Aggressive dog breeds and dogs that bite
The words “aggressive dog breeds” are enough to make any potential dog owner or parent apprehensive. But just because a breed has a reputation for aggression does not mean that the entire breed consists of dogs that bite.
Every dog is just an individual with its own personal history and experiences; even the most aggressive dog breeds will have some placid individuals. However, the consequences of dog bites can be serious and potentially fatal, and the majority of victims are children. No dog comes with a safety guarantee, not even a non-aggressive breed, but with responsible owners, the dangers can be reduced and the benefits can be great.
Dog breeds are banned in the UK and other countries.
In the UK, some breeds are banned. These banned breeds are those that are very aggressive and are likely to be dogs that bite. The most aggressive dog breeds are generally those that were bred for dogfighting. (As a ‘sport’, that involves two dogs fighting till one can’t continue, and is now illegal in many countries, including the UK, USA, and Japan, to name a few.
All of the breeds that have been banned in the UK were traditionally associated with fighting. These are American Pit Bull Terriers, Dogo Argentinos, Fila Brasileiros, and Japanese Tosas. Other dog breeds that have been labeled as aggressive in the press include Dachshunds, Rottweilers, and different types of terriers. Whether this reputation is deserved or not, it is difficult to determine. I myself was bitten by a terrier when I was a child, whereas other families have kept and bred terriers for many years with no problems.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is considered an aggressive dog breed in the UK.
This four-month-old American Pit Bull Terrier doesn’t look aggressive, and he’s certainly enjoying his pine cone! In the UK, though, this breed is held to be aggressive and it would be illegal to own the puppy there, however great he looks here. Supporters of American Pit Bull Terriers, however, see them as great family dogs. The right training and the right breeding and background can make all the difference to the way an individual dog will turn out.
My own experience
I myself was bitten by a terrier when I was a child, whereas other families have kept bred terriers for many years with no problems. The dog that bit me was a family pet who had been purchased as a puppy. In hindsight, it is obvious that the dog was taken from its mother too early. My parents were also not allowed to see their mother, a fact that should have raised alarm bells immediately.
These factors all led to the dog’s reacting more aggressively than it should, possibly because of its own insecurities. Every animal or person has a breaking point that can cause a violent reaction, often after feeling threatened. A dog taken from its mother too early is bound to feel more threatened than a puppy who has had the proper amount of time with its mother.
Don’t choose a puppy that may be aggressive.
When choosing a puppy for a pet, it is vital to look at the history of the animal, especially if you are considering a potentially aggressive dog breed. This includes not only the reputation of the breed but also the personal history of the dog and its family if possible. (It’s not usually possible with rescue dogs). A puppy with aggressive parents is likely to grow into an aggressive adult dog regardless of its breed. Similarly, a puppy that has been taken from its mother before 8 weeks, like the one that bit me, is likely to be aggressive. A puppy whose parents are too closely related can also have problems with aggression. If a puppy from an otherwise aggressive dog breed is from a reputable breeder, has placid parents, and is owned by responsible dog owners, then the risk is reduced of the puppy becoming a dog that bites.
Should aggressive dogs be banned?
In the UK, we regularly hear very sad and horrific stories of small children who have been badly mauled or worse, even killed by a family pet. Certain breeds seem to crop up again and again in these stories, yet after each terrible incident, there are letters in the press with stories from owners of these very same breeds about how gentle they are. Do you have a story about this? Do you have your own point of view? Share it!