May 7th, 2010

Dogs and Young People

Here is an interesting article dangerous-dogs-as-weapons it has to be said that i think the Guardian is a little slow on the up take this has been a concern for a number of years but was recently brought to my attention again. We have seen a few young people with dogs in the last couple of weeks – last week one 14 year old male was walking his ‘Staff’ whilst we were on detached it was after school, he was still in his school uniform, I wish I would have taken a picture.

I have several concerns with this situation firstly for the dog. Often the dogs are teased and tormented in such a way as to stir them up and make them more agressive. This i am sure all this teasing is tantamount to animal cruelty (I would also like to make it clear I have challenged young people on the treatment of their dogs – whilst hoping and praying they don’t release it on me!). Secondly I have concerns for the people that come in to contact with these dogs, I have also had conversations were young people that have trained there dogs to be aggressive toward certain ethnic groups. I have never personally seen a dog attack but i have seen the potential for it happening, with aggressive dogs, barking and pulling at their chain ready to bite the nearest person! I can also imagine it happening on the street, in other circumstances, like with the knife crime situation, if you carry a dangerous weapon (be it a dog, knife or gun) then you are more likely to use it than if you don’t. We have an informal rule, at our sessions at the Canaan Project…humans only!