The news about the tragic death of 4-year-old Lexi Branson has rocked Britain and left dog owners questioning whether their dogs are safe. Lexi was killed on 5th November by her pet dog, a French bulldog, whilst she slept. Although cases like this are very rare, it does make us question whether our dogs are safe to be around small children.
Although the pet dog, a bulldog called Moulin, was described as “safe…but I wouldn’t let it jump up”, it still managed to turn from a rather soft natured animal into a beast that mauled a small child. Although the dog owner isn’t entirely responsible, the mother probably shouldn’t have left a rescue dog, which they’d only had for two months, with a small sleeping child.
Reports from the police and dog expert Ryan O’Meara suggested that the dog may have turned aggressive after being spooked by fireworks. As Lexi was killed on 5th November, there were likely to be fireworks going off at the time and on previous nights which may have distressed the animal. Other theories suggest that the dog was abused by previous owners, and became frightened and angry from certain cues.
The majority of aggressive or ill tempered dogs are rescue dogs, and become bad natured due to abuse and neglect from previous owners. Sometimes these dogs associate loud noises with a following punishment or violence, and therefore become aggressive in order to defend themselves. If you have a rehomed dog or are considering getting a dog from a kennels, ensure the dog is a safe breed and ask for expert advice about whether the dog is safe when around children.
Just like people, dogs are happiest when they are well looked after. It is important that your dog has everything they need such as food, a comfortable bed and plenty of exercise to keep it happy. It is also extremely important that when you get a new dog, your dog receives obedience training so that it is taught desirable behaviours and can learn what’s right and what’s wrong.
To ensure your pup behaves in a desired manner we offer both beginner and intermediate training classes, and we can also offer one-to-one behavioural classes if you feel your dog needs some extra attention. We also offer dog walking in Croyden and Surrey. It is important to take your dog out and about so it stays healthy and doesn’t get bored. A bored dog can be an angry dog. If you work long hours or don’t have time to take your dog out regularly then we will happily take care of that for you.
Remember that a well cared for and properly trained dog is also a happy dog. If you teach him (or her) the basic rules of obedience, and you also give them love and affection, then they are likely to be a placid and pleasant pet.