Another child killed by a pet dog. Last night, at her grandmother’s house by her uncle’s bull terrier.
Dogs are nature’s genetic meccano set, they are one of the most malleable and flexible species associated with human civilisation. As a collection of genes, they can be organised to perform a vast range of specialist tasks.
Some breeds of dog have been bred to attack human beings, either on command, or merely on sight. A dog like this has been designed with as much care and attention as a Colt 45, and those characteristics cannot be simply wished away by calling it Poopsie and making it wear a collar. To expose a family to such a breed is as foolhardy as leaving a loaded shotgun leaning against the TV. It was designed as a weapon to defend property, and it is not capable of knowing which is the genuine threat and which the sleepy toddler blundering around in the darkness.
The dog is no more to blame than the shotgun. But why do we need shotguns or killer dogs in the first place?
The Argument pops up..
“As for pit bull terriers they are no more dangerous than their owners make them. I had one many years ago and he was a gentle beauty”
The genes of a pit bull have been systematically manipulated over generations to produce an aggressive fighting machine. It is as perfectly designed for that purpose as a shark or a gun. It attacks according to a set of preconditioned reflex actions. It can be coddled and conditioned into accepting a child as a sibling, and its master as pack leader, but if the trigger is pulled it will attack.
This tragic case today may well be simply a case of mistaken identity. The dog mistook the child for an intruder. But any number of stimuli may trigger the attack reflex. And the more these genes are spread throughout the wider canine gene pool, the more likely are the resulting mongrels to be liable to unstable behaviour. even more dangerous because the resulting dog might not look like a fighting dog, but would carry some of its characteristics.
It would be a bren gun in a violin case.