I've been a dog owner since I was 12 years of age - I'm 49 now. And I was talking with friends and we were discussing the harm that is being done to the public and animals whose owners bascially don't give a hoot about them. In addition there is the added concern of dog attacks - the majority of these attacks are by dogs whose owners have done nothing to train or socialise or supervise their dogs properly.
I don't know about the logistics of introducing a scheme - I'm in Scotland - in the UK, USA, Canada etc. Maybe it would be un-workable, but myself and other dog owners feel that something should be done to protect the public and the animals from owners who don't give a dam about anyone or any animal. But would it help to improve matters by making it a legal requirement that dog owners have to pass at least a basic competency test and that at least some form of basic training - for the dog and owner - should be compulsory? Could this scheme be carried out by people such as - in Scotland it would be the Scottish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals or the police or animal behaviourists and trainers? The scheme would need to be funded probably by dog owners themselves.
I would be interested to hear other people's opinion whether you are a dog owner or not.
I absolutely agree with you. Irresponsible pet owners contribute to more heartache and public inconvenience than they, themselves are worth. However, to take this theory even further.. Aren't our children at least as important as our pets? Perhaps we should require competency licensing for parenthood as well. Sounds like a good idea to me.
People who exploit animals as a symbol fror some kind of identity, should ideally not be allowed to keep pets.
Hi Knolyourself, - I agree with you entirely. In the UK - since the ban on American Pit Bulls - there are people who switched over to the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. I have to say that the majority of the breeds owners are excellent and responsible, but you have a minority who only have the dog as a fashion or status symbol ie - I'm tough, I'm hard - kind of crap. These are some of the worst kind of owners.
That is way too logical a solution.
We make people pass driving tests to drive a vehicle (which can be termed a lethal weapon).
If you're going to own a vicious dog you absolutely should have ot have a license for it!
Hi MightyMom - the reference to driving is a very good one and I wonder how some folks actually pass there test when I see the way they drive!! Thankfull if they are caught they are banned or made to re-sit their test. With bad dog owners it is much more difficult to get anything against them that will stick in court.
As to 'vicious dogs'. There are some breeds who may be more prone to aggression than others. But this is my point - dogs wouldn't or shouldn't be vicious if they owners who have them know what they are doing! A dog who is properly trained, socialised and care for has no reason to be vicious. The dogs who are like this, are not properly supervised, trained or cared for.
Here is a story for you all:
A vicious dog breaks free of his leash and attacks an innocent pedestrian walking down the other side of the street. The dog drags the pedestrian to the ground. The dog continues to rip at the pedestrian's face and the rest of his body. The pedestrian finally manages to slam the dog's head against the pavement, killing the dog. The pedestrian spends a week in the hospital. Ugly scars all over his face and body for life. And the usual $100,000-plus medical bills.
In County A:
The dog owner is sentenced to 10 years in prison and is responsible for the medical bills.
In county B:
The pedestrian is sentenced to 2 years in prison for animal cruelty. The dog owner is not charged.
The numbers are approximate, but you get the idea. County A was in Northern California. County B was in Southern California.
Many thanks for your story which is, unfortunately for people and animals alike, becoming more common. The reason for these stories? Bad Owners - pure and simple. If you have a breed of dog who may be more prone to aggression, then the owners of these animals should be seen to be knowledgeable and competent enough to handle such an animal. But in actual fact any breed of dog who is not brought up and cared for properly has the potential to be aggressive and to cause severe injury and kill.
This is why the law needs to be toughened up in order to get these crap owners banned from keeping any kind of animal. I am working with one wee girl, who is now 7 years of age. When she was five she was savaged by a cross breed staffordshire bull terrier. Now this wee girl always loved dogs and she still does, but she is now petrified to go near one. Over the past 6 months we have slowly re-introduced her to dogs, starting with puppies and moving up, she is doing well but this is likely to affect her for, if not the rest of her life, then for the forseeable future. The dog was put down. The dog owner whose fault it was? Got nothing done to him! The dog as it turned out, had lived in appalling conditions, was barely fed and regularly beaten and kicked. When it was put to sleep it was a blessing for the animal as well as the public. But the problem is that the law keeps focusing on the dog and breeds instead of the owners. In addition as you point out we have the added problem of how these attacks are viewed - in some areas the penalties are different from other areas. If anything such as a competency test was to be introduced it would only work if the law itself is follow the same line.
Right after they bring in competency tests for anyone who wants to get pregnant - especially if they're under 20!
Are you going to make people pass a parenting test before they can have a kid, too?
ya know I think that is a great idea seriously
Not at the present time since kids - well the ones I know - aren't capable of tearing off a human face with their teeth. But then again seeing one or two examples of parentng recently maybe we should think about it!!!!
I believe it was a mistake when the dog licence was no longer necessary. It made dog owners more responsible. Only an owner who cared for their dog would be likely to pay for a licence.
I think ALL potential dog owners of ALL types of dog - vicious or not - should have some basic training. Why the dog needs walks. Why it needs socialising. Why it shouldn't be left on it's own all day. Why it is a friend for life, not a status symbol / childrens plaything.
And why they are the best damn thing in the whole world.
Anything that might reduce animal cruelty or neglect is a good thing in my book.
Well said Mark - I couldn't agree more. I have found that people who are cruel to dogs/or any other animal, are not that much better, if at all, to people. The are nasty pieces of work that need a taste of their own medicine.
The thing about training your dog and learning about it's behaviour is that it's one of the most fascinating of subjects. It's always a sheer joy to walk your dog, play with your dog and care for them. But when you understand why they do such and such a thing, it makes the experience of being a dog owner that much more enriching!!
Yes, that pack behaviour, the way it knows what you are going to do before you do it, how they pick up on your emotions, what the ears and tail do to express their own moods - it's quite a learning curve!
sounds like a good idea!
Absolutely yes owing a dog is easy but maintaining them is not an easy task. Without proper knowledge about dog care the owner usually fails to keep it in good health
Hi ershruti304 - I think you have made a very imporrtant point here. There are so many animals suffering various health complaints - easily sorted - because the owners don't do their homework on general dog care and if the have a pure breed, it's essential to know the breed inside and out in order to keep your dog in prime condition.
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