This is not an Anti-Breed link, although some breeds are mentioned. It is a link to bring attention to many realistic factors involved in making a dog dangerous, and breed is one of them, a large dog is naturally able to do more harm than a small one.
1.American Pit Bull Terriers
I know there are a lot of people who own, and love Pit Bull Terriers, but these dogs are on this list for two good reasons, the first being the fact that these dogs were bred for a purpose, to fight (other Bull Terriers were bred to hunt and kill, these were selected and bred to create the American Pit Bull Terrier). American Pit Bulls were bred for generations to be tenacious, aggressive, and to have a killer bite, a jaw that can hold very strongly. The other reason is that their very name elicits fear, making this dog a choice of criminals or people who want to appear “tough“. This is not the right reason to get a dog. These people often mishandle the dog intentionally to make it mean or aggressive, or they get a dog to be “cool” and are not properly familiar with how to correctly train and discipline such a dog. A dog raised like this is a dangerous thing. While Pit Bull Terriers may make wonderful pets when owned by a knowledgeable person, and handled correctly, this is one dog that if a person makes mistakes, they can cause serious problems.
Again, there are many wonderful Chow Chow dogs, and I do not want to take anything away from those dogs, or their owners. The problem with Chow Chow dogs is simply that they have a reputation of being unpredictable. They will turn on somebody without warning. Chow Chows are one breed that some dog groomers will actually refuse to handle, simply because of their unpredictable nature. This nature may be due to the fact that this is an very ancient breed, being closer to wolves than the newer breeds. Chows require a handler that knows about dog psychology.
3.Feral or Wild Dogs
A feral dog is a dog that has gone wild. Many feral, or wild, dogs form packs, and often they do not fear people. Feral dogs are dangerous and will kill other dogs for food. They are a big threat to livestock, and because they for packs they are extremely effective hunters. As well, when threatened, they will attack humans. Feral dogs are also a danger to other dogs simply because they can carry parasites or diseases. A dog who has lived wild for some time will not easily be tamed. In many areas where spaying and neutering is not common, there are real problems with feral and wild dogs. Feral dogs are more of a threat to livestock than coyotes in areas where they are common, simply due to their lack of fear of humans.
Art by Author. Don’t let size fool you, a poorly trained small dog can be nasty. A Pomeranian once killed an infant.
A dog who has never learned basic commands or obedience has not understood one very important thing, that being: People are the boss. A dog who has been allowed to do what it wants will think it is dominant. If unchallenged this is not usually an issue. The problem occurs when the owner really does need the dog to obey, or a child asks the dog to do something, or the dog becomes lost and somebody other than the owner has to handle it. If a dog thinks it is the boss, it will be a very dangerous dog, be it big or small.
Socialization is another skill dogs need to learn. Socialized dogs are ones that are exposed to many situations. This is often the small or toy breeds. Their owners tend to shelter them from any potentially scary situation. These dogs are very dangerous because animals have a fear response known as the “fight or flight” response. In a scary situation they either run, or fight. Since running may not always be an option, they may fight. This is something animal shelter workers often encounter in stray dogs, particularly small breeds. An unsocialized dog is going to have a more difficult time (and be more of a risk) at the dog groomer, veterinarian, or the dog kennel if it goes for boarding. It is often small dogs that are not properly socialized.
6.Dogs Who Are Kept in Chains
Dogs who are kept chained up are apt to be more aggressive than dogs kept in dog runs, indoors, or in a fenced yard. Even dogs kept in small kennels are less aggressive than a dog who is kept tied up. When you tie up a dog it does not see that it has a boundary, this creates frustration. Even well trained, well mannered dogs have been shown to experience higher instances of aggression if they are kept on a chain rather than loose in an fenced area.
Art by Author