Try to understand dogs

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 July, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 July, 1995, 12:00am

I REFER to the letter by A. Koehler, headlined, 'Dog laws rarely enforced' (South China Morning Post, July 15). I believe ignorance of the following facts does cause unfortunate dog attack cases: Dogs instinctively attack, usually when frightened or threatened.

They attack when they are protecting their offspring.

They attack when they are protecting their owners or property and, They attack when they are protecting their territorial rights. Blaming, in general, leads us nowhere. It is difficult to ascertain who is the victim and who is the aggressor. I am led to believe both humans and dogs become the losers. I hope the following suggestions can be of help: With reference to stray dogs: The Government should strictly enforce the present legislation punishing those who abandon animals.

Licensing and breeding of dogs should be under stricter control.

Neutering of dogs should be extensively promoted or even made mandatory, especially on construction sites and if necessary, only one neutered dog should be allowed.

Stray dogs should be caught and put down humanely.

Humans should be educated to stay away from strays which includes teasing them, taunting them or threatening them in any way.

Ironically, strays, in general, tend to shy away from their human friends.

With reference to dogs with owners, there should be an extensive education campaign to promote responsible ownership.

All dog owners should keep their pets under control. And children should never be left alone with any size of dog without supervision of an adult, preferably the owner. They should also be taught never to tease a tied-up or locked-up dog.

All dogs have the potential to be dangerous if incorrectly handled.

Unless members of the public are prepared to destroy all dogs, they should be educated to understand and respect other forms of life in order to co-exist peacefully.

Dogs need human interaction to become our best friends.

It is a pity we create a vicious cycle whereby the more we see dogs as a potential danger and employ all the wrong measures, the more dangerous they will become.

LISA WU Repulse Bay