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What is the cause of aggression in dogs? Is it really breeders who aren't breeding for temperament or is it something else? I got to talking with someone about pit bulls and he said "they were bred to fight" and "fighting is in their nature". So, could it be possible that some dogs are actually bred for fighting and to be aggressive? I'm not saying GSDs are bred for fighting, but breeds like pit bulls, is that true?
 

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Yes, it can be true. Some breeds, depending on their original vocation, were intended to possess a degree of dog aggressiveness. Examples would include fighting breeds, guard dog breeds, flock guardian breeds, some coaching breeds. This tendency served a purpose based on the sort of work for which the breeds we're created in the first place, so the genetic basis for it is there. In modern times, it has in many cases been at least partially eliminated, as DA is considered a cardinal sin by many people and one that rarely serves a purpose today since most dogs aren't used for their intended purpose any longer. But the genes are often still there.
 

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What is the cause of aggression in dogs? Is it really breeders who aren't breeding for temperament or is it something else? I got to talking with someone about pit bulls and he said "they were bred to fight" and "fighting is in their nature". So, could it be possible that some dogs are actually bred for fighting and to be aggressive? I'm not saying GSDs are bred for fighting, but breeds like pit bulls, is that true?
Pit Bulls were bred to fight other animals, including other dogs. Many terrier breeds are quite prone to fighting actually. And GSDs are prone to same sex aggression. Definitely there is a strong genetic tendency towards temperament traits but aggression is not always a "fault". GSDs are expected to have guarding instinct - it's part of what makes them GSDs.
 

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What are coaching breeds?
 

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They are breeds that were bred to run alongside coaches/carriages - the dalmatian is the only one I can think of off the top of my head. The were able to run long distances, keeping up to the horses, and would protect both the horses and the coaches.
 

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I was totally taken back by the traits of my (late) JRT. We got him as a rescue at two years old. That dog truly believed he could take down anything. He had absolutley no fear. We had a lab type dog get into our fence and he fought that dog like he was a 100 lb dog instead of 18 lbs. And it was a female.

We had a feral cat creep up into the back yard one night, I didn't see it until I had already turned him out to go potty. I hadn't even shut the door and he caught this feral cat and killed it. My brain couldn't even register what happened and then it was done.

He'd play until he dropped. He was excellant with kids and other people. Not an aggressive bone in his body against people. But he took his terrier traits to the max, and if if moved, and it was an animal, and it didn't belong, he'd kill it. He got along great with the Aussies, but they were there first. He had no favorites between male or female (he was altered), he treated them all with respect. But I couldn't bring home another animal. Not even a bird.
 

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I know pit bulls were also considered the nursemaids dog. They would follow nursemaids around and help with picking things up and protecting when the nursemaid and her charge were in danger. Some breeds are prone to aggression while others are not. Thats all i have on the subject for now.
 
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