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Thread: This may ruffle feathers....

  1. #1

    Default This may ruffle feathers....

    Good day. This is not a gripe, or complaint, it is just a general enquiry .
    We own a dog. She is registered, well trained, well kept, in fact she eats better than I do, and is much loved.
    About 2 weeks ago she was attacked by another dog, requiring 2 operations and a permanent scar on her face. Thankfully it has not changed her nature. Reading article after article on an increase in dog attacks, noticing an increase in ownership, and a mass increase in people not obeying council rules has brought me to lead many a discussion in the barbershop I work in.
    Why is it not mandatory to take your dog to dog training? And how come just anybody can get a dog? Surely if the idea of applying for a licence to own a dog by passing a test and making you a registered, responsible owner would cut down on
    a: dogs purchased on impulse, some of which end up in shelters,
    B: owners incorrectly handling their pets causing injury to people or other dogs
    C: less leg work for the council trying to re-home unwanted dogs

    There could be many benefits from having to apply to own a dog before getting one. Correctly trained owners are a big step. The dog that attacked mine was adopted from the RSPCA and was incorrectly handled.
    There are many more ideas that this can lead to and a mass of problems it could solve. Also more fines for back yard breeders and owners who are not registered breeders who do not have their dogs/cats fixed. It would slowly start to decrease the number of animals having to be euthanised. If people want to own more than one dog, why can't there be an idea in place that maybe a form of discount on training and registering could come into play if the second animal is a rescued animal to encourage more people to help other dogs, or cats if that is your preference.
    If you have to have a special permit to own a lizard or a turtle, why don't you need one for what is potentially a large animal with muscles and teeth that could be unpredictable if raised wrong. Any thoughts on this idea would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    York, Western Australia


    I see your point, and agree with a lot of what you are saying. There could be many reasons for why this is not in place. The cost of enforcing it might be one issue. We already have BSL, limits on the amount of dogs we own, council registration, and laws relating to our dogs. If we made it harder to own a dog many good potential owners would likely decide it was just too much trouble. I rescued my dog, and took her to level 3 in obedience training, and we are an accredited pet therapy team. She can sit beside another dog in a training situation and not bat an eyelid.....if I let her off lead in a park and another dog enters her personal space - be it a Chihuahua or a Rottweiler....she will attack. I think I am a good and responsible owner - I don't let her off lead if I see another dog.
    Last edited by TaraGSX; 08-15-2014 at 04:49 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    Couldn't agree more! I'm all for a dog owner licence. I would see it working a bit like getting a drivers licence. First you need to pass a theory test, though maybe that can be replaced by a couple of mandatory information sessions for owners. And then you commit to either doing mandatory training classes with your new dog, bit like the logbook method for drivers licence, or to sit a practical test. (I don't think attending group classes is the only way to get a well trained, well balanced dog, especially if you've got a few dogs and have trained a few.)

    If anyone sells a dog to anyone without a licence, they should get heavy fines. If you are convicted of any animal abuse charges, you are blacklisted. And I would really, really like to see some extra requirements for people who have ever surrendered or abandoned their dogs. If they didn't do it for a "valid" reason (illness, moving into a nursing home, death of a partner, moving overseas), they will be blacklisted at least for a few years and then have to start the process from scratch. But that would require more effort to be made to ensure that all dogs are microchipped and that the owner's address is automatically updated when they move. Link it to the ATO database if you must!

    I don't care how restrictive it might get and how many will cry "nanny state". I work in rescue. And I also see dogs rotting away in backyards way too often and meet plenty whose owners have less control over their dog on lead than I have off lead. We have less regard for the wellbeing of dogs in this country than we have for cattle.

    ETA: I do also agree that basic training won't always fix reactivity issues. But training the owner should make them better at dealing with it instead of having a "let the dogs sort it out" attitude to everything.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Townsville, QLD


    I agree there should be more done in regards to whether people are suitable for owning a dog or not - but unfortunately it's very hard to enforce. For example, the dogs that usually attack people are ones that the owners buy and just leave locked up in their back yard all day every day - no training, not even taking them out for a walk. Unless the dog actually escapes, attacks someones or gets taken to the pound, no one really knows if it's registered or not. I'd imagine there would be a LOT of people that own dogs without registration. Unfortunately this means that the dog probably can't be traced back to it's owner as I doubt they'd have gone to the effort of a microchip too.

    As far as fines though, it's not really practical as it depends on the definition of a "back yard breeder". The problem is you simply cannot be a registered breeder when you're cross breeding - and the fact is people do want cross bred dogs, so until there's also a "registered cross breeder" class, it's not going to work. As far as fixing your animals, most councils already offer a reduced registration rate if you do, so I guess you could almost consider it a "fine" for owning an intact animal. I'm personally in no rush to have my boy neutered unless I need to for medical reasons. I personally think the benefits of keeping him intact outweigh those of having him fixed (although I do see the benefits in females) - but at the same time I know that the chance of him accidentally mating is very low - my yard is secure, he's never off leash outside the yard, and also because I actually understand my own dogs personality. Possibly if there were fines for anyone keeping 2 intact dogs without being a council registered breeder, there might be a slight reduction, but it really doesn't stop them just taking their dog to a friends house or something like that.

    I totally agree though that there should be a blacklist for people that have proven they can't look after a dog - say if it has been collected by animal control X number of times, they just outright abandon it, abuse etc, but like everything else, it's just far too hard to enforce.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    i do like the idea as far as if someone is getting a dog they should have to take them to a dog club for training if they have never owned a dog before.
    but... the idea of needing to be approved to be able to own one is flawed and easy corruptible.
    i've seen more than enough people in dog world abusing jobs outside of dog world for there own agenda in the dog world.
    i could elaborate and give details but i'd rather not.

  6. #6


    Well, you would include large fines, there are so many ideas on it. If people are offered discounts to take on a rescue dog, with mandatory training, it would help shelters, there is a potentially limitless pool of ideas to go with it. You could make owning a dog without a licence a light conviction, it sounds harsh, but animal cruelty is not. More people are for the idea than against it. It has been interesting .

  7. #7


    Oh, and yes, people drive without a licence, people, break the law, but less people break than those who abide by it.

  8. #8


    And the point of the breeding, unless you intend to breed and continue the line of the dog, there is no reason whatsoever to keep an intact dog. At all. It lowers aggression in males, it prevents unwanted pups, and I have never seen a need for a family pet to be able to reproduce.

  9. #9


    When you work with the RSPCA and see the amount of animals that shouldn't be there, it is heartbreaking.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    You are making laws that keep the honest honest and the others will flout it to suit themselves.
    In WA they have made it so hard to get a drivers license unless you have VERY supportive family and money to pay for the petrol required to do the hours ( and many parents just sign off and do not do the hours) . Consequently there are more driving without one.
    This would become an administrative nightmares and cost huge amounts to police ( and who would? Councils are not police) It would be great though for the animals who suffer.
    I think they could give some teeth to laws so that dogs that are not kept in reasonable surroundings could be helped much more easily.
    Last edited by farrview; 08-15-2014 at 07:51 PM.

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