The topic of aggressive dog breeds is highly controversial and growing more so every year.
Many landlords forbid tenants from having certain breeds and municipalities across the U.S. are implementing city ordinances that ban citizens’ ownership of these breeds. Even property insurers have blacklisted certain breeds that they deem to be dangerous. Unfortunately, many of these efforts are misguided and based on false perceptions, rather than hard evidence or scientific criteria.
If you bring one of these so-called aggressive or dangerous dogs into your home, should you seek out the help of a dog trainer automatically, even if your pet has shown no sign of aggression?
What Is an Aggressive Dog Breed?
The definition used by property managers, insurance companies and government entities varies greatly but, in general, the labels of dangerous and aggressive come about based on the number of dog bit incidents associated with a particular breed.
Pit bull terriers typically top the list most everywhere, followed by breeds that include
Rottweilers, Staffordshire terriers, chow chows, Akitas, Doberman pinschers, huskies, malamutes, German shepherds, etc.
But, depending on who you ask or what you read, you’re almost as likely to hear poodles and chihuahuas labeled as aggressive and prone to biting.
The Truth About Aggressive Dog Breeds
The bottom line is that you simply cannot determine whether a dog is (or could become) aggressive based on the appearance of the animal or its bloodline. Any breed of dog – including mixed breeds – can be aggressive, based on its life experiences. Likewise, any given dog can be sweet, docile and an ideal companion for adults as well as children.
Certainly, we know that breed-specific traits exist. For example, Tibetan mastiffs tend to be protective of their families and wary of strangers entering the home. The Maltese tends to be a loyal and affectionate companion who alerts its humans to approaching strangers by barking adamantly.
If you peruse the breed standards from the American Kennel Club (AKC), you’ll see the Staffordshire terrier described as “confident, smart and good-natured.” Of the American pit bull terrier, the United Kennel Club (UKC) breed standards state that this breed “is eager to please and brimming over with enthusiasm” and that “APBTs make excellent family companions and have always been noted for their love of children.”
The Benefits of Dog Training for Aggressive Breeds
Although it’s wrong to judge any book by its cover, much of the world will judge your dog based on his appearance alone. For that reason, many industry professionals recommend formal dog training for “dangerous breeds,” even if your pet doesn’t have an aggressive bone in his body.
By enlisting the services of a professional dog trainer, you will ensure that your pet is always well-behaved and obedient, making him an excellent ambassador of his breed. Not only will this help dispel dangerous breed biases, but it will also make your pet the best possible companion for you and your family.
In Salt Lake City, Innovative K9 Academy works with dogs of all breeds and ages. In addition to basic obedience training, boot camps and puppy school, we work with all types of behavioral issues. So, whether your pet is simply lumped into a breed-specific perception or if you experience problems with aggression yourself, contact us today to speak to one of our experienced dog trainers.