This was a brief headline written in the Herald on 5thApril 2013
African Wild Dogs – Kruger National Park – South Africa (Sabi Sabi Game Reserve) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
No doubt you have all read or heard about the tragic death of Chloe Mathewson who was mauled to death by her friend’s two Rottweillers.
Mr Andrew Wai Poi was deeply saddened by her death, it said.
The police are still deciding whether to charge Mr Wai Poi.
I say they should, I believe he is responsible for what his dogs did.
This tragedy may never have occurred had Mr Wai Poi met his dogs’ basic needs which are exercise, discipline then affection. Dogs also need clear rules, boundaries and limitations, this is what makes dogs trust and respect their owners and makes them feel safe.
Having a property that is big enough for dogs to run around in is not meeting your dog’s needs, if that is all they do all day. These dogs had been in trouble before attacking a neighbour’s steer, these dogs had reverted to animal, this is what happens when there is no clear leadership.
Dogs are predatory animals
In their natural environment they would, as a pack, go hunting in the morning and if they were lucky enough to kill some prey then they eat and spend the afternoon sleeping and socialising with each other. This is the natural order of things.
To have healthy happy dogs we need to consider this. At the very least we need to walk our dogs and not just down to the park and let to run free, this is not exercise this is play, they haven’t earned playtime yet.
Walking your dog on a lead is one of the best ways to exercise your dog. On the lead the dog gets to know who you really are whether he can trust and respect you or not. This is where you can create a wonderful bond between you and your dog. He feels who you are through the lead. Walking to heel and having to sit, fetch, etc whatever you might want to ask of him, is giving his brain stimulation, and when he does get to have a run off lead he knows he has earned it. Much the same, as feeding your dog after he has been walked, on a level the walk replicates the hunt. This way you are working closely with dogs natural order.
We have domesticated dogs but we have not bred out of them the basic essence of who they are. ANIMAL. Dogs will willingly give up their animal side if they have a Pack Leader they trust and respect.
Why this tragedy happened
When we domesticated dogs they came along willingly and as long as we humans meet their needs they will be happy to stay in that state of dog,( man’s best friend. ) When their needs are not met they revert to animal and this sad ending for Chloe is the result of Mr Wai Poi’s lack of leadership.
Rottweillers are powerful dogs and require strong leadership in order for their owner to be trusted and respected by the dogs. Only humans follow unstable leaders, dogs will not and this terrible tragedy clearly tells its own story. There was no Pack Leader present for these dogs. Once again the dogs have paid the ultimate price for Mr Wai Poi’s lack of knowledge of dog language and dog psychology. Chloe has also paid a huge price for ignorance about dogs.
This terrible tragedy could have been avoided. Mr Wai Poi knew ages ago when his dogs were found out of control attacking a neighbour’s steer that he had a problem on his hands. He had every opportunity to ask the question
“why would my dogs behave this way?”
There are enough sites on the net that talk about dogs and what their needs are for him to have made the effort to find out, if he genuinely cared about his dogs’ well being .
At the very least he should be held accountable for being a negligent dog owner.
What are your thoughts?