Why Would Anyone Want an Aggressive Dog?
I see aggressive puppies all the time!
Some of these puppies have been very carefully bred and even line bred (which means relatives being bred to one another and yes this is still frequently done in the dog world) to be aggressive.
People tell me or try and argue with me that no puppy is born aggressive; it is all about how the dog is “raised”.
Simply Put this is BS
We want to live in a world where we think that animals aren’t born aggressive or with aggression issues, or that people are always at fault but the truth is you can see pretty severe aggression in a 5 to 6 weeks old puppy.
Now let’s get this straight, HUMANS ARE STILL AT FAULT but not in the way that you are thinking.
Sometimes great people who try and do all the right things get aggressive puppies!
Why Would Anyone Breed an Aggressive Dog?
Some people don’t believe it; they don’t believe that people intentionally breed two aggressive dogs in the hopes of getting even more aggressive puppies.
I suppose it is like any other trait; if you breed to traits together there is a higher likelihood that they will pass the traits onto their puppies.
So Who Would Want an Aggressive Dog?
People who use their dogs to hunt vermin; want an extremely aggressive dog that will hunt and kill anything small so excellent hunter is bred to excellent hunter to get even more excellently aggressive puppies.
Unfortunately people still breed and fight dogs, even though it is illegal, and they too breed the most dog aggressive dog to the most dog aggressive dog that they can find to breed litters of fighting puppies. I could pretend that it doesn’t exist and I wish it didn’t, but it does.
Police and Military Dogs
Police and military dogs are another variety of dog where aggression is taken (to some extent) and bred and manipulated to create a more confident and aggressive dog that can apprehend dangerous people. It takes a very specific kind of dog to do this kind of work, it wasn’t your average dog that took down Bin Laden.
This is where the line starts to get blurred.
I work with and see a lot of police dogs, but I also live and compete in the world of protection sports, Schutzhund or IPO, French Ring, Mondio Ring, PSA, North American Dogsport Federation etc.
People who breed the dogs that are successful in these sports are or at least should be very careful about what traits they are manipulating. It isn’t easy to live with a dog that is bred to do sport work, they are often very high drive (excitable) have some aggression issues and biting, and are hard to control; these are all traits that make them great at sport work but horrible as pets.
And, there is only a limited amount of us crazies that enjoy competing in these sports and living with these dogs. There are some great breeders that only breed social dogs (meaning the dog doesn’t want to kill all people; it’s aggression is trained and on command) but there are some bad breeders who want to breed the most aggressive and anti-social dog to the most aggressive and anti-social dog.
And, there has to be a workable component (in my opinion); meaning I don’t want a dog that is going to try and kill me or disembowel me for putting him into his crate. These dogs exist and are bred; don’t even think I am kidding (I wish I were). I also don’t want a dog that wants to aggress at every person it sees, this is not a controllable or clear headed dog, I want a dog that is social but knows how to play the game!
And some of these nasty puppies enter the world as “pet dogs” they may not be good enough or fast enough or even aggressive enough to be placed in working homes so sometimes these dogs are placed out with regular people who have no idea how to deal with a puppy like this and usually they get placed time and time again until finally they are euthanized.
Some good people end up with these dogs and just simply don’t know how to live with a dog like this.
I put this in a different category because these people aren’t usually in the “protection world” where they have titled dogs or compete in a sport.
These people usually have a dog that may be aggressive or they think is “protective” and they want to breed it and have other “protective” dogs.
If you breed one dog that doesn’t like people, to another dog that doesn’t like people… chances are you are going to get a litter full of puppies that have a propensity not to like people as a whole.
If you breed two adult dogs who have severe possession or resource guarding issues, chances are you are going to have a litter of pups with the same problem.
The real problem is people don’t understand what they are doing, or that most people can’t handle these dogs and then they end up in rescue or shelters and people unintentionally adopt aggressive puppies.
The Moral of the Story
There are a couple of morals actually.
People do breed dogs to make aggressive puppies, and it is possible! Don’t believe me google Malinois working puppies to see how aggressive young puppies can be!
Be careful what you ask for; you may think you want a puppy from a competition or police working dog… but chances are you don’t, I am a professional and I find it hard to live with these dogs!
You may also think you want a dog to protect you and "be protective" but again chances are you don't want the work and the liability that goes along with this; what you really want is a well behaved, well trained dog that's mere presence keeps people at bay for more on that and why it works click here.
Always meet the parents if you can so that you can see the inherent nature of the dogs and what is likely to be the nature of their offspring.
Don’t blame!!!! When you see a person with an aggressive dog don’t blame them. It may not be their fault, they may have gone to the shelter or a rescue and taken a dog or a puppy and they didn't see outright aggression at first; they may be trying to work with and give it every opportunity at a normal life, it is not always the owner's fault!
Until you adopt or work with one of these dogs, you don't know the true heartbreak and constant judgement you get for trying to save the life and modify these dogs behavior. I have had several of these dog in my career and it is never easy, and judgement just makes people feel bad and want to give up and/or hide which never helps the situation.
I have been a professional dog trainer and pet sitter for over 20 years. I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, through the international Certification Counsel of Professional Dog Trainers. I have trained and worked with police, Schutzhund and personal protection dogs. I trained Assistance Dogs in a men’s prison and ran my own nonprofit organization to take adult dogs from shelters and to train them to assist children and adults with disabilities, at no charge to my clients. My nonprofit organization and I were nominated for several awards of merit and even made the front page of the Denver Post. I was a veterinary technician for many years, where I learned about all aspects of health and preventative medicine. I have trained and worked with exotic animals and cheetahs. I introduced a temperament testing program in my local shelter and sat on the board of directors. I volunteered with my dog “Mr. Snitch” and helped local children learn to read. I have attained obedience titles and several blue ribbons. I am constantly in search of ways to continue my education and excellence when it comes to animals, their behavior and their health.