International Journal for the Study of Animal Problems


Ian Dunbar


The author responds to an article by Graham Henderson of the Toronto Humane Society (lJSAP 2(6):305-309, 1981) commenting on his proposal regarding the education of dog owners. He agreed with many of Henderson's statements and was pleased that Henderson, in turn, agreed with most of the author's points. However, he notes that he found Mr. Henderson's article to contain several inaccuracies and contradictions addressed here. The author recaps his proposed program of Dog Owner Education and reemphasizes some of its major points. The primary intention is to promote an early license application: preferably before the owner acquires a dog, but at least while the dog is still a puppy. The rationale behind this suggestion is that this would provide the ideal opportunity to give the prospective (or new) dog owner an information package on health, husbandry, puppy training, and the prevention of behavioral problems (of which aggression is the most common and the most serious). Spreading the burden of licensing control is a secondary aim. In addition, the author recommends that the fee for the license should not be a deterrent to dog ownership. The author then expands on some proposals to develop suitable education materials for new dog owners.