Midlands Voices: Three-point plan can help control pit bulls, prevent attacks - Omaha.com
Midlands Voices: Three-point plan can help control pit bulls, prevent attacks
The writer, of Omaha, is a professional dog trainer. He is the author of “The Simple Truth About Dog Training,” and has produced two DVDs on dog training and obedience.
A pit bull is an unpredictable, vicious animal that can attack unprovoked and without warning. A pit-bull owner needs to be prepared to disable his dog before it can cause injury, pain and suffering to innocent people.
Since reading of the horrendous attack on an Omaha woman, I have looked into the workings of a Taser. The conclusion I’ve drawn from information in a manufacturer’s publication is that a Taser that delivers a 5-second electric charge is the best way to stop an attacking pit bull. Quoting from the literature, “The result is an instant loss of the attacker’s neuromuscular control and any ability to perform coordinated action.”
An attacking pit bull is worse than an attacking human because its powerful jaws can exert 1,700 pounds per square inch of pressure when the animal locks down. Therefore, the power of a pit bull must be met with a greater force to subdue it and render it under control before it can harm anyone in close proximity to it. A Taser appears to be the force that’s needed.
It is time for the Omaha City Council and Mayor Jim Suttle to acknowledge that pit bulls are a danger to society and strengthen the existing city ordinance to require pit-bull owners to take more effective measures to control their vicious dogs.
I propose a three-point program that I believe will be workable, effective and, most importantly, prevent further pit bull attacks.
I’ve isolated three problems that are most likely present in pit-bull owners, especially in those whose dogs are aggressive and-or have already attacked something.
>> Lack of knowledge of formal obedience training.
>> Lack of knowledge of negative reinforcement and its proper use.
>> Failure to recognize or acknowledge the need for disabling force to prevent their pit bull from attacking anything.
Here are some solutions:
>> Make taking and passing a novice obedience class with their dog mandatory for all pit-bull owners. Start obedience training when animal is 8 weeks old.
>> Purchase and learn proper use of an electronic collar to administer negative reinforcement in training a pit bull.
>> Purchase a Taser to have on their person whenever they have their pit bull out of a fenced-in yard, in order to disable the dog if it should attempt to attack anything.
To those who might think these solutions are harsh, go hold the little girl who almost had her head chewed off by a pit bull three years ago and then try to defend a position that doesn’t work.
On the bright side, education is a wonderful commodity. In my years as a professional dog trainer, I have found that the No. 1 cause of uncontrolled dogs is directly related to ignorance on the part of dog owners who have no clue what kind of animal a dog is and what their role in managing their dog is.
A dog is a pack animal and follows only one leader. If the owner does not fulfill his responsibility as leader, the dog will take charge and become unruly and uncontrollable. In the case of a pit bull, it may become a menace to society.
Mandatory obedience training is the first step to teach people what comes with the territory in ownership of a vicious dog. They also need to begin training a vicious dog at eight weeks. The earlier that training is started, the better chance of bringing a vicious dog under control.
I am providing Mayor Suttle and the City Council with a copy of this piece and a five-minute DVD that explains and demonstrates negative reinforcement. Hopefully, this will open the door to further discussions of my three-point program to better control Omaha’s pit bull population.
It also would be my pleasure to provide live demonstrations for the mayor and the council if they would like to see a finished product that was started at 8 weeks old.
Is there any letter writing that can be done to the paper from RESPONSIBLE pit bull owners? While I agree obedience training and everything is great but I do not think negative reinforcement is a good idea at all... What are your thoughts?