Owners of dangerous dog breeds make a variety of rationalizations regarding their dogs. Until their dog bites or acts aggressively toward someone, they insist that their dogs are unfairly stigmatized and that their upbringing will make them well behaved. After there is an incident, they blame the dog’s breeding, blame the victim, or otherwise deflect the blame from themselves. These tactics, combined with an irrational desire to own a dangerous animal, make many people wonder if perhaps there is something different about the owners of dangerous dogs.
The Lion Tamer Complex
Many owners of dangerous dogs acknowledge that their dogs are physiologically more capable of violence, but feel they can raise the dogs in such a way that they are well behaved and safe. This is known as the lion tamer complex. Unfortunately, as with people who keep large wild cats, this complex is only proven false when someone is harmed.
Even when the dogs prove to be dangerous, owners will insist they can be taught otherwise. In 2010, four pit bulls mauled a teenager in Placer County. The owner insisted that they be evaluated to see if they could be rehabilitated, and they attacked the pit bull expert who examined them. The owner continued to fight for the dogs’ lives in court. This behavior is common to the owners of dangerous breeds, making them perhaps more dangerous than the deadly dogs they own.
The Dog of Criminals?
Many wonder if the owners of dangerous dogs are also dangerous themselves. A 2006 study in Ohio published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence studied exactly who owns dangerous breeds of dog. The study found, not surprisingly, that criminals tend to prefer dangerous breeds. In fact, people who own dangerous dogs are many times more likely to have committed a violent crime and nine times more likely to have committed a crime against children.
Blaming the Victim
One of the most dangerous qualities of dangerous dog owners is that they tend to blame the victim when their dog harms someone. They will fight to keep their dog unrestrained even after it has been proven to be dangerous. For example, Wendy Blevins was blamed when a pit bull attacked her child in an unprovoked attack. The owner blamed Wendy for immediately pulling the dog off her small daughter. Pit bull advocates said that the owner should not be responsible for the medical costs because Wendy should have had better medical insurance. The blame was placed everywhere but on the dog that attacked an innocent child and the owner who failed to control it. These types of owners are dangerous because they want a proven vicious animal to be allowed freedom.
An owner of a dangerous breed has knowingly brought a violent animal into their home and into their neighborhood. They should not be allowed to escape responsibility when their poor decisions lead to harm. If you have been bitten or otherwise harmed by a dangerous dog, call me today or fill out the online contact form.