Comment 2977

By D.S. (anonymous) | Posted January 17, 2007 at 01:10:13

I hear you Stacey. I have a blk. bulky English type Lab., & an Akita, possibly crossed with Great Dane. The Akita has done Therapy Dog, (visiting seniors with St. John Ambulance) done Meet the Breed days with both Oakville, Burlington Humane Societys & PetSmart. This involved meeting all kinds of people, & dogs for 6 straight hours. He also has his Canine Good Citizenship certificate, as well as a long & extensive obedience course.

He has been a good friend to a Downs Syndrome child. He has saved my family & a number of other people from certain serious injurys when a team of heavy horses bolted at a fair.
He has been attacked by off leash dogs on at least 4 occassions, & has either flipped or pinned them. No biting, or bared teeth. Just a flip or a pin to stop the attack. He has been punched full force in the face by a 10 year old boy, for no good reason, & didn't react except to look a little sad. (I reacted!)

I am completely astonished at the number of people who feel that large dogs should be contained in a back yard 24/7, or on a chain. They think that this is proactive, & the best idea in preventing dog bites & attacks!? (Isn't this the same kind situation that has caused so many attacks & bites?)

I've spent the last 10 years studying dog bite prevention, & the relationship of breed specific legislation to it's results. (BSL is generally useless in preventing bites & attacks) How 'delighful' it is to have somebody who's never read, or researched the subject at all tell me that, "Dogs like that don't belong in towns or on the street." Or perhaps they just try to walk me & the dogs off the sidewalk into the street...It's nicer yet to be told that, "You don't care about the victims, you just care about dogs!" (If I didn't care about the victims, I wouldn't have spent a decade researching this, & the other 1/2 training my dogs to act intelligently around people!)

Every breeder of large & Working Group dogs, & every trainer worth his/her salt will tell new owners the same thing. "Socialize, socialize, socialize", as soon as possible for a confident, calm, & friendly adult dog. Every thing, every noise, every situation that your dog will have to experience in life should be experienced by the time the dog is about 9 months old.

I realize that a large dog can frighten some people, & if someone appears fearful, just quickly get out of their way. What I can't do is shrink the dogs. And after spending years training with, & enjoying life with them both, I'm not prepared to 'get rid of them' for the convenience of somebody who would dislike them, no matter if they were big & well behaved or tiny holy terrors. A pet is a friend, family member & a lifetime committment, not a fashion accessory, or a weapon.

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