Creating a culture of better dog owners

It is a documented fact that of all the pets most likely to suffer abuse that dogs are at the head of the queue. RSPCA findings will confirm this. However, knowing a fact alone is of limited value. You need to absorb the fact and have a solution to deal with the situation.
The reason why dogs probably take the unenviable top spot is simply that it is so very easy for just anyone at all to get a dog, get several if they wish, and even breed them should they so desire.
The current total absence of any criteria would be exactly like saying that as of today people do not need to take lessons and sit tests and get insurance to drive cars.
The results of that would be catastrophic and that’s why no one in their right mind would suggest removing the criteria you must meet to drive a car (and keep your licence).

Even if you wanted to leave direct abuse of the dog aside for one second let’s look at this;
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Hospital admissions for injuries caused by dogs have risen by 76% in England over the past 10 years, according to official statistics.
The news has reignited the debate over whether enough is being done to tackle irresponsible owners and to protect the public.
In the 12 months from March 2014 to February this year, there were 7,227 admissions for dog bites or attacks, 6.5% up on the previous 12 months and compared with 4,110 in the equivalent period a decade ago, according to hospital episode statistics published on Thursday.
A number of high-profile deaths attributable to dogs there have been at least 21 fatalities, including 13 children or babies, over the last 10 years.
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Just think about that. Over 7,000 people admitted to hospital each and every single year and mainly down due to low quality owners who cannot socialise their pet correctly.
They turn the dog into just as big a danger as a car could be in the hands of someone with zero driving experience. 13 children and babies is 13 too many.

This never needs to occur yet in almost every case that I have read about it happening, guess what? In most cases the dog has been poorly socialised and left free with a baby/toddler while the so called parent is asleep on the sofa or off their face.
In other words they usually aren’t fit to have either the dog or a kid.

These low quality owners often commandeer a breed and totally destroy its reputation thanks to their psychotic version of raising a dog. We have seen that play out time and again with breed after breed. They are also the most likely to abandon or neglect the dog the moment it is sick or old. They may even just abandon it when its in prime health out of “boredom”. What do you expect? When you saturate a society with anything and reduce it to easy come/easy go then you get dog owners who mirror that attitude. That’s why they will decide to get a dog as casually as we might decide to buy a book.
There are clearly far too many dogs in this country. There are also not enough good owners. A visit to any city dog shelter will be an eye opener to the first timer. My local one is absolutely stuffed full of dogs. I would imagine this is the case across the whole country. You are required to chip the dog these days, and many rescue centres do insist on neutering. Its something but not nearly enough imo.
In writing this I stumbled across this petition. Not ours and it unfortunately fell well short of its modest target. However, I have put an extract from it here as I concur with the principles;
“There is a serious overpopulation of dogs in the UK and it’s a situation that needs to be addressed immediately.
The grim reality is that thousands of dogs being killed throughout the country because there is a chronic lack of space and resources to save them. Yet there continues to be more and more puppies born into a country that’s already at crisis point.

As it stands under the Breeding and Sale of Dogs (Welfare) Act 1999 so long as you have no more than five litters in a year, you do not require a breeding licence. Just think of the numbers of unregulated litters that is allowing in a country already overpopulated with dogs.”
https://www.change.org/p/david-cameron-stop-the-overpopulation-of-dogs-in-uk-regulations-for-all-dog-breeding-urgently-needed

That’s the first thing that should be properly addressed. You need a proper plan and a robust programme that drives down the numbers and drives up both the quality of breeders and owners.
The quality of owner can be driven up by introducing some proper criteria before someone can own a dog.

The Dog Trust seem to agree;

‘The Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, said more needed to be done to prevent tragedies happening in the first place.
Trevor Cooper, the charity’s law specialist, said: Dogs Trust remains frustrated that legislation focusing on issues around dangerous dogs and dog attacks remains ineffective at preventing these incidents happening in the first place.
Dogs Trust is focused on preventive measures that keep children and adults safe around dogs.”
Children aged under 10 were most likely to be admitted to hospital after being attacked by a dog, with 1,159 requiring inpatient treatment, equivalent to 17.6 per 100,000.
Females were more likely to be admitted than males, except among the under-10s. Children suffered more injuries to their heads than other age groups where the main injuries were to the hands and wrists. About half of all admissions required plastic surgery’.

While this should illustrate that substantial leaps in sentences are possible;

‘In May last year, the maximum sentence in England and Wales under the Dangerous Dogs Act (DDA) for allowing a dog to fatally attack someone increased from two years to 14 years, with the maximum term when injury is inflicted raised from two years to five‘.

So you reduce the numbers of dogs, you vastly improve the standards for breeding, and you greatly increase the criteria if one wishes to own a dog. If you’re going to have a licence then it needs to have some sort of criteria attached. Not much use if all you must do is pay a small fee and sign a bit of paper.

Not saying Canada’s model is perfect but at a glance it sure seems better than what we have.

‘Dog licences are required in most cities in Canada. Many also tattoo and/or microchip their pets. Vancouver specifically has required dog licences since 1888 and currently all dogs over the age of 3 months are required to be registered with the City of Vancouver.
The benefits of a Vancouver dog licence are a 97% return rate, a free ride home, licensing helps provide important statistics to manage the need for dog facilities and service in the city, e.g. off-leash dog parks, it allows the shelter to care for lost dogs and provides pet adoption services.
Licensing costs also puts dogs on the Emergency Pet Registry so emergency responders know to look for runaway dogs in the case of an emergency or disaster and allows Animal Control Officers to patrol the community, respond to emergency calls of stray animals, educate the public and enforce the by-laws.
In Vancouver it also helps with pet adoption services such as medical care to our adoptable dogs including spaying, neutering and the first round of shots and helps people avoid the impound fee if the City picks up their lost dogs and avoid getting an “unlicensed dog” ticket ($250.00 for each infraction)’.

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Not bad but not enough.
As well as what works well in their system I would consider putting this into law.

Making Obedience Class Mandatory
April 9, 2011
‘Last week, a bill was proposed in New York that would require people to successfully complete a basic obedience class with their dogs.
The goal of the bill is to minimise vicious dog attacks, the destruction of property and unnecessary human or canine deaths; to better acquaint dog owners with their dogs; to teach dog owners proper obedience techniques, which will help owners to have better control of their dogs; and to minimise aggressive dog behaviour and negligent dog owner behaviour’.”

 

That bill was defeated but many felt it was a great idea that should have been taken on. Is there the potential to introduce this to the UK? I don’t see why not. I would even want a person to attend some sort of class before they got a dog. If they couldn’t be bothered making it to say six sessions then maybe they’d also be the sort of person to fast lose interest in the dog anyway.
Switzerland did make it compulsory and later repealed it;
20 September 2016
Members of the National Council – Switzerland’s lower house of parliament – narrowly voted to scrap the law on Monday by 93 votes to 87, the 20 Minutes website reports. The upper house had already approved the move.
But there was strong opposition in some official quarters. Interior Minister Alain Berset insisted that there had been a fall in the number of “dramatic” dog-related tragedies since the training was introduced. “There are also people who drive cars and motorbikes without a licence. But that’s no reason to remove the requirement to acquire a licence,” he’s quoted as saying by Le Temps.
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Summary. Everything is a total mess due to low quality dog owners, zero criterea and an over breeding of dogs (often to their detriment). Add to that the utterly dysfunctional numbers of people out there, esp aged 16-30. Add to that this drug addled society that we have (of which they are often central to). Finally, add to the mix the fact that when it all goes badly wrong either the dog is abused, tortured, neglected or it is so poorly raised it kills another dog or a child.
This ALL needs to change as a wider shift to cleaning up our nation. What could be more noble?
People are far too deferential to authority in the sense that we are too accustomed to waiting for them to initiate the change. This is always a grave mistake. You can never leave it up to Government ministers alone to do that. They need external pressure and guidance otherwise they will totally screw it up, just as they do with about every single Government programme. Breed specific legislation is a fine example of what happens when you allow them a free hand to come up with their own ideas.
Stop waiting for an MP to charge along on their horse and save the day. They never have and never will. See them merely as a necessary bridge toward legal change and social change. You know very well by now how bad and how dangerous things are. You know in your heart that radical change is long overdue. You also know that for every year that nothing changes that translates to god knows how many victims of all kinds.
When you wake up tommorow, tell all your friends to stop whining and bitching over utter trivia. There are fights to be had here so let’s have them. There are things needing fixed here so lets fix them.
As this message states;

girl

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