Dangerous dogs? They are dangerous owners who treat them like fashion accessories we should be wary of – Susan Morrison


Pitbull seized during raid targeting ‘dangerous dogs’ (Photo: Dominic Lipinski / PA)

Good dog owners are heroes. Their dogs are cared for, trained and trained in special schools for puppies. Good owners also clean up after them.

Dogs make me smile, whether it’s jumping on the beach or catching frisbee in the park. I don’t believe there are any dangerous breeds out there, not even Pit Bulls or Rottweilers, and yes I know they were bred to do terrible things.

Pit bulls tear the bulls to pieces for the Victorian family entertainment of bull baiting. The morning would have been a hoot. Rottweilers, apparently, were bred to harass Gregory Peck in an Italian cemetery in The Omen.

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The owners really look like their dogs. I know a guy who owns a spaniel. They both have that hanging dog look that transforms in seconds into deranged, leaping glee when they see an old companion. A lot can be said about a person by their dog, I think.

So what do we do with people who choose to own a dog that the law considers “dangerous”? Looks like he can play with a beam, he has a face like a 30 year veteran roadie for a heavy metal band and comes with some innate anger management issues.

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Is it some kind of personality projection? Is that you on a leash? When they are on a leash, it’s because too often we see a guy walking along the sidewalk with his dog untied.

In his mind, our canine master thinks the dog sees him as the dominant male of the pack and walks alongside him out of loyalty and not submission. One word and this beast will heed his master’s order. Unless, of course, those commands are ‘sit’, ‘stay’ ‘at the heel’ or ‘stop jumping over that screaming kid’.

Why do they catch these dogs? It’s not for exercise. These poor dogs barely see the outside world. Everything freaks them out and their immediate reaction is blind fury. I once saw a pit bull go berserk on a honked bus. The bus was unharmed. The dog learned the hard way why the bus bait never took.

How much does it cost to feed one of these furry alligators? One of the breeds listed in the Dangerous Dogs Law, which is currently under review, is the Argentine Dogo. It is specifically bred to slaughter wild boars. There aren’t many wild boars lurking around Leith Links, so I guess our friend Dogo will have to deal with the equivalent in the dog food cans. Believe me, it’s a whole lot.

These large dogs are smart and strong. They should be treated with respect. They need owners who know what they’re doing, not idiots who think of them as fashion accessories. You want this, get a chihuahua.

Maybe we don’t need to revise the law. Why not bring back the dog license, only this time, with teeth? No license, no dog, and no paperwork until the dog’s home environment is verified and Fido graduates from puppy school.

We could set aside the money to pay for improving the lives of dogs in the city. We could build dog toilets or have free dog training sessions because some dogs are not dangerous, some owners are.

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