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« Gap between haves and have nots and Vet Care | Main | Weekly Roundup, Week ending 8/10/08 »

August 07, 2008

Comments

Caveat

Bingo.

They want their lies to become truth which is how propaganda works.

The muzzle (besides stigmatizing the owner), is to reinforce the myth that all dogs of a particular appearance are 'vicious'. The reaction to a muzzled dog is inevitably 'dangerous dog'. Here in Ontario, if I see a muzzled dog even I wonder if it's snappy or just a hapless mutt who might fit the profile and be marked for death without it.

And yes, the intent of these laws is to discourage people from exercising and socializing their pets - ridiculously short leads, muzzles, pens, etc. Banning from dog parks, dog daycares, and other places where people and dogs congregate. Making dogs more anxious with each passing week.

It's all part of the master plan and an evil one at that.

The wrong people are often holding public offices these days.

TEH

EXACTLY!!!!!!!

By restricting/isolating a dog, society contributes to a perceived problem. Dogs are pack animals, they need that social interaction to be healthy, as well as psychological well-being. Restrictions or outright bans that we are seeing only set the dog up for failure. In order not to be caught by authorities, the owner (even a well meaning one) is forced to isolate the dog. Consider how this type of thing would affect a person!

When it comes down to it, the general public is clueless about dog behavior. They attribute dog/dog or dog/cat aggression as something horrid to be controlled.

In all cases, the dog generally ends up paying with his life for human ignorance.

krislars

Brent,
I wonder if it's worth exploring bite statistics in places where dogs are allowed to roam EVERYWHERE with their owners? Paris comes to mind (as does just about every Italian city I've been to - a lot) as an example. Dogs are on leash, but basically are not restricted anywhere...they are free to accompany their owners in shops, cafes, hotels, all public parks.

It's unfortunate that Europe has to be the example, but to everyone's point, it just seems that restrictions/bans/etc seem to be the 'easy way to go' for most policy-makers in the USA.

Some cities that I've lived, SanFrancisco/Berkeley/Oakland come to mind as progressive 'dogs can go everywhere' towns. And actually, now that I think about it, Santa Barbara where I went to college had dogs everywhere - even off leash! I don't remember hearing about dogs at Peet's coffee mauling anyone or attack dogs on UCSB campus. It seems that the 'bites' you hear about are dogs that live a solitary life in a backyard that get out, that get scared and bite (a child, mailman, guy mowing lawn, etc).

Dogs that are allowed to experience 'life' with their owners, as their owners do, are always very balanced and well socialized.

There has to be some proof points to back up that theory somewhere...hmmm.

Becky

krislars,

Altho I haven't had the chance yet (up til right now) to look at the links in Brent's piece, I want to point out that Brent's blog is the perfect place to start w/ this investigation. If you follow all of his documentations of reported dog attacks all over the country, as well as many in other countries, you will note how many serious bites and attacks are by dogs that are kept chained, locked up (as in basements), and otherwise denied membership to a 'pack'/family. Just like people, dogs do not do well being family 'outcasts', confined to cages for too many hours, chained up and otherwise restricted from incorporation in a 'family.'

This post is a really excellent post. Not only is it important for all the reasons he listed. Denying dogs proper exercise, adequate breathing and cooling systems during exercise, etc etc, denying dogs proper exercise by requiring cages erected in their own yards, even if fenced in, etc. (As in Independence, where 'pit bull type dogs' cannot even play freely or play ball in their own fenced yard w/ their owner) This does not only deny a dog its physical and social needs, it harms a dog's psyche.

It is a very significant post which notes that too many ordinances dictate that dogs should be denied membership in a family, proper socialization, and proper exercise.

And what has so far already been documented has been that dogs who are denied this membership and exercise are the most apt to bite and/or attack. ie; dogs who are incorporated into a real family are the least likely to attack. Yep, there are some bites here and there, as dogs struggle to move up that totem pole within the family. But I don't believe these are what we are most concerned about.

Dogs NEED to belong to a family or pack. If they are denied this, then problems often arise because this goes against their natural instincts and needs.

I would like to thank Brent for this really excellent post! It's educational material that ALL adopters and buyers, need to know and CARE about!!

a beer sort of girl

Brent, I would be more than happy to buy you a beer, any day, for all of the amazing advocacy, hard work, and educational info you provide all the time on behalf of lovely creatures that can't speak for themselves. You use the blog platform for good, where as I am apparently going to start using it for drunk.

Brent

K --

I think that would be an interesting study. It's an interesting dynamic. Many dog bites/attacks come from loose/stray dogs -- and yet, if you go to areas of the world where loose/stray dogs are the norm, they never seem to have aggression issues. When we were in Belize, there were hundreds of dogs out roaming around, no leash laws, and most of them barely even seemed owned, and we didn't meet a single dog that seemed even remotely aggressive. Strange.

Becky, thanks for the kind words.

Beer Girl, we need to do Happy Hour soon -- now that you work back in the hood. No need for the free beer...just some days I'm jealous of people who decided to do "fun" blogs vs my "cause" blog...

krislars

Yes, you're amazing Brent. Very good in the 'cause blog' arena, one of the best! I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and praise all your hard work.

I do think there is something to using 'dogs about town' in other cities/countries as proof points of reducing dog bites...I don't think I've seen anyone use that as a 'case study' or part of their talking points to city councils. I think showing how cities that welcome dogs everywhere their owners go as examples of low bite rates might make an impression.

Keep on keepin on dog man!

KC KS Kills Dogs

Yes Brent thanks for all you do!!! I can't tell you the times I have perused info from your blog for research purposes or referred friends fighting the "good fight" to your blog.

Speaking of social dogs vs not so social dogs; ask anyone who grew up in small town America where leash laws did not exist, how most of the town's dogs behaved? I can remember growing up in one of those small towns.

It was nothing for some neighbor's dog to join us kids in our games, hang out eating potato chips, and play dress up with us. I don't remember folks particularly training their dogs to behave that way, the dogs just hung out with everyone in the neighborhood kinda like the Pete's Gang series.

Caveat

Same in Toronto where I grew up - dogs out on their own all the time and kids, too.

I don't remember anybody being bitten, ever. Chased or growled at, yes but never anyone bitten.

We'd play with them all the time - a few dogs, a few kids, just hanging out, fooling around.

I remember the grownups used to say "Some day, these will be the good old days so enjoy them while you can".

Too true.

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