Friday, February 3, 2012

Controversy surrounds Doberman biting man in Royal Oak

Heidi, the dog at the center of the controversy
Interesting story today out of Royal Oak, where the owner of a Doberman has alleged that the city is "requiring (the dog's) destruction or removal from our family" after the dog bit a man.
According to the family's website, the man's nose was broken after he leaned down to pet the dog at the same time she popped up to greet him.
The man alleges his nose was bitten and broken in the process — the city attorney says photos clearly show puncture wounds on the man's nose and below his lip.
The city is also saying that the family's claim the dog will either be destroyed or removed from the city is inaccurate — that other solutions have been presented.
And oh yeah, the owner is also facing fines because her dogs are not licensed.
What do you think of all this?
As the owner of a less-than-perfect dog, I have to put the burden on the dog owner here. You have a dog breed with an often poor reputation to begin with, and I'm sure she is a great dog — my dog is a great dog — but a dog can be great without being perfect.
The burden falls to the dog owner to make sure his/her ownership and management of the dog is as perfect as can possibly be.
This dog may even be generally friendly, but even generally friendly dogs aren't bomb proof. And as the owner of the dog, you need to be the one know that. You need to know all those little situations where your dog might screw up and protect your dog from doing so.
Pay the fines, learn your lesson and see your dogs for exactly who they are — dogs. Less-than-perfect but still great dogs who need a super vigilant owner.
As for being unlicensed, that is purely irresponsible.
There's no excuse for having an unlicensed dog. Get it done or understand that if your dog does do something wrong and you wind up in a similar situation to this dog owner, the decision to not have your dog licensed is going to cast a shadow over your side of the story.

Last but not least, my favorite reader comment on this issue comes from Michael Rusing: "Owner should be fined but not put the dog down. As the owner of an easily excited large dog, I don't put myself in that situation."

Thank you, Michael, for knowing your dog and being a responsible dog owner.
(join the discussion on The Oakland Press Facebook page)

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