Accident, Negligence, or Dangerous Dogs?

Dog Bites and Dangerous Dogs?

dangerous dogs
As humans, are we more responsible for dangerous dogs than we think?

Dangerous dogs and dog bites are front page news stories, well, dog bites are front page news stories depending on the breed. A dachshund biting a child, or the delivery man is not news. In fact it’s often seen as funny or dismissed as a non newsworthy issue.

In the event that the dog bite is caused by the media monster known as the Pit Bull,then it’s lead story worthy. Regardless of breed however, a dog bite to a child is always a tragedy.

It’s tragic on a number of levels. The first being the total absence of common sense when it comes to dogs. The media uses a breed to provoke fear and the general public will often take an isolated incident to paint it as a blanket fact encompassing an entire breed.

Hysteria ensues and in some cases bans and legislation are issued that result in the deaths of countless pets and family members. It is a tragedy to see the tears of the innocent and to hear the cries of the voiceless. Often due to an accident caused by negligence and a news report of a pet being inherently dangerous.

It’s a tragedy on the level of the innocence that is stolen from a child when they lose trust in dogs who are not even dangerous dogs. There are few things more beautiful than a child interacting with his/her favorite dog. In the case of a bully breed the devotion and adoration displayed between the two are the definition of loyalty, trust, and love.

In some cases where a child has been bitten they can develop a fear that is never overcome, regardless of how joyous their previous experiences have been with the breed. It’s tragic to lose that love because of an accident that could have been avoided.

Where the real tragedy begins

It is tragic to have an entire breed labeled as dangerous dogs. No breed of dog is inherently deadly, or dangerous. Any breed of dog can bite and in relation to children any could bite and inflict death. Dog aggression is far different than human aggression. An individual dog can be dangerous and I am not a proponent to owning these animals in a home with children.

These individual dogs are found in every breed of dog that man has developed. Just as we can not categorize an entire breed as dangerous dogs, we can not categorize an entire group of owners as negligent or crazies. Dog bites are a case by case situation and the dogs involved should be labeled and dealt with accordingly.

Is every dog bite an accident from a dangerous dog? Is every dog bite a result of negligence? Is every dog that bites a dangerous animal? The answer to all three questions is no. The facts are that on almost every occasion the bite could have been avoided, the signs could have been seen, and the dangerous dog label could have been removed or tagged before the dog had bitten someone.

In the event of a child, when is it ok to leave one alone with a dog? Some say never, some say that if a child can’t be left alone with an animal then the animal is not stable.

I believe that regardless of breed, small children should all be supervised with animals. A child is unable to depict body language in an animal. A growl may be ignored, raised hackles missed, food aggression, toy aggression or hormones due to females in heat, or just a spat between two household pets could result in the ultimate tragedy.

I believe leaving a child in these and like situations is a form of negligence and the parents, or adults have failed both the child and the bully in this case. The blame game will always be pointed at the dog, then the breed, the adult will be guilt ridden and quickly turn on the family pet and it’s breed. Demonizing the breed as a whole, never turning the finger towards themselves as the person who could have prevented the accident.

The effects of the media

The media is the gasoline to an already dangerous dogs hot button topic. The job of the media is to report, to inform the viewer, it is the breed ambassadors job to educate and to provide accurate information about the breeds they love. They have to be proactive in the defense of the bully breeds sharing stories of loyalty and pictures of love to counteract the snarling, snapping images that circulate the internet in regards to dog bites.

The positive attributes of the breed far outweigh the negative propaganda that is hurled at it, but as ambassadors we must share these images, stories and experiences. If we choose to not do our part, we create the accidents, the negligence and the danger to our breed.

That is the true tragedy, to do nothing, for a breed that needs you to do everything.  And just blindly labeling them dangerous dogs.

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