Dogs have been our trusted companions and pets for thousands of years. The dogs are helping humankind by providing herding our livestock, guarding our possessions, and providing us with unconditional love. Humankind has not always been so generous in return to dogs. There are many problems with dogs that men create through behavior or negligencies.
Most Common Problems With Dogs
Dogs have been used and abused for centuries. Even today, dogs are maltreated. Problems continue to plague the canine race, from overbreeding to dogfighting to breed bans. But dog lovers are working hard to help overcome the injustice that dogs continue to suffer in our society.
1. Over Population
One of the greatest tragedies concerning dogs in modern times is overpopulation. More dogs need homes today than exist for them. Animal shelters are filled with dogs who have nowhere to go. Abandoned and unwanted, thousands of these “excess” dogs are euthanized every year in the United States of America. Five of every ten dogs who end up in animal shelters are destroyed simply because no one wants them.
Animal welfare groups worldwide educate the public on the importance of spaying and neutering pet dogs. Some progress has been made, as the number of animals in shelters has declined in recent years, but more attention needs to be done in this regard.
2. Spaying and Neutering
As a dog owner, you can do a lot to help the problem if dog overpopulation. By spaying or neutering your lovely pet, you will help reduce the number of dogs competing for homes.
In addition to reducing the number of dogs needing homes, spaying or neutering your dog will also improve your pet’s life and behavior. Dogs who have undergone neutered or spayed are less likely to roam in search of a mate. Dogs who have been altered are also healthier because they are at less risk of developing cancer of the reproductive organs.
3. Animal Abuse and Neglect
Another tragedy taking place in the world of dogs is abuse and neglect. All you need to do is read the paper or listen to the news on the radio to hear about these cases. Often, disturbed individuals take out their rage on helpless dogs, inflicting abuse that maims or kill the animal. More often, people neglect their dogs, tying them up and leaving them without food or water, failing to take them to a veterinarian when they are sick, and generally disregarding their needs.
The abuse and neglect of dogs are against the law in most states and countries, and people who commit these heinous acts are subject to prosecution, fines, and sometimes jail time. People who care about dogs have a responsibility to report suspected cases of animal abuse to the authorities. The authority to enforce animal cruelty laws fall on Animal Control agencies in most cities and municipalities. In areas where Animal Control Agencies do not exist, the local police department handles these situations.
4. Unethical Uses
Throughout human history, dogs have been used in ways we consider unethical today. In the past, dogs were used to subdue and control entire civilizations.
- The Spanish Conquistadors used attack dogs to keep the conquered Incas in line.
- Plantation owners used dogs to keep slaves from running away.
- Dogs also played a role in keeping East Germany from scaling the Berlin wall to freedom. Stationed as sentries along the wall, these dogs of German breeding helped the oppressive East Germany government maintain control over its citizens.
- In the more recent past, dogs were used to the intimate civil-rights workers.
These days the unethical use of dogs persists.
- Dogs are bred like livestock in puppy mills, where they are kept in cages stacked on top of each other, often in unhealthy conditions.
- In certain parts of the world, dogs are killed for their fur.
- In other places, dogs are slaughtered for meat.
- Dogs are used in certain sports today are controversial. Greyhound racing, which may seem innocuous enough, is responsible for the death of thousands of Greyhounds every year.
- At disreputable establishments, dogs who don’t win consistently are euthanized. A small but lucky percentage are placed in adoptive homes when their racing days are done.
- Another controversial sport in the world of dogs is dog-sled racing. Each year in Alaska, the Iditarod dog-sled race, which calls for dogs to travel over 1,150 miles of frozen ground, draws the ire of animal welfare groups who believe the event is abusive to dogs. Dog-sled racing aficionados counter that their dogs love to run and that they take good care of them.
5. Breed-Specific Legislation
Over the past few decades, certain breeds of dogs have attained international attention for their misdeeds. American Pit Bull Terriers and Rottweilers are just two breeds that have made headlines in vicious dog attacks that result in the death or severe maiming of human beings.
The result of news media’s fascination with dog attack stories- particularly offensive committed by so-called pit bulls- has been the knee-jerk reaction from legislators to ban these breeds from cities and municipalities. Law has been enacted around the country, making it illegal to own certain breeds of dogs.
The injustice of this legislation is evident to those who know and love the breeds being banned. Certain breeds of dogs are not inherently wrong. Instead, these breeds fall victim to people who breed and train the dogs to be vicious. People who know and love dogs are fighting to eliminate breed bans, instead insisting that each dog be judged on their behavior.
Dogs attract most often happen in high-crime areas where drug dealers and others on the wrong side of the law use the dogs as part of their illegal activities. The dogs are often mistreated and deliberately trained to be aggressive towards humans. The media, legislation, and the public blame the dog’s breed of the attacks- not the genuinely responsible criminals.
6. Problems with Dogs: Puppy Mills
One of the most inhuman situations facing dogs today in America is the puppy mills. Extensive breeding facilities where dogs are treated like livestock and kept in cages their entire lives, puppy mills provide dogs to pet shops around the country. Both male and female breeders are confined to cages, often in filthy conditions. Females are forced to have litter until the constant reproduction destroys their health.
The puppies from these breeding are not properly socialized and are kept in cages until they are shipped to pet stores around the United States. Many of these puppies suffer from genetic diseases or ailments such as parvovirus or distemper. Because they spend their early weeks in cages, they are difficult to house-train because they are used to eliminating their living areas.
7. Dog Fighting
The cruel act of dogfighting is an old one. The so-called sport reached its popularity in England in the 1800s when several fighting breeds were developed. The descendants of these fighting dogs still exist today. In the right hands, these dogs are gentle and obedient companions who love people. On the wrong hand, they are vicious fighters who will tear each other to shreds for the amusement of spectators.
Organized dog fighting takes place in pits, which are small arenas surrounded by plywood walls. Spectators watch while dogs are put together in the pit to fight. Bets are placed, and fights last anywhere from one to two hours. The dogfighting ends when one of the dogs is unable to fight anymore or is so severely injured he can no longer do battle.
Unorganized dogfighting is also catching popularity in the urban areas, and usually involve a handful of individual watching as two dogs fight. Dogs used in dogfighting receive injuries so severe that the wounds are sometimes fatal. Dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states of the USA.
8. Dog Bites
The simple fact is that dogs bite more than 4.7 million people in the United States of America each year. Children and other vulnerable people incur many bites, and against popular belief, most dogs bite people they know are often members of their own families. Even otherwise, reliable dogs can bite under extreme circumstances.
Although there are ways to curb aggressive behavior in dogs, we can’t prevent all bites. Sometimes dog bites because they have a dominant temperament, or they become aggressive because they are fearful, called fear aggression. Other times dogs bite because they are in pain or are panicked.
Concluding Remarks on Problems With Dogs
Dogs are one the most trusted companion animals from ancient times. They had a significant contribution to human civilization. Dogs have an unquestionable contribution in agriculture, herding, security, companionship, pets, and psychological therapy. The problems with dogs are widespread in many countries. Many of these problems can be controlled or removed by changing the mind of the dogs. Be favorable to dogs that they have the right to live freely on this earth.