I'm glad I found this forum, and this topic. As I posted in my intro, I just adopted a puppy from the Humane Society, and I've been browsing around to learn everything I can. I'm prepared for others' ignorance, though I still find it incredibly annoying.
I've always been of the opinion that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. I mean, when my mother had Maggie, our shepherd mix, she was out of control. My mother would not let something as trivial as some animal dampen her social life (her words, not mine). So the poor animal spent a good 90% of her time in a crate, or outside pen. Maggie couldn't even do simple obedience things, let alone things like walk on a leash, so my mother never put her on one, because it was too much bother. Now that we have her she is much better behaved. It took a lot of time and patience.
I'm hoping that experience with an animal aggressive breed will help us if our new family member does turn aggressive. Gabby, our Karelian, is very animal aggressive, as was her mother, so we had to go through quite a bit getting them to be okay around other dogs and the cats.
Because of this I completely agree about dog parks. We would never take Gabby, or Kita when she was still alive, to a dog park. We know that even though they were very well trained, and very obedient, their innate desire to keep us safe from strange animals would be stronger. We have a neighbor with a little dog that she doesn't keep on a leash. I've had to pick Gabby up and carry her to keep her from killing that little dog. The only difference here is that since Karelians are such a rare breed in the US Gabby won't be instantly blamed even if she didn't start it. Apbt
's have a notorious reputation in this country, and our little sweetheart Phantom would probably get put down if he ever killed that stupid little dog, even though he will be on a leash, and that dog is left to run loose.
We already crate the dogs when we're not home. It's mostly to keep them from getting into stuff, but yeah, fights could break out too. As it is, we're having trouble getting Gabby to accept Phantom. It's only been three days, so hopefully the issue can be resolved. I just think Gabby is getting to the age where she doesn't accept change easily, and she may be afraid the pup is her replacement.
Knowing your dog well is very important to their training. Gabby and Maggie are very different, for example. Gabby requires aggressive pack mentality training because of her breed, as well as individual personality. Maggie is an aim-to please drool face, so it upsets her when we're clearly mad at her. So far, Phantom seems to respond well to verbal reprimand. A firm 'no' usually gets the point across.