There have been some very troubling dog attacks on innocent young lives in the news headlines recently. I have had powerful dogs. They were the biggest, most gentle-natured dogs, they both slept inside and they both had a place on the couch. But never ever would I let my grandchildren near them, and neither would I allow neighbourhood children to play with them.
You never know when a child will torment a dog. They can make a high pitched scream that a lot of dogs cannot tolerate. Their actions can be as innocent as a hug — a lot of dogs don’t like hugs. Then of course there is the head pat, which is also something not many dogs appreciate.
People tend to humanise their dogs, which I feel is somewhat delusional. Thinking that because you say ‘No’, the dog will obey, is a sad expectation on our animals. I have only seen such obedient behaviour in dogs that have been trained, and only the most diligent people are likely to put in that kind of effort.
I know there are some people who see a powerful dog as some sort of status symbol.
I think large dogs that are trained to kill, such as those dogs used for hunting or as guard dogs, should not be near children on any level.
I will never understand how people can allow a dog to rip into an animal and then think it okay to expect the dog to behave in a gentle manner around children.
Breeds of large aggressive natured dogs are a ticking time bomb and should not be in suburbia where yards are smaller, houses are on top of each other, and where people are generally too busy to make sure their dogs are entertained properly and walked on a regular basis.
Any dog has the potential to become dangerous (you never know when their predator drive is going to kick in, and all dogs have that drive), but it is up to the owner — the person responsible for the dog’s training and obedience — to ensure the safety of other humans and the dog itself.