The current most demonized dog at the top of the list of "most feared" and "most aggressive" dog is the Pit Bull.
I live in a city that specifically bans Pit Bulls. According to winnipeg.ca, the following dogs are listed as "prohibited" within city limits:
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
A stunning evolution of feared dogs has taken place over time with certain breeds being targeted through the years. Human intervention is the causal force behind breed hatred and banning, with the focus shifting much in the same way that fashion changes depending on what is currently in vogue.
To drive this point home, the Pit Bull was at one time a highly popularized family pet due to its intense loyalty and caring nature towards its humans. Due to the manipulation of the breed by nefarious persons including dog fighting groups, the breed has seen a swing of the pendulum from being beloved and cherished to highly demonized.
Alongside the previously mentioned German Shepherd breed, Rottweilers and Doberman Pincers were all victimized in the past for being aggressive breeds. Over time the stigmas directed at these breeds has dissolved away with the results being that families are once again integrating this type of dog into their families with no bias. Mastiffs were also on the K9 blacklist and again the force behind these breeds being held in a negative light was human use and manipulation of the breed.
When a dog is enlisted for purposes such as guarding or protection and is trained specifically for these tasks, the fallout may be that these breeds are perceived by the general public to be dangerous and not well suited to family life . The truth is that these dogs / breeds are simply doing their jobs as requested, and, as a result, bear the brunt of extremely bad press while the humans responsible for them usually wash their hands of the situation.
Additionally, when incidents of aggressive dogs do occur, little is done to examine the care and control that the dog was under. Given enough provocation or, subject to overwhelming abuse, even the kindest and sweetest dog will eventually lash out.
The most telling and stunning example of the true nature of the heart of a "vicious" breed and a story many are familiar with, are the fight dogs that were rescued from Michael Vick's dog fighting ring. Do we as a collective, sincerely believe that dogs WANT to face off against each other and do battle while surrounded by jeering crowds betting money on the winner and loser? The answer is absolutely not.
Others have potentially earned a fearsome reputation due to being left to their own devices to survive and ultimately end up preying on domestic animals to sustain dietary requirements. This scenario is not typical of house reared dogs who have been properly trained and fed complete and nutritional diets.
list25.com quotes: "It is important to note however that most dogs are bred with the desire to please their masters. Thus most incidents involving dogs stem from improper training and harsh ownership."
Part of your research should definitely include your community's bylaws with regards to breed specific bans. There have been many heartbreaking instances of families being forced to re-home a beloved pet because they were unaware that the pet they adopted is not permitted in their town or city.
There are many websites dedicated to detailing the behaviour patterns and quirks of dogs on a breed by breed basis. There is such as thing as taking on too much of a challenge when adopting so please take some extra time in the midst of your adoption process to educate yourself on which breed will fit best into your family. Consideration should be paid to personality, activity level, and, trainability.
With so many breeds already being affected by scenarios and situations beyond their control, dogs are reliant on the humans in their lives to protect them, exercise them, train them, vet them and, feed them properly. When all of these marks are being hit properly, the end result should be a well mannered and behaved as well as happy, pooch, regardless of breed.