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- Dogs & Dog Breeds
The Secret Recipe for a Well Tempered Dog
It is important to rectify that there is no such thing as a dog breed being more dangerous than others. As long as all dogs have teeth, they can all be deemed dangerous to some extent. Of course, the level of damage deriving from a dangerous dog attack will vary depending on the dog's size and its overall strength.
Instances, of genetically inherited aggressive traits in dogs can be rare, but yet happen, especially when dogs are born from casual breedings originating from backyard breeders with little knowledge about properly temperament testing their breeding specimens. In these cases, the dog may be ''wired wrong'' and unfortunately many times there is nothing that can be done to change the dynamic of the events.
Most dogs come into this world with a specific temperament and a specific tendency to be submissive or a bit more assertive. It is ultimately a mix of the dog's natural disposition and the owner's leadership role that generates a stable dog. Dogs with a tendency to be stubborn and testing therefore should be placed in homes with owners able to handle these dogs in the proper manner. Many times knowledgeable breeders are able to tell from a tender age, which dogs among the litter are more stubborn and which are more submissive. However, it is also true than no guarantees can be made, and dogs may change considerably once they reach social maturity.
Trouble often arises when a dog prone to being stubborn and testing is placed in a home with weak owners. Owners, therefore must be educated on how to properly raise such dogs. If the dog is too tough to handle, these owners have the choice to return the dog to the breeder. Mot responsible breeders will take back a dog with no problems, often re-homing him or her with more experienced owners. Because too many dogs are abandoned to shelters nowadays or put to sleep because of aggressive behaviors, owners should become more knowledgeable about the level of responsibility it takes to properly raise a dog.
How to Prevent Making Bad Choices
-Research the Breed
While as explained previously, the breed of the dog has little to do with developing aggressive traits because basically all dogs when raised in the wrong hands may develop testing and stubborn behaviors, there are however, some dog breeds that can be more ''hard headed'' than others. Potential owners must therefore research the breed they are considering carefully, as some dogs breeds do better with experienced owners.
-Purchase From Responsible Breeders Only
Back yards breeders as already mentioned breed dogs as a profitable hobby. Their ads can be often seen in the Sunday newspaper or more around Christmas time when parents are more likely to purchase a puppy of kitten for their children. Most of these breeders take no time to health and temperament test their breeding specimens. They simply select two nice looking dogs without knowing if they have a history of aggressive behaviors in their genes. Responsible breeders temperament tests their dogs and know their past. They also are knowledgeable about the breed and can match specific owners to specific dogs with ever lasting and harmonious relationships in mind.
-Socialize as Much as Possible
There is a special grace period in puppies where they must be socialized as much as possible to other dogs, men, children, senior citizens, disabled people, people of different skin color, children and babies. The more socialized the dog the better he or she will behave when brought into the public. Dogs left in the yard all day or worse chained up, become unsocialized and frustrated with a propensity towards aggressive behaviors in the long run.
-Provide Sufficient Exercise
A tired dog is a good dog. A dog with pent up energy will be out of control once allowed to walk after a day left at home. It is the owner'sresponsibility to ensure their dog gets a sufficient level of exercise. This is often accomplished through walks, hikes, jogs, bike rides or swimming sessions. Once all the pent up energy is release most dogs will be much calmer and manageable.
Make sure that your dog is placed in a safe fenced area. Too many dogs become fence aggressive and someway or another after several attempts make it through to the fence. This may result in a tragedy because most territorial dogs claim also the nearby sidewalk as theirs and therefore feel compelled to defend it. Some dogs may be driven by prey drive and chase children ultimately ending into an attack. Dogs should always be leashed and under control once out. Dogs should not be trained to become aggressive guard dogs because of liability issues. That aggression may back fire one day against the owner or worse, against an innocent passerbyer. If one individual has the need to protect his home, it would be wiser to purchase an alarm system.
-Enroll in Classes
It can never be emphasized enough the importance of getting dogs enrolled in classes. A class does not teach a dog, it rather teaches the owner methods on how to better manage their dog. This may help the owner master techniques so the dog no longer pulls on the leash, jumps on guests or resorts to other behavior issues. Obedience trained dogs are more manageable, but in order to work, owners must continue training their dog at home in their spare time.
-Consult with Behaviorists
If a dog begins to exhibit aggressive behaviors, the chances of recovery are much higher when the problem is nipped in the bud instead of allowing it to settle and grow. Dog behaviorists may be able to watch the dynamic which triggers the unwanted behavior and offer suggestions on how to stop the behavior or reduce its instances.
Adopting a dog takes a lot of responsibility. All dogs virtually have the potential of becoming dangerous, all it takes is to pass over their tolerance threshold. Some dogs have strong thresholds while others may have weak thresholds with the result of developing aggressive behaviors with little provocation. A stable, reliable dog, therefore, is the result of nature and nurture: a combination of good temperament, training and proper owner leadership.
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