Big response to campaign to highlight dog problem

  • Kay Picton, Redcliffe & Bayside Herald ; From:Quest Newspapers ; August 24, 2011

REPORTS of dog attacks across the Peninsula have flooded in since the Herald launched the Biting Back campaign last week.

A Deception Bay resident and her family have been living in fear after one of their dogs was killed and another was injured in two separate attacks in their street.

The resident said she had been in contact with the council and she thought owners of dogs that attack should be charged and have to reimburse vet bills.

Her neighbour’s golden retriever was also attacked by the same dogs and had half of his tail amputated as a result of his injuries.

According to the Animal Management Act, adhered to by the Moreton Bay Regional Council, a dog can be declared dangerous or menacing if it has attacked or injured another person or animal, been trained to attack  or declared dangerous by a local government.

In the past week, the Herald has been contacted by 12 residents who have witnessed or experienced dog attacks in their neighbourhood, as well as getting nearly 40 comments online.

But experts have agreed there is no such thing as an `untrainable dog’.

RSPCA Animal Training Centre manager Nicola Westerweel said dogs showed aggression because of a combination of factors.

“In general it comes down to components including genetics, environment and learning,” she said.

“Socialisation is so important for dogs and they should be introduced to people, children, cars, household items, other animals and other cultures so they aren’t stressed.”

Redcliffe Dog Obedience Club president Bevan Stewart said some dogs took longer to train than others depending on their history but it could be done.

“We often have owners of difficult dogs come along looking for a quick fix, but that’s not the right way to do it,” Mr Stewart said.

TIPS FOR A WELL BEHAVED DOG 

  • – Take your dog for a walk for at least half an hour a day
  • – Socialise your dog in a safe environment, like an off-lead dog park
  • – Provide your dog with stimulating toys when you are away
  • – Do not reprimand growling- that is how a dog shows it is stressed or s

Original story here

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