Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Before You Get A Dog
by Sandi Dremel, Copyright© 1997-2002, The DogInfomat

The decision to get a dog is not something to be taken lightly. An adorable puppy can tug at our heartstrings but, in the end, will require a significant investment of your time and money for a significant number of years. Socializing and training a new puppy is time consuming and, occasionally, frustrating. It can increase the amount of stress on the family, and the dog, working to provide the constant supervision, socialization, and training that is necessary to successfully integrate a dog into a family environment. This is especially true if the primary caregiver(s) are working outside of the home and/or have young children, an elderly parent, or other persons and/or pets to care for. This does not mean that it cannot be done. But, prospective dog owners often underestimate the investment of time, energy, and money, required.

Additionally, depending upon what breed or mixed breed you ultimately select it may take some time to find the right breeder and/or the right puppy/dog. Reputable, ethical breeders do not breed frequently. And, they only breed when they have found a pair who has been proven to possess the health and temperaments required to insure, to the extent possible, healthy, well tempered, offspring.

Making this decision impulsively, can lead to frustration, disappointment, and eventually, may result in the surrender of the dog to a shelter or rescue.

In the US, the tragic fact is that, millions of the dogs are prematurely euthanized, annually. And, most often, it is the owners, not the dogs, who are responsible for their premature deaths. Impulsive or poorly thought out decisions; the selection of a difficult or headstrong breed because it is 'popular' or you like how it looks; or, for that matter, any dog selected for looks rather than temperament, 'match' to your lifestyle, and your ability to provide proper care and environment; the lack of consideration of the lifestyle changes you may experience over the next 12 to 14 years; as well as the lack of proper socialization, training, physical activity, and attention -- these are all major contributors to the need for so many shelters and rescues. And, results, all too frequently, in premature euthanasia.

The first question you should ask yourself, honestly is . . .
Why do I (we) want a dog?

If your answer is:
For my son/daughter/children . . . Trust me, this will be YOUR dog! After the 'honeymoon period', the kids may only play with the dog, occasionally. They may groan and grumble about any dog-related responsibilities, doing them, begrudgingly, only after significant prodding from you. As children's interests and activities change, over the years, their level of involvement with the dog will most likely be, inconsistent, at best. Additionally, your children, especially, young children, will need to be 'trained' in how to behave with the dog and will need to be supervised when with the dog.

For protection . . . I know some may disagree but, it is my opinion, that the only time is it a good idea to get a dog for the purpose of protection is in professional or agricultural situations and only when the owner/trainer is humane and knowledgeable of dog behavior and dominant dog training/handling. In all other situations - probably 99.9% - an alarm system, security fence, or other measures are much more appropriate and effective.

To breed puppies . . . If you've read the third paragraph of this piece and still feel this way, there is probably little I can offer to change your mind. But, just in case, let me restate the case a little more thoroughly. The breeding of dogs is a responsibility not to be taken lightly. If it is not your intention to remain responsible for all of your puppies for their entire lives, including being willing to take back and care for those who may find themselves homeless, do not enter into this endeavor. If you are planning on breeding for profit, understand that there are much easier, more profitable and ethical ways to make a buck. Dogs are living beings and dog breeding requires a significant investment of time, money, labor, knowledge, both academic and practical, patience, and emotional fortitude, to be done responsibly and humanely. Please visit a few of the shelter and rescue websites, or your local shelter, and witness the problem yourself. View the faces of the homeless dogs and talk to the volunteers and staff who, all too often, must take that 'final walk' with them.

Because BreedX is 'Cool', was in a movie you saw, is unique and exotic, is free/cheap, or other such nonsense . . . One of the WORSE reasons to get a dog, or any other animal, for that matter, is because of their physical appearance or popularity due to a movie, TV show, or other publicity. Often, these venues feature exotic, rare or unique breeds that are, in the overwhelming majority of pet situations, unsuitable as companions. This visibility may also draw out those 'breeders' whose primary motivation is profit versus health, temperament, structural soundness and the welfare of their dogs.

And, remember to incorporate the same thoughtful consideration on whether or not to get a dog, and which breed or mix, when your friend, coworker or relative offers you one of Fluffy's puppies. Dogs are never really 'free' or 'cheap' and, in reality, require significant financial, physical, time, and environmental resources. At a minimum, none of these, or other such reasons, are sound selection factors for getting a dog and selecting a particular breed or mix. And, remember, if it is difficult for you to find information on a particular breed, or a breeder of the breed, it follows that you will most likely also have difficulty finding local support services that are familiar with the training, health care, and maintenance needs of that breed.

However, if you are interested in getting a dog for the RIGHT reasons, please ask yourself the following 10 questions, prior to selecting a breed and breeder or visiting your local shelter or rescue facility:
1) Are you, and all those who live with you, committed to spend 12+ years providing health care, food, grooming, training and attention to a dog? Do the people who live with you also want a dog?

2) Do you have the time and/or resources available . . . To take your dog for walks and to the vet? To bath, brush, clip, and, otherwise, groom your dog as often as necessary? Will you want to play and, perhaps, work on training daily, with your dog? Are you willing to take your dog to puppy socialization, kindergarten, and basic obedience classes?

3) Are there lifestyle-altering events that could occur in your foreseeable future? - A baby, caring for an elderly family member, a divorce, job uncertainty, etc. And, how would you deal with these changes as they impacted your ability to care for a dog?

4) Is your personality conducive to dog ownership? Do you often feel 'stressed out'? Do you like to have total control over your environment or 'space'? Are you a 'neat freak'? Are you flexible? Patient? Answer honesty - nobody but you will know AND, more importantly, nobody but you will have to live with the results of your trying to 'fit' your personality to a dog.

5) Are you physically able to care for a dog? Are you economically able to provide care for a dog?

6) Is your environment prepared for a dog and/or are you willing to make the investment of time and money necessary to insure that it does? Is there a yard or park-like area for your dog to walk and relieve him- or her- self? Is your yard, or a portion of it, fenced? If your dog will be outside for any period of time, will you provide a secure and comfortable shelter for your dog? Although you may have a secure and comfortable location for your dog while it is outdoors, dog should not be left outdoors, unattended, for extended periods of time. They can be taunted, released, stolen, or worse. Tethering can cause serious physical harm or death in the event of an entanglement or other such accident. Further, prolonged tethering can cause undesirable behavioral and personality traits to surface. Additionally, garages may contain chemicals, tools and other items that can be dangerous and/or harmful to your dog.

7) Will your dog be alone for long periods of time, daily? Can you arrange for the dog to be let out for a romp, given water, medication, and playtime, as necessary, during the day? Or, will you become angered and frustrated by behavioral issues that may arise due to the fact that your dog is alone for long periods of time? (i.e., relieves him or herself indoors; chews up a blanket, your shoes, your favorite chair cushion; barks incessantly, causing your neighbors to become angry or, perhaps, even call animal control on you; etc. Do not plan to leave your dog outdoors or in a garage all day while you are away! If this is in your plans, I suggest you revisit the question "Why do I/We want a dog?"

8) Are you willing to spay/neuter your dog, as soon as possible, to reduce the chance of an accidental breeding?

 9) Do you travel frequently? Will it be difficult for you to find quality care for your dog when you are away? 

10) Do you really LOVE dogs? If you are truly motivated by your love of dogs, or a particular dog, you most likely don't need this page. You've done your homework and are ready for a lifelong commitment. You will train and play with your dog, provide appropriate veterinary care and nutrition, you will bath and groom him or her, happily, and the occasional behavioral problem won't throw you for a loop. If this is the case, please visit the other related sections of the library for helpful articles on breed or mix selection, puppy or adult?, adoption or breeder, finding a breeder, preparation for your dog, training care, and more.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


An article in the NST on 13 May - "You can stare down killer dogs" got me really worried.

This article was an interview with two supposed dog trainers who encouraged people to "stare down killer dogs" should they come across an aggressive dog.

According to these two dog trainers - "Anytime you go face to face with a dog, it will view you as a threat. When you have eye contact with them, they will be weakened"

The advice given by these two so called dog trainers to prevent dog bites is just completely ridiculous. I really believe that their advice will cause alot more people, particularly children, to be bitten by potentially aggressive dogs.

Anyone who has worked with dogs before will tell you that you do NOT face an unknown dog (or even a known dog) that is showing any sign of aggression.

Giving a dog eye contact literally tells that dog that you are challenging him. And unless you are an experienced or professional dog handler, and you know for a fact that you can overpower or dominate the dog, challenging a dog will only result in you being bitten, possibly with severe ramifications.

Any qualified canine behaviorist or even just your experienced pet owner will tell you that in such a circumstance, i.e. when faced with a dog that may potentially attack or bite, you do NOT give the dog eye contact!

By eye-balling the dog you are challenging him and effectively asking for a fight! What you really want to show the dog is that you are not a threat to him.

The UK and the US have annual dog prevention campaigns and you will find that in all their campaigns, they NEVER advocate staring a dog down. So what should you do in the event that you come across a potentially aggressive dog?
  • Don't stare dogs in the eyes - dogs often feel as though you're challenging them when you make direct eye contact with them, so this should be avoided to reduce the risk of attack.
  • STAND STILL - or maintain a constant slow pace while BACKING out of the dog's territory if you are withdrawing. Do not turn away from the dog.
  • Never try to outrun a dog as this will provoke the dog to chase you and this can end in an attack.
  • Start by slowly distancing yourself from the dog if it begins to approach you. Get something between yourself and it - for instance if you're on a bike, place the bike between you and the dog; if there is a tree post or bench, ensure they are between yourself and the dog. Once behind the object you can speak softly and gently to calm the dog.
  • Do not use part of your body - e.g. an arm - to distance yourself from the dog as the dog may snap at you, causing injury.
  • Keep a safe distance between yourself and dogs being walked on a lead, and always ask the owner's permission before approaching any dog.
  • Be aware of areas that dogs frequent and change your route to avoid dogs which are not on leads.
What to do if a dog attacks you
  • Call 999 (or ask somebody else to) as soon as it is possible to do so. 
  • Do not use part of your body - e.g. an arm - to distance yourself from the dog as the dog may snap at you, causing injury.
  • If you are attacked or knocked to the ground, take measures to protect your face, neck and head by curling up in a ball and putting your hands on the back of your neck. Try to be still and do not wave your arms around. By struggling with the dog, you will only increase their predatory instincts and at the same time you will cause even more injury to yourself as your flesh WILL tear. By curling into a ball and staying still you are submitting to the dog, i.e. offering peace and telling the dog that you are no threat to him. The dog should leave you alone after he has had a good sniff, or if he has bitten you, chances are that he will release you once he realises that you are no longer a threat.
I sincerely hope that the general public will take time to research dog behaviour and learn from qualified experts on the steps that can be taken to prevent dog bites, instead of just swallowing what these two so-called trainers have advocated.

Even the great Cesar Milan would not advocate staring down a dog. And I know this for a fact as I have attended his workshop on dogs in London and he advocated his simple "No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact" rule when fielded a question on dealing with a potentially aggressive dog during a private Q&A session after his workshop.

I am also re-publishing an article that has appeared on Cesar Milan's website in line with National Dog Bite Prevention Week in the US, and you will also see that Cesar's age-old rule of "No Touch, No Talk, No Eye Contact" is also used as a guide to prevent dog bites!


How You Can Prevent Dog Bites 

By Joe Wilkes (extracted from Cesar's Way)

This week (May 20 to 26) is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate there are over 4.5 million dog bites in the U.S. every year and of those 800,000 require medical attention and 31,000 require reconstructive surgery. While the statistics are alarming, the good news is that most dog bites are easily preventable.

Most dog bites fall into two categories: accidental biting or aggressive biting. Accidental bites can happen while playing or during normal activity with a dog, and generally are relatively minor.

Unlike us lucky humans, dogs don’t have opposable thumbs, so if they want to catch a ball, carry a treat, or try to keep from falling off the car roof on a road trip, they’re pretty much left with their mouth to perform the task at hand. We just need to be cognizant that dogs need to use their mouths for more than just eating and keep our hands and other body parts away from the chomp zone.

Aggressive biting is usually caused when a dog is provoked. It may be because his owner has commanded him or trained him to attack. It could also be a protective instinct if the dog has somehow been made to feel threatened or feels his companion is being threatened. It’s extremely rare that a dog will attack a human without some form of provocation. But the provocation may be unintentional, which puts the burden on humans, especially when encountering a dog we don’t know.

Preventing bites from your own dog

Most dog bites occur in the home. More than likely, your best friend doesn’t mean to hurt you, but might have gotten carried away during playtime and accidentally nipped you. Other dogs, especially small ones, will nip at you for attention, and puppies may use you for teething—a bone’s a bone! Here are some tips for keeping the carnage to a minimum in your home.

1. Avoid aggressive games.

If you start a wrestling match, a tug-of-war, or even a particularly energetic game of fetch with your dog, you’re going to get what you get. Remember your dog uses his mouth to grip things, which if you’re wrestling, could mean your arm or leg. Your dog should also learn a command like “drop it” when playing fetch, so you don’t have to wrest the slimy tennis ball from his jaws, which is a good way to injure a finger.

2. Teach submissive behavior.

Your dog should be trained from an early age to give up food without growling or biting, lie on his back and expose his stomach, and other submissive behaviors. If your dog knows that you’re in charge, you’ll be able to stop any unwanted or dangerous behaviors in their tracks. 

3. Spay or neuter your dog.

Not only is this a good idea for population control, it also reduces aggression in dogs. Dogs are excitable enough right out of the box; you don’t need to add extra hormones to the mix.

4. Vaccinate your dog.

The saddest thing that can happen is if your dog becomes aggressive because it’s contracted rabies. If you haven’t seen Old Yeller, I can tell you it doesn’t end well for anyone. Visit your veterinarian regularly and make sure your dog’s vaccinations for rabies and other diseases are up to date. As your dog gets older, he can also be prone to dementia or other degenerative conditions that might cause aggressive behavior, which your vet can help you with.

5. Do not leave your dog alone with babies or small children.

You may have read Alexandra Day’s popular “Good Dog Carl” series of children’s books about the family Rottweiler being left in charge of the baby, while mom and dad go out drinking (I don’t think they actually say where they go, but it’s a reasonable guess). These merry tales of felonious parental neglect always have happy endings, but in real life leaving dogs and babies alone together can have tragic consequences.

There have been many horrible stories in the news of children being harmed or killed by a family pet. Most likely it wasn’t an attack, but the dog trying to play with the baby or imitating something he saw the parent do. We’ve seen mother dogs carry their pups by the scruff of their necks. With a baby, that could be fatal. Toddlers are also prone to poke or hit dogs or try to ride them like a horse, which could also provoke a bite. Even if you only leave the room for a minute or two, you’re inviting a dangerous situation.

Rules for Children to Avoid Dog Bites

With half of the dog bites requiring medical attention happening to children, it’s especially important to teach kids how to behave around dogs, especially strange dogs, to avoid injuries or worse.

1. Stranger danger.

As with unfamiliar people, children should not approach a strange animal. Especially if the dog is cute, a child might run up to pet it. Your child should never come up to a strange dog, especially if the dog is unaccompanied by a human. Even if the dog is with its owner, it’s a mistake to approach it, unless you clear it with the owner and get instructions on how to approach the dog.

2. Don’t run or scream.

If a strange dog approaches the child, the child shouldn’t run or scream, but stand still and stay calm. Running could make the dog think it’s a chase game and screaming could also provoke aggression. Don’t escalate any situation by giving it more energy. If the dog knocks the child down, the child should roll up in a ball and lie still.

3. Report strange behavior.

If a child sees a stray dog or a dog exhibiting strange behavior, they should tell a trusted adult immediately. Especially if the dog is behaving erratically, it might be rabid, and an adult can alert animal control. Under no circumstances should the child ever approach the dog in question.

4. Report bites to an adult.

Make sure your child reports a dog bite to you immediately. If your child thinks they will get in trouble or get the dog in trouble, they might be hesitant to let you know that they’ve been bitten. Assure your child that if they’re bitten, no matter how minor the injury, you want to know, so you can make sure they receive proper medical attention.

5. No touch, no talk, no eye contact.

Around Cesar’s Dog Psychology Center, Cesar has signs posted reminding visitors, “no touch, no talk, no eye contact.” When meeting a dog for the first time, this is the rule to remember, and for adults as well as children. Many of us watched in horror when news anchor Kyle Dyer put her hands on either side of a mastiff’s face and leaned in for a kiss and was severely bitten on live TV. What we (and especially children) think of as a friendly overture can be interpreted as provocation by a dog. Let the dog come to you, sniff you, and submit to being petted.

6. Let sleeping dogs lie.

This goes for your own dogs and strange dogs. I mean, if you wake ME up from a deep sleep, I can’t be responsible for what happens to you, and the same goes with a dog. This also applies to eating. No one likes to have their chow zone invaded. Hopefully you’ve trained your dog to be submissive when you remove his food, but to be on the safe side, if the jaws are rocking, don’t come knocking. Interfering with a dog caring for its puppies is also a way to get a warning nip. Dog bites may be a frequent occurrence, but we can make them less frequent. A little caution and common sense and we can prevent almost all dog bites from happening in the first place.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Dear all

I have just spoken to Shadow's foster carer and Shadow is doing well. He is eating well and his leg seems to be healing quite nicely too. I will try and visit Shadow soon to give all of you some new pictures of Shadow.

Once again here are Shadow's x rays before and after surgery.

In the mean time, here is the breakdown of the expenses incurred for Shadow so far, and I am attaching/re-attaching the receipts for Shadow's veterinary expenses.
Total contributions received           RM 6,120
Veterinary Expenses (Paid)           RM 4,061
Petty cash to Foster Carer           RM    100
2 bottles Oxyfresh Antioxidant     RM      90

Balance                                      RM 1,869

Saturday, May 12, 2012


The recent stories published by The Star regarding a jogger that was apparently mauled to death by a "Pit Bull" has probably got the general public shaking with fear that they might be attacked by a dog at any time. This is a misconception that must be rectified immediately.

On Tuesday, May 8 2012, The Star published this article "Jogger Mauled to Death by Pit Bull in Subang Jaya". This was followed by this article on Wednesday, May 9 2012 ~ "Bull Terrier Kills Jogger" and on Thursday, May 10 2012 ~ "Police record statement from owner of killer dog"

I was shocked by these articles for a number of reasons. The first article was very misleading in that the dog that was supposedly a pit bull was in actual fact a Bull Terrier.The picture of the dog included in the article clearly shows this.

This can cause serious confusion among people who were not aware of dog breeds to automatically label the Bull Terrier as a Pit Bull, and therefore identifying the Bull Terrier as a killer dog, although neither the Bull Terrier or the Pit Bull or any other dog for that matter are dangerous if raised correctly.

The titles of the second and third article makes it seem as if Bull Terriers are in fact killer dogs, when in reality they really are very sweet natured dogs.

The following video by Dogs 101 give a fantastic overview of the Bull Terrier and clearly shows what a great breed this dog really is. The Bull Terrier is described as "3-year-old child in a dog suit".

The American Kennel Club describes the Bull Terrier as "playful and clownish", and goes on to say the following:

"Given his muscular build, the Bull Terrier can appear unapproachable, but he is an exceedingly friendly dog, with a sweet and fun-loving disposition"

And then the Director of the MPSJ council, Dr Roslan Mohamed Hussin was quoted as saying that MPSJ had started checking residential areas in the township for breeds that were said to be aggressive and dangerous. These breeds were apparently  the "Akita, Neapolitan Mastiff, American Bulldog, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanesa Tosa and American Pit Bull" and they "are predisposed to aggressive or dangerous behaviour”. ~ The Star, May 9, 2012

In a previous article on April 14 last year,  Dr Roslan said MPSJ also restricted dog owners from bringing their dogs for a walk in public places, shopping complexes, religious places, all government and private offices, government and private schools and on public transport.

With 2 super cuddly Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies ~Cameron & Lucy
While the dogs listed above generally have a bad reputation for various reasons, further research into each of these dog breeds will generally show that it is not the breed that makes these dogs "vicious" and "dangerous" but the manner in which they were raised or trained. Note that aggressive dogs are usually taught to be aggressive by humans. Hence, should we really blame the dog for being aggressive?

Additionally, restricting dogs from public places would only further exacerbate the issue of dog attacks.

If dogs are not given the regular exercise and are not socialised with humans other than their family on a regular basis, this could cause them to be restless, suspicious and even fearful of other human beings.

Getting lots of love from Jess, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Suspicious and fearful dogs usually feel the need to protect themselves and the only way they know how is to bite.

Also, dogs that are not properly socialised could have the tendency to be very protective of their owners and families.

With Custard the Rottweiler

Local councils should instead work towards promoting responsible dog ownership and also providing dog parks and dog friendly areas to enable dog owners to exercise and socialise their dogs regularly, apart from providing adequate shelter, food and protection for their dogs.

With Rosie an American Bull Dog Cross
Very often dogs that attack are abused or neglected in their own homes. These dogs are either caged or chained for long periods of time and are not given adequate exercise or human interaction. These dogs are usually incredibly frustrated and can become highly territorial. As such, if they are inadvertently let loose, they can become quite dangerous.

With Goldie a Siberian Husky

Many Malaysians, however, feel that it is perfectly acceptable to chain or cage their dogs all day and all night with little or no human interaction. The most common reason given is that they do not want the dogs to mess up their house or their compound. These dogs are treated as mere objects to "guard" their homes and are not treated as a member of the family which is crucial in shaping a dog's behaviour as dogs are pack animals.

With Sydney, a German Shepherd Cross

Local councils should ensure that dog owners are properly educated on the welfare of their animals and that their dogs are properly provided for and cared for. Owners that abuse or neglect their dogs should be heavily penalised as they are in effect creating a dangerous animal. 

With Gracie, a German Shepherd Dog
Local councils should also spend time and effort in educating the general public (not just dog owners) about dogs and how to behave around dogs. 

The public, especially children, should be taught that they should not approach and touch dogs without  getting permission from the dog's owners, and NOT to taunt or provoke dogs as this could give rise to untoward incidents.
With Sydney, the Gernan Shepherd Cross
The public should also be taught what to do should they come across a potentially aggressive dog or if a dog attacks them.

Avoiding dog attacks
The following tips may help you avoid being attacked by a dog:
  • Don't stare dogs in the eyes - dogs often feel as though you're challenging them when you make direct eye contact with them, so this should be avoided to reduce the risk of attack.
  • STAND STILL - or maintain a constant slow pace while BACKING out of the dog's territory if you are withdrawing. Do not turn away from the dog.
  • Never try to outrun a dog as this will provoke the dog to chase you and this can end in an attack.
  • Start by slowly distancing yourself from the dog if it begins to approach you. Get something between yourself and it - for instance if you're on a bike, place the bike between you and the dog; if there is a tree post or bench, ensure they are between yourself and the dog. Once behind the object you can speak softly and gently to calm the dog.
  • Do not use part of your body - e.g. an arm - to distance yourself from the dog as the dog may snap at you, causing injury.
  • Keep a safe distance between yourself and dogs being walked on a lead, and always ask the owner's permission before approaching any dog.
  • Be aware of areas that dogs frequent and change your route to avoid dogs which are not on leads.
What to do if a dog attacks you
  • Call 999 (or ask somebody else to) as soon as it is possible to do so. 
  • Do not use part of your body - e.g. an arm - to distance yourself from the dog as the dog may snap at you, causing injury.
  • If you are attacked or knocked to the ground, take measures to protect your face, neck and head by curling up in a ball and putting your hands on the back of your neck. Try to be still and do not wave your arms around.
The following video is a useful video to teach children what to do when a strange dog approaches them: 

By educating the public on how to behave around dogs and by providing suitable dog parks and public areas for dogs to socialise, would in my opinion be a much better method of handling issues related to dog aggression and dog attacks. 

With Kyra, an English Bull Mastiff

Having volunteered at The Mayhew Animal Home in London for about 2 years between 2008 and 2010, I have come in contact with and worked with many dog breeds that are usually taught of as aggressive or dangerous.

Previously I had always assumed that breeds such as the Rottweiler and Bull Terrier etc were vicious, aggressive and highly unpredictable dogs. My misconception was based on the fact that I had never met a well behaved, sweet natured rottweiler or bull terrier in Malaysia before. 

During my time at The Mayhew, I learnt that dogs such as the Rottweiler,  Staffordshire Bull Terrier and even Pit Bull have earned the bad reputation of being killer dogs due to the "training" or lack of it from their owners.

These breeds are naturally protective of their territory and families, therefore it is vital that they are socialised at an early age, given enough training (positive reinforcement), and leadership by their owners to prevent untoward incidents.

With Kyra (English Bull Mastiff) and Buster (Rottweiler)
According to the Dog Bite Claims UK website, the top ten most aggressive breed:
  1. Dachshunds
  2. Chihuahua
  3. Jack Russell
  4. Australian Cattle Dog
  5. Cocker Spaniel
  6. Beagle
  7. Border Collie
  8. Pit Bull Terrier
  9. Great Dane
  10. English Springer Spaniel
The Dachshund, otherwise known as the Sausage dog, was originally bred to hunt badgers. They came out as the most aggressive breed with 1 in 5 reported to have bitten or tried to bite a stranger and 1 in 12 snapping at their owners.

The top ten least aggressive dogs:
  1. Labrador Retriever
  2. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  3. Poodle
  4. Greyhound
  5. Whippet
  6. Brittany Spaniel
  7. Siberian Husky
  8. Golden Retriever
  9. Havanese
  10. Portuguese water dog
These dogs also rated low for “watchdog” behaviour and “territorial defence” behaviour so they tend to make lovable family pets.

A young boy and his faithful Rottweiler at Mayhew's Sponsored Dog Day
Some dogs that have a bad image and are considered aggressive are the Boxer, Bulldogs, Pit Bull Terriers, Great Danes, Mastiffs, German Shepherds and Rottweilers. According to this study this is how they ranked:
  • Great Dane: 9. This breed is actually very patient, gentle and affectionate. Although its size can be an issue with small children, it gets on well with children.
  • Rottweilers: 15. This dog is very loyal and can be fiercely protective which may cause it to be aggressive. However, it is a hard working, powerful, devoted dog that gets on well with children if they are brought up with them.
  • Boxer: 16. These dogs are actually good with children. They make good watchdogs. As they have a protective nature; they may be aggressive if they feel their owner is being threatened.
  • German Shepherds (Alsatians): 17. An alert, loyal, courageous and intelligent breed. These dogs are good with children and they are very protective making them effective watchdogs.
  • Mastiffs: 21. These dogs are very dignified, loyal creatures with a pleasant nature, resembling gentle giants. Their size means they can be a problem with small children, but they get on well with children.
Other dogs that are known to be aggressive include:
  • Chow Chow: this is a “one person dog”. It forms a very strong bond with one person (usually the owner) and is ferocious around strangers who it considers a threat to its owner. It is a good guard dog, but it can bite without warning and they are tenacious fighters.
  • Papillon: These dogs are fiercely loyal of their owners and can be very possessive, they don’t like strangers either.
  • Old English Sheepdogs: Again these dogs are very protective of their owners. They are strong-willed and independent and they will nip either other animals or children.
  • Lhasa Apso: These dogs can be cranky and unpredictable; they are strong-willed and independent. They were originally bred as guard dogs.
  • Giant Schnauzers: They are very dominant and will challenge adults and strangers.
  • Pekingese: These dogs do not like strangers and can be very aggressive towards them
  • Miniature Pinschers: These are little dogs but they can be very aggressive to compensate for this.
However, every dog is different and won’t always fit its breed stereotype: just because its breed is generally considered to be gentle or sweet natured doesn’t guarantee that your dog will be the same.

With Barney, an Anatolian Shepherd Cross
Any dog can be aggressive and bite so you must make sure that you put aside the time to train it and socialize it properly so that it is more comfortable in unfamiliar circumstances and with strangers.

Before you get a dog it is worthwhile researching breeds to make sure that you choose one that is suitable for your lifestyle, i.e. it is good with children if you have any in the family, or not getting a fragile dog if you are a large family. 

So please next time you see a Bull Terrier in the street, don't automatically assume it's a "devil dog". I am also hoping that all the pictures I have shared in this post will also help in dispelling the myth that large dogs, bull breeds and other "dangerous" breeds are vicious killer dogs.

If, god forbid, there are any more stories on dogs attacking someone, have a think as to WHY it happened. It could be because these dogs have irresponsible owners who have not socialised, trained or shown correct leadership and affection to their dogs.

If handled correctly from the minute you bring them home, any dog will make a FANTASTIC pet, but in the wrong hands they may only do what they feel they must in order to protect themselves...

In the mean time, I can only hope that the DVS will conclude their investigations quickly and thoroughly, especially as they have already indicated that the bull terrier has shown no signs of aggression so far.

I am highly concerned about the poor bull terrier being kept in their pound in isolation from its family and familiar surroundings. I doubt that the dog will be given any exercise or affection. This will only serve to traumatise the dog and may result in the dog's behaviour degenerating. 

Additional Reading:

Friday, May 11, 2012


18/05/11 UPDATE: Shadow was discharged on Tuesday 15/5 and was taken home by his foster carer. He is very happy to be out of the hospital but still needs to be cage rested for a few weeks. Please continue to send positive vibes to Shadow so that he will recover really quickly.

Shadow's latest bill at Gasing Hospital came up to RM1,111 which AWAM has already paid thanks to all your donations. I will be posting the bill up as soon as I have some time to scan it.

Once again, a HUGE thank you to all of you who have contributed. I will keep updating this blog with Shadow's progress, and results of his follow up treatments.


Shadow would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has donated towards his medical fund. Shadow is a really lucky dog to have so many of you rooting for him. 


I would like to inform everyone that I am temporarily ceasing collections for Shadow as I have just received a pretty large donation of RM2,500 from an anonymous donor to meet Shadow's follow up treatment, food and any other expenses necessary to ensure Shadow's speedy recovery.

Total contributions received             RM6,120.
Expenses incurred and paid so far   RM2,950
Balance                                         RM3,170

I estimate that Shadow's current boarding and treatment expenses to be about RM1,000 or so. I will update the details when Shadow is hopefully discharged next week. According to Dr Prem, Shadow is doing well although the surgical wound is still slightly raw and weepy. So please continue sending positive vibes to Shadow to help him recover quickly.

Once again I would like to thank everyone who has helped  by either contributing or by sharing Shadow's story. I will try my best to update this blog with Shadow's progress as regularly as I can.

Thank you,
Natasha Fernz