Banning Dog Breeds Is Never The Answer!
This month The Mirror newspaper has launched a campaign calling for the widening of the remit of the current Dangerous Dog Act. They want to add more breeds to the list of those banned in the UK, particularly XL Bully type dogs, and place restrictions on their owners
This has been triggered by a spike in deaths from dog bites, 9 already this year, 4 of which have been from bull breeds.
It is true that these large and extremely powerful dogs are becoming more popular and many will have been traumatised in their early life by ear cropping but the solution is not to ban them, or blame them for their owner’s mistakes.
The Dangerous Dogs Act came into force in the UK in 1991, as a similar knee jerk reaction to dog biting incidents and banned certain dog breeds. It has had little to no impact on the number or severity of dog bite incidents and there are regular calls from charities and other organisations to repeal it and replace it with more nuanced laws aimed at ‘Deed not Breed’.
Adding more dogs to the banned list will only increase their popularity in some quarters and lead to huge numbers being given up and euthanised in others.
The problem is not the dogs, it is the people who breed and own them.
Sometimes those people are deliberately damaging their animals, by cropping their ears and training using cruel methods like prong collars and instilling fear but other times it is simply down to a lack of understanding of to how to correctly train, socialise and behave around their pets.
And this can apply to any dog regardless of their size or breed. They are all capable of biting and inflicting serious damage, especially to children.
So, Mirror, I understand where you are coming from but it would be better to put your considerable weight behind;
🐶 Campaigns to ban ear cropping and properly prosecute those doing it
🐶 Campaigns against backyard and irresponsible breeding
🐶 Educating your readers on how to find a well bred pup and give them the knowledge on where to go for the right support and training once they have bought it
🐶 Calling out those people in the public eye who parade their cropped eared, prong collar wearing dogs to hundreds of thousands of social media followers and point out that these animals aren’t ‘fire’ 🔥 or ‘King’ 👑 but abused.
We also need to reduce the worry people have that if they do reach out for help once they realise they have an issue with their dogs, they will be shamed or the dogs taken against their wishes. When you read the stories behind these bites, it is clear that if the owners had asked for support, we may have been able to prevent them.
There is no quick fix to this issue and banning breeds is not the answer.