A County Councillor in Ireland is being inundated by a flood of anger from people responding to his comments about certain dog breeds in his home town. Alan Tobin posted a picture on his Facebook account of new signs that have been erected detailing leash and muzzle laws for breeds that are considered “dangerous,” including many Bully breeds, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers among others.
Though the signs are new, the laws have been in place for some time. What really caused outrage was Tobin’s statement: “It still amazes me that some people think these dogs are ideal family pets.” Breed specific legislation unfairly targets dog breeds that are deemed “aggressive,” even though study after study shows that the breeds listed in those laws are no more aggressive than any others. Tobin’s comment reflects the ignorance that leads to breed specific laws in the first place.
While leash laws are in place for the safety of both dogs and humans and should be obeyed, laws that unfairly target one or more specific breeds are born out of misinformation. Tobin, who is also a dog owner and self-identified dog lover, has since apologized for his statement on Ireland AM and seems to have taken a lesson, encouraging debate that may lead to changes in the laws. Dog behavior experts agree with Tobin that owners should be responsible and even take a course in proper dog ownership before they add a pup to their family. Hopefully one day the blame for aggression can be put on the correct end of the leash, once and for all.
Do you think breed specific legislation is fair? Do you think everyone should have to take a class before owning a dog? Let us know in the comments below!