Dog Bites - Who's To Blame Owner, Victim or Dogs?

I just read in a Google Alert on dog training, that in the case of Marjorie Knoller, her murder verdict has been reinstated.  I’m sure most of you remember this case in San Francisco back in 2001.

Ms. Knoller and her husband Robert Noel owned 2 Presa Canario guard dogs in San Francisco and lived in an apartment building.  One of their neighbors, Diane Whipple was innocently coming out of the door of her apartment at the same time Ms. Knoller was returning from walking her dogs on the roof.  The 2 dogs attacked Ms. Whipple and mauled her to death.

There was a lot of debate and upheaval in San Francisco over that case because Knoller and Noel were blaming Whipple for not going back into her apartment stating that’s what made the dogs attack.

Here’s the thing.  It is my true belief that when you have a dog, you, the owner are solely responsible for the actions of the dog.  Yes true, certain breeds have a propensity for being guard dogs and somewhat more assertive than others.  But it all comes down to owner responsiblity. 

Red flag #1 – My belief is that Knoller and Noel were aware that the dogs they bought had been specifically bred to be aggressive.  The breeder was a racist convict who was starting a line of Presa Canario guard dogs he was going to call Dog-O-War.  Red flag # 2  Ms. Knoller did not take the time to properly obedience train her dogs and exercise those two large guard dogs.   Red flag # 3  The last mistake is that she was bringing both dogs down a hallway of an apartment (close quarters) and sadly Ms. Whipple probably startled the dogs when she opened her door.

When you own a dog it is your responsibility to make sure the dog receives proper dog obedience training starting as a puppy, it is your responsiblity to see the dog gets regular structured exercise to release its energy in a positive way,  it is your responsibility to know the temperament and behavior of your dog around people and places and things. 

A dog is a dog is a dog.  I would never tell anyone that any dog is not capable of biting.  The upsetting thing is  when a dog is set up to fail because of lack of responsibility on the owner’s part and someone gets hurt or killed because of their unwillingness or laziness to train their dog.  Here’s the link to the story

Please, be responsible pet owners.