The difficulty in that is when speaking internationally from places which have different laws. In my country, a dog breed which is very popular in the States is legally defined as a "Dangerous Dog" and banned. I admit I get very annoyed by people who say that anyone who thinks this breed is "dangerous" is "stupid" or "easily led". This is my country's legal system being insulted, and myself for following the law!!!
That one would actually violate the rule governing BSL.
BSL? What's that?
BSL - Breed Specific Legislation. It seems to be a US version of our Dangerous Dogs Act over here in the UK, and bans certain breeds or types of dog based on appearance and behavioural characteristics. It seems that there are certain groups in the US have issues with BSL, although I for one am in favour of the idea. However, in the UK it has proven quite difficult to actually police and relies solely on people informing authorities where they think a banned or potentially dangerous dog can be found. There are certain points that people repeatedly miss when it comes to responsible ownership of a dog:
- It is NEVER OK to leave a dog alone with a child. Under any circumstances. Children, especially toddlers, can unintentionally tease a dog, pulling its tail, ears, whatever. Children should be taught from the start that animals are living creatures and pulling tails is extremely cruel and hurts the animal, a bit like someone pulling our ears. When dogs are frightened, they can turn nasty and go on the attack. Dogs and children must be supervised by an adult at all times, as it only takes a fraction of a second for a dog to turn.
- It is NEVER OK to take a dog to a strange, loud, unfamiliar public place, particularly if alcohol is being consumed. Dogs tend not to like large crowds of people that they don't know, and it's not a great idea to combine animals and alcohol in any case. Loud bars and pubs are not the place for dogs unless they specifically welcome well-trained or well-behaved dogs (and owners). Allowing a dog to be unleashed in crowded places is a huge no.
- Dogs are not little people. They are pack animals and need to be shown who is boss. Allow a dog to feel as though they are in control will result in a poorly trained dog liable to behave unpredictably.
- Dogs are not fashion accessories, neither are they status symbols. It should be a given, but in the UK there are issues (particularly within council housed property areas) where people purchase a specific breed or type of dog in order to intimidate other people. It's unfair on the dog and unfair on innocent passers-by when you have to walk past a growling dog, even if they are on a leash.
You would not believe how many times I have seen people violating these basic rules with dogs. It all comes down to respect - you need to train the dog properly from the start, ensure responsible ownership by making sure the dog is on a lead when out in public and never encourage strangers to pet your dog, particularly if you know your dog is nervous around strangers (which dogs often are). I don't own a dog, but would love to in the future, and if and when DF and I do own a dog we would be very careful as to the breed we select, buy from a reputable irresponsible parent of the human variety and train the dog well from the word go. Dogs are a LOT of hard work, regardless of breed, and require attention, care and above all, respect!!!!
Sorry for the rant!!!!! I hope I make sense...!