Don’t ban them!

Breeder defends dangerous dogs

A breeder of large dogs is pleading with Government not to ban any of the perceived dangerous dogs here.

Amid public outrage and calls for the banning of some breeds following Saturday’s deadly canine attack on 74-year-old Verona Gibson of Monroe Road, Haggatt Hall, St Michael, Minister of Health John Boyce announced yesterday that the authorities were considering banning certain dog breeds.

However, Akita breeder Reynold Cuffy hit back, contending that any attempts to ban dogs such as the Akita and the pit bull would be based on nothing but hysteria.

Cuffy admitted that these dogs could be dangerous, but he argued those that randomly attacked people were often maltreated.

In Barbados, he said, the prevalence of dog fighting was a major factor in the maltreatment of dogs.

“I used to breed pit bulls and Rottweilers years ago but now I only breed for security companies because I realized that a lot of guys were using them for dog fighting.

“I stopped in 2008 to be exact when a guy hang a dog I sold him because he put it to fight and lost $4,000. I cried like a baby when I saw that because I love all the dogs that come out of my kennels. If you treat dogs well they will behave like normal members of the home,” Cuffy said.

While figures were not immediately available on the number of serious or fatal attacks by large dogs here, dog lovers, and pit bill owners in particular, often defend their animals by arguing it was the way they were raised and not the breed that determined how dangerous they were and how likely they were to attack people.

However, the pit bill, which originated in England and was bred for blood sports like bull and bear baiting – where packs of dogs were set against bigger animals in a pit – has a bad reputation.

It has developed enormous jaw strength and a deadly “hold and shake” bite style designed to inflict the maximum damage possible on victims. Between 2005 and 2015 pit bulls were responsible for 64 per cent of all canine deaths in the United States.

They are banned in 12 countries around the world, including Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Poland, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, several US states do not allow the importation of Akitas, which are native to the mountainous regions of Japan.

This notwithstanding, Cuffy, who has 22 years of experience as a dog trainer and has worked with the Trinidad and Tobago Police Force canine unit as well as several reputable security firms, placed the blame squarely on dog owners, saying many of them inflict pain on the animals in order to assert dominance.

This was one of the key reasons, he suggested, these dogs attacked people without provocation or warning.

“A dog will see a human coming towards it and think that it means pain because the owner inflicts pain on them so they attack. I am not saying that is what happened to the lady on Saturday because I don’t know anything about that incident, but I am telling you about what happens in a number of cases I know about.”

He also spoke about impact that the tropical climate had on Akitas, a cold climate breed which can become agitated in the heat of Barbados.

In order to keep them comfortable, he suggested, owners of that breed should keep them in air conditioned environments.

“I am a firm believer that not anybody should be allowed to own these kinds of dogs unless they can afford to keep them. I do not sell my pups to people who look like they cannot look after them properly. It might sound like I am stuck up but that is my position. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can come up with a $1,000 for a pit bull pup or $2,000 for an Akita pup but that is only the beginning. Looking after these dogs is expensive,” he stressed.

The Akita was originally bred for hunting, but is also used as an effective guard dog. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention does not list it among the most likely to attack humans, but says its sheer size and power means that whenever it attacks, it is likely to cause serious injury.

36 Responses to Don’t ban them!

  1. Jai Khan
    Jai Khan February 3, 2017 at 12:06 am

    All the soft talk, at the end of the day breeders seeing the dollars signs…BAN THEM!!!
    Let the breeders grow rabbits. One human life is one too much

  2. Ricardo Bascombe
    Ricardo Bascombe February 3, 2017 at 12:36 am

    We should also ban cars and motorcycles

  3. Michelle Griffith
    Michelle Griffith February 3, 2017 at 12:45 am


  4. Tony Webster February 3, 2017 at 6:14 am

    I agree Sir…we doan need to do nuttin’….however…effin it was YOUR granny…or YOUR child…

  5. Scott February 3, 2017 at 6:58 am

    Pit bulls are not banned in Canada, only a few municipalities in the country have a ban. It is the owner that creates a monster, not the dog.

  6. chaniece jones February 3, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Any dog can attack a person from jack russels up …so ban all dogs then if thats the case jus not a specific breed ..when you have a dog it becomes like a human u need to socialise the dogs u cant keep a dog in a kennel at all times just shut up all the time dogs need walks dogs need attention especially these kind of dogs …owners need to make sure the place is properly secured jus like how u would secure the gate from your child getting into the road …license the dogs make sure the dogs are straight and do train them from puppies same way u would train a child..its how you treat your dogs…but RIP mam …owners need to step it up if you have these dogs …if anything they can be put down once they taste blood they are gonna go again

  7. Thomas February 3, 2017 at 7:37 am

    Use common sense, instead of breed specific legislation why are we not attacking the real cause? Toughen the laws on the ownwer whose negligence is the cause in the first place!!

  8. Trevor sprnger February 3, 2017 at 7:47 am

    I no is hard on the family my heart goes out to them any dog can do damage I had dogs for ever and I could control them.these dogs are not getting no love I’m seriously speaking a dog is like a child people need to keep there animals on there sorry that inceden accur dog prevent crime and their may God have mercy of the family letthem be strong ..

  9. Richard Johnston February 3, 2017 at 7:58 am

    A maltreated Yorkshire cannot kill someone. Pit bulls and their like are fatal accidents waiting to happen.

  10. Harry February 3, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Any dog can be trained to be vicious even the smallest poodle, dogs are the result of their environment – just like a child – I have bred dogs all my life different breeds and have always maintained control over them.

    Humans are largely responsible for the terrible things dogs do , i have never understood how someone could pays thousands of $ for a puppy, raise to maturity and then fight it and then when it loses kill it. Makes you wonder how they treat humans. It never ceases to amaze me that dog fighting continues in this small Country with thousands of $ bet on it and the authorities cannot stop it, maybe it is the people concerned….

    • Richard Johnston February 3, 2017 at 8:31 am

      Dogs don’t maul people, people do? Baloney. The “smallest poodle” can’t kill someone. A pit bull’s jaw can break an arm.

  11. Lisle February 3, 2017 at 8:19 am

    WOW. We do not need to ban any dogs. We need to increase the penalty for Dog owner who do not have the appropriate license and do not secure their dog / dog.

    To own certain dogs you should have x license and it the dog should have a tag on him at all times. We need to have police investigate people with dogs to ensure they have the proper license also. Secondly they should be made to do a dog training course to get the license.

    I have large Rotts and I train my dogs and make sure there are secured in several ways. Just like you have snake as pets etc that can kill people here, we need to be more responsible for our animals.

    Dogs need to be trained and we should have a harsh penalty for dog fighting like life in prison. Those dogs have bad genes and people who breed them create a monster dog. You should breed a calm smart dog with a smart, trained dog. Breed out the aggression.

  12. Alex Alleyne February 3, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Utter Nonsense about banning some dogs. If you have a problem with a dog , take the dog away from the owner. I heard of a fowlcock picking out a youngster eye, are you going to BAN them too ?.

    • Richard Johnston February 3, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Take it from the owner, then what? Send it to a retirement home for wayward dogs?

  13. Rupert Greaves February 3, 2017 at 9:15 am

    The best way to stop owners from maltreating pit bulls if as you say that is where the problem lies, is to ban them. What did you do when the guy hanged the dog, did you inform the Police or you just cried and left it at that? How many of the people who have Akitas can afford to keep them in air conditioned environments. I have stopped walking on mornings around the same time that this lady was attacked because I have seen how these dogs (pit bulls) pull their owners along the road on the way to the beach. This is the time that a lot of elderly people go for a swim. Just imagine one of these dogs becoming ignorant at the beach. I have nothing against dogs and so I have no intention of attacking any, so it cant be fair if one decides to attack me or mine.

  14. Rupert Greaves February 3, 2017 at 9:20 am

    The amazing thing about a pit bull attack which is always without provocation is that you have no protection because it is unexpected and therefore, you never get to read the nice comments the caring people write about you.

  15. Debbie Bell February 3, 2017 at 9:28 am

    No person or organization that actually cares about dogs would want more dogs to be born with deadly birth defects. Dog aggression, in a dog large enough to kill all other size dogs, is a horriBULL birth defect.

    Those who do resist breeding restrictions, on THE UK and NA dog fighters’ consistent choice, do not care about dog welfare

    Bully dogs suffer too from the man-made defect to mature to suddenly attack and work to kill their own kind, their own family, on mutant instinct alone.

  16. KathyAnn February 3, 2017 at 9:45 am

    The important thing here is a life was taken by a dog you cannot arrest a dog, what justice is given to the family after losing there love one. Akitas and Pit bull our two serious dogs and unless you have raise them from pup there is no assurance of what this dog can do. Just like the sea you can do all kind of thing build with the strongest thing but at sometime the sea take back it land. I strongly believe in banning these two dogs and putting serious rule on dog owners because it means people will soon be walking on street with weapons to protect themselves with can cause a other problem, human life matter so for dog lovers, breeder what is more important a dog or human. I love dogs I have one myself but from a pup and he never attack anyone but one day I saw black boy jump the wall with is twice his high to attack a dog of some other breed and kill him. My husband decide to carry him in as this would be his first taste of blood and I am soon to have baby, we decide we will not wait till something happen to our only child to response and no matter how I call black boy he would not let go of the dog neck my husband tried and he attack him and my husband had to left so I know first hand it not base on how old the dog was train from because our was from pup or how it treated because we treat black boy great he live in the house with us so that give you the idea. A dog will be a dog. But human life matter more.

  17. Outside February 3, 2017 at 10:10 am

    Jai Khan,very well said,You are the only person that seems to realize that a beautiful lady is dead

  18. Observer February 3, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Not only ban them,kill them

  19. Curdy February 3, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Maybe more Chinese restaurants will help to control the dog population

  20. Rich February 3, 2017 at 10:31 am

    There is an ordinance in Miami where pit bulls are ban. In addition, there is a one or two bite rule where the dog is automatically put down. In addition, a minimun insurance coverage of $200,000 or more should be implemented to compensate the victims for their injuries or in case someone is killed as in this case. There are several counties in Florida that have such laws.

  21. Maureen Fields February 3, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Ban those vicious animals!

  22. T February 3, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Who said anything about banning Akitas?? Only pitbulls were on the list and understandably so as there is more prevalence of selling to ppl who will fight those breeds than any other.

  23. Storm February 3, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    Ban them. Then we wouldn’t have any issues of dog fighting, maltreatment or anyone else dying from vicious dog attacks. How can you say you love a dog that is not suited for this climate like the Akita and have it live here? That’s abuse.

  24. Harry February 3, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    RJ you have missed the point

    • Richard Johnston February 3, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      Kindly explain.

  25. Angela phillips February 3, 2017 at 3:23 pm

    I agree a life is loss what’s thats the cause ..
    A very gruesome death …what would anyone want let’s Us all be responsible people to our brother man and keeper ..
    There should be put down that’s fair justice …
    We ate the only black people that try yo be difficult to each other …Life can no just not taken lightly…

  26. Ser Adelphel February 3, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    What if the dogs were simply being territorial and thought that what they were doing was protection from infiltrating or something, that could also be a factor, Dogs don’t have to be mistreated to attack, Ive had dogs for years never struck them and they would always have this aggressive deportment and I had them when They were puppies, I agree that proper tutelage would rectify the situation in my cases but not everyone has expertise in training these animals.

  27. A barbadian and "dangerous" dog owner February 3, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    My condolences go out to the family and friends of the lady.
    However, this is grossly wrong on different levels:

    1) We in Barbados need to take family companions (dogs) more seriously and to want to ban specific breeds because of peoples’ negligence is unfair to those breeds of dogs and to those who love their family companions. You can walk around in the US with your dogs; take them to parks, supermarkets, certain restaurants etc; and you see pitbulls, bulldogs and all these breeds that people here like to stereotype as “dangerous”. Down here, as soon as you take your dog to the beach or anywhere in public, some people behave like they’ve never seen a dog in their life. Sometimes calling a rottweiler an akita and will then proceed to ask if you’re breeding them, they want to buy a puppy….seriously? Before you even think about buying/owning a dog, you need to read and do some research into dogs and owning one.

    2) Owners need to take responsibility and ensure their properties are properly secured. If you don’t have an adequate fenced area, buy a cat or a love bird. As for those who don’t have a proper fenced area and just want to tie the dog on a 4ft chain or leave in a kennel for most of it’s life, you are sick and maybe someone should do that to you for just a week out in the blistering sun and see how you start to behave.

    3) The relevant authorities need to carry out checks throughout neighbourdhoods, districts and communities to check that people have the necessary licences for their dogs. If not, serve them a notice to get it sorted within a week. (and don’t say you can’t afford to pay it within a week because that proves you shouldn’t own one in the first place if you can’t licence your dog for the nominal fee of $10, $15 or $20 for a few years). The same authorities, when they carry out their checks, should also inspect the surroundings. I drive around Barbados and can clearly see dogs that are mistreated (not fed properly, tied, unhealthy etc). Why go buy a puppy or even if it was free and then do that? Just because your child who may not understand the responsibilities involved say mommy daddy I want a puppy…? If you have adequate surroundings, can afford it and also spend time with it to become part of the family and teach your child, then fine. If not, leave the puppy where it is.

    4) The police, many of times, know who fight dogs and where certain dog fighting pits are all down in St. Lucy, St. Andrew, St. John, St. George, St. Thomas. Do they do anything about it? I highly doubt.

    I can go on with many other points but people (including those in authority who are talking about this ban) need to educate themselves on this issue. Those points mentioned above may not be relevant to the owner of the dogs that carried out the attack but they are prime examples of the issue at hand. I understand the dog’s escaped through a hole in the fence and it might have been just one of those unfortunate situations where he wasn’t aware of the hole or the dogs might have created the hole that morning. If he was aware of it, he should have done something about it. In a situation like that, I can appreciate him tying the dogs temporarily to fix it.

    Accidents occur and this one was very tragic unfortunately. But if you want to ban these so called “dangerous” dogs, that pretty much includes pitbulls, bull terriers, rottweilers, dobermans, german shepherds, akitas, mastiffs, ridgebacks, boxers, etc etc etc..even mixed; any kind of medium to large breed dog because they’re all capable of causing harm. Some maybe more so than others.
    Just send a memo to the thieves and crooks saying they’re now allowed to just waltz onto people’s properties and into their homes. Because there would be no such thing as “guard dogs” anymore.

  28. Brewster February 4, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Stop all the talk and BAN the dogs! I still can’t sleep over thinking about how that woman died. Enough is enough!

  29. Akita March 1, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Pit bulls aren’t banned in Finland. And the Finnish akita breeders are some of the best around. Don’t give out false information about a country that doesn’t act by blind hysteria.

  30. Alice March 3, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    Brazil doesn’t currently ban any breed. If anything The Fila is usually on banned dog lists.

  31. Jenn March 7, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Pit bulls are not banned in all provinces in Canada. Perhaps a little more research, since 2 others are claiming the same thing from Brazil and Finland.


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