Here is another great article that I found, this time on the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructor’s (NADOI) website. This article is very well written and very full of truths, regardless of what many pet parents want to admit. I am not sure whether this link is going to show up and work, as I was having issues getting it to post. To see the article, go to nadoi.org/pit-bull-responsibility/
The author, a Ms. Fran Jewell, talks about the the ‘bully breeds’, and their prey drive. Notice I did not say “pit bull,” as there is no such breed as the “pit bull.” That is a term that has been conjured up to describe any one the several breeds of dogs, that have been the focus of several tragic stories that we have read about over the last decade, involving dog bite and attack incidents.
Ms. Jewell states in the article, that if you are going to “own” a dog, then you must “own it.” I strongly agree with her on this! If more owners would adopt this philosophy when owning dogs, we would most likely have far fewer negative incidents, as well as fewer dogs in shelters and rescues. To “own” your dog, means that you understand what the breed has been developed for, you have a thorough understanding of dog behavior, and you take steps to train the dog properly, keeping him under control, and recognize any ‘red flag’ warning signs of potential aggression.
You cannot take a dog that has been “rescued” from an abusive situation and expect him to fit in perfectly with a family, especially a family with young children.
This also applies to any breed of dog, not only the ‘bully breeds.’ If you get a herding dog, such as the Border Collies (a marvelous breed in my opinion), and you have young children, you may very well incur some nipping and herding instincts. That is but one instance that can demonstrate why it is so important to research the history of the breed, what they have been developed for, as well as proper training for you and the dog. Additionally, if you want any dog for working purposes, don’t buy him from a breeder of show dogs. Look for a breeder who breeds dogs for that specific work; the work the breed was developed for.
I always tell people, “just because you have not personally witnessed a dog bite or fight with your own dog, does not mean that it will never occur. It simply means that your dog’s ‘trigger’ has not yet been encountered.”