Banning XL bully dogs

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Fishnut
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Fishnut » Tue Sep 12, 2023 10:11 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:45 am
Banning them is absolutely a fair response. Not the only response, perhaps, but why can't there be breeds of dogs which it's illegal to own, with a heavy fine or jail sentence for owning or breeding them?
The Dangerous Dogs Act became law in 1991. We've had over 30 years of banning specific breeds and attacks are still increasing. This would suggest that blanket bans are not a solution. And I have to reiterate, the XL bully isn't a breed. It doesn't have unique genetic markers. From what I can tell, the criteria for being considered an XL bully is if it is "bigger and stronger" than a pit bull terrier, another type which isn't defined genetically as a breed.
If a police officer suspects a dog may be a terrier, it is seized and compared to the American Dog Breeder Association Standard.

"There are 60-odd points of what a pit bull terrier should look like," says Ms Connolly.

"The dog is measured, proportioned, how much bigger is its head than its chest, what does its tail look like? And subjective things like springy gait. So it is compared and the police make a decision as to whether that dog has a substantial number of the characteristics of a pit bull terrier."

The result, she says, would mean expensive arguments in court to even decide if a dog fell under the category of American XL bully in the first place.
It seems like moving away from breed-based bans would actually make people safer. Rather than quibbling over whether your dog is or isn't a particular breed/type, the focus could be on whether it has aggressive tendencies and poses a risk to people. If it does, then it shouldn't matter what breed it is, it faces restrictions or - in the worst cases - euthanasia.

The problem seems to be that we have some breeders who are specifically breeding for aggression. This can happen accidentally - this article mentions a breeding line of golden retrievers that had very aggressive puppies about 20 years ago. The article doesn't mention what happened but I suspect that line was no longer bred from as no-one wants an aggressive golden retriever. But that requires responsible breeders and aggression to be an undesirable trait.

In the UK breeding licences are already required for anyone breeding 3 or more litters a year, or who are doing so to make a profit, though the precise conditions vary depending on which country you're in. Breeding without a license can result in up to 6 months in prison or an unlimited fine if caught.

I've struggled to work out if puppy farms are still legal. I've found some sources (e.g. this PDF) that say they are legal and are licenced by local authorities but Lucy's Law now bans sales via third parties which would make these farms very difficult to operate legally. However, it seems illegal farms are booming.

The RSPCA has a campaign to ban the importation of puppies from overseas as they are often from puppy farms with poor welfare and little consideration for the long-term health of the animals. The government's Kept Animal Bill, which would have helped tackle these imports (among other animal welfare aims) was dropped by the government earlier this year.

After learning all this my questions are now:
1) what proportion of XL bullies have been bred in the UK and what proportion have been brought in from overseas?
2) for those born in the UK, what proportion of XL bullies have come from licenced breeders and what proportion have come from unlicensed breeders?
3) of those from unlicensed breeders, what proportion should have had a licence (i.e. who met the criteria) and what proportion are from breeders who didn't need one?

I think getting answers to these questions would help work out where we need to focus efforts in relation to this particular type of dog.

I'd like to make it clear, in case it wasn't already, that I think an increase in aggressive dogs is bad and is a trend worth trying to reverse. This is why I think it's important to implement measures that actually work.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by El Pollo Diablo » Tue Sep 12, 2023 10:15 am

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 10:11 am
El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 8:45 am
Banning them is absolutely a fair response. Not the only response, perhaps, but why can't there be breeds of dogs which it's illegal to own, with a heavy fine or jail sentence for owning or breeding them?
The Dangerous Dogs Act became law in 1991. We've had over 30 years of banning specific breeds and attacks are still increasing. This would suggest that blanket bans are not a solution. And I have to reiterate, the XL bully isn't a breed. It doesn't have unique genetic markers. From what I can tell, the criteria for being considered an XL bully is if it is "bigger and stronger" than a pit bull terrier, another type which isn't defined genetically as a breed.
If a police officer suspects a dog may be a terrier, it is seized and compared to the American Dog Breeder Association Standard.

"There are 60-odd points of what a pit bull terrier should look like," says Ms Connolly.

"The dog is measured, proportioned, how much bigger is its head than its chest, what does its tail look like? And subjective things like springy gait. So it is compared and the police make a decision as to whether that dog has a substantial number of the characteristics of a pit bull terrier."

The result, she says, would mean expensive arguments in court to even decide if a dog fell under the category of American XL bully in the first place.
It seems like moving away from breed-based bans would actually make people safer. Rather than quibbling over whether your dog is or isn't a particular breed/type, the focus could be on whether it has aggressive tendencies and poses a risk to people. If it does, then it shouldn't matter what breed it is, it faces restrictions or - in the worst cases - euthanasia.
... (plus other good stuff)
This is all fair enough and understandable, thanks for updating my ignorance!
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by IvanV » Tue Sep 12, 2023 10:41 am

El Pollo Diablo wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 9:36 am
IvanV wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 9:12 am
In fact we have public spending tests, that put a value on deaths, and this is a required input on decisions on how much we spend on changes to reduce deaths.
We do indeed, and I've applied them myself to decisions for the railway. What's of note though is that whilst the RSSB issues a value of preventing a fatality (VPF), which has floated around £2m for some time now (and is a similar number on roads), there's also a Gross Disproportion Factor (GDF) which is then layered on top, multiplying the VPF and thus determining the "worth" of any particular safety measure and is much harder to systematise.

As the ORR says,
ORR wrote:The Courts have decided that risk control measures should be deemed reasonable unless the cost of the measure is grossly disproportionate when compared to the risk. There is no single algorithm which can be used to determine gross disproportion; it is a case-bycase, site-by-site judgement.
Etc
When we were attempting to find a way to create initial stabs at portfolio-level modelling of likely crossing renewals, taking into account safety-related enhancements, the GDF and the very specific nature of each crossing made it a nightmare. But the £2m gets multiplied up usually by at least 2, typically 3-6 and sometimes by 10. I'm not sure that road safety interventions are necessarily tested in quite the same way, not least because national highways and local councils are sh.t at whole life costing.
I didn't realise the gross disproportion stupidity had got systematised into analysis of projects in this way. Thank you for this information and reference.

As you say, the gross disproportion stupidity comes from a court judgment interpreting a particular piece of long-standing legislation. I've long said that if we want to make our spending on safety more rational, we need to replace that old piece of legislation, so making obsolete and removing the gross disproportion stupidity. It is unbelievably ridiculous and obviously stupid that we force people to spend, quite literally, disproportionate amounts of money on something, just so long as they aren't grossly disproportionate.

And my understanding - tell me if I'm wrong - is whether it applies depends whether there is someone with a sufficiently direct duty of care to the people it affects. Railway operators have a direct duty of care to their passengers and employees, so the gross disproportion rule applies. But road builders do not have that kind of direct duty of care, so the gross disproportion rule doesn't apply.

Meanwhile that disproportionate amount of money we spend on the railway - quite literally because that is what the law as interpreted requires - would save many more lives if spent in the NHS, etc.

The whole point of joining together the economic regulation part of ORR and the health and safety regulation was to make health and safety regulation more responsive to the costs of it. But in fact I've long said what actually happened is that the health and safety approach captured the regulator, and resulted in the economic side explicity funding the stupidity instead of resisting it. The ORR document you quote demonstrates precisely what I have long been saying. It's been systematised.

For some people, no amount of spending on safety is enough. But ultimately we have to recognise that there is only a limited amount of money available to be spent on it, and it should be distributed wisely, across all the things in life that impact our safety and longevity. At the moment, this stupidity is badly distorting the distribution of the expenditure. In particular, it contributes to why our railways are so much more expensive to build than continental railways, and so why we can't afford to have as much railway as would be useful.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Rich Scopie » Tue Sep 12, 2023 10:46 am

The breed isn't the problem, it's the treatment of the dog by the owner which is the problem.
In almost all cases, this is the truth of the matter. And if it's not, it's not the breed that's a problem, it's the individual dog.

*Anecdote alert*
My parents have had border collies for years. All lovely, people friendly dogs, all brought up the same way, with plenty exercise, love, tickles, food, whatever. Except one. Casper. He was a c.nt. Bit holidaymakers kids (not good if you're renting a cottage out), got to the point where my mum was scared to bend down near him for fear of getting attacked.

Had to have him put down in the end. 😢

My point being, it's not a breed that's the problem; it's the treatment an individual dog gets, and occasionally the individual dog's personality. Let's face it, we all know some bloke down the local pub who's looking for a fight. That's not because he's human, it's because he's a tw.t.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by TopBadger » Tue Sep 12, 2023 12:33 pm

I don't know... I think there is X% nature and Y% nurture where X and Y are utterly dependent on the breeding and the training.

Man has selectively bred dogs for ages for certain traits. As a result Border Collies have an instinctive herding thing, which involves nipping at animals to get them to do what they want (i.e. move). Hence why I'm generally not at all surprised to hear of a herding dog getting a bit nippy. That you had loads of them that didn't is testament to the good training they had but not all dogs take well to training, in which case you're left with nature.

In dog breeds based on aggression / protection the nurturing needs to train out the aggression / fear, and there is always going to be increased risk in owning certain breeds where that training either doesn't take place or fails.

Personally I wouldn't want to own anything big enough that I couldn't beat it off if I needed to.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Imrael » Tue Sep 12, 2023 12:41 pm

I've re-found a thing I half remembered - a study suggesting that breed doesnt really correlate with behaviour. I have only skimmed it, and not any sort of expert anyway. However if thats true the only thing we can rationally ban is capability - which might mean all dogs over 30KG or something.

Science Article

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Fishnut » Tue Sep 12, 2023 12:52 pm

Imrael wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 12:41 pm
I've re-found a thing I half remembered - a study suggesting that breed doesnt really correlate with behaviour. I have only skimmed it, and not any sort of expert anyway. However if thats true the only thing we can rationally ban is capability - which might mean all dogs over 30KG or something.

Science Article
Labradors are usually over 30kg (low 30s for females, mid-high 30s for males). Great Danes range between 50 and 79kg. St Bernards can get to over 80kg.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by TopBadger » Tue Sep 12, 2023 12:58 pm

The study would appear to have a serious flaw though...
So Morrill and her colleagues harnessed her lab’s own database, Darwin’s Ark, which has collected survey and genetic data on thousands of dogs across the United States since 2015. Owners answer more than 100 questions—ranging from how friendly their pups are with strangers to whether they like to chase squirrels
I base my rebuttal simply on the amount of dog owners I've encountered trying to restrain their snarling dog from getting at mine whilst they insist "they're friendly really". Owners are utterly biased as to the true nature of their dogs.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Imrael » Tue Sep 12, 2023 1:09 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 12:52 pm

Labradors are usually over 30kg (low 30s for females, mid-high 30s for males). Great Danes range between 50 and 79kg. St Bernards can get to over 80kg.
30Kg was arbitrary. I think my point is that the only safe way to ban risky dogs is by capability (because even if breed is a marginal predictor training is a stronger one), and the only practical measure of capability that could be broadly applied is size. Which doesnt mean that I think this should happen - just that I think breed (or the appearance thereof) is too weak a predictor to be useful.

Also to add something I ran across - its reasonably common for older dogs to develop aggression as part of early onset canine dementia. And most dog owners will know that dogs in pain can be aggresive.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Opti » Tue Sep 12, 2023 1:26 pm

This Is how dangerous dogs are dealt with in Spain. There doesn't seem to be any problem compared to news reports from the UK.
Additionally, all dogs in public areas have to be on a leash all the time and as pointed out above, dogs deemed 'dangerous' have to be muzzled. Of course, there are still a number of would-be hard men strutting their dangerous dogs around ... but they look like p.ssy cats with a muzzle on.
You will see from the link that no breeds are specifically banned by breed, there are other characteristics that make a dog 'dangerous'.
Time for a big fat one.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by TopBadger » Tue Sep 12, 2023 1:51 pm

Opti wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 1:26 pm
This Is how dangerous dogs are dealt with in Spain.
Seems like a sensible approach.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Fishnut » Tue Sep 12, 2023 2:19 pm

Imrael wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 1:09 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 12:52 pm

Labradors are usually over 30kg (low 30s for females, mid-high 30s for males). Great Danes range between 50 and 79kg. St Bernards can get to over 80kg.
30Kg was arbitrary. I think my point is that the only safe way to ban risky dogs is by capability (because even if breed is a marginal predictor training is a stronger one), and the only practical measure of capability that could be broadly applied is size. Which doesnt mean that I think this should happen - just that I think breed (or the appearance thereof) is too weak a predictor to be useful.
I just don't see how an admittedly arbitrary blanket ban based on any criteria is going to work on something that is clearly complex in nature.

If there are specific genetic lines that are overly aggressive, then not allowing them to be bred from seems sensible, but I can't see many reputable and legal breeders wanting to breed for aggression anyway. And while genetics are a factor, nurture is just as important. Are people intentionally making their dogs aggressive? If they are then why and what can be done to either reduce that desire or keep those people from owning dogs? If people aren't intentionally making their dogs aggressive then how can we ensure that people are better at looking after their dogs?

According to the PDSA, 29% of people own dogs. There's 11 million of them in the UK, up from 8.3 million in 2011.
36% of all owners acquired their pet in the last three years, meaning that... 4.1 million dogs... have been acquired since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020... 23% of all pet owners told us they have not previously owned any pet as an adult (increased from 21% in both 2022 and 2021). The proportion of all pet owners classed as ‘new’ (38%) has increased since 2021 (34%) and 2022 (36%), driven by a higher proportion of new dog owners in 2023 (41%) compared to 2021 (34%). In 2023, the demographics of these ‘new’ pet owners are very similar to our findings in 2022, i.e. more likely to be aged under 45, have a higher household income and be working full time.
A study using data from Europe found that attacks are increasing at a faster rate than ownership but that not everyone is equally at risk of being bitten.
Boys were overrepresented in ages 1–9, and men were overrepresented in age classes 40−69. A similar overrepresentation of men has also been reported elsewhere, such as in one study of non-fatal dog attacks requiring hospitalization [28]. There, the gender bias was attributed to men being more prevalent as dog owners, being more daring and aggressive with dogs, and a having professions more exposed to dog bites (such as mailmen). One may also hypothesize that certain dog breeds are more popular among men and that this may be of some significance.
European data doesn't have the information we need to tell common patterns about the dogs, but American research found that,
sexually intact males are overrepresented among the dogs that kill people [11,26]. In one study of 256 bite-related fatalities, almost all dogs that killed people had a body weight exceeding 23 kg, and a majority of them were acting alone [26]. One explanation for the increase in number of fatalities could be that people have changed in the way they train, keep and interact with dogs. Another potential explanation is the increasing popularity of dog breeds that have the potential to kill also adult humans.
Interestingly, more recent research focused on the UK has found no increase in incidence of dog related deaths between 2001 and 2021. However, they did find clear regional differences,
Regional variation of dog-related deaths incidence was evident. The North-West of England had the highest average annual incidence of 1.36 deaths per 10 million population (95% CI 0.67–2.48), and the East of England had the lowest, 0.18 deaths per 10 million population (95% CI 0.02–0.83; Fig. 1).
Other research using UK data found that hospital admissions for dog bites have been increasing among adults.
Males had higher admission rates... Admission rates were significantly higher in those of white ethnicity, and in rural areas compared to urban areas. The most deprived neighbourhoods in the country had the highest incidence of bites.
To summarise all this quite crudely, it seems that non-neutered male dogs are more likely to attack people, and the people they are more likely to attack are men.

If non-neutered dogs are more prone to attacking then I'd suggest requiring adult male dogs to be neutered as standard would be a good start. The best age at which to do this may need to be determined but if you aren't breeding from your dog then having them neutered makes sense on a number of levels, even without the added aggression - it reduces the chance of a range of cancers, it can reduce their need to scent mark and stops them being so horny when they smell a bitch in season. Plus it means they can't make unwanted puppies.

I find it interesting that men are being disproportionately attacked. Is it simply that they are more likely to own aggressive dogs? Are they more likely to provoke an attack. Are they worse at reading the cues that indicate an attack may be imminent if they don't stop what they're doing?

I was surprised to see that bites were more common in rural areas Is it farm dogs? I know they can be f.cking terrifying.

TL:DR
1. Dog attacks in the UK are increasing, but fatalities are not - remaining at around 2.3/year for the last 20 years.
2. Dog numbers are increasing but attacks are increasing at a faster rate.
3. More deprived areas have higher incidences of bites requiring medical attention.
4. Data from the US suggests that Intact male dogs are most likely to attack
5. Data from the US, Europe and the UK suggests that men and boys are more likely to be the victims of attacks.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by dyqik » Tue Sep 12, 2023 2:36 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 2:19 pm

I was surprised to see that bites were more common in rural areas Is it farm dogs? I know they can be f.cking terrifying.
This might be dogs that are allowed to roam off-leash on larger properties, not just on farms. There may also be intact male dogs as a proportion.

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 2:19 pm

TL:DR
1. Dog attacks in the UK are increasing, but fatalities are not - remaining at around 2.3/year for the last 20 years.
2. Dog numbers are increasing but attacks are increasing at a faster rate.
3. More deprived areas have higher incidences of bites requiring medical attention.
4. Data from the US suggests that Intact male dogs are most likely to attack
5. Data from the US, Europe and the UK suggests that men and boys are more likely to be the victims of attacks.
I think 5. is quite likely that men and boys are more likely to come into contact with aggressive intact male dogs - there's probably fewer women interested in owning intact male XL bullys, etc.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Woodchopper » Tue Sep 12, 2023 2:48 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 10:11 am
I'd like to make it clear, in case it wasn't already, that I think an increase in aggressive dogs is bad and is a trend worth trying to reverse. This is why I think it's important to implement measures that actually work.
Here's a systematic review of dog injury prevention strategies. https://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/28/3/288

To summarise briefly it recommends general measures that affect all dogs and their owners rather than concentrating upon specific breeds.

In general, we know how to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, and attacks by dogs are no different. Every policy has two aspects. Firstly reduce opportunities. For dogs usual methods of doing that in public areas are either to ban dogs completely from certain areas, or to require that dogs are kept on a leash or have to wear muzzles. Secondly, make people accountable for their actions. In practice that could mean a registration system for dogs and owners, and fines for owners who don't follow the rules, with bans on ownership for repeat offenders.

From the above article:
A study of moderate quality conducted in Calgary, Alberta, showed a substantial (80%) reduction in the incidence of dog bites reported to animal management over a 30-year period from 99 per 100 000 people in 1984 to 20 per 100 000 in 2014.50 This time period included a change in legislation that focused on strict leash laws (including leash-length, and walking on the correct side of a path), increased ticketing, immediate return of stray dogs to owners, sterilisation of dogs that injure a person, reduced registration rates, restrictions including muzzling/caging requirements, and adjunctive public education about the laws.50 86 This was supported by a high-quality study by Clarke and Fraser demonstrating that ticketing for animal control violations and requiring licensing for domestic dogs in areas of Canada was associated with lower incidence of dog bites reported to animal management (p<0.01).84

[...]

In Spain, the introduction of dog control legislation in a moderate quality study of a rural/urban region resulted in a 38% significant reduction in dog bite hospitalisations over an 11-year period, from 1.80 per 100 000 (95% CI 1.47 to 2.13) prior to the legislation change, to 1.11 per 100 000 (95% CI 0.87 to 1.36) after it was introduced.51 Legislation included registrations, restrictions on ‘dangerous’ dogs by both breed and behaviour (such as a requirement to have a special licence, a psychological aptitude certificate and absence of criminal record of the owner), leash laws, muzzles in public and microchips.

The introduction of the NZ Dog Control Act in 1996, appeared to temporarily reduce dog bite hospitalisations from 7.5 per 100 000 people in 1996 to 5.5 per 100 000 in 1999 in a moderate quality study; however, 2 years later rates increased to 6.8 per 100 000.46

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Opti » Tue Sep 12, 2023 2:51 pm

Private trade in animals, ie, breeding dogs is now tightly controlled by a system of licensing and permits. However, enforcement is still patchy and generally relies on members of the public ',grassing up' offenders reporting incidents to SEPRONA who have now been tasked with this work. Penalties are severe, sadly enforcement not so much. But this is new legislation so we have to wait and see how things go.
Meanwhile bull fighting continues even though a majority of the Spanish population want it stopped.
Time for a big fat one.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Fishnut » Tue Sep 12, 2023 3:37 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 2:48 pm
For dogs usual methods of doing that in public areas are either to ban dogs completely from certain areas, or to require that dogs are kept on a leash or have to wear muzzles.
I would very much approve of having spaces where dogs weren't allowed, especially if there was also space where dogs specifically were allowed. Mixed-use spaces can be stressful for everyone. Dogs need space to run around and play with other dogs - they're social animals, after all. But there's very few spaces which are fenced off for dogs to use so you end up with owners having to let their dogs off in non-ideal places and then have low-level anxiety the entire time.

This isn't a problem just in the UK - when I lived in Ireland and Australia I struggled to find places where I felt safe to let my dog run. I usually ended up on sports fields where small groups of dog owners would congregate. The dogs would then play with each other and be more inclined to stay in a group than go running off. But I don't really want to be on sports fields. There's often people using them for exercise and they don't want a pack of dogs coming up to them. And, let's be honest, part of the reason we are taking them out is so they can urinate and defecate and who wants that on the grass you're playing sports on? Of course I clean up after my dog but not everyone does and even when you're diligent it's not like you can wash the grass/soil clean. I'd have loved a fenced in space specifically for dogs so that I didn't have to worry about my dog being off the lead or going up to someone. They are so rare though.

On the muzzles, I think requiring them for all dogs in all public spaces is a massive over-reaction. As far as I can see the only country that requires all dogs to be muzzled at all times in public is Italy - there's a few others that require you to have a muzzle with you, but it's not necessary to make the dog wear it at all times (which tbh seems a weird halfway house). Italy's mortality rate from dog attacks is only marginally lower than the UK's and the same as Austria, though I haven't looked for bite data.

Anecdotally, when I lived in Ireland I tried a halti head harness on my dog to try and get him to stop pulling so much. It worked in a fashion - he hated it so would constantly stop and try to rub it off his face - but more worryingly, I had multiple kids ask me if he was dangerous. They'd mistaken it for a muzzle and associated a muzzle with danger. I'm all for making sure that kids check with owners before they pet a dog, and for them to understand that a dog can be dangerous but I also don't like the idea of making kids think that every dog is just waiting to attack them.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Tessa K » Tue Sep 12, 2023 3:46 pm

Even if requiring dogs to be muzzled and on a lead was law, how would it be enforced? A huge number of dog police would be necessary.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by dyqik » Tue Sep 12, 2023 4:12 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 3:46 pm
Even if requiring dogs to be muzzled and on a lead was law, how would it be enforced? A huge number of dog police would be necessary.
That worked for drink driving, alongside public information campaigns that made it socially unacceptable.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by IvanV » Tue Sep 12, 2023 4:14 pm

In times gone by, getting harassed by dogs while you were out on your bicycle used to be an every-day feature of riding your bike in this country, or indeed walking in the countryside. But these days I can hardly remember the last time I was harassed by a dog. So some aspects of dog keeping have substantially improved in the country. Loose dogs that can harass passers-by are much less common than they used to be.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by monkey » Tue Sep 12, 2023 4:35 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 3:46 pm
Even if requiring dogs to be muzzled and on a lead was law, how would it be enforced? A huge number of dog police would be necessary.
You could say that about a lot of laws that exist and are (mostly) obeyed. If a large enough majority of people obey it, then you only need to worry abut the few who don't. I think dog owners would obey.

And if you want to use your dog for intimidation or a weapon, you can just take the muzzle off. You wouldn't be doing that with a cop hanging about anyway. At least day-to-day stuff should be nicer at least.

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Fishnut
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Fishnut » Tue Sep 12, 2023 5:15 pm

It's worth noting that majority of bites in adults occur at home (80.2%), so muzzling in public wouldn't have a huge impact. And it's not clear whether large dogs are primarily responsible for the increase in bites,
One plausible explanation of the increasing number of dog bites is greater exposure due to increasing number of dogs. The estimated UK dog population has risen from 7.9 million in 2010 to 9 million in 201843. There have been changes in pedigree breed preferences which have been theorised to influence dog bites; small breed types have increased in popularity44. However, given the specificity of rises in bites to adults, numbers of dogs or breeds owned is unlikely to be a causal factor. Further, there is no clear evidence that bite risk is associated with breed45,46 despite the continued perception, and legislation23 suggesting that it does47.
It seems clear to me that legislation isn't the primary solution. Finding out why people want aggressive dogs and then addressing that seems a far better approach. But that's a more nuanced approach that doesn't attract headlines and needs a long time to have an impact. By all means ban the commercial import of puppies from overseas, properly crack down on puppy farms, maybe even require licensing for non-commercial breeders. But banning breeds/types or asking everyone to muzzle their dog in public seems to be not just an over-reaction but unlikely to have any significant impact on the number of attacks caused by dogs.
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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Tessa K » Tue Sep 12, 2023 5:18 pm

monkey wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 4:35 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 3:46 pm
Even if requiring dogs to be muzzled and on a lead was law, how would it be enforced? A huge number of dog police would be necessary.
You could say that about a lot of laws that exist and are (mostly) obeyed. If a large enough majority of people obey it, then you only need to worry abut the few who don't. I think dog owners would obey.

And if you want to use your dog for intimidation or a weapon, you can just take the muzzle off. You wouldn't be doing that with a cop hanging about anyway. At least day-to-day stuff should be nicer at least.
You could say that but at least drunk drivers are in one place ie on the road whereas dogs can be anywhere.

Drunk drivers are stupid whereas men who like these dogs are malevolent.

Yes, people are mostly law abiding but people with violent dogs possibly less so than most.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by monkey » Tue Sep 12, 2023 9:34 pm

Tessa K wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 5:18 pm
Yes, people are mostly law abiding but people with violent dogs possibly less so than most.
I'm reading "violent dogs" as big scary dogs that can do a serious amount of harm here.

I think you might be surprised. The majority of the people I know with big scary dogs got them whilst being single women living on their own, the others were chosen for similar guard dog type duties. I trust all of them with looking after them properly, being aware of what their dogs capable of, and how to keep them under control. I wouldn't want to know them otherwise, so the selection bias is strong here, but I think things like that might be more common than you seem to be assuming.

And yes, I'm am pretty sure that some people (men) get these dogs because they are horrible people who want to intimidate. But I think even a criminal would follow the law here. You don't want the po-po giving you hassle and a fine while you're trying to get up to your more lucrative/fun criming.

My worry about this proposal is that a police force might get "a bit selective" about who the fines are given to. But that also applies to other on the spot fines, as well as things like search powers, so that's a general policing thing.

This is all "I reckon", but I'm not sure anyone knows what proportion of these dogs are owned by tw.ts, and even so, I think even horrible people would follow the law, so long as everyone else is and it's being enforced. Opti says it's the law in Spain, does it work there?

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Sep 13, 2023 7:41 am

Fishnut wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 5:15 pm
It's worth noting that majority of bites in adults occur at home (80.2%), so muzzling in public wouldn't have a huge impact. And it's not clear whether large dogs are primarily responsible for the increase in bites,
One plausible explanation of the increasing number of dog bites is greater exposure due to increasing number of dogs. The estimated UK dog population has risen from 7.9 million in 2010 to 9 million in 201843. There have been changes in pedigree breed preferences which have been theorised to influence dog bites; small breed types have increased in popularity44. However, given the specificity of rises in bites to adults, numbers of dogs or breeds owned is unlikely to be a causal factor. Further, there is no clear evidence that bite risk is associated with breed45,46 despite the continued perception, and legislation23 suggesting that it does47.
Many of the bites in the home may not be a social problem. If a dog bites its owner of a member of the household this may be seen as an accident or something that was the fault of the person who got bitten. You live with a dog and you accept that something may go wrong. (Though of course not always).

That is very different from situation in which a dog which is effectively used as a weapon in a public space, or an aggressive dog which is out of control. That kind of attack would be much more likely to be psychologically traumatic for the victim. So in terms of the likely damage it seems to make sense to focus upon incidents that happen in public.
Fishnut wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 5:15 pm
It seems clear to me that legislation isn't the primary solution.
The review I posted earlier suggests that it is part of the solution. Though there isn't much evidence for attempts to target specific breeds.
Fishnut wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 5:15 pm
Finding out why people want aggressive dogs and then addressing that seems a far better approach. But that's a more nuanced approach that doesn't attract headlines and needs a long time to have an impact.
A research programme to look at motivations of owners would be a good thing. But as you write it would take a long time. Much more uncertain would be whether anything could be done with some new knowledge on motivations. Its very difficult to engineer social changes without use of the criminal justice syste.
Fishnut wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 5:15 pm
By all means ban the commercial import of puppies from overseas, properly crack down on puppy farms, maybe even require licensing for non-commercial breeders. But banning breeds/types or asking everyone to muzzle their dog in public seems to be not just an over-reaction but unlikely to have any significant impact on the number of attacks caused by dogs.
I agree about banning breeds, people will do the same with another breed. Universal muzzling does seem a bit much much. But lots of countries have requirements that all dogs be leashed in public areas. That seems to be something that everyone can live with.

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Re: Banning XL bully dogs

Post by Woodchopper » Wed Sep 13, 2023 7:45 am

Tessa K wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 5:18 pm
monkey wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 4:35 pm
Tessa K wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2023 3:46 pm
Even if requiring dogs to be muzzled and on a lead was law, how would it be enforced? A huge number of dog police would be necessary.
You could say that about a lot of laws that exist and are (mostly) obeyed. If a large enough majority of people obey it, then you only need to worry abut the few who don't. I think dog owners would obey.

And if you want to use your dog for intimidation or a weapon, you can just take the muzzle off. You wouldn't be doing that with a cop hanging about anyway. At least day-to-day stuff should be nicer at least.
You could say that but at least drunk drivers are in one place ie on the road whereas dogs can be anywhere.

Drunk drivers are stupid whereas men who like these dogs are malevolent.

Yes, people are mostly law abiding but people with violent dogs possibly less so than most.
Enforcement of leash rules for dogs in public areas would be far easier than for most crimes.

A dog that isn't on a leash would be very obvious. There will be CCTV footage, eye witnesses, passers by with phones. Anyone who regularly walked their dog without a leash in public areas would likely be reported, especially so if the dog was aggressive.

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