As the title says, my views which have been changing for a while are now that certain breeds should be regarded differently from others. I have never accepted that all breeds are equally dangerous in the wrong hands - sure you can make any dog aggressive but some breeds are undeniably more dangerous, stronger and have instincts that lead to them more easily becoming a threat. I will never support the banning of any breed, I have seen plenty of good examples of every breed that would prevent the justification that sort of response. But after yet another attack last night, I really want new laws to be introduced that regulate and restrict who can own powerful breeds. The fact that at the moment someone can go out and buy a chihuahua/maltese/beagle/insert other small breed with the same ease that they can buy a GSD/rottie/dobe/bully breed/insert other powerful breed no longer makes any sense to me. I believe 100% that if you're a good owner it won't matter what breed you own, your dog will be great. But there is a huge difference between a bad owner buying a maltese versus buying a pitbull, and I no longer accept that people should be able to obtain an animal that without proper training, socialising etc will become a danger to society without any screening whatsoever.
Last night I took Sammy for a long walk through Centennial park. For the most part, we had a wonderful time. We ran into lots of other dogs, including plenty of other entire males and there were no issues. Then, we emerge onto a large field and right at the other end, I can just barely make out the shape of a person and their dog. I hear the man start yelling frantically, I see that his dog is facing mine and hasn't even looked back. Man continues to yell at the dog, yelling no, come here, bad dog etc etc. Dog ignores him 100% and starts running towards us at full pelt. There is a fence next to us, a wooden barn type fence that is about 1.2m high. It is open beneath but there is some chicken wire that minimizes the gap. I commanded Sammy to jump over the fence, which thankfully he cleared and put him in a down stay. The dog is getting closer and now I can easily identify it as either an Amstaff or pitbull. It is running at full speed, directly towards Sammy. The owner has yet to make a move but from the moment I heard the way he addressed his dog I knew we were going to be on our own here anyway. My partner follows my directions, he's been with me for 2 other bully breed attacks now so he is very worried. We position ourselves directly between Sammy and the dog, and when he's within about 20m, we start yelling at him and trying to block him. He hesitates but doesn't stop and manages to evade us. He obviously didn't see the chicken wire so he stops for a second and I make a decision and reach down and grab his collar. My partner follows me so we are now both holding onto his collar. The owner has started running across the field, he is yelling sorry and telling us to hold onto his dog. I had absolutely no intention of letting him go. I clip Sammy's lead onto his collar so we can remove our hands as the dog is starting to growl and twist more violently, still 100% focused on Sammy. I could not have yanked him away by myself, but with my partner's help, we pull the dog away and move to the other side of the path. Sammy hasn't moved, he isn't even making eye contact with the dog so thankfully is giving him nothing to work with, but unfortunately that is not calming this dog down. Finally the owner starts to arrive, he is now profusely apologetic and explaining that he didn't know anyone else was going to come onto this field and that he's fine with people, just not other dogs, like that somehow is an acceptable response. His dog starts to really growl as he approaches it, it does not like him at all and the thought that comes into my head is that he has beaten this dog before. I refuse to remove Sammy's lead until he has his lead clipped on, although he keeps telling me it's fine now. Finally he has his dog and he is just yelling at it non-stop. I don't even bother to say anything, I just call Sammy and the 3 of us very literally run the entire length of the field until we can't see them anymore.
So yes. I have had enough. That man should not have owned any dog, he was going to ruin any dog regardless of breed. But I hate to think of what that dog would have done to Sammy given half a chance or if that fence hadn't of been there and the risks when you own a small dog are just not as great in the hands of bad owners.
I think that if you want to own a breed that has the power (and I would argue inclination in some cases) to harm people or animals, so all guarding breeds and the bully breeds, you need to have a license. These dogs can make wonderful pets but in the wrong hands, they are just too dangerous. And as the owner of a breed that people often fear due to bad experiences with poor owners, I would welcome the changes. It would mean that people would know that when they saw one of these dogs coming towards them, they could be more relaxed because they could be assured that the owners and dog had been assessed and found to be up to the task. We also know that bad owners tend to be repeat offenders and yet this doesn't even seem to be tracked. If that dog in the park had seriously hurt or worse, killed Sammy yesterday and we had pressed charges and had the dog put down (even though I don't blame the dog), there is nothing stopping that man from picking up another dog on the way home from the vet for next to nothing - there are cheap staffies available everywhere and I think that is the definition of insanity right there.
There were American bulldog x American Staffys for sale in my local pet shop recently. In the cage next them were moodle oodle cavoodle doodles etc. They might both be dogs but owning one of them would be a completely different experience from owning the other and I think it's time this was taken into account.
I'm going to be writing a letter to someone, as soon as I figure out who the best person is because I have had enough.