Preventing Dog Attacks Begins With You — So Don’t Be Stupid

Tougher laws will not prevent attacks from “aggressive” breeds. The way to prevent attacks is to educate the people who have these dogs.

By: vipevents
Rottweilers need ground rules and a lot of exercise. By: vipevents

Tougher laws such as breed-specific legislation won’t prevent dog attacks. The only thing that will prevent dog attacks is not allowing stupid people to have dogs.

Lots of stupid people have dogs. They can be divided into 2 categories:

  1. Ghetto/trailer park types who buy guard dogs but don’t train them
  2. People who treat their dogs too much like little humans

The first type are the people who typically have large breeds such as pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiffs. They don’t know anything about how to manage these high-energy working dogs, who will quickly become neurotic if they do not have a clearly defined pack order and lots of exercise.

The only command these people know is “No” — so the pet never learns how to live out his or her genetic destiny.

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Guard dogs will instinctively guard whatever is around them. When they are not trained properly, they become dangerous because they can’t figure out what is appropriate to guard and how to do it.

A well-trained guard dog will not attack, but will hold an intruder in a corner until told to release the person. A well-trained guard dog will also understand clearly what is acceptable to guard:

  • Back yard = good dog
  • Sidewalk in front of the house = bad dog

The second type of worrisome people are the ones who treat their pets like humans. Dogs are pack animals. They need to have rules and a clearly laid out hierarchy in order to function. They like rules. They want their people to tell them what the rules are, and then they want to obey them.

Dogs Should Not Be Allowed to Do the Following:

  1. Baby-sit the kids.
  2. Eat at the table. Dogs place a lot of importance on who eats what and where they eat. A pet should eat separately from you.
  3. Bully you into doing anything. “Oh, when she barks like that, I have to sit on the couch and pet her.”

This doesn’t mean a dog will be unhappy or feel unloved. On the contrary, a dog who is given clear instructions will feel secure in her role.

I love dogs. I love all animals, but I really love dogs, mine included of course. I don’t write these things out of disdain for dogs, but out of disdain for people who look to their dogs to meet emotional needs that dogs are not meant to meet. Your guard dog is not supposed to make you feel tough. Your companion dog is not meant to replace a family; she is meant to augment your family.

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I don’t want to see one more pet put to death because it was mishandled by irresponsible people who didn’t bother to learn how to handle the pet they chose.

Sarah Blakemore

View posts by Sarah Blakemore
Sarah Blakemore has been researching and writing about pet care and pet behaviors since 2007. She has cared for many pets over the years and has volunteered with several animal shelters around the world.

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