As an avid dog lover I have watched many, many videos on these types of dogs and my conclusion is “sometimes, they do get a bad wrap”. That might shock some, as statistics and reports suggest that 51% of attacks were pitbull types and certainly many of the reported news articles include this dog type. But is it the dog that is the problem or the way they are brought up and handled?
Dogs are pack animals and all packs have a leader, if your dog considers itself the pack leader, then disciplining those in its family who are beneath it is pack mentality – it’s not the dog being mean, its nature. Additionally, this type of dog is the bought as a status symbol without any thought to the care or needs of what is a big dog. Sadly, they are also bred to fight and so traits that many would not desire are encouraged – such dogs are worth a lot of money.
A properly trained and disciplined Pit Bull can make a great companion, but whereas a bite from a poorly trained chihuahua might hurt, it is highly unlikely that it would ever cause permanent harm – let alone lead to death. Therein lies the problem as these dogs are solid muscle with massive jaws and a bite pressure of 269 pounds per square inch – a poorly trained or worse still a deliberately trained to fight pit bull – can be a deadly situation.
Additionally, I had a friend who had an English Bull dog, not a banned breed but a very powerful type. He went through a solid pane of glass to get to a Window Cleaner outside and so keeping them secure in your property can also be a challenge, where inadequate fencing can allow a determined dog an easy escape route.
The dangerous dog Act in the UK includes the Pit Bull breed and if such breeds are found they will be seized and destroyed, to me this seems unfair as a perfectly well trained, well behaved dog who has never shown a hint of aggression could be destroyed. There is a possibility of your banned dog being certificated with an IED (Index of Exempted Dogs), though you must ensure
Your dog must be:
- kept on a lead and muzzled at all times when in public
- kept in a secure place so it can’t escape
As the owner, you must:
- take out insurance against your dog injuring other people
- be aged over 16
- show the Certificate of Exemption when asked by a police officer or council dog warden, either at the time or within 5 days
- let the IED know if you change address, or your dog dies
If you do own a banned dog type you do face up to six months in prison or an unlimited fine.
Where Pit Bulls are allowed I have seen examples of wonderful calm dogs and so to class every Pit Bull as a dangerous dog is very unfair, once again as with many dogs that end up in rescue, its the owners lack of experience, care and sometimes pure ignorance that is a big contributor to their reputation.