What Went Wrong

Dogs were domesticated to be our friends and companions, so what went wrong? Why are dogs biting, mauling, and even killing people?

♦ Little or no bite inhibition: Most dogs are born with the ability to be aware of using their jaws; they bite too hard on a littermate, the littermate cries, and the puppy doing the biting learns to be gentler in play the next time. When a dog has never learned this lesson (such as an orphaned or bottle-raised puppy, or a puppy taken from his mother and littermates at too young an age), he may be too rough with people. If the puppy's parents did not have the inhibition, he may not have inherited it. When people play too rough with a puppy, they teach him to ignore this instinct.

♦ Genetic predisposition to bite: If a dog comes from a parent or parents who were aggressive to people, he, too, may be aggressive to people.

♦ Little or no training: When a dog has not had any training or has had too little training, he may not look upon people as leaders. When someone then tells him to do something, especially if he doesn't want to do it, he may bite.

A well-trained, well-socialized dog is much less apt to bite than a dog with no leadership or guidance. Rebel, a Doberman Pinscher, owned by Chris Downs.

♦ Fearful personality: A dog who was born with a fearful personality may bite when pushed too hard to do something he's worried about. A fearful dog also will bite when cornered.

♦ Illness or injury: A dog who is hurt or sick may bite out of fear or pain, even when well-loved family members are trying to help him.

♦ Hormones: Most bites are made by intact (not neutered) male dogs. Although some intact (unspayed) females and some spayed females and neutered males will bite, intact males as a whole seem more willing to bite.

♦ Means of restraint: Dogs who are chained or tethered and vulnerable to people walking by are more apt to bite than dogs protected by a secure and solid fence.

♦ Dog not restrained: Dogs running loose (especially a pack of three or more dogs) have inflicted many serious, and often fatal, bites.

♦ People gone wrong: When people treat a puppy roughly, are aggressive to him, or ignore and neglect him, even the nicest puppy can learn to dislike people.

Dog bites have happened in a variety of ways and for many different reasons. Some people blame breeders, saying that they have produced inferior dogs, while others blame permissive parenting, saying that its philosophies have trickled down into dog training. There is no one reason why dogs are biting more today.

Pit Bulls as Pets

Pit Bulls as Pets

Are You Under The Negative Influence Of Hyped Media Stereotypes When It Comes To Your Knowledge Of Pit Bulls? What is the image that immediately comes into your mind when you think of the words Pit Bull? I can almost guarantee that they would be somewhere close to fierce, ferouscious, vicious, killer, unstoppable, uncontrollable, or locking jawed man-eaters.

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