Grounds for dismissal?

Royston Grimstead, owner of an Aston Martin and a Border Collie cross named Luce, came home last week to find that she had chewed the wheel arch of the £80,000 car.

photo by SWNS

photo by SWNS

Some people found this story funny, with Grimstead saying that he felt the dog acted out of spite when she heard that he wanted to re-home her.  He then reported that the had re-homed Luce without telling her new owners about the destructive chewing incident (although with the coverage this story had in worldwide media, they probably have heard by now).

In my opinion, dogs don’t act out of spite.  They do act out of boredom and Border Collies are particularly known for their high intelligence and need of a job (plus other enrichment activities).  Luce was likely bored and found the texture and shine of the fibreglass appealing.

photo by SWNS

Luce, photo by SWNS

I don’t agree with the media coverage of this story for two reasons:

  • It reinforces the myth that dogs act from spite
  • It spreads the idea that is okay to give away a dog when you don’t want to work with them on behavioural issues

What do you think?

7 responses to “Grounds for dismissal?

  1. Luce needs a better human, things probably/hopefully worked out for the best.
    Animals help people show their true colors.

    • I hope Luce is happy in her new home, too. My concern is the media coverage which helps reinforce the message of ‘dogs as disposable.’ I have clients who have worked with their behaviourally challenged rescue dogs and are now loving families. Dogs who are rescues come from varied backgrounds and need time to adjust and be loved. Thanks for getting in touch.

  2. I agree. Dogs do not act from spite. Spite is not a dog behavior. It is human. I also agree that the media coverage was guilty of not including boredom as a reason for creative destruction. I do not think this particular owner is capable of the patience and intelligence to deal with a dog’s behavior. Re-homing was best for this dog however the media could have included information on how exercise and stimulating the mind of this highly intelligent breed might have avoided the chewing and re-homing. This places the responsibility on the owner which I doubt the reporter wanted to do for legal reasons. Bored Dog Chews Up Car and Owner Shuns Responsibility for Dogs Actions isn’t a headline we’re likely to see. From Tucson AZ USA

  3. I agree with you on the 2 points you made about spite and giving a dog away because that is the easiest solution for the person involved BUT I have to say sometimes the dog was better off going to a new home. When i worked as a Vet Tech there were more than a few times it was the owner not the dog. It just took the right match and you had a happy dog 🙂

    • Hello Veda, I agree that dogs and owners must match. I think the issue I have is the way this story has been portrayed in the media. I have clients who stuck with their behaviourally challenged dogs and they are loving families now. Rescue dogs often have unclear histories and they need time to adjust.

  4. Whee thought the exact same thing. Poor Luce was probably just bored. Some people shouldn’t have dogs if they don’t give them the appropriate care and attention

    Nacho, Noah, Buddy & Basil

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