Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I’ve just climbed out of the pit after another mind numbing night shift and started to play catch up on blogs that I follow. The first posting that I open up is from Doug over at his excellent Harris’ Hawk blog. Normal I don’t like to get up upon my soap box and I try to keep my comments light and friendly but Doug’s post has stirred me up a little. I was going to leave a comment, but it became a tad long winded so I’ve put my thoughts into this posting instead. Read Doug’s piece here first and then my somewhat disjointed mutterings may make some sense (or not as is usually the case).

As most people who put up with my somewhat chaotic ramblings know my closest outdoor companion is a cross breed, or mongrel if you wish, dog who goes by the name of Lucy (or several expletives depending upon what mess she’s found herself in!). Although I’ve lived with or around dogs, working and pets, all my life I certainly do not profess to be an expert in any shape or form. What I can say is that Lucy is perhaps the most loyal, intelligent, gentle dog that I’ve ever had the pleasure to encounter. And her lineage? Well her sire was a roguish Labrador and her dam an escape artist of a Boxer. Funny that really, if you care to glance at old English bear or bull baiting prints the dogs used bears an uncanny resemblance to the Boxer and not to the Bulldogs of today. There is no way on God’s earth that she could be classed as a dangerous dog but her posture and set sometimes cause’s hesitation on the trails by some people who have not met her before.

For Flemming Moller, from the governing Danish Liberal Party, to call for the widespread cull of all mongrels is something that I would never thought I’d hear from a supposedly educated and intelligent human being. Does this person (I’m really watching my language at this point!) have any conception of what it is he is campaigning for? Does he not realise that without cross breeding none, and I mean none, of today’s ‘true blood’ breeds would exist and that we’d be taking our pet wolf or dingo out for a stroll to the park? What on earth does he think that lurchers are? For Christ’s sake it not until recently that the labradoodle was recognized as a breed and it was only last centaury when the Jack Russell terrier (or should that be terror?) became known as a recognized breed. And for the Danish PM, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, to say that he was not prepared to live in a country where "you cannot go walking with your child or your poodle without risking an attack", shows, in my opinion, his lack of understanding. The Poodle was originally bred as a hunting dog and as such should this now be classed as a dangerous breed? I’m sure that the PM had the small, ribbon clad ‘parlor’ poodle, in mind when making his comments although I’ve found that these, as with some other smaller breeds, may be a little snappy at times, another one for the dangerous breed list?

I cannot deny that there tragic cases when dogs attack humans but to tar all mongrels with this brush is uneducated and narrow minded in the extreme. The fear of ‘muscle dogs’ is seemingly enflamed by media based sensationalized stories and not on common sense. If every pure breed dog that had bit a person was too classed as a dangerous breed then there would not be any other list required, all dogs can bite! To be honest I think that all dogs have the potential to bite, tear or rend flesh even Lucy; they are all after all just different sizes of Wolves.

It is not dogs that are the problem but humans, there are so many sad and disturbed individuals out there that consider ‘muscle’ dogs as a badge, status symbol, something that shows how ‘hard I am’. This is where, in my own opinion that the problem lies; with some humans that have not the understanding, wit or mental make up to own a dog. It’s just a thought but perhaps they’re looking at culling the wrong thing maybe they should be looking at culling people who see dogs as a weapon or social status (‘just look at the fangs on my dog Tyson, he’s gonna tear you up’) and politicians (‘just look at how greedy I am), well perhaps ban them from owning dogs and from speaking!

These words are of course only my opinion and I’m sure that everyone has their own thoughts on the subject. Excuse me if my rambling today is slightly off on a tangent, normal service shall be resumed henceforth. Oh and a big thank you to Doug and his excellent blog for bringing this to my attention.

Your friend,



Doug said...

My dog as well is a cross - terrier (cairn?) with something else - Jack Russell maybe, chihuahua.. I don't know. Best dog ever though.

My first dog was a pit bull cross - another great dog, that liked to fly the coop at times - but a great dog nonetheless. I agree with your sentiments here. Keep it up.

Murphyfish said...

Hi Doug,
First dog was a Jack Russel, used to say that he was all 'teeth n dick', spirited little bugger though, best rabbit flusher n general trouble maker that I've ever had.
Hope that you didn't mind me posting my comment here instead of adding to your page, thanks for dropping by.

Leigh said...

I thoroughly enjoyed todays post, as always!

I wrote out a really long comment so this is my second attempt to keeping this short. I have very strong opinions on this as well. ;)

I worked at a shelter and have done transports for rescues... with that said I have has some exposure to some really nice muscle dogs and some really nasty ones. The dangerous ones certainly have a sad story to tell, whether it was bad breeding, bred with wrong intentions, or lack of exposure to certain scenerios.

I believe that if the government is going to intervene, why not do it responsibly? The people who want to own these breeds should have a back ground check, should have to obtain a permit and a training course to equipt them with the tools to teach basic obedience, techniques on training and exposing these dogs early on.
This would create revenue, keep people safe, and allow the breed to continue to exist. Sounds like win win to me.... (if only I ruled the world, aye!? haha)

Muscle dogs as a "whole" have earned this reputation for a reason... but responsible/educated pet owners is the key for the survival of these breeds.

Unfortunately when an animal ends up in the wrong hands (citing that animal as dangerous)... there is little choice as to what the out come should be for that individual animal.... but only for the individual... not as the group a whole. The mass extinction of any animal is heinous.

Little Messy Missy said...

Very well put! I was not a dog person until two years ago when I had exhausted all other means of keeping my chickens alive. We have some very hungry raccoons and after they finished off my ducks they moved onto my hens. The took the flock 2 times and after high fences, bait traps and predator scents we finally gave in and got a dog. No raccoons and he alerts me if any other animal us on my property. He is 5 year old golden retriever and he is as big as me. He makes a great running partner and puts the chickens to bed for me. I love his big button eyes! As to the person who wrote that terrible post maybe a dog in the neighborhood will catch his scent of fear and loathing and will make a huge poop on his lawn this morning. One can dream can't they!

Ian Nance said...

Lotta people here hating on pit bulls. Some have talked bans. Always big news when someone gets bit.

Bob Mc said...

Utterly ridiculous, but not unexpected considering some of the outrageous ideas that have been proposed on this side of the pond. The dogs I have at this time are pure bred, which doesn’t necessarily mean they are papered. I’ve had dogs most of my life, certainly all my adult life, and few of them have been purebred. I ran hounds for close to 40 years, and although they were all hound breeding only 2 of them were pure bred. The best of the best were crosses of different strains of hounds. In addition there have been some interesting crosses of terrier breeds, or just plain mutts. The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the largest registry of pure bred dogs in this country, and they would fall right in line with your Mr. Moller. It would suit them just fine if all cross bred dogs were eliminated. Of course as a breed registry that would mean more money in their bank account. Incidentally, and IMO, no organization has done more harm to the breeding of dogs that actually hunt than the AKC.

R. Gabe Davis said...

I think the Government should stay out of it. Freedom has a price and it is responsibility. If your dog attacks someone, you are responsible. If you are confronted with a dangerous dog kill it to protect yourself. Don't kill someone's dog just in case it might get mean later. If we let the government use this logic they should take away the most dangerous posession we have.....the car. Your pal the Envirocapitalist.

Dog Hair in my Coffee said...

My philosophy, however unscientific it may be, is that almost any dog could be a nice dog if it is raised with love and kindness, and almost any dog could be mean and vicious if that is what it has known. There is a purebred Border Collie across the street from me that should be put down, because it bites people constantly. I feel so so sorry for it, because it simply ISN"T the dog's fault. When you scream at a dog, and hit it, and kick it, it is likely to respond in kind. On the other hand, I have a dog who is a German Shepherdsomethingorother, who, after being rescued and treated with nothing BUT love, now does not know how to respond to anyone but WITH love.
To propose a ban on certain types of dogs is just idiotic. Unfortunately, there is no curing idiocy in the people who think that way, nor in the people who raise the "bad" breeds of dogs to BE bad.
Funny, but as a teacher, I see a lot of similarities in how some people raise their children. The children are AWFUL - but 9 times out of 10, all you have to do is look to how they have been raised...
Sorry for the rant, in response to your rant. I feel strongly on this subject also. I guess you could tell!

Shoreman said...

I've had a lot of dogs in my 60+ years, mongrels and pure breed alike. They've all been good dogs, but I've always treated them well. As Ian said, we in the US have the Pit Bull problem, but if you look behind the scenes, the problem with the dog is not the dog, but the owner. I think each individual case should be addressed not the breed itself and maybe, just maybe, we need to shoot a couple of owners?


Anonymous said...

The dude that wants to cull mongrels is a QUACK. There is proof out there of purebred breeds starting to develop numerous health issues, and this is attributed to NO NEW BLOOD. I've also noticed the attitude and behavior of mixed breed dogs to be more to my liking, I guess they seem more down to earth.

Are other folks raising hell over what this guy wants to do? Seems whack.

Wolfy said...

GREAT rant, John. Your passion is obvious , heartfelt, and spot-on.

I have a lot more faith in dogs to do the right thing than I do in people to do the right thing.

There is no known cure for stupid.

Murphyfish said...

Hi Folks,
Tremendous response from you all, I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one who feels strongly about this apparent lunacy that’s occurring over in Denmark. I think that ‘dog hair in my coffee’ hits the nail squarely upon it’s head with her comments, it does seem to come down how dogs, and children for that matter, are brought up and with what values along the way. I apologise for not answering you all individually but I’m suffering the effects of ‘man flu’ at the moment so this is just a fleeting visit to the keyboard (trying to avoid sneezing on my monitor!). Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, as always it’s deeply appreciated, now then back to that hot toddy me thinks…..

Anonymous said...

Evening,John. Just wanted to add my sentiments to all those offered by the other commenters here. They each have said it well. There really is nothing left to add that would enlighten anyone. The problem is with "Human" behavior. Sad situation, indeed!

James A. Zachary Jr. said...

Well said, John.

Diane-Sage said...

First let me thank you for visiting my blog and your comment. Being a "breed" my Father's people, their blood truly flows over this land of ours. I carry that love of the land from The People and I truly ache for the harm we do to her. My beloved Irish Mother also cared and thru both of their heritages I have been blessed with an open heart, and a earthly soul.
NOW as for your blog...I am loving it and glad to have found you. I agree with your post today...guess there are some who want only "pure" breed of dogs...and people. History proves that.

Murphyfish said...

Hello Diane-Sage,

It does seem that certain people do have a blinkered view of what should or shouldn't exist on this planet conforming to their own naive views.

Visiting you blog was certainly no chore, and thank you for your kind words.