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Don’t Ban Dog Breeds, Teach Kids

Don’t Ban Dog Breeds, Teach Kids

It is better to teach children about dogs than ban breeds, according to new research.

A study in the Medical Journal of Australia says that banning certain breeds of dogs is ineffective in reducing the rate and severity of attacks.

Lead author, pediatric surgeon Professor Roy Kimble, said:

Basically in the hands of a irresponsible owner, any dog can be dangerous.

Kimble said laws which targeted specific ”dangerous breeds” were not based on whether the breeds were inherently dangerous, but on those breeds which had been traditionally used for fighting.

”Breed-specific legislation fails to take into account that any breed of dog can be dangerous in the hands of an irresponsible owner who fails to provide good and early training,” he said.

”Further, these restrictions may create the risk of higher numbers of unregistered animals or irresponsible owners simply turning to other breeds.”

Children and some dogs, like guard dogs, just should not be mixed, he said. And he says some people are not suited to certain breeds.

Sometimes people use dogs as status symbols and that’s often the dangerous breeds. You know, ‘look at me I’ve got a pit bull terrier.’

Professor Kimble said the key is educating dog owners and children about how to behave with dogs.

“All kids should be educated how to behave around dogs and that should be done by the parents. Also, it would be great if we could have a school education campaign for young kids,” he said.

The leading charity, the RSPCA, agreed, with its chief scientist Dr Bidda Jones telling the ABC:

What tends to happen when a child particularly is attacked by a dog is that governments are put under pressure to respond to that particular incident.

But actually what is needed is a long-term preventative strategy. It involves people actually being educated about what their responsibilities are as a dog owner.

Dr Jones says children can be taught simple things about how to behave around dogs.

“Not to approach them for instance when they are sleeping or when they are eating, not to pat dogs without actually asking whether or not that’s okay,” he said.

“To know how to behave if a dog does behave in an aggressive way towards them, so for instance, to avoid eye contact, not to run away but to stand still,” he said.

The report recommended that children should be taught to:

  • Ask permission from the owner before slowly approaching an unfamiliar dog
  • Never to run from a dog or scream
  • Stand still if approached by a strange dog and, if knocked over, roll into a ball and lie still
  • Avoid eye contact with the dog by looking at their own feet
  • Not to disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies and
  • Not to pat a dog without supervision or without allowing them to see and sniff them first.

Related stories:

Police Kill Two Dogs, Bella And Jordan, In San Mateo, CA

City Proposes Pit Bull Ban

Why I Will Never Support Breed Bans

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1:36AM PDT on May 7, 2013

We have an unusual breed of gun dog and promote the breed at shows and game fairs and it's always great to see kids come up and ask permission before petting the dogs - of course we also see the parents who let their kids do whatever they want and it makes me glad we don't have our old Spaniel anymore - he saw anything under three feet as fair game!

11:54AM PST on Mar 6, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

8:58PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

All good recomendations. If only people would take the time to choose a breed compatible with their families. thanks for the post.

6:17PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
---St. Francis of Assisi

6:17PM PDT on Jul 30, 2012

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
---St. Francis of Assisi

12:14AM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

teaching is very important

8:01AM PST on Feb 7, 2012

A ban doesn't do anything except keep good people from having these dogs. Would a dog fighter care if their was a ban in his/her area? I'm pretty sure he/she wouldn't care if there was or not cause they are going to do what they want regardless of consequence, it's all about the money to them. For the just bad owners who don't care to train, well they probably wouldn't give a hoot also. Good dogs and good people should deserve a chance. Ban the deed not the breed!

12:57AM PST on Jan 12, 2012

Never ceases to amaze me how terrible parents always find ways to blame everything around them for their kids acting stupidly.

1:05AM PST on Jan 11, 2012

teach kids so they will be responsible when they grow up.

6:10PM PST on Jan 7, 2012

Dogs are beautiful, and can be great companions. It is up to the owner to train them. I also believe kids should be taught to respect animals (particularly dogs and cats) because any dog may be vicious, and it is not the breed that counts, it's the training.

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