Over recent weeks various sources in the United Kingdom media have been suggesting that Staffordshire Bull Terriers should be added to the Dangerous Dogs Act. To say this is an absurd idea is to risk a gross understatement.
There is no doubt that dogs bite if poorly trained, abused by their owners and then put under undue pressure from whatever source. All dogs may bite if abused, from a Jack Russel to Great Dane.
The problem as ever is that when the media report a “Staffy Attack” they rarely, if ever, report the background to the attack. Blaming a dog for reacting badly to human cruelty is not looking at the problem correctly.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers have been renowned for years for their gentle temperament with children. Their behaviour with toddlers was previously held in such high esteem that it earned them the nickname of “the nanny dog”. Reconciling the description of a”Nanny Dog” with the modern media’s interpretation of them as “dangerous dogs”, or worse, as “savage killers” is beyond my capabilities. Nanny dog is certainly closer to the truth if the owner is remotely responsible.
Even given that the breed was originally bred for dog fighting one must realise that the people breeding the dogs would not tolerate a human vicious dog. Any dog attacking a human would not be bred from and would be destroyed.
What appears to be going wrong today is that the people who have the various dogs today that are being classified as “dangerous” are actually irresponsible dog owners. They breed bad dog to bad dog looking to increase viciousness.
This factor is not a problem of Staffordshire Bull Terriers, it could just as well be any dog. If we allow the government to add Staffys to the dangerous dogs act then all that will happen is that the thugs will breed for vicious traits in another breed. Eventually this new breed will be added to the dangerous dogs act and the whole cycle will begin again. What is needed is a law that deals with the thuggish owners and does not punish the breed, 99.5% of which are great family pets.
After my recent feeble attempt at a publicity video I went to search for better offerings. I think the video in the link below does a good job of making the case for keeping Staffordshire Bull Terriers off the Dangerous Dogs Act.
Perhaps what we really need is a Dangerous Owners Act?