This is a good feature by MaltToday on bully-breed dogs where they interview animal shelter volunteer Rosalind Agius of the Association for Abandoned Animals. Agius says that bully-breeds are often adopted or bred for the wrong reasons and many of them eventually end up being abandoned with no one wanting to adopt them. Animal shelters in Malta are full of bully-breed dogs with an abusive history and this problem is global. Agius correctly says that these dogs can be dangerous if not raised properly and many of them end up becoming dangerous because they are adopted by bad people.
This is all very true and I agree with an outright ban on the breeding and sale of bully breeds in Malta. These kinds of dogs are relatively very powerful for a pet and they are not needed as a pet. I personally, but strongly believe that many of the people who own these dogs are bad people who own them for the wrong reasons. There is no reason whatsoever for anyone to own a bully-breed unless it’s to show it off around and intimidate people. Yes, they can be nice dogs, and many people love them because they are cute and can be funny, but the risks for society outweigh the benefits. This doesn’t mean that the existing bully-breeds should be culled, because of course these dogs are not to blame. But banning new sales and breeding is the right way to go. I am sure that the Labour Party is reluctant to address this issue directly because its criminal friends have different opinions on the matter.
I own a bully breed and it is adopted (it probably has a bad past, as well). It has been trained rigorously also with the help of professionals. However, it lives in the countryside and its job is to protect its fellow family members from wild animals that can tear little dogs apart. It’s a working dog, basically. It spends most of its time with people and other animals it knows and trusts and sleeps inside a house. It would never hurt its family members (at least willingly) and it’s not violent with humans or other animals and is able to socialise. It doesn’t have any behavioural issues and it’s not dangerous to be around, and today I love it as my own family member. Admittedly, though, if I didn’t own an agricultural property, I would have never got one. And if I had to choose to own a dog for my pure personal pleasure, I would have chosen a border collie or a collie, and not a dog that is the equivalent of a gym membership.
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