Is it the breed or the owners?

The Herald reports:

Auckland councillor for Manurewa-Papakura Calum Penrose and journalist Duncan Garner have also called for the banning of pitbulls specifically.

Mr Penrose said to RNZ on Sunday: “there’s too many young ones across the country – and particularly in Auckland – that are getting mauled by these dogs.”

On Monday Garner penned an opinion piece which ran on Radio Live’s website, saying they were a “horrible” breed.

However Hazel’s owner, Alanna Gracie of Cambridge, says banning pitbulls is an impractical solution and unfair to the breed, which she believes have a bad rap they don’t deserve.

Cross breeding means it would be practically impossible to enforce such a breed ban, as purebred pitbulls are already banned in New Zealand.

“Where do they draw the line,” she asked.

“They’re just going off their opinion of what a pitbull is. What I think a pitbull looks like and what you think a pitbull looks like could be completely different.”

In the past, dobermans, rottweilers and German shepherds had been singled out for banning, and now it was pitbull’s turn, she said.

“Owners should be held responsible for dog attacks no matter what the breed.”

It was concerning to Ms Gracie that a dog could attack someone, be put down and then its owners could by a new dog the very next day.

The solution was not to ban breeds but to restrict dog ownership, Ms Gracie said.

I think it is both.

Generally I would say the owner is to blame, not the dog. But there are certain breeds that are inherently dangerous and violent. Every week almost there is a story about these breeds and you read that it was out of character for the dog. Well little comfort for the kid whose face was half ripped off.

I would also ban people from having dogs if they have a history of their dogs attacking people. But that is not enough. To many kids get maimed or killed by dogs, and it is almost always the same breeds. You can be the best owner in the world, but some dogs are inherently dangerous.

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