Many behavior problems in dogs stem from characteristics selected in certain dangerous dog breeds. While most dog owners successfully train their dogs not to attack people, it is a good idea to be cautious around certain breeds. It is not always easy to predict when a dog will attack, and some breeds are more likely than others to do so.
The dog breeds most associated with attacks are:
These dogs are often bred for intense physical tasks such as:
herding large animals like sheep or cattle
guarding people, homes or other propert
hauling sleds or carriages for long distances
Selection of these characteristics when breeding is the source of their assertive or aggressive behaviors and their physical strength and stamina. These breeds have strong bites, and some have a hold and shake instinct that causes them to latch on and shake at the part of the body they are biting, causing deep, severe injuries.
Uncontrollable aggressive behavior is rare in dogs, especially when owners train the dog to obey commands like "down" or "stop." Most dogs just want to defend their territory or may simply be curious. However, some dangerous dog breeds are abused or trained for fighting, and when these dogs get out of their pens or homes, they may perceive any strangers they meet as a threat. These dogs are likely to see any sudden movements as an attempt to attack. When people try to run from dogs who are ready to attack, they usually only incite the dog's instinct to chase prey.
It is best not to approach strange dogs if you can avoid it. Do not make eye contact with or smile at dogs that seem agitated. Stand sideways to the dog and stay calm. Most dogs are simply trying to discourage you from attacking them or coming into their territory. Standing still and allowing the dog to get comfortable with you is usually all you need to do to convince the dog to move on. Carrying mace when you are out walking is an excellent deterrent to dogs who do attack. Throwing rocks or other objects will usually keep dogs away from you.