Dangerous Dog & Breed Specific Legislation

Headlines such as Dangerous Dog and Breed Specific Legislation are increasingly appearing in the media –

Call to expand danger dog list

A call to include more dangerous dogs in restricted breed legislation is being made by WA Local Government Association president Troy Pickard.

The laws, which have not been reviewed since 2005, apply to five breeds – the Argentinian Fighting Dog, the Brazilian Fighting Dog, the Tosa Inu, the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Perro de Presa Canario. They must wear collars identifying them as dangerous and adhere to strict leashing and muzzling rules. Mr Pickard said he supported new laws introduced into Parliament yesterday which would mean dog owners would face up to 10 years jail if their pet killed someone or endangered their life. But he said the State Government could also look at adding Boerboel, a large mastiff breed from South Africa, to the list of restricted breeds.

He rejected a view by the RSPCA that a dog’s behaviour was shaped by its upbringing and training rather than its breed.

“There are dogs that have it in their DNA to kill and it’s their breeding, that’s their gene pool,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Local Government Minister John Castrilli rejected the call for the restricted breeds list to be reviewed.

Click here to view article.

I think if you take on the responsibility of owning a dog, you MUST also take on the responsibility to satisfy the breed e.g you have a border collie with a herding instinct so satisfy the instinct or expect the dog to satisfy itself with what’s instinctual (herding bikes and skateboards, stalking small animals and chasing cars OR even becoming aggressive towards other animals and humans to release frustration). Some dogs were bred for fighting but they are NOT born fighters. Some information for you, Troy Pickard, as I’m sure you have no experience in dog behavior which is why you are a member of the Local Government and not working as and dog behaviorist. When facing a stressful or threatening situation, a dog has the option of 3 responses. Avoid, Flight or FIGHT. It is not EVERY dogs natural instinct to fight but this response can be reinforced and is obviously a lot stronger in more powerful breeds which is what we’re seeing. Tell me how leashing and muzzling an already frustrated dog is going to solve this problem? Not to single out those already being accused of being dangerous, I’ve seen breeds such as the Kelpie and even the Chihuahua who can pack more of a punch and these dogs are not classed as ‘fighting’ breeds so who is it that decides which dogs get the label and what is the criteria?

When will politicians such as yourself open up your eyes? When will you start listening to the experts’ advice or the public’s solutions? Would it be fair to say we’re going to start killing humans who are repeat offenders of fighting? Because I see no difference between the two scenarios except that is easy for YOU to take advantage of an animal who can’t speak for itself. YOU would rather put the problem to ‘sleep’ then find the source but that wouldn’t be difficult, in fact, all you’d have to do is look at yourself in the mirror.

Further Information

AUS and USA Top 10 most dangerous dog list. Here is the comparison –

USA – according to dangerousdogs.net

  1. Pit Bull
  2. Rottweilers
  3. German Shepherd
  4. Husky
  5. Alaskan Malamute
  6. Doberman
  7. Chow Chow
  8. Presa Canario
  9. Boxer
  10. Dalmatian

Note: Almost all are working dogs.

AUS – according to the Daily Telegraph

  1. Staffordshire Terrier
  2. Cattle Dog
  3. Rottweiler
  4. German Shepherd
  5. Pit Bull
  6. Kelpie
  7. Bull Mastiff
  8. Labrador
  9. Terrier

List only went as far as 9 but again note the working dogs.

This article on the Daily Telegraph website lists the breed of dog and how many reported attacks during a period from 2005 – 2006. Here are the top 5 –

  1. Unknown breed – 338
  2. Staffordshire – 279. It then also lists American Staffordshire – 58 and English Staffordshire – 1 so all other 223 attacks the breed could not be identified.
  3. Cattle Dog – 208
  4. Rottweiler – 173
  5. German Shepherd – 166

Another article, this one on the Dog’s Life website lists the top 10 best dog breeds, in no particular order, and includes the Australian Cattle Dog, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Labrador and Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

Note the irony. How can the same breed be placed on both lists? The only factor I’m seeing which will determine a dogs’ behavior, reaction or drive is the intention of the person it’s placed in.

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