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Common sense tells us a ban on specific dog breeds is foolish

This morning as I stood outside waiting for my yellow lab and my Rottweiler to finish their morning sabbatical, I saw my neighbor across the alley also come out with her two dogs. One was a young Siberian husky, and both of her dogs charged over ...

This morning as I stood outside waiting for my yellow lab and my Rottweiler to finish their morning sabbatical, I saw my neighbor across the alley also come out with her two dogs. One was a young Siberian husky, and both of her dogs charged over into my yard and her husky proceeded to bite my lab and then tried to pick a fight with my Rottweiler. The husky's owner caught up with him, in my yard, and pulled her dog back over to her yard. The whole time my Rottweiler didn't even so much as bark or snap back.

What's wrong with this picture? Oh yes, the Rottweiler was supposed to act bloodthirsty and vicious. Oh yes, public perception demands she be the villain. Tell me, who was truly wrong here?

I don't blame the husky one bit. He was in control of himself, not his owner. Though, he clearly had a death wish trying to pick a fight with a full- grown Rottweiler. But my Rottweiler was under my total control even though I was 50 feet away in my unfenced yard.

I take her for walks all the time out in public with no issues. I walk by a school full of running and screaming kids and she doesn't bat an eye. She enjoys pulling my 3-year-old daughter around in a sled. She's a beloved family member that we include in many activities. It is not the breed that's causing problems.

Time to point the finger where it belongs: on people who do not take full responsibility for their dogs. Just giving food and water and cleaning up after them is not enough. Socialization and training plus making them a part of your family instead of an ignored lawn ornament should be the standard.

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People who want legislation claim they are saving lives. I say no. Irresponsible people will just turn to another large breed. I can name two black labs in my town that aren't showing their teeth at me when I walk by because they are smiling. And further, many mixed breeds are involved in bites and attacks. So how does breed legislation work when a dog is a mutt?

Banning the breed will cause responsible people to lose beloved pets. Those who are irresponsible didn't care about their dogs anyway and will just move to a different breed or crossbreed to chain up on their front lawn.

We haven't banned cars because drunk driving killed more than 10,000 last year. But you want to ban a handful of dog breeds because they killed how many last year? How about horses? Have you checked that?

Keys lives in Carrington, N.D.

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