|Responsible Dog Ownership|
Please read through below and ask yourself if you measure up to the standards of responsible dog ownership.
First and Foremost - NEVER leave your dog unattended, tied up anywhere.
click above to see a video clip.
A dog must wear a collar and ID tag when it is in a public place outwith your property, even if it has been microchipped (Control of Dogs Order, 1992). The tag should have the contact details of the owner. This is the law. Dogs can escape, get lost, or be stolen and can lose their tag or have it removed, but if you do lose your dog somehow, it is beneficial all round if the tag is in place, so that any finder can return your dog by a simple phone call to you, so it is recommended that the tag remains on your dog at all times. If you already have an ID tag on your dog, make sure that the details are up to date and it is easy to read. If not, GET A NEW ONE.
Microchipping is essential as a permanent means of identification for all dogs, although it is NOT proof of ownership. Please do it! Every time you attend the vet, with your dog, for any purpose ,ask him to check your dog's chip to see if it is still in place because sometimes chips can move/migrate. If your dog's chip has moved, please inform the microchip company about where it is now located on your dog. Microchips have been known to have moved to the legs and other places on the dog's body. You can also have your dog chipped again. Dog thieves are everywhere nowadays, therefore dogs can be stolen and taken to any part of the UK. The dog may be dumped or it may escape and the Dog Warden MAY pick it up, take it to rescue kennels or it may be now in a new home, but if the vet is involved at any time, the chip will be read, hopefully. Your dog can then be traced to you, no matter where they or you are, and hopefully, very soon, you will be re-united with your pet.
However - if any dispute arises over ownership of your dog at any time, perhaps if it has been stolen or re-homed without your knowledge or permission, it is a good idea to have a back up, for proof of ownership, such as vet records, proof of who and where you bought the dog from, or any other proof you can obtain, that the dog is yours, and if really necessary, DNA tests can be done from your dogs parents or siblings, if you know who they are. These will all stand you in good stead if a civil court case takes place to prove who owns the dog. Sometimes however, depending on the judge's decision, the dog may still be left with the present owner, if it is in the dog's best interests and is settled and happy in it's new home, however long it has been there. Therefore it is always up to you to be vigilant, take care to make sure your dog does is safe, and does not get into a situation where this can happen.
The Law, You and Your Dog
The Animal Welfare Act 2006 has a duty of care for dog owners or anyone who is in charge of an animal.
These are just SOME examples of an animal's many needs that a court will take into consideration if an offence has been committed.
Under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991, it is a criminal offence for a dog to be "dangerously out of control" in a public place, or in a private area where it is not permitted to be. This applies to ALL dogs, of ALL breeds. A dog is regarded as being dangerously out of control if there is reasonable cause to believe it could injure someone (whether or not it actually does so). If it does cause injury to a person, the offence is more serious. Injuries do not only mean bites from a dog. A boisterous dog jump up and cause injury to someone by knocking them over. Even a bruise or scratch can come under this category.
Under the Animals Act of 1971, you could be held liable to pay compensation for any damage caused by your dog. The person who is in possession/control of the dog at the time of the incident is the person who has to accept liability.
Under the Clean Neighbourhoods Act of 2005 your local authority can/has introduced Dog Control Orders that relate to dog fouling, being kept on a lead in certain areas, the number of dogs a person can take onto certain land and so on. Ensure you check the law and, please clean up after your dog when it fouls. The details can be found on the link below.
Dangerous Dog Act
Under the Dogs Act, a complaint can be made to a magistrate that a dog is dangerous and not under proper control. If it appears to the court that the dog IS dangerous, it can issue an order to the owner to keep it under control or it can order the destruction of the dog. This law applies to the behaviour of a dog on private and public land.
The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 - here - makes it a criminal offence for a dog to be at large – ie not in control or not on a lead – in a field or enclosure that contains sheep. Worrying livestock also includes attacking or chasing livestock in a manner likely to cause injury or suffering. Livestock includes cattle, sheep, goats, swine, horses and poultry such as domestic fouls, chickens, geese or ducks. Injury does not have to be caused in order for an offence to have occurred.
Councils have numerous legal powers that enable them to take enforcement action against owners whose dogs cause a nuisance, such as excessive barking. It is worth remembering that it is just as important to clear your garden of dog mess as it is to scoop the poop when you are out in public. Dog mess left to build up in a garden can cause a nuisance to neighours and Environmental Health can (and will) take action.
Always keep your dog safe and secure. Ensure it cannot escape from the garden and do not allow it to roam the streets unsupervised. Never leave children and dogs together unsupervised at any time and also when you are out walking your dog.
Hot Dogs and Safety
Never leave a dog in a car on a hot day, even when you think that it is not really that hot outside. A car heats up like an oven extremely quickly in warm weather, even with the windows open. Leaving dogs in cars can, and does kill them. A dog can die in minutes, and will suffer in agony, before dying a horrifying death where their organs fail before they finally do die. You would not want that to happen to your pet so NEVER leave your pet in the car, or tied up anywhere in the heat. Apart from that, a dog in a car, is an easy target for any thief. Many dogs are stolen from parked cars.
Please print off helpful posters to distribute from the Notice Board here.
Begin grooming your dog when it is a puppy so it is like fun, and not a stressful incident for you both. Check paws, claws and pads, teeth and gums, eyes and ears. Your dog will not mind any of this process, if it is started when he/she is young. Check with your vet if you are concerned about anything, no matter how minor. A phone call will put your mind at rest.
Feeding and Care
Always feed your dog at regular times, as dogs, like all animals, thrive on routine. Always feed good quality food and ensure the nutritional values are in tune with your dog's age group. Make sure your pet has a bed and a wee corner to call his own where he/she can go and have peace and quiet if he/she feels like it.
Having your dog vaccinated will help protect your dog from some of the dangerous diseases that dogs can pick up. Puppies, young and old dogs are the most vulnerable. Your vet can advise on this. There are differing opinions on whether you should have vaccinations for your pet EVERY year or not, so please research this before you do so.
Remember to regularly worm your dog. Check for fleas if you see him/her scratching. Ticks are also a nuisance which are picked up by your dog mostly if you live in the country or have been exercising your dog there. They look like a little pink/purple soft lump on your dog's skin and need very careful removal, so as not to leave any of the tick in the dog's body. If you are unsure, please contact the vet.
Neutering your dog can have health and behavioural benefits, and is a simple procedure. Firstly a thief may not be so interested in a dog that is neutered, as it is no use to him for breeding and making money from. Secondly, neutering is a way of keeping down the huge number of dogs who are being abandoned. Re-homing and rescue centres are inundated and are barely coping with the huge amount of dogs who are taken there to be cared for, while either waiting to be re-united with their owner or re-homed. Many healthy dogs being are put to sleep, simply because there is no room for them anywhere. Unfortunately, it is mostly the older dogs and bull breeds and this happens to, because there are so many dumped by irresponsible owners. Bull breeds have a really hard time proving themselves to be the loving, generous dog that they truly are, and by NOT breeding from your lovely staffy or any other bull breed, you will be giving other dogs a chance to live. If you want to breed for any other reason than to have a puppy from your own lovely dog, to keep forever, PLEASE DO NOT DO IT. Sometimes, someone who you think is going to be a good owner for your puppies, turns out to be the opposite, or their personal situation may change and they cannot keep a dog. The dog may then be dumped or end up in care like many others, and may be put to sleep if there is no home for him.
Insure your dog as this can be very beneficial when you encounter vet bills or your dog goes missing. Many insurance companies will pay for advertising to help find your pet.
Training and Behaviour
Dog training and behaviour classes are beneficial and satisfying for you and your dog, so look for local training classes or trainers and always attend a class or trainer who has been recommended to you. It will be wonderful to have a well mannered and well trained obedient dog, who will be a pleasure to own.