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Attack Dogs Are The Real Terrorists

BY Boon Koh
Published 18 March 2010

On the way back home today, I was reading in the Evening Standard how this pitbull dog mauled a black Labrador guide dog, while its blind owner listened in horror to what was going on. The pitbull only released the guide dog when its owner ran over and kicked it in the face. The guide dog later needed medical treatment with injuries to its head, and luckily survived. The thing that sent a shiver down my spine was the fact that it took place close to where I live in North London.

However, as it is all too common, the owner of the attack dog fled the scene of the crime, and the Islington police have no leads or evidence. As I read this story, I thought back to all the other stories over the weeks, months, years of dogs attacking people, children, and even babies. In allof these cases, the dogs in question were undoubtedly big attack dogs; when was the last time you heard a poodle or a shih tzu cause any harm except excess high pitched barking?

As always, there’s a media outcry that these dogs should be banned, their owners should be prosecuted, and just last week, there were proposals by politicians for a dog liability insurance.

On the Tube ride home, I started thinking of other pet animals, and came to the realisation that the reason why nothing is being done about dogs is that regardless of how dangerous they are, there must be some dog-loving group that is hard at work lobbying MPs to do nothing. Imagine if I had a snake, a python no less. I would of course have taken all the precautions, by training it, de-venomising it, etc. But even if it posed no threat to society, even if I sedated the python before going out, there would be a massive outcry if I boarded the London Tube with my pet python or went into a supermarket for a spot of shopping with it wrapped around my shoulders.

Most likely the police will come and issue me a warning; I might even get a caution or a fine for “endangering the life of others”. But how is this different from bringing out a pet attack dog that has the potential to be as lethal as a wild wolf? Owners will say that they have trained them, that they have been domesticated, that they have not been violent before. But I could use the same arguments about a pet python and but still fail to pull the wool over the public’s eyes.

As a society, we need to change our perception about dogs. Specifically, the perception that all dogs are cute and fluffy and stare up at your with big brown eyes. An attack dog might seem docile and peaceful until the attack, but so do most murderers. Owners should be required to put a leash and muzzle on dogs that are a certain size or a breed especially known to be vicious. And the punishments should be severe for rule-breakers.

The above solution will be effective to curb random attacks by dogs. But what if the owner purposely sets a dog onto a person, perhaps as part of a crime? Today there was the story in The Times about a gang member who set his dog on a rival gang member, using his Staffordshire Bull TerrierBull Mastiff Cross to immobilise his victim. What to do about dogs that are purposely being bred and used as weapons? As you can guess from the name of this mixed breed dog, it has been purposely created to combine traits from some of the most fearsome and vicious dogs in the world.

The only solution would be to ban convicted criminals from keeping dogs, but again, this will only be possible after the first crime has occurred. The other alternative would be to ban all savage attack dogs, but that is akin to banning all knives or cricket bats because they can be used as a weapon. There is a Dangerous Dogs Act that bans the most vicious attack dogs, but it doesn’t go far enough and allows dogs that are capable of taking a human life freedom to roam the streets.

A vicious attack dog is like a terrorist; they often lead very docile, under the radar lives. But when they strike it is too late. The claim innocent victims; people who had no way to defend themselves or know what was coming. And there is often no reason for the attack, and it can happen anywhere. Hopefully more and more people start demanding that our politicians do something about it.

Article written by Boon Koh.


  • Suzie

    Hey Boon Kah

    Look at who these low lifes are that are getting these dogs, then look at what they are doing to them to make them ‘Attack Dogs’, it is completely heart wrenching the abuse that they put these dogs through some as young as 6 weeks old, locking them up in confinement away from people and other dogs, beating and abusing them, training them through fear in the worst cases illegally fighting them or turning them into breeding machines. Then disposing of them when they are useless.

    144 staffordshire bull terriers and their crosses are looking for loving homes at battersea currently and these are the home tested ones that are suitable for rehoming – think of all the ones that were too damaged by humans and had to be destroyed.

    The breed itself is one of only 2 breeds recommended by the UK Kennel Club as being great with Children. The breed is extremely people friendly which is why isolation is one way to easily remove their trust in humans. They are exceptionally loyal to their owner – if told (and trained)to attack/fight it will – just doing as told. They are also very protective.

    I completely agree with you that these dogs can cause some serious damage more so than the little pekingnese, but little dogs to attack and in some countries they too are on the dangerous dogs register – however it doesn’t make exciting reading in the newspapers.

    At the end of the day the behaviour of the dog is the owners responsibility, it is our responsibility to make our own judgement. Any one clever will realise that the owners of these dogs are the reason behind their behaviour NOT the breed of the dog.

    Check out http://www.packethic.com/ if you want to see a great example that is happening in the US, they have similar issues regarding breed legislation and the American Pit Bull.

    I admit I am a dog lover and a volunteer at a dog home. My sister is a vet here in the UK and believe it or not, if they weren’t illegal she will have an American Pit Bull believing them to be one of the most friendliest and family orientated breeds around.


  • spencer

    dont blame the dogs you fool-its the owners! i have owned staffs all my life without incident because they are treated correctly. mine have always been mard and just want a cuddle! of course they are a powerfull dog but that doesnt mean they will use that power against someone? i have a kitchen full of sharp knives but i dont feel the urge to stab anyone…pitbulls were exactly the same ruined by idiots…change your opinion to the real course of the problem which is idiots in society who ruin these dogs not the dog itself..if you went out and bought any puppy and treat it correctly it will be fine..

  • Gavin Crossling

    Sensationalist, petty minded ‘tabloid reporters’ like you (and yes, i’m aware it’s just a crummy blog) really get my goat – did you even spend 30 seconds before typing this militant bullcrap out to do some research?

    _ALL_ dogs, nay, all _animals_ are subject to behaving as they have been brought up – and the majority of Staffordshire owners, bring their pets up well. SBT’s are one of the most devoted canine breeds you can have the pleasure of owning, but that wouldn’t make a ‘story’ for you would it, therefore, no publicity…

    You should be writing for the Sun, because they have no standards or research either

  • http://www.london-insider.co.uk The London Insider

    Suzie: Thank you for your comment, in my article I agree that the problem are a small group of people training and using them for attacks. Of course, like a child, upbringing means a world of difference and in a perfect world, people would only be allowed to raise dogs only if they are judged fit to do so.

    Spencer:In my article, I make exactly the same point as your comment and I use the same knife analogy. Just like banning all knives is not the solution, neither is banning all dogs. And I do mention that its a certain group of people who train and breed dogs to attack, and a possible solution would be to prevent this group from raising dogs.

    Gavin: Did you read my article? Or did you just read the headline and start ranting? I’m not against SBTs. I’m against the breeding of SBTs to become weapons. Ironically, your random rants and personal attacks are just the sort of thing that comes from The Sun. If you do have something you don’t disagree with in my article, I would be more than happy to hear if you could quote the section/statement and give a constructive argument against it.

  • Teresa

    So if you know its a minority of people causing trouble why do you suggest punishing all responsible owners as well by preventing them the freedom to walk their dog of lead and enfourcing a muzzel on innocent dogs?
    Why not muzzle idiots like you and lets chop of you hands too might stop some of the keyboard dribble your all so keen on producing

  • http://www.london-insider.co.uk The London Insider

    Teresa: Again, as with Gavin Crossling, you are unable to resist hurling personal insults, which is a pity because you did make a very valid point in your first sentence. Yes, it is a minority of people causing trouble, but accidents do happen so I believe it is best to try to prevent them from happening. One example would be police officers… they are highly trained in handling guns, they are probably experts in gun safety and gun usage. But there’s a law that they have to keep the safety lock on the guns when they are carrying it around. Of course, they won’t shoot anyone purposely, but accidents can happen so its better to be safe than sorry.

  • spencer

    ok at least you have answered and thats fair enough, but still you need to spend time with these dogs! pitbull terriers-english bull terriers and most of all staffordshire bull terriers love people, they really do crave human attention, making one so nasty it would bite a human must be so hard the dog must go through hell and back to get in this frame of mind if youre in doubt do poll of 1000 staffy owners? lets be honest here they dont always like other dogs-that is no reflection on how they act towards people. 99% of bull breed owners are responsible owners and there dogs are there life…we all know who the bad owners are its not hard to spot is it? you will see me out every morning before most are up with my dog then after a 12 hour day the same at night…its easy if you take on a staffy they become a big part of your life if you carnt do this dont bother!! is that confusing? please take the time with a staff before pointing the finger…my staffy got attacked by a jrt this morning..are you interested?? my dog didnt flinch he just came back to me waggy tail…

  • Meaghan Edwards

    Title should maybe be “Owners of Attack Dogs Are the Real Terrorists.” People have to have full responsibility for the actions of their pets and must absolutely not set them up for fail. Irresponsible owners and irresponsible breeders should be banned from owning/breeding any kind of animal.

  • Jane Lynn

    From the comments published the responses seem to be addressing one dog attacking another(which would be frightening to any owner). This incident is more distinctive because it is not a dog, however it is a dog who is partnered with a visually impaired person to be their eyes. If the dog loses confidence(even if wounds heal) it could cease being a reliable guide. The dog gives a different freedom compared to the cane, a bond some describe as a soul mate. I have been told more people approach and start conversations with a person with a guide dog compared to someone waiting for public transportation with a white cane.

    This should not be a battle about if certain breeds are picked on—The key that stood out was un-leased dog attacks guide dog. We have leash laws for a reason. This could have been avoided more easily if the dog were leased. All dogs need training. Well behaved dogs are great companions. A guide dog is more than a pet. I hope they all recover.

  • spencer

    the incident with the guide dog was a while ago, still the blame is only with the owner, he was walking round like a chav with his bullbreed type x dog{not a pitbull as quoted} of lead in a built up area, when it jumped on the guide dog-the owner had not the first clue what to do! he then ran off leaving the poor blind person with at a guess no idea what was going on-one can only imagine what utter terror this caused the owner and the guide dog too{ive watched the footage{which i wouldnt advise} its disgusting and shows the idiot owner for the coward he is! he then runs back and puts the boot into the dog until it lets go and then runs off again! maybe it scared himself but still to me he is the lowest form of life! in reality we all know dogs can get into a scuffle-if you know what youre doing its easy to quickly break it up-that seems the problem these owners have a powerfull dog and havent got a clue how to train or manage them! without going on the owner is to blame! my dog is very powerfull but i know if he were to bump into a guide dog or any other dog its always waggy tails and kisses…this is because he has been treated correctly its not hard and doesnt cost a penny…

  • Jamie

    “Owners should be required to put a leash and muzzle on dogs that are a certain size or a breed especially known to be vicious”.

    Talk about discrimination! What breeds should be deemed vicious then? Thanks to fools like you using pictures of dogs such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (which seems to feature in almost every tabloid article out there)your making out that these animals are killers. You ever owned such a breed? They are known as “nanny dogs”, they love children, are extremely loyal to their owners and contrary to what you want to make out dont go around ripping people apart. ANY dog can attack ANYONE.
    The owners are reponsible for the upbringing and if god forbid something does happen then they should be held to account. Why should responsible owners have to muzzle their dogs just because of what breed they are? DEED NOT BREED!

    “when was the last time you heard a poodle or a shih tzu cause any harm except excess high pitched barking?”
    Good point…and the answer is that it doesn’t make a story. It doesn’t fit in with the scaremongering that journalists such as your seem intent on fueling. A poodle may appear cute and fluffy but guess what they still have a mouth full of teeth and can do just as much damage.
    You probably wont take a blind bit of notice of what is said here but the next time you decide to write an article in your lunch break try doing your research and maybe THINK about what it is your typing….

  • maria

    I think you are looking at the wrong end of the lead. Any dog of any breed can bite, can be trained to be viscious, you need to tackle those people who behave in this way rather than pick on one breed of dog. Any thinking animal organisation will tell you this and provide proper research for you.
    You also need to do some research on reptiles since a python is a constrictor, you can therefore not remove its venom since it has done.
    On balance, reactionary, kneejerk journalism, poorly researched. Please try harder, see me after class.

  • Jacqueline

    Oh my, I have read your article and sadly have had to shake my head with despair!! if you are going to use an analogy of a python v dogs, it would have been a good idea to get your facts right.

    I think you are about as misinformed on dangerous dogs as you are on venomous snakes

  • Tera

    Do I get a refund of my time spent reading this trash.

  • http://www.london-insider.co.uk The London Insider

    Tera: You do if you have something constructive to add. Instead of just moaning and complaining about solutions that others have come up with, why not be positive and contribute your own solutions?

  • Taz

    I agree with others, you seem to show a great lack of understanding of either dogs or reptiles. You start off talking about an incident in which a dog attacked a guide dog, well, the dog attacking the guide dog, just sees another dog, it doesn’t understand. You then swich to human agression, which is in no way linked to dog on dog agression.

    Firstly, in order to deal with dangerous dogs, of any breed, because in the wrong hands, even a labrador, can be a danger to the public, you need to understand that it is the human that is responsible, and the human that should be held accountable, not their dogs breed.

    As for dogs being muzzled and on lead in public, let me ask you this, would that have saved any of the children sadly killed in the most recent cases?…no, it wouldn’t, as they were killed in the home, or on other private propperty. Lets be honist here, the people who ignore lead laws, arn’t going to muzzle their dogs either.

    Secondly, your comment about pythons. Pythons along with boas, corn snakes etc, are constrictors, cobras, rattle snakes etc are venomous and are covered under the dwaa (Dangerous Wild Animals Act) 1976. Now, I could quite easily walk around a town/city centre with a python round my kneck, I’m not doing anything illegal, as a python isn’t dwa listed. However, a venomous species, venom glands removed or not, is not allowed out of the secure area in which you keep it, and if it is, it will be subject to transport restrictions, so you can’t just hop on the bus with it.

    Without wanting to sound rude, I suggest that in future, you put a little more thought and research into the topics you wish to write about. As articles like this, arn’t doing anything to help the situation.

    For the record, the only dog I’ve been bitten by, was a small white fluffy one, can’t remember the breed, that was the owners falt, not the dogs. But I’m sure you don’t want to here about that, never mind write about it. As small dogs don’t attack people, only staffies, pitbulls, rotties and akitas do that.

  • Dan

    The problem with any legislation on dangerous dogs is only responsible owners would follow it, the muppets who use their dogs as weapons hardly give a t**s about the law and i doubt would bother with a muzzle even if it were mandatory.
    What we need is the return of dog wardens with auctual power to remove a dog that presents a clear danger to human life and dog liscences for owners, all breaders should be registered and regulary inspected by an official body, All dogs regardless of breed should be spayed or neutered unless owned by a registered breeder.
    To many backyard breeders who only mate their dogs to make cash ( to pay for new flooring as shown in one program ) have no respect, care or or interest in what happens to the puppys.
    Any dog in the wrong hands can be trained to be aggressive, not so long ago all the scaremongering was over GSD’s, then rotties now its staffs, the only constant in all of this is the appaling standards of the people who mistreat and abuse these animals to make them viscious.
    We don’t ban humans for murder the same as we don’t outlaw cars when there used the wrong way, the onus should always be on the owner, they are the root cause of the problem.

  • te

    i know more little yappy dogs that bark, bite and jump on the lead to attack, but no-one says anything about them because they are not the bully breed they are not muzzled and many are owned by older people.
    also you dont hear about any dog attacks on the news unless they are the bully breed type of dog.

  • Gavin Crossling

    Oh yes, trust me – I read the ‘article’… I read it _3_ times in fact because I though I was imagining things and can only reason you are an arrogant person for assuming that I hadn’t read it.

    I think that every comment on here has pointed out your major flaw in your argument, and that is that you have not took the time to research the subject before posting it – the python / venom quote made me giggle out loud!

    The problem that ‘journalists’ like you have is that you jump on any media bandwagon – and I use the last part of your article as my argument… after vilifying SBT’s you then end with ‘Hopefully more and more people start demanding that our politicians do something about it.’ – as I stated in my last post – _ANY_ dog can be classed as dangerous – be they poodle, terrier or doberman – you took it on yourself to switch from one breed that is banned under the DDA to switch to a breed that is _NOT_ banned, but suffers from a bad reputation because of people like yourself…

    I’m done with this conversation because your views are so distorted that they don’t even deserve the time taken to read them.

  • Nick

    I was not a dog person growing up even though I was raised around them all my life; all different breeds and a few mutts. It wasn’t until I had the furtune nay the privilege of owning a SBT that I became a dog person. This dog and breed is loving, smart and wants nothing more than to please its owner. I’ll not have another dog as long as I live, but it is a powerfull animal and does require an owner that knows how to handle it. Your article does not come out and say it but you do seem to imply that SBTs are nothing more than terrorist attack dogs. That upsets me and as you can see it upsets everyone that has replied to your article. So don’t be suprised when all you get in response to your article is negative feedback. Once again as said by the previous persons responding, do a little more homework. Yes it is sad that the attack happened at all but you are using this attack to attack a breed of dog that has won the hearts of a lot of people and I just had to say something. Even though they may not get along with other animals to well a SBT is still a fine breed and I hate to see them in a bad light. Any dog can attack another for unknown reasons to us but if we can control ourselves and be calm and assertive then you can own one of these animals without incident. Thanks for your time.

  • kevin

    my days you are one scared little human or are you not doing very well in your job and needed a easy target becuase you clearly have no idea what you talking about, you are the reason I stopped buying newspapers and the stories just get worse.
    Do you lot ever to any research? Ask anyone who actually knows something about these “dangerous breeds”? Anyone who actually owns one of these breeds (and not just the spanners who walk about with them giving it all the big I am) I mean the owners who love the breed the people who treat there dogs how they should be treated.

    I really could go on and on but I really think your not really worth much more of my time besides I have a “dangerous” dog to go and walk.

  • Edsel

    I would like to thank the “author” of this article for twisting the knife some more into the SBT’s reputation.
    If I was a wanna be journo looking for a sensationalist dangerous dog story I would be warning people to be cautious of hoodie wearing thugs walking big dogs with one too many spikes on its collar. The picture you use is not a staffordshire bull terrier and by using the picture you are implying it is, indeed it looks vicious so there for it must be.

    I quote ”
    when was the last time you heard a poodle or a shih tzu cause any harm except excess high pitched barking?”

    I dont know but you imply that they dont, perhaps you could research and then write a factual article on “attack dogs”

  • staffycross

    its not the breed that is the problem its is the irresponsible dog owners!

    i have a staffy cross that nobody wanted and was left in a ditch to die
    he is the most lovely kind dog ever, he lives with parrots and cats and gets on with people and other dogs.
    he is really good at dog agility better then most collies he is so clever.

    humans that murder don’t get put down they go to prison where we the tax payer has to pay for them.
    i think they should lose the rights and be tested on instead of the poor animals who don’t get a choice
    this world is so f**k up

  • rainbow gibbons

    Thank you for such and honest, balanced article. It doesnt surprise me that so many Bully Breed, agressive owners have lashed out in protection of the dangerous dogs which are clearly causing all the attacks. There is NO place insociety today for any Bully Breeds…Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Pit Bulls, Bull Mastiffs, Rockwellers. These unpredictable, vicious, low IQ breeds need to be completely banned.
    Just read recent proof on how there has been a 80% increase in dangerous breeds attacks most of which are by Staffies and Pits….the owners and the dogs need to both be muzzled. Councils need to evict these people for destroying communities. The parks in London are infested with dangerous Bully Breeds off the lead. The dangerous dog act needs to be breeds specific.

  • rainbow gibbons

    The proof is in the pudding….www.ukandspain.com/dangerous-dogs
    The killings and attacks by Staffies and other Bully breeds will continue to escalate until thr police and government take firm action to get rid of the trash off the streets and in the council estates.

  • http://www.stopk9profiling.com Fran C.

    HEY How is BSL working out for you there? LOL.

    How wrong can an article be? This one is close to taking the cake. Your dog bites have increased by over 50% have they not? Last year OVER 800 mailmen were bitten were they not? More wankers then EVER NOW own them so they can flaunt the law do they not?

    BSL has been a miserable FAILURE in the UK and virtually EVERY other place that has been stupid enough to pass legislation supporting it.

    Until people like YOU get that it is about individual OWNERSHIP and NOT dogs that should be penalized YOU will see NO decrease in dog or people attacks, as I might NOTE you have NOT in 20 years!

    Calgary Alberta has seen a 25% DECREASE in dog bites and attacks and has NO BSL. In a city of over 1.1 million they have the lowest bite statistics in ALL of North America per capita.

    Ignorant articles like this IS the reason why things have not and will not change in the UK.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AaronMacruairi Aaron Macruairi

    This article and most of the comments underneath has my blood boiling. I cant believe how ill-informed most of you are. Staffordshire Bull Terriers are one of the nicest breed of dogs out there. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is one of only two breeds from over 190 recognized by the UK Kennel club to have a mention of the breed’s suitability with children. Of course it can be dangerous if brought up wrong by a scumbag, but so can any dog. I wouldn’t like a Labrador running at me ready to eat me, would you? Every breed of dog has attacked people. Don’t blame the breed, blame the irresponsible scum raising them to be aggressive. Its disgusting the way they treat these dogs to get them to act this way. If any of you were treated half as bad as some of those dogs you talk about, you would be pretty aggressive toward others too.

    The owners should be jailed, end of story.

  • Velesh

    The author shows his blatant stupidity about animals by saying he would be ” de-venomising” a “python” a non venomous snake what the hell would they know about dogs.
    I’ve owned pittbulls, a dobermann and many other breeds of dogs and the attack dogs have never showed any type aggression to me or people. Now im not stupid enough to take my dogs to a dog park and let them roam free without a leash because depending on situations they could harm someone or something. Like if i was in a park and a little kid saw my dog got scared and ran away,to something as big as him that small thing running from him could be prey and instinct could take over (i’ve seen this more common in other breeds than my pit and doberman) but i keep all my dogs leashed in public, let them roam the house freely cause they’re more welcome in my castle than most people and when they need outside i keep them locked up in a double cattle gate fence buried 3 feet in the ground. The problem really is most people dont know how to take care of themselves properly let alone a dog. The people looking to make a dog aggressive by mistreating them are dumb to begin with i mean breed and stature alone will deter someone from assaulting you or your home and if they are stupid enough to continue anyway my home defense shotgun will stop the rest. Genetics are proven to attribute to temperment to a degree but so is treatment and treatment is multiples of importance more than genes from my experience. Take people, if we took a person with parents that had mentally psychotic tendencies then yes they would be more prone to violence but i guarantee if someone taught a child to be mentally deranged from birth then they most definately would be because thats all they would have ever known. Same thing with a dog. Im not sure about europe but here in the states many breeders are breeding out aggression with dogs and the lines that are agressive are not nearly as prevelant as they used to be.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tina-Stevenson/1051047408 Tina Stevenson

    Definitely. The problem is backyard

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tina-Stevenson/1051047408 Tina Stevenson

    Too many loose ones n in towns with leash h laws not being enforced n backyard breeders