If dogs are truly man’s best friend, why are some considered dangerous and banned in countries worldwide? More often than not, it is human intervention that has caused some of the breeds below to be tarnished with a bad reputation. Whilst some of the pooches below can look a little menacing, we wanted to debunk the myths surrounding many dogs that are misunderstood.
In the UK, seeing a Rottweiler out for a walk or playing in the local park is completely normal. Whilst they do have a reputation, they are not banned and make excellent police dogs as they follow commands well. When it comes to Rottweilers, much of the public’s fear is based around ignorance. Back in the day, Rottweilers were used to herd cattle and help with hunting or pulling small carts.
Despite not being used as a fighting dog, Rottweilers have always been considered a menacing breed, despite aggression not being a breed trait. Generally they are calm confident and very loyal to their family. Just make sure to view the mother and father is purchasing from a puppy to distinguish their personalities.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
Also known as Staffies, Staffordshire Bull Terriers short stocky docks often grouped with the American Pit Bull Terrier (which are banned in countries around the world). Despite being affectionate, intelligent and loyal, the breed has made national headlines for aggressive acts.
Sadly, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier was doomed from conception. They were initially bred for bull-baiting, bear-baiting, lion-baiting and dog fighting. Being raised without the love of a family pet and essentially being treated like a weapon makes it unsurprising that some Staffie bloodlines still have strains of aggression in them. However, any Staffie puppy, given the affection and training that any dog deserves, will grow into the perfect family pet.
The Doberman hails from Germany and is a blend of shepherd-dog, Rottweiler and smooth-haired German Pinscher. The hybrid pooch is often used in films as the dogs of choice for villains or as a guard dog at junk yards or mansions. The breed’s portrayal in the media hasn’t done much for its reputation.
Sadly, World War 1 and World War 2 saw only Dobermans in the military survive and, understandably, these dogs were more aggressive and protective than their house-pet counterparts. Therefore, breeding programmes saw numerous Dobermans of this nature brought into the world.
Nowadays, however, many households are happy to call a Doberman their pet. They can become restless and have behavioural problems, but this is only if they are not given enough mental stretching and lack of exercise. They are very intelligent dogs who can be trained to a very high standard and many can be very soppy with smaller animals despite their size.
Pit Bull Terrier
The UK, along wit
h many countries in the world, considered Pit Bull Terriers a ferocious breed and they are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act UK. They are considered a threat to people, children and other animals. The UK government judges Pit Bulls as aggressive, or amenable to being trained to be aggressive. Along with their large size and strength, makes the breed dangerous. However, having been used for illegal dog fighting, is it really a breed fault of the Pit Bull?
In the UK, if the courts deem your Pit Bull is not a danger to the public, it can be put on the Index of Exempt dogs. This means your pet can stay with you, but must be neutered, chipped and kept on a lead and muzzle when out in public at all times.
Many dog owners, even those who do not own Pit Bulls, feel that the blanket ban is wrong and believe that any dog can make a great family pet if they are treated with the love they deserve and receive the correct training. It is all about appropriate care of your pet and issues arise when these needs are not met. Organisations such as the RSPCA and the Kennel Club want the law changed.
This beautiful large breed of dog hails from the mountainous northern regions of Japan. They were bred to hunt wild animals, including bears, which gives you an idea of their strength and fighting ability. They are considered as one of the most dangerous dogs in the UK despite their friendly appearance.
Irresponsible ownership is the problem when it comes to Akitas and it is not the breed as a whole. Larger breeds will always be capable of inflicting injury on other animals or people because of their size and strength. No domestic dog is born with the propensity for attacking humans, it comes from inadequate training and lack of socialisation. Also, since when does the weight of a dog determine its aggression? This quiet, peaceful and patient breed loves being part of a family and being involved with everything, no matter how mundane!
Also known as a Brazilian Mastiff, this large working breed looks like a mix between a Great Dane and a Blood Hound. Sadly, over the years, they have become known for their aggressiveness and impetuous temperament. For this reason, they are banned in the UK under the Dangerous Dogs Act.
The Fila was bred as a hunting dog and, back in the day, they used to guard estates and livestock from predators. Sadly, they were also used to track slaves that tried to escape from plantations. Despite their clumsiness, which may be mistaken for clumsiness, they are extremely fast and athletic when they need to be.
One of the Fila’s most notable traits is its protectiveness. However, this can be to their detriment. The breed has been known to protect certain members of a family so ferociously that they injure others. When searching for a Fila puppy (remember, banned dogs can be exempt) make sure to be given a full history on the bloodline which the puppy has come from. It is also best to see both the bitch and the dog.
This popular UK breed was the poster-dog for aggression back in the 1960s and 1970s and were used in illegal street fights. However, they were more commonly used as bait dogs to train other fighting dogs. Today, due to their intelligence, courage and versatility, they are used by the police, military and search and rescue. Their faithfulness also makes them a great companion for disabled people who require guidance and assistance. So, why do German Shepherds receive negative attention?
German Shepherds, like the Brazillian Mastiff, can be very protective. Also, their large size and powerful bodies make them deadly if they are provoked. However, any dog can be dangerous purely because of its behaviour and not due to the breed.
Any dog, no matter its size or reputation, can be dangerous. Whether you are buying from a puppy, taking on an adult dog, or opting to rescue, make sure you learn as much about the family or dog’s history as possible.
Many dogs have behavioural issues due to lack of training, exercise and socialisation. Ensure you raise your dog correctly and you will have a happy and healthy pooch, regardless of breed.