Since Oct 22, 2001
1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be very painful to me.
2.Give me time to understand what you want of me.
3.Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my wellbeing that you rely on me as I know I can rely on you.
4.Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment. I only have you!
5.Talk to me. Even if I don’t understand your words, I understand your voice when it is speaking to me.
6.Be aware that however you treat me, I’ll NEVER forget it.
7.Before you hit me, remember that I have teeth that could easily crush the bones in your hand, but I choose NOT to bite you.
8.Before you scold me for being lazy or unco-operative, ask yourself if something may be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart may be getting old and weak.
9.Take care of me when I get old. You, too, will grow old.
10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say “I can’t bear to watch it” or “Let it happen in my absence”. Everything is easier for ME if you are there. Remember, I love you.
Record of 1st public hearing of the Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly on proposed Bill 132
to enact breed specific legislation banning 'pit bulls' in the province of Ontario. link
Record of 2nd public hearing link
Record of 3rd public hearing link
My name is Marjorie Darby, and I am the Founder and recently-retired Director of GoodPooch.com (http://www.goodpooch.com), the web's leading resource on responsible dog ownership. I am writing today to address a concern I've had for some time, but one that has now grown in magnitude with the passage of Bill 132.
There has been a trend, recently, to use the nylon, cone, "veterinary-type" muzzles for everyday use on dogs. As you must be aware, these kinds of muzzles hold the dog's mouth shut, disallowing proper panting, the ability to drink water effectively and, of course, prohibit a dog from participating in any sports or activities in which it must retrieve an item or from receiving a food reward during training.
On those occasions when I've asked dog owners about their decisions to use the veterinary-type muzzle over the more appropriate basket muzzle, most often the individuals felt the muzzle was less conspicuous, cheaper, or "more humane"...presumably because it is made of soft nylon, as opposed to a typical basket muzzle's hard plastic or wire.
I am writing in the hopes that your humane and veterinary organizations will address the misunderstanding about the proper use of different types of muzzles, given that many people will now be muzzling their (innocent) dogs for the first time in their lives, since the passage of Bill 132.
**The snug-fitting, nylon, cone, "veterinary-type" muzzles are meant to hold a dog's mouth shut for very short periods of time while the dog is still and supervised; such as while it is receiving veterinary treatment.
**The basket-type muzzle is meant to be used for longer periods of time, and whenever the dog is active, so as not to prevent panting or the ability to drink water.
I am very concerned about both the increased use of the veterinary-type muzzles, as well as the reasoning behind their use. While it has always been true that people tend to be more fearful of a muzzled dog than an unmuzzled one, buying a muzzle that is not immediately visible should not be the driving factor behind muzzle selection. The dog's safety should come first.
I was recently at one of Toronto's leash-free parks, and watched as an exuberant Shepherd-cross ran up to play with the others. Only once the dog fell to the ground and began rubbing it's face in the dirt did I notice it was trying to remove it's veterinary-type muzzle. You see, the dog's face was black, as was its muzzle. The muzzle, itself, was very tight fitting, as well. It really didn't alter the dog's facial profile. Had the dog's behaviour not indicated the presence of an irritating muzzle, it would likely have been some time before I realized the dog was wearing one.
Being winter, I hoped this dog would not overheat during play. When I gently asked the owner why he selected this type of muzzle, he replied, "It's less noticeable."
I understand the motivation. But really, people are putting their dogs in jeopardy for reasons of ignorance, frugality, or vanity.
I found another dog owner having her Golden Retriever fitted for a veterinary-type muzzle at a pet supply store. The owner had just discarded a properly fitted basket muzzle because, as she put it, "It looks awful." I covertly tried to listen in on the rest of the conversation. To my great disappointment, I overheard the dog owner telling the salesperson the muzzle was meant for everyday use. Shortly thereafter, the dog lunged and growled menacingly at another dog in the store, as its owner struggled violently to restrain the aggressive retriever. Luckily for everyone, the Golden Retriever was still wearing the veterinary-type muzzle, at the time.
Muzzling dogs is generally a bad idea, in the long term. For short term use, while the dog receives appropriate re-training? Sure. But a dog that is aggressive enough to require a muzzle will be no less dangerous a year from now, if it is merely managed by way of a muzzle and tight leash. In fact, it may become even more dangerous in that kind of environment. Only proper training (or re-training) will make a vicious dog less dangerous to the community. Management never works because nearly all biting incidents involve unsupervised dogs...and unsupervised dogs are rarely left muzzled by their owners.
Muzzling innocent dogs can sometimes make them feel vulnerable, which can lead to aberrant behaviours that never would have developed if the dog hadn't been routinely muzzled. Dogs need to at least feel they have the ability to fight or flee when threatened, or they can become quite unpredictable. Also, muzzles put innocent dogs at risk from nefarious humans (and even aggressive dogs). After Germany required many types of dogs to be muzzled in public, harmless dogs soon became the victims of vicious attacks from marauding dog haters who realized the dogs couldn't defend themselves or their owners. Several dogs were beaten, along with their owners. Several others were doused with flammable liquids and set ablaze as their horrified owners desperately tried to save them.
Hopefully, this won't happen on a large scale here in Ontario. However, attacks on innocent dog owners has already begun. http://goodpooch.com/attackreports.htm My Great Dane has been misidentified as a 'pit bull' as well as a numerous other breeds, from Irish Wolfhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, all the way to the inexplicable Afghan Hound. While walking my perfectly-behaved Dane in my own neighbourhood, a man yelled out his car window as he drove by, "You should put a muzzle on that 'pit bull'!" I shudder to think what could lie ahead.
While I wholeheartedly disagree with the practice of muzzling normally harmless animals unless immediately necessary, and for mere minutes at a time, there are those habitually negligent dog owners who fail to properly raise, train, and supervise their dogs, and there is now Bill 132 to contend with.
Presumably, more dogs than ever will soon be muzzled, and these dog owners will need expert guidance in selecting the right kind of muzzle. From what I've personally witnessed in the past year, people are not making informed choices.
If there is anything your organizations can do to help educate the public about proper muzzle selection, it would be greatly appreciated.
If you would like more information about GoodPooch.com or responsible dog ownership and dog bite prevention, please contact me personally at:
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our web site: http://www.goodpooch.com
Pet Dog Trainers Association Condemns Ontarios Pit Bull Ban
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TORONTO, March 2, 2005 The Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers (CAPPDT) announced today its denouncement of the Ontario Governments Bill 132, passed yesterday in the Ontario Legislature.
This law will not achieve its purpose, which was to enhance public safety in Ontario, said Naomi Kane, chair of the association. While getting rid of all pit bulls will admittedly eliminate the handful that may have attacked, the bill does nothing to address the causes of canine aggression, and so does nothing to prevent attacks by any dogs which will end up in the hands of the same wrong or hapless owners.
At a public committee hearing held February 3, the Pet Dog Trainers association offered its expertise to the government to participate in crafting legislation that would be more effective in dog attack prevention by addressing the key causes of canine aggression:
Irresponsible breeding of dogs
Irresponsible or uneducated ownership of dogs
Poor socialization and training for dogs
Poor enforcement of leash and licensing laws
Lack of education for children regarding dogs and interacting with them
Despite this offer and the overwhelming evidence given by more than 80 of the 103 presenters at four public committee hearings, the Liberal government pushed through its legislation on March 1.
We are frustrated with the lack of vision the government has demonstrated, said Kane. This was an opportunity for Ontario to lead the world in proactive measures to prevent dog attacks, and Attorney-General Michael Bryant has rejected the opportunity in favour of a political agenda that looks sexy to the media and the public but does no real good.
In addition to the breed-specific parts of the legislation, the Pet Dog Trainers note that Bill 132 contains numerous clauses that will be harmful to all dog owners in the province. The now-famous reverse-onus means that any citizen can accuse any dog of menacing behaviour and oblige law enforcement or animal control officials to impound the pet, leaving the onus on the dog owner to prove the dogs innocence. The association notes that this means any neighbourly dispute over stereo noise, street parking etc. may result in the impoundment and destruction of a pet because no proof or evidence is required of the accusing party.
The Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers calls upon all dog owners and all citizens concerned about reducing canine aggression in Ontario to let your MPP know that Bill 132 is unacceptable, and demand the government leverage the knowledge of all the experts who offered their participation to develop legislation that truly and in good faith addresses canine aggression and enhances public safety.
For more information, contact your Regional Director of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog Trainers:
Regional Director: for Saskatchewan and Manitoba
Jan Kay Phone: 306 463 3573 Fax 306 463 3777
Email: wheatlandkennels @yahoo.ca
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Code of the West
By James Owen
1. Live each day with courage.
2. Take pride in your work.
3. Always finish what you start.
4. Do what has to be done.
5. Be tough, but fair.
6. When you make a promise, keep it.
7. Ride for the brand.
8. Talk less and say more.
9. Remember that some things arent for sale.
10. Know where to draw the line.