Thursday, August 23, 2007

ST (23-8-07)

It's sad to see that people have so little interaction with animals that it seems that some people immediately equate big dogs with being 'dangerous'. Here's an interesting article in today's Straits Times :-

Animals have more reason to fear humans than we do to fear them

I've grown up with 'big' dogs for most of my life, but the first dog I've been nipped by was a friend's terrier (and it was entirely my fault - I pet him when he was fast asleep and he reacted instinctively). Big does not immediately equate dangerous - as the writer mentioned, Labradors are some of the most gentle dogs, but they are large dogs, but I don't think they would be used as guide dogs for the blind, except that they have such excellent temperaments.

It's the same with cats - people are growing up in such an isolated urban bubble, that they have forgotten what it is like to interact with animals. This really reminds me of Budak's comment about his friend's blog.

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Blogger EJ. said...

The 'fake' cat incident is hilarious.

23/8/07 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm..., I don't get it. There ARE incidents of big dogs attacking people or even young children, the damaged caused can be quite serious. Not all owners train their dogs well. And the kind of bites is not exactly an ant bite.

Especially those who keep fierce breeds like pit bulls and Dobermans etc.

So I don't get it. The purpose of muzzling is to prevent dogs from attack others in public right?

End of the day, muzzling should be compulsory on dogs who are out in public. Especially for the fiercer and wilder breeds.

23/8/07 3:59 PM  
Blogger EJ. said...

Some dogs can be unpredictable.
More dogs chomping on posties:

23/8/07 4:23 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - of course there are, but my point is that not every dog that is large is fierce, just as not everyone who is a big burly man is going to beat you up.

I don't believe there are also 'fierce breeds' in that sense. Pit bulls and dobermans can (and often are) gentle and friendly - the problem is the people who train them to be vicious. For example pit bulls are now a favourite dog to use in dog fights :-

My point is not that dogs may not be dangerous - a car is dangerous too. The issue is that just because a dog is large doesn't make it more prone to attack.

ej - you're right, dogs can be unpredictable, but in the article you sent, it also said that SMALL dogs are quite often the culprits.

23/8/07 5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love dogs (mostly big dogs)-what is there not to like about them! The ones we had from puppies are angels though some stray dogs who came as adults need more love. One would whine everytime when he hears a siren - i think he had bad experience with ambulances. Dogs worship the ground you walk on-again, what is there not to love about dogs? Dogs love their owners.
And yes, i love cats too. Cats..urh...tolerate me.

23/8/07 10:59 PM  
Blogger VeganCatsg said...

Look at the cat and this great dane!
The guardian adopted a small kitty recued by me called Sadhu and she complaint fondly that Sadhu has been bullying this great dane by playing on his big head but a flapping of ear sent Sadhu flying off and the little kitty would howl in protest!

24/8/07 9:26 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Lovely photo!

24/8/07 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's absolutely not true that pit bulls and Dobermen are only vicious because they are trained to be vicious.

In fact the opposite is true. You got to take special attention to train these specific dogs to be nice and gentle from puppies for them to be harmless.

I know that there are gentle breeds of dogs, but end of the day, better to safe than to be sorry.

The owner who don't muzzle don't have to care because the one that gets hurt is someone else and as long as it's not them, they expect others walking in public to be understanding if their dogs bit them? That's just irresponsible.

And can you seriously trust most dog owners to control their own dogs well? That's just blind faith.

I also think it's unfair to compare cats and dogs, in terms of cat attacks. I dunno, I've never known anybody who stays away from a cat, gets bitten by a cat or gets chased after by a cat.

But I personally avoid dogs like plague whenever I see them, but have dogs on leash running after me for no reason some times. And it's annoying, the owner would have to attempt to pull the dog back.

In case you think I'm ignorant about dogs, I grew up with two shih zhu and one chihuahua, no, never bitten by my parent's dogs, but just never liked them. Bitten by other people's dogs in public, YES.

25/8/07 5:05 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous - pit bulls used to be nanny dogs for children in the 1900s. Here's a bit of information on pit bulls :-

I'm certainly not suggesting that owners should not leash their dogs when they walk them or be careful they don't bite other dogs. What I am saying is that this generalised fear of animals is usually unwarranted. I understand you grew up with small dogs, but large dogs aren't unnecessarily 'worse' just because they're large.

You mentioned that you think cats are different from dogs in that respect. I agree that the vast majority of animals will not attack unless there is some kind of provocation. The problem is that people often DO provoke the animals without meaning to, and that's often because they don't know that they're doing it because they're not familiar with them. People DO claim that cats leap out of bushes and attack them - and they would make the same arguments you make.

25/8/07 10:44 AM  
Blogger Hai~Ren said...

This whole 'dogs are fierce' issue is a human problem, not a dog problem.

Sure, some dog breeds are more predisposed to attack. That is because of the way we have bred them over the generations, as fighters, protectors and guardians. Some dog breeds have a tendency to be extremely protective of their owners, and will willingly risk their lives to attack anything which they perceive as posing a threat to their owner. Other breeds will go all out to please their owners. In the hands of irresponsible owners, or people who do not socialise their dogs properly, tragic results might then ensue. It is the onus of owners to provide proper training and socialisation.

In my honest experience, the small breeds of dog are generally more aggressive than the larger dogs. Sure, Rottweilers and German Shepherds are more intimidating than Pomeranians or Jack Russells, but it's the latter that would seem more likely to nip and bite a person. We don't read about people getting savagely mauled by a Chihuahua for obvious reasons.

Ultimately, it's all up to the owner and the way he/she trains the dog. Sure, I'm personally fine if dogs of certain breeds are muzzled if out in public (considering the high chance that some owners keep these dogs for all the wrong reasons), but at the same time, I believe that it is important that we educate people on how to properly react to dogs. If a person reacts to the approach of a strange dog by flinching and screaming, it's all the more likely to trigger an attack.

25/8/07 9:24 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Well said hai~ren :)

25/8/07 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The article in the ST forum is against muzzling of dogs in public.

Using reasons like "unpredictable behaviour of dog is by genetics and not their fault, therefore, they should not be punished by being muzzled in public."

???? Sorry, but if a dog had rabies, we'd put it down right? Safety of humans comes first? Muzzling is a humane compromise for dogs with genetic aggressive problems I think.

And I'm talking about dogs with owners here, not stray dogs, which means owner is in charge of making sure the dog does not hurt anybody in public.

If we had to make this rule fair and have owned cats muzzled while bringing it out for a walk in public too, fine, why not let's do that?

I'm still totally for muzzling of dogs in public. It makes safety sense and muzzling does not hurt a dog, especially when it's only for short periods while bringing it out for a walk in public.

Totally don't understand why there are aggressive dog owners who still refuse to muzzle. On top of that, you got dog lovers advocating NOT muzzling for ALL dogs. I understand on the non-violent breeds, but this forum person was definitely advocating not muzzling at all.

29/8/07 4:58 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Anonymous I have a traumatised rescue dog, and so yes I muzzle him if he has to go to the vet or go out. However, I think the main thing is that not every dog needs to be muzzled just because they're large basically.

29/8/07 6:42 PM  

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