In this activity, young people will begin to think about the consequences of having a dog that you encourage to be aggressive. They examine a case study of a real life, non-intentional dog attack where a five year-old girl is killed by a pit bull terrier who belongs to her uncle. After watching a news report and examining some news stories about the event, they explore what happened and how it affected different people. They also investigate what happened to the dog who caused the attack. The young people are then asked to imagine that they experienced something similar, and talk about their feelings and how it would affect them. They might also empathise with the people affected by the case study.
Young people will:
- understand that a dog you encourage to be aggressive can be very dangerous when he/she comes into contact with people, including yourself, your loved ones and other animals, especially when the dog is out of control
- explore what the consequences might be of having an aggressive dog
- understand that dog attacks can cause serious injuries and even kill people
- learn that serious and fatal dog attacks can happen in the family home by the ‘family pet’
- learn that it is against the law to have certain types of dogs and to not have your dog under control. You could get sent to prison
- understand more about the concept of ‘deed rather than breed’.
- BBC News - Child attack dog 'pit bull breed'
- YouTube - Memorial video of Ellie Lawrenson by her parents
- The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
- Defra - Dangerous Dogs Act legislation guidance
- Directgov - Dogs that are banned in the UK
- Directgov - Controlling your dog in public
- Defra - Control of dogs, the law and you (leaflet)
- RSPCA briefing on status dogs
- RSPCA canine aggression information