Puppies could be more dangerous post-lockdown, the Kennel Club has warned, after a spate of attacks on children by non-dangerous dog breeds.
Three-month-old Kyra Leanne King died after being attacked by a Husky dog in Lincolnshire on March 6. Bella-Rae Birch, 17 months old, was killed by an American dog Bully XL in Merseyside on March 21. A two-year-old boy was killed by a Rottweiler in Worcestershire on Monday.
None of these breeds are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
The Kennel Club has now warned that socialization is “essential” to ensure dogs do not develop dangerous behaviors.
He added that puppies bought during lockdown are at particular risk of becoming aggressive if they are not regularly introduced to other dogs.
“Prevention is by far the best cure”
A spokesperson said: “Prevention is by far the best cure and responsible breeding, proper socialization and environment are all essential. This is something that can affect any breed – as it is much more training and socialization than breed type.
“Disturbing research from the Kennel Club found that many new puppy owners had developed bad habits during lockdown, with 20% admitting they hadn’t socialized their puppy with other dogs, people or people. everyday situations outside the home This increases the chances of a dog acting aggressively because he feels frightened, threatened or provoked by an unfamiliar situation.
“We urge all dog owners to ensure their dog has had appropriate socialization, to maintain their dogs’ alertness and to recognize their dog’s body language to prevent a situation from escalating.”
Teaching children how to behave around dogs would help reduce the number of attacks, the Kennel Club said.
“Children need to know when and how to interact safely with dogs”
“Children need to know when and how to interact safely with dogs, recognize warning signs and know how to behave to prevent situations from escalating into an attack,” a spokesperson said.
Buying puppies from irresponsible breeders is also a major issue because it’s essential to see how they behave with their mothers in a home environment before making a decision, the Kennel Club said.
Following the death of Kyra Leanne King, a man and woman, aged 54 and 40, suspected of having custody of an out-of-control dog, have been released under investigation.
Bella-Rae Birch was attacked just a week after her family bought the dog American Bully XL. Hundreds of people attended a vigil in his memory.
Meanwhile, there were three Rottweilers in the house where the two-year-old boy died on Monday. They were all evacuated from the property by the police.