Dogs in the home…

Fmulanirst of all I would like to send my deepest condolences to Lexi Branson’s family.  It is such tragic news that a little 4 year is savaged by a dog and dies of her injuries.

What this family must be going through is pure hell.  To lose your child to an illness is bad enough but to lose your child due to it being mauled by a dog.. is beyond comprehension..

But on saying that.. I have to say, this… dogs owners will be tarred with the same millions of responsible pet owners will now have to suffer because the Government will do something about dogs..

A responsible pet owner.. will have their dog’s chipped… both of mine are.. and they will be taught from a puppy to socialise.. not just with other dogs but children as well.

Bo - 4

One of the cries I suspect will be that large breed dogs should be not allowed in homes.. but let me tell you this, I have always had large breed dogs.. my last dog Bo.. was a Tibetan Mastiff.. which are breed to protect families… They are aloof and protective.. but my Bo never had a mean bone in his body.. when it came to people, especially children. Reading up on the breed… yes a Tibetan Mastiff.. might frighten the living daylights out of you.. but Bo wasn’t like that.. I could trust him with children.. even when out walking, he would lay down for children to stroke him..

Unfortunately for the hundreds of responsible dog owners, there are those people out there that get dogs for status symbols.. they don’t bother to train them other than to make them aggressive and it these people that legislation needs to reach.

By all accounts, Mulan, the dog that savaged Lexi was found as a stray by the Dog Warden and taken to Willow Tree Rehoming Centre.. The rehoming centre would have NOT know the dogs history.. they can only assess its temperament whilst it is waiting to be rehomed… And as much as I applaud people for taking in rescue dogs.. sometimes you have to think about what you are taking on.

Willow-Tree-Kennels-2683899There is always a reason why a dog is in a rescue home.. either the owners can’t be bothered with it.. and bought it as a novelty and the novelty wore off and they got feed up with the dog.  Or the dog was destructive. The dog could have also shown aggressive traits in its character so they decided to get rid of it.

When you have young children, you have to consider all things before bringing any kind of dog into the home.. are you going to be able to cope with the animal?  Are you going to be able to exercise the animal?  Are you going to be able to afford the animal?

Yes when we walk around rehoming centres and we see those sad eyes looking up at us our hearts melt and our brain just wants us to take the dog home.. but that is when our heads should rule and not our hearts.

There is a reason why that dog is in that home?  And that is what you have to think about? As much as the rehoming centre tries to assess a dog’s character thy don’t know the full history.  They don’t know how the dog had been treated.  They don’t know what problems have happened in the dog’s life or more to the point what problems the dog has caused its previous owners.

If the dog gets on well with other animals and is friendly with staff and children.. then the homing centre will say it is OK to be rehomed with other animals and children.

YOU are the person that has the final say in whether that dog becomes part of your family. YOU are the person who has to be responsible for that dog’s actions.  Dogs can turn easily.. and when you purchase a dog you have to know about is breed characteristics and whether that breed is suitable for your lifestyle.

border collie 9For instance you can’t have a border collie, if you live in a house with a small garden.. Border Collies are intelligent dogs, they need a lot of exercise and they need mental stimulation all the time.. otherwise they become destructive.

Believe it or not you can have a Saint Bernard with a small garden because they are not very active dogs they are plodders.. but again they are a large breed and are as soft as muck.. Our Saint Bernard, Holly, was a wonderful dog.. She was so laid back and had a lovely temperament.

Last night I read a comment made in one of the Daily Mirror articles and someone wrote..

Just last Tuesday I put down my male springer spaniel. I had him for 20 months and got him from a pound. He bit me on the Saturday injuring my hands when he awoke from a dream. He was put to sleep two days later.I lived alone with him and my other rescue springer who I’ve had for over seven years and who has never let a growl out of him at a human. However I still wouldn’t even have my placid dog near children because he’s not used to them……

Firstly, yes it is cute when a dog dreams.. they make such funny noises and their feet and legs seem to be going a goodun… but just like us if we are woken up and are startled they do lash out.  Imagine yourself laying in bed, dreaming away and somebody waking you up suddenly …. your instinct is push them away.. a dog doesn’t know how to push so it uses its mouth… never go and wake up a sleeping dog.. call its name and awake it but leave them they will wake up naturally.  As to whether that commentator did wake the dog up or not.. I don’t know.. but during the last week or so, I don’t know about you, but we have had fireworks galore going off..

Fireworks-Poster-DogEven my two woofers have been barking and getting uptight every time the loud bangs went off.. so especially at this time of the year dogs are more agitated than normal.. They don’t understand about fireworks and they scare easily.

On bonfire nights I would love to go to displays.. but I won’t leave my dogs alone.. I know how scared they are with me around.. so god knows how frightened they would be if they were left alone with fireworks were being left off.

Another thing I notice from that comment.. this person had two MALE dogs.. well that is a no-no unless they are neutered.. You can’t have two male dogs together.. they will fight to the bitter end for male supremacy.  As a human you are pack leader.. then the ranking starts … when you have two dogs.. one always has to alpha above the other… it is how pack animals live.. and you can’t change that.

I have a bitch and a male.. and they bicker… at times.. but they know I am boss and if I say stop.. they stop.  Two bitches will live side by side together.. but two unneutered males.. no way.  there will come a day when one has to rule the other.. and that is the day that the trouble starts.

With regards to Mulan, I have read in the Daily Mail today, that a couple of Bulldog breeders do not think that Mulan was a pure-breed.  The article says:

Last night two bulldog breeders contacted by the Daily Mail separately claimed the dog in photographs released yesterday was not a pure-bred bulldog. They said it may have been a bulldog crossed with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

One said: ‘Bulldogs are bred for temperament. They are placid natured and great around children.

‘It is when you start crossing the breed that the problems occur.’

How very true.. and my friend always had staffs.. and she always said with Staffs their jaws lock and the worst thing you could do is pull them off their victim.. You have to push their snout into the victim.. which effectively blocks their airway.. when that happens the dog’s instinct is to open its mouth to breath.  And she always said that dogs should always have a collar on.. simply because it is easier to grab the collar and twist it than try to push a dog that has powerful shoulder muscles.

She knew her dogs were placid.. yet as a responsible owner she also knew the breed and what they were capable of.. and knew how to make the dog release.

dog-licence-frontI have spent my entire life around dogs.. my son has as well.. and even when he was a baby, I socialised my dogs and my parent’s dogs with him. When I bought him home from hospital the first thing I did was make a fuss of the dog.  I didn’t want the dog feeling jealous of my new born baby and so the dog got the same amount of attention as normal.

As my son grew older, just like I was taught, he was taught that the dog was not a plaything.. the dog was NOT to be pulled around and if the dog was sleeping he was to leave the dog alone.

Having a dog.. is not a status symbol.. and it is definitely not just for Christmas.. Having a dog in your life involves commitment and money and a whole lot of love and attention.

Yes in light of this attack, I suppose all dog owners will be tarred with the same brush.. which I think is unfair.. but as a responsible owner of dogs.  I am prepared to

  • Have my dogs microchipped  (already done and details kept up to date)
  • Pay for a dog licence (prepared to pay)
  • Be registered with a vet (done)
  • Take responsibility for that dog (my dog my responsibility)

What I am not prepared to do, is be tarnished with a brush because some mindless fecks decide that having animals as status symbols is the new street cred mantra.  I am not prepared to sit back and take the blame for what irresponsible dog owners do.

My heart goes out to Lexi’s family at this sad and tragic time… but on saying that.. the truth of the matter is that the rehoming centre did not force Lexi’s family to take in Mulan.. her family must have picked Mulan and the home agreed to the rehoming.. and there lies the problem.. not enough was known about the dog by either the new owner or the rehoming centre.

It is sad and tragic when people die at the hands of the dog.. but in the vast majority of cases, its down to some owners being irresponsible, not saying that Lexi’s mother was an irresponsible owner… but Mulan’s owners before must have been… otherwise he would have been reunited with his previous owners, when found straying in the park.

Just like some children are dragged up and not brought up.. the same applies to puppies.. some owners care for the welfare of their dogs whilst others basically don’t give a shit.. It is not that child’s fault and it is neither that dog’s fault.

So I do hope there is no knee jerk reaction by the Government with regards to what has happened to Lexi .. because those who drag up dogs will still continue to do so.. whilst us ,that are responsible dog owners, will be the ones that pay.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Gen says:

    Every dog is an individual with a unique personality, whether a mutt or a purebred. So, buying a dog from a breeder no more insures you know how that dog will behave than rescuing one from a shelter. But I’ll tell you what it does insure. It insures that a shelter dog will be euthanized because you chose to have a brand new puppy made for you. Anyone who buys a dog from a breeder instead of rescuing one, has dog blood on his or her hands and should be ashamed. If you are willing to let a shelter dog die so you can have a designer dog, maybe you shouldn’t have a dog. This article is irresponsible.


    1. Bren says:

      How dare you say I have dog blood on my hands because I buy from a breeder? You will never stop breeders breeding and if all those puppies aren’t sold, there is a high chance that the dogs will be sent to a shelter home.

      As for buying from a rescue shelter, you do take a chance… you don’t know how that dog will react in any given environment. You don’t know how it has been brought up or treated. If you read most of advertisements for dogs in shelters, the vast majority say things like, preferably no children, or other animals… and some suitable for adults and teenagers only.

      You might find my article irresponsible but tit is factual. People do buy designer dogs, and they don’t take into account the breed personality and that is where the problems lie. The dog becomes too much for the owner.

      I am all for dogs having to be licensed, micro-chipped and neutered. What you really want to complain about is not the proper breeders, but those who run puppy farms and breed the dog to death just to make money.


  2. Susan says:

    There are good breeders, there are bad breeders and there are good owners and bad owners. I’ve had both rescues and “breed” dogs. Every one is special and individual. The issue isn’t how a dog is brought into a family it’s how the family homes that dog.
    One point that “we” miss in so many articles is the puppy brought into a family because one of the children has promised to be the responsible member, “I promise I’ll walk him every day. I’ll feed him, I promise. Please, please, please.” No pet should enter a family without the adults taking responsibility. If they aren’t ready to step in with training, vet visits, etc. Unfortunately many of the ill mannered and ignored dogs are due to adults not stepping up because “It’s our kids dog.”


    1. Bren says:

      Totally agree with you, there are good and bad in both breeders and owners.

      Every dog that has come into my house, has not been because a child wants a puppy. They have come as part of the family… and not children’s toys. It really does make me mad when I see on Facebook, the likes of ‘If we get 1000 likes mum and dad says we can have a puppy’.

      Dogs don’t stay cute puppies for long, they grown into adult dogs and they are not those soft, cuddly little puppies for long. We all love little puppy antics but it is like having a child you have to teach it right from wrong.

      From the moment we have had dogs, all the kids that come into my home, have to respect the dogs….. I won’t have them pulling them about, I won’t have them pulling on their ears. They can stroke the dog, they can play ball with the dog… but the dog is not a toy for their amusement.

      It is never the dogs fault, it is always the fault of the owners… puppies are not born murderers, it is the way that they have been handled since birth that makes them either a good dog or a bad dog. Bad dogs are a result of bad owners… and unfortunately we never do know the real reasons why any dog is put into a shelter… so we must be extra vigilant and cautious when that dog is near children or adults that it doesn’t know.


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