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Thread: Honestly, are you scared of any particular breeds?

  1. #1

    Default Honestly, are you scared of any particular breeds?

    Recently, reading through the threads about issues with staffies and the fact that just about everything in rescue these days at least looks like it has some staffy in it made me think about my own feelings towards the breed. I am scared I'll get flamed for making this post, but I guess I was just curious to find out whether other people were also dealing with breed phobias and whether they had been able to do anything about it.

    Honestly, I can say that I am petrified of staffies and staffy crosses if I have Sammy with me. I go to the off-lead dog park a couple of times a week but only if there are no staffies there. If one arrives, I grab Sammy and leave. I absolutely hate it when I see people walking down the street with one staffy or worse, multiple staffies and they let their dogs pull them over towards Sammy and these days I have started telling them that Sammy is not friendly towards other dogs to try and make them pull their dogs away.

    I wasn't always this way, I still think that the amstaff is a beautiful dog and I love watching youtube videos about people who have trained their dogs to do amazing things which you could only do with that breed. But Sammy has only ever been attacked by one type of dog and every time there's a male staffy, I don't know whether it's because Sammy is a big dog, because he holds his tail high, because he's entire, because he looks like he'd be a good fun fight or what but they always seem to attack him. And I find that once they make that decision to attack him, they don't want to stop.

    We went on a bush walk a couple of months ago and in the distance I see a woman with a staffy type dog but it's on a lead so I don't panic. I call Sammy and put him on the lead and prepare to just walk past and ignore the dog. When we're about 5m away from each other, she reaches down and unleashes her dog. It runs straight towards Sammy, adopts a dominant position with hackles and tail up and begins to growl. Sammy looks at me, his ears are back, he's deferring to me because he knows I will take care of him and he doesn't want to fight and he's been hurt by staffies so many times before. But I'm petrified because this dog, whilst much shorter than him, is built like a tank and it's not responding at all to its owner, who hasn't made any move to come closer to collect her dog. I try to knee the dog away, but it ignores me and remains completely fixated on my dog. I have to do something, I take Sammy's lead off and with the help of my partner, we loop it around in a choke collar around the staffy. I tell Sammy to sit, which he does, and my partner drags the staffy away back to its owner. It's choking, but it is desperate to get back to Sammy and is now snarling. All this took place in about 20 seconds.

    Now that the danger has passed, I am furious. I ask her why she let her dog off the lead. She responds, oh he's not good with other dogs but usually he's better if he's off lead. She also said that her vet had told her that desexing the dog would eliminate his same sex aggression.

    Sammy has a scar and white fur above his left eye where a purebred amstaff (a show dog with papers) nearly removed his eye when he was just over 6 months old. The vet told me that luckily he's a long nosed dog and so the eyes go into the skull when you press down on them. Sammy had run all the way back to my legs to try get away from this dog and it pursued him. He wouldn't run behind me and when he stopped running, the dog attacked. I've watched a man lie on his English staffy to try and stop it from getting back to Sammy, even after Sammy had just walked away. And I'll never forget the one that tried to kill him at 9 weeks of age.

    I would never support BSL and I have no problem with staffies when I don't have Sammy with me. But I am petrified of them when he is.

    I do feel bad about it, but my mind won't accept that all these attacks have been a coincidence.

  2. #2
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    Everyone has their reasons for being scared of a particular breed and your reason is completely understandable!
    I wouldn't say i'm scared of any particular breeds, however that may change as i further enter the world of dog grooming i am bound to get bitten. There are breeds i dislike though, mostly thats because of the type of owner these dogs generally have though. Chihuahuas... feral little dogs... I know one chihuahua who is an angel with people but when she meets other dogs, she has the exact same reactive issues that Koda has, but because she's tiny everyone excuses it saying "oh look at her she wants to see that dog, she's so cute"
    So no i'm not scared of any dogs.... yet...

  3. #3
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    I am more wary of powerful breeds because if they're badly behaved it's harder to do something about it.

    But I try to evaluate each dog and owner on their merits. If the dog is all bandy legged (walking shorter than it needs to be but not stalking) and wiggle bum smiley face - I'm ok with Frosty doing her usual greeting. A friendly staffy will be like this. The ears sort of go lower but not back, and they wiggle like mad.

    But a staffy (or any other dog) that is just dragging the owner - I avoid. Sometimes that's Frosty when she spies the treat lady but I walk her in the opposite direction until she remembers some self control.

    Dogs I've had problems with in the past - or Frosty has misread - Amstaff x (just too rough), BYB Rottie with a brick brained owner (most Rotties are easy to read and well behaved out in the park), Labs, and Lab x Poodles - even Frosty warns them off these days, whippet x - but given that was so small - I was more worried about my dog killing it in self defence than any damage it could do but it was vicious. Some boxers (seem to attract owners with no brains), and some golden retrievers (same) but again - they have the wiggle bum approach when they're happy and pleased to see you. I'm warey of all the big spitz type dogs, like akita and malamute and huskies. Their body language is often hard to read and they cause fights just by being too upright. Never had a problem with a GSD. They're all very polite - if the other dog is too. Am a bit wary of some of the more exotic sight hounds - been attacked by something that looked like a pharaoh hound tho was told it was some sort of great dane x greyhound (looked exactly like a phaoroah hound and was vicious).

    Not bothered about SWF that get in Frosty's face barking. She either ignores them, or chases them if they run away. They often squeal even tho they're the ones that start it and she never touches them.

    I'm a bit wary of some of the big dogs like deer hound - there's an unpleasant slobber factor and Frosty had a nasty but innocent prang with one when they were doing zoomies (she zigged and it couldn't), and she was quite sore after that. So zoomies are only allowed where there is plenty of room and evil hound is still listening if I tell her to turn / avoid obstacles.

  4. #4
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    Not of a particular breed as such. More particular dogs. There is a border collie in our area who hates Neros guts and Nero responds... it's always funny games when we run into each other And there is a staffy cross who likes to pick on Rox. She has been well behaved so far but it's just a matter of time until she snaps - and she doesn't stand a chance against a tank.

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    I have trouble with a number of breeds on occssions. More to do with the owner and breeding I would suggest. However I too am wary of the more powerful breeds. I have fended off an aggressive kelpie and BC easily but I had a couple of incidents with powerful dogs - a couple of rotties and a doberman and that was terrifying, I feared for my dogs life on one occassion. I have also known a few GSDS that worried me and one that bit a friend very badly, so I respect them as well.

    Personally I dont really like staffys as a breed and have had the occassional incident with them, but again I think it is more about their owners letting them run feral and poor breeding. I know some really nice ones too but they are not a breed I would entertain owning, just not my thing. I lived door to a very dog aggressive staffy and that dog was scary, it was so powerful. I kept my dogs locked inside when I wasnt home.

    I love cattle dogs as they are one of my breeds but I am also wary of them untill I know them. There is some sketchy breeding and poor ownership of this type of breed out there as well.

    I know some nasty little dogs but I dont fear them as physically I can deal with them.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 02-25-2014 at 12:40 PM.

  6. #6

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    Kalacreek I agree with you. I was thinking about it, I couldn't tell you how many times my dog has been attacked by small things. SWF's, daschunds (I find them to be particularly aggressive), tiny scruffy terrier things you name it. The smaller dog do genuinely tend to be much more aggressive than the larger. It's only, like Hyacinth said, I'm more scared that Sammy might hurt them rather than them actually doing any damage. Sammy doesn't retaliate with small dogs, literally no matter what they do so I'm incredibly lucky there. They hump him on their hind legs bc they can't reach, bite his ankles etc and he just does nothing, or runs away and he's so much faster than anything outside of some sighthounds. My biggest fear honestly is that he might trample one, as he often jumps over them as they charge at him and spins around etc.

    I have had a few incidents with aggressive GSD's too that did scare me a bit, but, once we pulled the dogs apart, no damage had been done. They jumped all over each other, moved lightning fast, made bear noises and showed off all their teeth to each other but aside from some serious slobber, there weren't any marks.

    I think the scariest thing for me is that, every time he's had an altercation with a staffy, he's been injured to the point of crying and bleeding and yet the staffy didn't want to stop.

    If I had a small dog I think I'd be scared of larger breeds too, but Sammy is never mistaken for prey or accidentally hurt because he's too small.

  7. #7
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    Yes my old cattle dog has been attacked on quite a few occassions by nasty little dogs that bite her legs and ankles and she too spins and jumps away from them and tries to hide behind my legs to get away from them. I used to carry a ball thrower to fend them off with. Those little dogs are very lucky as she the type of dog where aggression to other dogs doesnt seem to be part of her makeup.

    They wouldnt be quite so lucky with a BC I owned who although she never initiated anything was not about to let herself be pushed around by a rude small dog that was attacking her. She would tune it with fierce noise and teeth and a bit of argy bargy but nothing more than slobber on contact. She would have been defenceless from the onslaught of a bigger dog because she was very lightweight.

    Two friends have had small dogs killed, one by a rottie and one by a GSD. The small dogs were well behaved and on leashed walks when they were literally snatched and shaken by the bigger dogs also on leads who had ripped themselves away from their owners in their efforts to attack the small dogs.

  8. #8
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    Not so much any particular breed that scares me, it's more the lack of awareness and control of owners that scare me. Though I am very wary of powerful breeds as I've seen firsthand the damage they can do in an incredible small amount of time - living next door to "Chopper" the American pitbull who tried to drag a screaming 4 month old Oscar through the fence by his paw, and mopping up the savagely wounded SWFs and kelpie who happened to be walking past (on the other side of the road) when the d!ckhead neighbours opened the gate to drive their car in. He's since been declared a Legally Dangerous dog, but that's only a sign on the gate and hasn't changed the neighbour's behaviour. I walk past on the other side of the road so I can get a good look at whether the gate is being opened. My worst case plan these days is to toss Saffie over the nearest fence and then deal with whatever.

    I have just faced the fact that Oscar's days at the off leash dog beach are almost over as he just seems to have lost his tolerance for dogs who have no manners, due to age, crankyness and an increased feeling of having to protect Saffie I guess. Small dogs are no problem, but if a large dog runs up to me or Saffie, Oscar will react, and I dread the consequences of him reacting with a dog who will follow through and attack. I know he is just disciplining them and not wanting to fight, but I can't guarantee their reaction to being told off with a snarl and a snap from cranky old Oscar.

    I have become expert in identifying problem dogs from a distance. Just the other day at the beach I saw a fellow approaching with a large crossbreed far in the distance. I started walking up away from the water, hundreds of yards from them, but sure enough, the dog ignored its owner and ran towards us. Oscar went into his protection mode. I directed my dogs onward before they met and managed to stop the crossbreed from approaching and getting in Oscar's face, but the owner was way too far off to exert control over his dog. Then in the distance I saw a group of people with 4 large dogs running rampant and decided to head off the beach to avoid them. As I was walking away I saw 2 of those dogs approach a fellow who had a dog on the leash, the 2 other dogs started jumping all over the leashed dog and the owners weren't even watching! If it had of been Oscar he would have snapped for sure and I would have been caught in the middle.

    It's sad as we used to be part of those happy people with dogs interacting freely. But Oscar is going downhill quickly with arthritis due to hip dysplasia so that probably affects his tolerance. So now I just have to manage his quality of life - I'd hate to have mauling happen in the later later stages of his life.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troppo View Post
    Not so much any particular breed that scares me, it's more the lack of awareness and control of owners that scare me. Though I am very wary of powerful breeds as I've seen firsthand the damage they can do in an incredible small amount of time - My worst case plan these days is to toss Saffie over the nearest fence and then deal with whatever.

    It's sad as we used to be part of those happy people with dogs interacting freely. But Oscar is going downhill quickly with arthritis due to hip dysplasia so that probably affects his tolerance. So now I just have to manage his quality of life - I'd hate to have mauling happen in the later later stages of his life.
    Yes I have thrown my 20 kg cattle dog over a highish fence - no mean feat but adrenaline was rushing when she was attacked by a large rottie that snapped his lead. That was scary. I had its teeth and breath right in my face as I tossed her over but it wasnt interested in mauling me, just my dog. The owner was totally useless and he had small kids with him too. Fortunately the owner of the fence was there to let my dog back out again when it was safe. That dog meant business it was horrible. I cant believe that anyone could be out walking such a large powerful aggresive dog like that. I saw it once later at the vet and they had to usher it into a secure room to protect the other dogs that were coming into the waiting room and then it exited the back door thank goodness.

    We do have to be mindfull of old dogs they do often hurt and become less tolerant grumpy..

  10. #10
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    I prefer to judge on a dog to dog basis. If it isn't putting out friendly signals, I will be very wary of them.

    I wouldn't say I am scared of any particular breed, I certainly have breeds I don't like though.

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

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