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  1. #81
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    Airedale - Owner had cancer and was very sick. Dog went nuts and bit everybody (his wife, mother, etc) except the owner for the couple of years he had cancer. Dog should have been euthanized but the owner was so close to death himself (and hanging on to life with every cell in his body) that he just couldn't. Owner eventually died from graft vs host disease. Entire situation was just terrible.

    Havanese - hated my GSD mix. This little dog bit me twice and my daughter once. Only when we weren't with our dog, of course. All three times it came at us from the back when we walking by and nailed us in the back of the leg. Cowardly little sh!t. I finally told the owners that they either muzzle the dog or else. (Laws in my state say that if you know your dog bites and you don't do anything about it you can be sued)

    Papillion - My friend's dog bit everybody she came into contact with who reached down to pet her. Was BFF with my GSD mix. I just never tried to pet her. Ever. I used to babysit for her and when out walking people would want to pet her instead of the 70lb GSD. I always explained that the big dog might bite them (but doubtful), however the little cute one would DEFINITELY bite them. It was guaranteed. She was incredibly beautiful but so cranky.



  2. #82
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    I don't think there is a stand-out breed. I have been bitten by my BO's little dog (rat terrier, I think) when I mis-read her fearful body language, and also by a Rottweiler when I was a kid. Nailed me on the back of my leg when I wasn't looking. Still don't know why.
    I was talking to a vet tech recently about the most difficult dogs they see at the clinic, and he said it was hands-down German Shepherds, with fear biting issues. I wonder if they have similar breeding in this area.
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.



  3. #83
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    A co-worker I worked with 20 years ago had English Bulldogs. She had two females that she bred (she raised for conformation, and as house pets when they retired), and one female was a really good dog that she had bred, and that dog was great. She bought another female from a very reputable breeder, but she was a doggy bitch (a female with male characteristics, apparently a hormone problem), and was a terrible mother to her one pup. The two females had puppies fairly close together, and the nicer female had two or three, and adopted the one from the other bitch. The other bitch had no interest in the puppy, and in retrospect my acquaintance regretted breeding her. Pregnancy seems to trigger something in her, that resulted in increasingly bad behavior. They had to keep her away from the other female, and the puppies. A few weeks later she suddenly latched on to the husband's hand without warning or any other sign they ever could figure out. They had the dog put down that day, and notified the breeder so the rest of the litter could be spayed. They also spayed her puppy when she was old enough, because at that time the hormone problems were thought to be hereditary, and they didn't want to take chances on behavior deteriorating. They found a nice pet home for her, and she was fine. Even though they were experienced with pet ownership, showing, and breeding they were amazed at the dog's quick deterioration, and the vet thought it possibly was a tumor of some type.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  4. #84
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    I was almost bitten while assisting with our beginner dog class, by a two year old alaskan malamute.

    I asked our vet once which dog he came across that was the most dangerously aggressive and he said a chihuahua, there was not stopping that dog's aggression at the vet clinic.

    A friend that was a groomer and dog trainer, she was showing dogs for the public, once her samoyed male jumped her, she fended him off with a chair and had to get over 100 stitches on her side.
    No one ever could figure why he did that.

    Aggression is not a one size fits all.



  5. #85
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    People aggression or dog aggression or animal aggressive?
    Fear biter, defensive biter, reaction biter, situation biter or being a bully? (and I mean like a school bully and not a bully breed)
    Single case scenario or cumulative experience over time with various breeds?
    Dangerous aggressive or pushy aggressive?

    I don't equate tiny or small dog aggression the same as medium to large dog aggression. Many of the small breeds developed as pets came from take-charge breeds and will have an intense personality. Also many Small Pet Breeds were revered for their haughty attitudes since usually only the upper class to elite had non-working dogs. They were status symbols. Other small breeds were bred specifically to fit into small spaces to kill some really mean vermin. Those aren't apt to have marshmallow personalities. Dachshunds were for fitting in badger holes ad fighting badgers. I'm a helluva lot bigger than a weiner-dog and I won't fight a badger, LOL! Jacks were for killing rats, which fight back, etc. Also too many owners assume because they're small they don't have to be trained the same as bigger dogs need. Yes, they do need regular training. They're still *dogs.*
    Any can be aggressive and bite, but they're viewed the same way as a Siamese vs Cheetah. Sure either one can attack and bite, but I'm not going to run like hell from a housecat vs cheetah. They can cause damage and there's the rare cases of serious damage being done by small dogs but those make the news for a reason: They're very rare.

    Breed types have vastly different personalities. Northern breeds stymie a lot of people who assume a dog is a dog is a dog. Northern working breeds have a much stronger pack personality than the other domestic breeds. And while many talk about and understand the concept of how packs work, they sometimes just don't get the reality of that with Mals, Sibes, etc. They can be snappy. And they're not small. They can be pushy. They like to test people and other dogs often for position. They're often thieves and many have built-in food aggression. Or possession aggression. They can be liabilities around smaller animals and often challenge or bully other dogs/breeds. Many will rule the roost if you try treat-training them. But you also can't bully them into much either. They thrive on firm strong willed owners who can be consistent. These breeds do tend to snap and they can bite hard. They often can be fear biters at a vet office too. Small rooms with strangers and being cornered, restrained against their will often kicks in the pack response of Get Away, Save Yourself.
    So people not often around lots of this type of dog can see them as aggressive and worse than "normal" dogs. And people used to having labs, GSDs, corgis, or anything not northern/working will find having them as pets difficult. They *need* to work, be tired out daily. They *need* a human leader, not a Fur-Baby-Mommy. (although it's fine to dote on them and smooch them a lot, but be ready to cough up a hairball after, LOL) And they're a pita to keep fenced in.

    So if we're talking about natural, normal aggression based on breed/type I'd say these types make the list for a lot of people.

    ACDs are also aggressive, they're supposed to be. Developed from dingos, short and made for herding large livestock that kicks at them all the time. They're also smart as Einstein and in the wrong type of homes for this kind of dog they're Evil Geniuses, LOL! You gotta love them! But they are also snappy. If it runs, it might get snapped at. And don't try to bully them, you probably won't win the argument.

    GSDs were one of the best personality-for-families dogs out there, but then breeding for show/looks/size as opposed to for brains and personality has screwed up a lot of them. And because of how smart they are, often even decently bred pet ones end up with personality problems due to lack of mental stimulation. Not working with the really smart breeds can make many of them little monsters. They're bored because they're smart and their owners think laying on a couch all day and going for a car ride or walk is adequate stimulation. It's not. GSDs have an almost OCD issue with learning and concentration. Which is why they need to use their brains. You can't ignore their minds. That OCD quality coupled with the fantastic personalities that are supposed to be bred into them is why the GSD is the poster dog for decades for seeing eye dogs, search and rescue, scent, service dogs for disabled, military dogs, police dogs and professional guard training. You can't train truly aggressive dogs to do aggressive things like police or military because you need to have complete control over their aggression. But way too many GSD owners neglect their Obsessive Learning and Concentration and Willing To Please minds which then activates the Compulsive side...worrying, depression which often leads to aggression.

    Bully breeds are aggressive by definition of the type. Any of the bulldog derived breeds are supposed to be stubborn, hard headed and a bit bombastic. Depending on which bully breed depends on it's interaction with people or other animals. They're great characters and often have personality-plus...goofballs in fur coats. But their aggression is also subjective. They're supposed to *all* be tenacious. When misdirected, poorly socialized or badly trained/handled then their natural bulldog tenacity and outgoing demeanor can turn into a type of aggression that's dangerous. Which can happen with any breed, but the popularity/numbers happen to not work in their favor right now. And FWIW...the clueless big-hearted-but-unrealistic NEVER MY DOG or ONLY MEAN OWNERS owners can cause as many problems as the 'mean thug owners' do. As with ANY breed or type...be honest with yourselves and the dogs' true issues and personalities. Simple "but I LOVE the dog and treat it with love" is not going to turn every type/breed into a Canine Ambassador. Goes for bully breeds, Northern Breeds, GSDs and even lapdogs.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte


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  6. #86
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    I have to divide my response into two sections--dogs I've encountered at the vet clinic(s) vs dogs I've encountered out and about on my own.

    When it comes to handling dogs at the clinic, I will first say that I'll take ANY kind of aggressive dog over a fractious cat! LOL The dogs that I've encountered who are most liable to bite are small dogs, any breed. They tend to be more like cats in that they don't like restraint, they seem to be more likely to be fearful in a cage or even on the ground when you go to pick them up. I think it has a lot to do with the owners. Those dogs don't seem to know that they're dogs. I've never actually gotten nailed by a dog at work with about 11 years of daily handling of dogs. Cats? Different story. So yeah, give me an aggressive dog any day over a moderately fractious cat.

    As for dog encounters out and about on my own? Chows, PBs and one bat poo crazy Wiem who terrorized me for the better part of 8 years. That dog had screws loose. Bit more than a few of us neighbors. Bit me two different times when I had my back turned and was in my own yard minding my own business--bent over gardening.

    The chows? What got me about them was the lack of warning. Everything could be fine, just standing there chatting and then BAM, there was a dog coming at you.

    The PB thing...well, I've had three encounters in the last couple of years. The first one was two PBs who lived on the property where my horse was in training. I was in the arena riding, they attacked us. Second was my neighbor's PB--not people aggressive, but very dog aggressive and attacked my dog. Third was the dog down the street from current barn. Again, dog/horse aggressive. Ended up biting someone the week after it came after me on horseback.

    My family has a PB and he is certainly territorial/dog aggressive at home. He has his one dog buddy but doesn't like any other dogs. Never been aggressive towards people. I am a fan of the breed and can say that the most well trained, well behaved dog I ever met was a PB named Zeus that we used to see at the clinic. But sadly, I have had more than a couple run ins with PBs....to be honest though, I think it had a lot more to do with the people who OWNED the dogs and their mentality than the breed itself.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  7. #87
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    Oct. 26, 2000
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    3 out of 3 Bouviers des Flanders I've dealt with were aggressive toward humans. One launched an unprovoked sneak attack and bit me on the back.
    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~



  8. #88
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    Only dog that ever bit me was a Cocker Spaniel, so I can join that "club"

    Most agressive I've come across:
    1 - a medium sized shiny black long haired mix named "Fluffy". It's owner was nervous bringing it into the kennel, and insisted on taking it to the back & putting it in the run herself. I assumed it was just a fussy owner that wanted everything to be perfect for her precious dog. She left the leash on "Fluffy" so after she left I went in to take it off - enter psycho terrifying little Cujo dog! Fluffy spent the whole time with her leash on, and was the only dog I had to put the Red "Warning - dangerous" sticker on the kennel door for!

    2 - yellow lab mix that I "saved" from an animal control cage - it had been wandering around the area for several days, I took it home knowing at animal control it would get 1-2 days max before PTS. This one was heartbreaking. There was a good dog in there, deep down, but he was forever damaged by spending his puppyhood tied to a picker camp, no socialization except food thrown his way, and later kicks. I did find him an awesome home, these people threw everything into rehabbing him. The pro trainer they hired, agreed to do a second training session for free when the first failed. They put thousands into trying to bring him around. Finally he bit her in the face one time too many and she PTS. Then she apologized to me for "failing" him. I would have PTS long before she did! He got the best chance possible at coming around from her & hubby. But he couldn't overcome his terrible puppyhood - they were the ones that failed him.

    Anyways, seems it's any breed or mix that can be aggressive doesn't it? depending on people & circumstances!



  9. #89
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    Oct. 27, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by rivenoak View Post
    3 out of 3 Bouviers des Flanders I've dealt with were aggressive toward humans. One launched an unprovoked sneak attack and bit me on the back.
    Interesting! One of my barnmates has two and they are the absolute biggest, fluffiest loves you have ever met... They are very well bred, well socialized, and very well trained though.



  10. #90
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    Mar. 24, 2004
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    I had a mutt that was about 50 pounds that best guess was a border collie, snow dog cross of some kind. I never really considered him dog aggressive as he would ignore them if they stayed out of his space. More dog intolerant.

    The problem was he was cute and fluffy. Other people would let their dogs come up to him even as I am telling them not to since he is not nice to other dogs.
    Everytime the other dogs would be dropped and roll on their back, belly up. He was lightening quick, never broke skin, at most gave a low growl. Not sure why he was so effective but he was.
    One time at the vet's office a woman with a large adolescent mastiff was checking out and not paying attention to her dog. DH was sitting down and Sparky was sitting in front of him. Sparky moved back once between DH's knees, DH was frantically trying to get the woman's attention but she was in her own little world. Oops down went mastiff when he finally backed Sparky as far back as he could go. (Because Sparky was between DH's knees DH couldn't get up quick enought to move away or block the mastiff)
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  11. #91
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    Jul. 22, 2008
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    After some pondering and in light of reading the many thoughtful responses regarding different kinds of aggression, I want to amend.

    I have been bitten by three cockers, but I don't consider any of them aggressive- fear aggressive, poorly trained, sure, but truly HA, no.

    At a grooming place I worked at, we had a pyr who most refused to touch because she would wail you HARD with no apparent warning. She was very, very fearful, but stoic in her presentation- pyr like. AS long as you took your time and gave her plenty of opportunity to understand what was happening, she was fine. Fear aggressive and frightening because of her size, yes, but vicious? No.

    Same grooming place, evil little havanese puppy. At 10 weeks this dog was drawing blood and almost unmanageable on a grooming table. For that, I blame the breeders. Little thing should have been exposed to basic grooming practices from birth; instead, she was shoved into a strange environment with strange smells and strange people who poked and prodded and she responded with terror. Dangerous, but not vicious and very salvageable with time and patience.

    I've known a couple of Doodles who I wouldn't touch without a catch pole, but again, we're talking poor socialization/training/breeding/what have you. My last day at that grooming place, I walked away from a 40lb doodle because he was so shit-flipped he was going to kill himself or do serious harm to me. He had a history of being difficult, and rather than take time and work with him, the salon kept putting more people on him and strapping him up harder. Didn't help his clearly fear based issues, and I refused to be party to it. That dog needed to be groomed under sedation at a vet clinic, but not because he was vicious- because continued attempts to force him to comply to something he was terrified of had conditioned him to fight back.

    That little labx I spoke of in my last post was legitimately the most terrifying dog I have ever been near because he was in NO way fearful. He wanted to hurt things. He wanted to kill things. And he spent his entire life working out more efficient ways of doing so. With the most thoughtful & careful management, full vet workups, behaviorists, trainers etc, he was manageable for brief periods, until he sorted a way to game whatever system was in place to hurt something. He was euthed when it got to the point that the only way to keep him safely would have been muzzled in an airline crate except for potty breaks or walks with an experienced handler in fenced, isolated areas. This was a 35lb dog.

    As others have said, certain breeds may be more inclined to being fearful or assertive, more inclined towards responding to certain stimuli with a bite or a bolt, but true "viciousness" is not a breed trait any more than viciousness is a trait in particular ethnicities. What we think of as viciousness is a wiring problem in a very limited number of individuals.
    bar.ka think u al.l. susp.ect
    free bar.ka and tidy rabbit


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  12. #92
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    As others have said, certain breeds may be more inclined to being fearful or assertive, more inclined towards responding to certain stimuli with a bite or a bolt, but true "viciousness" is not a breed trait any more than viciousness is a trait in particular ethnicities. What we think of as viciousness is a wiring problem in a very limited number of individuals.
    I don't think any dogs are "vicious". I think a lot of dogs, particularly small dogs, live their days confused and afraid and respond in the only way that has worked so far for them- they snap at what is scaring them. The sad thing about small dogs is that their owners perpetuate their fears by not treating them like dogs- if they had socialized and trained the dog, the dog would not be so fearful and would understand how humans communicate with dogs (training). "spoiling" dogs is very scary to them- rules are very comforting to dogs.

    Others get thrust into scary situations (vet, groomer) and are pushed beyond their capabilities so they respond as they are hard-wired: my hound, when scared, freezes up- she turns into a solid, resistant lump. Your scared husky or GSD will bite.


    dog-dog aggression is a different story altogether. I have read that about 50% of dog-dog aggression is inherited, and the rest is shaped by what happens to the puppy during the first 4 months. Ergo dog-aggressive dogs shouldn't be bred, and as usual, socialization is of prime importance.

    "animal aggression" is just prey drive, and is perfectly normal for dogs. Dogs are predators. If you don't want them to kill the cat, you have to socialize them to cats when they are very young, and/or keep them away from cats.



  13. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuddyRoo View Post

    When it comes to handling dogs at the clinic, I will first say that I'll take ANY kind of aggressive dog over a fractious cat! LOL .
    OMG this x 1000!!
    After working for a veterinarian I will never own a cat.

    I also think different people have different understanding/definitions of aggression.

    My GSD mix never bit anybody but she was also not a "happy to meet you" type of dog. She didn't like men unless properly introduced over a period of time. She would bark if she felt the "perimeter had been violated" which was a circle around me of a given diameter. Men could also not "look" at us a certain way even from a distance. However you could stand quite near us and look the other way, talk on a cell phone, etc - all had to do with her perception of someone's interest in me. Dating after divorce was quite the experience but weeded out men who could listen to instructions vs those who could not listen pretty quickly.

    However, I could be lying on a blanket in a public park and an unknown 2 year old child could toddle up to her and fall on top of her without so much of a flick of an ear. She loved my mother, my daughters and all of our female friends and relatives. Any dog was welcome in my home as long as there was an "introduction".

    I always muzzled her for the vet. I felt it was safest for everybody.

    I didn't categorize her as randomly aggressive, although I'm sure others would. I adopted her as an adult and she had some "guarding" issues already in place. She always sat between me and the door. I didn't use the bathroom alone until she was much older, more relaxed and just too creaky to get up off the floor

    I miss her every day!



  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    "animal aggression" is just prey drive, and is perfectly normal for dogs. Dogs are predators.
    The most aggressive dog in our house (bully breed x ?), lives to catch something, anything. She runs up and down the yard, jumping in the air at birds, jumping at the wall for lizards, anything that might possibly be caught.
    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~



  15. #95
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    Thinking on this further....ya know, my own dog, a normally happy go lucky lab, has actually bitten someone. I don't think of him as aggressive at all.

    A roommate of mine, male, got hammered one night w/ one of his buddies and tried to restrain me, keep me from leaving the house. After punching a hole in the wall, he grabbed me. My dog, who loved this guy btw, got in between and started growling. I told the (drunk) roommate "You're scaring me, and you're scaring the dog. Let go of me. Now." He didn't and my dog bit him, he let go and the chips fell. He was escorted out by the cops the next day.

    Anyway, my dog didn't injure him, but he totally did take a chomp. And I don't think of him as aggressive at all. It's funny how we turn things around in our minds, eh?

    I'd guess that the people whose dogs try to nail us at work (at the clinic) don't think of their dogs as being aggressive, or even being fear biters. THey assume we did something to seriously provoke the dog. KWIM?
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  16. #96
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    Most aggressive dog I've ever met? A Yorkie owned by the family of a kid I used to babysit.

    I would have been terrified of that dog if it wasn't the size of my purse - I was usually able to trap him in the office or guide him there (while wearing boots) and then lock him in. His food, water, bed, etc. were in there anyway.

    The same family had 2 perfectly lovely Pomeranians, so I don't know what was up with the Yorkie! He would run at you, try to bite, growl/snarl...just a nasty thing.



  17. #97
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    I remembered this morning that my good old dog bit someone too! She's some sort of heeler/golden/aussie mix-been just the greatest dog for me for 14 years now...

    but when my son was about 8 we were playing a huge game of tag with my in-laws, like over an entire camp site way up in the mountains, running through the trees and the whole thing and it was really fun except for when my SIL went after my son who was screaming and running like he was about to be murdered... so Gypsy took him at his word and chomped SIL's calf! I was so mortified but my inlaws admire a protective kid dog so forgave her immediately!



  18. #98
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    The dog I was bit by as a 2 year old child, on the top of the head, scalped me, I still have a scar, was a German Shepherd.

    I've also had enough negative experiences with Great Pyrenees, Ridgebacks and Pit Bulls/American Bulldogs/whatever people want to call their bully breed mutt that I am extra leery.

    And little dogs that nip when people reach down to pat them? They are just defending themselves! 9 times out of 10 people reach down and pat them on their head, without realizing that to a 12 pound dog that pat is a major clunk on the head. Their head and/or neck has been hurt, really hurt, by people reaching down to "pat" them!
    Last edited by Renae; Oct. 10, 2013 at 08:12 PM.


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  19. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by rivenoak View Post
    3 out of 3 Bouviers des Flanders I've dealt with were aggressive toward humans. One launched an unprovoked sneak attack and bit me on the back.
    Oh yeah forgot about them. You can add that to position 4 on my list.
    I like my men like my tea: hot, strong, sweet and British!



  20. #100
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    The only Bouviers des Flandres I ever met was up in the wilderness helping a wolf biologist by distracting the trapped wolves while the 100 lb girl biologist collared the wolves... He looked like a hard core dog!


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