Crackdown on rogue breeders who produce vicious dogs will save children’s lives, says leading expert Stan Rawlinson
8 Nov 2013 00:01 By Mark Runnacles
STAN RAWLINSON, who is one of the UK’s top authorities on dog behaviour, believes breeders bear two-thirds of all responsibility for how any animal turns out
ROGUE breeders who produce vicious dogs for (1) neds are the root cause of Scotland’s dog attack epidemic, a leading expert said yesterday.
And Stan Rawlinson believes cracking down hard on the callous puppy farmers is the best thing society can do to keep children safe.
Stan, one of the UK’s top authorities on dog behaviour, believes breeders bear two-thirds of all responsibility for how any animal turns out.
He said: “Breeders have the biggest impact on the outcome of dogs.
“The end result of the dog probably depends 65 per cent on the breeders’ actions and about 35 per cent on the owners’.
“If you breed two aggressive dogs, you get an aggressive dog. It’s as simple as that.
“And unfortunately, there is an underclass of people in this country who think it is brave and hard to own a dog that looks and acts aggressive.
“In Sweden, they really came down hard on the breeders. They now have to have very specialised licences to breed and sell dogs.
“Because of that, dog attacks on people in Sweden have come down to almost nothing. And the system has made dogs much more expensive, so people can’t afford them as readily.
“If we came down hard on the breeders, I think we’d have a massive difference in the types of dogs we see.”
UK breeders already need licences. In Scotland, the system covers anyone who wants to sell five or more litters of puppies per year.
Unlicensed breeders or those who breach licence conditions can be fined up to £2500, but Stan insists the system needs to be much tougher.
He said: “The behavioural problems coming out of licensed puppy farms in places like Wales and Ireland are disgraceful.”
Stan has been training dogs for 40 years and has worked with thousands of aggressive animals. He also regularly appears as an expert witness in cases brought under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
He is sceptical about calls for the return of dog licensing, believing the system would be difficult to oversee and police.
And he insists: “It is easier to police the breeders – there are fewer of them than owners.”
Stan also opposes calls for certain breeds of dog to be banned – and cites the Staffordshire bull terrier as an example.
He said: “Staffies are so good with people that they’re known as the ‘nanny dog’. I’d bet money that the ‘Staffies’ accused of attacks are cross-breeds.
From Stan: (1) For your informatiom Neds or a Ned is a derogatory term applied in Scotland to hooligans, louts or petty criminals