Dangerous Dog Britain

Amongst the stunted-brained cretins of this world it has become fashionable to own dogs which are capable of killing people, writes Christopher Goff.

On 15 August, 2016, a 52 year-old man, David Ellam, was attacked by a dog near to his home in Huddersfield and died later that same day in hospital, his injuries apparently so severe that medics could not save him. A 29 year-old local man, and who is thought to be the owner of the dog responsible for attacking David Ellam, was arrested sometime after the incident and then later released on police bail. Apparently, West Yorkshire Police had an easy job of finding the owner of this particular dog, said to be a pit bull-type, because it has since emerged that Police Officers had in fact seized this exact same dog a number of weeks earlier in their belief that it might be of a breed which is banned under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA). The seized dog had only been back with its owner about a week before it attacked and killed Mr Ellam.

That there exist breeds of dog powerful enough to be able to kill a grown man is not surprising. And neither is the fact that someone was apparently keeping one of these dogs inside a pen in his back garden in Huddersfield. Indeed, the death of David Ellam was not the first death of this type, just like it will not be the last. But what this tragic incident has again managed to do is bring into sharp focus the effectiveness of the DDA, and also the effectiveness of those systems in place which are meant to enable the enforcement of its provisions.

Critics of the DDA say that it places too much emphasis on dogs which simply have the misfortune of belonging to one of the four breeds which the Act bans – the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Fila Brasileiro. These typically emotional people like to talk in terms of breeds being 'vilified', and also like to point out that 'all dogs can be dangerous' if treated badly. They say that resources are wasted on seizing dogs that might look dangerous but whose temperaments might be such that they do not pose any danger to people.

In respect of the 'all dogs can be dangerous' claim, of course it is the case that any dog kept in poor conditions or badly treated by its owner can have its temperament so altered that it can begin to pose a risk to people, and indeed to other dogs as well. But what the bleeding hearts of the dog world do not appreciate is the fact that the physical composition of a dog is an important determining factor in just how much of a danger that an animal might or might not one day pose.

The physical make up of a dog is exactly one of the reasons why the DDA bans some breeds and not others. It isn't so much the overall size and weight of a dog that can make it dangerous; instead it is how that weight is distributed over the animal. Dogs which, for example, have traditionally been bred for bear or bull baiting, or for fighting, typically share similar physical characteristics – they have wide skulls, well developed facial muscles, strong jaws and lots of upper body strength on account of well formed muscles in the neck and shoulders.

In addition to a dog's physical composition, the other main reasons explaining the appearance of some breeds on the banned list and not others are the issues of temperament and behaviour. In one sense, the bleeding hearts of the dog world have got it right when they claim that dogs on the banned list are being seized and destroyed when the temperaments of those dogs might be such that they do not pose any danger to people. However, what these people fail to understand is that the authorities just do not have the time, the resources or the expertise to psychoanalyse every dog they seize, so instead have to work to a system where it is accepted that certain breeds which have over many years been bred to attack bears, bulls and other large animals, or indeed to fight each other, are likely to share similar genetically inherited traits which in turn can influence their temperament and behaviour. That the bleeding hearts of the dog world do not want to accept that certain breeds of dog typically act in certain ways is a little puzzling. So, I would say the following to these people: 'It's not humans we are talking about; it's dogs. And as such, you are in life allowed to say that certain breeds of dog typically behave in certain ways, whereas perhaps you might get a knock at the door from the police if you were to start saying that certain groups of people typically behave in certain ways'.

What is it about the temperament or behaviour of some breeds of dog that can make them dangerous? Well, dogs bred for attacking other animals, as in the case of dogs traditionally bred for baiting or fighting, most usually have an instinctive bite, hold and shake behaviour, and it is exactly this behaviour trait which can make a dog dangerous. Non-baiting or non-fighting breeds, including some large and powerful breeds which people say at times can be aggressive, tend not to display this behaviour and are as a result not half as dangerous as dogs that know how to bite, hold and shake. And in so far as temperament is concerned, some breeds are instinctively very protective of their owners and their territory, and it follows that these breeds can often be overly aggressive towards strangers. You will note that a great many dog attacks occur when a stranger is visiting the home of a dog, and indeed there have been a number of children killed by dogs who have done nothing more than simply call at the home of a friend. The bullmastiff breeds, of which there are a number, are known for their extreme wariness of strangers, as is the Akita and whose ownership is banned in a number of jurisdictions, but not the UK, for exactly this reason.

I have stated elsewhere in this article how critics of the DDA think the process of first of all deeming certain dog breeds as 'dangerous' and then banning their ownership is flawed, but I disagree. The only thing wrong with the current process is that in the UK at least there are a number of dangerous breeds which are not on the banned list when they should be. Indeed, only an imbecile would claim that of all the dog breeds represented in the UK it is only four that are dangerous.

While researching this article I came across an interesting document on the website of Dublin City Council. This particular Council created a good deal of controversy when in July 2007 it decided to ban ten breeds of 'problem dog' from its properties. Tenants already in possession of one or more of these dogs were ordered to get them licensed and spayed or neutered, and were also made subject to a number of other strict conditions governing their ownership of these animals. Of this matter, it would be interesting to know exactly what criteria Dublin City Council used in drawing up its list of banned breeds, but I am inclined to think the organization used nothing more than good old-fashioned and usually very reliable common sense, in as much as its Officers perhaps worked out which breeds the stunted-brained cretins of this world were favouring and then promptly banned them. No messing about. I believe Dublin City Council also acts in a zero tolerance fashion in respect of those mixed-breed dogs that are quite possibly every bit as dangerous as the breeds on its banned list but which are not so easily identifiable as belonging to one breed or another. And it goes without saying, that if West Yorkshire Police had only have operated to this same pattern of rigorous thinking when it seized from its owner the dog that later went on to kill David Ellam, well of course he would still be alive.

The Government need not employ an army of dog breed experts, dog behaviourists or canine psychoanalysts in order to determine which other breeds should be added to the four already on the banned list. Instead, through simple observation just find out which types of dog are typically being favoured by the stunted-brained cretins of this world – they tend to like the dangerous ones – and then stick those breeds on the banned list. Or alternatively, a better starting point might be to just ban all those breeds with 'bull' in their name.

The ownership of dogs these days is becoming more and more like the ownership of firearms. There is no good reason why someone should be allowed to own an assault rifle, just like there is no good reason why someone should be allowed to own a dog which is capable of killing a grown man.

Copyright © Christopher Goff
Tag: Society
Uploaded: 29 August, 2016.