Parents have been warned they risk their children being badly injured by a family dog if they ignore a first-warning bite.
A new RTÉ documentary, Pit Bull, is set to debunk the myths around restricted breeds like rottweilers, pit bulls and dobermann pinschers, showing how they are lovable pets to surprising owners from the suburban couple to a Crufts winner and couples with young children.
While veteran dog warden Frankie Coote reveals how he feared for his life when was called out to restrain a ferocious labrador who had already attacked his owner.
The Co Clare warden, who has been dealing with canines for 25 years, said the biggest mistake made by parents is allowing a pet dog to get away with an initial bite.
“Don’t be waiting for your child’s face to be destroyed and I’ve seen several of those cases where children’s faces have been destroyed by the owner’s dog. It’s your responsibility. You are the parent — you have got to protect your child.
“Some 90% of dogs will give the owners the warning that they are going to do something. And a lot of people put it off. The amount of people who would say to me ‘Oh he bit my niece, he bit my daughter, he bit me’.
“I think it’s time after the first bite to muzzle that dog or let the dog go. I’m not looking for dogs to be destroyed here. I’m looking for owners to be responsible.”
n Pit Bull: Reality Bites will be shown on RTÉ Two tonight at 9.30pm
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