Thursday 18 January 2018

'You'll have to get rid of that dog - she'll attack the baby' - owners of restricted breeds reveal what life is like in 'Pit Bull' documentary

Laura and Jason own a Staffordshire bull terrier
Laura and Jason own a Staffordshire bull terrier
Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

Owners of restricted dog breeds reveal what life is like as the owner of pit bulls, rottweilers, German shepherds and more in a new RTE documentary.

Pit Bull, a new Reality Bites documentary aims to shed some light on restricted breeds, their owners, and asks whether or not these dogs are dangerous and should be banned.

"I can remember when I first got pregnant people were saying to me, 'Oh, you'll have to get rid of that dog. You'll have to get rid of her.  She'll attack the baby.'" reveals Laura who owns a Staffordshire bull terrier called Ruby with her partner Jason and sons Riley and Logan.

"But I knew she wouldn't.  So we brought Riley home and she was introduced to him slowly.  She was never left alone with him or anything like that but there wasn't a bother on her."

However, Ruby was almost put down after she escaped one day and was involved in two incidents, one involving a man walking a dog, and another involving a little girl who was also walking a dog.

"It was just a chasing game," says Laura, "Ruby didn't injure this dog."  Although the incidents were describes as attacks, Laura disagrees, "I don't think it was an attack.  There were no injured parties.  There was nothing wrong."

Dogs on the restricted list but be kept on a strong lead by a person over 16 who can control them, they must wear a muzzle in public places, and they must at all times wear a collar with the name and address of their owners.

Frankie has been an ISPCC warden in Clare for the past 25 years.  He reveals that any dog can be dangerous, not just ones on the restricted list.

"A dangerous dog can be any breed, any dog," he says.  "The most dangerous dogs I have seen have been classed as pets, labradors.  I've seen some terrible attacks on people and livestock.

"I had to go to Ennis for a black Labrador and it attacked its own owner," he says.  "I have never ever seen a more dangerous dog in my life in the 25 years I've been involved in this job.

"This black Labrador would have killed me if he could have and would have killed a member of the public if he had escaped."

The documentary also covers issues like illegal dog baiting and fighting and visits K9 Security training as they train Alsations and Rottweilers to act as family guard dogs.  A child who has been attacked by a dog is also interviewed about his terrifying experience.

Pit Bull: Reality Bites airs tonight (Thursday) on RTÉ2 at 9.30pm.

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