Friday, August 11, 2006

Put a muzzle on it -- your dog, that is

By BRIAN FERRIS

It seems to me that the answer to the pit bull situation is simply this: Make all dogs equal and put your money where their mouths are.

I believe that, no matter the breed, the animal should be muzzled when out in public. The dog is muzzled, you, your children and other dogs are safe -- end of problem. No breed has to be banned.

I was a boarding-kennel owner/operator for over six years and catered to every size and breed of dog you can think of. The rules were quite simple: If you were not sure of Rover's temperament, you did not go into the pen with him at home. Especially when Rover was 150 pounds of muscle and teeth.

I have always maintained that a bad-tempered cockapoo will give you a nasty nip as easily as a Rottweiler (though it could remove a limb or two).

There are a few different types -- not breeds -- of dog to be wary of:

- The aggressor: He lets you know up front just what his intentions are. He doesn't bark, and the growl he emits is barely audible -- more of a rumble deep in his chest -- but look at his eyes! (Now, I know that you know that you never "eyeball" a dog, but even a sideways glance will let you know.) They never leave your face and are saying, quite plainly, "Come on. Just a little closer, pal, and you're puppy chow!" Avoid this chap at all costs. Unless he's wearing a muzzle. No doubt that he can still harm you, dependent upon size and determination, but he cannot dismember you -- he's muzzled!

- The fear-biter: He doesn't want to bite you, but he will. This guy barks -- a lot. The more frightened he becomes, the louder and higher pitched the barking becomes. He's giving you fair warning: "Come near me and I'll bite you!" But he can't -- if he's muzzled!

- The psycho: I only ever encountered one of these guys but I'm sure there are more out there. This boy will lull you into a false sense of camaraderie -- then pounce. I really do not know if his brain just misfires or what, but he's the most dangerous of all -- unless ... you've guessed it!

Muzzles do not harm a dog in any way. If worn from puppyhood, the animal will not even be aware of its presence -- much the same as his collar. So why can we not make it illegal for a dog -- any dog -- to be on the street without a muzzle?

It makes perfect sense to me. We are all so learned and certain about our rights nowadays.

What about our responsibilities? As a dog owner, you have some:

1. Your pet should never harm another's pet.

2. Your pet should never harm a human!

Apparently, some of us cannot, or will not, live up to our responsibilities.

Therefore, before one other person is maimed or disfigured or killed by "man's best friend," let's do something about it: A muzzle -- don't leave home without it!

2 Comments:

Blogger Conners said...

I disagree about the muzzles, especially when they won't allow a dog their simple pleasures. Not for ALL dogs anyway, unless they are animal agressive. Then a good behaviorist should be brought into the picture...but to muzzle all dogs, I have to disagree. It's part of their socializing rituals without one if they don't need one.
Sometimes muzzles do more harm than good. It gives a dog a false sence of security. How do they protect the ones they love incase of emergency?
I think it's wrong, Wrong, WRONG!!! And we've seen what muzzles have done to our dogs. I couldn't disagree more.

4:29 AM  
Anonymous Ariana said...

Im guessing that this is a jab at BSL? Cute article, I doubt youre serious about it as all your other posts are anti-BSL but if muzzles werent so 'dark' I wouldnt be surprised if some city thought the idea of muzzling every dog was brilliant! This gave me a laugh.

1:01 AM  

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