By Saro Boghozian, Expert Family Dog Trainer
Before we make a decision we need to look at few things and consider some overall changes. It comes down to understanding breeds, dog’s roles in human society, regulated breeders or sellers and responsible dog owners.
Breed was part of the decision many years ago when it came to selecting dog. Breeds were meant to help satisfy specific needs of people. Some people wanted a guard dog for their property, some wanted a herding dog for their farm, and some others wanted a dog that would just lie down on their lap. It was basically personalized form of dog shopping. You could select what you wanted from the dog and based on those needs you had the choice of the breeds and specifically the dog. Each breed was designed for specific purpose so you chose what you needed. There was a need for certain task and dog breeders bred the dogs based on those human needs.
Today, because of Urbanization, there is not much need of those breed specifics; designer breed dogs are more popular now. Still dogs are bred the same way or even worse but not for the same reason. Today most dog owners get a dog based on other needs like replacing the need to have children, a fashion statement, a dogs look, colour and size and not what the dog is capable of doing. The dog is being selected based on what the family likes to have or what looks good to them and what they want the dog to represent. The selection is also an emotional decision. The dog is selected because the human feels sorry for the dog and not if the human is compatible or is able to provide for the dog emotionally and physically. In some cases the dog becomes an accessory for entertainment and not a working partner. Therefore all breeds of dogs become an object and have one purpose. That is not to fulfill a job but to fulfill a spot that is missing in human lives. This role is not suited for the dog so the dogs become unemployed and retire at the age of one. All breeds in this day and age have one job, to be a pet, rather than what they used to be “a domesticated working animal”. They are retired “working dogs” as soon as they join our family lives.
Any unemployed dog has the tendency to become a dangerous dog in our society. It doesn’t have to be Pit Bull; it could be a Chihuahua, Beagle or Golden retriever.
Now the “vicious” or “high risk” breeds, are breeds that have been standing out in our society as the breeds that need to be banned.
Frankly, these breeds, are” difficult to handle.” Heck I’ve seen people having a hard time handling a pug but we don’t even think to ban them.
These breeds (“vicious” or “high risk” breeds) have originally been bred for certain purposes and reasons that are specifically meant to be used for certain duties. If the needs are not satisfied especially in these breeds they become troubled dogs. It can happen to any dog and any breed but especially these breeds because of high working mentality and specific duties that have been genetically bred into them. An unemployed dog is an unhappy, stressed dog.
Let’s exploit a German shepherd as an example. This breed has been bred for protection and other similar duties and they are used in the police force because of what they are capable of doing. The puppies show the characteristics at a very young age and that is when they are picked and focus trained for police work. A German shepherd not only protects the handler, it makes sure that no one moves toward its handler or comes back again either. That is the beauty of this dog and it is its trade. Since this dog has been bred, and customized to do a task, then it is not fair to condemn it for doing its job. Now, in the hands of someone who just needs a pet, this dog will be a handful and will cause lots of trouble including attacking the neighbor’s kids that were just trying to say hi to you. This dog may end up with the wrong owner and at the wrong home. If we don’t want this dog to attack people we should not give the opportunity to do so or the dog should be trained to not be a protective dog. This example could reflect to any breed and any dog.
The solution, in my opinion is to deal with the system. If the government is willing to spend money and power to reinforce the ban, I think it should focus on the education and control of breeders and dog ownership in general.
It all starts from the breeders and sellers. From legitimate ones, back yard breeders to puppy mills. Some need to be regulated and monitored and others need to be banned. I agree with banning the illegitimate breeder. No one should be able to sell a dog to anyone other than regulated, legitimate breeders and sellers. People also should not be able to buy a dog without being educated and made to commit to train the dog, make sure that is the right dog for the whole family and make sure that the dog becomes part of the family. Dog owners should be held responsible for their dog’s actions and be fined for not taking the appropriate and suggested steps.
Breeders should be doing proper breeding as well. They should be breeding properly with proper steps and following appropriate actions to produce good, balanced, healthy dogs.
The reality is that there are people who should not own a dog in general yet they own a breed that is a handful for them. I have seen people that own a dog thinking it looks cool but they can’t even walk the dog. Again it does not matter what breed is, the dog won’t behave normal if training and its needs are not provided. Dogs, no matter what breed, should also be trained from the moment join the human family. This should be legalized and every dog owner should be signing a contract with the breeder and the government to agree and follow all the right steps and the right steps should be set out by professionals.
Dogs again, no matter what breed, want to satisfy a human being. That is one common gene specific that has been designed in them. A human should take advantage of that and develop the perfect dog for their family. Let’s not ban the breed or the dog. Let’s educate dog lovers.
PUNISH THE DEED!
NOT THE BREED!
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.jonahsark.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/saro-boghozian.jpg[/author_image] [author_info] Saro received his expert dog trainer certification from The College of Canine Behavioural Science and is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and does volunteer behaviour consultation with a number of dog rescue organizations. Saro’s play, praise and reward training classes are always in high demand as are his private one-on-one training sessions. Rather than using treats or gimmicks like shock collars, Saro’s training methods help owners understand how to use a dog’s natural intelligence to achieve success. [/author_info] [/author]