Dangerous Dogs will Be Brought To Heel – Apparently

March 12, 2010

In light of the increase in dog attacks by those who are using them as weapons and instruments of intimidation, war has been declared on dangerous dogs this week. Our government is looking to introduce compulsory microchipping for dogs (it’s currently voluntary) and making all owners pay for third party insurance, to compensate for those attacked by their animals. The full article is in The Guardian, but I’ll put a quote from Alan Johnson, the home secretary here:

“Britain is a nation of animal lovers, but people have a fundamental right to feel safe on the streets and in their homes. The vast majority of dog owners are responsible, but there is no doubt that some people breed and keep dogs for the sole purpose of intimidating others, in a sense using dogs as a weapon.”

There are fashions in everything: clothes, food, music and homes. Dogs are no exception. I remember when Alsatians were the hard man’s dog of choice in 1970s Britain. Doberman Pinschers were the scary security dogs on American 80s TV shows. Rottweilers were big here in the 80s and 90s. Now we have Staffordshire Bull Terriers. They’re often pictured, wrongly, to illustrate Pitbulls, which are one of the banned breeds under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991. I thought dogs of that nature had to have a muzzle and be on a lead, but I haven’t seen any worn by these dogs as I walk down the streets. That law is working really well, isn’t it? Not far from where I live, there’s a road where the residents of a ground floor flat have two big Rottweilers. It doesn’t matter who walks past the flat, the dogs bark like mad. More than once they’ve shot over to the fencing and jumped up. If they had a bit more propulsion, they’d be able to jump right over. I know better than to walk past that flat, but for those who don’t know the road, they get a hell of a shock.

I would lay a healthy bet that these new laws, if they come into force, won’t affect the people who shouldn’t have a dog in the first place. They’ll just ignore it. They’re the same type of people who drive without insurance, for instance and generally live as if the laws of the land don’t apply to them.

So, it’ll be business as usual then.



  1. My cousin keep big dogs so I am ok with them, but at the same time, I realise that it is highly possible for certain breeds to attack innocent people.

    Can people complain about their neighbours’ dogs? If the answer is yes, perhaps you could call the police about the Rottweilers?

    • All dogs are potentially dangerous to be honest. That’s not to say I don’t like them. I do, but I think I have a healthy respect for them, meaning that I don’t expect them to be lovely all the time. They’re all decendants of Wolves aren’t they? You could have as nasty an experience with a Pekinese as you would with a Staff, though the damage caused by a big dog like that would be much more serious, generally speaking.

      I don’t go down that street too often so I don’t have to deal with it every day. I think it’s something for the people who actually live within the building, or certainly on the same road to deal with. For all I know there may have been complaints made already, but it’s hard to tell.

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