Letter: All Dogs Need Some Level Of Training

Reader says recent dog attack in Calgary that claimed the life of an elderly woman highlights the need for awareness

I believe so, all life is precious, but that does not mean that all dogs should live or that everyone should be allowed to have dogs.

For example, consider the case of the three dogs that recently attacked an 86-year-old Calgary woman while gardening in her own yard, resulting in her death.

Authorities believe the three dogs are a North American Pitbull terrier mix, a North American Staffordshire mix and an American Pitbull.

I’m not even surprised if these are pit bulls or pit bull crosses. A Staffordshire terrier is also a Pit Bull type dog.

This is not unlike a similar attack by three dogs on an 84-year-old lady in Billings, Montana, recently, resulting in her death. Dogs also killed a 77-year-old woman in Phoenix in 2021 as she sat on her front porch.

Dog attacks cause 30 to 50 deaths each year in North America. Most of them are Pit Bulls or wolf/dog hybrids. These dogs should not be allowed to live and should be euthanized as quickly and humanely as possible and the owners should be charged with aiding and abetting not having the dogs under control and training that such behavior would not be not authorized.

And they should know that letting two or three dogs run together allows their instinctual pack-based genetics to take over and control their behavior.

People who have dogs as pets also have a responsibility to understand and train them on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior.

Owning a dog is a serious responsibility, in addition to making sure they have enough food and water and a warm, dry bed, you are also responsible for their 24/7 safety and letting them run around unattended and out of your control is not up to par. this responsibility.

I speak from over 40 years of experience as a professional dog trainer and veterinarian who is trained to save the lives of animals, including dogs, and has done so on numerous occasions.

And I love my dogs as much as anyone, but I don’t let that defeat common sense and what’s the right thing to do with them. Dogs are not little people and should not be treated as such or as surrogate children.

It escapes me how out of touch some people are about a dog’s potential natural instinctual behaviors.

For example, recently I saw an ad for puppies that were a cross between a Maremma and a Black Mouthed Cur hound.

What a contradiction of instincts, the Maremma, with the instinct to protect animals against predation, and the black-mouthed hunting dog, hunting dog and instinctive predator. How confusing it must be for adult puppies. Protect or kill? Difficult choice and puppy is often programmed for the wrong one.

How can people be so thoughtless to breed these kinds of dogs? And more importantly, how can people be stupid enough to buy one? It is very predictable what is likely to happen and someone can be seriously injured as a result.

Turkey has stopped allowing the export of some of its livestock guard dog breeds due to these proper crossbreeding and concern over the potential loss of good genes responsible for protective behavior.

And wolf hybrids shouldn’t be allowed either for similar reasons. The human fatalities, now more than two dozen, are nearly the same as for pit bulls, another breed most people shouldn’t be allowed to keep as a pet.

These two types of dogs account for the majority of human deaths by dogs. These animals have the instinct to kill, not what one should want in a pet. Add to the list several other aggressive and potentially dangerous breeds that we should be aware of and yes, there may be some exceptions, but are they worth the risk?

And there is no need for such animals because there are many good and kind dog breeds for pets, among the approximately 200 different breeds to choose from.

Come on folks, it’s time to put aside your selfish need for a tough bad dog and use your common sense to choose the best dog for a pet and protective companion for you and your kids.

Your right choice and training of this dog could save an elderly lady’s life, or someone else’s, like a child or maybe even your own.

A lady was killed a few years ago by a litter of wolfdogs she had raised by hand because she refused to understand the possibility. They should have been related to her at the time, but clearly weren’t, and their pack behavior took over, resulting in her death.

So when choosing a dog, think seriously about the breed and potential instincts they might have, and do the right thing and get the right dog for your needs.

Next, take the time to bond with him and train him in basic obedience at a minimum and emphasize consistency in his behavior and responding to your commands.

If you can’t or don’t want to take this training, hire an experienced professional trainer to do so. You will be glad you did and can look forward to many years of good obedience happy to please you as a safe dog.

There is no better companion than a good, well-trained dog. And they can be of great help as a guide or assistance dog or even in saving lives, such as in the protection of livestock against predation, or as a search and rescue animal if they are trained in these purposes.

But all dogs need some level of control training and management.

– Darrel Florence, Cremona