Humans are funny creatures. When it comes to problem solving, we are programmed to waste a great amount of time and energy focusing on the side-effects rather than go to the root of a problem. This approach rarely leads to a workable solution and often re-victimizes the innocent. Rather than rooting out the real cause, we instead allow a problem to flourish and expand.
Every so often, as a society, we choose a target, which becomes focus of all our negative attention. Amongst most favored reoccurring targets seem to be dogs, usually specific large breeds, that are perceived as “vicious” or dangerous. In the past it was German Sheppard, Doberman, Bull Terrier and most recently Pit Bull and Rottweiler. Someone uncovers an incident related to that breed and suddenly everywhere you turn, you hear a horror story involving that particular dog-type.
It is highly likely that cause of an incident was some sort of faulty human behavior, such as an ongoing abuse or neglect, lack of providing a dog with proper training, unsupervised visits with children, an invasion of dog’s or owner’s territory, etc. However, because a dog can not advocate for him or herself, we accept an incomplete human version of truth, which focuses mainly on the outcome, rather than on details of human action/behavior leading up to the incident. What actually transpired prior to the attack is often left out of the equation, not necessarily out of malice, but rather because we are often completely oblivious to how our behavior contributed to the incident.
Based largely on incomplete information and preconceived notions a decision to “put a guilty dog down” is made and society’s intolerance towards the breed increases. A true culprit, the human, gets off with a fine, sometimes not even that, and goes out to buy and eventually destroy yet another innocent life.
Instead of eliminating and outlawing certain breeds, we should educate public on proper “etiquette”, ownership, approach and interaction with breeds normally considered to be dangerous, and/or other people’s dogs in general. Don’t destroy a dog AFTER an attack. Those who are seriously considering owning these breeds should be registered, properly educated about them and aware of all breed-specific responsibilities BEFORE making a purchase and a lifetime commitment. Instead of implementation of a “blanket-law” prohibiting ownership of certain breeds, a more humane and responsible approach would be to create a law that will ensure that choosing an ownership of a “problem” breed means serious commitment to providing an ongoing, proper care, training and socializing.
Our responsibility is to be more diligent in investigating and prosecuting dog owners who abuse their role as care givers, specifically those who are repeat offenders and are suspected of owning dogs for specific, inappropriate reasons which require them to be aggressive and to attack.
Who is to blame? We all know the answer. Permit me to present two examples in support of my theory of misplaced blame. 1: Cesar Millan’s first right-hand dog, lifelong companion and work-partner, Daddy, a Pit Bull, who by society’s standards should have been a vicious dog. Instead Daddy was an amazingly intelligent, calm, well trained and well mannered dog. During his lifetime he helped a staggering number of dogs and people alike. He clearly proved that with proper care and training Pit Bulls can be great pets and a wonderful addition to any family. 2: Our Rottweiler Luna. During her 12 years with us she touched lives of many who were discarded by “civilized society”. She provided them with dog-therapy, friendship, love and acceptance. Through her love she convinced many people to become Rottie lovers. Despite some of the hatred and aggression directed at her by those who were ignorant, all she ever craved for was a pat on the head and permission to give a big sloppy “kiss”.
Luna and Daddy: Two Ambassadors of Love and Beacons of Hope for their breeds!
This article is dedicated to Daddies and Lunas everywhere.
Milana comes from a family of highly intuitive Russian women. As a young widow, her grandmother Ana fed three small children by reading fortune cards for soldiers during WW2. Because life in the former Soviet Union was very restrictive, Milana’s mother Inna was denied an opportunity to nurture and accept her own gifts and was unable to encourage or support Milana’s inherent empathic gifts.
Milana has always had very strong connection to animals. When reading them she literally hears their thoughts in her mind and feels their joy or suffering. She is also able to connect with pets who are no longer with us.
She ensures that the information received provides a well-rounded holistic approach to the animal’s well-being. Milana provides you with insight into your pet’s opinion about their own physical fitness, as well as their mental and emotional contentment.