Is it fair to label certain breeds of dogs dangerous? Should we be labelling owners or dogs and what is best for all in this?
This can be quite a contentious debate among the public and it’s obvious to see why. On one hand you have people who have been bitten or attacked by a dog and on the other you have owners who claim that it’s the fault of the owners – basically the nature vs. nurture debate.
The nature of dogs
Certain breeds of dogs are trained to do specific tasks and behave in a certain way. Farm dogs like Kelpies and Blue Heelers and Border Collies are naturals at working and herding animals, it comes naturally to them. Others are excellent hunting dogs due to their ingrained nature to sniff out, retrieve and chase and at times kill, this includes Pit Bulls. Other dogs like Huskies are born to run, so does that mean others are born to fight and pose more risk to humans. Yes and no.
Although there are certain breeds with a greater disposition to hunting, biting and blood sports this does not automatically mean that they are to blame. Dobermans, Rottweilers and Pit Bulls are commonly in the spotlight and labeled as dangerous dogs. However, an argument in their defense is that the number and popularity of these dogs dramatically increased in a short space of time, meaning more attacks occurred compared with in the past.
It is more the upbringing of a dog that is going to shape it’s behavior in later life. A bad owner will do more than a ‘bad breed’. If you love one of these so called dangerous breeds, there are some pointers that will help you along the way.
- Neuter your animal – 80 percent of attacks occur from dogs that are not neutered
- Don’t let your dog bite your hand in play, train them to only bite toys
- Socialise them with other puppies from a young age
- Be aware of signs of aggression from an early age