Should We Muzzle ALL Dogs In Public?

Over the past few years we’ve heard a number of alternative ‘dangerous dog’ solutions proposed. Ways and means by which we can prevent dog attacks from occurring. Ideas and suggestions which can help us rid ourselves of the menace of dog attacks.

One of the most common ideas put forward seems, on the face of it, to be entirely sensible: to muzzle all dogs and keep them confined to a lead at all times in public. Well, whilst it may seem sensible – unfortunately, it is not. In fact I speculate that if we want to literally DOUBLE the number of dog attacks, especially the most serious ones, the way to do it would be to muzzle and confine all dogs to leads in public. I shall hereby try and explain the flaws in this ideology.

Dogs operate in and have personalities which can be linked to something known as ‘drives’. Whilst it is not my intent to make this a ‘technical’ dog behaviour article I shall list the recognised drives below:

* The Prey drive: these dogs stalk, ‘kill’ their toys, shake objects and are highly stimulated by visual movements. They like to chase.
* The Pack drive: these dogs are sociable animals who enjoy being touched by people, prone to separation anxiety.
* The Fight drive: self confident or ‘dominant’ dogs who will guard themselves, their property, their family. Tends to hold strong eye contact even with ‘dominant’ people.
* The Flight drive: unsure in strange situations, always needs to be aware of a potential route of escape, tends to be submissive and is most prone to ‘fear biting’.

Passive Pooch
Creative Commons License photo credit: ChiBart

Dogs may show a tendency to ‘be a high prey drive’ dog or dogs may exhibit high drive behaviour in certain circumstances – for example, a dog which may – by normal personality – operate for most of its life in ‘pack drive’, a friendly dog that loves people for instance, upon encountering its first ever squirrel the dog may instantly switch on to a very high prey drive response.

So it’s not a simple case of being able to label one dog or breed as a particular candidate to fit one of the drive descriptions. Yes, we can generalise (Bull breed dogs tend to score highly on pack drive, they love people, love being touched, enjoy companionship) but these generalisations are what have gotten us in to trouble in the first place!

We simply cannot and should not attempt to define a dog’s personality by its breed type or EVEN its past history. For instance, a dog which has – for its entire life – never been nervous or aggressive about ANYTHING, when faced with a certain new situation or circumstance may exhibit high levels of ‘unplanned for’ behaviour. I often ask people to imagine in their mind how they feel about elephants.

How do they feel when they see elephants on TV on a nature documentary. Most people have neutral views about elephants. We don’t live our lives in fear of them and they are not an animal that invades our daily thoughts. We have no ‘planned for’ elephant response behaviour.

I then ask people to try and imagine how they’d feel if they walked into a room – a room they recognise and have used before, let’s say their boardroom at their place of work – and rather than being confronted by their work colleagues, much to their surprise a fully grown elephant is standing in the room.

Now imagine how you might feel about elephants in THAT circumstance! Heart rate rised, shock, surprise, nervous tension, wonderment, planning for an escape route, sweaty palms – we have no idea how we’d respond to surprising circumstances, especially ones we’ve never planned for – yet we somehow expect our dogs to react consistently to all circumstances based on how they’ve behaved in the past. This is an error.

But what’s this got to do with muzzling and lead confinement you ask?

Well it’s all about the need for owners to be able to do two very, very (very) important things:

1) Allow their dog to exhibit normal behaviour whilst under proper control
2) Understand the risks associated with ‘unplanned’ behaviour

So let’s tackle these two issues.

Allowing a dog to exhibit normal behaviour means allowing a dog to exercise freely. There are some dogs – in fact most dogs – who absolutely thrive on the freedom to run and shake loose the constraints of a leash or the confinement of the four walls of their home and garden. To many dogs, this is their ‘reason to live’. This is their most treasured treat. It also keeps them healthy. If we are to constrain dogs and deny them the ability to exercise freely, a number of things will start to happen and start to happen quickly:

The dogs will start to become very, very wound up at home. Too much energy, no outlet for it. Anyone who has ever had to spend time in a confined space will realise how tedious that becomes. Think of a long-haul flight for an example. Sitting there, waiting for someone else to provide you with ‘release’, waiting for someone else to feed you, relying on others for your stimulation. Now imagine that your entire life was spent on a long-haul flight. I project you’ll do one of two things: You’ll either go quietly mad and spend your days asleep in a permanent bout of depression or you’ll go VERY mad and start threatening to to do ‘crazy’ things in order to get your freedom back. To confine dogs to a permanent life on a long-haul flight will cause a lot of problems.

Dogs will begin to attack more people in their homes. No doubt about it. A dog who is ‘wound up’ a dog who has more energy than they are ever permitted to expend will be a problem dog. If we estimate that 2, maybe 3% of all the dogs in the UK are responsible for attacks and injuries caused by dogs as things stand today – by having a blanket ‘no dogs off lead in public’ law, you can comfortably project that we’ll have maybe as high as 20% of dogs who will pose a far greater risk to people. Yes, we may reduce dog attacks in public but my word, we will massively increase the number of attacks in the home. The net result will be more attacks.

Dogs need off lead exercise and they need the ability to socialise with other dogs. Dogs owners should understand that they have an obligation to keep their dogs under control (and do it! Not just understand it) and they should also recognise that dogs can have very, very different reactions to situations which are ‘unplanned for’. Again, think about how you’d react if you met a real life elephant face to face in a place where you were not expecting it. Don’t assume that dogs can’t have equally extreme reactions to new things.

Muzzling

Similar to the freedom to run argument. If you take away a dog’s defence mechanisms: either the ability to run away or the ability to ‘fight’ you will instantly place the dog into a state of heightened tension.

I want you to think about that elephant again folks. Let us say that you have met the elephant in the boardroom and you’ve just managed to calm your nerves, your blood pressure is lower and your starting to feel a bit more comfortable. No doubt you’ll still be very aware of the fact that there is an elephant in the room but you’ve just about managed to compose yourself. Firstly, you have the door behind you so if things take a turn for the unexpected you can always leg it! Only, now you can’t. Because what’s going to happen now is you are going to be tethered to the radiator and your hands are going to be tied behind your back. How you feeling now? A little less composed? A little vulnerable? Nervous? Tense?

See this is exactly what we do when we impose on our dogs a mandatory constraint. We can – in one fell swoop – make a non aggressive, non defensive dog INSTANTLY more aggressive and more defensive. We can increase the risk of altering the dog’s nature and outlook on life. And again, whilst it is certainly the case that we may (in fact probably would) see a reduction in dog attacks in public, the net result of such a law would be a massive, massive increase in the number of dog attacks occurring in the home.

Why?

Because we will be artificially increasing the drive senses in our dogs. We can’t muzzle a dog all day, we can’t tether a dog all day so for those periods of time when they are unmuzzled we will see a dog with an altered personality. Heightened defensiveness, heightened nervousness – we would make some non aggressive dogs aggressive and some aggressive dogs even more aggressive. Times where the dog is feeding would be exceptionally dangerous. The net result would be more dog attacks.

The solution, whilst simple, is not easy. Dog owners need to better informed on how to manage their animals. They need to be better prepared for the reality that their dogs can and will behave differently in different situations, never assume. They must have better control of their dogs. If they can not recall their dog then they simply should not have the dog off a lead until such a time as that training objective has been achieved. Dog owners need to be aware of the fact that their dogs should not invade other people’s space. Dog owners need to take control of their dogs and to improve their ownership standards. If we could make this happen, society, dogs and their owners would be a lot, lot happier.

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Well, that’s MY view – compulsory muzzling of all dogs would make the problem worse, but what do YOU think?

Have your say using the comment form below. I look forward to reading your views!

190 thoughts on “Should We Muzzle ALL Dogs In Public?”

  1. this subject really angers me. the government should not be ruling the dogs as dangerous when it is their environment that their owners have put them in. in my belief there is no such thing as a dangerous dog it is the owner that has incorretly trained their dog and mistreated them. maybe due to the fact that they have chosen the wrong breed that suits there need. or have not comitted as much time as they should have. i am training to become a dog behaviourist and i am half way through my degree and all the books that i have read prove the points i have made above. it is the owners that misread thier dogs body language and then discipline their dogs in the worng way. i also believe that a dog that has behavioural problems can also be completly cured with a second chance with a correct family and training regime. i have a 10month border collie and a 2 year staffie bitch and i have never had any problems with these dogs and i have had both from 8 weeks old. i have also had many different breeds throughout my life from miniture yorkshire terriers to german shepards and i had more problems training the yorkshire terrier than i did the german shepard.

  2. Sounds like your dog isn’t as well trained as you would like to think if you need to use a halti all the time. Its very cruel to keep a high energy dog like a GSD if you are unwilling or unable to give it adequate exercise, which would be around 4 hours a day on lead at a birsk pace, or a couple of hours a day off lead being allowed to socialise. No bad dogs, only bad owners indeed!

  3. Being a dog owner means that you have many responsibilities, such as making sure that your dog is adequately trained and socialised both with people and other animals.
    Your dog should also be insured against causing damage to another person , property or other animals.
    With all due respect ,if you are unable to keep your dog under control, or train your dog to a sufficient standard, then you should not be a dog owner!!
    It is the responsible dog owner and their dog who always has to suffer the changes in the law which has been brought to bear for all by the irresponsiblble dog owner.
    It will be a sad day when all dogs are required to be muzzled outside our own home.

  4. i fully agree, we have purchased a 3 year old staffy from a animal rescue centre and she is the most loving pet we have ever had, due to being caged and surrounded by barking dogs she has a slight agression to other dogs, but she is attending socialisation classes to overcome this, my 2 young daughters play with her and she is fantastic with them

  5. My partner & I have 2 GSDs (Tetley Esquire & Tennants) which we got as puppies. They’re extremely well trained, they are completely off the lead, wait for us outside shops, are very sociable & have no aggression in them what-so-ever – they don’t even bark at the door! Frankly, if I were forced to muzzle & lead them all the time I would see such a significant drop in their quality of life I would go so far as to call it dog abuse!

    We also have a Staffie cross (Shearer) who we took in last year after the brother-in-law (Steven) moved to a new flat where animals are prohibited. Steven originally rescued Shearer from gypsies who were using him as a fighting dog & he was pretty much feral. After 6 or 7 years of hard work Steven did manage to some what domesticate Shearer, although he always had a viscous streak. We took Shearer in because I would never see any dog go to a shelter when we have the means to look after them properly, but mostly because he would be unfit for rehoming. While in Steven’s care he bit quite a few times, he bit Steven on the face (although this was Steven’s own fault for blowing up Shearer’s nose while drunk), he even bit a small girl of 10 years because she sneezed 10 times in a row, she had to have almost 30 stitches. Any sign of aggression towards Steven & he would bite. When we first got him he would constantly growl at us just for giving him some love & he would pick fights with the youngest Shep when we walked them together (we just walk them separately now – problem solved!) He’s never bitten either of us & I’m 100% confident he never will but I think that’s because he feels nice and secure here.

    I know Shearer sounds like a prime candidate to be put to sleep but, here comes my main point. He’s a cracking wee dog now. Yes, it’s been very hard work & there were moments when we doubted we could rehabilitate him but we stayed strong & he’s my pride & joy now, it’s just so satisfying to see the progress he‘s making. He’s becoming much more confident in social situations (so much so we‘re taking him to Scotland to meet my parents & their dog next month), he’s very loving & he’s actually very receptive to training. He hasn’t growled at either of us months & months now, in fact, I can’t even remember the last time he did. If we can (with no formal training) turn the most aggressive dog I’ve ever met into a cuddily, friendly lap dog it just proves my point that a dog’s behaviour is all in the training and home life.

    To be honest, I think your article has it bang on, muzzles & leads are really not the way to go. Dog owners who put the time & effort into training their dogs properly simply don’t need to muzzle their dogs. If they brought in this law, my partner & I both agree that we just wouldn’t follow it. To think that all those years of (ongoing) hard work to ensure that our dogs are well trained and friendly could all be thrown out the window because some stupid people cant be bothered to put the work in makes me so angry!

  6. I’m afraid I have to disagree with labeling Staffies as dangerous dogs. We inherited a Staffie last year & he was a very aggressive dog, he’s been known to bite a few times with his previous owner (infact, he’s lucky he never got put down!) But since we’ve had him he’s become the most adorable, friendly, cuddily wee thing ever. We’ve proven with him that a dogs behaviour is all in the training. Consistant love & diciplin & very, very hard work pays off ten fold.

  7. Mr. O’Meara: It’s hard to understand why solutions are so often extreme. As the Great Barbara Woodhouse liked to say “There are NO Bad Dogs only bad Owners” I fail to see why all pets should be punished for the actions of a few. We are all aware that our canine friends need to pant when walking or playing and the further that Tongue can flap in the breeze, the more cooling effect will be felt by the pet. I think that muzzles take away that natural cooling ability and leave the pet in danger of overheating.
    What we all really need is much Stronger penalties for pet owners who allow their pets to enjoy too much freedom and a much more effective system for catching and holding stray or un-attended animals who are a potential health hazard to us and our pets, due to neglect and lack of veterinarian services. In short, More funding for Animal Services and better policing of pet owners.
    Thank You: Robert B.

  8. My Fiancee and i own a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and we see people crossing over in stead of walking by us because of our dog Tyson. He is the most friendly dog if you take the time to speak to him and he is this way because of the way we have brought him up so my opinion on this subject is this Tell the government not to muzzle the dogs as it is not there fault they should muzzle the dangerous owners because i believe that a dog only behaves the way it has been taught and i say this about all breeds of dog s not only our beloved Staffordshire Bull Terrier Tyson.

  9. No to muzzles, unless the owner knows the dog is likely to nip or bite. I personally hate the things, they are un natural and are more likely to make a dog bite when it is removed – I have had experience of this with a retired guard dog my parents had, she was a lovely dog but inclined to bite, they muzzled her to start with when out and about and when anyone came to the house that was expected, then took her to dog training classes so the problem was then under control without a muzzle .

    To muzzle all dogs in public is ridiculous, all dogs are not likely to bite, my lab plays with next doors staffy regulary and he is a softie. I am now on my third lab and none of them have ever been or will ever be muzzled.
    Dogs will generally only bite after being provoked or tormented.

    Methinks muzzle the owners and retrain the dogs – no offence is intended

  10. I think muzzling all dogs in public is a ridiculous idea. Whatever size of dog you have if you are in control at all times when out in public your dog shouldn’t have to wear a muzzle. I have grown up with big dogs and will always have big dogs and they will never wear muzzles unless I feel they need them ie. I am not in charge of them or they become very dominant when out in which case it could become dangerous and I would therefore insist on them being muzzled when out and about. I also think that people believe all big dogs should be muzzled as a number of them are on the dangerous dogs list but the truth of the matter is although the bigger dogs can cause more damage they generally don’t cause a problem unless they are treated badly or threatened. I think some of the smaller snappier dogs should also be on the dangerous dogs list as they can cause more damage than a bigger dog as generally bigger dogs are more laid back. I apologise in advance for anyone who reads this and becomes upset by my opinion but this is what I believe and what I hope the government will think about.

  11. I have recently launched a national Responsible Dog Owners Campaign which has support from the likes of Dr Ian Dunbar, Joe Inglis and Keep Britain Tidy.

    The aim of the campaign is to reduce dog attacks on people – and other dogs – and reduce the amount of dog fouling left in public. The main tactic is education. Ryan is right in the article: inform and prepare all owners. Look at previous Government-led campaigns. Have they worked? Obviously not; the incidence of attacks has risen in the past 10 years. We need to look at why this hasn’t worked to show dog owners and the general public alike that any dog can be dangerous.

    Please do support the campaign by visiting the website: http://www.nationaldogcampaign.co.uk and signing the Government petition. All details are confidential and solely for the authentication of the petition.

  12. What do you have to say? I dont think that muzzling is the way forward. I can see the pros for muzzling but i believe if a dog is treated correctly and with respect it will not be necessary. I do believe in responsible ownership and maybe we should bring back the dog licence.
    An owner is always responsible for the dog and if that dog shows a particular tendency for certain behaviours then its the owners responsibility to control the dog ie keeping away from certain situations known to cause the dog distress. I know this is not always possible but muzzling is NOT the answer.

  13. I totally disagree with the blanket use of the muzzle of any similar device, as has already been mentioned it send out an instant message that my dog is dangerous keep away.

    Yes it is terrible when you see on the TV that a dog has savagely attacked someone, invariably it is a child. What should be controlled is the age at which a child is allowed to take what are recorded as dangerous dogs for walk. All to often you see or hear about young adults going around with their Rottie as a status symbol, making them look hard with their piers. Surley this should be something that is acted upon.

    Dogs and Cats are all hunter and live outdoors, but us Dog owners are constantly hve legislation placed on us, when your dog has a pooh in public we have to pick it up or we stand to get fined, what about the cat owner. Admittedly there are exceptions but in general cats are free to come and go when and where they like, they pooh everywhere and the owners are not held accountable.

    It is not nice to see Dog or Cat pooh laying on the ground in public places so we should all be treated the same. Cat owners should have accountability the same as we Dog owners and lovers.

    All too often you hear that dog owners are being stigmatised, lets have a level playing field please.

    Rant over.

  14. What do you have to say? just one thing this cannot possibly work for practical reasons if no other i own pekingese dogs and they have a flat face so nothing to muzle !! not only pekes though with this problem what about pugs ,british bull dogs and japanese chins ??? also it s another burden for the responsable owner most bad owner only walk thair dogs in boiling hot sun to impress people or when they want it to bite

  15. I think it’s about time we muzzled all dogs in public because I am more concerned with a childs safety then wether the dog is unhappy or not. I’m sick and tired of dog owners excuses for not putting them on dogs and then hearing on the news that a child had been killed by a dog because the owner couldn’t be bothered to train or muzzle the dam thing. Yes there are responsible dog owners out there but then there are idiots with dogs too who don’t care about a childs safety and that is the reason it should be made law. Until everyone who owns a dog takes responsibility and not just a few of you.

    For me it’s a no brainer: Dog muzzled = Child safe

  16. i am quessing the person who wrote this does not own dogs ,,all i can say is there are many many bad humans out there that use knifes ,guns but no one wants them muzzled ,,so why on earth would we muzzle our dogs who have never bitten ,,,if i walk the street with my four dogs muzzled stupid people who assume they are nasty when they not ,,, so no i dont agrre with muzzles ,,,and good loven dog owners will do what ever it takes to make sure there dogs are safe and never feel that the dog needs to attack …

  17. also yes it is sad when a child gets attack but why dont parents try and controll the kids for a change its not always the dogs fault but its so easy to blame and kill the dog

  18. I have the same opinion with most of your points, but a few need to be discussed further, I will hold a small discussion with my partners and perhaps I will look for you some suggestion soon.

    – Rob

  19. I believe muzzling ALL dogs in public is unthinkable. Why should a gentle & sensitive dog have to have its freedom breached because of the lack of responsibility of dog ownership within a minor group of people.

    I am the owner of a 3yr old Collie X who is the most submissive gentle dog, he is fantastic off lead and is only interested in playing ball, he is submissive with other dogs allowing them to smell and say hello etc.

    We have recently had a staffy pup introduced to the family who is now 9mths old. Neutered, socialised and being taught good manners is a major part of dog ownership for all breeds. On our walks we have passed MANY people who have a fear of such breeds through irresponsible owners, i myself recently saw 2 girls walking a staffy, allowed it to run off miles ahead of them, how were they aware of who it interacted with, was it being a nuiscance, was it being aggressive? They didn’t even attempt to recall the dog, run after it, but just slowly walked on probably hoping they would catch up with in time. To me this is irresponsible ownership and if I was a dog warden patrolling them that park I would fine them on that basis.

    All dog owners should feel comfortable and enjoy walking “wherever” with their dogs. I believe something needs to be looked at as this growing problem escalates but I would be livid if “muzzling” was introduced in all public places to all dogs.

    Our staffy is also loving, boisterous, excitable etc – but needs a loving but firm owner to teach him manners, to be sociable with other dogs and learn how to interact properly. He has also been neutered at 9mths to kerb any high levely anxiety/stress of testosterone. Lets hope good owners can turn round the bad image that irresponsible owners have given staffys and such like.

  20. How ridiculous to muzzle all dogs in public by law!

    I know there are lots of cases about dangerous dogs and what has happened…
    but I think that most cases you hear in the news about dangerous dogs are they are attacking young children. What do young children do to dogs? Pull their ears and tails and make them fed up.. I haven’t heard many cases about dangerous dogs out and about…
    Really it’s not the dogs fault if you ask me, because if i make too much of a fuss of my DALMATIAN he growls and snaps at me! And dalmatians are so loveable. I’ve never known a dog who tries to attack you anywhere unless you pull it around.
    (sorry if I went a little off the topic there though, it does add a bit to the “dangerous dogs” thing, y’know?)

  21. I beleive that dog owners should be responible enough to know how to look after and also know they have have the skills needed to look after a normal dog let alone a powerful dog such as the breeds on the DDl. I beleive the owners are ultimatly accountable for there pets and if they cannot look after them in the right way they do not deserve to own one. Dogs are given there nature as a pup this is why you need to get it right from a early age with a lot of care and love. if u tease, hit or ignore your pet expect to get problems in the future. ADAM

  22. Interesting article and I do agree that muzzling all dogs is not the answer and could be detrimental to both the dog and the owner. However, better education is the key for the owners as well as the dogs.

  23. I agree with most of the article. However, I think that there should be leash laws. I am in favor of dog-friendly, leash-free areas where pups can run and play together. But loose dogs do not belong *everywhere,* if you know what I mean. My “girls” can be tricky when confronted with what they consider rude behavior by other dogs. It is one thing for me to walk them on-leash, but another thing to predict the behavior of others who subscribe to the “dogs should be free” philosophy. I feel like I avoid the leash-free dog parks for a reason, and that others should respect areas where leashes are not optional.

    Good piece, though. Lots of thought went into this. I like it. Keep up the good work.

  24. I’d be interested to se how anyone could possibly muzzle my littlest dog. He is full grown but his snout is less than an inch long as he is so tiny.
    LIke all ridiculous laws the BRitish spirit would defeat it by quiet rebellion. If all of refused to comply it would be impossible to enforce.

  25. I agree, muzzling is definitely not the answer. Owner education and training is. I have seen dogs muzzled in a daycare environment and watched the dogs demeanor change immediately. They were more likely to get in a fight.

    I also believe in leash laws. More for the safety of the dogs than anything else. I have seen the best trained dogs take off after squirrels or rabbits or some other motivating distraction. I teach my students that leashes are for safety, not control.

  26. A legal requirement to Muzzle ones’ Dogs only penalizes those that are already being considerate and probably have the best trained, socialized and cordial dogs.
    We still have the problem that MOST canine bites are coming from loose, unsupervised or familial/ in-home circumstances.

  27. Muzzling would be the abosulte worst law. It simply transfers the problem from the owner to the dog. The dog will still be aggressive and now frustrated. Most mis-behaved dog owners don’t undertand their dog or haven’t taken the time to educate themselves or thier dog. However, the one thing that people do understand is financial responsibility. If fines for dog bites were exorbitantly high, people would either work with their dog or not own one. And it is usually the people with aggressive/nuisance dogs that don’t put an effort into raising a well behaved dog. And those people should not own a dog anyway.

  28. I think muzzling all dogs in public is definitely not right. It is totally unfair on the most friendly dogs of which there are many. A lot of it depends on how they are treated. People who don’t care for their dog properly should not be allowed to own one or any pet for that matter. Some people buy dogs as presents ,especially at Christmas,this is often why there are so many abandoned when the novelty wears off.

  29. i believe that it should be the responsability of the dog owner personaly but i know that my dog theo who is only 17 month old is 100% safe without one as do many of you out there but then you get the people who havnt got a clue and dont even give a damn the ones who let thier dog poo and not pick it up the ones that are AWARE that thier dog is a liability to other dogs but still dont bother putting one on and you only find out coz its gone for your dog only for the owner to then say (( well yeh my dog tends to do that but i dont know why ))well isnt it flamin obvious to you then that you should probably wear one, then you get the dog owners who think its cruel and use a million other excuses i believe people like that should be required by law to use muzzles the vet that they use should let the relevent authority know they think that the dog is dangerous and be made to get one and wear it all time dog is out it should be inforced too by dog wardens who should be patrolling all known dog walking areas that way our young
    children and our very much loved pets arent hurt but that would never happen would it so its up to us the responsable dog owners
    to just be on our guard

  30. My aunts cat was killed by a dog. I love my dogs they are good with my cat but if they see another cat they will chase it with the intent to kill it. I think a new law to muzzle dogs is a

  31. My aunts cat was killed by a dog. I love my dogs they are good with my cat however if they see another cat they will chase it with the intent to kill it. I think a new law to muzzle all dogs is a good idea i live opposite a field and i see young boys with dogs that they are not able to control which they are encouraging to behave in an aggressive manner. I often worry when i take my dogs out that they will be attacked and they have nearly been biten on a few occasions.

    I think if all dogs are muzzled they will not be able to bite each other or kill cats or attack children.

  32. That is unthought outand frankly silly. My cat was killed by a stupid woman driver but that desn’t mean all women drivers should be restricted does it? Of course not, we restrict the stupid ones by enforcing legal penalties.

    Of course it is cruel to muzzle dogs uneccessarily. For example my alsatian who has a snout problem and could not breath if muzzled. He’s gentle as a lamb too.

    Quite apart from that muzzles can’t be fitted to a lot of dogs. Try a tiny pomeranian and I can assure you it just won’t happen.

    Catch all restrictions are suggested purely because they are the cheapest option, cheaper than properly regulating the actual offenders, plus they satisfy the desire of the public for a knee jerk reaction to an emotive case.

    By far the majority of dogs are perfectly safe and a muzzle would be a cruel burden that is unecessary for them. What is required is correct enforcement of current regulations against actual offenders. It won’t happen though because a catch all nonsense law is cheaper to implement.

    Should muzzles become a requirement I will campaign to get every one possible who is responsible to disobey the law whilst reporting every single idiot who isn’t reposible for prosecution. Result, it won’t be tenable, as the cost would escalate. Then we’d return to prosecuting actual offenders as it would be cheaper.

    Please let’s not try to extrapolate one incident witnessed by one individual into all dogs attack cats and kill them. They don’t. Try to think beyond narrow confines of your personal experience

  33. By the way ‘Vintage’ your dogs, “if they see another cat they will chase it with the intent to kill it.”

    You recognise that and but haven’t trained your dogs not to chase cats? Why not? Think about how responsible that makes you. By the way that is rhetorical quetion I don’t need an answer just you to look to your own approach.

    Maybe a muzzle is an easier option for some dog owners than proper dog training. Punish your dog for your reluctance to be responsible.

    We have 13 dogs and every single one of them can be walked through a field of sheep, past chickens, near cats or anywhere else you care to mention without chasing the other creature. Several of them came to us untrained and willing to ‘give chase’ they were taught not to. It just takes patience and care.

  34. I think all children should be muzzled in public areas, I have heard they speak and eat! Fool! Most attacks on children happen in the home when the children and dogs are not suoervised correctly.

  35. Did you not read the article? I think all cats should be muzzled, do you know how many birds and small mammals are killed by cats? some are becoming endangered because in part to cat predation on them.

  36. ‘Dog owners need to be aware of the fact that their dogs should not invade other people’s space’ Agree but you forgot one important NB ‘People should not invade a dog’s space’
    My dog a collie x springer, is an ex cruelty case and due to the treatment he received in his first 12 months he is unpredictable around strangers. He wants to be patted he wants to be sociable but because (during his first 12 months) they called him over to be patted and then hit him he still thinks this is going to happen – naturally so. After 2 years he now trusts a handful of people. Unfortunately due to his cute, fluffy, smiley looks people are drawn to him and I spend my time when out saying, no please don’t touch him – and some people take some convincing!
    There’s no one single trigger so I’m finding it hard to come up with an across the board solution. Any one who can help please advise!
    Muzzling him would not work, as mentioned in this article he just gets very tense and stressed out and I really don’t think this would help but in fact make matters worse.

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