Someone mentioned having a "Canine Good Citizen" test to determine whether the dog has a good temperament or not. There ARE such tests, one with the CKC for registered purebred dogs and the Temperament Test for any unregistered dog. Personally I think ALL dogs should go through these tests as it would give the owner a better idea if there is anything that might trigger the dog's aggressive response so they can take proper preventive measures. These tests have a variety of different "Scenes." Some of the scenes include a "crowd" scene where a group of people stand around the dog, then move in towards it; a loud bang or gunshot; an umbrella opening suddenly in front of the dog; an aggressive stranger; a neutral stranger; along with a variety of other scenarios. I have had a variety of dogs go through these tests and with the exception of one they all passed. The one that failed was a blue heeler/lab cross who, even after extensive training and such, was very aggressive towards anyone who tried to approach me. She was a wonderful dog in the home, but I finally decided to put her down as I knew she could never be trusted outside. I think her brain was wired wrong or something... :P
Concerning the issue of muzzles, if such a law was ever put into place where ALL dogs had to be muzzled for public safety, I would not hesitate to muzzle my dogs when they are out. I am a FIRM believer in Obedience training and both of my dogs have been trained. They are also crated when I am not home. When they are leashed and out for walks, they are NOT allowed to run free, and are always at my side.
When my dogs are home, they are free to roam through the house, including my animal rooms. My younger one actually helps me "catch" any mice or rats that might be loose by pointing them out to me and putting a paw on them so they don't get away.
With the exception of the occassional dead pinkie, neither of my dogs have ever tried to go after any of my other animals, and believe me, they sure have the chance often enough! I allow my rabbits and chinchillas to exercise in my living room, always with me there to make sure they don't chew on anything. The chins and rabbits quickly learned that both dogs are great "toys" and love to jump on them and "play" with them. Before anyone comments, I NEVER leave the dogs alone with the "loose" animals.
Yes, I realize that I might be a little "harsh" with my dogs, but I want them to stay safe. I don't want anyone to have the chance to blame THEM for something just because of their breed.
About the tiger incident....
There is NO way anyone, even "Arnie," could possibly hold back a full grown tiger on a leash! There is a HUGE difference between a "wild" animal and a "domesticated" one. While we all disagree on what types of dogs are more aggressive, I think we can ALL agree that dogs, regardless of the breed, are DOMESTICATED animals, where a tiger is not. Dogs, cats, cattle, horses, ect have been bred by humans for thousands of years. Tigers have not. Perhaps in the distant future ALL animals could be considered "Domesticated" but that is certainly not the case now.
One last thing.... I fully agree with the statement that a snake is a lot LESS dangerous than a dog. EVERY dog has the potential to bite, some breeds having the potential to cause very serious damage. But there is NO comparison to a leopard gecko or even a ball python! Most of the common "pet" reptiles can't do even half the damage that a small poodle or chihuahua is capable of. I've been bitten by a chihuahua and a boa constrictor. I'll take a boa's bite anyday over that damn chihuahua! LOL! Heck, even a RAT can do more damage than most of the common snakes! We're all aware of how much damage even a small rat can do to a snake.
Anyways... I'm gonna stop rambling here cause my meds are starting to kick in... LOL! <Oooh... look at all the purty colours!>
Annie B. <:3 )~~