As it isn’t broadcast yet, we can only comment on the clip and write up, but there are many concerns.
CHANNEL 5 RESPONSE ADDED AT END 30TH JULY
NOW BROADCAST, COMMENTS AT END
SURVEY DONE DURING THE SHOW ABOUT WHY DOGS ARE DANGEROUS IS SOON AVAILABLE
There is no question that dogs have done terrible things and that the majority of fatalities and serious injuries involve bull breed dogs, a few others too. This needs context. Sadly bull breed and Rottweilers attract a certain type of young man in the main. These men deliberately create aggression in the dog and would do so with ANY dog. So perception is flawed. It appears bull breeds are causing a problem when it is the fact that most of these young men, often criminals, and some older men have aggressive dogs on purpose and these are usually bull breeds.
If you went to a Ford garage and looked at the cars waiting to be fixed, you might think Fords are the most unreliable car in the world as that is what most of them would be. This isn’t correct of course, but isn’t it the same? Isn’t it right to look at ALL the Ford cars and see how many break and how many, properly serviced, are fine?
The write up for this show quotes a young man in London with his “Pit Bull” :
“19-year-old Nick owns a red-nose pitbull terrier named Sergeant. After Nick was seriously injured in a stabbing last year, he acquired Sergeant for protection. “If anyone tries it with me, my dog is going before I do,” he says. “He’s the front-liner. He’s the pawn. He goes first, ’cos that’s what his job is, and he knows that.”
I won’t put his photo on as next we’ll be seeing his famous Pit Bull siring pups all over London.
Depressing? If this dog is indeed a Pit Bull type, it obviously hasn’t been to court to become exempt, and is now likely to be seized and with his attitude and description, the dog isn’t likely to survive. Any others in this show are at risk too.
A great many of the fatalities involving dogs feature dogs who are not trained, not spayed or castrated and have been bred from. I believe all this is relevant to behaviour. Many have a history of aggression, are well known locally for bad behaviour and nothing was done.
Why did Ch5 make this show? I have asked them that. I have also asked what professionals were consulted and whether they are aware that dogs in this show may next be seized and possibly put to sleep. No response yet.
What program should be made? How about a proper examination of the fatalities? The full background of the dogs, the people and the situations? Balanced against the huge majority of safe and trained bull breeds and Rotties and the many legally exempt Pit Bulls living happily in our society. To show that PEOPLE make bad dogs and until people take the blame, this dog aggression epidemic will not stop.
RESPONSE RECEIVED FROM CH5 ON 30TH JULY:
“Date: 29th July 2014
Thank you for your recent enquiry regarding Dangerous Dog Owners And Proud.
This is an observational documentary, part of Channel 5’s successful “and Proud” series. Like all of the other programmes in the series, it is entirely observational; there is no constructed reality or scenes stage-managed for the camera.
The purpose of the programme is to provide an insight into the way certain members of society live and why. In this case, the programme looks at those who own dogs which are dangerous pursuant to the Dangerous Dogs Act and other relevant legislation. It is a matter of public interest whether or not the law is working as Parliament intended. The programme is balanced and fairly represents the contributions of the various people involved.
The questions “What is the actual cause of dangerous dogs and why are they killing children?” are not part of the editorial remit of this programme. Additionally, an Environmental Protection Officer from Swindon appears in the programme, highlighting the plight of abandoned Staffordshire Bull Terriers and explaining that they are lovely dogs with a bad reputation which results in them often being put to sleep rather than being rehoused.
As is always the case, Channel 5 will co-operate with the authorities if any prosecutions eventuate. We are confident that none of the production staff have committed any crime in the making of the programme. The filming was entirely observational. The fate of the various animals that feature in the programme is the responsibility of their owners.
We trust this reassures you about the forthcoming broadcast and are grateful to you for taking the time to make us aware of your concerns. Your comments have been noted for the attention of all relevant personnel.
Thank you for your interest in Channel 5.
Here is the show link, we will comment further when it is aired.
Broadcast tonight, 4th August 2014
The narration was as annoying as the terrible owners. At times he sounded gleeful, commenting on the dogs taking whole trees down and shredding pillows as practice for doing it to people.
I felt angry and depressed that people like this own dogs. That their own personal image is more important than the dog. Whilst not new, it’s hard to watch dogs being loaded like weapons and handled by dangerous fools.
It did, to me, prove that people make dogs aggressive and surely shows the law blaming only the dogs is utterly pointless. These people lose a dog and get another as emotionally detached from that loss as if a pair of shoes wore out and they’d bought a new pair.
It’s easy to see why people live in fear of these youths and their dogs, who themselves fear that not having a hard dog means not accepted or respected. And if the police do seize any of these dogs, you can guarantee they’ll have another the same day.
A depressing look at not just dog ownership and ridiculous laws, but at a huge culture of deliberate creation of aggressive dogs and the risk to us all.
With kennels UK wide overflowing with bull breeds, unwanted because of reputation rather than deed, this show will only increase that prejudice. We need a “Bull Breed, Ordinary Owner and Proud” show.