tems to Consider about Aggressive Dog Breeds

Reports of aggressive dog attacks have scared many people into realizing some breeds are inherently dangerous. Pit Bulls can be a dangerous breed and are often featured in the news after an attack. They are not the only breed considered dangerous.

Insurance companies charge higher rates to homeowners owning one of these aggressive dog breeds:

  • Akita
  • Belgian Sheepdog
  • Boxer
  • Bulldog
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Great Dane
  • Husky
  • Malamute
  • Rottweiler
  • Saint Bernard
  • Sharpei
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Wolf Hybrid

The truth is that any dog can attack if untrained and provoked. However, for centuries many breeds have been bred specifically to be powerful watch dogs. If their owner lacks experience in training, they can become dangerous.

Aggressive Dogs Are the Fault of the Owner

Some dogs are naturally dominant breeds. On November 19, 2009, a Houston woman was attacked by her two-year-old pit bull. The dog never showed any signs of aggression until that day when it tore apart the woman's face in an unprovoked attack. No one is certain why the dog attacked.

With protective breeds like German Shepherds and Rottweilers, it's an instinct to protect the dog's master. The dog may misunderstand the threat, but it will react instinctively. It's up to the owner to be able to stop an attack before it occurs. An example of this involves a 2009 lawsuit against actress Jennifer Lopez. Her German Shepherd attacked a stewardess carrying silverware.

It's important when choosing a dog breed that you pick a dog that you can train. If you're new to training, a dominant, stubborn breed is not a good choice. To control aggressiveness in a dog, a strong hand is required. Failing to train the dog can lead to an aggressive, out of control dog.

Myth: Aggressive Dog Breeds Lock the Jaws

Pit bulls and mastiffs have incredibly strong jaws. Many people incorrectly believe that the dog's jaws are designed to snap shut and lock into place, much like an alligator. Scientists have proven there is no such mechanism within the jaws that allow this to happen.

Pit bulls and other strong-jawed dog breeds simply have a very strong bite. With enough strength, you can pull their jaws apart and help someone escape their bite.

Myth: Only Dangerous Breeds Attack

Pit bulls and other so-called aggressive dogs suffer from media attention. In addition, there is a lack of mandatory reporting of any dog attack, no matter the breed. Typically, animal control is only called when a dog attack is serious, involves a dangerous breed or hospitalization is required due to the injuries sustained in the attack. Many other dog bites go unreported. For this reason, statistics that are recorded are often skewed.

Because dangerous dog breeds are feared by many, people are more likely to call animal control when a pit bull or rottweiler is loose and attacking a person or animal. This boosts the number of reported attacks for these breeds. Meanwhile, smaller dogs notorious for being "ankle biters," such as Yorkshire Terriers or chihuahuas, bite dozens of people and never get reported. People are not likely to bother reporting these attacks, because the bites are small and superficial.