Tag Archive: pitbull


From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (7th May 2014) where I question various studies into crossbreed health and longevity.

Carrying on with the positive legacy from Crufts, wasn’t it good to read the findings of the Royal Veterinary College last week? Scientists analysed the data of 148,741 dogs expecting to prove the conventional wisdom that selective breeding makes the pedigree dog more susceptible to serious conditions but, to their surprise, they discovered (what time working in boarding kennels had proved to me already) that both the mongrel and the pedigree have broadly the same chance of developing the most common health problems. In fact, for degenerative joint disease, the mongrel was found to be more vulnerable. This study’s findings echoed those published back in June 2013 by researchers at the University of California at Davis. Continue reading

From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (9th April 2014) where I review the documentary, ‘Dangerous Dogs’.

MY FIRST experience of a ‘dangerous dog’ was back in the spring of 1992. I’d accompanied my mum to Tottenham Cemetery to tidy up my grandmother’s grave after the winter. Her grave lay in front of a low retaining wall and, while we knelt down, clearing away the dead flowers from our previous visit, there came a low, rumbling sound from above. We looked up and, standing on a wall, fixing us with its yellow eyes, was a mustard-coloured dog with a head the size and shape of a breezeblock – a pitbull.

Images of dogs exactly fitting the one that now snarled above us had been splashed across the papers and TV for months.

Mum wanted to run but I whispered for her to ‘stay put and don’t look at it’. So, we crouched there, hearts hammering, frozen like statues, but still its threatening growls grew louder. Slowly I glanced up and noticed that we weren’t the focus of its attention after all; I followed its steely gaze to the flapping cellophane that wrapped our fresh flowers. Tentatively I moved my hand bringing it down firmly upon the noisy wrapping. Suddenly the dog’s owner appeared, yelled some expletives at it and followed these with some kicks and punches before slipping an old piece of rope around the unfortunate creature’s neck and dragging him away. Continue reading