When Amit Tripathi rushed to his apartment on the Tuesday morning of July 12, 2022, he found his elderly mother in a pool of blood in Lucknow’s Kaiserbagh area. The 82-year-old succumbed to her injuries after being attacked by her pet pitbull dog.
They say a dog is a man’s best friend. However, in the rampant heat and fast-paced life of closed high-rise apartments with little open green spaces, the best friend seems to have become angry. Numerous incidents of dog bites have come to light in the UP districts of Noida, Lucknow and Ghaziabad in the past 3 months.
Among chilling incidents, a young boy was attacked in a lift at Charms County society, RajNagar Extension, Ghaziabad. In another case in Apex Athena, Sector 75, Noida, a delivery boy was attacked by a pet German Shepherd.
CitySpidey reached out to the founder of GoodDog pet services and canine behaviourist Mitali Parekh. She points out certain details that all residents, especially pet owners must be aware of.
Following are excerpts from the conversation-
1 When does a pet dog become violent?
A dog does not directly leap to violence. It comes after a series of incidents that might have been overlooked. Dogs becoming violent are in cases of not understanding the innate behaviours of a breed and not training them appropriately. It can be a challenge for a first-time to handle a strong-willed breed. There are small episodes that build his/her confidence. If these are not corrected when they start; or are corrected using rough methods, it gets worse. Also, any dog, regardless of the breed has to be taught boundaries as puppies and socialised to get along with all types of human beings.
2 People have suddenly started doubting breeds like Pitbull. What are some of the Dos and Dont's that pet owners must remember?
One of the major issues while keeping a pet dog is the lack of information. Pitbull are a breed that needs expert handling and strict training. We have to research the breed of dog we are getting as much as we would research a car. Breeders have been selling mastiffs and pit bull types to people with children, saying that they would get along with them because they don’t mind being handled heavily.
Speak to people, and understand what that breed was made for and his or her requirements and methods of training, playing and mental work.
There are also too many “cute” videos of dogs on the internet which gives people a rosy and misleading idea about pet parenting
3 After the incidents of dog bites, many RWAs have mandated the muzzling of dogs in common spaces. What is the impact of muzzling on dog behaviour?
Muzzling must be taught in a positive manner so that the dog treats it just as normally as a leash. Also, it has to be a basket muzzle that allows the dog to pant and breathe.
Several developments have taken place after these attacks. MCD has urged all pet owners to get their pets registered under the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. The section also gives power to the MCD to detain a dog found in a public place, if a pet dog is not registered with the civic body. There is also a provision for fining the pet owner and even prosecution.