Behaviour & Training

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Excuses Excuses

This actually seems as good a place as any in which to vent a little steam. A friend of a friend has recently bought a dog, a Jack Russel pup. This friend is a single working mother with two kids, so as you can probably guess, adding a dog into this busy mix was always going to be a challenge to say the least. The main problem is that at the end of a busy day she just cannot be bothered with discipline where the dog is concerned. It has free run of the house and furniture, and to make matters worse, she allows her kids to tease it continuously. So it should have come as no surprise to my wife when she was visiting one day and this dog turned round and bit our youngest daughter, who was simply sitting down to put on her shoes at the time.

My daughter had a bruise on her arm but was otherwise okay so no harm was done...until it was clear that no apology was forthcoming from our friend. She hadn't even been the one to react to the dog's hostile actions either - that was left to my wife. And even after my wife removed the dog, all our friend did was to shut it in the kitchen to deal with it later. She then went on to make excuses, such as the dog must have felt cornered and that it had never done this before, etc. Apart from the fact that we later found out that it had bitten a visitor before, another young girl, she seemed to miss the point entirely. Her dog, due to not being properly disciplined, had bitten someone. End of story. Excuses were not what we wanted to hear. After seeing a dog being allowed to do whatever it pleases and then being teased by her kids, how she thought any excuse was justified remains to be beyond me. All I do know is that we won't be stepping foot in that household again.

And as a footnote, we've just heard that the dog has recently been put down. We were speechless. What a waste of a young dog's life. Yes it had nipped a couple of young kids, but this behaviour was treatable. In the end the owner took the less time-consuming way out, which is a terrible shame. And it seems to be a common trend. A colleage at work has since told me that a friend of a friend has had a dog put down for similar reasons.

Submitted by Lisa Dovaston October 2011.