The debate over regulating dog ownership is increasingly fraught and vocal. There seem to be weekly reports of dogs savaging and killing people all over the UK, and yet it is one of the most heavily regulated countries in the EU in terms of laws concerning dogs.
Britain is a dog loving nation or at least it used to be, but there is a growing divide between dog owners and the rest, partly driven by increasing population pressure and partly driven by the media, who love a meaty dog mauling story in the slow summer months.
Sure there are greedy, unscrupulous people who mass breed and sell to the stupid and unthinking who train them for fighting and attack, but these horror stories, although true, represent a fraction of responsible dog owners.
Dogs do need to be kept under control. But as a society we’ve chosen to live with them as pets, and, unless they’re outlawed, we’ve got to recognise they are domesticated animals that don’t necessarily behave like fluffy TV caricatures.
As far as I’m concerned that’s a good thing.
Dogs teach us about ourselves precisely because they’re not human. They demand respect.
Good owners will not only give them the care and training they require, but also the space to be themselves.