Interesting thread and not the answers I might have expected. So my 2 cents:
Golden came thru its IF a couple months ago and NAILED my female chow/Germ. Shep mix. There was no playing here, teeth bared, tail down, sent her off her feet. Kicked him and yelled which sent him home.
Had to get my other chow mix (pure coincidence, I never liked chows...) clipped. Groomer was, um reserved about doing him due to prior chow issues. He was fine, however, as part of his brain said he was meant to be a foof dog, pampered, blow dried, etc, and they said he could come back any time. On the other hand he did bite the UPS man one day; not serious, thankfully!
When I was pre-teen, we had a beautiful young boxer, raised from pup. He bit a babysitter, and a neighbor and there were a couple other near misses. My father gave him to a minister w/ FULL disclosure, and that man got bit also.
What I wonder, as I read this, is whether or not there is more aggression evidenced in purebred dogs vs mixed breeds?
A lot of what people are describing here is not "aggression" but either "fear aggression" or "a complete lack of proper socialisation" or "poor breeding leading to sub-clinical pain leading to aggression".
My younger little BC bitch has "fear aggression:" - despite having exactly the same socialisation as my older BC bitch (who hasnt met a person she doesnt like yet :D). My little girl is just a little timid thing - we reckon she had a puppy socialisation period of 0 weeks :(. With time and a lot of effort from myself and others, she is beginning to be more trusting - however, I would never put her in a situation where she could be called an "aggressive dog". I am not convinced that she wouldnt bite out of fear ....
She has learned that IF she likes the other dog THEN the owner will probably be "okay" as well.
People who dont socialise or train their dogs into acceptable behaviour annoy the heck out of me.
I regularly take my Min Pin to horse shows to socialize her because she doesn't get out much. She's pretty much a home body dog. Likes to laze away the day snoozing under the covers. I always warn the kiddies to pet her on her butt. She loves a good scratch but can get weird about her face.
I hate it when people won't socialize their itty bitty dogs. They can be the worst offenders.
Originally Posted by RaeHughes
Jem Finch had issues -it wasn't fear aggression by any means. Now in all fairness I don't know if he scaled a 6ft barbwire topped chainlink fence to try to kill the neighbor's pug because he wasn't socialized by his previous owners.
That dog had a screw loose.
Husky, named Storm. Storm was a client at the vet's where I worked. His "sister", Spring, was sweet as could be.
When Storm needed anything done such as shots, the family brought along a professional with protective bite gear to handle the dog. (Trying to treat the dog at home was worse, since he got territorial which escalated the aggression). When the dogs were boarded there, which wasn't often (thank god), the owners took the dogs to their kennel/run. There was an elaborate system in place for feeding, cleaning up and exercising that meant no one ever actually had to get within teeth range of Storm.
He was weird. He'd never charge anyone, never went into a frenzy of barking or growling or gave ANY warnings at all. Just stood there with cold, cold look in his eyes. But he damn sure meant business - he'd bitten the finger off of a kennel attendant a couple of years before I worked there. (This was the 90's - people were sue-happy then but not quite as bad as now).
Supposedly Storm was great with family - his owners were in their 50's with grandkids and apparently the dog was totally trustworthy around them.
RaeHughes - I sort of get what you are saying, but on the other hand, what is the difference between fear aggression or just plain aggression - or excessively guarding something? Once the dog has committed an aggressive act, the consequences still exist, and definitions only really matter in terms of how the owner ultimately handles the dog.
I'm starting to be convinced that dog people are more pompous than horse people!
Geez, it's a secret high powered club, people here are trying to talk and take part and ask questions and the whole "oh you're too stupid to even ask the right question, next please..." approach is bizarre.
Sometimes, more often than not, I think this Menagerie board is more about stroking one's own ego than being helpful or supportive at all about dogs and dog people.
The takeaway here is unless you're one of the chosen few, you shouldn't have a dog b/c you're not doing it right.
I agree that the ultimate outcome is same. However fear aggression can be differentiated from just aggression by tgd way the dog acts. A fa dog wil show signs of being scared and , while they are trying to get away from the stress may just go straight through you because you are just in the way. I used to say there was little difference until I got one and learned that" being her advocate " meant really understanding her and how I needed to work with her.
Originally Posted by 2tempe
If you are talking "Most people bitten", I once treated a very cute Daschund, his owners adored him, but he had bitten 28 people, (including his owners), and two of them had to be hospitalized.
In terms of "Most damage done to a person", I was hired by the court as an expert witness to evaluate two male Rotties who had killed an adult male jogger, back in 1991 I think it was. These dogs were friendly, would sit on command, wanted to be petted....but they were extremely predatory, and had previously killed a goat and a calf, though there had been no reported bites to humans. Most human fatalities due to dogs are infants, children, elderly or compromised people, and it is more unusual for dogs to kill a healthy male adult. This man was jogging at night with a Walkman, so he didn't see or hear the dogs.
The owner was convicted of manslaughter, and the dogs were euthanized.
In terms of the dog who exhibited the most numerous different types, categories or "motivations" for aggression, that would be one of my childhood dogs, Suzy, a Toy Manchester Terrier. She displayed about every type of aggression ever described..... possessive aggression, territorial aggression, fear-related aggression, predatory aggression, everything but maternal aggression and I'm sure she would have if she'd had puppies. She terrorized the wolfhounds, she would chase them into the laundry room and not let them come out. Fortunately, she only weighed five pounds, and I don't think any of her bites broke the skin. I think Suzy inspired me to study animal behavior.
All due respect, gailbyrd, I don't believe "Hungarian wolfhound" is a recognized breed. Could it have been an Irish Wolfhound imported from Hungary, or maybe another Hungarian breed, like Puli which some people refer to as "Hungarian Puli"? Just curious!
Originally Posted by gailbyrd
I did have a distant relative who deliberately adopted a vicious poodle-it was for protection after a horrific burglary-robbery in the neighborhood. The dog was uncontrollable around strangers, or even visitors, and had to be put in a bedroom with the door closed when anyone visited. This behavior resulted in a 3 a.m. phone call for pick up to get out of the house, and away from the dog, because the visitor couldn't take the dog's constant attempts to get through the door at her.
A family friend had a St Bernard that he had owned since it was a pup. The dog suddenly latched onto the wife's leg without a warning, and without any prior history of aggression. It was all the husband could do to rescue his wife. The dog was put down that day, and the vet thought it must have had a brain tumor or something. The poor woman had to have extensive plastic and reconstructive surgery on her leg.
Its what the owners called it. Didn't look like an Irish Wolfhound. ALL I know the dog was a menace to other dogs and humans, made more so by the owners not training it.
Originally Posted by Houndhill
yeah, "aggression" isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. There are many reasons why dogs bite people and bite other dogs.
Most dog bites to people, particularly to children, appear to be fearful self-defense reactions or resource guarding (which can also be considered a fearful self-defense reaction). Biting the vet certainly falls into self-defense: the dog hasn't any idea why this stranger is "attacking" him.
then there are the other kind- if you're strolling through a public area (horse show) and some jack russel comes barreling up to you and latches onto your ankle, that's aggression pure and simple- no territory guarding (public area), you didn't approach the dog (no fear selfdefense), the only other excuse is aggression.
Friend had a bloodhound. I used to housesit it and spend the night. Dog was fine until she was two. Came over to the house, took dog out of crate on leash to the barn. Fed horses. Played with the dog for 30 minutes while horses ate. Took dog up to the house, put down her dog food and went to leave the kitchen.
In my stupidity I saw the lowered head, still body and other warning signs but ignored them since I had just been playing with her and she had no history of aggression. She came up at my face. I got my arm up to protect my face and she grabbed my wrist. I then pinned her until she submitted, let her go and she came right back at me. I drug her out to her crate by her scruff. To be fair, she grabbed my wrist and didn't fully bite me, I only got welts. I called the owner and on my way out she is in the crate wagging her tail. They had her spayed at that point
She escalated over the years. Went after a neighbor at a party when the dog was nosing the trashcan. The neighbor just said "Name of Dog, NO". Thank god the owner was there, as she came after the neighbor like a freight train.
Was scratching at back door to come in off tie out. Young twenties son went to unhook the leash and bit him on the hand, drew blood. One time wouldn't let the owner in is own truck. Bit a few more people over the years. Each bite a little worse than the last and as unprovoked.
Final straw was a napkin blew off the table, dog went to pick it up and the owner's wife made eye contact. Here comes 100+ pounds of pissed off dog. 12 stiches in the hip. Nighty night bloodhound.
The worst part was she would go 6-12 months between incidents so it was easy to forget she wasn't wrapped real tight.
In retrospect she was likely a puppy mill dog.
Very interesting thread. Most dogs I have had an issue with are small dogs. Seems to be the Napoleon Syndrome thing more than anything else, probably fear aggression. I've also had a few issues with high-drive herding breeds.
I've been taking my dog to agility classes each week. She is a very mellow spayed Rhodesian Ridgeback. There is a young mini Aussie female (not spayed) that's been badly behaved towards other dogs from day 1. My dog just ignores her as she's carrying on, barking, and snarling. The dog can't weigh more than 15 lbs and my dog is pushing 90 lbs. Then a couple weeks ago the owner brought the dog close to mine. They sniffed each other and all of a sudden the Aussie went after my dog. My dog put her in her place real fast but I was so shaken up by the whole thing and felt badly that I didn't say something to the owner to prevent her from bringing her dog so close once I saw her approaching. I apologized that my dog told her dog off but really I was quite peeved that the whole situation happened at all when my dog was laying quietly on the ground, minding her own business.
Neither dog was injured and the owner of the other dog didn't seem phased at all, but I worked so hard to socialize my dog when she was young and when something like this happens, I get very worried that she will develop an issue with other dogs.
Starhouse, I'm with you. I had a male Ridgeback who we've socialized quite a bit since the day we got him. I've seen a few Ridgeys who were petrified of their own shadows and I didn't want mine to end up like that. My boy is balanced, social, and happy. Once time at the dog park he was minding his own business and was attacked by an unbalanced white GSD. He had a good cut on his side. I've not taken my dog back since. We stick to the greenways for walks, etc. I hate when others bring unbalanced dogs to public doggy areas. Takes the fun out of it for the other dogs and their owners.
The most frightening dog I have ever known was a smallish lab mix. He was trained, socialized, healthy and just... off. I never received a bite from him but plenty of other people did. He was calculating, smart and very, very dangerous. He ended up being put down for his issues.
The most human aggressive dog I've known was a (presumed) BC/Pit mix that I used to house sit for. Every time I went to stay there, I had to meet the owners on the street out walking, walk alongside them, and then they would gradually hand the leash over to me and leave. The first couple of days of each stay, he went absolutely everywhere with me in the car, because I wouldn't be able to get back into the house once I'd left. After a few days he'd settle in and be sweet and adoring with me (only me) and it would start all over again the next time.
I finally had to tell them I wouldn't be able to stay with him anymore when they moved into an apartment over a bar. I was terrified that he would bite some drunk person when I was taking him out for a walk and I would be held liable. Yes, his aggression was protective (I certainly never worried about my safety walking around the city at night with him!), but it was still a form of aggression.