Here Is A Classic ‘Chicken-And-Egg’ For You: Owners Of Aggressive Breed Dogs More Aggressive Themselves

I have to say, this doesn’t come as huge surprise to me:

‘Owners of stereotypically aggressive dog breeds such as German Shepherds and Rottweilers are more likely to be hostile and aggressive themselves compared with owners of typically laid-back pooches such as Labrador retrievers, according to a new study.

In this study, aggressive dog-breed owners scored higher in the personality trait of psychoticism, which is marked by anger, hostility and aggression. (Psychoticism is different than psychopathy, a personality disorder characterized by manipulativeness and lack of empathy.)’

OK that’s great. The real question is, what causes what? I suspect aggressive people want to project the tough, angry image and therefore obtain stereotypically aggressive dog breeds. We don’t know this from the study but I would also imagine that these people would cultivate aggression in their dogs on purpose.

Here come the issue I always had with banning pit bulls: by making a breed artificially seen as aggressive and vicious we are creating the desire to possess such dog among the very people that are a danger to us all: criminals, psychopaths, you name it. All at the expense of the responsible pit bull owners who train and socialise their dogs properly.

The perverse outcome is more dangerous dogs on the streets, not less.

As I keep saying, legislating against breed and not against behaviour is unhelpful and counter-productive.

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About Dr Vadim Chelom

Dr Vadim Chelom is a Registered Veterinarian, a writer and an educator

One comment

  1. Aggressive people absolutely are attracted to dogs with aggressive reputations. The more aggressive, the better. These are the lowlife wimps that fight dogs, use their dogs as weapons, use their dogs to create their own reputation as being “tough” and want to intimidate and scare people. These are the people who purposely train their dogs to be aggressive to increase their own “status” as someone to be feared. However, people with the best intentions get fed up after years of being yelled at, called names, attacked, shunned, harassed and insulted because of blatant ignorance and mass hysteria about their dogs, whom they consider to be a member of their family and can also turn somewhat aggressive in a defensive way.

    Breed specific legislation only serves to slaughter tens of thousands of the dogs owned by responsible owners, causing extreme emotional trauma, hatred and rage among people who are typically law-abiding citizens. The lowlife owners don’t abide by man’s laws, so it doesn’t stop them, it just drives them underground, and actually increases their desire for these dogs. This type of legislation also puts the responsibility for the aggression on the dogs rather than the owners.

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