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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
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Leicester tragedy by perfectbitch on 25 September 2006 2:31pm
What is it with owners of these dogs? A small child/baby was mauled to death by 2 rottweilers in Leicester over the week-end. I have known dogs of these species that were quite lovable and, albeit strong, friendly and not scarey. But it seems some owners deliberately encourage their aggressive side, possibly to illegally fight? These dogs will most probably be put down now.

My heart goes out to the parents for their loss. I cannot imagine the pain of losing a child and hope like mad that I never have to.

Re: Leicester tragedy by suzulu on 26 September 2006 12:06am
There was a double tragedy. I just caught on the news that the parents of the child's biological father were murdered. I didn't hear all the story though.

Re: Leicester tragedy by suzulu on 26 September 2006 12:13am
Or grandparents.
Re: Leicester tragedy by tucsonmike on 26 September 2006 4:55am
Good grief, what a story!
Re: Leicester tragedy by Lounge Trekker on 26 September 2006 6:45am
What a horrible event. My condolences to the parents and family of the child. There can be nothing more awful than seeing your baby injured to that degree.

I have a Rottie and he is a little guy in a big body. Just a meek little (105 pounds!) guy because I have loved him like a child since day one.

There are people that should not have a dog of this size, with the strength of body and will a Rottweiler has. A dog of this size needs daily walks and to be treated like a member of the family. If he is tied up, left alone, repatedly berated...he is going to be a problem.

So do we (our governing bodies) regulate dog ownership? Ban them in public? Ban certain breeds? Or do we teach our children how to treat dogs in an humane manner, with love, thereby developing a loving creature? Do we ban criminal-types from having dogs? Do we make dog-training a legal requirement to ensure the owners know the philosophy needed in the raising, handling and care of a large dog? Do we require handlers to have dog-handling licences before they can take the dog out in public? Dog-training is for the handlers who need to take responsibility for the action of the dog in their charge.

To become good citizens, I believe dogs need to have some time off leash where and when they can see that other dogs and people are also good guys. They need to mingle with kids, and kids need to be around them to foster a level understanding of each other. They should never be 'at large' -unaccompanied by a handler.

I think dogs are an integral part of our society. Dogs aren't the problem, it's the way they are treated or mistreated. People responsible for dangerous dogs should have their PRIVELEDGE of having a dog revoked.

A simple problem with complex possible solutions.

Lounge Trekker
Re: Leicester tragedy by kazzzz on 26 September 2006 11:32am
Just awful.
There have been several incidents of these dogs attacking and killing people and animals here. I do believe some breeds are more likely to have these aggressive tendancies than others.
Re: Leicester tragedy by canaveralgumby on 27 September 2006 12:03am
This is a frequent issue here in central Florida. Last year there was a period in which there was one pit bull / "agressive" breed attack per month.

Some municipalities have attempted to make all ownership and the very presence of certain breeds illegal. These ordinances are usually overturned in court.

Insurance cos. often refuse coverage (homeowners' insur., etc.) to people who have such dogs, or else they add a substantial premium for it, because of the risk of lawsuits or prosecution.

I don't know if there is a way to quantify this, but it SEEMS overwhelmingly that the owners of mistreated / neglected / aggressive dogs have an attitude of comtempt and entitlement. Protecting "their property" takes precedence over their neighbors' safety, or even that of their friends, relatives and other visitors.

An example from last year - a meter reader for the electric co. was attacked by the homeowner's 2 pit bulls who got out of their enclosures. Her face practically needed to be rebuilt. Her scalp was ripped off. She could have been mauled to death or she could have bled to death.

The dog's owner was remorseless and unsympathetic toward the victim. Reporters kept giving the guy a chance to say SOMETHING in acknowledgement of the vicitm, but nothing. All he was concerned about was not letting Animal Control put this dogs to sleep. "They were just doing what they were supposed to do."

In America, it seems to have to do with "white trash" people. Don't know about the UK. A lot of "rednecks" and biker-gang-type people seem to have these dogs.

I have never met a Rottweiller who didn't behave like a pussycat! But any dog can become a "red zone" dog, as Cesar Millan calls it. Any breed, any size. I think people who want to assert their bad-assness tend to get the large, intimidating looking breeds and then "condition" them to be red-zone dogs. Heck, people raise their kids this way, too, or we wouldn't have little white-supremicists and survivalists running around.

I don't know what the solution is. I only know that the onyl threat from my dogs is too much kissing, yichh!
Re: Leicester tragedy by sighthound on 29 September 2006 4:47am
You're exactly right, Cori. Almost all dog attacks come from dogs owned by people who want "bad dogs" and these people buy dogs from breeds that have bad reputations and then turn them into dangerous dogs. In Victorian times, it was "common knowledge" that the most vicious dogs were collies so the people who wanted a macho dog got a collie and treated it like a vicious dog and so many collies became vicious - an absolute self-fulfilling prophesy. It took Payson-Terhune with his "Lassie" stories to turn that myth around. Pit Bulls, Rotties, GSDs (Alsatians), Dobermans, etc. get the bad rap nowadays. (I've worked with many dogs of all those breeds and never had a problem. I do, however, exercise much caution around chihuahuas and cocker spaniels - breeds no one is trying to ban.)

However, ANY dog will bite under certain circumstances and no child should EVER be left unsupervised with any dog until the child has a thorough understanding of canine "language" and behavior. It is so easy for a child to do something that a dog finds to be absolutely threatening.

Last week, Mele, the woman who works for me, brought her 2 year old grand-daughter to work. Now, my older dogs are ok under almost all circumstances; they've been carefully taught about babies and will put up with endless amounts of abuse. But I have two young dogs who had never encountered a tiny human before and were spooked by the kid. Mele had seen me pull things, inappropriate things that they were eating, right out of their mouths and she assumed that they would be entirely safe with the kid. Thank God, I saw that she'd left the baby with them just as the baby had Navad cornered and was moving in to hug him. He was in an absolute panic from this encounter with this "abnormal" human. If I hadn't been there to intervene, the baby would have gotten nipped or worse. So we ended up having a nice training session for the baby, the pups, Mele and me and it worked out well but wouldn't have if the timing had been different. I still shudder when I think about what could have happened.
Re: Leicester tragedy by Spursfan on 1 October 2006 11:24am
I just had to add my 'two-penn'orth' here.

As regulars will know (probably!) we have the most gorgeous, loving, Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He sleeps with us in bed and generally loves fuss and cuddles and is our baby.

Experts will tell you that Staffies are the best family dogs you can get, wonderful with children etc.

Then WHY do people who have no connection with Staffies recoil whenever we show his piccy (what a cutie!) or say we have one?? This even happens in Turkey where of course we have loads of his pics.

Staffies are gentle dogs - I agree with whoever said on the string that any dog can be vicious depending on the opwner and circumstance and as the Staffie is the chav dog of choice this is also probably where this comes from. However most Staffie Moms and Dads are responsible owners - our Tosun has training every week; not because he is dangerous or vicious but to teach him the proper way to act, eg to come when called. This is to prevent any danger coming to him, for example if he was off the lead and ran towards a road.

As Staffies are so exuberant and full of it, it takes a lot of patience to train them!! They are very intelligent dogs but stubborn and so easily distracted!!

I was looking on the internet a while back for Staffie memorabilia (yes, I know!!) and came across a Pit Bull site (American). Some of the stickers/badges you can buy really made me cry and I am now totally AGAINST the widespread destruction of these dogs.

As one sticker states 'Punish the deed not the breed'.

Anne (Proud Staffie Mom)

Re: Leicester tragedy by suzulu on 1 October 2006 9:04pm
I think people probably connect Staffies with pit bull terriers. Staffies are lovely dogs, quite a few come into the animal clinic I help at. They are very popular around here.
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