Discovering that their beloved pet could pose a danger to their family is a nightmare for most dog owners. However, recent evidence shows that dangerous dogs are increasingly being used as tools for criminal activities. In fact, some men view pit bull terriers as status symbols that can reinforce their macho image, and they train these dogs to take part in illegal fights. In contrast, celebrity dog owners like Geri Halliwell and Paris Hilton flaunt their miniature puppies in public.
A lesson on responsible pet ownership and the Dangerous Dogs Act provides an opportunity for students to ponder on the relationship between humans and their dogs. It also allows them to examine the nature-nurture debate from a new perspective.
An amnesty is suggested to reduce the threat posed by dangerous dogs following the death of five-year-old Ellie Lawrenson earlier this month and last week’s arrest of men suspected of keeping pit bulls for fighting on Merseyside. Discussing these circumstances can help students understand why dangerous dogs receive much media attention. Then ask students to give their opinion whether an amnesty is the proper response to the Lawrenson attack.
It is believed that some pit bulls receive fitness and fight training before being sold to owners who plan to use them for criminal purposes. This leads to a debate on whether dogs could ever be considered as criminal weapons. Additionally, students can read about how pit bulls became fashionable pets and investigate what makes some dogs more dangerous than others from a biological perspective.
The 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act was created to reduce the risk posed by dogs to the general public. You can further explore this law and its impact on pit bull owners. The law highlights four breeds of dogs, including the American pit bull terrier, as "dangerous". Because of this, the Kennel Club does not recognize the American pit bull as a breed.
Students can investigate the history of pit bulls, specifically the argument that these dogs were bred to be aggressive and dangerous. You can then compare these claims with the experiences of pit bull owners. Students can debate whether the dogs or their owners are responsible for their violent behavior. If a dog owner agrees to follow a code of conduct, such as the one mentioned, should pit bull ownership be decriminalized?
To help younger students understand the various breeds of dogs, you can visit the Kennel Club website and compare the variations in appearance and temperament between different dog breeds.
Your assignment is to have students create a set of questions tailored to young individuals contemplating purchasing a new pet. Encourage them to seek inspiration from reputable sources such as www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?articleid=843. Ensure that the language used is unique and in natural English.