumane law.

    Posted by jbcamera | June 28, 2012, 7:04 AM
  45. How sad for the innocent dogs that have never hurt anyone.

    Posted by sandrabranum | June 30, 2012, 5:19 PM

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: A Different Kind of Post « Savannah's Paw Tracks - June 14, 2012

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