Dangerous dog?

Yesterday the UK media spread the news about a 6 day old baby in South Wales that was allegedly killed by an Alaskan Malamute.  It made the front pages of several papers and I gather was hotly debated on the radio too. You can read this story on the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-26242506

There are lots of unanswered questions in this story, such as the dog’s history: I gather he was a rescue but it’s not clear why he’d been given up. And also why were the baby and the dog left alone together? So far the dog has been seized but not destroyed, which suggests there is some doubt over the incident. Though from the tone of the headlines yesterday it appeared to be an open and shut case.

I don’t know if or why the dog attacked the baby and can’t even begin to speculate.  But I do know that the media coverage of this story has already had a negative affect on my breed.  It saddens me to think that those headlines may doom many malamutes to being abandoned through fear of similar incidents.

Malamutes are a loving, friendly dog in the right hands. But as with any dog, training and socialisation are vital. With the popularity of films such as Twilight, malamutes are becoming an increasingly fashionable dog to own. But not everyone does their research before committing to dog ownership.

My heart goes out to the family in question.  What happened was truly horrific.  But I also worry what the press coverage of this incident has done to the reputation of the Alaskan Malamute in the UK.

2014-02-05 22.47.43

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73 Comments on “Dangerous dog?”

  1. You often don’t get the full story and the sensationalist headlines are all that people remember. Terribly sad all round.

  2. Very sad for everyone. I have had dogs all my life both big and small and I just wouldn’t leave a child unsupervised with a dog. Dogs are wonderful critters. The journalists often perform in ways that are irresponsible and sensationalistic. My heart goes out to the family in question too.

  3. Just an awful tragedy and we too feel terrible for the family. We don’t think the breed is being questioned more the background of the dog who sadly was rescued from the owner in a pub. So sad that such a kind action had such an awful ending,
    Best wishes Molly

  4. Dalton says:

    So sad! Sadly dog attacks seem to be the current way to grab headlines.

    • Misaki says:

      i know, and don’t get me wrong I get that it was a baby and of course it was going to get attention, but some of the tabloids really went to down on it.

  5. fozziemum says:

    An awful tragedy sweet Misaki…people need to learn that ALL dogs are capable of being dogs and doing harm..no idea what the background is of the dog and sadly the headlines will run with what sells….here we always have headlines if the dog is a so called dangerous breed..if a Labrador harmed someone they just say dog attack. No dog should ever be left with an unattended child or infant..i have had dogs all my life and respect that they are indeed dogs. I am so sorry that also this dog will ultimately pay the price.

    • Misaki says:

      In the reports they kept saying that mallies are not considered a dangerous dog, but I wonder how long it will take for that to change.

      • fozziemum says:

        Indeed…thing is all dogs are still ‘wild’ the only dog I evr got bitten by was a Labrador …oh and a little dog the size of a teacup….always the the individual animal and circumstances need to be considered. Mals,Huskies, Samoyeds, Rotties to name a few need strong Alpha owners..they need to be well trained and well socialised..they are head strong and determined dogs and not for all dog owners! Her the movie Red Dog saw an increase in people getting working dogs…and promptly dumped…they are not meant for small suburban backyards and behave accordingly yet people were surprised!!! infuriating.

  6. So sad on so many levels. It all starts with responsible owners. 😦

  7. I read the story at the bbc-site. I’m not sure what really happened in this family . I agree with you for the reputation and I hope it will not lead to any rash prejudices.

  8. So sad for the family. I believe there is more information missing. No breed of dog is dangerous, its the owners that are. They don’t do their research, don’t train, and then are surprised when a dog acts out. I hope the dog isn’t destroyed.

  9. So sorry to hear about this, We don’t think any dog breed is dangerous but we thinks bad owners can make a dog dangerous. And honestly how bright do you have to be to know not to leave a baby who acts and looks like a nice squirmy squeaky toy with a dog. ~ The cats & dogs from ATCAD

    • Misaki says:

      Exactly. Even my friend Sebastian who is lovely, friendly and well-behaved, isn’t left unsupervised with his human brother. It’s just common sense

  10. PigLove says:

    This is such a tragedy all the way around. I feel so badly for the family. It’s not just dogs but really any animal that you shouldn’t leave unchaperoned with a small child. Mommy knows me very well but she is *always* there when I’m around others – especially children. And like others have said, training is KEY. XOXO – Bacon

    • Misaki says:

      Yes same here. I like kids mostly cos they are covered in food, so mummy is always on the watch to stop me trying to steal their food or lick their fingers and face. I wouldn’t intentionally hurt anyone, but I’ve scratched mummy when playing before, and it’s hurt her so would definitely hurt a child.

  11. Kyla says:

    There was a murder in Arizona last week. Let’s euthanize all the humans so there will be no more murders.

  12. Coccolino says:

    We saw the story in the paper here too. It was so sad for the family and of course what happened to the baby but we cannot imagine the dog doing anything malicious, surely it was an accident and the baby should not have been left alone with the dog or any pet unsupervised. Don’t worry Misaki, it has not darkened our view on your breed at all!

  13. Oh Misaki, NO! I think we can all agree that any breed in the wrong hands is just a negative headline waiting to happen. I wonder why someone would leave their baby alone with any dog…no matter the breed or size…that is how things like this happen. I sure hope it does not have a negative effect on your breed. Keep us posted on this story, please.
    *cairn cuddles*
    Oz

  14. Kuruk says:

    That is so sad Misaki! We are very loving pups, and I hope that Mal gets the proper training and socialization he deserves! Woooowooooooo, Ku

  15. Will and Eko says:

    Tragic story no matter how you look at it. Unfortunately in incidents like this generalizations will get made. Luckily you are out there showing how great a well-trained and cared for malamute can be.

  16. Frankie and Ernie says:

    Of Course this is TRAGIC… but on the other side of this Media Storm… we would like to say that there is seldom ever a Media Blitz when PEOPLE Abuse and Neglect or MISHANDLE animals… It takes a HUGE example for it to get a TINY mention… and they NEVER focus on the PREVIOUS things that the PERSON has done… and there is always a LONG HISTORY of mistreatment … The Media says and prints what SELLS THEM… not what is good for the ANIMALS and people.
    We are sorry for those involved… and sorry that your breed will now have a Black Eye which YOU DO NOT DESERVE… it is NOT the BREED… it is the PEOPLE.

    • Misaki says:

      That is so true! There definitely needs to be more publicity and harsher sentences for people who mistreat animals. it’s so awful when we get the blame for their mistakes

  17. Clowie says:

    It is tragic that a baby died. I agree with you about some of the coverage being very sensational and irresponsible. It’s so easy for a breed to get a bad reputation.

  18. cecilia07 says:

    Misaki…oh my goodness what a sad story. And you raised so many good questions. K9 history, why were they left alone, etc. Our heart goes out to the baby’s family too. We will never know but one thing for sure it should not cast a shadow on your breed. Big hug from madi you bfff

  19. Jane Y. says:

    this is such an unfortunately incident… and it’s even more unfortunate when things get out of hand with people jumping to conclusions and assumptions with what they see being reported out… so many breeds get such a bad rep… but thank goodness out of all this there are voices of reason and people who are willing to stop and read/listen and be more open to all factors of a tragedy.. dogs aren’t born to kill.. it’s circumstances and people who make them that way.. so terrible and sad…

  20. Shiva & Jaya says:

    Purrime Ministerettes is announcing that Alaskan Malamutes has good reputation all-over Planet Purrth. We thinking that even Golden Retrievers could has done this if them not raised well.

    Some hoomans is just plain stoopid. And them media luvs negative because them not happy themselves and only knows how to gettings money the negative way, mom says and she was media for years but not anymore.

  21. Oh, that is such a tragic story….butts, peeps need to NOT jump to any conclusions! Any doggie can be dangerous when they’re not treated well, or they have issues that aren’t addressed and the doggie attacks out of fear. I never really heard this abouts Malamutes. Here it is more abouts Pit Bulls, and even then, there is just dogs not treated right in the furst place and not knowin’ how to act.
    Peeps can be real asses…
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

  22. Emma says:

    That stuff happened a lot in Germany, but usually all the hype faded in a short amount of time. Hope the UK is the same.

    • Misaki says:

      I hope so too Ems. The story has gone quiet for now although a small paper in Wales reported that they’re now not even sure the dog did it at all, but of course that won’t reach the nationals.

  23. Under the right circumstances, any dog can be dangerous. We can’t know what goes through another species mind. They should never have left the baby alone with the dog.
    Dip and Elliot x

  24. pawedblog says:

    Ah Misaki! I just hope that the message ‘it’s not the dog, it’s the owners’ keeps being shouted loud and clear. it’s too easy to blame the dogs, that’s the trouble, because nobody wants to admit that the actions of a human are responsible for such terrible incidents. But that’s the truth isn’t it? Accidental or not.
    As a responsible dog owner and lover, who feels she knows her dogs as much as they know themselves; I would never EVER leave any of my 3 alone in a room with access to a baby. Do I think that anything would happen? absolutely not. But neither is it worth the risk to baby OR my dogs.
    Hugs, Carrie (Myfie, Ellie and Millie) x

    • Misaki says:

      You’re right in that all responsible dog owners err on the side of caution when it comes to children for both their sakes, but sadly there aren’t enough responsible dog owners around.

  25. Such a beautiful and very thoughtful post, Misaki. I’ve shared it on Twitter. You are a fabulous ambassador for your breed. I wish the best for everyone–animal and human–affected by this very sad tragedy.

  26. thinker1958 says:

    I think is stupid to base on one article that a bread of dog could be dangerous. Kids can’t control themselves and sometimes they will start pulling a leg or a tail of a pet making the pet nervous because they don’t understand what is going on. They eventually do something to try to stop the pulling. Something happened and I’m pretty sure is was not caused by the dog. Smells neglect to me.

  27. Oh Misaki…how very sad. As said before, it’s not the dog, it’s not the breed. How very very sad.

  28. writetowag says:

    Oh Misaki…that story is horrible…Trev and I love you, please know that…that won’t change dear friend!!!!

  29. pennypup says:

    Wow. My heart goes out to this family. Such a tragic, tragic thing to have occurred. Having 3 children myself (one still only 6 months old) I can’t even being to imagine the horror the mother must have gone through when discovering her child.
    I never, never leave Kyuss alone with my kids. I trust him completely of course, but I would never take the chance. Dogs, no matter how well behaved or trained, should never be trusted alone with small children/infants.
    I think it was only last year in Calgary Canada, where a 2 week old infant was killed by one of the family’s huskies. Apparently the infant was crying and they believe the husky (whom has had litters of puppies) tried to pick up the infant by it’s head, and ‘mother’ it. Ultimately the infant died.
    I also vaguely remember a case here in Quebec where an infant strapped in it’s car seat was mauled by one of the family dogs when the mother stepped outside to have a cigarette. The baby wasn’t even alone for 5 minutes.

    Any dog, no matter the size, shape, breed, amount of training, history should not be left alone with small children. The risk is just too great.

    • Misaki says:

      Yes, it’s truly terrible. I wish the message about dogs and babies was made clearer, it seems such an obvious thing but so many people seem to think it’s ok as it will never happen. Better to be safe then sorry.

  30. speedyrabbit says:

    very irrisponsible of the new owners to leave the dog alone with the infant,you know even a cat can kill an infant but do they get destroyed when something like this happens no,it doesn’t even get in the papers,neither cats on dogs should be left alone with babies and children unsupervised,some people should never be pet owners with out proper training them selves!very sad story,xx Speedy and Rachel

  31. The people were very irresponsible and also probably ignorant by all accounts. It was very sad indeed, but common sense should tell you not to leave a baby alone with an animal, whatever breed or type!

  32. Nylabluesmum says:

    Hello Misaki: Let me say ANY dog can be a dangerous dog if it has been abused or mistreated or improperly trained. My Nanna’s Chihuahua was a ‘crazy’ dog & would bite me as soon as look at me!! Yet Chico was a good dog around others….I was just a child & teased him so I got what I deserved…I learned to not tease & Chico became my best buddy & he was not ‘crazy’!
    I am saddened for the family too; however leaving a wee baby with any 4 legged unattended is wrong…I haven’t read the article as I did not want to see this sensationalized…that Mallies are vicious or mean…the news can be very skewed too.
    WE KNOW you & all the Mallies we know are sweet loving & gentle poochies…and we feel sorry for mean dogs because we know it was a human who made them that way!
    Much love always, Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue too xoxoxo

    • Misaki says:

      This is all true NB. It’s all about common sense.
      I like kids, especially if they have foodstuffs on their hands and face for me to lick. I wouldn’t intentionally hurt one but it wouldn’t take much for me to knock one over or maybe bite too hard if they offer me food. So mummy would never leave me alone with one.
      it’s sad that the dog in question will likely be destroyed for the owners mistake. A tragedy all round.

  33. A truly sad story. For the family involved and for Malamutes everywhere.

  34. We had not heard about this incident. And as always, humans are fast to blame the dog/breed when the humans are to be accountable. Paw hugs, Savvy


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