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Seven Options Available to Dog Owners with Dogs With Very Serious Behavior Problems (Aggression)

Aggressive Cocker SpanielTo the best of my knowledge, there are only seven options available to dog owners when they have a dog with a very serious behavior problem, such as aggression, particularly when that aggression is directed towards humans.

1.  Training

The first option is to try to train the behavior out of the dog or to an extent to which the problem is more manageable. I add the word “try” to “train the behavior out of the dog” because there are variables that impact how successful training might be that don’t always line up favorably with the reality of those responsible for the dog’s actions. Some (but not all) of these realities are:

Finding A Real Trainer

Sadly, easier said than done as the companion dog training world has historically been, and currently still is, driven and dominated by amateur dog trainers that, when it comes right down to it may love dogs but, in actuality, know very little about the real science of behavior modification.

As a result, the average companion dog owner encounters ‘Might Is Right’, Alpha, Pack Leader, Dominant training about 20% of the time and ‘All Positive/Purely Positive/Force-Free/Never Say No/R+…’, treat, treat, treat the rest of the time. Neither of these ideologies has any applicable science to support the claims the amateurs make. Amateur-driven companion dog training ‘experts’ are a big reason so many companion dogs and dog owners find themselves in these situations.

If you need some guidance on how to tell what to avoid and what to look for, I’d recommend reading this: What Are The Different (and best) Puppy and Dog Training Methods (ebook)

Breed Genetics

Some dogs are wired as Ferraris but are being raised, trained, and lived with more in a minivan manner. The problem is less the dog as the dog in question is too much dog for the owner(s).

Bloodline Stability

In North America, knowing the difference between a male and a female dog is all required to breed a dog. It is almost unheard of for ‘breeders’ to follow up on their bloodlines in a manner that concerns itself with and leads to increased bloodline and breed stability. They irresponsibly typically embrace the belief that ‘if there’s a problem, they’ll call.’

In the world of allegedly purebred dogs, the norm is breeding exclusively or predominantly for ‘show’ (fashion) as opposed to function and largely (and one might argue entirely) ignoring that far more critical long-term physical and mental stability, instead, in essence leaving it to ‘chance’. This has resulted in a multi-million dollar ‘Poor-bred’ dog breeding industry rather than legitimately purebred dogs.

Designer dog ‘breeding’ is now actually acceptable and normal as opposed to being viewed as completely lacking in ethics. In truth, considering the practices of the majority of these and other breeders, they are nothing more than puppy mills with better living conditions driven by willful ignorance and/or stupidity.

Because breeding dogs is an unregulated industry and most people looking for a dog are far more likely to research the next toaster they buy as opposed to the dog they plan on living side by side with for a decade-plus, the field is entirely open for horrible breeding practices.

For what it’s worth, there are many models in the livestock industry that improve upon genetics. If these same models were embraced, the impact on the dog world would be monumental from both a health and behavior perspective.

However, currently, there simply isn’t any motivation for the dog breeding world to embrace these proven models, as unlike the world of agriculture that, out of necessity to remain competitive, embraces legitimate science, the vast majority of dog breeders have little to no understanding of the science that applies to genetics and behavior. Ironically, dog breeders often boast of their love of and for dogs, and yet one would think that if they actually cared about dogs, ethically could show more than words, show ribbons, and/or an income stream as their motivation for breeding dogs. Breeders Vs. Greeders VS Puppy Mills.

Critical Imprint Period Impact

Breeders, veterinarians, and companion dog owners rarely understand what this actually is and does (not puppy socialization classes) and, as a result, leave it out of their workflow and guidance recommendations or do so in a manner that certainly does far more harm than good.

This in spite of the fact the research (twenty years of research at the Jackson Laboratory (See Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog) behind it was completed in the 1960s by renowned behavior geneticist and comparative psychologist Dr. John Paul Scott and biologist and early pioneer of behavior genetics, Dr. John L Fuller.)

As a result, our dogs develop behavior problems that would otherwise be avoided. (Fear – thunder, strangers, children, traffic, etc., and aggression). This ignorance often leads to the amateurs in these worlds making behavior modification recommendations that are inappropriate. A dog’s critical imprint period occurs between 3 – 12 weeks of age and contributes to temperament and behavior as much as if not more than, genetics. Socialize Your Puppy for Everything by John Wade (ebook)

Efficacy (Follow Through)

Not all owners follow through regarding the safety and behavior modification recommendations (supervision, leash, use of crates when leash/crate may be impossible or impractical, etc.). Efficacy can be impacted by how much is left over at the end of the day by the dog’s owner(s), the number of owners, how seriously they take the problem, and, therefore the safety and behavior modification recommendations associated with the rehabilitation process.

Owner Handling Ability/Experience

As mentioned earlier, some dogs are Ferraris, and some dogs are mini-vans. When you combine the potential reality that someone may have a Ferraris and approach living with and training from a mini-van perspective (as that’s typically all they can find for guidance online and through companion dog trainers) they can get into trouble. The reality is that some dogs, some breeds of dogs, require more ability and experience in their owners than others.


Weighing the safety of others during the rehabilitation period (which on average runs from 3 months to a full year.) vs. the risk of another incident and the associated liability.

Quality Of Life (Owners)

The potential negative impact that keeping others safe and getting what has to be done with the dog will have on the quality of life of the dog owner(s).

Quality of Life (Dog)

Even when companion dog training positively impacts a dog’s ability to exert self-control, even when the new safety measures have reduced risk to acceptable levels, it’s important to look at the dog in question from the perspective of quality of life. If the training and safety result in a dog that is constantly suppressing as opposed to being relaxed and non-reactive, that, if it’s ongoing, is a stressful existence. Whereas the dog owner’s problem may have been ’solved,’ the dog’s may not have been.

2.  Physiological Issues

Although it’s rare for it to turn out to be the root cause, disease and injury can contribute to changes in a dog’s behavior. Hypothyroidism, for example, can cause aggression. A broken tooth, vision issues, etc., particularly if the behavior is out of character and especially if the dog is over three years of age and has lived with the same owner without an issue.

When visiting the veterinarian, it is important to provide him or her with a clear understanding that you are not looking for a peripheral ‘check-up.’ A proper examination should include blood work, X-rays, vision and dental consideration, etc. Best Time To Get A Blood Panel – Video

3.  Revisit Efficacy

The third option is to consider whether past recommendations (assuming they were provided by a truly experienced and knowledgeable companion dog trainer) were embraced seriously enough by everyone in a position to influence both safety and behavior modification, and if not, whether doing so (getting serious and giving the dog its best chance) might be worthwhile.

4. Impact of Additional Safety Strategies

The fourth option is the implementation of higher-than-average safety strategies. Some people might consider safety protocols such as mandatory crating when there are potential aggression targets around, muzzle training, more secure fences, and gates, etc., as a long-term workaround; however, in most cases, it rarely does much more than delay potential future incidents as opposed to extinguishing the bite potential. This is not really an option from a long-term perspective, but it might be required for the short term if the possibility of rehab exists in the dog’s current setting.

5. Rehoming

The fifth option is finding the dog another home. Possible but not probable, as even rescues struggle to find homes for dogs without any aggression issues. The idea that a home can be located “where there are no children,” “no other dogs,” or “on a farm” is more mythology than reality. There are no homes where there are no children. They mightn’t live there, but they will be visiting or living nearby. Same regarding no other dogs. Farmers don’t want aggressive dogs any more than anyone else, especially when getting an unaggressive dog is so easy. The only time this option works out is when typically the dog hasn’t yet bitten and fixing the problem has a high probability, but the reality of the household the dog currently lives in is such that bringing about the changes is unlikely, whereas in another home someone with the right type of experience and lifestyle has a high likelihood of turning the dog around.

6. Second Opinion

The sixth option is to get a second opinion, not from a veterinarian, vet tech, pet store employee, breeder, rescue volunteer, or amateur companion dog trainer, but from a highly experienced and knowledgeable companion dog trainer. None in the aforementioned group are trained in canine behavior, particularly when it comes to dogs with serious behavior problems but this rarely stops them from pretending expertise and speaking with an authority they have not been educated in or earned. Sometimes a second set of eyes, if they’re the right eyes, can catch something that may have been missed. (See Skype Consult Option.)

7.  Euthanasia

The last option is a tough one, and that option is euthanasia. However, when a dog is a risk and options 1, 2, and 3 above have been eliminated, then responsible dog owners are left with this choice. Setting aside the legal liability aspects of owning an aggressive dog, while I wholeheartedly agree that owning a pet is to be taken as a serious responsibility, that responsibility does not absolve us of our ethical and moral responsibility for the safety of those that live within striking distance of the aggressive dog.


The irony concerning euthanasia is that this decision, along with its horrendous emotional fallout, lands on the shoulders of the dog’s owner. At the same time, anyone with a basic understanding of genetics and behavior would understand that, in the vast majority of cases, it was not the owner or the dog that was the real problem. Almost without exception, they took in a “product” that was genetically less than just a roll of the dice.

Again, almost without exception, they accepted that the training guidance they were or are offered is based on legitimate behavior modification for life skills in the real world rather than the `’All Positive/Purely Positive/Force-Free/Never Say No/R+…’, treat, treat, treat or ‘Might Is Right’, Alpha, Pack Leader, Dominant ideological pseudo-science nonsense that the dog training and veterinarian world almost solely offers.

Considering the intimate role that the companion dog plays in so many households around the world and the number of households they exist, one would think that more than “I love dogs,” therefore I am a breeder or a dog trainer should be driving breeding and training.

It is the companion dog owner that ultimately signs the responsibility cheque concerning having to put a dog down or re-home or surrender to a rescue. Still, more often than not, it is the ignorance of breeders and trainers that put them in the position where that cheque needed signing.

– John Wade 🐾 (

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17 thoughts on “Seven Options Available to Dog Owners with Dogs With Very Serious Behavior Problems (Aggression)”

  1. Could you tell me about getting a dog now? Can you write a post? Social distancing is hard
    People say to just get a dog but I am worried the dog won’t learn about other people

    1. Hi Mandy,

      Ironically most people get dogs when they think they have the time for them because they sort of do but don’t extrapolate 10 – 15 years into the future when they might not. Now with this COVID-19 we’re seeing this on steroids. The shelters are going to be wicked busy in the post COVID-19 months. Ironically, these sorts of rescues (I call them rescue mills) a big part of the problem as they were taking advantage of the pandemic to play on people’s free time, emotions and cognitive biases to empty their stock.

      You’ve also touched on another reason the rescues are going to be swamped in the post-COVID-19 months to come is due to the ‘greeders’, (I mean breeders) that don’t implement the early imprint strategies I recommend in my article and books, as well as the veterinarians and dog trainers that follow that, also don’t do so. It’s hard enough to do the early urban life temperament imprinting without being under COVID-19 lockdown. A lot of these COVID-19 puppies will be so poorly imprinted during their 3 – 12 weeks of age imprint period they will end up euthanized. I would write about or preferably do a video but who would watch it?


      John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
      Embracing Science and Common Sense

  2. Kennedi Fisher

    Hi John,
    It pains me to have to write this or even think about this. Last April, I took in a pitbull/american bulldog cross from a bad background. Didn’t know where she came from at the time, she just showed up on the property. I could tell she had a rough life, but only learned the extent of it months after I decided to keep her. She was roughly 8-10 months old, and had most likely lived her life on a chain in a back yard down the road. She was then abandoned when her owners moved and came to us.

    She was and is amazing. Fantastic dog, great hiking buddy, super smart and learning so many tricks and has been trained to be less reactive to cats with good results.

    Only one thing changed about her negatively.

    Suddenly, perhaps five months ago her behavior went on a drastic decline. A dog that once loved people so much that the neighbors loved her, fed her and pet her- began to show signs of aggression towards those same exact people she once loved. (Let me interject here; She spent way too much time alone outside. This was a time that she needed me to nip this in the bud before it escalated. That’s my fault completely and I wish I could go back.) I didn’t think too much of it. It was sort of weird to see her barking so much at the neighbor walking by, but I just kept moving.

    It got worse and worse until one day, a man (our handy man that was there a lot) that always pet her, gave her food and kisses came over. I was talking with someone a ways away and didnt see it happen. He explained the sequence of events this way- He walked over to give her kisses like he had done a hundred times before. He bent down near her, she got very stiff and rigid, but he ignored it and put his face closer to hers to give her a kiss when she lunged and bit him in the face. I was shocked. We were all shocked, he had no idea what to think. Luckily he was alright, said his feelings were hurt more than his face. Ever since then, she has had a strong disdain for all strangers, especially men. She warmed right up to my sister and female best friend within a few hours of being at my house, (of course with careful supervision and a muzzle at one point. She displayed aggressive signs at first, then warmed up to them. Again we are super careful about it).

    No aggression towards me or my dad, but she is extremely aggressive to everyone else.

    I hope that you’ll forgive my negligence, I know you’ve probably face palmed so many times now reading the whole sequence of events. I think that her genetics (I’ve learned so much more about bully breeds since ive had her. They’re not for everybody to say the least) had a lot to do with it, coupled with my negligence it was a recipe for disaster.

    I know I need good advice for what to do with her. I can get her warmed up to someone (more so if its a female), but I am terrified of an accident happening. I am constantly concerned about an accident happening and someone else getting hurt.

    We just bought 21 acres and im so much more comfortable with her out here, with way less opportunities for her to hurt someone. But I still have an aggressive dog.

    I already have said to myself that if something else were to happen, she is getting put down. But also, I think why on earth would I wait for another episode to occur? One that could be ten times worse, like a child getting hurt?

    I hate having to ask this, mostly because I think I already know what the right thing to do is. I wanted to consult someone that has probably seen this before and can point me in the right direction.

    I don’t like what my life has become having to deal with her aggression. But there’s no easy way out. I could never re-home her, no one would want a dog like her and I couldn’t do that in good conscience.

    Please, if you have any advice to give, I would be very grateful.

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Kennedi,

      A lot to unpack there. I’d suggest a ‘Virtual+’ – consultation.


      John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
      Embracing Science and Common Sense


  3. Vilma Daily

    I have a painful issue to resolve, my vet left it all our shoulders to make that very hard decision whether we want to put him down before or after he snaps at someone causing serious injury. I am beyond words disappointed and upset that this behavior was not disclosed or mentioned at any time during the adoption period in October 2019. Now the only thing we heard was ” I know it is hard, but you have to make that decision sooner than later”.
    Is there anything to be done to avoid the injury and save the dog? Can you, please, advise?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Vilma,

      I’m reading between the lines, but it seems you feel you were scammed by the rescue you purchased this dog from? If so, you’re not alone, read the articles below. I call them ‘rescue mills’. Many are being sued, some criminally charged.

      I’m not sure how to respond to your question though. The best advice without knowing some very specific information about your situation is contained above in the article ‘Seven Options Available to Dog Owners with Dogs With Very Serious Behavior Problems (Aggression)’. It’s intended to act as a decision making guide. You can book a ‘Virtual+’ – Consult with me if you would like.

      Beware of Rescue Mills More Than Dogs
      Donating To A Rescue? Some Are Rescue Mills


      John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
      Embracing Science and Common Sense


  4. Joel J Savilonis

    We have had a Lab/Golden rescue for almost six years. He was a puppy found/taken from his mom down South in a drainage ditch by State workers we were told. We have been dog owners all our lives and this one scares me! After two he started to exhibit aggression towards most anyone but close family, but no friends can visit. He has bitten three friends, including me twice, albeit was during nail trimming, which had been done numerous times without incident, or blood on either side!
    He hates motorcycles, big dump trucks(State worker remembrance?), USmail, UPS, FedEx deliveries drop and run. He has scratched the heck out of our car trying to get at black people walking by for no reason. The black state police officer that pulled me over was ready to shoot him
    Early years he was fine, but now it is his domain, protecting my wife it seems that triggers his violent threat towards me! All I need to say is lets go for a walk and he is my best friend. We keep our distance for others, and he makes sure. I can run in the woods off leash and he is afraid of the surroundings compared to past Goldens and Labs we have owned(6).
    He is too strong for the wife to walk in fear he goes after someone, she can’t contain him. He stays inside the underground fence, his domain and keeps all others out.
    I can introduce him to friends and he will sniff and be fine. They get up for a beer and he will turn and bite/nip enough to draw blood. They are not stupid dog people and do not entice him, but he snaps in fear???
    I am ready to put him down unless there is an eighth rule…thanks!

    1. Hi Joel,

      Tough situation to be in for any dog lover/owner. I’d need some visuals to provide input that might have any value to you. Can you safely video some of this sort of behavior, plus his overall responsiveness to you and your wife when he’s not in a triggered state? Answers to these questions would be helpful as well.

      1. How much time does he spend in the yard unsupervised?
      2. When in the home does he spend time looking out the window?
      3. When (if) he does either of the above, how does he behave? If he’s reactive, video that and provide me a description of what he’s seeing if it’s not clear on the video due to camera angle.
      4. How sure are you that he’s a Golden/Lab X?

      You can send me video if you wish via the form provided here:

      – John Wade (

  5. Thank you- very nice informative website. I am worried about injury… My 21 month old “rescue” has become a hunter, super prey driven and aggressive. She is killing [not eating] animals, [chickens-bunnies], my son’s animals and now had a bite hold on our families dog’s neck and would not release. Thank goodness she had a shock collar on. She is a sweet, loving, mellow dog 99.5% of time and around a lot, 20+ other dogs of all ages and sizes. She has a large fenced yard, goes hiking, neighborhood walks alone, with kids, with neighbors and their dogs, over at family members who have dogs. But she had a death grip on this dog! I am now disturbed and a family member’s 6 yo son was in the mix of the dog fight and could have been the victim.

    She’s had a lot of training, socialization since I’ve had her [she was 5-6 months old but we thought she was 3-4 ] . I am worried sick as her DNA came back all high prey, hunting, herding and history of aggressiveness: Pit bull, Beagle, Cattle dog, Australian Shep, and Staffordshire Terrier. Had I know she was part pit bull or Staffie- I would never ever have picked her. My fault totally.

    I am educated on the death grip, horribly killing history of pit bulls [and related bulls like the Am. Staff.] and now I feel like I can not rehome her or put anyone else at risk. Her attack was totally unprovoked. I should not have taken any dog without knowing what breed she was but I have had perfect dogs from shelters before. I have been bit by dogs too many times many times [other peoples], rabies shots and all- I don’t want anyone to go through being bitten. My girl has slowly become aggressive over food and toys but never, ever was until I gave her a real raw beef bone 6 months ago [no idea what this means?]

    She is very much a wanna be lap dog and snuggles with young kids, toddlers almost daily. I have researched dog breeds, those with high prey drive, aggressiveness and one’s who have killed, some dogs were described as “no bite history and sweet loving dogs” [at one point]. But now I see my dogs high prey drive and aggressiveness. With her breed mix, I feel I have no choice. I am heartbroken and so very sad but I can’t afford a personal behaviorist for the next 6 months+, but more importantly risk her being around little kids all the time. She can’t be muzzled and crated all the time- and my family is the most important- surely more than my dog whom I love very much too.

    1. Hi Thomas,

      There wasn’t really a question posed which is understandable as I’m sure you must be upset. The bit where you wrote, “My fault totally.”, caught my eye. I’m not sure why you’ve referred to the dog in question using quotation marks around the word “rescue.”, so I may be off base when I say if you got this dog from a rescue, it is the rescue at fault, not you. It happens often enough that “rescues” purposefully mislead people as to known or suspected genetics in the dogs they re-home that I’ve come to refer to rescues as ‘Rescue Mills’ (Questions To Ask The Breeder Or A Rescue Before Deciding This Is Where You Want To Get A Dog).

      If you can’t have her assessed for her potential to learn to exert self-control or feel you can’t afford to proceed, financially or because the training and safety maintenance surrounding owning a dog of this nature would require more than you have of yourself to go around at the end of the days ahead; if you got the dog from a rescue, return her to the very same rescue.

      For what it’s worth, there are quite a few assumptions in your comment regarding breed characteristics and training that are either not correct or not entirely correct. There is often a lot more potential for turning these things around and it mightn’t be as expensive as you might think. Let me know if you’d like some information regarding what I have to offer and I’ll forward it to you privately by email.

      – John Wade (

      1. Yes, please forward me information you think might be helpful. Thank you-

  6. Hi John, I have read your article regarding options for dog owners with aggressive behavior several times over the past 2 years looking for a solution. I let a breeder talk me into taking a 7 month old German Shepherd that had spend his entire life on a farm with no socialization with other humans “due to covid”. From day one he was highly reactive to other people, especially kids and fearful of anything new. We repeatedly gently exposed him to people letting him explore at his own pace, enrolled him in 2 obedience classes & worked with various trainers. The only 2 good trainers confirmed it as a temperament issue that can be managed by mitigating situations that trigger the aggression. (I’m now aware of at least one of his litter mates that was properly socialized is also people aggressive). My partner who was helping me with the dog has since moved to another state for work. I can not have people over, & have to sedate him if I need maintenance done in my home, I have to carefully plan the time & place of his walks & outings, I can no longer leave for long day trips or spontaneously live any kind of socially satisfying life and his high entry level is exhausting. My daily existence revolves around the dog’s needs & averting any potential biting incidents from ever occurring. I just retired & refuse to live like this trapped for the next 10+ years so I contacted the breeder to take him back. Her response, ” I’d just have to put him down “. I now see this is as on my shoulders which is totally unfair & heart breaking as the dog adores me, is very loving with me, has great sense of humor & is beautiful. However besides having no life of my own, my neighborhood is full of young kids, A disaster waiting to happen.
    Thanks for letting me vent & very helpful common sense articles.

    1. Hi Jill,

      You’re not wrong and you’re certainly not alone. Unfortunately breeders like this are by far the norm, rather than the exception. They set up the dogs they breed and the people that purchase them to fail by being ignorant of or ignoring aspects of genetics, critical imprinting and followup to ensure what they are breeding has physical and mental stability.

      After over 30 years working with companion dogs and their owners on a full-time basis I’ve come to refer to the vast majority of breeders as Puppy Mills With Better Living Conditions. They really don’t know what they’re doing. Rescues are often no better and many are no more than Rescue Mills. Very poor screening of the dogs they ‘rescue’ to help determine whatever baggage the dog may have so that they can be placed appropriately. Very little interest in even learning how to screen as well. It’s a syndrome, I refer to as “Hearts as big as houses, but minds as small as mouses.” There are exceptions, the ones that dot their i’s and cross their t’s, but they’re hard to find as the bad ones seem to be far better at marketing then walking the walk.

      I occasionally get challenged by the odd breeder or someone that thinks they used a good breeder, but it’s very easy to make short work of their definition of good breeding. I try to get as many prospective dog owners to read this article as possible before they buy a dog. Questions To Ask The Breeder Or A Rescue Before Deciding This Is Where You Want To Get A Dog

      I’m sorry you’re going through this.

      – John Wade

      PS Thank you very much for buying me those coffees.

      – John Wade ( (Don’t forget! If you find that the many free resources on this site inform, save you time and, or money, Click the link to Buy Me A Few Coffees)

  7. Wow, regarding your “Bloodline Stability” section, I was hoping for a better balanced read. I’ve owned purebred setters since 1979, been showing since 1984, so I know, and have known, a goodly number of show folk. You’re right, dog breeding is to a great extent unregulated. That doesn’t make us akin to the wild west. If you spent more time with dog breeders, you would find that you don’t have to go to the livestock industry to find knowledge. Most of us do what we do because we CARE about the dogs we produce, and we learn as we go, but it’s a steep learning curve. And we care more about the puppies we produce than we do about show wins. We are perfectly aware that we are producing animals that have to live in a society with people large and small, and other pets. If we don’t have that as priority, we don’t last long, because reputations in the dog show world are important. As a setter breeder since 1986, I can tell you, I do have a carefully thought out priorities list when I breed, and I do know my lines as much as anybody can. But reputable and caring dog breeders are not gods, and genetics can be excruciatingly complicated. Many diseases have not got a known mode of inheritance. Temperament and personality are not simple dominants, and are a complicated range or continuum. Yes, thyroid can produce aggression, so can Lyme disease, and other environmentals. Having said that, since we understand that all dog owners have people and other dogs in their lives, we also understand that we are producing animals to live with people over many years. If it isn’t good enough for people to live with, it isn’t good enough to breed, because we don’t take chances. Livestock people, not so much. If they make mistakes, you can always eat the results.

    1. The mistake you are making (and it’s a huge one) is due to at least one logical fallacy. “Logical fallacies are flawed, deceptive, or false arguments that can be proven wrong with reasoning.”

      You are making what is called a “Hasty Generalization” logical fallacy. You are proposing/assuming that because you believe you are doing what can be done, and the people you know in the breeding world are doing what can be done, this group represents the dog breeding world.

      I assure you this is not the case. Considering how many people are breeding dogs merely knowing the difference between a male and a female dog and because there are no regulations to prevent them from circumnavigating responsible breeding practices or their income stream, if you are as legitimate as you claim, you would still be so far in the minority of those breeding dogs to be statistically insignificant in my opinion. As a result, although I’m glad you’re standing up for good breeding practices, I stand by my opinion; the industry is wild-west, and the bad guys out number the good guys.

      – John “Ask The Dog Guy” Wade – Embracing Science and Common Sense

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  8. Pam Betts

    I have a 2 year old Corgi, bought from a farmer, no papers. She is loveable and delightful with all people, but she has a very strong prey drive. She viciously goes after other dogs and yesterday, she finally killed the family chihuahua. Today, the cat came home all beat up and seems seriously injured. She had previously played with the cat, but never turned mean to him. I am just horrified at this turn of events. I should have seen it coming as I have had to intervene several times when she went after the other dog.

    The new element in our household is a Great Pyrenees male older puppy. At least she can’t hurt him, although she tries to dominate and will join in with a snappy growl if I correct him.

    This has come as such a terrible surprise. She learns quickly, does many tricks, obeys me for the most part, but it seems like some wild predatory instinct can overtake her and it is now happening with dire consequences. Correction in the past hasn’t been directed by any particular philosophy…basically just intervening, tight leash control, verbal NO! I knew to avoid situations with other peoples’ dogs. I mentioned this to the vet and he recommended an antidepressant (I think???), theorizing that if the Corgi got used to the chihuahua, she would get over her meanness. I didn’t think that was the basis of it.

    I’ve raised goats, sheep and chickens on my farm in the past. I had a GSD that would display this sudden “predatory drive” if an animal fled. He had to go, of course. Nowadays, I live in a neighborhood. The Corgi has a large fenced yard, takes long daily walks with me and we often go on field trips to wade in the lake. I spend a great deal of time playing with the Corgi, fetching the ball mostly.

    I love the dog, but I cannot have this behavior. Is there any hope of rehabilitation in such a case?

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