Wednesday 14 November 2012

So, Leads Are The Answer, Eh?

Yes, it’s the perennial cry of the comment-column and letter-page denizens of all local newspaper stories about dog attacks. If only we have laws demanding all dogs were leashed in public, all would be well.

A pensioner has told of his horror after being dragged to the floor by a dog while trying to save his puppy from its jaws. Barry Craig, 67, of Diana Close, Alverstoke was walking his five-month-old pedigree puppy at Queens Parade shops, off Privett Road, when another dog, which he believes was a Staffordshire bull terrier cross, attacked.
They were both on leads. Little good it did.
A police spokesperson said that as the other dog was on a lead, no further action will be taken by police.
If it had launched itself at a police dog, I wonder if they’d have taken the same view?
Mr Craig is unhappy that the other owner could do little to stop the attack. He said: ‘What’s the point of having a dog on a lead if you can’t control it?’
Well, indeed…

Meanwhile, in Chesterfield:
A woman was knocked out when she fell from a panic-stricken horse being attacked by a dog, Chesterfield magistrates heard.
What sort of dog? Ah. Well…
. Elizabeth Christian was riding along a bridlepath at Broadmeadows, South Normanton on June 16 when the horse panicked as a Staffordshire bull terrier-labrador cross, ignored calls from its owner and snapped at the horse…The horse suffered puncture wounds and bites. Clarke, 36, told police the 18-month-old rescue dog had slipped its lead.

Here, police weren't so reluctant to put the case before a magistrate, for which they should be praised, though it did little good:
JPs decided not to have the dog destroyed, but ordered it must be kept muzzled and on a lead in public areas for two years…The dog control order was applied to both Clarke and his wife, Terri-Marie Clarke, after Mr Bloore said the couple had separated since the incident and the dog lived with her.
Unless she’s built like Fatima Whitbred, how is she any more likely to be able to control it?

And what do these incidents both have in common? Powerful dogs with unsuitable temperaments and incompetent owners, on leads that proved totally ineffective as a result.

So slapping total blanket legislation on all dog owners is unlikely to be the answer. But I’ll bet it’s the one that’s eventually put in place!


AndrewWS said...

Having a dog on a lead presupposes that the owner is WILLING to keep it under control.

Tatty said...

Agree with AndrewWS there and yep leads in all public places is one of mine BUT I also believe no dog should weigh more than it's owner. You have to be able to physically control them and make damn sure the dog knows you can.

If you can't then no amount of whistles, treats and plaintive pleas will work.

Umbongo said...

"no dog should weigh more than it's owner"

Sensible thinking generally speaking but the odds are that someone called "Terri-Marie" is probably more Dawn French than Victoria Beckham.

Furor Teutonicus said...

I Have a fine coolection of recipes for dog....

Tatty said...

O/T (maybe, depends on your perspective)...but I am absolutely livid about the moral and legal injustice of this case and it needs publicising.

Two victims of a culture which supports and perpetuates the "SOMEONE ELSE is to blame and NO ONE is responsible."

The Age of Personal Responsibility is well and truly dead.

ivan said...

Ah! The age of the flexi lead -those things should be banned, you have no control over the dog on the end of one.

My 50 kg Newfoundland is always taken for a walk on a good stout lead - normal length 1 metre although I can unclip it to make a 2 metre lead when circumstances warrant it, like him playing in the stream that runs through the village without me having to get in myself.

I once had an instance of a little snappy dog, on a flexi lead, that tried to attack him. His response, he planted a paw on said dogs back and flattened it to the ground while the owner was trying to reel in the flexi lead. Since then the owner has used a propper lead when taking his dog for a walk and its behaviour has improved.

A couple of years ago a newcomer to the village brought a pit bull with them and let it run free in the village causing havoc. For some strange reason the local hunters must have thought it was a sanglier because it came to a rather abrupt end.

JuliaM said...

"You have to be able to physically control them..."

I think Umbongo has a valid point about the weight difference there... ;)

Though...I do see a hell of a lot of huskies with willowy Eastern European gals lately.

Often tempted to yell 'Mush!'.

"...I am absolutely livid about the moral and legal injustice of this case..."

Oh, me too. I have a piece coming up on it that I've just altered to reflect the verdict.

Which surprised me, I don't mind admitting. I was sure if he was found guilty, it'd have been of the lesser charge.

"For some strange reason the local hunters must have thought it was a sanglier because it came to a rather abrupt end."

Now that's the 'Big Society' in action! ;)