My Weapon Is A Dog Review: Woof Woof Bang Bang

May 20, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

MY WEAPON IS A DOG, Thursday 21st May, BBC3, 9pm ALERT ME

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the park…

The thought that half the population of the UK now carry knives and would happily stick you for asking the time is bad enough, but scarier still is the idea that the latest weapon on the high street has a heartbeat and a mind of its own.

No, I’m not talking about those marching knives from Fantasia but the latest must-have accessory sought out by those looking for instant street-cred and respect: the dog.

DJ and presenter Rickie Haywood-Williams takes to the streets to meet the young men and women who own potentially lethal canines to find out whether they are being used as the new weapon of choice in inner cities, and what he discovers is rather disturbing.

The most common breeds of dog being used as status symbols are Staffordshire Terriers, Mastiffs and Bull Terriers and, according to the RSPCA, the number of banned breeds such as Pitt Bulls being bought and sold in the UK is also on the rise. This worrying trend means that more and more people are buying dogs as a fashion accessory yet very few of them know how – or even want – to control these dangerous animals.

In his report Haywood-Williams meets a victim of a savage dog attack as a child who still bears the scars today. He also meets the other casualties of backstreet breeding operations – the dogs themselves. Where demand for certain breeds is high some dogs are literally being turned into breeding machines to satisfy the market.

With an easy on-screen presence and relaxed interviewing technique, Haywood-Williams is a good choice for presenter. Where a lesser interviewer might have been intimidated by the kind of people featured in the programme, Haywood-Williams doesn’t hold back on asking difficult questions and probing the motives for owning such a breed of dog, more often than not revealing the stupidity or ignorance of the owners.

Being a dog lover myself I found the scenes of cruelty to animals particularly hard to watch, but overall the programme paints a picture of a disturbing new trend which needs regulation, not just for the well-being of the animals but of the general public too.

Jack McKay

karen says:

i think its a shame as the owner of a staffie/lab cross, people see her and cross the road, she is so sweet, she has issues, which we are remedying, it’s not fair, i don’t know what kind of life she had before, but she was nervous and afraid, now she knows she’s loved, dogs are not the problem the owners are, mine is going to be my helping dog, and is loving the change.

give a dog a break,

Adele Baldwin says:

These dogs are not naturally killers.
All dogs are born into the world wanting to please their masters, not wanting to kill.
Breeds such as the American Pit Bull Terrier, have, unfortunately, been bred to do so. But NOT to kill humans. They were bred for the sick ‘sport’ of dog fighting. Infact, if you read up on their history, it states that ANY American Pit Bull Terrier that showed the slightest form of aggression to a human would immediately be shot.
Human aggression is not a natural trait for the American Pit Bull Terrier, and many other fighting breeds such as the Staffordshire Bull Terrier (It’s not Staffordshire Terrier, by the way, which is an American breed, and considred a ‘Pit Bull type’ in the UK and also unfairly banned for it’s looks).
American Pit Bulls were once the most poplular family dog. Did you ever watch ‘The Little Rascals’? Petey was a Pit. A good example of a well-bred well trained child friendly family Pit Bull. How Pit Bull’s naturally are.
And why do you think the Staffie is nicknamed the ‘Nanny Dog’? Because they are fantastic with children.
So why, do you ask, are there so many attacks from these breeds? It’s the stupid, unthinking people who own them. The people want to look tough. They want a dog that will ”tear your face off”. They want to be seen as ‘cool’ for disobeyeing the law. Unthinking owners cause accidents!
Look at Elly (the girl killed by a Pit), where were the adults when she was killed? Upstairs, drunk. No matter the breed, NEVER leave a child alone with a dog. I mean, why would you take that risk?
Of course there are tons of bad dogs out there. Owned by idiots. Not trained and socialized. Dogs that I am sure would kill you. But why are some dogs like this? Because of the owners.
What do you think you would get if you abused a Dachshund or Golden Retriever?
What would you get if you did not train and socialize a Yorkie?
What would you get if you fed your Poodle chillies, gunpowder and stuck burning ciggarettes on it’s head?
You would get what most people see as vicious, dangerous, ticking time-bombs of dogs. You would get the temperament of what most people think is a natural Pit Bull/Staffie trait. For unfair reasons.
If you train, socialize and treat your dog RIGHT, no matter if it’s a Staffie, Rottie, Labrador, Shih Tzu or American Pit Bull Terrier, you will have a GOOD dog.