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Aggressive Dogs and Society

By: Dr. Nicholas Dodman

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Should certain of our dog breeds be banned? I don't think so. Even breeds ranking highly in the aggression demographics could have been selected, trained, and contained so that they did not feature in the ranking at all. The problems are bad breeding, uneducated pet selection, uninformed rearing practices, poor socialization, poor leadership, inadequate control, and unrealistic expectations. I favor proper owner education and an owner test as a prerequisite for all would-be dog owners, especially would-be owners of specialist breeds. Owners of aggressive free-ranging dogs should receive mandatory re-education classes at their own expense and should be jailed for a second offense.

There is one possible exception to the owner education and accountability scheme: the Presa Canario itself. These dogs, and one or two other rare large aggressive breeds, are one level of dangerousness above what we are dealing with now, partly because of their size and partly because of their breeding. One breed aficionado of the Presa Canario breed wrote, "As a guardian breed with man-stopping ability - [this dog] will not hesitate to attack anyone whom it perceives as a threat to its family or home. Such an attack could only be a hopeless situation for any man involved." How prophetic this turned out to be.

Until I see a well socialized Canary dog, I will reserve judgment on the beast. As things stand presently I have some reservations about this particular breed's place in society.

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