The owner, not the breed, is responsible
A number of pit bull attacks in Calgary and a Jan. 12 incident in Cochrane that seriously injured a seven-year-old has rehashed an old question: Should a breed of dogs that seem to be involved in a number of violent incidents be banned from certain cities? (See story on page 5).
No municipalities in Rocky View County currently ban any breed of dog. There is also no legislation requiring any breed of dog to be muzzled while out in public locally.
However, pit bull bans or breed specific legislation is active in Manitoba, Ontario, and at least 11 U.S. states.
Airdrie resident Allison Prentice is hoping to speak to council for the second time in a year to bring the issue of muzzling pit bulls on pathways and in off-leash parks to the forefront once again after she says her daughter’s dog was attacked by a pit bull in August of 2012.
We tend to agree with many people who believe the problem is not the breed of dog but the owners.
Although it is believed pit bulls were orignally bred to fight in pits (as their name suggests), they can be raised to be sweet, loving, disciplined animals - if raised and trained correctly.
It is imperative the people who adopt or purchase this breed of dog understand the nature and behaviour of the animal and take the time and responsibility to train it effectively.
Every dog owner needs to be accountable for their dog and its behaviour at all times - no matter what the breed. However, when you take a dog like a pit bull into your home, you need to understand that the breed has been known to be aggressive and do everything you can to train the animal to listen to your commands, no matter what, so if there is a confrontation, you can diffuse the situation.
If residents take full responsibility for their animals, there is no need to ban breeds or require muzzles.