to not understand why people have these types of dogs in their homes

(700 Posts)
FunnysInLaJardin Wed 06-Nov-13 11:12:53

I've heard the arguments for and against keeping pit bull/mastiff type dogs and just don't understand at all why anyone would keep a powerful muscular dog as a pet in a family home. Yet another sad news story today in a village just down the road from my home village.

This isn't a AIBU really, just a 'why do they do it'. Is a pet really worth the risk? There are so many other dog types to chose from. I don't understand at all.

fromparistoberlin Wed 06-Nov-13 11:16:38

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Bubbles1066 Wed 06-Nov-13 11:17:35

I think the risks of having pets of any kind with babies/young children are not always fully appreciated. Dogs or other pack animals can react badly to new additions to the family and lash out. My Mum was telling me back when I was a baby there was a worry about cats smothering babies out of jealousy or whatever and so everyone had a cat net on their pram. You don't really see that now though for some reason. However, some typed of animals are worse than others definitely.

Weeantwee Wed 06-Nov-13 11:19:07

It's not those breeds of dogs that are the problem, it's the owners that train/don't train them.

Can you ever fully trust a dog whatever the breed?

RoxanneReidsChafingFishnets Wed 06-Nov-13 11:20:36

Its the owners not the dog in my eyes. I had a pit bull growing up and she was a right softy. She protected us but never went for anyone in all the years we had her.

We had a Jack Russell, a pit bull and a Staffie at one point. The worse was the JR. Grumpy old dog.

I know people with these dogs and they haven't had them bite people either and they are family dogs.

Not a lentil weaving, Mensa membership owning, guardian reader though grin

Tulip26 Wed 06-Nov-13 11:20:59

Any dog can be a nightmare in the wrong hands

www.nytimes.com/1997/09/14/us/after-movies-unwanted-dalmatians.html

BatPenguin Wed 06-Nov-13 11:21:23

I can't imagine bringing such a powerful animal into a home with a small child living there.
The parents obviously felt it was safe and I really feel for them, how guilty they must be feeling now. But I really don't get it. I wouldn't trust any dog around a small child.

Quoteunquote Wed 06-Nov-13 11:21:46

Go to any rescue centre and they are full of them, along with malamute types, (a dog bred to live outside in Alaska)

Irresponsible breeding, irresponsible owners.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 11:21:55

Most of the time it's the owners. You put any dog into surroundings that aren't suitable , don't ecxercise then enough or take any interest in safe guarding the anima or the child and of course things will happen.

Its fuckwit people wanting to own dogs with little or no thought to what is requiredthat are the bigger problem than the dog.

Everyone has a computer or a smart phone these days. Google is at out fingertips every moment of our lives. (If people can't afford internet then there's a good possibility
You any afford a pet either -unless u already have it) te information is there but people don't care they want the status symbol.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 06-Nov-13 11:22:25

but Wee trained or not, why would you have a dog with huge powerful jaws and a muscular build in a family home? Why not have another kind of dog?

And Sparkling no probably not, but I suspect the toy poodle my friend had as a child wouldn't cause nearly as much damage if it had flipped out. You can just see that these types of dogs are capable of great harm.

Dogs are really time consuming to look after and expensive to keep, I can't imagine wanting the hassle as well as having young children.

BatPenguin Wed 06-Nov-13 11:23:29

Just read now that they lives in a flat. Why have a dog that size in a flat??

Tulip26 Wed 06-Nov-13 11:23:44

I have "one of those dogs" (staffy x mastiff). He's a nice pet who knows his place. He's neutered, chipped and well cared for. A dog is a dog at the end of the day, judge the deed not the breed. not a lentil muncher, just a dog lover

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 11:23:58

They also need to be nuetered and socialized and given somewhere the can retreat. They don't want to be mauled all day. Learn about your dog, it's behaviour it's body language and of course teach your children how to pet an animal. Don't assume a dog will just put up with hair pulling or whatever.

Yes Funnys that's true. Those big stocky dogs look scary.

boschy Wed 06-Nov-13 11:24:31

Well, lets just hope that little girl's mum doesnt read this eh? awful awful event.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 11:24:38

This reaction is inevitable whenever these incidents occur and it always worries me - I am a Doberman owner, past, present and future and always worry they will be next on the 'banned' list. I love, love, love the breed, for a number of reasons. It's pointless trying to convince other people how wonderful a particular breed is (although I could evangelise on Dobes all day long) , but I would urge people to remember that these kind of incidents are the minority. Where you see a big, slobbery, rather pointless beast, good owners see something far more complex and rewarding. Breeds others may consider aggressive and unpleasant are also, in the right hands, well known for being affectionate and excellent with children. Irresponsible dog ownership rather than breed banning is the problem that needs to be addressed. Labs and Border Collies are all well known biters but you don't hear an awful lot of publicity about it.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 06-Nov-13 11:25:23

Tulip don't you worry your dog might just turn and if he did you wouldn't be able to do anything about it?

We had a cat once that was a bit chippy and I used to dream that he would go for me and I wouldn't be able to get his teeth out of my leg. That was enough risk for me grin

HoneyDragon Wed 06-Nov-13 11:25:24

The police have stated that the dog pictured in the press is not the dog being investigated.

ANormalOne Wed 06-Nov-13 11:25:58

Her daughter has literally just been killed in front of her, and some of yo on here are calling her an idiot, a fuckwit and thick as fucking shit.

What lovely people you are.

I think anyone who puts the responsibility on the dogs are thick as fuck. hmm

frustratedandfailing Wed 06-Nov-13 11:26:06

What bubbles said - except for the cat thing - that really is completely not true.

I don't trust any dog. I grew up with a friend who had a horrific scar on her face from her grandmother's dog which was not a dog people generally expect to turn...but he did, because he was frightened by a clap of thunder. ALL dogs are unpredictable. This morning on Daybreak they had a dog expert on there who quite rightly said we need to move away from this whole idea that some dogs are safe and others are dangerous because the bottom line is that any dog, the most normally placid and friendly dog, can turn in the right situation. Children and dogs are always a risk and I think it's about time tougher laws were brought in regarding dogs out in public because children come first and if you are a dog owner and you stupidly believe your dog will never ever turn and then it does, you will be the one serving a prison sentence. And I say that as someone who grew up with a "dangerous" dog who never hurt a fly and my parents would get bolshy when parents were nervous - my parents were WRONG and they were lucky.

Mckayz Wed 06-Nov-13 11:26:13

I hate these thread. Judge the deed and not the breed.

It's the owners and not the dogs. We had a staffy and she was wonderful as we took the time to train her.

What weeantwee said. The problem isn't the breed, it's the owners. Dsis had a bull mastiff when her DS was small, it was the the soppiest most friendly dog I've ever known. I was more than happy to have it around my DC (I wouldn't leave a child unsupervised with any dog though) whereas I refuse to have DBro's Jack Russell in a room with them. It's an awful dog because he's never bothered to train it.

Thisvehicleisreversing Wed 06-Nov-13 11:26:32

I think there is the chance that any dog could 'turn' .

However I'd like to think that I could overpower a small dog if it bit a child.

No one would stand a chance against a bull mastiff or a rottweiler. They are just too big and powerful.

Why would you take that risk with your family?

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 11:27:02

No dog is a hundred percent trust worthy. They see the world through different eyes and have different motivations. Trouble tends to occur when people don't train their dogs, and also humanise them. I've met some bloody evil small dogs which have been babied by their owners, and I've met some lovely big lumps of soppy that have been well trained. Unfortunately, some breeds just attract status seeking idiots. Not the dogs' fault, but I am wary as hell of some owners.

And don't get me started on Staffies! Absolutely wonderful dogs when the owner takes the time to train them. Unfortunately for the breed they're 'cool' dogs to have with people who don't train them or teach them to be aggressive.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 06-Nov-13 11:29:13

so do you think that these dogs get a particularly bad press or are there really more and more incidences of these dog types attacking people? It wasn't really heard of in the 70's when I grew up and most folk had other types of dogs.

Out of interest I wonder when bull terrier type dogs became so popular? I just don't remember seeing any when I was younger

OrmirianResurgam Wed 06-Nov-13 11:29:29

"I've met some lovely big lumps of soppy that have been well trained. "

Thank fuck I have one of those! I do agree that sometimes people don't think it through and get dogs for the wrong reasons.

Most press pictures are stock photos of a dog gnarling to shit Joe public up.

I'm really sorry to hear that a child has been killed, that is devastating but the parent/s must take some of the blame eventually.

The dog was not from a rescue, as stated in the press, not a reputable one anyway. More likely a pound where people are not vetted.

stickysausages Wed 06-Nov-13 11:30:29

I've known some lovely, docile dogs who were mastiffs, Rottweilers etc... but they were well trained & well treated/exercised etc.

The problem in a lot of cases (most cases?) is chavs having them as status symbols, buying from dodgy 'breeders' who breed for profit, not temperament, lack of training, poor diet & the fact most of these dogs are walked as far as the job centre or off license...

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 11:30:39

I have to say, I wouldn't personally own a dog that I couldn't physically over power if I had to. That's my line in the sand. My cocker/springer cross is 15kg of pure muscle, and if he decided to try and eat me it would take some effort to shake him off. He has pulled me over when chasing squirrels, and winded me when jumping up for a cuddle. I know that I couldn't safely manage a larger dog.

Bubbles1066 Wed 06-Nov-13 11:31:09

The thing about cats potentially smothering babies is completely true. I'm on my phone so can't post links but just google cat nets. Mothercare and loads of other places sell them. It's so cats don't climb into prams, cots etc and potentially smother or scratch babies, either intentionally or by accident.

Wallison Wed 06-Nov-13 11:31:09

frustratedandfailing, completely agree that we need tougher laws on dog ownership and dogs in public places. There are parts of the city here where I just do not take my son because they are full of untrained barely-supervised dogs running around off the lead, jumping up at people including children, crapping all over the place and generally being a fucking nuisance. Why should areas of the city that I live in and pay taxes to provide for be no-go areas because of fucking animals? Our priorities in this country are all skewed.

I would go for compulsory licence and chipping scheme and a requirement that all dogs be on the lead and muzzled at all times while out in public. The situation we have now, where every year hundreds of children require hospital treatment and often facial surgery, is clearly not working. We've tried giving dog owners the run of the place, and they have proved that they can not be trusted.

diddl Wed 06-Nov-13 11:31:19

If it's what I'm thinking of, then I would have thought the sheer size of the thing, in a flat with such a tiny girl was an accident waiting to happen.

'' Trouble tends to occur when people don't train their dogs, and also humanise them. ''

Or train their kids!

Tulip26 Wed 06-Nov-13 11:32:08

No funny I trust him with me and my partner totally. He'd lick someone to death before he'd intentionally hurt them. I wouldn't leave him alone with a young child but the biggest worry would be that he'd knock them over. Just common sense.

Oriunda Wed 06-Nov-13 11:33:05

It wasn't a family home though with garden and space to run around. It was a small flat with no outside space, and the owner for some reason kept the dog inside so it would appear the dog did not get regularly exercised. The breed they mention needs a huge amount of exercise. It was a rescue dog, so history not known either. A recipe for disaster when you factor in an owner who it would seem was not capable of fully understanding the breed and it's requirements.

I was brought up with dogs and agree there is no such thing as a bad dog, just irresponsible owners/breeders. We were offered a lab puppy but DS is too young to understand how to treat dogs, and we don't have enough indoor or outdoor space to care for a dog properly. If you don't have adequate living space it is very unfair to keep a dog.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 11:33:39

See this is precisely what happens when these stories break. Yes it's tragic and we all feel for the mother but come on. We can't keep blaming dogs for a persons stupidity.

Shelters are full of staffers and mastiffs and whatever other breed a paper decides it's going to trashy hen are people going to wake up and realise that the dog didn't turn up on the door step one day and force it's way in. It was CHOSEN. People out more effort into choosing a dress than they do their dog.

Wallison Wed 06-Nov-13 11:34:05

Incidentally, I have noticed a trend near us where the chavs and junkies seem to be getting themselves huskies instead of so-called 'staffies' these days - expect more reports of attacks from that breed if this continues.

RoxanneReidsChafingFishnets Wed 06-Nov-13 11:34:09

My mum found out our pitbulls brother wasn't been treated right or trained so she went round to the house it took it off them. We raised him, trained him and he went to live with a couple with no children.

There a number of people who use the as fighting dogs and I have seen the state of those poor animals. I wouldn't have had them near my dog never mind kids.

All dogs we have had have been rescue dogs. JR was the runt, Staffie was nearly dead and pitbull was going to be given to a known man for fighting dogs so mum took her.

Mums staffy is so soft and dumb. She wouldn't attack a burglar if they just gave her a bit of attention first grin

Mum has said once this dog goes then she wont get anymore. I think my brother (2) will be gutted as he likes to lay in her bed with her and they toddle around together. If he falls she tries lifting him with her nose.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 11:34:38

Small dogs biting people don't make headlines, I guess. You are less likely to be seriously injured by a smaller dog, that's just physics. I don't think that big breeds are more likely to bite. Purely anecdotal, but the dog bites I know of in real life are more likely to be administered by a terrier or shitzu. I don't know anyone that has been bitten by a large breed.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 11:34:40

From what I can tell there are no more biting or attack incidents with 'these types' of dogs based on a dog to human ratio. The problem seems to be that a Jack Russell or Chihuahua bite is unlikely (not impossible though) to be serious or fatal. When a really powerful dog with strong jaws attacks, it is not minor. Or basically, there aren't more attacks but the ones that do occur are more serious.

''We've tried giving dog owners the run of the place, and they have proved that they can not be trusted.''

Really? hmm

OldBagWantsNewBag Wed 06-Nov-13 11:35:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

34DD Wed 06-Nov-13 11:36:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 11:38:11

Agree, Wallison. Staffies seem to be mainly family dogs around here, pleasant and friendly <dopey grin> things. The knuckle dragging element seem to all be toting Husky type dogs now. I doubt they are run for hours a day, so it's a matter of time before those animals display behavioural issues.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 06-Nov-13 11:38:44

Sharp so on that basis why would you have a dog where if it bit you it would be serious? Why not stick to the dog types where a bite would cause minimal damage?

There is a picture of a small pit bull type dog on the DM website which seems to be the one which attacked her

Mckayz Wed 06-Nov-13 11:38:47

Wallison, I don't agree at all that all dogs should be on a lead and muzzled. Why should good dog owners have to muzzle their dogs?

ginslinger Wed 06-Nov-13 11:38:49

I'm surprised a rescue dog of that size was sent to live in what sounds like a small flat

34DD Wed 06-Nov-13 11:39:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I actually think those that are so ready to defend these sorts of breed and turn up to say ooh I've got one, and they are a big softy, have some responsibility for lulling potential owners into a false sense of security about having large powerful dogs, of whatever breed, in family homes. This poor family have been destroyed, but somewhere along the line must have got reassurance that having a large breed of dog in a home with a small child wasn't a risk. Legislation and education is needed, but at the moment these parents should be allowed to grieve without hurtful comments.

tethersend Wed 06-Nov-13 11:39:34

Questioning why anyone would have such a powerful animal around their children is not 'blaming the dog'. Or even 'blaming the breed'.

Dogs have no moral compass. Nobody is advocating holding them criminally responsible or trying them in a court of law, so talk of 'blaming the dog/breed' is erroneous. Sharplily puts it very well; when a powerful dog bites, it does more damage.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 11:40:42

My Doberman is invaluable as a guard dog, useful where we live - not on a chavvy estate, incidentally, but in the middle of nowhere. When he warns people off, they run and were an intruder stupid enough to challenge hi it wouldn't end well.

My brother in law has two Staffies and has been broken into twice. The Staffs appear to have done nothing more than wag their tails in welcome.

Stereotyping by breed alone is about as realistic and effective as racial discrimination in humans.

MaidOfStars Wed 06-Nov-13 11:41:10

I think the OP's point is being missed - if you want to have a dog around small children, and accept that any dog has the potential to bite, why would you not choose a breed that you have a chance of defending your child against, should the worst happen? Yeah yeah, the best way to avoid a dog attack is training/care/etc, but surely you allow for contingencies?

Agree with those who say that it isn't breeds that define what is a dangerous dog. Security/police dogs aside, the breeds associated with higher numbers of "civilian" dog attacks changes over the years, as different breeds become fashionable/cool/etc. But things that don't change so much, and associated with attack-prone dogs, are male owners in their mid-twenties, dogs kept tied/enclosed and unneutered dogs.

Wallison Wed 06-Nov-13 11:42:31

<<Really?>>

Yes, really. The number of hospital admissions for dog bites is going up year on year. In the year up to 2012 there were 6,500. Just in one year. Of those, over 1,000 were children. I think that's evidence of a pretty serious problem and while it might be nice for dogs to be able to run around, their wanting to do so should not take precedence over public safety.

DropYourSword Wed 06-Nov-13 11:42:48

I'll be in the minority here, but I don't think it always is the owners. I really think there's a split between nature vs nurture. I have friends who own a GSD. They have spent ridiculous amounts of time and money on their dog, read every book they possibly could, joined extensively researched puppy training courses, are in constant contact with the breeder etc. Their dog is still, to me, an accident worrying to happen. He is an aggressive dog with dominance issues and they just won't accept it. But it isn't due to any "laziness" on their part. They really do try their absolute best and put so much work into it. Doesn't make them good or experienced dog owners though.

LIZS Wed 06-Nov-13 11:42:52

Very tragic for the lo and her family. sad Agree with you gunslinger . No dog should be kept in such a confined space. If she was ill I wonder when it was last exercised.

sonlypuppyfat Wed 06-Nov-13 11:43:18

We had a Springer Spaniel a wonderful dog with my DH but when he went out the dog used to turn on us growling and snapping he bit my DS that was the last he was put down no rehoming him for him to do it to another family. And another thought when I was a child people only had cross breeds and you never heard of any problems like this, when I looked at my old dogs pedegree there was so much interbreeding no wonder dogs are half bloody mad.

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 11:43:30

It's surely a bad idea to have big dogs that need lots of exercise in often small, crowded family homes. Especially if they are left in there all day while people are at work.

No idea if that was the situation in the recent reported cases, but it is common near us. Those dogs must be under a lot of stress that will build up over time, particularly if training is not very good, and it will all come out eventually.

Whether or not the breed affects how likely the dog is to attack (don't know) the more powerful the animal (particularly jaw strength) the more damage it can do. Kack Russells can inflict damage but not as much or as quickly as a pitbull, I'd have thought.

Wallison Wed 06-Nov-13 11:43:50

<<Stereotyping by breed alone is about as realistic and effective as racial discrimination in humans.>>

Dogs aren't people, you know. They really aren't.

I think you are forgetting the important thing that most of those attacks have happened in the family home!! So, what do you suggest? Dogs banned altogether? Dogs muzzled in the home?....

tethersend Wed 06-Nov-13 11:44:02

Agreed, dreamofwhitehorses. It seems almost to be a badge of honour owning a huge, powerful and potentially dangerous dog and waxing lyrical about how soft and playful it is. It's all a bit Siegfried and Roy.

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 11:44:32

Jack Russells, obviously. No idea what a Kack Russell is but it sounds very messy.

I dont think there has ever been an actual case of a cat smothering a baby....it's an old wives tale and yes, of course, shops are going to play on that as it ups their revenue.

Totally agree with the poster who says that it is the size of the dog which determines how serious the injury is rather than those sorts of dogs attacking more.

How tragic though sad

wm3010 Wed 06-Nov-13 11:45:13

I am not a dog owner but I agree with frustrated. My ils have always had black labs, and they were always of the soppy cuddly type. However, they can be surprisingly strong despite not being traditionally thought of in that way, and a few years ago my ils became aware of an incident local to them (France) where a similar black lab had killed a child. It had previously been a loved and trusted family pet. All dogs are potentially dangerous, and whilst I accept the physical danger might be slightly less from a small dog I think it could do a lot of damage to a small child.

Scheriously Wed 06-Nov-13 11:45:16

We had an English bull terrier when I was 10 and now have a Staffie cross. My dad trained, trained and trained the hell out of the English bull terrier and he was the most obedient dog ever. Wonderful dog, you could put your arm in his mouth and he would just patiently hold it open. Very calm and sweet, but hated other dogs.

This Staffie cross we have now is being trained by me and DH. So far going well. They take a lot of fine and energy, and some owners just don't bother with this.

sonlypuppyfat Wed 06-Nov-13 11:45:53

tethersend are they the magicians with the tiger? I remember that.

Mckayz Wed 06-Nov-13 11:45:55

I don't and won't ever agree that all dogs should be muzzled. On a lead in a park maybe but not bloody muzzled.

Plus as Knickers points out. Most dog attacks happen in a family home.

Polyethyl Wed 06-Nov-13 11:46:10

People always blame the owners in these situations. So often I've heard people say that Staffies are nanny dogs and it is only stupid ignorant owners that cause problems. And I'm sure in the majority of cases that's true. But.......

Princess Anne is a knowledgeable and experienced dog handler. And her bull terriers have killed the Queen's corgi, bitten a house maid and attacked two children in windsor great park. So if princess anne can't control bull terriers I'm dubious about other people's claims about their dogs.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 11:47:47

Funny, I have a long term love of Dobermans. I grew up with the breed, my family have bred and shown them, we have a long history with them. I know my breed. I do my research, I learn my dogs, their behaviour, their reactions, and I am a very, very careful owner. At the moment I have an old boy who was a rescue and was abused, but that was a long time ago now. I trust him 100% around my husband and I but am currently pregnant, and when our baby is born I know that he will be wonderfully protective - however I will never leave the two alone. Once his time is up, he will be replaced by more Dobermans and, although I always, always go for rescue dogs when possible, I will not do so with a young child in the house.

You ask why I would go for such a breed but it's like asking what I see in my husband - you wouldn't see the same thing. Any devoted Doberman owner will tell you they've never seen such affection, such loyalty, such intelligence blah blah blah. Seriously, I could bore for England about their virtues but I don't believe it would accomplish anything.

frustratedandfailing Wed 06-Nov-13 11:48:00

Yes bubbles, because companies in business for profit never ever prey on peoples insecurities to make a sale.....I did quite a bit of research myself on the subject and talked to vets....it is possible that a cat might climb into a cot because of warmth but I'd be interested if you could actually find a proven case of it

MaidOfStars Wed 06-Nov-13 11:48:31

SharpLily - it sound like you have you read Malcolm Gladwell's essay on dog breeds and human profiling?

Article here

jellybeans Wed 06-Nov-13 11:49:29

YANBU i wouldn't risk it.

BrianTheMole Wed 06-Nov-13 11:49:46

I think the OP's point is being missed - if you want to have a dog around small children, and accept that any dog has the potential to bite, why would you not choose a breed that you have a chance of defending your child against, should the worst happen? Yeah yeah, the best way to avoid a dog attack is training/care/etc, but surely you allow for contingencies?

^ ^ ^ Absolutely this.

Greydog Wed 06-Nov-13 11:50:29

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Scheriously Wed 06-Nov-13 11:50:41

polyethyl but clearly, she is not very good at handling that particular dog. If she was, after the first incident, there wouldn't have been a chance for a second.

katatonic Wed 06-Nov-13 11:51:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chelsealady Wed 06-Nov-13 11:52:14

As long as you train your dog well from a pup and dont treat it badly then they wont treat you badly simple as. Iv got a blue staff and a red nose pitt in my family home with small children and have never had a problem.

My pitt is fully exempt he was taken away at a year old because hes classed as an illegal breed they kept him for 6 months and tested his behaviour. If he was this violent scary animal people make out these dogs to be then he wouldnt of been aloud home.

The courts let 80% of the dogs they take home its just unfortunate that the other 20% get put down due to their owners treating them badly and its usually the case they dont even turn up to court.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 11:53:17

I should also add that I wouldn't dream of having a Doberman if I lived in a flat. I train and exercise thoroughly and we have 14 acres of prime doggy roaming ground. My dog is never allowed off the lead in a public place. I can't cover every eventuality but I take as much care as I can.

There are an awful lot of owners who don't - chavs, bully boys, however you want to characterise them it doesn't change the fact that dog ownership is NOT for everyone.

marzipanned Wed 06-Nov-13 11:53:44

Betty isn't the problem not that cats are jealous and want to kill babies but that they like warmth so they snuggle up to babies and that could potentially be dangerous, just like putting a baby to sleep on a sofa?

I certainly wouldn't leave my cat unattended with a baby.

MaidOfStars Wed 06-Nov-13 11:54:25

As long as you train your dog well from a pup and dont treat it badly then they wont treat you badly simple as.
Of course, because you never hear any owners of dogs involved in attacks saying "S/he is a lovely dog, never any indication they would turn, never bitten anyone before"....hmm

filimou Wed 06-Nov-13 11:54:30

To be honest I agree with PP's who have said that in the majority of cases a dogs behaviour is down to the owner. But, maybe I am biased after MIL's dog (some kind of spaniel) launched at my 2YO and tried to get her jaws around his face, it was only quick reaction that prevented a potentially horrific attack on DS (all he did was fall over on the floor in front of the chair where the dog was, didnt scream or cry or make any sudden movements/noises just went to stand and the dog lunged at him, IMO it saw that DS was weak/vulnerable and went for it).
IMHO this happened because MIL treats her dog like a child, spoils it but doesnt really excercise it much.
Regarding the story in the news, it is a tragic accident and I feel for all involved, but I cant help but think why would you keep a dog that big in a flat?

ringaringarosy Wed 06-Nov-13 11:54:43

i dont think you should be allowed to keep any dogs with children under a certain age.

Scheriously Wed 06-Nov-13 11:54:52

sharplily agree - I don't let my dog off in public. You can never be sure. It is that awareness that makes the different imo.

MrsMook Wed 06-Nov-13 11:55:55

I grew up with giant breed dogs, and they have to be trained well not to jump up etc. Behaviour that is tolerated in smaller breeds is magnified, but the dog is no worse. There is some acceptance of a small dog jumping up to the knees, but not a large one placing its paws on your shoulders and looking down.

Breed is not irrelevant. They have been bred to encourage certain characteristics which makes them more or less suited as family pets/ working dogs, and certain groups of people do go for a certain image. Staffies are a good example of where a well treated and trained dog can be a great family pet, but one that is chosen for its macho look and treated thoughtlessly can be a greater liability. Some dogs do have extra needs (like more demands on exercise) that need to be considered. Some dogs cope with smaller living spaces than others.

There tends to be a pattern of serious dog attacks of a breed chosen for the wrong reasons, kept in inappropriate conditions and a poor understanding of dog psychology regarding its "pack"/ family.

Bubbles1066 Wed 06-Nov-13 11:56:57

To those who are doubting cats being potentially harmful to babies.. It's not about having a go at cat owners and saying they are all going to smother babies... It's part of a larger point that any animal we take into our homes can be a potential danger to young children. No animal is ever safe. You never truly know any animal.

tethersend Wed 06-Nov-13 11:57:02

"according to the BBC "The dog died shortly after the attack at 12:15 GMT, but the circumstances of its death are unknown." - so was something being done to it to cause it to turn? Is it possible it was being trained for dog fighting?"

Apparently the mother stabbed the dog to death in an attempt to get it to release her daughter.

BrianTheMole Wed 06-Nov-13 11:57:30

smaller dogs are not necessarily safer around children, but yes you've probably got a better chance of defending yourself / child against a smaller dog then a large, muscular dog.

This is the whole point though. I was brought up with dogs. Small ones. Who did bite me from time to time, mainly because I was being an annoying child towards them. But they weren't capable of killing me. People say oh they won't leave the dogs and children together. And they don't, most of the time. But it only takes a split second or lack of concentration. Why risk it with small children who stand no chance of protecting themselves.

meganorks Wed 06-Nov-13 11:58:30

It does seem like in this case the rescue home has a lot to answer for. The dog was a rescue dog that had been treated badly in the past. Yet they thought it was suitable to rehome with a family with a small child who lived in a small flat.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 11:59:21

MaidOfStars, I hadn't read that particular essay, no. It's an interesting one.

rainbowfeet Wed 06-Nov-13 12:00:57

Very sad story & yes if course feel huge amount if sympathy for the mother.. Obviously she never envisaged something so tragic ... But... I'm afraid she has to take some responsibility for the incident. Such a huge powerful dog that she hasn't a clue of its background. I'm surprised the re-homing centre allowed her to have the dog. Especially her child being so young & in a flat too.
I wouldn't trust any dog with children but if it's not too big or you've had it from a pup then surely it's less likely to do so much damage.?

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 12:00:57

I wondered if that is what had happened, tether. That poor woman.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 12:01:41

Brian, there have been cases of children being killed by Chihuahuas too, you know. Not many, and one in particular was due to smothering rather than an attack, but the point is there are no guarantees in any case.

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 12:04:13

That's a very good article by Malcolm Gladwell.

SooticaTheWitchesCat Wed 06-Nov-13 12:05:04

I agree with the OP, I don't know why anyone would have a dog like that around small children. To be honest I wouldn't have any kind of dog with a child but I am not a dog person anyway.

MindyWiller Wed 06-Nov-13 12:05:08

I am not so clued up on this so feel free to correct me if i am wrong, but i always feel the main reason attacks involving these types of dogs make front page news is because they result in people being killed or seriously scarred.

I am aware that all dogs can turn and any dog can be vicious of trained to do so but it seems to me that when these dogs attack they "lock on" so to speak whereas anothet breed would bite then let go?

It is a shame when people of low intelligence and lazy disposition get dogs (any dog) and don't train an excercise them properly, if you were shut in one room all day with no love or attention you'd turn eventually too.

MaidOfStars Wed 06-Nov-13 12:05:58

There have been cases of children being killed by Chihuahuas too, you know. Not many, and one in particular was due to smothering rather than an attack, but the point is there are no guarantees in any case.
No guarantees to avoid an attack, but I guarantee that I can kick a chihauhau hard enough to get it to stop what's it doing.

SqueakyCleanLibertine Wed 06-Nov-13 12:06:43

A Jack Russell killed a new born last year.tragedies will happen.

However,I think we need a massive overhaul of dog ownership in this country.

Licenses for any dog owner, that costs about 100 quid, licences to breed that cost over £500 say, id cards that day you are the dogs owner and they are licensed.

So the irresponsible, lazy dog owners just don't bother.

This story is so heart breaking,I can't imagine how that family feel.

BrianTheMole Wed 06-Nov-13 12:07:21

Well, you'd have more chance beating a chihuahua off than you would a large dog with huge jaws. I can't imagine having to stab a chihuahua to get it off someone. Personally If I was that desperate for a dog, I'd rather take my chances with the small dog that I can defend myself and my children against. Its a no brainer really.

Skinheadmermaid Wed 06-Nov-13 12:07:44

Oh here we go, more ignorant breed blaming from thickos who don't know a pitbull from their arsehole.
Did you know the first dog breed the media used to make up sensationalist stories about was the Newfoundland?
A couple of years ago a little girl was mauled and scarred for life by none other then a big scary...labrador. But i doubt you know about that, because it wasn't a 'big scary' mastiff breed the media didn't splash it all over the front page. The andrex puppy has done the labradors PR work very well. My poor dog has been attacked by labs more then any other dog breed because idiots buy them and think 'oh its a lab it'll be well behaved and sweet even without training'
WRONG. ALL dogs need training, even supposed sweet fluffy labs.
What about the baby that was bitten by a fox and it turned out to be the parents german shepherd?
You see any dog can bite, any dog can kill.
There is no breed 'born bad' or more demonic then another, there is only whipped up sensationalist tales bred out of hatred by the media to create bias through fear; the same as they do with people.
How would you like it if a story ran in the paper of an african man raping someone and i said all african men rape, they are more dangerous by birth then european men.
Its all bollucks.
The dog most likely to be aggressive and bite its owners is the dashaund.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 12:09:08

With regards to dogs being bred for fighting, I've seen a lot of American animal programmes and all have said that any fighting dog that shows aggression to people is destroyed, they are bred to be dog agressive. They aren't allowed to attack people

MaidOfStars Wed 06-Nov-13 12:09:29

So the irresponsible, lazy dog owners just don't bother.
....to get licences.

In theory, I agree with licensing but how to police? Do you expect all neighbourhood officers to check the credentials of everyone out walking their dog? I don't see how to enforce it.

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 12:10:25

Behaviour that is tolerated in smaller breeds is magnified, but the dog is no worse

This resonates with me. All the direct dog problems we have had when taking our children to the park (jumping up, scratching, chasing or going to nip the children) have been by small dogs, invariably owned by the same group of older women who indulge them like children, seem to do no training and don't really make sure they get any exercise when they do take them to the park and never pick up their dog mess either.

One pug in particular is a recurrent problem, but the owner just says 'Oh don't mind him, he loves children'. He clearly doesn't, he wants to bite their faces off. The thing is, I know I could stamp the wretched little thing to death in pretty short order if I had to. I wouldn't have that option with a pitbull, or Rottweiler.

feelingood Wed 06-Nov-13 12:10:43

Personally I would not have ANY BREED of dog that has previously been abused - their behaviour can be unrepdictable, you just dont know what these dogs have been fully subjected to and how they feel - no one can.

This is because I have small children and a small house.

I thinkt hese dogs are fine to be homed with the correct owners and circumstances. I think the rescue chairty/kennel are irresponsible in homing such a large previously abused dog in a home with a young child.

But that said...it beggars belief why parents of small children do this.

MaidOfStars Wed 06-Nov-13 12:11:11

Skinheadmermaid - harsh. I don't see too much breed blaming, only a discussion to recognise that all dogs can bite.

tabulahrasa Wed 06-Nov-13 12:11:16

"In theory, I agree with licensing but how to police? Do you expect all neighbourhood officers to check the credentials of everyone out walking their dog?"

Why not? run it like a driving licencing scheme.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 12:11:27

The point is that you have to be around to stop it happening in the first place, MaaidOfStars. You can kick it all you like but that won't do a lot of good after it had been left alone with a child and smothered it to death.

You can't guarantee the behaviour of any breed any more than you can any human, but let's pretend, just for a second: I believe with certainty that if dogs were only ever to go to the appropriate homes and be correctly brought up and handled, and NEVER, EVER allowed to live with the wrong owners, we would find the incidences of attacks would decrease to almost nil, regardless of breed. However I believe the same could be said of humans - if all were to be brought up in 'the perfect home' (could such a thing ever really exist?), the world be a different place, prisons would not be overcrowded and the Jeremy Kyle Show would not have to exist.

So again I would go with the owner being the problem rather than the breed.

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 12:11:35

How would you like it if a story ran in the paper of an african man raping someone and i said all african men rape, they are more dangerous by birth then european men

Please stop comparing race in humans to breeds of dog, it is not comparable at all.

The dog that bit me was one of those yappy type small dogs. It's owner had to get it off me. sad

Unfortunately both DSs were with me and were little. I think it affected their thinking about dogs. Even now they aren't keen.

Retropear Wed 06-Nov-13 12:12:19

Yanbu

Ugly,slobbery,smelly,expensive to feed,time consuming,scary and dangerous.

Sick of hearing of this type of thing.It's bad enough the general public having to tolerate these dogs out in public but frankly if you put your child at risk from any animal I think it is a child protection issue and prosecution should happen.

WhatTheFoxSays Wed 06-Nov-13 12:12:38

Can you ever fully trust a dog whatever the breed?

Good point. Any dog can turn when you least expect it.

Lazysuzanne Wed 06-Nov-13 12:13:22

I think often dog owners are being overly anthropomorphic, when they say they 'trust' the dog they are ascribing to it human characteristics.

They speak as if the dog regards their children with a human like sense of affection.

MaidOfStars Wed 06-Nov-13 12:14:19

SharpLily - not sure if you misunderstand me. I posted earlier, very much of the opinion that breed is irrelevant and owner demographics were a few more reliable indicator of tendency to attack.

And yes, I'd have to be around the chihauhau attack to actually stop it. But I would think it sensible to not have dogs and children alone together anyway.

Retropear Wed 06-Nov-13 12:14:30

And yes time for a massive overhaul of the system.

Too many members of the law biding public are being jumped on,nipped,bitten and made to feel scared.

Why do we have to put up with it?

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 06-Nov-13 12:14:40

I think that re quote there^^ by Eldritch may be one of the reasons there things happen. Dogs are considered a family member and so on a par with the other family members including the children.

There seems to be some skewed thinking where dogs are given the same 'rights' as humans. These are animals we are talking about.

MaidOfStars Wed 06-Nov-13 12:16:27

I think it is a child protection issue and prosecution should happen.
That's an interesting point. Is it not the case that new laws (already implemented?) say owners will be held responsible for any injury caused by their dog? What would be the charge, does anyone know? Is it possible to be charged with murder, say, by using a dog as a deadly weapon?

fromparistoberlin Wed 06-Nov-13 12:16:56

"Her daughter has literally just been killed in front of her, and some of yo on here are calling her an idiot, a fuckwit and thick as fucking shit.

how dare you, the question had nothing to do with that poor little girl. and it was not a pitbull staff, it was different breed.

I really do not appreciate you twisting my words to make out I am insulting a poor bereaved mother.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 12:16:59

Humans are animals too. And the species responsible for more deaths than any other animal.

if you are going to compare them with humans you never know when a human will turn either. sad

From watching that scary lady with the black ponytail on the dog training show I believe she says you have to let them know you are the pack leader.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 12:19:06

No you don't. That's a true point as well.

curlew Wed 06-Nov-13 12:19:21

Of course it's not the dog's fault. Dogs don't have the brain power or consciousness to be responsible for their actions. No animal does.

Dogs act on instinct and training. Or lack of training.

fromparistoberlin Wed 06-Nov-13 12:19:29

Skinheadmermaid

(a) thats a vile comparison you used there, yuk

(b) I was bitten by a lab. But I am far more scared of pitbull/staff. Why? their owners scare me, they walk down the street smoking spliff, and the dgos usually have scary studded leather things, and they are SCARY as fuck!!!

Wallison Wed 06-Nov-13 12:19:34

Humans don't shit on the floor and bite joggers in the park though.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 12:19:37

YY Lazy. My DC are 13 and 10, and I have two dogs. The 15kg spaniel and a 6kg poodley thing. Both are lovely, soppy dogs. But they are dogs. They are attached to us, like being with us, and add something special to our family. I do leave the room when the dogs and DC are together, because my DC are older and I know they won't torment the animals. I never leave visiting DC and the dogs alone, and if small children are visiting the dogs are shut in the kitchen. I think trusting a dog puts an unfair burden on the dog, tbh.

Lazysuzanne Wed 06-Nov-13 12:19:48

Even here we have people making comparisons between dogs and humans, as in not all dogs can be trusted in the same way that not all humans can be trusted.

This is plain daft! Dogs don't think in a way that can be compared to humans.
They are not slightly simplified versions of humans!

Retropear Wed 06-Nov-13 12:21:40

No child should live in an atmosphere of intimidation or danger- just because it is a dog doing it.

Dahlen Wed 06-Nov-13 12:21:43

With the exception of certain banned breeds (and this breed was not one of them) there isn't a direct link between breed and likelihood of aggression.

The top 5 breeds likely to bite include Cocker Spaniels, Chihuahuas and Jack Russells. Rottweilers, Mastiffs and Dobermanns aren't even in the top 10. Pit Bulls are, but they are a banned breed and the dog at the centre of this case was not one.

The reason there appears to be a breed link is two-fold: Firstly the image of certain breeds attract a certain type of owner. Rottweilers are among the gentlest most lovely family dogs you could get - in the right hands. Unfortunately, the dogs reared in loving family homes are lost among the sea of would-be hard-man types who think a tough-looking dog grants them a certain street cred. hmm Secondly, when a large dog bites someone it will obviously create more damage than a small dog bit because of the size of the teeth/jaw and the strength behind it. Combine that with media coverage ("Chihuahua bites child but child is ok" doesn't have the same ring to it as "child mauled by mastiff").

The mother in this case is suffering the worst possible pain any of us can imagine. It is hard to see how she could have prevented this other than not getting a dog at all - the breed really is incidental, and while a rescued dog always carries a risk of the unknown, usually rescued dogs are not re-homed without careful examination into what kind of home they will adapt well to. This dog would not have been placed in a family home without the rescue workers being as sure as they could be that the dog would be fine with children. Also, it doesn't sound at all like the mum was irresponsible in allowing dog and child to play together unsupervised because she (the mother) was there at the time.

My sympathies to everyone involved or affected by this case.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 12:21:45

Yes they do. Ive seen plenty of human shot on the floor. Adult shit. And people have also been bitten by people

Jinsei Wed 06-Nov-13 12:21:53

I don't have a dog or any other pets, but I do have a daughter, and I feel for mother of that poor child who was killed right in front of her. It seems to me quite heartless for a bunch of strangers to pile on the Internet blaming her for owning the dog the day after she lost her child. sad

The dog was not an illegal breed. Perhaps - for whatever reason - she did not perceive the risk. Can't we have a bit of compassion for the poor woman?

SleepyFish Wed 06-Nov-13 12:22:24

As an ex vet nurse, I would never be stupid enough to 'trust' any dog. Almost all dog owners would assure me that 'they won't bite', including the rottie owner who's dog almost ripped my face off.
Too many closed calls for me to ever consider having a dog in the house with a young child.
In this case I can't imagine wtf the animal shelter were thinking giving this dog to a family with a young child.

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 12:24:04

I think trusting a dog puts an unfair burden on the dog, tbh

Very good point.

And yes, I have enormous compassion for the mother in this case.

Lazysuzanne Wed 06-Nov-13 12:25:10

Yes humans are animals too Giles, with the addition of a much much larger frontal cortex, trust me this is a real game changer, it puts us in a whole new league, humans are not just animals.
The bigger brain means that we have transcended our animal nature.

Well MOST of us have...

frustratedandfailing Wed 06-Nov-13 12:25:14

I think people are assuming that is was the Bull Mastif because of the picture on the front page of some newspapers, but do we actually know if it was that dog? There were two dogs in the home apparently...

I know of 3 dog attacks from a personal angle...one was a terrier type dog, one a Corgi and one a Rotty...make of that what you will.

I agree that you have less of a chance with a big dog that turns, and I think you have to be very confident of your dog to have it in the home with your child and there is always risk.

I desperately want a dog - both myself and my partner agree though that with two young children in our home we are not willing to take the risk.

I also think that dogs should not be allowed off leashes in public and that owners should by law be obligated to make their gardens secure. I think if a dog is found wandering if should be confiscated permanently from the owners. I think it should cost a lot of money to buy and own a dog by way of a license and all owners are required to pay for some sort of dog education programme before being allowed a license.

How to implement these things...I have no idea...but as a parent who grew up with dogs, I am extremely uncomfortable out in public when I see dogs off leads, especially around areas children will frequent.

The dog may be well trained, but dogs aren't the only unknown quantity in the mix...children can behave in unexpected ways that can cause a dog to become very anxious very quickly.

curlew Wed 06-Nov-13 12:25:15

We have a lovely gentle soppy family dog. But I have always made sure that my children keep their faces well away from her when they are playing- any dog can nip if over excited, surprised or hurt.

It's not a matter of trust. Dogs don't decide whether or not to nip or bite- their instincts and training tell them what to do. I am pretty sure the brakes won't fail on my car- but they might. That doesn't mean I don't "trust" my car.........

NoBloodyMore Wed 06-Nov-13 12:25:21

We've got a lab, a big daft lab who I've had for 7 years from being a pup, I've also got a pain in the arse 1 year old who bothers the dog, the dog is always kept in a different room unless I'm sat there. I always say if the dog bit DS it would be MY fault for not preventing it, the dog is a dog and is just reacting and DS is learning to treat the dog properly but is still very young.

I agree about not having a dog I could overpower, if I had to I could overpower ours.

Saying that I was bit by a dog whjen I was walking down the street when I was a teenager, a labrador of all dogs.

My friend has 2 cavalier king charles spaniels, she treats them like babies, one of them is really aggressive. She went for my DS last week as he was walking past, luckily friend managed to prevent it but we won't be going round again any time soon as she won't put the dogs outside and I'm not willing to risk her biting DS.

This case is tragic though.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 12:25:45

Jinsei, I have immense compassion for the mother in this case. No one gets a dog and thinks 'Well, it might eat the DC.... Fuck it, it's worth the risk.' It's a terrible, awful tragedy and that poor woman will have to live with losing her child and seeing it happen (if reports are to be believed). I'm sure she'll be beating herself up enough without anyone else pointing it out to her.

The problem is you don't know 100% with rescues what has gone on in their past.
My cousin has a dog from a rescue that was picked up as a stray. The list of things the dog is frightened of grew by the day. Being scared is one of the reasons dogs can lash out. sad

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 12:27:26

Really, Wallison? You should spend some time in some of the places I've lived.

tabulahrasa Wed 06-Nov-13 12:28:05

"usually rescued dogs are not re-homed without careful examination into what kind of home they will adapt well to. This dog would not have been placed in a family home without the rescue workers being as sure as they could be that the dog would be fine with children."

Actually it looks very much like the organization that has confirmed that they rehomed the dog, is a pound rehoming strays after their 7 days are up.

That's a much bigger issue than the breed of dog...I don't know this particular one, but how they usually work is that the dogs coming in have little to no history and are given to anyone who wants them with very little assessing of either the dog or the potential owner.

Not the same thing as a rescue at all.

tiredoutgran Wed 06-Nov-13 12:28:08

We have a mastiff x American bulldog who is coming towards the end of his years - he won't be replaced! When we got him we had a farm, he was 6 months old, I had my 15yo daughter living with me and DP, he was bought as a guard dog.

Since that we had to get residence of 3 grandchildren, later joined by a 4th baby, we lost the farm directly as a result of this but by then the dog had become a loved member of our family. He is amazing with the DCs, we have never had a minutes concern with him and he would protect them with his life.

Having seen the news and photos this morning I am seriously questioning his presence in our home yet again. We try to ensure that DC's are never left alone with him, but how the hell do you guarantee to forget for a second - to answer the door or the phone. I think baby gates and banning from the same rooms will be in place by tonight. I would never have rehomed an adult dog of this breed in a home with children (in fact I would never have got a dog like this had the DC's been with us then). I almost cannot wait for it to be time for him to be PTS, how awful is that, and I feel so guilty for it, although nowhere near as guilty as I would feel if he mauled one of the children. If it wasn't for DP and DD I would have him PTS today!

Lazysuzanne Wed 06-Nov-13 12:28:45

It does not put a burden on the dog, the dog is not aware of its burden

Rather it is expecting things that the dog is not capable of, like a reliant robbin can't do 150 mph!

Please stop being anthropomorphic!

feelingood Wed 06-Nov-13 12:29:24

I get any breed can bite, mame and kill.

But dont some breeds have more powerful jaws than others which because of their physiology have a greater risk of causing severe harm.

I think it is important to seperate physical features, temperament and training and the overall ability of an owner to be responsible in thehandling of the dog.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 12:32:27

I heard the owner in this case got the dog from a website, not any kind of rescue organisation.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 12:32:35

Ok, Lazy, I suppose what I mean is that by saying you 'trust' the dog you are ascribing it a responsibility it can not possibly take on nor understand. It's a dangerous mind set. You are passing on the burden of responsibility, and falsely feeling safe about it.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 12:32:43

There are some animals more intelligent than humans. Dolphins for instance.

Pigs also are very intelligent.

But your right. We have developed our brain to the point that aggression is choice. Not a response to fear or a situation but intent to hurt someone for no benefit other than the feeling of hurting that other person or animal.

Every animal has the ability to turn dogs cats pigs sharks and humans.

I love dogs. I'd give anything to be able to own one. But as a fairly intelligent adult I realise our situation does not permit
Us to have a dog. Ergo I don't get one.

filimou Wed 06-Nov-13 12:32:44

*feelingood Wed 06-Nov-13 12:29:24
I get any breed can bite, mame and kill*.

But dont some breeds have more powerful jaws than others which because of their physiology have a greater risk of causing severe harm.

I think it is important to seperate physical features, temperament and training and the overall ability of an owner to be responsible in thehandling of the dog.

^^this

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 12:34:05

There are some animals more intelligent than humans. Dolphins for instance

I don't think that's right, actually. Very intelligent certainly, but not more intelligent.

WhatTheFoxSays Wed 06-Nov-13 12:35:13

But dont some breeds have more powerful jaws than others which because of their physiology have a greater risk of causing severe harm.

Yes that's right. Don't rottweilers have locking jaws which would make it difficult to overpower and get them to let go of someone?

Personally, if I was to ever get a dog, I would probably go for a smaller breed. Not because I think they can't possibly attack because like I said before, any dog can turn. It's just that logically it would be easier to overpower a smaller dog if that happened.

As it is however, I am more of a cat person and only have cats right now grin

curlew Wed 06-Nov-13 12:35:25

In what way are dolphins more intelligent than humans?????

MaidOfStars Wed 06-Nov-13 12:35:31

There are some animals more intelligent than humans. Dolphins for instance.
That is just bollocks. Are you using a non-standard definition of "intelligence"?

WhatTheFoxSays Wed 06-Nov-13 12:36:25

There are some animals more intelligent than humans.

I wouldn't go that far.

Intelligent? Sure. More intelligent that humans? Nah.

tabulahrasa Wed 06-Nov-13 12:37:12

"I heard the owner in this case got the dog from a website, not any kind of rescue organisation."

No - the organization with the council contract for stray dogs has said that they rehomed the dog to them.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 12:37:21

I don't think that any dog breed actually has locking jaws, some are just more powerful and they've been bred not to let go.

I will believe that dolphins are more intelligent than humans when I see one exploring space, writing books or able to navigate Ebay.

curlew Wed 06-Nov-13 12:37:52

Ascribing human characteristics to animals is such a dangerous road to go down.

needaholidaynow Wed 06-Nov-13 12:38:16

I wouldn't have a thing like that in my house.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 12:38:52

In the end, dog lover or not, I think we can all agree that dog ownership carries risks. Ultimately the owner is responsible for taking all steps possible to mitigate that risk and unfortunately, all too often this doesn't happen. However it seems there really is very little evidence to suggest that blaming the breed has any positive effect - to the contrary, it can encourage the wrong elements to fetishise the less desirable properties of said breeds.

So let's say the breed in question in this case (which is apparently yet to be determined) gets banned. Later on so will another particular breed, and another. Realistically I don't see this having the desired effect upon the number and severity of dog attacks.

The key remains owner responsibility and education - licensing of some form and enforcement.

stickysausages Wed 06-Nov-13 12:38:55

Agree that his kids are the new chav must have.....

I wouldn't have one as they need a LOT of exercise & I couldn't do it, so I wouldn't be surprised if we see attacks from frustrated, under stimulated and/or inbred huskies soon sad

stickysausages Wed 06-Nov-13 12:39:31

HUSKIES! Not 'his kids' !?

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 12:40:49

I was wondering who's kids, sausages grin Is it telling that my first thought was 'Russell Brand'?

RoxanneReidsChafingFishnets Wed 06-Nov-13 12:41:20

Laughing at his kids

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 12:43:34

Well I have to admit I have spent a lot if time around incredibly stupid people. And have frequently had far more intelligent interactions with animals. grin

I think it's fairly obvious in many cases what the obvious solution would have been or what considerations should have been given.

Owllady Wed 06-Nov-13 12:43:42

It's a staffordshire bull terrier, it's quite easy to find which one it actually is through google
I should work in a research department i really should hmm

irresponsible dog breeding and ownership is the root of many of the problems, rather than the breed

topknob Wed 06-Nov-13 12:43:43

This is our local RSPCA rehoming place www.rspcaessex.org.uk/adoptadog.html

About 6 huskies and numerous staffies...is sad.

loveolives Wed 06-Nov-13 12:44:00

Although I agree to some extent it's the owner not the breed, I also think that yes it is the breed actually. Why do you need a mastiff? Why do you need a bulldog?

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 12:44:49

What is a Staff, Owllady?

Nancy66 Wed 06-Nov-13 12:45:53

A huge dog like a bull mastiff must a lot of exercise and I imagine that's hard to do, especially of the lead.

If I saw something like that bounding towards me in a park I would be terrified. Probably why I don't go to parks anymore.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 12:46:56

Why do we need any pet? We don't, really. It's just preference, I guess. These breeds were originally created for a purpose, but most dogs are just household pets now.

Lazysuzanne Wed 06-Nov-13 12:46:59

Sharp, I agree certain breed become status symbols, owning one gives the owner kudos, feeling (albeit falsely) in control of a dangerous animal such that it is seen to defer to you and have a sense of loyalty to your children gives the owner a sense of mastery and control.

Of course this is all a vain, self indulgent and dangerous folly

pianodoodle Wed 06-Nov-13 12:47:00

I prefer not to own a dog that I couldn't physically overpower if I needed to - being well trained still would be enough to put my mind at rest.

I have a lovely placid dachshund. Even still, she wasn't left unsupervised with the baby etc...

In ten years she's never bitten, shown aggression nor even looked likely to.

However, my answer to any stranger who asks "does she bite" is still the same... "I don't know"

pianodoodle Wed 06-Nov-13 12:48:01

That should have been wouldn't be enough to put my mind at rest.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 12:49:34

I went to visit my brother last year, in a very built up area. My dog came with me and when we were out on walks, I astonished by the sheer number of Staffs (and that type) we saw. I did notice that weren't necessarily all with young men and in fact there was a wide variety of humans in charge. However I couldn't help noticing also that they were never walking to heel and very few were wearing adequate equipment - a Staff type dog on an extending lead is just stupid. I didn't particularly notice any aggression towards me or my dog, but I certainly didn't get an impression of responsible dog ownership either.

Owllady Wed 06-Nov-13 12:50:05

the dog that killed the little girl in the news today sad

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 12:50:20

I think a lot of dog owners anthropomorphise dogs, and a large part of that may be about recasting dog owership and the dog/owner interaction as positive for and desired by the dog.

But actually, it is incredibly unnatural, in its modern shut-in-a-small-house-or-flat incarnation particularly, and I suspect usually not at all positive for the dog. I think a lot of the dog ownership I see around me in our city neighbourhood is an indulgence and emotional outlet for the owner and pretty cruel for the dog.

Wallison Wed 06-Nov-13 12:50:38

If dolphins are so intelligent how come they jump into tuna nets.

Some of the comments on here make me think that not only dogs but dog owners should be muzzled in public.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 12:50:55

Ditto, piano. My spaniel is an anxious soul, and very submissive to humans. He sometimes reacts to other dogs, though, so I tend to just not allow him to greet people or dogs when we're out and about. Visitors to the house are always slobbered on and have tummy rubs demanded of them, though smile The poodley pup loves everyone and everything, but in the right/wrong circumstances...Well, they both have a full set of teeth.

MaidOfStars Wed 06-Nov-13 12:51:05

I prefer not to own a dog that I couldn't physically overpower if I needed to
I agree. And as much as SharpLily's descriptions of her Dobermans makes me yearn to have one (gorgeous, intelligent dogs), I am a small person and I can't imagine feeling comfortable with a dog that could put their paws on my head. And that kind of wariness is never going to be good for dog either.

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 12:51:27

Dachshund means badger hound. They were bred to go into setts after badgers and can be terrifying. But they are small, so they tend not to kill.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 12:51:34

Owllady, has that been 100% confirmed? Because I've seen reports and pictures of various different dogs.

Lazysuzanne Wed 06-Nov-13 12:53:06

A dog would probably be more likely to attack a child than an adult for the same reason it'd be more likely to kill a rabbit than a horse, easier prey.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 12:53:39

Quite, MaidOfStars - no-one should have a dog they are not comfortable with - and as comfortable and confident as I am about my experience with my own breed, I would not get a dog of another breed - big, small or any kind - without doing a lot of research and planning first. It's just irresponsible.

SkullyAndBones Wed 06-Nov-13 12:54:43

police have confirmed the dog was not the big mastiff, but a 'pitbull type' dog.

they are now saying in the papers that they think the dog was spooked by an exploding firework.

the child was home sick from school on that day and in bed where her mother was comforting her when the dog flipped and attacked the little girl.

the mother had to stab the dog to get it to release her daughter, which is likely why the animal died.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 12:56:29

I didn't think we had 'pitbull' types in this country? And if it was a pit, then why was it rehomed to her? I thought they had to be destroyed?

WhatTheFoxSays Wed 06-Nov-13 12:57:08

If dolphins are so intelligent how come they jump into tuna nets.

Good point.

I suppose everyone has one of those days, including dolphins.

SkullyAndBones Wed 06-Nov-13 12:57:14

as for non dangerous breeds... my family keeps king charles cavaliers which are one of the softest, dopiest dogs there are.

i knew one who had a food aggression problem and would have ripped your hand off if you tried to touch his bowl/biscuit, and another who had jealously problems and nipped me several times as a child because she didnt like the attention my mom gave me.

ANY breed has the potential to be dangerous.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 12:57:26

I was just going to ask that. Pit bulls are banned I thought too.

Lazysuzanne Wed 06-Nov-13 12:58:33

Eldrith, I agree dogs are often sort of living toys that human amuse themselves with...when other reason can there be for having them?

pianodoodle Wed 06-Nov-13 12:58:39

Dachshund means badger hound. They were bred to go into setts after badgers and can be terrifying. But they are small, so they tend not to kill.

I know I always find the scene hard to imagine when I look at my dachshund on the sofa - especially given how vicious a badger can be.

Mine's a standard size though not a mini, and they're a decent enough size. She's more of a medium than a small dog - it's just that the height is deceptive grin

Unfortunately a lot of people don't appreciate they're hounds and not lapdogs, which is why you see so many overweight ones sad

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 12:59:08

Because their echo location doesn't pick it up. People walk I to things, trip over, stand on things all the time too

SkullyAndBones Wed 06-Nov-13 12:59:52

snakey its just media speak for a specific look of dog.

the quote from the paper is this

"Neighbours described the animal as a 'pitbull', but police have said the dog which attacked Lexi was not thought to be a breed listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act, which would include a pitbull.
Tests were today being carried out to determine the breed of the dog"

marzipanned Wed 06-Nov-13 13:00:02

sticky you're absolutely right, and this is actually something the rescue centre told us when we went to look at getting a dog (in the end decided it wasn't right for our situation). They need several hours of intense exercise - running - a day, plus they are an unsocialised breed and their kill instinct has not been suppressed. Scary.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 13:01:13

Er, for companionship, for protection or as working dogs, Lazy?

I think the people at the re-homing centre must also take some of the blame here. Why would they let a dog of this size go to a one bed flat where a small child lives and the tenancy agreement states no dogs. I have had rescue animals, cats, and the place I got them from were very strict and did home checks before they let me have them. Disregarding the breed of the animal just the size of it would deem it unsuitable in my eyes.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 13:02:58

And unfortunately for our gambling pleasure sad

friday16 Wed 06-Nov-13 13:03:10

Because their echo location doesn't pick it up.

Human eyes don't work well in the dark. But aircraft can land in pitch darkness thanks to radar, radio, in some cases GPS and the rest of the technology our intelligence has produced. If dolphins are so clever, why haven't they built a tuna-net detector?

marzipanned Wed 06-Nov-13 13:03:31

topknob that rescue page really is heartbreaking. But I am very pleased to see that they will only rehome with children 14+, that they demand experienced/intermediate owners, that they will not rehome with other pets, etc.

pianodoodle Wed 06-Nov-13 13:04:34

dogs are often sort of living toys that human amuse themselves with...

I agree some dogs are treated like that (I'm thinking of the ones you see poking their head out of a designer handbag) but hopefully not the majority.

PoppyAmex Wed 06-Nov-13 13:07:25

Did I read that they only had the dog for 4 weeks?

That's a seriously massive risk; a rescue dog with a troubled abusive past in a small flat with a child...

Molly333 Wed 06-Nov-13 13:07:30

It's the owners fault , my parents have also kept awful dogs and as a result I've hardly ever taken their grandchildren round , it's actually my dads fault as he thinks animals are more important than people ! Due to his own pathetic people skills

Wallison Wed 06-Nov-13 13:10:26

I am quite clumsy and often spill things down myself etc - I have even broken toes just by walking into doors. However, I have never accidentally found myself in a tuna net. I put it to you that dolphins are a bit thick.

It's amazing how quickly people rally to the support of the dog and/or owner. (not that I blame the dog. They are supposed to kill small animals. it's like saying "How was I supposed to know that letting the kids play with a chainsaw would be dangerous")

I don't care how cuddly your dog is. The fact remains that a goldfish can't savage a child and a dog can. When you decided to get a dog that an adult can't fight off then you pretty much waived your right to any respect.

But the attitudes of some posters shouldn't be surprising. We just had 2 threads in which many mumsnetters admitted openly that they would let a child die to save their dog. (apparently 40% of people will) So of course they will be in here saying it's just one of those things and cursing people who care about children.

It's not so much "what can we do about the dangerously savage dogs" as "what can we do about the dangerously savage people"

Animals vs Humans

pianodoodle Wed 06-Nov-13 13:12:47

I always thought that the term pitbull was generic, so used to describe a variety of different types and mixtures of dog with certain characteristics. Is that right?

So while a labrador is a labrador, the term pitbull can be applied to a lot of different types?

gemdrop84 Wed 06-Nov-13 13:13:05

I wouldn't say it's the type of dog thats the issue, it's the owner. People need to make sure they can handle their dog regardless of their size. My collie cross pooch has been attacked twice by tiny little dogs that seemed to be treated as accessories as opposed to an animal. Both times my dog tried to get to me, she didn't fight back. It was confirmed this morning on the wright stuff that the dog in the picture with the 4 yr old girl isn't the one that attacked her.

tabulahrasa Wed 06-Nov-13 13:13:40

"why haven't they built a tuna-net detector?"

No opposable thumbs...or in fact any fingers. I mean I don't think dolphins are more intelligent than humans, but you can't really blame them for not building things with just flippers.

tabulahrasa Wed 06-Nov-13 13:15:15

"I always thought that the term pitbull was generic, so used to describe a variety of different types and mixtures of dog with certain characteristics. Is that right?

So while a labrador is a labrador, the term pitbull can be applied to a lot of different types?"

It's a breed, but because of how they've worded the DDA...they put type in there, any breed of dog that fits the description can be deemed of type whatever it's parentage.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 13:15:18

of course they will be in here saying it's just one of those things and cursing people who care about children.

I haven't seen any of that here. The other discussion is over, there's no point trying to stir that shit on this thread.

pianodoodle Wed 06-Nov-13 13:16:11

Ah thanks tabulahrasa

topknob Wed 06-Nov-13 13:16:56

marzipanned Agreed, they also have a resident Husky expert smile and she fills you in on all the dogs issues and will vet you to see if you are suitable for the dog.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 13:17:04

No ones said "it's one of those things"

They have just pointed out that clearly not enough thought goes into choosing a dog for a pet. That jumping on trashing various breeds is pointless as any dog placed in unsuitable surroundings, who doesn't have mental and physical needs tended to properly is placing both the dog and the owner is a dangerous situation.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 13:18:41

That comment is also in very bad taste - the other thread was about a purely hypothetical situation (and it got way out of hand). A child actually died here.

topknob Wed 06-Nov-13 13:18:42

tabulahrasa No, a pitbull is a pitbull. Here is one www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-pitbull-portrait-image1364780

Scheriously Wed 06-Nov-13 13:19:59

My Staffie cross is not a 'part of the family' as such, as he is a dog and a pet. We are his owners, we are never cruel or brutal like some of the chavvy types I see out with their dogs, but he knows his place, and who he answers to. Children cannot enforce this type of authority, so should not be left around dogs.

There is no substitute for training, boundaries and common sense.

pianodoodle Wed 06-Nov-13 13:21:07

However, I have never accidentally found myself in a tuna net. I put it to you that dolphins are a bit thick.

I'd probably let the human side down by somehow managing to get tangled in a tuna net grin

I still don't think dolphins are generally more intelligent though smile

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 13:22:48

And as far as intelligence of humans and dogs well, in many years of customer facing jobs I've never had

"That dog has shit on the floor"
"That dog had left shifty pants on the floor"
"The dog has left food on the floor"
"That dogs smells"
"There's a syringe in the loos think the dog just shot up"
I've never had a dog vomit on the carpet cos he is pissed and omg the dogs have wagged their tail and given a lick to say thank you. More than half the customers have ever done.

Every fight, every ounce of shit, piss, litter, mess, food, smell has come from humans.

Every dog has sat quietly and patiently. grin

So yes,dogs are far smarter than the people I meet grin

Owllady Wed 06-Nov-13 13:23:23

sharplily, there are photos taken from facebook on some news reports
the name of the 'rescue' which isn't a rescue and a link to the rehoming facebook page
the actual dog is on there advertised for a firtnight ago, it states it is a staffordshire bull terrier
I am just going on the information in the public domain

An unclaimed stray will have an unknown background and history

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Wed 06-Nov-13 13:23:35

I had a rescue dog from a puppy, she was a cross between a SBT and German shepherd. She was a real sweetie. She was well trained, good with people, good with cats, good with children. A really well laid back dog. However I bought her a rawhide bone. The change in her was something else. She growled at me when I walked past her basket She never got given any rawhide products again.
I don't know what it was with rawhide, you could take toys off her, you could remove a bone from her mouth, the cat would go up to her food, nudge her out of the way and start eating her dinner and she would just step aside and look pathetic but rawhide was a definite no no.
We had her for 14 1/2 years without incident.

MistressDeeCee Wed 06-Nov-13 13:24:59

I don't get why so many people think they're dog whisperers. You're human not a dog. Why assume you know for certain the inner workings of a dog's mind? 2 human beings can have very similar backgrounds yet grow up with totally different mindsets and boundaries; who says its any different for dogs?

In fact, why should it always be 'owners are irresponsible' but, never the dog? I haven't seen mention in reports of tragic latest incident that, the parents were irresponsible dog owners. Yet that line is already doing the rounds based solely on assumptions. Its disgusting.

A dog on a mission to attack a child will do so, and will wait till that child is alone and vulnerable too

Pointing out that you have a 5ft tall stocky dog or some such, who wouldn't harm a fly, is totally irrelevant. Its like saying just because you as a human being would never kill anyone then you can swear its unlikely another human being would kill - and if they do, then its always down to the parents.

I feel very sorry for that family. They'll remember this traumatising incident every waking day for the rest of their lives. Horrible.

tabulahrasa Wed 06-Nov-13 13:25:19

topknob I know, it is a breed - except as far as the law on dangerous dogs goes. That's what I was saying.

grumpalumpgrumped Wed 06-Nov-13 13:30:13

My heart goes out to the family in this case. It is horrific.

My parents had a rehomed Jack Russel (from Battersea), she lived with them for 3 years without a hint of aggression. I had DS, and she wasn't too happy about it, she barked when we visited, and we kept them separate. A few weeks later she went for a childs face who walked past her (she was on a lead and my mother managed to pull her back). She was PTS later that day, after my mum breaking her heart about it.

Having seen a staffie kill a dog on my doorstep, the power of the animal was terrifying, had it been a child nobody would have been able to intervene.

No dog should ever be trusted with children. I ask my SIL to put her dogs out when we visit (a staffie) as having seen one turn I will not take the risk.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 13:30:29

*sharplily, there are photos taken from facebook on some news reports
the name of the 'rescue' which isn't a rescue and a link to the rehoming facebook page
the actual dog is on there advertised for a firtnight ago, it states it is a staffordshire bull terrier
I am just going on the information in the public domain*
That's what I mean - there's quite a lot of information out there and a lot of it conflicting. I've seen pictures of at least three different dogs, for example. I'm hesitant to fully trust any of it just yet.

I don't get why so many people think they're dog whisperers. You're human not a dog. Why assume you know for certain the inner workings of a dog's mind?
Who is doing that on this thread?

* I haven't seen mention in reports of tragic latest incident that, the parents were irresponsible dog owners.*
Really? I've seen plenty. However as I pointed out above, I'm not sure how much of it can be trusted.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 13:31:36

By the way, can anyone tell me why this * and this ^ don't always take effect? (Sorry, I know it's off topic)

salsmum Wed 06-Nov-13 13:32:07

If I read in the paper that a 10 year old has killed someone do I then naturally assume that most 10 year olds are killers??? The law of average is that if most people now own staffies/bull mastiff 'type' dogs then if there is an attack it will be a breed of this 'sort' (grumpy Grandmas JRT or poodle who have been treated like a precious child ) can attack MANY times but the bite force will not be so severe so will never be reported/make the news. I have owned rescue staffies ( 1 passed and 1 with us now) for over 20 years and 2 children (1 of which is wheelchair bound) without so much as a growl towards ANY human being. If you take a dog on (any dog) and do not read up on the breed, do not exercise the dog enough/at all, get a dog too big for your accommodation, do not train the dog, do not socialize the dog properly and have no rules/boundaries for the dog (especially around children) and let the children pull around/torment the dog you have a recipe for disaster. Certain breeds such as the 'hunting' breeds or dogs with a high prey drive will 'react' when they hear an excited child squealing and can mistake the sound to that of an injured animal...( if the dog is in a pack in a home the prey drive can be heightened). Responsible dog ownership is a must but just the same as you have lazy arsed parents who's children are 'feral' you also have the same scenario with SOME dog owners. fromparistoberlin I find YABVU to tar ALL owners of certain breeds as caring, mensa membership, guardian reading, lentil eating pitbull owners with the same brush...I suggest you go to a large dog show and see responsible dog owners of these breeds who are ALL very different! Some of these 'backstreet breeders' are now crossing an Akita (guarding breed with a staffy/mastiff) originally fighting breeds....in a small flat with lots of kids around this is not going to be a good outcome for either dog or owner/child, I personally think the laws should be tightened on breeding. My sincere condolences to the child who has passed away and her family today sad. xx

SharpLily, I mentioned the thread because it was relevant and so is the 40% from the poll . I didn't tell anyone that some of you were there ones putting dog lives first did I. I didn't even know until you posted to me just then which prompted me to check. I'm terrible with names.

Maybe you should have let it go. Now you've made it worse.

Owllady Wed 06-Nov-13 13:33:07

I don't understand why they don't always work either as it has happened to me as well
and you are right, it is purely speculation on my part sitting at home with vertigo.....confused

2tiredtoScare Wed 06-Nov-13 13:34:01

You left a space between the * and the words that's why

Owllady Wed 06-Nov-13 13:35:11

Laws do need to be tightened on breeding but they also need to be tightened on ownership. The two things correlate imo

halestone Wed 06-Nov-13 13:35:25

I haven't read this thread completely . I do however have an opinion i wish to share. When i was younger i was attacked by a neighbours dog it bit my face and very nearly took my nose off. I was a very lucky girl to have kept my nose and nowadays the scar is barely visible. The dog was a small dog i do not know the breed.

However i grew up and decided i wanted a dog when i was 16 (my parents asked all the neighbours to bring their dogs round after i was bit to show me not all dogs are evil so that i wouldn't be scared). I was allowed a dog on the condition i did my research on the breed. I chose a Mastiff i have never really liked small dogs since the attack so wanted a large breed.

My mastiff was the most loving dog in the world and was house trained and lead trained from the moment we brought her home. She was also taught not to go near my face as i have a habit now of jumping if a dog comes near my face unexpectedly.

I think these dogs get a really bad press. I also believe that its the owner not the dogs fault. As in every specie though you can get evil dogs, just like you get evil cats i know many of these and evil humans.

Its about knowing your animal, in the month leading upto her death she jumped easily when touched and she wasn't expecting it so i stopped letting her out. However prior to this she use to sit in the cul de sac i live in with all the neighbours kids playing with her and would only bark if a stranger came into the street so we all knew someone new was there.

My mastiff was also attacked by a stray collie dog and she just lay on the floor and didn't retaliate. I tried my best to get the collie off in the end it took my dad kicking the collie off her to stop the attack.

So my opinion at long last is that all breeds are capable of attacking, its how their brought up, that makes a difference.

NotYoMomma Wed 06-Nov-13 13:37:46

the very fact there are banned breeds surely implies that some breeds are worse than others.

otherwise why ban any?

everlong Wed 06-Nov-13 13:39:43

This story is horrific. Imagine being that mother sad

I don't know why she would have a dog like that in the same house as her child, I've only read the story briefly but believe she adopted it 4 weeks ago?

That poor little girl.

Lazysuzanne Wed 06-Nov-13 13:41:56

It can't ever be the dog's fault, a dog is not responsible for it's behavior, its not capable of self reflection.
that's why we don't have courts for animals

pianodoodle Wed 06-Nov-13 13:41:57

I know lots of responsible owners of big breeds.

I can still definitely understand why some people are nervous of breeds like that it seems reasonable enough to be more apprehensive about a big strong animal that can potentially do terrible damage if it chooses to.

Obviously whether or not I think a dog like that should be kept with a child doesn't take away from the sympathy I feel for this girl's family.

Dahlen Wed 06-Nov-13 13:42:29

NotYo - that's a very controversial subject with too much to go into on here, but in a nutshell it's because the legislators believed that those particular breeds had been specifically bred for aggression because they were meant to be fighting dogs, whereas other breeds were bred for function. Even where this included functions such as guarding, that's not the same as indiscriminate aggression.

tabulahrasa Wed 06-Nov-13 13:43:47

"the very fact there are banned breeds surely implies that some breeds are worse than others.

otherwise why ban any?"

It was a knee-jerk reaction to a few incidents, the ban is now 20 years old and hasn't helped at all...instead of looking at the breed of dog, legislation should be about stopping indiscriminate breeding and irresponsible ownership.

StillSlightlyCrumpled Wed 06-Nov-13 13:44:37

We got a puppy last year & whilst we have trained her & put done real effort & money into her (she is brilliantly behaved) I would never 100% trust her to be around my youngest child without us in the room.

We have crate trained which is great for peace of mind if I need to leave the toddler & the dog in the same room alone.

I also agree that I wouldn't have a dog I couldn't over power.

When DS2 was on a plastic surgery ward a couple of years ago there was a teenage girl there having been attacked by her boyfriends family dog. The boyfriends mum was in intensive care having had an artery severed by the dog in the same attack. The girl knew the dog & it had been a family pet for years. You just cannot 100% trust any dog.

elskovs Wed 06-Nov-13 13:47:18

"their owners are, in general, as thick as fucking shit"

Yep

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 13:47:55

the very fact there are banned breeds surely implies that some breeds are worse than others.
Not necessarily. In the Seventies, Dobermans had a bad reputation. In teh Eighties it was Rottweilers. In the Nineties, Pitbulls. The common denominator? The popularity of the breed in that time. The more dogs there are of any one breed, the more bites there are by that breed - be it Labradors, Poodles, Collies, whatever. It's also hard to avoid the fact that certain breeds, rightly or wrongly, attract a lot more attention and investigation, and are unfortunately in the hands of bad owners too often.

Spain, for example, takes its dangerous dog laws pretty seriously but hasn't experienced any drop in attack statistics since implementing legislation, which includes the banning of certain breeds.

I mentioned the thread because it was relevant
It really wasn't. Show a bit of respect.

DuckToWater Wed 06-Nov-13 13:48:08

I wouldn't trust any dog with a young child. But I do think with the type that lock their jaw the injuries can be potentially more serious. Also bigger dogs and the very strong working breeds. If a little dog bites you can shove it off quite easily.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 06-Nov-13 13:50:04

so really what it comes down to in answer to my OP is that some people like these types of dogs and are willing to take the risk and have them in their homes.

That answers it really.

LaRegina Wed 06-Nov-13 13:53:12

Yes OP.

Shame it's quite often not the owners but their children (and others) who get hurt though sad

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 13:55:08

No, it's not just about liking a breed and taking the risk. Those that are responsible have thembecaise thy like them AND have the time space money etc to look after them properly. They research the breed and train them , Get them nuetered etc.

And they take precautions that every dog owner should. Ie never leaving them alone with a child. Ensuring they are socialized.

lainiekazan Wed 06-Nov-13 13:55:08

It was a rescue dog, apparently, and I think the owner was mad to get a rescue dog of an indeterminate breed.

I know on MN every time someone mentions wanting to get a puppy a load of posters pile in and insist the poster gets a rescue dog. I know many, many rescue dogs are absolutely lovely, but you can't be too careful. You don't know why an older dog has been rehomed. It might be something "trivial" like excessive barking, or it could be something far more serious that has not manifested itself at the rescue centre. With a puppy, it might look cute and furry and friendly, but you don't know its parentage. And also the area is relevant. In an area where people have a tendency to own pitbull-type dogs, then the chances are a puppy will be of that type.

No dog is 100% reliable if provoked. But it's sheer madness to invite an unknown quantity to share your home if you have children there.

lainiekazan Wed 06-Nov-13 13:55:20

It was a rescue dog, apparently, and I think the owner was mad to get a rescue dog of an indeterminate breed.

I know on MN every time someone mentions wanting to get a puppy a load of posters pile in and insist the poster gets a rescue dog. I know many, many rescue dogs are absolutely lovely, but you can't be too careful. You don't know why an older dog has been rehomed. It might be something "trivial" like excessive barking, or it could be something far more serious that has not manifested itself at the rescue centre. With a puppy, it might look cute and furry and friendly, but you don't know its parentage. And also the area is relevant. In an area where people have a tendency to own pitbull-type dogs, then the chances are a puppy will be of that type.

No dog is 100% reliable if provoked. But it's sheer madness to invite an unknown quantity to share your home if you have children there.

LaRegina Wed 06-Nov-13 13:55:26

Ok I worded that really badly. Obviously the ideal is for nobody to be injured by a dog.

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 06-Nov-13 13:56:58

but Giles that is what it boils down to. You cannot eliminate risk with all the socialising and training in the world. So it is a managed risk

lainiekazan Wed 06-Nov-13 13:58:17

Whoops.

Also those absolving the dog of blame - I'm sure the criminally insane can't be held responsible for their actions, but all the same every effort is made to ensure they are not wandering the streets or able to assault or kill people because it's not their fault .

harticus Wed 06-Nov-13 13:59:43

Why did the rescue centre think it was appropriate to rehome this dog to a family with young children?

Rescue centres round here have very strict age restrictions and identifiers e.g. guard dog only or suitable for older children etc.

I have had rescue dogs all of my life and they are invariably damaged and unpredictable - regardless of the breed. Actually the worst attack I have ever seen was by a pair of long haired dachshunds and the sweetest dog I have ever had was a Staffy.

Horrifying story and my heart goes out to the family.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 13:59:57

The problem is that for all the work some of us do to be responsible dog owners, there are so many out there who don't, and it's usually children and dogs who have to pay the price.

ShinyBlackNose Wed 06-Nov-13 14:01:24

I'm with you op. I do not understand why anyone would choose to keep a large, powerful dog in a small home. I don't understand why people who live in flats don't choose to keep small dogs.

Smaller dogs need less space; it's easier to give them the exercise they require; they are easier to control.

Tulip26 Wed 06-Nov-13 14:02:07

I've read all 10 of these pages now and there are some really fair points. Thank you, mumsnet for not jumping on the staffy-bashing bandwagon.

Dogue Du Bordeax welfare (if this dog turns out to be a DDB) have a very strict rehoming policy and DO NOT rehome with children under ten. They do this because they are really keen to keep the good reputation of the breed. They are one of few KC registered rehoming charities.

If we're placing blame, it was whoever let her have the dog in a small flat with a small child. Any decent rescue would have run a mile - or suggested getting a different pet.

BrianTheMole Wed 06-Nov-13 14:02:41

so really what it comes down to in answer to my OP is that some people like these types of dogs and are willing to take the risk and have them in their homes.

Sounds about right.

SkullyAndBones Wed 06-Nov-13 14:04:11

we rehomed a greyhound once

it didnt eat any of the food the rescue said it did, didnt play with any of the toys they claimed it loved
it wasnt house trained
it was aggressive
it attacked the neighbours cat, growled when you told it to get off the couch, growled at my 8yo dsd and then tried to attack me.

the rescue had the fucking gall to tell me when i took it back to them that we were obviously bad owners.

we'd had it two weeks, 2.

did some digging and found the animal had been found in scotland (we're in the midlands) shipped across country because they couldnt rehome it up there and it was actually an ex gypsy dog that had been used for hare-coursing.

the whole debacle was a joke.

i will never rehome another adult rescue dog. you cant trust the rescue with the paper the dogs details are written on.

LaRegina Wed 06-Nov-13 14:04:33

I know first hand of a case where a friend got a dog from a rescue centre (RSPCA) and within days it was showing serious signs of aggression and being very destructive. She complained and the dog was taken back by the centre. Days later she saw the dog being advertised on their website with no mention of the 'issues'. She rang the centre who told her they "would never manage to rehome any dogs if they painted them in such a bad light."

I would never, ever consider a rehomed dog after that.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 14:04:36

But idiots who have the mentality to not bother with any form of responsible ownership are putting their kids at risk with any dog. More so the smaller ones because they are likely to suspect them less than the bigger breeds.

For responsible owners the risks are much much smaller and there are proven benefits to pet ownership.

It's dangerous to JUST Blame the breed. Because if everyone does that what happens to the dogs? They end up PTS or stuck in shelters when there's nothing wrong with them.

It's time people realised that the biggest risk is themselves. Their stupidity and irresponsible ownership!

That part gets lost amongst the dog shaming. People can be idiots!! There are stupid idiotic owners out there adding to the breed discrimination.

DuckToWater Wed 06-Nov-13 14:09:55

It's always been my worry as well with rehoming an older dog. I thought it best not to get a dog at all until the girls are much older, and in any event, the cats may leave home and I don't want them to do that!

Mrsdoasyouwouldbedoneby Wed 06-Nov-13 14:10:50

I disagree that it cannot be a breed thing. We carefully researched dog types before getting ours ( a poodle cavalier cross). She is a daft "cat like" think but I would never give her blanket trust. She is more forgiving of my son's liveliness and to be honest, training him has been harder than training her!! For some reason dogs get lively round my son particularly terrier type dogs so I was keen to avoid that type (my mum's terrier cross bit him). We had tested the type we have on him and was much better. Dogs are bred for specific purposes and it is important for owners to bear that in mind. Some dogs are designed to shred some have softer mouths (but can still harm obviously).

All I can imagine is that the poor mother will be feeling so terrible about what has happened. Yes, a dog in a small flat is not ideal. But it looks like they had access to outside space so she probably thought it was ok. I really feel for her. Her precious daughter has been killed. She deserves sympathy right now.

Am thinking. 17 people killed by dogs since 2005. How many have been killed by reckless drivers on that time? How many by abusive parents? Think the statistics will demonstrate that dogs are a small threat compared with our own species.

openseason Wed 06-Nov-13 14:16:54

the story makes me feel sick it,s like bringing an indangered specious into the home you woulden,t would you it,s time their were some clear laws about animals i think all powerful dogs should be muzzled not just for younger children but to protect all the public. i coulden,t imagine the horror for the parents what a horrible thing to have to witness.

Mrsdoasyouwouldbedoneby Wed 06-Nov-13 14:17:28

Meant to add. We were also careful about the temperament of the parents (of our dog) because actually poodles can be a bit snappy. Cavaliers generally not tho. What we have is a very lively but not snappy dog who I still watch like a hawk. Tho tbh she is 'my' dog as she has boned with me for some reason and will do as I say. But in my experience smaller dogs tend to be more snappy and can cause serious harm (not sure someone has mentioned this but a JR was responsible for killing a small baby)...
Treat all animals with respect is my rule.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 14:17:48

I'll make it clear before I get flamed that reports I've read could easily be wrong, in which case I apologise, but form the information I've read this does look like a very clear example of irresponsible ownership.

The place that has admitted to supplying the dog is not a rehoming centre at all, it's a kennels. The owner seems to have found it through a website for people buying and selling dogs. The flat in question is apparently a housing association property and tenants are not permitted to own dogs. If this is correct, the whole thing is a recipe for disaster. The dog should never have been in this situation.

Summerworld Wed 06-Nov-13 14:21:55

It annoys me when dog owners swear their dog would never go after anyone and is as placid as they come. They might genuinely believe that, but it is not true!

Our old neighbours had two Staffs and kept going on how affectionate and soft their dogs were, until one day they attacked my DH in our own garden and on another occasion they went after me, again in my own garden - the dogs kept digging a hole under the fence! At the time I was 5 months pregnant, sitting reading a book at the bottom of the garden and had no routes of escape. It was my luck the owner was out in the garden at the time and heard my screams for help. Not so much as an apology from him though, as their dogs are lovely and they will never harm anyone. Well, it did not feel like that to me when faced with a dog who was aggressively baring its teeth, barking and ready to launch on me.

LaQueenOfTheDamned Wed 06-Nov-13 14:24:31

It's quite simply because stupid people, do stupid things. Not surprisingly.

kerala Wed 06-Nov-13 14:26:45

We lived next to a similar set up in London. Single mother (well on off boyfriend) with toddler and newborn in a small 1 bed flat, on benefits. The mother gets...an enormous fighting dog - am not a dog person so cant specify the breed think it was a staffie cross. I couldnt bear to think of those babies in that tiny flat with it. It would jump the fence and shit in our garden hmm so was not under control. THe boyfriend would train it on the heath trying to get it to be more aggressive. I tried to talk to her but she was adamant she needed the dog "for protection". Pretty sure they were dealing drugs. Horrid set up shudder to think of it so glad we moved. I think sadly she was very very thick (not relating that comment to this case but here it was true.)

Skinheadmermaid Wed 06-Nov-13 14:41:44

fromparistoberlin

A) it sounds vile because it is and its exactly what people do to dogs. A dog is a dog, under the skin they're all the same, the same as humans.

B) so a labrador bit you but you're scared of staffies because of their owners? So not only are you breed biased with no actual experience of the breed to back up your unfounded fear you are judgemental of peoples social background.
Well guess what, I own a staffordshire bull terrier and i am a nicely spoken middle class girl and i certainly do not swagger down the street smoking spliffs. My dogs real leather harness cost me a pretty penny and i polish it with oil after walks to keep it looking smart. My dog is powerful, muscular and also 14 inches tall.
Yeh thats right, his head doesn't even reach my knee.
Terrifying.

pianodoodle Wed 06-Nov-13 14:45:28

You cannot eliminate risk with all the socialising and training in the world. So it is a managed risk

Yes I think that sounds fair.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 14:54:34

Of these type of incidents that are reported, in very few circumstances have I seen much of an attempt to manage risk. Never mind breed stereotyping, the major constant seems to be irresponsible ownership.

owlbegoing Wed 06-Nov-13 15:00:02

All the PP's stating the lack of garden because it was in a flat...has that been reported as fact. Could it have been a ground floor flat with a garden? Even if there were no garden it doesn't mean that it wasn't being taken for walks.

Owllady Wed 06-Nov-13 15:20:48

It wasn't a rescue dog, it was an unclaimed stray. It isn't a rescue place either, as sharplily says

I have had rescue dogs , one a an unclaimed stray through a proper rescue organisation, none of them have ever bitten anyone, let alone killed someone but I feel my dogs were responsibly placed with me rather than me just picking them off the shelf, so to speak. I have never treated them like humans either confused

peanutbuttersarnies Wed 06-Nov-13 15:26:22

All the people saying its the owner not the breed. Why dont the government do licenses for cetain breeds? To make sure they are properly cared for? Is there a reason? Is it just too difficult to control? If not then my personal view is that they shoyld be banned. If the ownership cannot be controlled then its a risk that is not worth taking having them available for family pets at all.

flatmum Wed 06-Nov-13 15:34:27

Dogs are animals at the end of the day and act primarily on instinct. It is naive and irresponsible human owners that are at fault in my opinion. I think dogs and small children are just not predicatable enough to be left alone together and I would question whether they should be living in the same house - there have been so many of these incidents now that, as a parent, I just wouldn't do it. Most responsible parents wouldn't leave a dangling blind cord in a house with a small child in it now so why would you have a dog big enough to kill a child in the house? I just don't understand the thinking. If you are a dog lover surely you can live without one for a few years while your children are young - or make sure they are kept separate and appropriately supervised?

I have first hand experience of this. A family member has a large dog (not one that we'd consider a banned or dangerous breed). Soppiest dog you have ever met, I had never heard him bark in the 4 years they'd had him. They'd never had any trouble with him. They came to visit once when I had an eigtheen month old. They kept him out in the garden and he was sitting happily at the owners feet round the garden table where we were all sitting. We had all known this dog for years. My 18 month old came past him to get to me to show me something, excitedly and he suddenly barked, lunged out, and went to grab him in his jaws - it was only the quick thinking of his owner in that split second who kicked the dog back, grabbed my son up and jumped onto the table with him and just got him out of the way in time that stopped it being a very nasty incident. They put the dog in the car and I have never seen him do anything like it again. Taught me a very importnat lesson about dogs and small children though.

Everytime it happens there are thread with outraged dog lovers complaining they are lovely dogs really! It is the owners! - yes - probably right - but can you guarantee that any individual dog will never snap and turn on a young child? I don't see how you can and I wonder how many more poor children will have to die in the most awful of circumstances before people decide it's not a risk worth taking.

BEEwitched Wed 06-Nov-13 15:46:17

peanutbuttersarnies That's how some other countries do it - in Germany there is a list of indexed breeds, dogs of that type have to pass character tests where they are tested for aggression and behavioural problems.

I think if you are a drug addict or have previous charges for violence you're also not allowed to keep these breeds.

I am not 100% sure but I believe in Switzerland you have to take classes if you want to own a dog, like a dog owner's driving license.

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 15:47:04

The personal stories don't really help either way, whether negative (I got attacked by a Staffie once) or positive (Oh, but my mastiff is lovely). It's just anecdote.

Read the Malcolm Gladwell piece linked to earlier. it is excellent at making sense of whether, and when, it is appropriate to generalise about this.

imofftolisdoonvarna Wed 06-Nov-13 15:53:13

I will admit I haven't read the whole thread, but I have to say I cannot really understand having any sort of dog with a baby/small child, although I know that plenty of people do so and for the most part without any problems.

It's just that dogs can still essentially be very unpredictable, especially around babies who don't know how to treat them.

My friends with dogs and babies always go on about how sloppy their (big!) Dogs are and how they would never hurt their child, and admittedly the dogs are very well trained. But surely it only takes for the baby to take the dog by surprise or accidentally hurt it by pulling its tail or poking its eye, for the dog to lash out and real damage to be done?

peanutbuttersarnies Wed 06-Nov-13 15:55:13

Thanks beewitched. I dont understand why our government dont do that. Sounds sensible. I wonder if the statistic for attacking are any better there.

ViviPru Wed 06-Nov-13 15:55:41

I just feel sick for that poor woman. I drove past the street on the way to the gym and wondered what was going on, I had no idea it was going to turn out to be something so tragic.

As far as I'm aware is was closest in breed to a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, but a bit of a mixed breed which is why reports are saying the more generic 'bulldog'.

Whatever the Mother's reasoning for taking on this particular dog (and the rights and wrongs of that) to her mind, she was giving a dog a chance and her family a pet. I don't know a great deal about the kennels other than my next-door neighbor sings their praises and it's a little family-run business. It's just massively sad for everyone involved :'(

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 15:59:37

It's very tempting for the rest of us to assign blame, because that presupposes there was some obvious and practical precaution that could have been taken to prevent it; that we are sensible people who would take such precautions; and therefore, that nothing like this could happen to us.

What if this is just part of that 'managed risk' OP was talking about? Just that completely unpredictable, ineradicable whatever per cent chance that the family pet would attack one of the family children? The risk is inherent in dog ownership. It can be reduced if the owners are responsible, but not eliminated.

fromparistoberlin Wed 06-Nov-13 16:01:53

*My dog is powerful, muscular and also 14 inches tall.
Yeh thats right, his head doesn't even reach my knee.
Terrifying*

are you smoking spliff? seriously? so you think because your dog only reaches your knee he could not fucking decimate a toddler?

I am sure your dog is a lovely cuddly wuddly angel of the staffie world, but face facts if he wanted to he could kill

do you deny that?

LoofahVanDross Wed 06-Nov-13 16:07:20

Horrific incident all round. Dog far too big to be living in a flat. Dog only recently rehomed, and therefore nobody could tell the temperament so soon. Mother has lost her daughter. She had to stab the dog to death in an attempt to get him off the girl. All very sad, and of course avoidable.

Scheriously Wed 06-Nov-13 16:08:59

I don't understand why it's got a bit hysterical on this thread - it is simple - you don't leave dogs around children.

My baby is due in May and we plan to change our dog's living arrangements accordingly - in the months prior he will spend more time in his outside kennel and his crate to get him used to the fact that there will be intervals where he is separated from us.

I don't feel worried, we are rea

Tulip26 Wed 06-Nov-13 16:09:05

fromparis Irrelevant. I drive a car that could run someone over. Doesn't make me a killer.

Scheriously Wed 06-Nov-13 16:09:41

*responsible owners who are aware that dogs can be unpredictable around children.

NoComet Wed 06-Nov-13 16:11:03

Just such a waste of a beautiful young life.

Why, oh why does anyone keep dogs?

Scheriously Wed 06-Nov-13 16:11:57

hmm

Scheriously Wed 06-Nov-13 16:13:40

It is worth noting that many, many dogs live happily alongside families and have done for a long time. Sensationalism is sad.

LoofahVanDross Wed 06-Nov-13 16:14:37

*Starballbunny Wed 06-Nov-13 16:11:03
Just such a waste of a beautiful young life.

Why, oh why does anyone keep dogs?*

That is a bit daft. Not all dogs attack and kill. Why would anyone get married when there are abusive husbands out there? Because not all husbands are abusive.

LEMisafucker Wed 06-Nov-13 16:15:08

FFS - theres always a kneejerk "all dogs are evil" and their owners are thick as shit reaction when there is a tragedy isn't there.

I had a rotweiller, in fact ive had two - one from a pup, the other from a rescue - I don't think they give PhD's to thick people, but there you are. Maybe i am just the exception to the rule.

A labrador can do as much damage, but they are naice family dogs aren't they.

The fact remains that any dog can do damage, of course its proportional to its size and strength but the temprement of a dog really is down to its owners and breeding.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 16:24:30

I cannot really understand having any sort of dog with a baby/small child

I can see why people can't get their heads around this. However when I was a child my dog was an amazing companion to me. Pet ownership has a lot to teach children about responsibility, friendship and even social skills.

Yes, there is a definite risk but like anything in life, it's about mitigating that risk as much as possible. There's risk (far more risk statistically, in fact) every time a child goes out in a car, but people still do that, having made the situation as safe and secure as possible within their control. Dogs are completely unpredictable but so are other drivers - do we stop people from driving with children? Of course not, and I don't mean to trivialise the problem by the comparison, but is it worthwhile to deprive all children of the benefits of owning a dog because of these incidents?

However it is becoming clear that so many of these cases could have been avoided if those involved had only been more responsible.

SoftSheen Wed 06-Nov-13 16:27:32

I think that in this case a large amount of blame must lie with the rescue centre.

A large, untrained, previously stray dog, whose history is unknown, in a small flat, with a young child, is a recipe for disaster.

peanutbuttersarnies Wed 06-Nov-13 16:30:19

Sharplily. You make some great points about dogs giving so much to a childs life etc. I do agree there. But it doesnt seem necessary for them to be of the type known to attack more ferociously. Also thw car argumwnt does have a point too. We do have to weugh up risks etc. But for many families car ownership is essential, for work, getting to school etc. But owning a more dangerous dog as a family pet is not essential at all.

peanutbuttersarnies Wed 06-Nov-13 16:30:56

Agreed softsheen.

Bakingtins Wed 06-Nov-13 16:36:02

The breed/type of dog is relevant for 2 reasons, firstly because the characteristics of all the bull breeds/mastiff types are that they are big and powerful with muscular powerful jaws, that they have been selected for being pretty impervious to pain and for hanging on no matter what. So whilst they may be no more likely to bite, they are much more likely to cause serious harm if they do, as many people have pointed out.
The second is that there is a changing fashion for the "hard" breed, which inevitably is irresponsibly bred by muppets, and encouraged to be aggressive, then the unwanted litters or the ones that don't make the grade are discarded and clog up the rescue centres. 20 years ago it was Dobies and Rotties that were "aggressive" now there are few of them around and the ones that still are tend to be owned by responsible people who can accommodate the needs of the breed for enough exercise and training to exert proper control. Currently it is the Staffie, bull breeds and Mastiffs that are "status dogs" but I agree with other posters who have said it is moving on again to Huskies/Malamutes/wolf hybrids, all of which are completely unsuitable for most family situations and which will soon be overwhelming the rescues, being rehomed to inexperienced owners and causing tragedies like this.
It seems that behind nearly every story like this is a litany of problems - unsuitable accommodation (big dog in flat) lack of exercise, lack of training, history of the dog being rescued and having inadequate socialisation as a pup, which boils down to completely unsuitable dog ownership.
The answer is to bring back dog licensing, make it steep financially and attached to some sort of conditions including attendance at a basic training course, and use the money to fund dog wardens etc to enforce responsible dog ownership.

peanutbuttersarnies Wed 06-Nov-13 16:41:07

Excellent post bakingtins.

LaQueenOfTheDamned Wed 06-Nov-13 16:43:44

In the societal background this mother lives in, owning a powerful fighting dog is seen as a badge of honour, and a status symbol.

They can probably never aspire to an expensive house, or a prestige car, or exotic holidays - so instead they have created their own status symbol.

sashh Wed 06-Nov-13 16:45:23

Not read the entire thread so apologies if I'm repeating The dog is reported to be a bulldog.

www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/nov/06/dog-attack-death-lexi-branson-tributes-leicestershire

I don't know the answers to these questions but does someone know if a guide dog has ever attacked anyone?

Or a dog that started and failed guide dog training?

I just thought it would be interesting for the nature/nurture argument.

I think one thing that should be remembered is that many breeds of dog have been bread for a specific purpose over many generations. Can you train breeding out of a dog? I had relatives who had a rescue Irish Setter, it would randomly 'point' and then look puzzled, I assume from breeding. centuries)

I think there is a lot to be said, not just for the training, but the way people interact with dogs and children. Dogs can be part of a family, but they should always be the lowest in pecking order, they need to know their place.

LaQueenOfTheDamned Wed 06-Nov-13 16:47:52

And, whilst I know that any dog can be aggressive and bite (my friend's lab nipped me when I was about 12), it's only really these fighting breeds that have been bred to be so aggressive, and to solely focus on damaging their victim, and ignore everything else - even another person present, or trying to drag it away.

Handbagsonnhold Wed 06-Nov-13 16:51:20

Agree with LaQueen and if that was 'known' to be a characteristic or instinctive trait of a breed ....why on earth would a parent have one live in a flat with a toddler/child.

EldritchCleavage Wed 06-Nov-13 16:53:30

This what I always wonder-does dog breeding work, in the sense that it instills certain desired characteristics into the majority of the dogs of that breed, or doesn't it? And if it works, why keep a dog from a fighting breed as a pet?

LaQueenOfTheDamned Wed 06-Nov-13 16:53:57

They do it handbag because some people are of limited intellectual ability, and simply cannot see beyond the supposed glamour of owning a status symbol fighting dog sad

Owllady Wed 06-Nov-13 16:55:37

I I agree mainly with sharplily . I also agree tighter controls on breeding, compulsory micro chipping, compulsory annual vet checks (not necessarily vaccination - but checks all the same) and also adequate compulsory training
It all costs too much money to administer though so the only other option is educating people who don't know any better, which is just as difficult imo. Though reputable rescues do more than adequate checks, insist of spaying/neutering and you have to agree to train.

I can't see how the situation of these dogs is going to get any better either. People seem to be breeding willy nilly to make a bit of extra cash because people are so poor atm. Rescues are full to bursting and cannot take any more dogs. There have been various reports from dogs trust etc saying that they are inundated with calls about dogs, people losing their jobs/homes and being unable to keep their dogs/pets, dogs being thrown over the fences of rescues. I can't see how it will get any better sad

I agree with Vivi though, it's absolutely tragic a child has lost their life sad

Mumsyblouse Wed 06-Nov-13 16:55:41

To all those saying what about labradors- I wouldn't want one of those round my small children either, having been chased (and traumatized) by one doing my paper round. I have no idea what would have happened if I hadn't leaped over the wall.

Big dogs, small children, bad idea.

Owllady Wed 06-Nov-13 16:58:34

sashh, all dog breeds have certain characteristics and it is important as an owner to recognise that and deal with it, by extensive training but sometimes by recognising that they will always have that trait and taking precautions to make sure that behaviour is minimised.

Mrsdoasyouwouldbedoneby Wed 06-Nov-13 17:00:34

Why oh why keep dogs?

That is rather sensationalist? Particularly when people do more damage to each other than dogs ever do.

And, it seems you can get longer in prison (5yrs) if your dog kills someone (article was on BBC last week I think), than if you kill your own baby or allow someone to abuse your child... That is worth debating although it would require me finding the article.

AmberLeaf Wed 06-Nov-13 17:02:42

YANBU I don't understand why people with children have animals that could kill them if they turned.

Madness.

They are animals not people, I think some people forget that though.

Owllady Wed 06-Nov-13 17:03:03

No wonder people stereotype dog breeds when LaQueen stereotypes all people from the same 'societal background'
<sigh>

Nosuchthingascant Wed 06-Nov-13 17:06:54

These awful, sad stories have really started to unsettle me as we have a rescue dog, she's an American bulldog (poss cross with something else). When we visited the RSPCA she was only 1 of 2 dogs we were allowed to rehome as we have 3 young children and she has always been very gentle with the kids and is adorable so we fell in love and adopted her.But more and more of these accidents keep happening and it really scares me, we've had her for over 3 years now and my youngest DD is now 4.5 yrs old so has grown up with her.
I can see that people are fearful of her when I take her for a walk sometimes as she is a big dog and has "that" look.
I couldn't ever imagine her attacking one of us...but that's what everyone always says isn't it? She's part of the family now and I love her, but I do wish I could wave a magic wand and make her smaller and fluffier just to ease that little niggle in my mind

Softsheen - agreed, surely the rescue centre must have done a home check, interview, assessment of the dog etc etc? Or did I read it was more like a kennel situation?

Excellent point bakingtins.

Strange how the 'glamour' dogs are never the ones known for having softer, more gentle temperaments (looks at one year old Springer who is soft as butter and who we have also put hours into training - in fact, had I known just how much time and commitment it takes to get the kind of well behaved, well mannered dog I always envisaged having, and the true meaning of two plus hours exercise a day, then I might have thought twice, which sadly happens all too often and why the rescue centres are full)

Bakingtins Wed 06-Nov-13 17:07:42

Sash Labradors have been bred for centuries to have a soft mouth to pick up game without damaging it, then they are bred and puppies selected by GDBA specifically for temperament, then very well socialised and trained by their puppy walkers before entering the GDBA training program. Pretty much the polar opposite in terms of responsible breeding and training from the situations that cause such tragedies. I have never heard of an assistance dog biting anyone, but that is not to say that all Labradors don't bite.

soverylucky Wed 06-Nov-13 17:10:34

I will start off by saying that I hate dogs - I do not see the appeal of them as pets but most of my family LOVE dogs. I have a relative who had a dog that is considered one of the more dangerous types. This dog was very well exercised, trained etc and was often around children. She had this dog for years then one day completely out of the blue she lashed out at my cousin. It was a very near thing and scared me quite a bit. No body could quite believe what had happened. So whilst I do agree that in most cases it is the owner and not the breed, dogs can be unpredictable. I also understand that cocker spaniels are very high up in the biting list but the thing is you can pull them off. You can't do that with some of the popular dogs now and this worries me a great deal. WHy on earth would you have that in your home with children?

soverylucky Wed 06-Nov-13 17:15:41

I also think that more needs to be done. I don't live in the nice leafy suburbs. I live in the wrong part of town are round here you can't leave your house before some yob walks past with a huge great beast straining on the lead. They let them crap everywhere but nobody dares to say or do anything. It is quite clear that they have these animals as some sort of status symbol. Sometimes they are not on a lead. I would support the return of a dog licence, micro-chipping and dogs having to be on a lead at all times unless in a designated park.

AuroraRoared Wed 06-Nov-13 17:16:05

I do get a bit fed up that every time a big brute of a dog kills or maims someone, we have to listen to all the stories about "terrifying" labradors.

Yes, of course a lot of it is down to the owner to make sure that the dog is properly trained and controlled at all times. But don't you think that if labradors were really this vicious menace to society, we'd see more stories about them killing or maiming people? Given their popularity as family pets, it'd be big news if they really were as dangerous as some posters on here like to claim.

I don't know if anyone watched that dog programme on the beeb a couple of weeks ago, but they talked there about the differences between a bite from something like a labrador and something like a staffy. Apparently, because labs have been bred for retrieving game, they have soft mouths, which means that they bite and then let go. On the other hand, terriers and other hunting dogs are bred to kill their prey, and so will bite and hold on. This makes the likelihood of damage from a terrier bite much greater than that of a lab/spaniel bite.

I just can't understand why people want to bring these big muscly dogs into close proximity with their children in the first place. Yes, of course all dogs can bite, and even kill. But I think some dogs are much more likely to do that than others, and using powers of observation and a bit of common sense can enable us to distinguish between them quite easily.

Greydog Wed 06-Nov-13 17:17:14

It would also help if the breeders were properly checked, and animals weren't given away on Gumtree - "swap dog for...." Ban puppy farms!

fromparistoberlin Wed 06-Nov-13 17:26:38

i reported my earlier post as did not realise this thread was about Lexi

I agree that licensing is needed, but lets face it it will never happen as

(a) its will cost millions
(b) the license cost wont cover the running costs
(c) are we going to then arrest all un-licensed dogs? I suspect not
(d) alot of dogs would end up getting put down eventually although thats not the end of the world given the type of owners i suspect

Greydog Wed 06-Nov-13 17:26:41
Greydog Wed 06-Nov-13 17:27:15

My dog is terrified of labradors

People can pay more and go to a KC registered breeder, whose bitch and sire have had appropriate health checks, whose puppies are raised in a family environment and well socialised, who care deeply about the breed, who 'interview' potential owners, who are prepared to go on a waiting list for a puppy and pay substantial amount of money for them, who make you sign an agreement to return the puppy rather than rehome at any stage in their lives etc etc.

I am 5ft and slight, a Lab would be too powerful for me, even well trained.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 17:31:29

But it doesnt seem necessary for them to be of the type known to attack more ferociously.

Who is to define which should be banned though? I'm fairly sure my breed would be one of the first to get lumped in that category, but I feel far safer owning Dobermans around children, with experience and knowledge of the breed, than I would with a Labrador, Westie or other breed with which I have no history.

And I take your point LaQueen, but it may be better to hold off the lifestyle judgements until more reliable information is released. Yes, at the moment it's looking unfortunately like this case is another of the kind of which we've already seen so many, that paints these poor dogs in an unpleasant light and I'm the first throw abuse at the chavs, but I'm trying not to assume too much here until the dust settles.

Mylovelyboy Wed 06-Nov-13 17:33:19

Totally agree. They can be very dangerous and cause such injury and harm. I would not have one, let alone go near one.

LoofahVanDross Wed 06-Nov-13 17:42:01

It doesn't seem (from the media reports anyway) that the dog came from a rescue centre, but a boarding kennels and cattery, so possibly not so stringent on the checks on the animals/home etc.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 17:42:05

I fully support licensing and the associated legislation for dog owners but am worried about the cost issue. My dog and I lived in Spain for a large part of his life, where we had to undergo annual veterinary and psychological testing, take out public liability insurance and be registered with the town hall, having proved I don't have a criminal record. He was also obliged to be muzzled and on a lead in public. The same rules applied to all owners of a list of 'potentially dangerous' breeds. None of this cost anything (even the insurance as mine came as a standard part of my home insurance) and the police were happy to enforce.

Unfortunately when licensing measures have been proposed in the UK, high costs seem to be an inevitable part. My problem with this is that there are a number of lonely old people whose dogs are incredibly important to them, who cannot afford these fees. Their dogs are a lifeline to them - they form part of their social life and keep them fit. It would be terrible to make this inaccessible to them. But if it would save a child's life, you might ask? Well yes, you would have a point, but again how many cases of these dog attacks have you heard of where a child is killed by an elderly person's tiny, fluffy mongrel?

LaQueenOfTheDamned Wed 06-Nov-13 17:45:54

"No wonder people stereotype dog breeds when LaQueen stereotypes all people from the same 'societal background'"

No owlady I'm stereotyping people from a societal background who stupidly buy this sort of dog.

Plenty of people from exactly the same societal background wouldn't ever want a fighting dog.

roadwalker Wed 06-Nov-13 17:46:49

I totally understand the point you are making OP
My friend has a rottie, a much larger than average, big softie.
But when I look at him I do think that if he ever did turn you wouldnt stand a chance, he is so strong and muscular
I have a miniature poodle and I could break her jaw easily or overpower her
She is a great dog and has never been aggressive but if she did she is much less likely to cause harm

LaQueenOfTheDamned Wed 06-Nov-13 17:50:51

And, really...stereotyping a dog, is neither here nor there.

It doesn't matter how luffly, and soppy your personal pet mastiff is. You do not know your dog 100%...I wouldn't even presume to know my DDs, my DH or even myself 100%.

So, the fact that physically these large fighting dogs are perfectly capable of killing a child (or even an adult for that matter) then why on Earth take any risk at all, by having them live in close proximity with defenceless children?

Crowler Wed 06-Nov-13 17:51:55

I find it quite scary that most every time you hear one of these stories, the owner/neighbors always say: "He was such a nice dog".

Which is why people find it hard to swallow the "I have a pit bull but he's so sweet, he would lick you to death if you broke into our house" yada yada yada.

It's a numbers game, really; lots of dogs carry some risk (I'm not sure what damage a yorkshire terrier or similarly tiny dog could do, or a french bulldog) - so why not just go with a breed that's less likely to turn, and if they do turn, one that can't kill.

uhOhOhDear Wed 06-Nov-13 17:51:56

Yanbu. Stupid people, not the dogs fault.

noddyholder Wed 06-Nov-13 17:52:20

I am also amazed considering the incidents over the years that people don't consider the unpredictable element of pets while they still have vulnerable children at home. yes if you want one as an adult and accept the risks fine but why put your children or those of others in the firing line. I live in the city and most people who have these dogs I am sure don't have the money or home/lad required to house them and exercise them properly. Unfortunately as non Pc as it sounds where I live there is a type. About 2 yrs ago a dog exactly like the one this story refers to knocked me over v close to my house I can honestly say I was terrified for months and I still see the guy with it off lead all the time

LadyFlumpalot Wed 06-Nov-13 17:55:34

Last week I was walking with DS on some grassland when a random dog came running over. Couldn't tell you what breed as I'm really not a dog person but it was fluffy, white, it had a flat nose, was about as tall as 2 year old DS and was absolutely NUTS.

DS stuck his hand out and I told him that he must never touch strange dogs as they may not like it and might bite him. The owner overheard me saying this and started yelling at me, saying his dog wouldn't ever bite, I'm an idiot etc, blah blah.

That's the kind of owner I think is irresponsible in my opinion as he just doesn't know but isn't prepared to take steps to minimise the possibility.

Pinkbutterfly31 Wed 06-Nov-13 17:55:38

I have a rottweiler and two children aged 7 & 8. Ruby is the softest, loveliest, funniest dog I've ever had the pleasure of owning....however, she is very well trained, and from day 1 we have made sure she knows her place in the pack. People who let their dogs become the alpha in the family, are just setting themselves up for this kind of tragedy. It never fails to make me laugh when someone says about their small dog "he's a bit snappy" and laughs. I can guarantee no one would think it was acceptable if my dog was "a bit snappy".

It's always the owners, which is a real shame.

noddyholder Wed 06-Nov-13 17:59:08

Having a dog with that level of strength and lets be honest reputation is a huge responsibility. You cannot have a conversation with it you have to act on instinct and professional advice and as someone else said if you allow these dogs dominance within the home (pack) then anything can happen

Crowler Wed 06-Nov-13 18:01:02

Pinkbutterfly, no excuse for a badly trained dog - but the stakes are quite a lot higher with a rottweiler than a tiny/yappy dog.

I love rottweilers, by the way - one of my university roommates had one. She was lovely, she would lie down head to toe to my head to toe and vigorously lick my face while I just died laughing. But I would not choose to own one.

BadgerBumBag Wed 06-Nov-13 18:01:51

My dsis has 4 children and a staffie she never gets time to walk poor bugger. He has the garden but not enough and my mum walks him as much as she can.

She has a 1 year old who is always trying to get through the stair gate into the kitchen where the dog is and a 6 year old who climbs all over him and was growled at by him.

I am terrified that my dsis is not training the dog or teaching the children how to treat him and something is going to happen hmm

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 18:05:58

Can I point out that dog owners are not the only irresponsible adults - I regularly see adults failing to teach their children how to behave around dogs. Once, out with my dog, a little girl of about two came running up behind us and hit him on the bum, really hard. Her parents just laughed. I told them very firmly that you do NOT allow your child to randomly touch, hit or interact in any way with dogs. I regularly have to explain to people, adults and children, that you must always approach the owner first and behave in a calm, sensible manner. It should be fucking obvious, really.

Pinkbutterfly31 Wed 06-Nov-13 18:07:14

A lot of research went into the decision to get a dog, and it was based on their calm temperament, and general excellence as a family dog which made us choose a rottie.

I do agree that a firm hand is needed though, as you absolutely need to be seen as the pack leader at all times. Also, I would never get a rescue dog when small children are part of the family, as you never know their background.

alarkthatcouldpray Wed 06-Nov-13 18:07:55

But what do people mean by well-trained? That their dog will only attack people who entered their property unannounced? This seems to be deemed acceptable from what I read on a similar thread following the death of the teenager a few months ago after she was mauledat her friends' house by several dogs. The feeling seemed to be that district nurses, postmen and GPs doing HVs were all fair game. Not a mentality I will ever understand I'm afraid.

Lazysuzanne Wed 06-Nov-13 18:11:22

Pink, obviously no one would think it acceptable if a dog like a rottweiler was snappy, where as with a small dog which isnt capable of inflicting any damage it doesnt matter as much.

I dont see how anyone can be sure that a large dog wouldnt one day decide to go for a child, you can infer from it's behavior that it 'knows it's place in the pack' but you cant know how the world looks to a dog.

noddyholder Wed 06-Nov-13 18:13:58

Sharp it is up to the dog owner. We cannot all have an indepth knowledge of animal behaviour

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 18:17:10

To me, well trained means that the dog listens to its owner's commands. So, for example, if I yell 'wait' at my dogs, they stop and wait for my next instruction. If I say 'come', they return to me. If I say 'leave' they leave whatever they were about to run off with, 'drop' means 'put that fucking shoe back you're costing me a fortune' etc etc. They also ignore people walking past when we're out walking so they're not a nuisance to others. I'm not an expert by a long shot, but a lot of these commands and behaviours can be easily taught just by being consistent. The poodley pup barks if someone knocks on the door, but the spaniel can't be arsed. Neither of them would do anything other than roll over or fetch my bastarding shoes something if someone broke in.

swannylovesu Wed 06-Nov-13 18:18:17

i have 2 springers and as docile as they are wouldnt leave them in a room with a small child. my 2 ds used to try and take toys off them and they got snappy. I dont think it has anything to do with the breed/age/sex of the dog in any situations any ANIMAL has the abilty to attack -dogs, cats, snakes, rats (horrible being bitten off a rat) etc.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 06-Nov-13 18:18:31

I have never understood why a family would risk their child's safety by getting a dog. Absolutely any dog can turn on a child and anyone who 'trusts' their dog because of how 'soppy' they are, well, they need to realise that dogs are animals with animal instincts, not human ones - their behaviour can never be predicted. I work with Health Visitors and the amount of dog bites I have come across is horrific. A few months ago I went to visit the home of an 18 month old where the little girl had been attacked by the family dog - her face was a mess, scars, puncture holes, bruises, it was just awful. The dog involved had been part of the family for over 9 years and "had been fine with all the other children". I went to visit one of my friends a few weeks ago who has got a 16 week old baby and when I went into the living room there was the baby lying on his floor may with dog running around and I just froze. Apparently he's a lovely dog and wold never hurt anyone.... hmm

I'm currently 20 weeks pregnant with my first baby and a few days ago my PIL passed a comment that when they retire in a few years they will consider getting a dog!! My heart just stopped! They will be seeing a lot less of their grandchild if that happens.... hmm

Mignonette Wed 06-Nov-13 18:21:24

A big dog+tiny one bed flat+ban on keeping animals by housing association+dog with abuse in its history+small child= One very stupid and irresponsible 'owner'.

And a dog and a child have paid the price.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 18:24:04

Sharp it is up to the dog owner. We cannot all have an indepth knowledge of animal behaviour

Noddy, I've been very clear on the need for responsible dog ownership all through the thread, but you don't need to be an animal behaviourist to work out that it's not a good idea to go around hitting strange (or even unstrange) dogs. It's basic common sense, surely.

alark, I don't know anyone who thinks it's OK for their dog to bite anyone. My dog knows he has to 'guard the ranch', but his habit is to pin intruders against the wall and bark, rather than rip their throat out - and by intruders I mean unwanted nighttime marauders, not postmen etc.

SnakeyMcBadass Wed 06-Nov-13 18:24:45

A lot of dog behaviour can be predicted, in fact, but most of us aren't very fluent in 'dog'. They tend to give subtle body language warnings when they're not happy about something, feel threatened, or want to be left alone. I only know this as I've done the research thanks to the spaniel who isn't exactly keen on other dogs. It seemed to come from nowhere from my perspective, but actually, once I'd consulted a behaviourist and been taught the signs, he was telling me loud and clear that he was uncomfortable.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 18:27:48

It seem the behaviour was very predictable in this case, and the breed involved is only a very small part of the equation. As Mignonette says:

A big dog+tiny one bed flat+ban on keeping animals by housing association+dog with abuse in its history+small child= One very stupid and irresponsible 'owner'.

It should never have happened.

Varya Wed 06-Nov-13 18:27:56

Never leave your children alone with a dog. But to choose a dog to have in the family a Labrador is probably the best; not staffies, mastiffs and the like.

Greyhorses Wed 06-Nov-13 18:30:38

I hate things like this where everyone who owns a dog is deemed irresponsible.

I work in a vets. Most dogs are lovely. I can count on my hands the amount that have euthed for biting family memebers and the total is less than 5 in 5 years bearing in mind I see 100s of dogs a day and I work in the biggest practice in the north. Of those 5 none of the family members were hospitalised. It's very rare that a dog seriously attacks someone further than a warning snap and media hysteria fuels the whole thing.

I have two gsds and neither bite. German shepherds have some of the strongest jaws of all dogs, stronger than a dog de Bordeaux (who's jaws don't even meet together half the time) I am not however an idiot and wouldn't leave the dogs unattended with any child. Surely common sense is the thing missing here. If a dog isn't left with children and is trained correctly there should not be a problem, then again there is danger with everything in life. Any dog or animal has the potential to bite.
Obviously problem dogs should not be around children but not all dogs are baby eaters.

I don't understand people who hate dogs just as much as they don't understand why love mine. I don't think a ban or muzzling all dogs is the answer.

peanutbuttersarnies Wed 06-Nov-13 18:34:50

I would just like to point out from what i have read the child was not 'left alone with the dog' she was asleep in bed and her mum was there comforting her. The mum didnt leave the child and dof alone. And this still happened

catsrus Wed 06-Nov-13 18:38:04

when we were thinking of getting a dog, pre-dcs, we asked our vet for advice - he said all dogs had the potential to bite and do damage but in some breeds there is an instinctive tendency to bite, hang on and shake - all breeds that were originally bred to fight and/or kill rather than round up or retrieve. It is those breeds that are most deadly because of that instinct. We went for retrievers who, historically, are bred to be 'soft mouthed' - to carry without damage and release on command. So to some extent I think it is the dog, not just the owner, because we have created breeds with certain inbuilt characteristics.

fluffyraggies Wed 06-Nov-13 18:38:32

Being a ''responsible dog owner'' - doing all the things listed at various times in this thread like socialising, exercising etc, - buying from a reputable breeder, having the dog from a pub ... none of these thing give 100% guarantee the dog wont bite.

My parents were 'responsible' dog owners - all the above applied them - but their Sealyham terrier was a pain in the arse who bit me, my friend, and a random stranger. Had it been a large breed i expect the dog may well have to have been PTS.

As it was my parents just carried on with the dog - and no one except them were ever able to touch it. Not good IMO.

fluffyraggies Wed 06-Nov-13 18:39:12

pub?
pup !

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 18:39:14

i'm currently 20 weeks pregnant with my first baby and a few days ago my PIL passed a comment that when they retire in a few years they will consider getting a dog!! My heart just stopped! They will be seeing a lot less of their grandchild if that happens...

Surely you can't expect your PIL to be lonely and bored and not have a dog on the off chance you pop round.? hmm

Why don't you at least ask for the dog to be taken out or shut in kitchen/garden while you are there. If they refuse and don't take request seriously by all means don't take them round there but it's a little unfair to be like that before even talking to them.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 18:39:40

The dog has been identified by Leicester police as a bulldog. There's a picture out there of the child hugging the dog around the neck - they'd only had it a few weeks! Children should not be draping themselves over animals like that, and this animal was practically unknown to them. So, so predictable and sad.

Greydog Wed 06-Nov-13 18:44:47

i wonder if the fireworks had anything to do with "setting it off" we will never know the truth, I suppose

catsrus Wed 06-Nov-13 18:47:05

that's not a bulldog - it's a pitbull!! the police don't know what they are talking about - compare it to
this one

or these images

WereTricksPotter Wed 06-Nov-13 18:47:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Writerwannabe83 Wed 06-Nov-13 18:48:32

Giles : I would definitely do as you suggest and ask the dog be shut away if we visited, but my worry is that the PIL have offered to provide a day of childcare when I return to work. I don't know if I could relax at work knowing that for 8 hours my child was in the same house as a dog that it's owners no doubt think of as 'loveable and playful" hmm

My PIL live on the same street as us, only 10 doors door, so we are always popping round grin

WereTricksPotter Wed 06-Nov-13 18:50:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SharpLily Wed 06-Nov-13 18:52:13

The pictures I've seen are not of a pitbull. I wouldn't say it's pure bulldog either, probably a cross of some kind.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 18:53:14

That I could understand. Your original comment did sound a bit harsh. My grandfather always had a dog. They were well behaved well trained and walked well on lead so we could walk it etc. It went everywhere with him. The idea of some one missing out on that companionship is a horrible thought.

I love dogs. If I owned one I wouldnt think twice about having a neighbour take it or putting it out side if someone with a baby visited. I'm sure most responsible owners would understand an happily oblige.

If your ten doors away they can come to you grin

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 06-Nov-13 18:54:56

Oh and grandparents and child care? Not a good idea!! bitter experience

grin

VodkaJelly Wed 06-Nov-13 18:55:18

catsrus - it is not a bloody pitbull, it is an American Bulldog.

Doesnt matter what the breed is, a poor girl is dead.

miggy Wed 06-Nov-13 18:59:05

This dog looks to me more like an american bulldog, now if you google simply "American Bulldog", 2 or 3 hits down is a report of an 8yr old in Glasgow being savaged.
Doesnt seem perhaps the most sensible thing to take a stray dog with an unknown history from that breed (when you can google that information very simply) into a small flat with a small child.
Its absolutely terrible that that gorgeous little girl has died but knee jerk reactions against the vast majority of sensible dogowners are not the way forwards and are vastly unfair.

Mignonette Wed 06-Nov-13 18:59:49

It was a Bull Mastiff. Not a Bull Terrier.

WereTricksPotter Wed 06-Nov-13 19:00:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

quietlysuggests Wed 06-Nov-13 19:02:54

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