Friday August 29, 2014





Dog attacks more about training than specific breeds

I am responding to a column by Mel Rothenburger (Dog Parks Are No Place For Pitbulls, The Daily News, Jan. 24). He states that all off leash dog parks should not permit pit bulls. The fact remains, and the statistics have shown, that any dog attack tends to come from a canine that has not been well-socialized or has an owner that is ill-equipped or lazy in their ownership of their dog.

The bad rap that pitbulls have garnered in recent years is sad, as there are many loving, calm and non-aggressive Staffordshire terriers out there. The fact remains is that any dog can attack — even small dogs.

The most common dog attack is from golden retrievers, the specific canine breed owned by Mr. Rothenburger.

Off-leash dog parks are there for many purposes not just for exercising your dog. They create an environment for socialization, a critical aspect to any dog’s ability to be less aggressive, more inclined to be well-mannered and for owners of dogs to meet other people, talk, and learn from each other.

If you are going to discriminate against pitbull owners specifically you have not learned the lesson supported by veterinarians, canine experts like Cesar Milan, who has owned several pit bulls over the years.

All dogs have the ability to bite, attack and even kill, but to single out a breed that has been ostracized, persecuted and hailed as a natural born killer is ridiculous and naive at best.

Having your male dogs neutered and well-socialized is the key to making sure you are in control of your dog. Learn how to handle a dog fight if it occurs by not placing your hands in the way of their mouths.

Use your arms to pull simultaneously on their back legs to break them apart. Once enthralled in a fight the canines are in the zone and do not listen or hear their owner’s voices very well.

Remember, all dogs hail from the wolf — the ultimate pack animal and when they are fighting, they instinctively believe it is for their very survival. Fight or flight.

If you own an aggressive dog then speak to experts, keep it muzzled around other dogs and children, but don’t stop taking them to off-leash dog parks where the benefits to better behaviour is the goal everyone wants.

SHARNA SUGARMAN

Kamloops





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