The Truth About the Most Aggressive Dogs
What Do I Know
I know dogs. I know dog breeds, types, behaviors, psychology and what ever else dog related. I own and operate a mobile dog grooming business. I've been in business for six years traveling the local counties grooming dogs. I have well over 200 grooms under my belt. I groom large, medium and small dogs. I groom all breeds. I know dogs.
It's a surprise to me that people still accuse a specific breed of dog as aggressive. People just aren't listening, or they aren't paying attention to data that reports that it is not so much the breed of dog, but the owner that is responsible for the temperament of their dog.
Every breed of dog can be encouraged to be aggressive. Every breed of dog can be encouraged to be docile. It is up to the owner/handler.
When a dog has a propensity towards a certain behavior the owner must be diligent to avoid that dogs triggers to act on its instinct.
Incomplete and Incorrect Data
When a person performs an internet search about how many of a specified dog breed is in America they will get a different number almost every time. How can such an undertaking even be considered when the majority of dog owners don't register their dog with the city?
Of course some cities have a higher or lower percentage of registered dogs. And I'm sure the city you live in every dog is registered. But in reality, from grooming dogs, where I have to take their collar off to bath them, there is no evidence of a registration tag on 80%+ of those collars.
Again, I ask, how can such an undertaking even be considered? It can't be even close to accurate when so many dogs aren't registered.
The only other method for anyone to determine the number of dogs per household, thus per city, would be a door to door doggy census. I've never had anyone come to my door and ask me how many dogs I have in the yard. Have you?
The data of percentages mean nothing. You'd come up with a far better count if you just drove down your street and count the dogs on your street. Then, multiply that by how many streets are in your town. Multiply that by how many streets are in the United States. Then, and only then, would you have a fair count of dogs in the U.S.
For a number of a particular breed, do the same thing in your neighborhood, but break the number down into groups or breeds. Do the multiplication and you'll have a better number than search results give you.
With that fact out on the table, the three most common breed of dog, I have found with my business, is: 1. Chihuahua 2. Siberian Husky 3. Pit Bull.
Understand The Data You're Reading
Understand the data you're reading before making a decision. Data can be construed in ways that will make certain items appear in a positive OR negative light. Two sets of exact data can be presented in either view, pro or con. It depends on who's presenting the data. Is the person, group or entity for or against the data they are presenting. The presenter of the data can make the numbers lean towards their preference, and it is done often. Remember the people that wrote history are the one's that won. This applies to data. Whomever is writing it will write it in their own favor.
With that in mind, popularity does not equal the number of that breed alive and breathing in the Popularity: The state, or condition, of being liked, or admired, or supported by many people. For Example: If the person presenting the data owned a Labrador Retriever their data set may read, "The most popular dog is the Labrador Retriever." This is not a body count. This is merely a claim by the person presenting their opinion. Did they go out and count dogs door-to-door? No. Again, this is impossible to determine unless the proper amount is counted. This is only the opinion of someone that already owns a Labrador Retriever.
Here is another misleading opinion: The AKC.org claims that the most popular dog in the U.S. is the Labrador Retriever. It may be most popular, but it is not the most commonly owned. Again, the AKC certainly did not knock on my door inquiring about my dogs. For the record, I like Golden Labs but I own a Chihuahua.
Learn About Dog Behavior And Train Your Dog Well
Know your dog. Know dog behavior. It's our responsibility to train our dogs to be good citizens! Get out there and learn it for you and for the dogs!
Aggressive Dog Reality
Let's get some real facts out there. As the owner of a grooming business, that covers five+ counties in California, the dog breed that makes me cringe the most is......drum roll please....the Chihuahua! I have been bit three times in all these years and every single one of those bites came from a Chihuahua. Not a Doberman, not a Pit Bull, not a Rottweiler, but from Chihuahua's.
I own a Chihuahua and that dog is AGGRESSIVE. She's so tiny that a bite from her isn't a hospital visit, but minor or not, Chihuahua's are the most aggressive dog I have ever met. Like I said, I've been bit three times and they were all Chihuahua's.
Big Baby Pit
People Do It, Not the Dog
Pit bulls are so plentiful in America that nearly half the dogs in backyards are part pit bull. It's just a fact. They look mean, they can be trained to be very aggressive, they make excellent home protection just from their looks and humans found they could wager money on them and watch a vicious fight go down and win money all in one breed. So they made more, and more, and more.
People of this nature, that enjoy promoting and partaking in, dog fights, and many others, are not the type that run down and register their dogs whether Pit Bull or otherwise. It's just not an important part of their life. An accurate account of how many Pit Bulls are in each city cannot be made. A nearly accurate account for any breed in a city, let alone the U.S. cannot be made. To try and come up with a percentage or a per pet bite comparison is ludicrous. Unless you get out there on the street and count dogs it's impossible to make a comparison.
You can get a solid number of dog bites and what breed did the biting. When you look at this information you may be surprised or even bewildered to find that the most common breed to send a person to the hospital is....the Rottweiler. That's just raw data in itself. When a patient arrives at the hospital because of a dog bite it is reported to be a Rottweiler.
The Rottweiler hasn't had much publicity for it's attacks because right now the Pit Bull is on the hot seat. As soon as people educate themselves they will pull the Pit Bull of the seat and plop the Rottweiler on it. The problem is that it isn't the dog that is the problem, it's the person that owns the dog.
I have four dogs. The Chihuahua is the most aggressive. She has bit three people. The people were on our property, but still, that's not a reason to bite. My Chihuahua came outside, ran over to the person, and for reasons unknown, she bit their heel and ran off. It's my fault. I allowed her to be aggressive. I didn't spend much time associating her with other dogs like at a dog park or something. I didn't reprimand her when she would bark at people. I allowed the aggressive Chihuahua nature takes its course. I have all kinds of excuses for it; I was working a lot plus she's so little, she can't really hurt anyone. Now take that attitude a little bit bigger. Let's say to the size of a Pit Bull or Rottweiler. German Shepherds rank pretty high in the hospital bite zone too. Now you have a large dog that can cause real damage. Their owners are working a lot. They don't have time to take it to the dog park to socialize. They want a dog that will scare away intruders so barking at strangers is ignored or, more often, encouraged. Now we have a biter of no fault but our own.
The dog bit statistics should read:
Out of a city of 102,000 there were 32 dog owners that failed to raise their pet appropriately.
Another city of 85,000 had only 2 irresponsible dog owners last year.
Now THAT would be some accurate reporting!
I have a propensity towards cold hard cash. But I don't go out robbing everything to get it because my mother taught me that is wrong, don't do it. So I don't. The same thing goes with your dog! If the behavior is unacceptable don't encourage it, ever.
She Still Has Some Anxiety, She Likes To Keep One Paw On Me
How Do People Stop the Problem They Have Created
- Start socializing your dog when it's a puppy. After they get their first shots (6 weeks I believe it is) get your puppy out and around people and pets. Let them sniff other dogs and play with other dogs. When they are a puppy it's all about playing. It's not until they are older that it becomes something else. So train him that other dogs are a source of fun and playing.
- If your puppy see's a cat and tries to chase it, tell him, "NO". You will save yourself a lot of aggrevation down the road if you teach your dog not to chase anything. All dogs want to chase. Dogs are not good at figuring out what they can chase and what you don't want them to chase. The dog is going by a gut feeling, not thought process's. Their gut says, "Go get it now!". You need to teach your pet to ignore that feeling. Trying to teach him that it's okay to chase this but not okay to chase that is not going to work! Just don't chase anything. Ignore that feeling that says chase it!
- Train your dog basic obedience. Basic obedience will come to the rescue for you and your pet. If only teaching the basic sit and stay, you may save a life!
When I went to a kennel to adopt a dog there was one that was past her time. They had her for four months and her time was up. If she wasn't adopted that week, Monday she would be put down. The people running the kennel warned me, "She's a bit wild." Wild? She was out of hand! This dog had so much anxiety from being in the loud, cold, scary kennel that it went berzerk when people would come to look at her for adoption.
When I met this dog the handler could barely hold the lead. The handler reluctantly passed the lead line to me while the dog was flipping and flopping and jumping and yanking it every where! I took the lead from her and told the dog "Sit!" and she sat right down. Soon, within a few seconds, she started wiggling and shaking and then out of hand again. Again, I said "Sit!" Again, she sat right down. That was the golden ticket for her, I took her home. Sit was our savior! And hers as well! If she didn't have any obedience at all, I would not have been able to take her. She had to have something, anything to work with her.
I ended up with two black eyes over the next few weeks from this dog. When she would go into her anxiety attack (like when I would walk in the door from work) and I wasn't paying good attention she would go wild and swing her legs, body and head around. Bam! She got me! But with the basic sit command we had somewhere to start.
We implemented some training methods to encourage her feeling of security and respect. We immediately started socializing her. Using her sit command when any sign of a behavior we didn't want showed up. Soon she was listening to more commands.
She is now one of the best award winning disabled assistants around. She is a Pit Bull.