Legal regulation of protection dogs

Historically, humans have trained protective dogs to take care of their property and family. In fact, it is very likely that the first dogs were already trained for hunting and protection; Humans quickly realized that dogs could help them get food and protect their families.

Therefore, many countries have adopted specific rules to regulate the possession of guard dogs. Next, we will see in more detail what the Spanish regulations say regarding protection dogs.

What does the law say about protection dogs in Spain?

In Spain, there is still no legislation at the national level that regulates the possession of protection dogs. In practice, each city council has the right to establish regulations that guide the raising of dogs for guard duties.

In Madrid, for example, this issue is regulated within the Regulatory Ordinance on the Tenure and Protection of Animals. This document determines that protection dogs must be kept in properly conditioned environments, where they cannot cause damage to people and property.

Likewise, the owner is forced to visibly warn that there is a guard dog on his property in addition to assuming civil liability for damages caused by their dogs to third parties or municipal heritage.

It is clarified that protection dogs must in no way suffer abuse or be forced to perform their function against their will. Nor is the dog allowed to be permanently tied and, when chained, must be minimally free to move around.

As they usually live abroad, the ordinance also provides that a protective dog should not be subjected to the weather; You must always have shelters to protect yourself from climatic adversities.

Can abuse of protection dogs be reported?

Yes. The fact that an animal performs guard duties does not mean that it can suffer abuse or neglect. If it is identified that a protection dog lives in unsanitary conditions, suffers violence or physical exploitation, the complaint can be made in person or by telephone.

The ideal is to appear before the city council, tried, go to the Civil Guard, or the Police to formalize a face-to-face complaint. If possible, the statement should be accompanied by photos, recordings, or testimonials that prove the abuse.

Guard dogs, not attack

Unfortunately, a notion persists that guard dogs are trained to attack. But this is false since the guard function is usually to alert the owners about the presence of strangers to thwart attempts at invasion or theft.

In conscious training, the protection dog is prepared to maintain a balanced and self-confident temperament in situations of risk. When identifying a danger, this can acts intelligently: it mainly uses barking to alert its owner and, at the same time, will try to scare off invaders.

The attack is the last resort that a guard and protection dog should use to defend the property and their families. Likewise, it should only occur after the timely order of his master; Your goal is to immobilize the invader and not hurt without meaning or kill.

‘Dangerous dogs’: more awareness, fewer stigmata

As with the so-called potentially dangerous dogs, protection dogs are often feared for the morphological characteristics of their breed, and not for their real behavior or for the training they have received to serve as guardians.

Agreeing or not with the training of protective dogs, it is necessary to raise awareness about the dangers of stigmatizing certain dog breeds because doing so unfairly attributed to the nature of the dog, something that comes from breeding.

When we talk about the absence of dangerous dogs and irresponsible or inexperienced owners, we are not repeating a cliché. In fact, there are several studies that show that the behavior of a dog is not determined solely by its genetic inheritance or lineage; much depends on education and the environment provided during their upbringing.

Any dog ​​can become aggressive when it is deprived of the basic freedoms of animal welfare or when it is subjected to improper handling by its owners. Regardless of their race, gender, or age, because aggressiveness is not a feature of a dog’s personality, but a behavioral problem that is usually associated with inadequate education.

Therefore, instead of discussing the prohibition of some breeds or the limitation of rights of their owners, we should focus on combating animal abuse and promoting responsible tenure for all dogs.

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