READER REPORT:

Dog breeds getting bad press

BLAIR ROSSITER
Last updated 11:30 05/03/2014

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Dogs: Dangerous or dependable friends?

Why are good dog owners liable? Dog safety: Breed bans won't work How dog breeds get a bad name Dog debate raises hackles Ignore a dog's breed at your peril Dog breeds getting bad press Every dog can be safe and friendly Keep your dog under control Dog debate: Effort to have perfect pet Dog safety: Are we dog's worst enemy?

Are dogs dangerous or dependable friends? We asked our readers to share their views.

Far too often some of our larger four-legged friends are on the receiving end of bad press in the search for a good story.

One never hears of a chihuahua or other small dog attacks as the damage from such attacks is not worthy of sensationalist headlines.

Far too often certain breeds are singled out, maligned and destroyed as a result of being portrayed as dangerous.

First it was the doberman, then the rottweiler and now the poor old pit bull terrier and even the german shepherd have been portrayed as vicious over the years. Who could forget Cujo (a horror movie about a rabid St Bernard)?

Yet with the proper handling all these breeds are as dangerous as any lapdog. Not that lapdogs don't bite people every year either, just watch how many lapdogs dog trainer  Ceaser Milan  deals with on his television show.

Far too often bad dogs are bred with bad dogs or line bred, producing unstable animals. Registered breeders can be just as bad as any other backyard breeder in these circumstances.

Far too often the wrong type of person takes on the wrong breed and yet again the poor dog, regardless of breed, takes the hit.

An example I know of was an elderly woman who had a male german shepherd that was too hard for her to control.

When rehomed the dog had serious animal aggression problems due to poor discipline and socialisation.

He was put down, which was the only responsible action to take, the same afternoon he had run in and attacked a small dog at the beach.

Far too often someone is bitten after approaching a dog the wrong way.

Always pat a dog for the first time under the head as over the top can be intimidating or a sign of dominance to some dogs.

In the end if matched, socialised and approached properly, and if children and adults are properly educated, any dog can be a valuable, loyal, safe member of a family that will provide untold amounts of fun during its lifetime.

Dogs can be dangerous but they are more likely to be dependable and after a long hard day, no matter how bad it has been for you the smiley face and the wagging tail that greets you when you arrive home can lift you above that and melt your troubles away. 


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