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Spinoff: What Breed was the Most Aggressive Dog You've Ever Met?

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  • When I worked at a vet clinic one client had the first Akita I ever met. She was this tiny older woman and he weighed nearly what she did. He was perfect behaved BUT I didn't touch him or mess with him and I warned the vet not to either. He was her guard dog and he would take out anyone he thought was a danger to her. There was also a 3 month old puppy that came in Doberman/Cane Corse. He growled a low menacing growl when I reached to put him on the exam table so I had the owner. The vet came In and asked if I'd taken his temp and I replied no. When he reached for the dog he growled and snapped. Owner held while vaccinating. Vet tried to playful touch him when he was back on the ground and the dog just missed him. The owner thought this was all very amusing.

    I have friends who train bouviers. I would never pet any of them, except one small female. I don't even give them eye contact. I'm not afraid of them, well there was one male I avoided. They have had people who drove up unannounced while they were napping in the house and come out and found Spider standing on the hood of their vehicle looking in. He was an old style Bouv and a scarey looking dog. So I very much respect Bouvs, as their owners say " they won't start the fight but they will finish it"

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    • Originally posted by hastyreply View Post
      I have friends who train bouviers. I would never pet any of them, except one small female. I don't even give them eye contact. I'm not afraid of them, well there was one male I avoided. They have had people who drove up unannounced while they were napping in the house and come out and found Spider standing on the hood of their vehicle looking in. He was an old style Bouv and a scarey looking dog. So I very much respect Bouvs, as their owners say " they won't start the fight but they will finish it"
      Interesting. My understanding is that there is somewhat of a division between working and show lines, but that most people in protection sports are using Malinois, etc. I've known people that have done therapy, obedience, and agility with them. I do think that they have are protective and fairly large dogs (though they really shouldn't be giant dogs), but I don't think that they are anywhere near as intense as a Malinois, for example. They should ideally have a stable temperament, but their appearance is certainly intimidating.

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      • I've been bitten by a dachshund, a german shepherd, and a short-haired collie when I was a kid. Not at the same time, though. Each time, I had met a new kid, we become fast friends, new kid invites me to play in their backyard. Their dog rushes up and snaps me in the leg. I guess people didn't socialize their backyard pets very well in my neighborhood. I also don't enter yards with loose dogs in them anymore, either.

        Later, I had a friend whose dad trained military working dogs. He gave his wife's Cocker Spaniel the same type of training. He ingrained in our heads that Bill the Cocker Spaniel was a weapon, not a toy, and the dog was always closely supervised. Bill was pleasant to be around, and as far as I know, never bit anyone.

        The most unpredictably aggressive dogs I've known were an Irish Setter and a Saint Bernard.

        I had a friend who bought a Dachshund puppy. I knew from the start that there was going to be trouble because this friend was a real "Fur Baby Momma" and refused my suggestions that perhaps she should get some help with training and socializing the little devil. When the dog was two, my friend called me, in tears, to come get the dog out of her house because it had turned on her, and bit and terrorized her. I had the dog for a couple of weeks before a dachshund rescue could place it, but during that time, I was able to find out that there really was nothing wrong with the dog. He was very happy to be treated like a dog and not a doll baby.

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        • I think we have some fundamental differences as to what "aggression" means...to me it does not imply a judgement, as the term "vicious" does, which is really not a useful term. Aggression does not imply "anger" towards the object, as a predatory aggressive dog is not "angry" at it's target, and in fact usually has the good endorphins so that it is really enjoying the chase-attack-kill sequence. Similarly, "fear aggression" is still a legitatmate category of aggression, though it may have a fear or defensiveness motivation, it is still categorized as aggression.

          "Meanness" "untrustworthiness" "viciousness" are not at all synonymous with aggression, which is simply descriptive, not a value judgement. In dogs, it really just means "biting behavior" with no judgement as to motivation or personality. Well, actually, it includes staring, growling, lifting lip, snapping, and biting, but it is usually the biting that concerns us.

          They are dogs, their agonistic, or distance-increasing behavior includes the canine repoirtair of aggressive behavior....what else does one expect them to do, have their attorney write a letter?

          These anecdotes are entertaining.

          Comment


          • Chows.

            Showed them for years, mine and other people's. Many's the ribbon I got handed with blood droplets on it from where the dog tagged the judge!

            I'll never forget the first one I handled for someone else. He was so hateful he couldn't stand in line waiting to go in the ring without trying to kill his fellow competitors. He required a team approach. One of us would hide under the table drapes with him - stuffing him nonstop with liver so as not to be eaten ourselves! - until the person handling him would stick her hand under the drapes for the lead. When you stacked him, the only way to keep him from turning around and nailing you was to press your fingernails into his testicles. That made him stand straight at attention!

            Many people think chows give no warning before they bite. This is not true. They will signal a bite by going absolutely still (well, even more still than they usually are) and a tiny dimple will appear on one side of the nostril. Who could miss it, right?

            They are absolutely silent when they go for their victim. Some of them do growl, but you can't hear it. You can feel them vibrate if you happen to be touching them. They don't even make any noise when two or more of them fight. They just lock on, silently, and keep it up till one of them drops.

            Kind of creepy little dogs, really.

            On the upside, if a chow likes you, s/he absolutely adores you! With fanatical devotion. And they do express affection - they look sort of like soppy gargoyles. When they play, they remind one of cats - they like batting things around and pouncing and doing the death grab-and-shake.

            I like the breed, but probably won't have another one. They're very difficult to keep if you have any other animals. Or visitors. Or family members with slow reflexes. And the coat is a godawful amount of work.
            I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Louise View Post
              Cocker Spaniel. I got bitten by one vicious little thing when I was a kid. He belonged to a neighbor and was just plain nasty.
              Agree. I was attacked as a child. I have never met one that didn't have at least a screw loose and at worst was nasty.
              ~Veronica
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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              • The actual most aggressive dog Ive ever handled was a lhasa apso. Bit me through the palm nearly. Ive never met an actual nice one. Cockers and Springers top the list. Ive never actually had a bad experience with a Chow, but an a Akita attacked one of my dogs once. I give both of those breeds wide berth and careful handling. Oh and someone I know had a Russian Orvchaka. She was the only one who could go near it, special fencing, and a confirmed animal killer. I did not have any contact with the dog other than looking at it. The owner was given the dog, so Im not sure if its the breed or some special circumstance, but the owner was a very experienced handler, and if she said dont look at this dog in the face, I believed her. Also an Anatolian Shepherd I once knew was a dog who took his job guarding llamas very seriously. If the owner wasnt there to hold the dog, I wouldnt put a foot on the property. Carlos the dog, wasnt aggressive per se, but I wouldnt be one to test that.
                Last edited by Griffyn; Oct. 11, 2013, 11:50 PM. Reason: eta something

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                • You don't see too many of them around anymore (probably not a bad thing), but I never met a Shar Pei that I felt comfortable around. Thanks for starting that unbelievably inbred fad in the US, Neiman Marcus.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                    Chows.
                    Chows are my favorite dogs that I will never, ever own. I had a really cool relationship with one that used to come into a vet that I worked for. The dog had quite a rep but was actually sweet and snuggly with me -- after making it absolutely clear that he would comply if I asked politely and then got out of the way, but life would not go so well if I tried to insist or rush him.

                    I really, really liked that dog, and I am 100% clear that there is no way I could own one.
                    bullyandblaze.wordpress.com

                    "The present tense of regret is indecision."
                    - Welcome to Night Vale

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Tucked_Away View Post
                      Chows are my favorite dogs that I will never, ever own. I had a really cool relationship with one that used to come into a vet that I worked for. The dog had quite a rep but was actually sweet and snuggly with me -- after making it absolutely clear that he would comply if I asked politely and then got out of the way, but life would not go so well if I tried to insist or rush him.

                      I really, really liked that dog, and I am 100% clear that there is no way I could own one.
                      Oh, I bet you will. You obviously have the chow gift. IME, some people just have an affinity for the little crocodiles. Chows will never snuggle with someone other than their own person - unless that person has the chow gift.

                      That's how I got my first one - he chomped everyone he came across except for me, largely because I realized he could be asked to do things but forced? Ha. Even if you physically overpowered him, he knew you had to sleep sometimes. But he always adored me, even though I wasn't his owner until he was an adult (after I convinced his first owner not to put him down for nearly killing another dog).

                      And once you've had purple kisses, well - you know.
                      Last edited by pAin't_Misbehavin'; Oct. 12, 2013, 11:16 AM.
                      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                      Comment


                      • I know a Shar Pei that is owned by an elderly couple and he's DEADLY. Flat out bites anyone that isn't part of the family....

                        I've known a couple crosses that were ok but the purebred is nutz!
                        “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          I'm surprised by some of the responses in this thread! For instance, I am surprised that labs have been mentioned several times. I used to pet sit a HUGE, English-type chocolate lab male and he was a doll baby. I would house-sit while pet-sitting, so we were on his turf, for a week at a time and he welcomed me into his home with open paws. I'm surprised not everyone has had this experience with them.

                          I guess this thread just really drives home the importance of the individual dog, breeding for temperament, and proper training and handling.
                          *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Mara View Post
                            You don't see too many of them around anymore (probably not a bad thing), but I never met a Shar Pei that I felt comfortable around. Thanks for starting that unbelievably inbred fad in the US, Neiman Marcus.
                            I was born into a house of 2 cocker spaniels and 1 Shar Pei. Our second Shar Pei was amazing but very protective of us children and disliked strange men. After her we decided not to get another one but they were phenomenal dogs for us kids. Same with the cockers. We have countless pictures of them dressed up, napping with us, going on adventures, etc.

                            That being said, I am inherently distrustful of both breeds when I meet them in public as most are BYB monsters.

                            Comment


                            • Pit
                              Boxer

                              Comment


                              • I'm a little surprised that with all of the breeds that have been mentioned here, this one hasn't: Dalmatian. I've known several really nasty ones who were very calculating about it. When I worked for a vet, there were a couple of Dalmatians who were not even kept in the back--they were kept in a crate in the vet's office. No one was allowed near except the vet.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                  I think breeding for a good, stable temperament has fallen by the wayside for most. The backyard/puppy millers obviously don't even consider it; the show breeders tend to overlook it in favor of appearance; the performance/sports people tend to overlook it in favor of good performance.
                                  Some of the working dog breeders still breed for it- protection dogs with unstable temperaments are downright dangerous, and people who actually work with their herding dog or hunting dog plus live with the animal aren't going to overlook bad temperament just because the dog can perform.

                                  Defining a good, stable temperament is a bit difficult, but it's a dog who is, well, in the middle. Not too reactive, not too sluggish. Not too nervy, not too quiet. Doesn't overreact to stimuli. Can think rather than spaz out or shut down. Shrugs off the bad experiences and learns from the good ones. I think this is mostly genetic.
                                  I'm not sure I agree with this except for the puppy mill part.

                                  I think the biggest issue out there is that owners don't want to a) pay for properly bred dogs; and b) owners don't want to properly train/socialize their dogs.

                                  The biggest difference from "way back when" is the internet and media and our increasingly litigious society. Look at all of us who were bitten by dogs as kids -- on this thread alone. We're talking the 70s, maybe 80s, or before. Back before everyone in 3 counties would know and lawsuits would be filed within hours -- there were "aggressive" dogs back then too.

                                  As for the puppy mill - yes, they have always been around, but it is now easy for them to market their puppies around the country -- for sale at the click of a button and a PayPal account.

                                  I find the ignorant dog owner to be the worst problem. It's YOUR fault if you buy a puppy bred from parents with poor temperaments. (Of course it's the breeder's fault too, but the BUYER is also at fault.) And, if you're not working with your puppy at an early age to socialize it, learn how to train it, etc. you are part of the problem.

                                  We have good friends that have a sweet pit bull puppy - adopted from a pit bull rescue. They have never owned a dog before, have two young boys, and in my opinion are in way over their heads. Their puppy is huge, immensely powerful, and not very well trained. He's friendly, but in a scary way. He jumps on you, grabs your hands in his mouth, and at 70+lbs already is going to be a monster. No puppy classes, obedience, or anything yet....I'm afraid to see what will happen. We've given our advice....now we wait and see....

                                  Comment


                                  • I groom for a living and there are several breeds that I am just not a fan of dealing with.

                                    I've had several shih tzu's turn into little demon spawn to the point that I've had to send them home half groomed because getting them done safely (mine or theirs) just wasn't possible. They seem to go for an all or nothing kind of thing. They're either totally fine or absolutely trying to kill you.

                                    Miniature and standard schnauzers are often quite nasty. Same for pretty much all short legged terriers (Westies, Scotties, Cairns, etc.). The small terriers tend to be very intolerant of being groomed - especially their legs and feet.

                                    Springers and American cocker spaniels (the English ones are usually much nicer) often turn into psychopaths.

                                    I love them, but a lot of Rotties are pretty sketchy.

                                    The nasty shih tzu's are probably the scariest though. They tend to check out and lose all sense of self preservation. They will do ANYTHING to make you stop, even to their own detriment. The other breeds at least seem to maintain some measure of self preservation (i.e. won't hang themselves while trying to bite you) so are easier to deal with. The terriers will go after you quite viciously, but at least don't hurt themselves in the process.

                                    Comment


                                    • It's clear to me from reading this that it is not the breed but the owner and how they have socialized and trained, yes TRAINED, their dog as to acceptable behavior.

                                      I hand and strip my terriers myself. The comments from the groomers surprise me. Really? You thought that dogs owned by people that should be hand stripping their terriers that are too lazy and instead bring them into you that clipper them will behave well? Really?

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Hannahsmom View Post
                                        It's clear to me from reading this that it is not the breed but the owner and how they have socialized and trained, yes TRAINED, their dog as to acceptable behavior.

                                        I hand and strip my terriers myself. The comments from the groomers surprise me. Really? You thought that dogs owned by people that should be hand stripping their terriers that are too lazy and instead bring them into you that clipper them will behave well? Really?
                                        That's not at all the impression I got from this thread. It seems many of the stories are about trained/socialized dogs that either have a screw loose or are just aggressive. The whole 'there are no bad dogs, just bad owners!' thing is a load of crap. Poor socializing can create or increase aggression and good training can minimize/manage aggressive behaviors. But it is NOT a guarantee. Breeding and just the dogs individual personality are a HUGE part of it. Just look at all the bad owners with wonderful, loving dogs. Why is it such a shock the opposite can also be true?
                                        .

                                        Comment


                                        • Friend had a nasty pit-bull mix that she rescued. She could not trust the dog off-leash and could barely control her on-leash. Her other dog was a loud, pushy husky mix and the two dogs would regularly get in fights that would last until the husky pinned the pit. If the husky hadn't been several inches taller and at least 40 lbs heavier the pit bull probably would have killed her, but instead they had an uneasy balance that would occasionally tip into a fight. The pit bull was a sweetheart most of the time but then would occasionally explode. I did not like visiting her house when she had those dogs.

                                          A coworker had an Akita that regularly killed small animals including the neighbors' cats and, if I recall, another neighbor's dog, and always watched people like it was stalking us. She had excuses for why it was always the other animal's fault when her dog killed something. Glad I was not her neighbor.

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