Pet dog, a pitbull, mauls 82-year-old in Lucknow: What vets say about rearing, training big dogs

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While dogs are considered to be the best company for humans, there are incidences when they can turn aggressive and cause physical harm to the people around them — sometimes even to their immediate family members and human parents.

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It happened in Lucknow earlier this week when an 82-year-old woman was allegedly mauled by her pet dog, a pitbull. According to a PTI report, Sushila Tripathi, a retired school teacher, was on the roof of her house in the city’s Qaiserbagh area on Tuesday morning, when the pitbull attacked her. She was later found lying in a pool of blood by the domestic help.

Upon reaching the hospital, the octogenarian was declared dead, and per the PTI report, the police said they were coordinating with officials of the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) regarding the incident.

Dr Abhinav Verma, a veterinary officer at LMC, was quoted as saying, “Our team went to the house to check if the family had a license to keep a pitbull dog as a pet. But, because the house was locked it could not be ascertained.”

For the unversed, pitbulls are medium-size, short-hair dogs that may look intimidating given their solid build. The American Dog Breeders Association describes them as “medium-sized” with “a short coat and smooth well-defined muscle structure”, eyes that are “round or almond-shaped”, and ears which are “small to medium in length”.

Are pitbulls ferocious/aggressive dogs?

Sharath Kenny, the owner of Nitro K9 Academy — one of the leading dog training schools in Chennai — had previously told indianexpress.com that it is always important to choose the correct breed of dog, and that it depends on a lot of factors such as, “the size of your house, the kind of lifestyle you lead, etc.”

pitbull, pitbull dogs, pitbull breed, dog breeds, pitbull aggressive dogs, are pitbull ferocious, pitbull attack Lucknow, dog attacks, pet dogs, pet dog training, big dogs, indian express news Pitbulls are medium-size, short-hair dogs that may look intimidating given their solid build. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

According to Dr Vineeta Poojary, manager, Veterinary Services, Humane Society International, pitbulls are not more likely to bite or attack compared to any other breed of dog. “People view certain breeds as more aggressive; when they are reared, they are not thought of as loving, caring animals. Pitbulls are both friendly and ferocious, as are labradors. It depends on how you rear them. There are no particular triggers as such [which could lead them to attack]. I would, however, not advise people to have a big dog in India, because there are a lot of health issues that come with it; but, behavioural issues completely depend on training,” she told this outlet.

Concurring with her, Dr Vinod Sharma of DCC Animal Hospital said it is not always about the breed. “Having said that, I do believe certain breeds should be banned in India, which are not appropriate for people here — especially those that are high in energy and strength. At the same time, a good training [of the pet] is needed. Some breeds require more exercise, attention and care. It is not appropriate to randomly pick dogs from anywhere, when there is no proper record of their nature and breed.”

He added that it all depends on how the puppies are looked after with and without their mother, and what kind of treatment they are receiving in their human home. “Many people chain them up and not feed them properly, and that can make them turn ferocious. Many pets are beaten, too. Dogs [like pitbull] must always be supervised, and not left alone at home,” he said.

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