Even “Good” Dogs Can Bite

With spring peaking out from under the blanket of winter, walks have become much more enjoyable again. The other day my wife took our three year-old son on a walk around the neighborhood. Their walk was a pleasant one until near the end when they crossed the path of a house further down our block. Turns out that the man who lives there was outside with his pit bull, a big, burly creature. The dog came running toward my wife and son, barking, and leaving the yard to come into the sidewalk where my wife and son were. My wife put herself between the dog and our son. From across the yard the owner of the dog yelled, telling his dog to knock it off and trying to call it back, all the while saying “don’t worry, he won’t do anything.” What an ignorant thing to say.

I believe it to be an ignorant statement because the dog obviously felt no need to heed his owner’s commands. Despite being told to stop and to “come here,” the dog simply kept doing what it wanted to do. The owner’s assurance that his dog wouldn’t do anything rings quite hollow when the dog, at that very moment, is ignoring his commands.

The owner’s assumption that he knows his dog well enough to determine it will not hurt anyone is also ignorant. Yes, an owner can know their dog well, but never completely enough to be absolute in judging their dog’s reactions or motivations. Humans and dogs speak different languages and a dog could very well take offense at something that a human would never expect them to. All across the world there are stories of dogs unexpectedly snapping at children, owners, or other animals. Why? Well, we don’t always know why, and that is my point, we don’t know everything about our dogs.

I have walked past this man and dog before, when both were outside, and the dog watched me but never advanced or barked. I have also witnessed this dog listen well to his owner on multiple occasions. Therefore, when he decides to run at people who are walking by on the sidewalk, barking and ignoring his owner’s commands, it seems to be out of the ordinary. Again, this is the concerning part. Why did he decide to run at people this time? Is it because one was a small child? Why did he ignore his owner’s commands this time? Could it be because one of the people was a woman? Did the dog feel invaded upon for some reason, when usually it doesn’t? It can be difficult to figure out…because no dog owner knows everything about their dog.

Remember folks, if your dog bites someone, it won’t be you that pays the price. Sure, you might get fined, but your dog will likely be killed for the offense. So take your responsibility as a dog owner seriously. Take it seriously because any dog is capable of biting, no matter how well you think you know it, and if your dog does bite, the victim and your dog are the ones that will be hurt the most.

End Rant.

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2 Responses to “Even “Good” Dogs Can Bite

  • I would hazard a guess that the dog felt that it could get away with pushing around a young child and a woman. Does this man seem to have children of his own or a woman in his life? The dog may not be used to viewing children/women as “above him”. Anyway, just a thought. Also, I would suggest that your wife carry an aerosol can of some sort (deodorant, hair spray, proper pepper spray) when she goes on walks. They can be used as a last resort defense against a threatening/attacking dog.

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    • Thank you for the tip on aerosol cans or pepper spray, I will pass it along. As far as I can tell the man has no children or woman in his life. He seems to be in his late twenties or early thirties and I always see him alone. I also have never noticed other vehicles around his house either. In light of this evidence, your theory seems to have some validity to it. I have told my wife to simply avoid passing by that house on her walks.

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