Lessons From The Good Witch: Don’t Blame the Dog
Early in The Good Witch two children are chased into Cassie’s yard by a growling, barking doberman. they’re terrified of the dog. Cassie walks over and goes all Dog Whisperer, telling the dog that it doesn’t need to be bad, and she knows his owner is the real beast. She tells the dog to go home and never bother the children again. Later, the owner threatens to file charges against Cassie for “ruining” his once vicious dog.
I liked that they did this because it’s a pretty simple fact that dogs aren’t usually born bad. They did it partly to make Cassie look magical, but really, she just took an authoritative role over an abused animal and helped it behave, just like Cesar Millan would do. It showed that the dog isn’t to blame for its bad behavior, the owner is responsible. They emphasize that when the owner considers his well-behaved dog to be “ruined”.
Dogs, especially dobermans, pit bulls and rottweilers get a bad rap. People think that these dogs are just born bad, and some people would gladly see them all euthanized. What people need to remember is that these dogs, like most pets, want to be good, to be loved, and to play. They’re not evil or aggressive. It’s their owners or abusers that make them that way. Much like an abused child becomes a bully or abuser, an abused dog becomes aggressive and acts out.
We’d do much better if we stopped blaming dogs for their behavior and instead turned out attention to the humans that make them that way. There are plenty of “dangerous dog breed” owners who will tell you how wonderful and loving they can be under the right care. The humans that abuse these wonderful animals should be punished, and the animals should be retrained if possible and given loving homes.