Dog ownership guide ::

Owners of potentially dangerous dogs must always be aware of the risk their dog poses to the community. Along with this risk is the responsibility of properly constraining the dog.1

Rules for dog owners

  1. Spay or neuter your dog
    Spaying and neutering your dog can “possibly” reduce aggression when done at an early age. The optimal age lies between 6-9 months, especially with male dogs. After your dog surpasses 10-12 months, this suppression is less effective. Yet, the rule of thumb with male dogs is "better neutered than not."
  2. Socialize your dog
    Introduce your dog at an early age to community parks, family and friends, busy sidewalks and other animals. The more socialized your dog is, the less chance it will feel threatened in new experiences and the less likely it may choose to bite. An unsocialized dog can quickly become a dangerous dog.
  3. Exercise your dog
    All dogs require exercise; robust breeds require more. One can't assume that 15 minutes of fetch per day is adequate. Powerful breeds require both physical and mental exercise. If this cannot be supplied, destructive behavior may result. Also, without proper exercise, obedience training is often fruitless.
  4. Train your dog
    Obedience training should start at 3-4 months of the dog's age. Lack of obedience training ensures a frustrating experience for the dog’s owner and the dog and a dangerous experience for the community. Failing to train your dog is a 3-way lose situation: yourself, your dog and the community all suffer.
  5. Constrain your dog
    Chaining your dog is not the same as constraining your dog. More evidence points to chained dogs as a recipe for disaster. A Denver study revealed that biters were nearly 3 times as likely to be chained as unchained; dogs with a history of long-term chaining made up 20% of attacks that resulted in death.2
  6. Limit exposure to untested situations
    If your dog is unfamiliar with a busy sidewalk or joggers, do not expose your dog to these situations until you understand what the response will be. If you consider your dog a "family" dog, understand that a new guest in your house is also an untested situation; your dog does not perceive a new guest as "family."
  7. When walking your dog
    Do not walk a powerful dog if you are ill equipped to manage it. Under no circumstances should children or teenagers be allowed to either. Managing these dogs may include: a training collar, a leash no longer than six feet and a muzzle. Never use a retractable leash when walking a powerful dog breed.
  1. The Art of a Pit Bull Scaling a 6-Foot Fence, YouTube Video.
  2. Which Dogs Bite? A Case-Control Study of Risk Factors (1991), by Gershman K.A., et al. JC., Pediatrics, 1994. 93:913-7.