The American Dog Trainers Network

AGGRESSIVE DOGS

aggressive dog
a rainbow-colored separation bar

TYPES OF AGGRESSION


 

  • Displacement

     
  • Dominance

     
  • Fear-Elicited

     
  • Intra-Male

     
  • Intra-Species

     
  • Maternal

     
  • Object Possessive

     
  • Pain-Elicited

     
  • Predatory

     
  • Territorial


     

 

DOG BITE STATISTICS

    Dogs don't become aggressive overnight. In many cases, there is "handwriting on the wall", weeks, months, or even years prior to a dog's first serious bite. Unfortunately, many dog owners do not realize that warning signs such as growling, snapping or "nipping", often escallate into biting behavior over time.


 

How many dogs exist in the United States?

 

    Approx. 52 Million


 

Bite Statistics

 

    There is an average of 12 to 15 fatal dog bites per year in the U.S.
     


 

Bite wound sites:

 

    Face, hands and/or arms account for most bite wound sites.

    Face: 44,000 facial injuries a year (in the U.S.)


 

Which dogs bite the most?

 

    Male dogs (8 out of 10)

    Unneutered male dogs (6 out of 10)

    Neutered male dogs (2 out of 10)

    Usually the family pet


 

Who gets bitten the most?

    Children under 10 yrs. old. (This is especially true of severe and fatal dog bites.

    More boys get bitten than girls.

    Elderly people account for the next most frequent percentage of severe and fatal dog bites after children.

     


 

What to do if your dog is aggressive towards other people:

  1. Remove rose-colored glasses.

     
  2.  Enlist the help of an experienced dog trainer or behaviorist. Fast.

     
  3.  Take all necessary steps to prevent your dog from biting someone.

     
  4.  Get Liability insurance.

     


 

Preventive Steps For Dog Owners

  1. Research breeds thoroughly. (Both purebred and mixed breed  dogs can make wonderful pets.)

     
  2.  Adopt or purchase your puppy or dog carefully. If you purchase  a pure-bred dog, find a reputable breeder. (Avoid pet stores and  puppy outlets of any kind when looking for a puppy.)

     
  3.  Read several good dog training books [See our Recommended Book List].

     
  4.  Keep your dog leashed at all times when on public properly
    (except  when supervised in a dog run or dog park).

     
  5.  Never let your dog roam throughout the neighborhood.

     
  6.  Hire a reputable dog trainer, or enlist your puppy in a good group  obedience class.

     
  7.  Socialize your puppy early on with LOTS of new people.

     
  8.  Start training your puppy early on, using a humane training method.

     
  9.  Neuter/spay your dog when s/he is between 6 and 7 mths. of age.

     
  10.  Never tie your dog outdoors or in front of a store unsupervised.

     
  11.  Never allow anyone to tease, mishandle or abuse your puppy or dog.

     
  12.  Learn to recognise pre-aggression warning signs.

     
  13.  Learn about canine body language.

     
  14.  Don't make excuses for your dog's aggressive behavior.
    (Only pain or fear-illicited aggression is a valid excuse.)

     
  15.  Nip any problem behavior in the bud.

     
  16.  A tired dog is a good dog, so give your puppy or dog lots of exercise  and constructive outlets for his natural energies. (Yard exercise is  NOT enough.)
     


 

Safety Tips for Parents

  1. Teach your child(ren) to always ask first before petting a dog.

     
  2.  Teach your child(ren) how to properly approach and interact with  a friendly and/or familiar dog... and when not to approach or pet  a dog at all.

     
  3.  Never leave your child (under 12 years old) alone unsupervised with a dog.



Related Links

Dog Bites -- The Preventable Epidemic
(Dog Fancy, The Animal Network)
 

Copyright 1995 - 2000,  Robin Kovary

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Robin Kovary is the American Dog Trainers Network helpline director
 and canine behavioral consultant.