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Are dangerous dogs really dangerous?

 
This mom and bull terrier owner shares tips and straightens out the facts about "dangerous" dogs.
Titan
By Tamiya Tenner

Pic: Tamiya Tenner

Article originally in Parent24
I have two boys, 4 and 1. We have four dogs, a 4-year-old, a 2-year-old, an 8-month-old and a 7 weeks old. They’re Bull Terriers (the dogs, not the boys). Our adult dogs recently had pups, so I’ve been trying to find the puppies homes. The most common question I get asked, sometimes in a rather shocked manner is “Aren’t they dangerous? They’re Bull Terriers!” This generally comes from people who have never even seen a Bull Terrier up close. Their (mis)information is based on hearsay and twisted facts. It’s almost the same as when you as a parent have to hear from non-parents how you should be raising your children.

The simplest answer to this question is in fact “No, they’re not.”

Yes, way back when in the 1830s when they were first bred, they were designed to be fighters, but the sport has been banned for a long, long time and Bull Terriers have since evolved into a fun-loving, sometimes clownish, affectionate family dog. They have a really high pain threshold, so a little rough and tumble playtime with small people is less likely to hurt them.

Tips on keeping your dog family-friendly

  • Socialise your puppy and establish yourself as the pack leader.
  • Treat your puppy/dog with love and respect and that is what you will receive in return.
  • Bull Terriers are strong dogs! I know this because we have gone through two (different) leads in two days trying to take Titan (our alpha male) for a walk.
  • Bull Terriers are often not fond of other animals, but crave human attention.
  • A small breed dog is more likely to nip at a child than a Bull Terrier due to the pain threshold difference.
  • Do your research when it comes to deciding upon a breed for your family. Make sure you can satisfy the needs of your chosen breed. When Bull Terriers are bored, they get up to mischief.
  • Bull Terriers easily adapt to their family-environment.

My husband grew up with Bull Terriers. Initially I was also a bit sceptical about the breed, but since having our own I can safely say that this was probably the best pet-related decision I have ever made. My boys love our dogs and Titan will happily walk alongside my 1-year-old who is holding onto his ear. Or let me sit on top of him when trying to makeshift a new lead when his 10 hours old lead snapped during a walk, because he chewed through it. Or let me carry him home when his next brand new leads’ hook snapped during the next walk. All while other dogs are barking like crazy, getting him worked up. Rookie mistake, lesson learnt: Get Proper Gear! And go for more walks!

Dogs, no matter the breed, respond to the way you treat them. If you raise your dogs to be aggressive watchdogs then that is what you’ll get. If you treat them well, shower them with love and respect, then you are sure to have a loyal friend for life.

Have you ever managed to have a powerful dog at the same time as young kids? Why not tell us about it below.
Read more on: preschool  |  pets  |  health  |  safety
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