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#380654 - 06/16/10 08:02 PM Leash laws and dog attacks
Amanda Syme Offline
Recently on the island (past 10 years) a trend has been set into motion in which many people have chosen to own large and strong dogs. I have been growing increasingly concerned about this trend because the people that sell these dogs and most of the people that own these dogs don't seem to have the ability to train or control their animals. In many cases the dogs are chained 24/7 in people's back yards. Or you see them dragging their owner around on a rope or leash. In even worse cases there are a few aggressive dogs that are left to freely wander the island's roads and beaches.

Is it time for an educational program in conjunction with enforcement of the laws that govern dogs to go into effect on the island?

It is just a matter of time before we experience a severe dog attack or possibly even a mauling by dogs in this town.

As long as people are willing to pay $500 for a pit bull, rottweiller, german shepard (and the list goes on) puppy then other people will continue to indiscriminately breed their dogs.

I am not necessarily saying that people shouldn't own these types of dogs, but if we could register such animals, provide and insist on training so that owners are in control of their dogs and if registration required that these animals were inoculated, bred and fed properly we might be able to avert a problem before it becomes a problem.

Recently 2 dogs in my neighbourhood ran out snarling at my family as we strolled down the beach. Later that week one of the dogs bit my Dad (luckily it hit his watch strap so no harm done.) I have made some complaints to the owners and believe that this situation will not continue.

But I do think that such attacks are probably the catalyst of why there was an attack on the dog population north of the bridge earlier this year. I believe that somebody got tired of being attacked, chased, nipped or bitten on a continuous basis and they decided to make it stop. Now of course the method that was enacted is absolutely despicable and inhumane. But after being attacked and bitten in the past by unsupervised, uncontrolled, aggressive dogs I can imagine why that incident happened.

Since the dog leash laws are not enforced on the island I can see how some people would take matters into their own hands rather than going to the authorities.

I just saw this story in the Belize news and started to fret that this might one day be a story in the San Pedro headlines:

http://7newsbelize.com/sstory.php?nid=17114

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#380669 - 06/16/10 08:31 PM Re: Leash laws and dog attacks [Re: Amanda Syme]
Gaz Cooper Offline
It seems it a case of blaming the breed instead of the owner in the news media.

PitBulls Rottweilers, German Sheperds etc or any other large dog are powerful breeds that need to be socialized and trained from a puppy upwards and if done all those breeds are excellent dogs to own, if not they become extremely dangerous.

The problem lies directly with the owners and they should be held fully accountable for the actions of there dog.

Any person that chains a dog up 24/7 as in the 7news report is guilty of a crime as a dog cannot be socialized when its is being treated as such and.

Amanda has some good points and I think licensing bigger powerful dogs is a good idea, I owned a great Rottweiler for many years North and she was a great dog to demonize them is wrong, demonize the owners who only want them for bravado purposes.

Gaz
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#380672 - 06/16/10 08:36 PM Re: Leash laws and dog attacks [Re: Amanda Syme]
Jon The Baptist Offline
I think people who are unable to control there dogs should not have dogs. I have had rotty's, pitty's, cane corso, great danes and now a boxer. 3 of the 5 dogs I have owned are in the top 10 for violent dogs in the world. As a dog owner it is our responsibility to make sure that these dogs dont ever become vicious unless it is protecting a family member. To do this you need to train them when they are little and if they do something bad or incorrectly while training them you let them know they did something wrong (NO ABUSE).

I have trained all my dogs to be a loof with strangers (be cautious) until they now you and trust you. I can walk down the street and none of my dogs EVER EVER left myside. I never hit my dog as it is a fmaily member and I dont condole abuse to human/animals. None of my dogs have ever bitten a person or drew blood from somebody unless it was protecting my family. I have only ever had a dog of mine bite somebody and that was cause he tried to break into my house.

Leaving a dog chained up 24/7 will just anger the dog more and more due to the lack of attention he/she is getting. I have rehab'd a lot of dogs in the past and every dog can be changed it just takes time and patience.

Every dog has a pack mentality we as the trainer need to control that and show them right from wrong.

So what I am trying to say is that if you dont know how to control your dog then you should not own a dog.

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#380674 - 06/16/10 08:37 PM Re: Leash laws and dog attacks [Re: Gaz Cooper]
Amanda Syme Offline
We have owned pitbulls and many of my friends own Rottys and Alsatians, all well trained, exercised, leashed when in public, and well fed and medical shots and care all up to date. They can all be wonderful pets or guard dogs.

My issue is with the fact that such animals can be killing machines, some were bred for their aggressive tendencies and then they are being owned by people that think that chaining them up 24/7 and giving them meals and water is the only responsibility of the owner.


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#380677 - 06/16/10 08:54 PM Re: Leash laws and dog attacks [Re: Amanda Syme]
Jon The Baptist Offline
I agree with you totally.

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#380678 - 06/16/10 08:55 PM Re: Leash laws and dog attacks [Re: Amanda Syme]
seashell Offline
My cousins used to own a dalmation. It was an adopted dog and was absolutely adorable when at home. But taking the dog for a walk was an absolute nightmare. Extraordinary measures had to be taken, the whole family had to be retrained along with the dog. One person in the family was set up to be the pack leader and the dog had a special lease muzzle set up and such, but still, the dog went crazy whenever it saw another dog, was virtually uncontrollable and eventually had to be put down. Anyone who saw the way that dog behaved at home, would never be able to believe how its demeanor could change so radically.
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#380681 - 06/16/10 08:59 PM Re: Leash laws and dog attacks [Re: seashell]
Amanda Syme Offline
My dog is about the opposite. When I take her for a walk on the leash she is docile, a bike, a kid, a bird, another dog, a cat or just about anybody can come up to her and she barely gives them a look or a sniff (thanks Pampered Paws and David the dog Whisperer) but at home she believes she is the queen of all that she can see (which is a lot further than our property line.) She barks like a mad dog at anything that moves near my house, including at crabs. The only way to control it is to have her in the house where she can't see or hear anything outside.

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#380682 - 06/16/10 09:01 PM Re: Leash laws and dog attacks [Re: Amanda Syme]
Jon The Baptist Offline
The only time my dog barks is when somebody knocks on the door

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#380683 - 06/16/10 09:02 PM Re: Leash laws and dog attacks [Re: Amanda Syme]
bywarren Offline
I don't understand why anyone would want to own a pitbull, unless you were Michael Vick, when there are so many other breeds to choose from. Yes, a dog can be trained. But training a dog to do other than what it is bred for can be a challenge that is sometimes not accomplished.

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#380684 - 06/16/10 09:03 PM Re: Leash laws and dog attacks [Re: bywarren]
Jon The Baptist Offline
Pitbulls are a misunderstood breed

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