As a certified dog trainer, who happens to own a "Red Zone" dog, I have done a lot of work with her. I also handle a lot of dogs, from training Working Dogs, to ones coming out of High Kill Shelters.

I am glad you posted the stats of people who died from bite related injuries. Too often, certain sites that pose as a dot org info sites, are too often fronts for suit happy lawyers.

We cannot get the actual stats for healthy companion animals killed by shelters, per annum. Millions of healthy dogs and cats are put to death, and yet, we keep breeding and buying, through less than reputable breeders.

Stats also show that 10,000 dogs are shot by the police, each year. This is now being addressed, as too often, these were domestic pets that were killed, simply because a SWAT/Martial State type of approach was the only training an officer had before bringing a warrant to a house.

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) has identified Pit Bull type dogs as the main issue. In fact, if you look at a decade long study, done by the National Canine Research Council, the breed of the dog has nothing to do with bites.

As a trainer and owner of a non-Pit, mixed breed and dangerous dog, I would absolutely concur that the behaviour of the person, be it the handler, or the (potential) victim; has absolutely something to do with it.

I am acutely aware how much better my dog is, when I am in tune with myself. I think that's why a lot of trainers look like stars in classes: They are emotionally separated from a client's dog, so more in balance, than the owner/handler is.

There are some dogs, however, that are beyond the help of us. They are very few and far between, just as people respecting the needs of a non "Lassie" dog.

Between nefarious breeders (I want to make clear that I am not Anti Breeders; but the sort I refer to are those who do so en masse and not the ones who have Sire and Dam on site, and usually charge over $1,000 to a fully vetted family, with full disclosure, etc), lack of spay/neuter education, people thinking puppies are a cute Christmas gift and not understanding the serious work, commitment and difficulty that it takes to raise a successful dog, PARTICULARLY when coming from a pet shop, or someone who has "papers"; combined with the time we spend on devices and not paying attention, immediate gratification, and one famous TV Trainer...well, the whole thing with our relationships with dogs is a hot mess!

I'm working with a client, who took in a Plott/Lab mix. He was mouthing/biting the crap out of her. (She shouldn't have a dog, but...). He responded well to my training, which is reward based, which includes positive rewards and negative punishments (removal of what a dog desires, such as yourself, a treat, etc.,). She bought a case of water spray guns. Noted how well he did when I was around....Didn't do the work.

A year later, she sent him to a "Boot Camp". I came over. She was ignoring this trainer, also. He is not improving. He is dangerous and will become more so. I have to consider how to get him out of there, or how to motivate her to do the work, every, bloody, day, even, if, you, are, tired. Or he will end up in a kill shelter and be murdered.

Not by them, per se. By her lack of fully understanding what it takes to raise a dog. Sometimes we are blessed by easy and biddable dogs. Often, they are as dangerous and screwed up as humans are. Thank you for writing about those on "The Other End of The Leash".

I did cite my sources for numbers, but they are not allowed. So, anyone reading this will have to trust that I did not make them up.

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