All Pack Leaders!

Pack Leaders: the role

In the last few decades, there has been a sharp increase in the aggression levels of dogs. This has led to puppies and dogs of various breeds and sizes facing, sometimes fatal, conflicts with other dogs.
Often this violence has much more serious consequences than when concerning humans.

Paradoxically (but perfectly understandable), the most serious attacks occur most often in the family environment where the dog lives.
Interpretation of this phenomenon becomes understandable when its highlighted that a pack leader feels itself as the owner of its living environment and considers its family as “subjects”.
It seems logical from its perspective, to put in line the “puppy” of the human being.
What is less logical is the clearly disproportionate and particularly violent proof of its leadership.

In fact the rules of the pack dictates the leader exercise demonstrative action when necessary, but without causing serious injury and never killing. This behavior extends to even those who aspire to take its place. Contrary to the expression, dog does not eat dog.
Frequent episodes of violence from dogs towards family members (often directed towards the neck or face, a very serious action from an ethology point of view) requires objective analysis, not preconceived notions.

Dangerous Breeds

Dangerous Breeds: the debate

The debate on breeds considered to be dangerous continues. Without questioning, almost all technicians are convinced that they don’t exist and that the problem is always the owners.
And yet, looking at the premise (Eisenberg Philosophy claimed that if the premise is incorrect, all of the consequences are incorrect), we realize that we are starting from the wrong conventions.

If you judge carefully before the start of any work or theme, you will avoid a series of incredible failures, misinterpretations, and outrageous mistakes. One of the fundamental problems in the canine field arises from the fact that these animals have undergone impressive changes in the last 35 years, with the peak of the phenomenon between 1975 and 1985. They have been affected both in their behavior and by diseases.
These very rapid changes are shown by personal experiences of experts as compared to older data.
We tend to believe what we see in our own historical period as normality, and act accordingly.

In this regard, it’s striking the judgement that many experts give the current Fioroni, at the considered time most experts of dog breeds from both the structural and character point of view. I happened to hear, at a meeting with leading dog lovers that Fioroni was imbecilic, because he stated, all dogs are brave and kind.
From what I have seen in my years of dealing with 50 dogs a day, I can confirm that what is written by Fioroni corresponds with reality. Chihuahua or mastiffs were meek (apart from the obvious few exceptions), very sweet with children, and absolutely reliable, however, ready to become fierce in the presence of danger, of a threat, or in the case of an absent owner from the home. Simply, they defended the owner and children when it was necessary.

In the last few years, the following striking changes have occurred:

Puppies at the age of 20 days, perhaps still with semi closed eyes, had more than 60-70% of subjects intolerant to manipulation, especially opening their mouth. Some of these young puppies even growled menacingly. At two months old, two of the puppies were hyperactive and would not come close to visitors. After a few years, I changed my advice in choosing a puppy. I used to suggest choosing the lively one, so the owner would have a nice pack leader. Now I think it is better to opt for a more “dumb” one, which will become a normal dog in most cases.

Aggression in dogs has become much more common. There is an old proverb that says “dog doesn’t eat dog”, but it has become common to witness puppies slaughtered by adult dogs, and fierce and often fatal quarrels among adult dogs. Before this change, it was common to see small dogs being aggressive towards very big dogs without the giants reacting. At that time, dogs would stoically endure any harassment from children, without ever dreaming of biting them. Obviously, I have always insisted on the need to educate children to respect animals without torturing them, but it used to be that the printed ancestral laws inside every dog prevented an aggressive reaction. These laws don’t work anymore, and experts are forced to warn the owners of almost any breed of the risk of a possible attack, often for a futile reason.

The actual aggression of the dogs has two completely different causes:

The first is a currently unknown factor and involves the whole dog species.

The second is due to the idiotic human selection of dominant and aggressive dogs, identifying the breeds suitable for defending their flocks and their owner from predators. Some of these dogs unfortunately are still used for fighting competitions, which distorts their natural instincts an proliferates altered subjects who are aggressive against all odds, and who are true and real war machines. However, there are frequently dogs born from non-selected parents according to this aberrant criteria, that are completely reliable and docile dogs. To confirm that there is no dangerous breed itself, but there are subjects that come from parents and “calibrated” ancestors, that are really dangerous.

Both in the first and second case, the dog, obviously, is just a victim and doesn’t hold the responsibility.

It is said that much depends on the attitude of the owner, but in this regard we work on the effects and not on the causes. It has become difficult to find a person who has good self-esteem and authority, so we have to work towards helping the dogs rather than trying to fix the owners.

It’s possible that the increase of dog aggression is related to a defect of the main neurotransmitters acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. The attention is on serotonin, since it was verified that its deficiency causes increased aggression. Among the causes of such shortage, there could be the presence of pesticides, largely used in the cereals that we administer to the dogs with the kibbles, pasta, or rice.
Another cause could be the shortage of Omega3 in the food, or the presence of pharmacological residues in the meat coming from intensive farming.