Everyone has their own view how dog owners and society should go about preventing dog attacks.
In Berlin, Germany, people are passionately discussing if citizens should be required to get a „dog license,” certifying that their dog is safe, well socialized, and under control at all times.
The idea is that in large metropolitan cities, dogs would be required to wear a muzzle and leash outside of the house, unless the person takes and passes a test that certifies his ability to control the dog.
We have all witnessed dog owners who should not be taking their dog out amongst other dogs and people unrestrained. Their dogs bark at other dogs and passersby, spreading aggressive behavior and bringing out primal pack behaviors in even the sweetest of pets. Occasionally, when fighting instincts are activated, that ends in an attack.
So far, it’s unclear what such a test would look like, or who would enforce the law. What kind of behaviors and tasks should be focused on to make certain that the dog and human are calm and „under control“ enough to socialize without leash/muzzle? These are all questions that will have to be addressed.
It can also be easily seen that, in most cases, the person is either creating or intensifying their dog’s aggressive behavior. Ever heard someone say that dogs and their owners often look alike? In addition to such common physical similarities, behaviors are often very similar as well. The purpose of most dogs is to make us feel good, so we pick dogs that complement us.
So shouldn’t both the owner and dog go under training? If this license does end up becoming a requirement for dog owners, there will be a need for „instructors“ or people of that sort to teach classes and to certify those that pass.
Having a dog is a big responsibility and not a decision to make on a whim.
Let’s see what the discussion in Germany leads to!