Genetics: It's not only about the breed. You see, a breed can be highly protective naturally and not a danger
because the owners and breeders take precautions that are needed. They know what is likely to occur in certian situtions
where a dog's actions may not be the right actions and take all preventitive measures including socialization, training, and
muzzling if needed. Also, in certian breeds, poor examples will occur, these can be overly aggressive or even dogs that
arent aggressive enough in the breed's standard. So genetics can go both way in a breed.
Most of what a pup inherits comes from their dam, but a sire still plays an important role. Lets put it the way
one of my dear friends put it:
If you abuse, starve, and fight a dog, and breed it to another dog that was abused, starved, and fought, and then do
the same to the puppies, and breed the pups to others who have had the same done, what do you think the next generation will
This can be done to any breed, no matter how much the breed has a 'family dog' reputation, dogs can inherit bad genes
because of bad breeding and circumstances. Bad breeding can also contribute both health and mental problems that can
cause aggression, but that will be dicussed below.
Rearing of the Litter:Puppies need to be handled as soon as possible in every way, shape, and form. Socialization
from the get-go is important to having well adjusted, confident dogs. Confident dogs are less likely to bite out of
fear or be aggressive towards animals and humans alike. Puppies also need to stay with the dam as long as possible.
This may not always be possible, or the best option in cases of medical concern, but the training that the dam and litter
mates give play a key role in how a dog will develop later on. This includes bite inhibition, as dams will give corrections
to one that is playing too rough, and litter mates will yelp and refuse to play with a hard bitter.
Training: Bad training and the lack of can cause serious problem and create a dog that is very much a liability.
It is well known in dog circles that beating a dog for not doing something, or doing the wrong thing will often result in
fear biting and serious aggression problems. We don't expect a human to lay there and take a beating, how can we expect
a dog *not* to fight back either or develop mental problems?
Many a nervous and dangerous dog have been created from such methods as beating and starving. Dogs simply do not
know what they've done wrong an half hour after the fact, and they don't understand being starved. It is considered
abuse in humans, it is abusive to dogs.
The lack of training can create several situtions, one being a dog that thinks *everything* is ok to do. This means
rough play that can injure a child unknowingly. It can also create a dominant dog that tries to dominate and sometimes
even fight everything. Lack of training also often goes hand in hand with lack of socialization, which once again, will
be further down.
Sitution and Habitat: Dogs are mentally and physically active animals when awake. When bored or frustrated,
it often builds up anxiety, which then often becomes aggression. A dog that is chained all the time will often lunge
and pace for the lack of exercise, become extremely bored and frustrated, and often become aggressive in time. A dog
that is kenneled all the time will often spin in circles, something that is called 'kennel crazed', and if in a long kennel
run, will race and hit the fence. Dogs that are chained or kenneled for their life, day and night, without human
interaction might as well have been thrown away. They lack the skills, training, and exercise needed to be healthy
mentally, and often become a danger to humans they don't know.
Exercise is required for a happy, healthy dog. Many problems a lot of owners have are due to lack of exercise,
and it has been proven time and time again. Some dogs are more active than others, Border Collies are natural workers,
and need a job to do all day, otherwise they can become very destructive, where as an older Mastiff is often content with
a few short walks a day and a couple of longer ones a week.
Chained dogs can also become food aggressive and possesive over toys and 'their' area, making untangling them
if chained, a danger to adults and especially children.
Chained dogs have caused more deaths than any one breed or mix, 109 in a span of 30 years.
Socialization- Sad to say, dogs do not naturally know our laws. And dogs without socialization and training,
don't really know anything.
Dogs have to be socialized with anyone and everyone as soon as they have had all their shots. Socialization needs
to be a positive experiance, one which builds confidence and shows the dog there is no need to react to new and unusual things
fearfully or aggressively. Think of it as one more form of training that should be required for nearly all dogs.
Occurances In the Dog's Life: Did you know, that one bad occurance in a dog's life can cause years of having to
retrain a dog? It's true. Dogs, especially very sensitive ones, are prone to being traumatized. This could
be from a strange person attacking with certian objects, loud noises, other dogs attacking(even just certian breeds), or an
accident even. Pushing a dog to reaccept something or even people who may resemble the person/people who hurt the dog
can cause aggressive or fearful behavoir to surface. The more you push a dog to try and 'hurry up and show the
dog there's nothing to be afraid of', the more likely someone is to get hurt. Often in these cases it is best to take
slow approaches at a distance and let the dog work "it's" way to the person/people or object.
Occurances in the dog's life that can cause problems can happen if the dog escapes or is stolen. This is not the
dog's fault, but if any signs of long lasting stress occur, it is best to seek professional help.
Health- Health, both mental and physical, can sometimes result in bitting and attacks. This includes the
'Springer Rage Syndrome' and seziures mentally, and numerous physical conditions that can cause a dog pain. Where as
an adult who knows of the condition will be able to handle it, a child can often be hurt when trying to place with the dog,
or even when in the same general area.
The best thing to do is to supervise the dog and possibly even give it it's own area or crate. Older dogs don't
have to be put down because of the risk, however, doggy parents need to be responsible and supervise all friends, family,
and children wth the dog.
Also in this section, the talk of spaying and neutering. It has been shown that un-altered males are more likely
to attack. It would be a great measure for ALL states to have free and cheap spay and neuter requirements for all dogs
that aren't working or show dogs, or any dogs being used in a program in establishing a new breed(does not include designer
mutts) or saving a rare one.