In the news over the last few days is the story of a woman who was savagely attacked and fatally wounded by her son's American bulldog. With many rumours and stories being flung around the media about how the dog had been treated by its owner and past decisions banning the owner from having animals, it is difficult to really come to a conclusion of who is to blame, or if this was just a freak accident.
The details of this heartbreaking case are still being investigated, however it brings up the forever discussed debate of: Is there such a thing as a bad breed or are there just bad owners?
A very loaded question which should spark good debate.
My answer leans toward making the statement that it's not so much the breed that is bad however the propensity of the individual dog that may be the issue. Whether that particular animal was subjected to fear, mistreated, abused or simply not trained properly may be the triggers needed for that individual dog to become aggressive towards other animals and humans. It many similar ways this rings true with people as well. I think 40% genetics and 60%environment (which I'm including all types of human behaviour, human interaction and breeders advocating mixed breeding) to all play factors in the disposition of a dog's behaviour.
I love dogs and have always had a dog as part of our family structure however, even I'm a little wary in the vicinity of a Staffy or Pit Bull. There are some that I've observed to be absolutely aggressive and some I've observed to be docile. Then there are some small lap dogs who you think are cute and docile and become aggressive almost instantly.
Any animal can be savage if the environmental factors are right - some just have more of a predisposition towards hostile behavior it's there instincts and willingness to survive in my opinion - that and what we use their breed for ie dogs we train for racing such as greyhounds are more likely to attack rabbits and birds.
I don't know I feel I'm ranting - I do not believe that there is any bad breed - just some that we should be careful of putting into the wrong hands
And not all owners who have had a pet do horrid things to people and animals are to blame - I guess sometimes animals get defensive and some are just more capable at defending themselves.
The answer is that there are bad owners. Simple. Take greyhounds. They have a beautiful nature, very loving and sweet, yet they are trained to attack, viciously, bait animals. We are the only species that is capable of such harm and violence to another species (and even our own) for money and other selfish "needs". If you honestly think that greyhounds or other dogs are capable of the same thing, then okay, there are bad breeds. I really don't think that they are though.