1. Don't read up on dog breeds, dog behavior or dog training before you get your dog.
2. Don't get a pit bull or a Rottweiler. Buy a "safe breed."
3. Get your dog from a pet shop, or from a neighbor who bred his untrained, outside dog to make some extra cash.
4. Don't socialize your puppy. The socialization window slams shut at four months, but who has the time to introduce a pup to 100 new people [of every age and aspect] by the time he's twelve weeks or so? Besides, you don't want Scout to be friendly with strangers. You want him to be protective.
5. Don't train your pup. If Scout chews on the furniture or is too stubborn or too damn dumb to be house-trained, you can always just leave him in the yard.
6. Don't worry if Scout runs off and roams the neighborhood. If he gets enough exercise, maybe he won't bark outside your bedroom window all night. It's not like there's a leash law or anything.
7. Find another dog to mate with your first one. Your cousin's next-door-neighbor wants to breed the family pet, and this kind of dog is so popular, you'll have all the pups sold in no time. They're selling for $1200 apiece at the pet shop in the mall, did you see that?
8. Or, you know, you could just give them away in front of the local market. To anybody.
Extensive research and investigation using 40 years of data has conclusively identified the reckless and criminal ownership practices that can cause a dog to become dangerous:
OWNER MANAGEMENT & CONTROL OF DOGS
Owners failing to humanely contain, control and maintain their dogs (chained dogs, loose roaming dogs, cases of abuse/neglect), and owners failing to properly supervise interaction between children and dogs.
FUNCTION OF DOG
Owners maintaining dogs for guarding/protection, fighting, intimidation/status, or as yard dogs. Such dogs are resident dogs, not family pets.
REPRODUCTION STATUS OF DOG
Owners failing to spay or neuter animals not used for competition, show, or in a responsible breeding program.
From 2005-2007, increased focus on the negligent and criminal human behaviors has resulted in 31% of owners and/or parents of young victims being criminally charged.The quotes above, as well as the quote in this post's title, are from Karen Delise, a nationally known authority on dog bites. Her website on dog attacks is remarkably thorough, and thoroughly fascinating. [Mine ain't bad, either ;~) ] The "dog bites" tag on this blog will bring up more information.
HOLDING OWNERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE HUMANE TREATMENT, CONTAINMENT, AND CONTROL OF THEIR DOGS IS THE ONLY WAY TO MINIMIZE INCIDENCE OF CANINE AGGRESSION.
A few more facts: most dog-bite victims are young children. Most bites occur at home. In most cases, the dog involved belongs to the family or to friends. The single, most valuable dog-bite prevention measure? Parental supervision of children with the family dog. Over 6,000 Americans are hospitalized each year because of dog bites. The vast majority of those hospitalizations involve "safe breeds."
Tragedy in Texas: loose, untrained, unsocialized dogs kill a seven-year-old. Here's the link. "Four pit bulls," said the Associated Press reporter. Here are screen grabs of one of them:
Looks like a sheepdog mix to me... But it must be a pit bull, because safe breeds never bite — do they?
Dog attacks are a symptom. The disease is us.