• August 27, 2014

Dog trainer offers information on mastiffs, recognizing aggression

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Posted: Sunday, March 9, 2014 12:15 am

To the Editor:

Thank you for allowing me to be part of the Killeen Daily Herald many times and again on March 6 for a story about aggressive dogs.

I wanted to clarify a point that I made to the reporter and it appears that for space, part of a comment was left out.

While I understand I am long-winded and not every word can be included, I wanted to guarantee that my intended points were made.

The mastiff breeds, while protective, are generally calm and well-mannered when raised appropriately.

This includes socialization with humans and other dogs, a good training program and a balanced owner. When they don’t have these things, they can become fear-aggressive and apprehensive or overly invasive on personal space.

While we see the same behaviors in other breeds, there is a huge difference when a 10-pound Chihuahua jumps on you and nips your ankle or a 60-pound Labrador versus a 150-pound mastiff.

Aggression in any breed is unacceptable and if you see lip raising, hackles (hair raising from the shoulders to the tail) a rigid, straight tail, or other body language that you think means aggression, remove your dog from the situation and consult a trainer.

There are always signs prior to an attack if people are aware and know what to look for.

While I do not personally know either family involved, my heart breaks for both. This is not easy for either one, and our community as a whole can grow from this without penalizing the breed.

Kathryn Leisinger

School of Wags

Harker Heights

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