Evolution of a dangerous dog

        Welcome to the third in our series of articles about Training about Pet Safety (TAPS). So far we have looked at the background of pet safety in Australia and What is a dangerous dog? This week we look at how dangerous dogs are made.

        Sadly there are some in our society that are determined to produce dogs that scare and hurt people. Our military and policing services have a long history of using dogs for hunting and capturing criminals or for protecting our national assets. These groups normally have well developed breeding programs in place and stringent controls on how their dogs are trained and housed. However there are groups that are not so scrupulous and they breed and create dogs for guarding of drug crops, dog fighting and protection of property. They often has no understanding of the inherent dangers of keeping dogs in these situations. There is also a culture in some groups (mostly men) that has certain types of dogs as a macho status symbol. The image of a snarling, lunging, only just controlled dog on the end of a viscous prong collar being one they enjoy as it enhances their image. 

      Then their is the largest group and most worrying group and this includes normal every day people, many with young children that have the wrong dog in the wrong situation. This is combined with owners that have little to no knowledge of canine body language and no commitment to training and management of their dogs within their household. As our last article showed any dog  can be dangerous. Where a dog comes from – shelter, breeder, or backyard puppy farm, even a large well managed multimillion dollar dog business will impact on the temperament of the dog you bring home. What defines a dog’s personality is:

  • it’s breed (or combination of breeds), 
  • how it was raised in its first critical 4 – 16 weeks of life
  • amount of training and enrichment it receives on an on-going basis
  • how its health is managed or not managed e.g. presence of arthritis or tumours. 
     At any one point in its life due to one or a combination of the above four factors it many become a dangerous dog, even a dog that has spent many years being the best dog your family has ever owned. That cute cuddly puppy that comes home at 8 weeks of age will have lots of life history already and much more to come to influence it’s personality in a good or bad way. 
    What can a run of the mill pet owner do to obtain a dog that is going to be safe 
for their family?
    The biggest and most important factor in ensuring that the dog you purchase is the right one for your situation and is not going to put you or your family at risk is to purchase a family pet only after careful consideration of your circumstances, what type of dog would best suit the situation you have now and up to 18 years into the future and what sources are available to obtain that pet. This is the subject of next weeks article.

Until next week……….
    Stay safe and remember to Kiss the dog, hug the cat and tell your goldfish you love them.


Louise Kerr 
The Pet Care Magician

Louise Kerr (aka The Pet Care Magician) is the owner of Elite Pet Care & Education based in the Nambucca Valley NSW Australia. She consults and writes widely on a range of pet care issues including feeding, training and grooming dogs and cats. Her online pet care  magic subscription program  deals with common pet behaviour, training, feeding and grooming issues such as barking, escaping, scratching, aggression and fleas. Pet care professionals are trained to handle customer issues by the provision of up to date programs to differentiate their pet care business from other competitors


Posted on October 3, 2011, in Dog Training, Keeping Children Safe, Pet Guardians, Training and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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