How to create a dangerous dog
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    How to create a dangerous dog

    Saw this on one of the FB pages I belong to - thoughts? It's the whole "92% of fatal dog attacks have been inflicted by reproductively intact dogs" that made me sit back and question - anyone heard of this? Are there studies to back that number?


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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Yeah, I think it's on the CDC website (the studies about intact males inflicting most severe bites/attacks). I'm sure it has a lot to do with what kind of person their owners are (the kinds who encourage aggression and give their dogs opportunities to bite probably aren't real inclined to neuter, either).

    An excellent way to make a dog aggressive is to smack it and yell at it whenever it barks at the mail carrier :/. I've seen it happen a zillion times.

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    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Well let's work on a dog behind a fence all day with people approaching fence, get to the fence and then walk on by the fence. At first a new dog gets apprehensive and backs up as people approach and possibly back as far as he can when people are at the fence and then as people walk away he may even at least at first relax. Then after 3 weeks start to bark and at least stand his ground while people are at fence and as they walk away from fence charge after them a bit barking.

    KEEP ONE THOUGHT, EACH PERSON RETREATING FROM FENCE IS A TYPE OF VICTORY FOR THE DOG.

    So far we are just talking people now add children to the equation who run up and maybe do some teasing but eventually either run or walk away from fence "BINGO" more victories for the dog.

    The last thing to add too equation is time, how strong does the dog become in his own mind with hundreds of victories. This also occurs whether a dog is fenced or chained out and people/kids pass by them daily.

    Now after 2 or 3 years one day the chain/collar breaks or gate is left open and behold the Kraken is let loose to pillage the countryside. It does not change all dogs but it happens enough and then you read about the mauling or see it on local TV news.

    I have no clue as to the statistics but it's actually a form of brainwashing. A dog left alone on a chain or in a yard 24 hours daily has nothing going for it except the possible victories/excitement from passerbys. It's a sad life.
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


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    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    I totally agree with Wvasko on the fence/chain scenario. I see it in some neighborhood dogs around me and I end up avoid that area.
    I also see it on chained dogs sometimes but here those tend to be in more rural areas or in backyards so they aren't constantly seeing people walking by. Chained dogs sometimes go the other way and completely shut down. I think we've gotten a handful into rescue (one poor boy on a 14 lbs! chain) and they've just been so grateful to be off the chain and indoors and not had any aggression issues.

    I think the intact male statistic may be a part of correlation versus causation. Being intact isn't CAUSING human aggression but rather the other factors that create a bite risk dog CORRELATE with keeping intact dogs (irresponsibly).
    For example, people intending to breed their dogs strictly for profit (or for fighting) likely don't do a lot of training or socializing, an intact male's desire to roam after females combined with being kept outside, the macho attitude that an intact male dog isn't tough or isn't a male anymore if he is neutered seems to combine all too often with those who keep the large "tough" breeds as guard dogs, and those who try to create self-styled guard dogs by creating a dislike for people are also often those that keep the dog intact to make him "tougher" or to breed guard dogs for their buddies and cash.

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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    I agree that the intact dog is correlation and not causation. Ice cream sales and crime rates.

    I agree with most of the other ones, though. I do wish they had something with punishment, though.

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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Loki Love View Post
    It's the whole "92% of fatal dog attacks have been inflicted by reproductively intact dogs" that made me sit back and question
    I noticed it didn't make their top 4 list for "solutions".

    Hmmm. Guess it's not so integral to the cause, then ?

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    Senior Member Kayota's Avatar
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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    On the other hand, my mom had a chained dog who was chained because he could get under her poorly-installed fence, as could most dogs, and he was perfectly fine really. I'm not saying it's good, but he hated to be inside as he would just lie by the door until we put him out again, and if he did escape he was more than happy to run around the town and evade capture while enjoying activities such as swimming and eating garbage and completely ignoring any humans except to run away.

    Once as a kid I approached a chained Husky type dog in a backyard who proceeded to attack me. If that dog weren't chained I would have been mauled, but I only had a scratch on my behind where his tooth broke through my jeans and grazed me as I was almost out of his range. The dog was within reach of a public alley type thing. I didn't know body language at the time, so I thought because it wasn't barking it was friendly. How wrong I was.
    Last edited by Kayota; 03-16-2013 at 11:18 AM.

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    Senior Member BernerMax's Avatar
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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Wow. My dogs do like to nuisance bark at the fence during the day (at night they go indoors mostly) luckily we are rural so while it is a "busy" road for the country its nothing like Urban SF where we moved from-- unfortuantly my mindset was that barky dogs are a Good thing (I yell at them for harassing joggers, bikers, mailman-- but not for tweaking out over the very drunk person at 9pm meandering about, we do have fair number of questionables, we are right on the edge of a very quaint cutsey little vacation town)--\back in SF we were constantly getting broken into and would have to pay to get or locks redone (3 floors of condo) and replace all our bikes down in the garage (the person even stole everything he could grab even my CarJack and bag of Halloween candy I left my car windows down)-- SO I thought dogs barking was a good thing -- will you destroy a dog as a Guard for reprimanding him for barking? How to handle this-- I dont want to create a dangerous dog either!
    (BTW my berner shot out past us when we opened the gate b/c the house there was a huge dog standing accross the street, he charged him them just stopped and sniffed and recalled immediately when my 10year old called him, so he isnt a Killer dog yet, but I dont want him to be either-- my husband does not want our 2 acre property partitioned off - say for a dog area, so it would have to be tethering him or e-collar, my husband not willing to maintain training the 3 days I am out of town every week).....

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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Much like with neutered vs unneutered I suspect this issue is predicated on correlation and not causation. The type of owner who would confine their poorly trained, unsocialized and woefully under-stimulated dog to their fenced yard 24/7 is the same type of owner who would probably wind up with a dangerous dog even if their animal husbandry came into line with the proposed "solutions." The only difference is that these dogs would probably be biting family and friends rather than strangers. It boils down to poor dog stewardship, you can change the wrapping but it doesn't change what's inside. Solutions for poor ownership? Well, that's an issue that will most likely not be solved...at least not in my lifetime.

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    Senior Member wvasko's Avatar
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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    SO I thought dogs barking was a good thing -- will you destroy a dog as a Guard for reprimanding him for barking? How to handle this-- I dont want to create a dangerous dog either!
    Do the dogs have a life other than vegetating outside. What kind of formal training are you doing. I like a good alert dog but once I am out to see what he is barking at and then quiet the dog.

    An outside dog loose in all probability keep teen-agers out but serious burglars etc will kill an outside dog. That being said the odds are with you because a high per-centage will move on to a dog free environment.

    If a portable kennel run mounted near the home is not good then a good 2 inch wide leather agitation collar with a strong chain that will stop the dog from getting loose to possibly bite the wrong person.
    Dinosaur Dog Trainer


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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Quote Originally Posted by BernerMax View Post
    my mindset was that barky dogs are a Good thing (I yell at them for harassing joggers, bikers, mailman-- but not for tweaking out over the very drunk person at 9pm meandering about, we do have fair number of questionables,
    Alrt barking is a good thing if that's what you want. The problem with dogs left outside alone all day barking at everything---they start getting overly amped up so that EVERYTHING is a threat, plus, when people walk by, they get the idea that they scared them away with their scary barking, and so they start to think they're hot stuff. It's more of a lack of attention than an actual problem with the barking.

    And as a mail carrier, I ask, PLEASE don't yell at your dogs for barking at the mail carrier . Now, I'm not a dog so I can't guarantee their mind process here, but this is what I see: I walk up, the dog barks. The owner gets mad about the barking, smacks the dog and/or yells at the dog. This happens every day. The dog thinks "wow, every time that person comes around, my owner gets very mad and bad things happen to me. It must be a Very Bad Person to make my owner so angry and to cause so many bad things to happen to me. I must kill this Very Bad Person!", and presto, you've got a dangerous dog. Or at least dangerous to the mail carrier. Doing desensitization, like playing a game of "yay, it's the mail carrier! Everybody gets a treat!" is a much better way of handling it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmett View Post
    Much like with neutered vs unneutered I suspect this issue is predicated on correlation and not causation. The type of owner who would confine their poorly trained, unsocialized and woefully under-stimulated dog to their fenced yard 24/7 is the same type of owner who would probably wind up with a dangerous dog even if their animal husbandry came into line with the proposed "solutions."
    Mmm, I disagree. Just by having the dog inside with the family, the dog is getting far more training, socialization, and stimulation than if he's kept in the yard all day. Yes, it's not likely their dog will be Lassie, but it's an improvement. And a kenneled dog, while not getting any more socialization than a tied dog, is at least kept in a more secure place, and isn't getting teased by neighbor kids all day.

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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
    Mmm, I disagree. Just by having the dog inside with the family, the dog is getting far more training, socialization, and stimulation than if he's kept in the yard all day. Yes, it's not likely their dog will be Lassie, but it's an improvement. And a kenneled dog, while not getting any more socialization than a tied dog, is at least kept in a more secure place, and isn't getting teased by neighbor kids all day.
    You're going on the assumption that the owner's abilities and desires change simply by bringing the dog inside. I'm pointing out that the owner's abilities and desires do not change based on the chosen housing method.

    Scenario A: Person gets a dog. Decides to put the dog in their backyard. Never does any sort of training with it. Puts food and water out, but rarely pays any attention beyond yelling whenever the dog's incessant barking bothers the person. The dog spends years of his life behind that fence. His owner never cares when the neighborhood teens tease him, they poke him with sticks and pelt him with rocks. Dog has boundless energy and no outlet, eventually he "loses his mind". One day somebody leaves the gate open. Dog rushes out and there's a guy riding a bike down the street. Dog bites the guy.

    Scenario B: Same owner. Person gets a dog. Decides to keep dog inside. Never does any sort of training with it, just shoves it into a crate whenever it acts up. Dog has food and water, but never gets any attention unless its being shoved into a crate. When he barks in the crate the person yells and raps on the crate to make him shut up. His owner never cares when the kids in the family poke him through the bars, throw Legos at him and tease him with tasty treats that he can't get to. Years go by. One day the dog is out of his crate and one of the kids sticks its face into his and teases him. Dog bites the kid's face. Different scenarios, same outcome.

    "Bad" owners don't become "good" owners just because they house the dog differently. I'm not saying people who house their dogs outside are all "bad" owners; it can be done appropriately and "good" owners that make such a choice will put in the extra effort to make sure it's done right. Nor am I saying all dogs that bite have "bad" owners. I am putting forth the idea that the subset of dog owners who choose to irresponsibly house their dogs outside will make similar irresponsible decisions if they choose to keep their dogs inside. Putting a dog in the hands of a negligent and irresponsible owner is truly "how to create a dangerous dog."

    *For anybody wondering this is based exactly on the people who lived down the street from us when I was growing up. It took their own child having his cheek nearly ripped off for them to realize they were "poor" dog owners.
    Last edited by Emmett; 03-16-2013 at 01:48 PM.

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    Senior Member CptJack's Avatar
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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmett View Post
    You're going on the assumption that the owner's abilities and desires change simply by bringing the dog inside. I'm pointing out that the owner's abilities and desires do not change based on the chosen housing method.

    Agreed, entirely. Living in the house doesn't make the dog a part of the family. It doesn't make the dog get exercised, trained, socialized or loved. It DOES limit their exposure to the public, and it is the SAFEST way to house a dog (for the dog and the public), but it doesn't mean the dog is being well taken care of. It just means it's existing inside rather than out.

    It DOES make it harder to ignore behavioral issues, and will usually promote bonding, but ONLY if the person is already inclined to do that ANYWAY, but is just a tiny bit too lazy to do when they have to make a point of going out to deal with the dog instead of doing it while they watch television.

    But really crap owners can, and most certainly are, crap owners with their dogs in the house, too.

    (And I know at least one awesome member here with an outdoor dog (not by their choice) who works her BUTT off to take good care of her dog, socialize, train, keep safe and spend time with him. So, you know. I'm biased the other direction, too.)

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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Interesting conversation. It just goes back to the saying "bad dog no bad owner" it's always generally how the dog is raised and trained. And how much effort and owner puts into the dog.
    My three don't bark, they sit and wait to greet people. But they aren't outside dogs. Bulldogs can overheat or get to cold, that's why I like them where I can regulate their temp. I would never keep certain dogs outside, that's a form of torture. Well any dog really with no other stimulation.

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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfius View Post
    And how much effort and owner puts into the dog.
    Well, sort of. I have also seen dogs who were chained their entire lives come off those chains and be nothing but wiggles and love and happy excitement to be let off.

    You should always, always do the socialization and work, but you can only work within the genetic framework that's already there, as far as the dog's temperament goes. Some dogs are danged hard to ruin, though. Some are very, very easy. It's just safest to assume you have one of the easy to ruin ones, and do it all RIGHT - just in case you don't have one of those wonder dogs.

    Kylie, without socialization, training, and exercise would be a TERROR and a nightmare. She's had it, so she's a nice, stable, safe little dog who tolerates things -but she's never going to be a wiggling, happy to see everyone, lovey dog. Bug, on the other end of the spectrum, spent her whole life (before coming to me) outside on a farm, with no training and minimal socialization and she would love to go home with everyone, and anyone. SHE LOVES PEOPLE, OMG. Nothing to do with who raised her; that's just her.

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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Shell View Post
    I think the intact male statistic may be a part of correlation versus causation. Being intact isn't CAUSING human aggression but rather the other factors that create a bite risk dog CORRELATE with keeping intact dogs (irresponsibly).
    For example, people intending to breed their dogs strictly for profit (or for fighting) likely don't do a lot of training or socializing, an intact male's desire to roam after females combined with being kept outside, the macho attitude that an intact male dog isn't tough or isn't a male anymore if he is neutered seems to combine all too often with those who keep the large "tough" breeds as guard dogs, and those who try to create self-styled guard dogs by creating a dislike for people are also often those that keep the dog intact to make him "tougher" or to breed guard dogs for their buddies and cash.
    I agree with this - you just worded it much better than I could have!

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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Quote Originally Posted by CptJack View Post
    Well, sort of. I have also seen dogs who were chained their entire lives come off those chains and be nothing but wiggles and love and happy excitement to be let off.
    But it meant that someone still worked with them enough so they could be this way. Owner or not. Maybe it was a friend who comes over, etc. I go to my friends house and their dog is so well mannered mostly because I messed around with the dog. Someone, somewhere had to put effort into the dog, stranger on the street, etc.

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    Senior Member CptJack's Avatar
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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfius View Post
    But it meant that someone still worked with them enough so they could be this way. Owner or not. Maybe it was a friend who comes over, etc. I go to my friends house and their dog is so well mannered mostly because I messed around with the dog. Someone, somewhere had to put effort into the dog, stranger on the street, etc.
    Nope. These are dogs I've known who were born to chained mothers, and put on those chains at 8 weeks old, kept in the back of rural houses or on farms, often 100 yards from the house, no neighbors and in the woods. Some of them have stayed there for 6-8 years before they got off the FIRST TIME.. Their interaction was food and water thrown to them. Period. They're not worked with. They're just really temperamentally sound dogs. There is no socializing happening, no working in the dog's entire lives. It's just What They Are.


    I've also known dogs, mostly here, who have had awesome owners, who have done everything right, who are shy, skittish, nervous, fearful, and without proper management could be a huge bite risk. It HAPPENS. Not as often as simple neglect or undersocializing. but you can not always blame the owners.

    It's why breeders breeding temperamentally sound dogs matters, too. Genetics count. So does socialization and work, OF COURSE, and they do make a difference, but your're not going to completely alter the genetic temperament of the dog with it, either.
    Last edited by CptJack; 03-16-2013 at 02:27 PM.

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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfius View Post
    But it meant that someone still worked with them enough so they could be this way. Owner or not. Maybe it was a friend who comes over, etc. I go to my friends house and their dog is so well mannered mostly because I messed around with the dog. Someone, somewhere had to put effort into the dog, stranger on the street, etc.
    Haha, I've never really considered that! But yeah. There's a puppy on my route, maybe about 6 months old now, and I always make him sit before I'll pet him. I suppose that even if his owners never even looked at him, he'd be better off than a dog who gets kicked by the neighbors every time they walk by. . .owners aren't the only influence on their dog.

    But I also agree that basic temperment is largely genetic. Life experience shapes personality but the basics are inborn.

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    Senior Member CptJack's Avatar
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    Re: How to create a dangerous dog

    Quote Originally Posted by Willowy View Post
    Haha, I've never really considered that! But yeah. There's a puppy on my route, maybe about 6 months old now, and I always make him sit before I'll pet him. I suppose that even if his owners never even looked at him, he'd be better off than a dog who gets kicked by the neighbors every time they walk by. . .owners aren't the only influence on their dog.

    But I also agree that basic temperment is largely genetic. Life experience shapes personality but the basics are inborn.
    Agreed, on your first point as well. People other than owners do have influences on dogs.

    But also, temperament and training are NOT the same. I use training to control my dogs, but it doesn't change their temperaments. My dogs all sit when people pass, and they all look the same - but their temperaments are different. When we got 'accosted' at the parking spot at the trail head today, by a couple of people who said 'we just like dogs' and then decided they were petting them....

    Bug exploded into joy. She VIBRATED in her sit, she was wiggling so hard and so anxious to get to them. they crouched down and got 'in her face' she tried to climb into their laps to give kisses. She is a fundamentally joyful, people loving, little dog.

    Jack accepted being pet politely, then walked between my husband's legs and sat. No nerves or fear, just 'WhatEVER'. He's an aloof dog; if you're not family, he doesn't care.

    Kylie absolutely did not want to be pet, scooted to lean against my legs and tried to roll over on her back. She's not usually that bad, will usually tolerate people petting her, but these people were just full on and more than she could handle. I asked them to leave her alone, and she settled for continuing to lean against my legs. No barking or growling, but she wasn't comfortable and WAS fearful and shy.

    Thud is 4.5 months old. He's still developing his personality, but he was cautious, curious, approached for a sniff, wagged his tail when pet, was happy enough for a second or two, then got sick of them and came back to us. We'll see where he ends up.

    Jack? Was socialized as heck as a puppy. He was a show dog. He's been handled by multiple people, he's been taken around everywhere. He's done weight pull competitions as well as conformation ones. He's gone to shows and stayed with different handlers; he is the least interested in strange people, without being 'high strung' about it. He simply does not CARE if they exist or not. Bug has the LEAST amount of socialization - she just loves, loves, loves, LOVES, people. All people. She has no strong preference to us over a total stranger. Kylie and Thud have had the same socialization and were raised in the same home, and both came from very similar crappy backgrounds- Kylie has more training, is more obedient, and generally has better manners. But Thud is far, far, friendlier and more confident than Kylie was at that age. Kylie's just kind of high strung.

    I can train any of them to sit and be polite and allow themselves to be pet (be polite to people), but I can't train Kylie to react to people like Bug.
    Last edited by CptJack; 03-16-2013 at 03:00 PM.

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