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  • Anna Dugdale

Dog Attacks – who's to blame?

After multiple different dog attacks have been reported in the UK media, including the tragic death of Freddie the seal- an argument has been sparked concerning who is to blame.

Is it the dog or is it the dog owner?

According to EuroProxima, 740 people per 100,000 people are bitten by dogs per year in the UK. And 250,000 people attend minor injury and emergency units due to dog bites.

Certain breeds are banned in the UK including: Dogo Argentino, the Fila Brasileiro, Pit Bull Terriers and Japanese Tosa’s. This is because they are deemed too dangerous to own under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. They are banned either because they were bred as fighting dogs or hunters.

Many believe that dogs are a product of their environment. If they are treated with love and care then they will be loving and caring dogs.

As a dog owner, I believe this too. I’ve had my dog for ten years and he is a very much-loved member of the family. He has never attacked anyone, despite being attacked by other dogs.

Many, including the RSPCA, Kennel Club and League Against Cruel Sports, want the law on dangerous dogs changed. This is because they believe that the history of the breed does not inherently mean that it is unsafe. The law suggests that breeds who don’t fall under this umbrella are inherently safe, which may not be the case.

Training a dog is not just teaching commands, like ‘sit’ and ‘stay’. It is socialising your dog with others, teaching it to be reliable when off the lead, if that is how you desire to walk them. It is teaching them that they need to respond to other humans and animals.

Ultimately it is unsafe to let your dog run riot among other animals and beings, especially when you don’t know how they may react and they could behave unpredictably.

Even if your dog is fine around you, and you may believe that they are a loving animal, you don’t know how they will react to a different environment-so you need to be sure of this before you let them roam free in public areas.

In my opinion, the way a dog acts and behaves depends on how they have been treated and raised, it is environment dependent.

A dog is only a reflection of how their owner has treated them.

Feature image credit: David Taffet on Unsplash

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