Dealing With Aggressive Dogs

by Michael

Are pitbulls aggressive or is it that the human caretaker is aggressive? - photo  Rebekah Pavlovic (Flickr)

Are pitbulls aggressive or is it that the human caretaker is aggressive? - photo Rebekah Pavlovic (Flickr)

22nd August 2010: The Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is dealing with aggressive dogs by killing them. That means that the people who are training aggressive dogs and then abandoning them are in effect killing them. This is a growing problem in England. I don't know if it is a growing problem in the US or the rest of Europe.

I think this is an important indicator of the problems in society generally in the UK. And as such it is also important in respect of all companion animals including our dear cats.

Scott Craddock, director of operations at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home says, “Battersea is mopping up a lot of the problems that are happening outside of the home. Big society problems..."

The home took in 3,600 Staffordshire Bull Terriers last year compared to 396 in 1996 only 4 years ago. This is a 900% increase. The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is the dog breed most often trained to be aggressive it seems.

This dog is almost a status symbol for inadequate men who are lacking in social skills, self-esteem and education.

The problem is that they train them to be aggressive and then find that they are uncontrollable and abandon them. This is irresponsible behavior on the level of declawing your cat. As it happens both scenarios can lead to the death of the companion animal.

As these aggressive dogs need their own cage at Battersea, they are a problem as they occupy much needed space. In consequence a large number are killed - in fact almost 70% are killed and they are all healthy (that is why I have not used the word "euthanised").

For me, and I think, some of my regular visitors will agree, this is a reflection of the modern "throw away" society that is gradually losing its moral bearings.

Society in the UK has become more aggressive, less caring, less polite and more competitive. The gap between the rich and poor is as wide as ever, even wider. So much for a fair society.

Society is dealing with aggressive dogs by killing them because that is all that there is left to do. The answer is to stop the breeding and training of them. And the answer to that is almost impossible to find because the problem is deep seated within society and its mismanagement by governments.

The underlying problems that cause the death of these dogs is the same or similar to the those that results in the abuse of the cat, cat killing and cat abandonment.

In order to improve the welfare of our companion animals we must look to improving the education and prospects of our most disadvantaged people.

On a more technical note, here are some tips on dealing with an aggressive dog:

I think, by the way, that there is a clear overlap with how to deal with so called aggressive cats. Cats are not naturally aggressive - more defensive. We should respect the cat that is defensive and scared - see Aggressive Cat Behavior. Cat behavior is often an extension of our behavior.

The author of says this, "Approaching suddenly, bending over the dog or patting it on the head or back are dominant and threatening gestures and may cause a dog to react by biting". When approached by an aggressive dog, the answer is to stay still, avoid eye contact and speak gently. The commands, "sit" and "stay" said softly make work. The problem once again is often ours. Dogs and cats both react instinctively and our actions can trigger a reaction that we find unsatisfactory!

See more on dealing with an aggressive dog.

Michael Avatar

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Dealing With Aggressive Dogs

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Jan 05, 2011 The truth about Battersea Dogs and Cats home
by: Anonymous

Having had some contact with Battersea Dog and Cat's Home(BDCH) in relation to its treatment of dogs I have come to believe that the real strategy is geared not towards animal welfare as a priority but towards maximising income. Apart from the charitable donations and sale of animals, BCDH makes money for every stray that is taken from local authorities or the Police. If a dog can't be re-homed quickly then it becomes a liability and needs to be shifted to make room for the moneymaking flow behind it. Initial dog assessments are cursory, if done at all, and little or no attempt is made to rehabilitate problem dogs. Just look at the numbers, with over 10,000 animals per annum coming into BCDH there's no way that they can be properly assessed or rehabilitated within the operational staffing resources. Indeed, in a confined and stressful environment with constant barking, no pack interaction, a stream of public visitors and very little exercise the behaviour of any dog is pretty well certain to deteriorate rapidly, eventually turning even the best of them into problem dogs. The real caring work is carried out by low paid and conscientious staff who make sure that all of the animals are fed and kept clean but are frightened to report an incident because an animal that makes a mistake or accidentally nips having been escalated to a heightened state of excitement by the stress of the place will be branded as vicious and put down pretty well immediately without any attempt to assess it or rehabilitate it. The death sentence is handed out as a matter of routine and without conscience. The only animals that have any real chance of finding a new home are those that look pretty or cute, like the ones that are always shown in the publicity 'photos, the prospect for the rest is grim. The truth would severely dent the reputation of BCDH, why else do they make staff and volunteers sign an undertaking not to speak to the media about anything that goes on in the home? The dog problem on our streets is a serious one but BCDH is being paid to deal with it Auschwitz style which does no credit to our society and it is about time that fact was publicly recognised. BCDH spends about £14m pa. You have to ask if that money is being efficiently spent when, in reality, its main task is simply to destroy stray dogs out of the public gaze.

Aug 03, 2010 Interesting
by: Ruth

A very interesting article thank you Michael.
Yes it's usually inadequate men who think having an aggressive dog makes them look important, I suppose it gives them the feeling of power.

I think the same applies to dogs as it does to cats. Just like there are no bad cats, only bad cat 'owners' there are no bad dogs, only bad dog 'owners'
Millions of animals pay with their lives because of their misfortune of falling into the hands of ignorant or cruel people.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


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  1. Pingback: The Challenge Of Training An Aggressive Dog | Organic Dog Food

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