www.herald-journal.com
Dogs bred to fight are not safe

November 26, 2007

by Roz Kohls

My daughter works at a luxury kennel. It has a heated pool, suites instead of cages, and separate play yards for the different sized dogs that stay there.

This kennel is so snazzy, one of the dogs sleeps on a Memory Foam mattress. Some dogs have their food specially cooked by the staff on the premises. It’s so fancy, that many of the owners left little turkey dinners for their dogs to eat on Thanksgiving Day.

Last year, staff members opened gift-wrapped presents for the dogs that the owners had given their dogs before they left for Christmas.

Although these dogs are pampered in every possible way, one thing the staff does not do is take chances with dangerous dogs. As soon as a dog owner drops off a pit bull or another potentially dangerous breed, staff members put a muzzle on it.

If a dangerous dog went on the attack, not only is the kennel management responsible for the kennel employees, but also their other clients’ dogs.

That’s why I was glad Lester Prairie officials stayed with their classification of a Rottweiler as being a dangerous dog Oct. 23. The dog had charged adults, children and other dogs in Lester Prairie, and appeared to be unusually aggressive.

Even the best training can’t always overcome instinct. Some dogs, such as Labrador retrievers, are bred for hunting, Border collies are bred for work, and lap dogs are bred for companionship.

Some dogs are bred only for their looks. That is why Afghan wolfhounds are supposed to be the world’s stupidest dogs.

Some dogs are bred for tracking and using their keen sense of smell to find drugs or corpses.

Some dogs are bred to find and get rid of pests, like rats and snakes. Some dogs are bred to assist in law enforcement, guide the blind, pull heavy loads, or assist people with disabilities.

And some dogs are bred to fight and be as vicious as possible. Drug dealers like to have intimidating dogs with them because the dealers carry large amounts of cash and drugs. It’s true there’s no honor among thieves.

They can’t brandish a big gun or knife without drawing the attention of law enforcement, so they scare the other crooks away with a threatening dog.

These are the dogs that are a problem. No one knows when or whether the dog will revert to instinct and its breeding. They might be unaggressive when they’re with adults, but suddenly turn on a small child.

Most people who insist on having a threatening dog probably enjoy, on a subconscious level, that their dog scares people. Thankfully, those owners are the minority of dog owners.