Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Better Safe than Sorry

I would like to talk about dog aggression. I responded to a plea to save a dog on a blog that I follow.
This got me thinking, and I believe people really don't understand completely what dog aggression is.

I think I have a better idea than most, but I can certainly point you towards a few people that know way more than I do if you are interested. The point I attempt to make here is that dog aggression is dangerous. Dog aggression come in lots of shapes and sizes. Dog aggression can go unseen to the untrained eye. Dog aggression can be unpredictable (arguably also requires and untrained eye).

Meet Mattie, the German Shepherd. She is a dog killer. She has attacked 3 different dog, one of died, one of them was attacked twice. These pictures were taken after two dogs had already been attacked and before the third dog was killed. What aggression can you see??

The following dogs are wanna be dog killers who have been unsuccessful only because they found themselves at Applewoods Dog Training before it was too late.

Meet Lily, the golden retriever. Some where about the time her thyroid stopped working all together, she caught the dog aggression bug. She has put holes in a number of dogs. It has taken me training her for two months for her to respect me enough to maintain self control around these dogs (besides the work that her owners have put in). What aggression can you see in her??

Meet Brandy, the Kerry Blue Terrier. She is dog aggressive. She has been successful at a couple attacks and at putting herself on the short list for her county of residence. What aggression can you see in her??

Meet Claudia. She is dog aggressive. What aggression can you see in her??

Catch my drift?


  1. I live with a dog aggressive, unpredictable dog right now. He belongs to my mother or he'd have been put to sleep years ago. I think it comes down to values and views. I value my dogs, but I view them as property and responsibilities. A lot of rescuers value the dog and view them as deserving of a chance (even if it's the 300th chance, they just need another chance).

    Could the pregnancy have led to the bitch killing the puppy? Absolutely. That's normal behavior for a bitch looking to whelp. The new puppy is competition for resources she wants to go to her puppies. Is the behavior acceptable? The owner wouldn't have dumped the dog if it was.

    Some dogs don't do well in society. Some owners try to manage them, or keep them muzzled, or try to rehab them. Some are more successful than others. Some owners think of all the other dogs who need homes, and triage- take the ones most likely to succeed and find loving homes. People like the one running that blog try to help the hard luck cases against all odds, thinking they'll have the special success story that proves every dog should have a chance.

    Personally, if the bitch has issues that aren't pregnancy hormone related, I don't think the pups need to be out in the population, either (perhaps overly cynical, but a portion of aggression is genetics).

    The only thing my mom's done right with her thyroiditis dog is that he's never been bred. Of course, I'm heavily biased right now: I've got fading bruising and a puncture wound on my arm from his latest tantrum. He's not a stable dog. When he's good, he's a very nice dog, but when he's off his rocker he's a liability to everyone in bite range.

    Just my jaded take on it.

    (It's minor, but there's a bit of a fixed gaze going on with Mattie as the other dogs bug her while she's got a stick. She's not 100% comfortable in those photos. That's about all I can pick up on, but that's rather the point. The aggressive dogs aren't all frothing-mouthed Cujo wannabes.)

  2. That is a good point about the pregnancy being a factor too. This was a great comment - I wish there was a way to highlight it or something so people are forced to read it with the blog! :p

    You are right Flo, she is tense and "empty." I believe 100 percent that the only reason Mattie hasn't killed more dogs is because she always has something in her mouth (so no room for a dog too).

  3. Well, its really hard to tell from just photos... they are just tiny snap shots in time. I think you really have to watch them to get a sense of what you are dealing with. I know I see a lot more "things" than Joe Average dog owner, but need to see them in action.

  4. I understand that the photos can be misleading. My point was just that - the fact that the dog can exist peacfully on certain ocassions in the presence of other dogs (and even engage is something of "play" sometimes) doesn't mean that they are not dog aggressive.

    Thats all. :p

  5. "I think I have a better idea than most, but I can certainly point you towards a few people that know way more than I do if you are interested."

    Where does this part come in?