A 'dangerous dog' is a dog that bites
After spending most of yesterday arguing with people who remain convinced that there are two types of dogs in the world (theirs, and everyone else’s) I was interested to read KC Dogblog’s round up of dog bite news reports, especially since so many of them were by breeds that ‘most people’ don’t think of as being dangerous – or even as being capable of biting.
Breeds like long haired Dachshunds and English Bulldogs, for example.
From NC comes a report of an attack on an Oak Island beach by an off leash and out of control Bulldog – an English Bulldog, that is.
When Janet Murray took her usual walk on the beach a little more than a month ago, she was in for a shock. An English bulldog attacked her, inflicting a thigh injury that sent her to the hospital.
Murray said she left her home at Northeast 66th Street on Jan. 14 and found a starfish during her walk. But it was too cold to complete her usual trip to the pier, so she turned around near the 75th Street beach access point.
It was then that Murray noticed a dog pulling a woman by its leash. The woman soon bent down to set the dog free.
The brown and white English bulldog set its sights on Murray and charged. Thinking the pup was friendly, Murray bent down ready to greet it.
But the dog began digging its claws into her thigh, biting and pushing Murray to the sand.
“He just mauled my right thigh,” she said, adding that she cracked a rib trying to push the dog off.
I’m not practicing schadenfrude here when say that I hope this will be the wake up call that Bulldog and French Bulldog fanciers need to see, for once and for all, that any dog can be a dangerous dog, no matter what the breed. All it would take is one local politician to turn this single bite incident into an excuse to ban all English Bulldogs, and I can guarantee you that he wouldn’t face much political opposition. Instead, it seems that the owner – and her brat of a dog – got off with a slap on the wrist.
The owner of the dog, who did not return a phone message left Wednesday afternoon, was issued a $150 citation. The dog was quarantined for 10 days and showed no signs of sickness or aggression, so it was returned to the owner, the report stated.
Guess what would have happened if it had been a Pit Bull/mystery mix that had bitten her?
Also from KCDogBlog comes this report of a Long Haired Dachshund who was just officially declared a dangerous dog –
The case involved determining if Bitsy bit a 12-year-old girl who passed by two other children (a 7-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy) who were walking their family dogs (the dachshund and a chocolate Labrador) along South Park Drive. The dogs were on leashes and both sniffed at the 12-year-old girl’s shoes. But that’s where the story starts to differ.
The 12-year-old girl told police and testified at the Jan. 26 appeal hearing that the dachshund “grabbed” the top of her left shoe and she had to call out to the other girl to get the dog to let go.
But the two other children told police and testified that Bitsy sniffed the girl’s shoe, slowed down as they passed on the sidewalk and the 7-year-old girl had to tug the dog a little to get her moving. Neither child recalled the 12-year-old yelling to them about Bitsy’s behavior.
In her finding of facts, Marty said “whether T.F. actually called out, or S.Z. heard it, is unimportant. The issue at hand is the dog’s conduct.”
Ignoring the fact that a Doxie biting someone’s shoe would barely count as a nuisance for most of us comes the realization that this council did what needs to be done in more cases – they evaluated the case based on actions and testimony, rather than just by breed.
Now that Bitsy has been declared “potentially dangerous,” the Zielinskis must also take other measures. They must build a proper enclosure defined as “securely confined indoors or in a securely locked pen or structure suitable to prevent the animal from escaping,” according to the ordinance. The enclosure must have a minimum overall size of 32 square feet, a minimum height of 5 feet and be constructed of 11-gauge or heavier wire.
If the dog is outside of the enclosure it must be muzzled and restrained by a leash not to exceed 6 feet and under the supervision of someone 16-years-old or older, according to the law. The dog must also be licensed and have a microchip implanted for identification.
Whether or not you think that a shoe biting Doxie named Bitsy needs to be muzzled and restrained at all time, we should be left wondering about all the dogs out there who must be muzzled and restrained in spite of the fact that they’ve bitten no one.
Let’s also consider a world in which, not too far into the future, it’s conceivable that a single bite by a dog named Bitsy could be all the impetus it takes for some city council, somewhere, to add Daschunds to the list of ‘dangerous dogs’.
Oh come on, Carol. They’ll never ban _________s. It couldn’t happen here, this is Canada for Dog’s sake. We don’t ban dogs, you know that. Stop fear-mongering.
I mean, just because the three breeds banned in Ontario are so rare most people have never seen one, it doesn’t mean that all those news reports are inaccurate.
Just because these few expensive, well cared-for purebreds couldn’t possibly have sired or whelped all the ‘pit bulls’ people keep seeing (right beside the pink elephants) doesn’t mean that ‘pit bulls’ aren’t a threat to public safety, you know.
Just because there’s never been a reported bite by a purebred doesn’t mean they aren’t ticking time bombs, waiting to explode.
Just because there’s only been one fatality caused by a dog reliably of the ‘pit bull’ type (1995) in the history of Canada, doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen again. I mean, what-if.
There’s a threat to public safety in Ontario, alright, but it sits in the big Dog House at Queen’s Park.
As for Dachshunds, they were bred to attack shoes and tear shoelaces, among other things. Trust me, I have one from working lines. They also do what I call a shark leap – some unwitting person or dog casts a shadow over their head from behind and they jump, twist and snap at the same time. You can’t ‘untrain’ them, you know, because they are ‘shoelace-bred’. That’s what JP says, anyway.
I posted this story this AM on the bulldog lists, so far the silence is deafening.
I foresee another rant in my near future!