There are many reasons why dogs suddenly become vicious; owner cruelty, dangerous training methods, and insensitive handlers to mention a few. But the reason why dogs attack us is not the focus of this article, how to protect ourselves from these attacks is.
We will not formally address the training and type of dogs' people should or shouldn't adopt, but will focus on the real threat of a dog attack, what you should know and how you need to respond. Just like a fire plan, have a plan that let's you and your family survive a dog attack; and rehearse it.
The stories of adults and children viciously being mauled have prompted much discussion concerning the liability of dog owners. That dog you got to protect you from burglars is more likely to sink its teeth into your children than into the bad guys. One of the most disturbing aspects of some of the attacks is what seems to be an apathetic attitude by the owners. Some owners have even trained their dogs to be viscous but failed to take steps to protect the innocent public.
The danger of big, powerful and often aggressive dogs has been underscored by the fatal mauling of a San Francisco woman in the doorway of her apartment by a neighboring couple's two 120-pound Presa Canarios. On March 19th 2001, one of the dog's owners was convicted of murder, the other of involuntary manslaughter. The day before, a Wisconsin couple was charged with homicide because their six Rottweilers had killed a 10-year-old girl who was playing in their home with their daughter.
Young children are often the most vulnerable to these attacks. Children are small people; they are closer to dog size. So the dog often views them as playmates. In dog society there is a distinct rank order, and dogs sometime see a young child as someone they can push around or perhaps discipline by biting or nipping.
Many police departments around the nation are starting to lay the responsibility of dog attacks on their owners, and insurance companies are increasingly refusing to insure homes where dangerous dogs are kept; and without insurance, it is almost impossible to get or keep a mortgage.
Some insurance companies are starting to blacklist certain types of dogs. On the basis of both reputation and dog-attack statistics from the centers of Disease Control and Prevention, the most dangerous dogs listed include Rottweilers, Dobermans, Pit Bulls, Presa Canarios, chows, Akitas, huskies and wolf hybrids. We're not advocating avoiding getting a dog in one of these categories, but we are saying that if you come across one of these dogs in the open be extra careful, you are at some risk.
Why dogs behave that way
Any breed of dog has the potential to bite, but some breeds tend to be more aggressive than others. Dogs like people have a wide range of behavioral patterns and personalities. Some breeds of dogs have been bred specifically for the aggressive trait. These dogs are often used for the purposes of guarding, protecting and herding, and as such are more prone to bite,"
Sometimes, veterinarians say, the most troublesome dogs are those that might be least suspected. Unlikely though it may seem, tiny dogs sometimes kill. Last year, for example, a Pomeranian, one of the smallest breeds, jumped onto a bed and killed an infant in a home near Los Angeles.
There are a number of reasons why dogs bite. Dogs may bite due to fear, to protect their territory, or to establish power or dominance over the person being bitten. Some dog owners mistakenly teach their dogs that biting is an acceptable form of play behavior. Because dog bites occur for many reasons, many components of responsible dog ownership - including proper socialization, supervision, humane training, sterilization, and safe confinement - are necessary to prevent dogs from biting.
Dogs also have their own sense of "personal space," They are territorial. No matter what the circumstances, there is always a chance that a normally docile and gentle pet will be aggressive to a human. Normally dominant or aggressive-prone dogs are far more volatile, having personal spaces that extend for many feet beyond their physical position. Anyone or anything that penetrates this area can be subject to immediate attack.