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Owners of aggressive dogs will be forced to take their pets for compulsory training

Owners of aggressive dogs will be forced to take their pets for compulsory training under new government plans

  • Police officers could be given powers to order owners to dog training courses
  • The classes would cover how to calm a dog down using treats, play and toys  
  • The moves are part of a package to improve responsible dog ownership

Irresponsible owners of dangerous dogs will be forced to take their pets on compulsory training lessons under plans being considered by the Government.

The scheme, if introduced, would operate in a similar way to the speed awareness courses motorists are sent on.

The proposed shake-up of dog-control laws comes after a parliamentary inquiry and pressure from the British Veterinary Association, the RSPCA, the Dogs Trust and the Kennel Club.

Switzerland insists that owners of any dog involved in an anti-social incident attend a training course. They must also notify authorities if they sell or give away their pet. This could provide a model for Britain [File photo]

The lessons would focus on obedience, responding to commands, use of the lead in public places and the need for dogs to be muzzled until behaviour has improved. 

Owners would be expected to learn to look out for triggers for a dog’s anti-social behaviour, such as fear, pain and defensiveness. Classes would also cover how to calm a dog using treats, play and toys.

Police officers or dog wardens could be given the authority to order an owner to attend a training course with their animal after witnessing or responding to a complaint about an aggressive dog.

The moves are part of a package to improve responsible dog ownership planned by Animal Welfare Minister Zac Goldsmith. He told MPs before the Election campaign that he was looking abroad for examples of how to tackle dog control in Britain.

Irresponsible owners of dangerous dogs will be forced to take their pets on compulsory training lessons under plans being considered by the Government. The scheme, if introduced, would operate in a similar way to the speed awareness courses motorists are sent on [File photo]

Irresponsible owners of dangerous dogs will be forced to take their pets on compulsory training lessons under plans being considered by the Government. The scheme, if introduced, would operate in a similar way to the speed awareness courses motorists are sent on [File photo]

Switzerland insists that owners of any dog involved in an anti-social incident attend a training course. 

They must also notify authorities if they sell or give away their pet. This could provide a model for Britain, where all dogs must be microchipped. 

It would be straightforward to require owners to inform their dog’s microchip database of any change of ownership.

A French scheme which requires owners of ‘attack and guard dog’ breeds to be registered and receive dog-handling training may also provide a blueprint for change here. 

In Calgary, Canada, lessons about the care and welfare of dogs take place in schools and communities.

Mr Goldsmith confirmed that Environment Department Defra was ‘looking at how best we can encourage responsible dog ownership’.

Police officers or dog wardens could be given the authority to order an owner to attend a training course with their animal after witnessing or responding to a complaint about an aggressive dog [File photo]

Police officers or dog wardens could be given the authority to order an owner to attend a training course with their animal after witnessing or responding to a complaint about an aggressive dog [File photo]

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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