Will Banning Some Dog Breeds Lower Dog Bite Claims?

Dogs can be great companions. So much so that there’s the phrase so many of us are aware of that goes like this: A dog is a man’s best friend. While dogs are great companions, wonderful stress reducers and generally good additions to many families, they do potentially have a darker side.

All those photos of playing dogs, sleeping dogs and cuddling dogs don’t show that there are some dogs that can cause a lot of damage, when they bite people or other dogs. Some serious dog bites have resulted in plastic surgery. Victims have been sent to emergency rooms because of dog bites. Dog bites can lead to infections and disfigurements. Sometimes the most severe dog bites can result in amputations.

There has been some debate as to whether some breeds of dogs are more prone to biting than others, and if more aggressive breeds of dogs can be trained not to trigger bite whenever they get upset or feel threatened. In 2005 the Ontario government cleared the bill to ban pit bulls in an attempt to reduce the number of dog bites reported. It is said that pit bulls are more aggressive and that the shape and strength of their jaws have the potential to cause more injury than bites from other dogs. The Ontario ban is controversial and prevents people from, importing, owning or breeding pit bulls. This applies to all breeds of pit bulls such as the well-known American pit bull terrier, American Stafford shire terriers, Stafford shire bull terriers, and any other dog of similar physical characteristics and appearance.

There are several organizations that oppose breed specific bans of domestic animals. The National Companion Coalition is one example. It has members such as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, the Canadian Kennel Club and the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council of Canada. The reason why these organizations are opposed to specific breed bans is because all breeds have dangerous dogs. The argument is that there is no objective way to establish a dog’s lineage for determining level of biting hazard. The dog’s temperament and behavior are more telling qualities of if a dog is more likely to bite, and there are hostile temperaments and behaviors in all breeds.

As a way of keeping the public safe, the organization instead recommends that dog owners that have an animal that’s been involved in dog bite case pay a hefty fine. The organization wants to focus on education such as encouraging dog owners to spay, socialize,neuter, and train their pets, and creating ways to assess a dog’s temperament and viciousness. The organization is looking into protocol on what should be done if (or once) an animal is deemed dangerous.

Ban or no ban, it’s important for people to recognize the signs of an agitated dog and what to do to avoid being bitten. Still, accidents happen and if you need legal help after being bitten by a dog, it is important to hire the services of a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa.