Is it time to let dangerous dog breeds die out?
9:15am Wednesday 4th July 2012 in Skipper
Once again, dangerous dogs are hitting the headlines this week with a report of a vicious attack on a teenage girl leaving her with a horrific leg wound.
The story will no doubt cause plenty of debate, and the same old issues will be raised over whether dog licences should be reintroduced and whether it is the owner of the pet which is most responsible.
Now clearly, in most cases, the owners must take a lot of the blame. A well trained dog is far less likely to attack than an animal that has not been taught its boundaries.
Sadly, it is too simple just to blame the owner and to not even look at the breed of dog in question.
The animal involved in this week’s attack was once again a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Now there are plenty of people who will defend these dogs and claim you could never find a more loyal and docile family pet.
However, for me, there have been far too many incidents of these dogs turning aggressive and mauling not just strangers, but their owners too.
Many people will say Staffies are the victim of a media witch hunt, and have been given a bad name through the press, but there has to be a basis in fact.
The breed is responsible for a much higher proportion of dog attacks in the UK than it should be, and it cannot be all down to bad owners.
There are plenty of Labradors or Spaniels which have been neglected, but they have not earned the same reputation as the Staffie.
The breed is renowned for being fearless, muscular and possessing a particularly powerful bite, and it may well be that the physical prowess of the animal is also the reason for its fearsome reputation.
After all, a bite from a Staffie will inevitably cause far more damage than an attack by another breed.
These dogs were bred as fighting dogs, and designed for aggression and strength.
Happily dog fighting as a sport has all but died out over the years – maybe it is about time we allowed these dangerous breeds to do the same.