We’ve all heard the statistics and debunked myths of “dangerous breeds,” but do you know which dogs are actually the most dangerous?
Elaborating on our previous article, “The Five Most Dangerous Types Of Dogs In The World,” we’re here to shed some light on what makes a dog dangerous, and what you can do to prevent and protect yourself from attacks.
1. The Untrained Dog
Untrained dogs are possibly the most dangerous dogs of all. An untrained dog lacks rules or guidelines, and has no understanding of the difference between “right” and “wrong.”
Most often, we hear of attacks from dogs in situations regarding impulse control. There may be a form of a possessive issue -such as toy, food, or protective aggression,- in which the dog lacks the necessary trained skills to control these impulses. A trained dog understands that their belongings are not in immediate danger around others, whereas an untrained dog does not. These impulses can lead to fights with other dogs, aggression towards humans, or attacks on other house-hold animals.
A dog without proper training is also the most capable of causing accidental harm to a human or animal due to the fact that they are not aware of the harm they are causing. An untrained dog has no understanding of limits, personal space, and appropriate play. This can be potentially fatal when large, untrained dogs interact with smaller animals and children.
Though these behavioral issues can be tough to manage, it’s never too late to start training. If you have, or know someone who has an untrained dog, we suggest you seek professional help to prevent any future incidents.
Sometimes, the first step is admitting that your dog needs help. Here are some great training resources to get your partnership with your dog on the right path!
Zak George – Dog Training 101: How To Train Any Dog The Basics
Training Positive – How To Train Puppy To Stop Biting
2. The Fearful Dog
A dog experiencing fear or anxiety may prove to be incredibly dangerous, as he may lash out in a moment of panic. Many dogs are prone to fear aggression, which is an instinct-based reaction that may cause harm to humans or animals. Any animal with fear aggression, or displaying symptoms of fear aggression, must be handled with extreme care. Even dogs with no history of fear aggression can act out in a moment of panic. Therefore, you should always take every step possible to ensure that your safety is top priority when handling a fearful dog.
Regardless of whether the situation may seem dangerous to you, a dog may experience fear from something as simple as a plastic bag floating down the road. Some dogs are more prone to moments of fear or anxiety, and recognizing your dog’s fear is the first step to preventing fear aggression.
If a dog is expressing signs of anxiety or fear, proceed with caution, and do what you can to make the dog more comfortable. Sometimes human contact can be the source of the fear, and it may be best to leave the dog alone.
Remember, they are terrified and only trying to protect themselves.
How Can I Work With Or Prevent Fear Aggression?
Preventing fear aggression isn’t always easy, and it may take time to build a necessary trust with your dog. Here are some resources on fear aggression, and how to prevent attacks from fearful dogs.
The Balanced Canine – How To Handle Fear And Fear Aggression In Dogs
Positively – Fear Aggression by Victoria Stilwell
3. The Unpredictable Dog
Unfortunately, many people do not recognize the dangers of an unpredictable dog until a serious incident occurs. Unpredictable dogs are a huge risk to animals and humans, based on the evidence that they can act without visible or verbal warning signs.
An unpredictable dog is one that is feared in situations such as dog daycares, boarding, or dog parks, where a multitude of dogs are in the vicinity. An unpredictable dog may not express concern or fear before reacting or acting out in a negative way. Dogs who have proven to be unpredictable should be monitored at all times, and kept away from dogs with aggression or possession issues to prevent incidents. These dogs should not be allowed off leash in areas where they can cause harm to others or to themselves.
If you have reason to believe that a dog is unpredictable, be mindful of their interactions with others and yourself. Exercise caution with dogs you don’t trust!
How To Handle An Unpredictable Dog
Working with an unpredictable dog is challenging, and often times you may feel as though you will never understand his behavior. Here are some resources on understanding body language.
Modern Dog Magazine – How To Read Your Dog’s Body Language
Kayes Dog Training – Doggie Language
4. The Tired Or Sick Dog
The term “let sleeping dogs lie,” is not only accurate, but very informative. This cliche was probably created when someone attempted to pester a sleeping dog, receiving a swift snap in return. If you’ve ever been ill or physically exhausted, I’m sure you’re able to empathize with a tired or sick dog.
It’s often forgotten that dogs have feelings too, and can become cranky or upset when tired. Unfortunately, when a dog is upset, they are unable to communicate these feelings verbally. Therefore, the dog will use body language, growling, and snapping to warn a human of his discomfort.
Snapping is a warning sign, but can cause injury if mouth to skin contact is made. If the harassment continues, the dog may feel that further action is necessary, causing greater injury.
If your dog is tired or not feeling well, leave him alone. Also, be sure to keep small children away from him until he is fully awake and aware, and explain to them the importance of respecting dogs and their personal space.
How To Tell If Your Dog Isn’t Feeling Well
Dogs are capable of falling ill just like humans. Here are some resources that explain the difference between dogs who are sick and dogs who are simply tired.
For Dummies – How To Identify Signs That Your Dog Is Sick
Dog Health – How To Tell If Your Dog Is Sick
5. The Unfamiliar Dog
This one is most commonly forgotten, but also the most important.
If a dog isn’t familiar with you, he will probably be uncomfortable at first. Some dogs take longer to warm up to people or dogs than others and their personal space must be respected. Dogs have bubbles too! If your first reaction is to grab a strange dog by the face and squish it, you’re asking for a bite.
An unfamiliar dog is the most likely to cause harm solely based on the fact that you have no prior knowledge of his temperament or bite history. This means introducing yourself slowly is of the utmost importance, as well as ensuring that their owner is present to supervise the encounter.
If the dog has no owner, or an owner is not visible, do not approach the dog. Often times, dogs are left tied outside stores, potentially causing anxiety or fear for the dog. Dogs, who are tied or left by either a store entrance or personal belongings, is likely to feel protective over his new found territory. This is why many dog attacks occur in front of businesses, where the owner “ran inside to grab something.”
In a situation where the unfamiliar dog is homeless or shows signs of distress, exercise extreme caution if you attempt to help. Always let a dog approach you first, no matter how long it takes. In most situations, it is best to call for help, whether it be police, animal services, or other authorities.
I’ve Found A Stray Dog, What Do I Do?
As dog lovers, we want to help all homeless dogs. However, attempting to help a homeless dog may put yourself or the dog at risk of danger. Check out these tips on handling homeless animals and how you can make a big difference in their lives.
Wiki How – How To Approach A Stray Dog
Humane Society Of The United States – How To Help A Stray Pet
If there is anything to be taken away from this article, it’s that a comfortable dog is a happy dog. Dogs deserve respect, awareness, and many of the same rights as humans. If you are unsure of a dog’s temperament, or do not understand a dog’s body language, exercise caution when interacting with the dog.
Preventing dog attacks starts with human action!
Original Post by World of Angus