There are many reasons for
aggression in dogs. There are many dog breeds which due to genetics are
considered difficult dogs for novice dog owners, or owners who have young
children at home.A partial list of these high maintenance dog breeds
Dog bites are on the rise: Although the number of dogs
in the United States increased by only 2% between 1986 and 1996, the number of
dog bite injuries requiring medical treatment rose by 37%.
The scene of attack is home or a familiar place. The
majority of dog attacks (61%) happen at home or in a familiar place. Dogs bite
family and friends. The vast majority of biting dogs (77%) belong to the
victim's family or a friend. Children make up the majority of dog bite victims,
they are bitten on the face 90% of the time.
BREEDER vs. BAD BREEDER
The following link will help you determine which
breeders are "good" breeders, breeders that will stand behind the quality of
their stock, breeders that will offer support and guidance for the life of the
Besides the decision of what
breed of dog to bring into your home, picking the breeder is the most important
decision that you will make.
By spending time researching
breeders, you will have a much better chance of finding that once in a lifetime
puppy, your dog of "the heart".
Shelters and breed rescue organizations can either be
the best place on the planet to adopt a dog from, or the worse
place on the planet to adopt a dog from. Right now, I am going to
talk about the good ones.
I have found the good dog shelters that have dogs with
the best temperaments: dogs that tend to be friendly, easy to live with dogs; ]
are shelters and rescue groups that cull dogs from their ranks that have
Many times these shelter/rescue groups will have a dog
trainer on staff that will temperament test all dogs and write up a detailed
evaluation on the dog's negative and positive traits. These shelters make your
job, finding a safe and sane dog to take home and integrate into
your family, very easy!
Undesireable Dog Traits
severe barrier frustration
Then, there are the shelters and rescue groups who
take in ANY DOG that arrives at their door, never cull for unsuitable
temperament, and will adopt out ANY DOG to ANYONE, even if the dog has
bitten many times before.
Generally, these are no-kill shelters, shelters that
are filled with 'lifers', dogs that can't be part of
normal human society, ever. Attempting to adopt a dog from one of these
shelters makes about as much sense as visiting a maximum-security penitentiary
such as Attica, Sing Sing, Chino or Joliet, to find a 'nice'
husband or wife.
Remember that the nice dogs get
adopted out as soon as they arrive, the dogs that are left in a shelter for any
period of time usually have something seriously wrong
I am including a list of risk factors that you should
keep in mind when you visit a shelter or breed rescue to adopt a dog.
With shelter dogs, and in particular, adult 'problem'
dogs from no-kill shelters, you must take your time in picking out your dog.
You must make both a risk assessment
(can my wallet, heart and life-style handle this dog) and a return on
investment inventory (can we put in enough in terms of
love/time/money/professional services to make this dog safe).
but can't change what a dog
"is". In the eternal struggle between nurture and
nature, with the dog nature trumps.
Ami Moore the The Dog Whisperer
SHELTER DOG RISK FACTOR CHECKLIST
ABSENCE of significant training, especially if the
dog is hyperactive, dominant and/or independent. Especially if the dog fights
you or the leash.
Acts INDIFFERENT toward you, your spouse and
especially your children after being in a room alone with you and your family
for 10-15 minutes.
Acts FEARFUL or SHY around you, your spouse and
most especially, your children.
Dog is HYPERSENSITIVE to movement, sounds or
touched, especially the head, ears, feet, neck, tail and hindquarters.
Beware of the dog that turns his head toward your
loving hand and then: grabs, snarls or snaps! This is a potentially dangerous
Dogs that retreat when approached by an upright
person with outstretched hands especially your children's.
Any dog that growls, snaps or nips at you, your
spouse or kids for any reason, even in play, when stroked or hugged.
Dog that was kept outdoors most of the time,
especially if he was tied by a chain to a tree or building.
Dog that is easily excited, easily frustrated, gets
more hyper as time goes on.
Dog that will NOT let the husband or wife
hug it firmly for 30 seconds, or reacts in a fearful, resentful or aggressive
manner once released. If you, the adult is afraid or cautious or tentative when
trying to hug the dog, it has no business going home with you!
Any dog that does not exhibit signs of friendliness
toward your family, especially any children.
Any dog that refuses to settle down and enjoy your
company. This is a dog that paces whines and appears restless, distracted or
frustrated even after 10-15 minutes with your family.
A dog that cannot be placed and contained in a
crate for 15 minutes while you and your family leave the room.
If the dog has any one of the above character
traits,LEAVE IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT!
REMEMBER DOGS DON'T LIE! WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT
YOU'LL GET OR WORSE IN YOUR HOME!
Ami Moore the Dog Whisperer
I have found that people, especially women, become
emotionally involved with rescue/shelter dogs that appear to need to be saved.
Dogs that look sad, pathetic, sit in the back of
cages, immobile with big, sad, dilated eyes, and dogs that "look like they need
In my experience, these types of high-maintenance dogs
rarely stay in their new home; most are removed within the first year, in most
cases because of aggressive behaviors often
FOR OWNERS OF AGGRESSIVE DOGS
Owning an aggressive
dog can be a serious emotional liability, a catastrophic financial liability,
and a serious ethical issue.
Many owners will hold on to a fantasy that their dog
is not aggressive despite the cancellation of homeowners insurance, despite
large court settlements, despite the constant presence of police, despite the
restrictive manner in which the dog lives (padlocked kennels, muzzles, banning
dog from public places).
Get yourself educated, don't be the aggressive dog
owner in your town that ends up on the evening news!
BAD WAS THE BITE?
FAQS All dogs
All dogs have teeth. All Dogs Can Bite.
Biting is a normal component of canine
Aggression is a normal part of the canine
99.9% of all aggression is rooted in fear, timidity,
anxiousness, nervousness and most aggressive dogs can be rehabilitated so that
they can function in a normal manner in the American family.
SPEED: Our dogs can bite 10 times in a second.
POWER: The bigger battle breeds have the bite
strength the same as a Great White Shark. Dogs can chew through metal, rip
through wood and chew through plastic, concrete and drywall, and thus really
hurt you or your child.
This bite does not touch the skin. It's air biting or snapping. This bite shows
that your dog has Superior bite inhibition.
This bite makes contact with the skin, but doesn't break the skin. This can
still really hurt and leave bruising, but no abrasions. This bite shows that
your dog has Fabulous bite inhibition.
This bite ranges from 3.1; a minor abrasion - Great bite inhibition - to 3.9; 1
to 4 puncture wounds less than ½ the depth of the eye-tooth (fang) with
or without some tearing - Good bite inhibition.
The dog is putting great pressure into the bite. 1 to 4 puncture wounds with or
without tearing, more than ½ the depth of the eye tooth. This is usually
accompanied with bruising and likely to require medical attention. At this
point, although the dog certainly has intent to cause harm, he/she may still be
showing some bite inhibition depending on the size and strength of the dog.
Multiple level 4 bites. This dog is usually beyond the ability to reason and
may feel his/her life is threatened. This dog is no longer displaying
The dog has killed.
This dog knows where their teeth are and makes sure they don't cause harm. It
is important to learn how to maintain this type of bite-inhibition in your
If you have a dog under the age of 6 months, most trainers will help you. But
if the dog is an adult you can expect to be told to get rid of or put your dog
down by most, though not all dog professionals including trainers, shelters and
Tearing usually occurs when the human pulls their hand, arm, etc., out of the
dogs mouth. Unfortunately most trainers will not even consider working with a
level 3 biter and you are most likely to be told to put the dog down.
It is extremely rare to find a trainer who is willing to work to rehabilitate a
level 4 biter. There is greater risk involved with this animal and the
individual circumstances are very important.
In rare cases this can be fixed. Rehabilitation is guarded.
Euthanasia is the only option.
847-284-7760 for a FREE Consultation With the
Chicago Dog Whisperer or Email Us
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Did You Know... The ten most popular dogs
(AKC) are in order: