- German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is a breed of medium to large-sized working dog that originated in Germany.
The breed’s officially recognized name is German Shepherd Dog in the English language (sometimes abbreviated as GSD).
The breed is also known as the Alsatian in Britain and Ireland. The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog, with their origin dating to 1899.
As part of the Herding Group, German Shepherds are working dogs developed originally for herding sheep. Since that time however, because of their strength, intelligence, trainability, and obedience, German Shepherds around the world are often the preferred breed for many types of work, including disability assistance, search-and-rescue, police and military roles, and even acting.
The German Shepherd is the second-most registered breed by the American Kennel Club and fourth-most registered breed by The Kennel Club in the United Kingdom.
Well-trained and socialized German Shepherds have a reputation of being very safe.
An Australian report from 1999 provides statistics showing that German Shepherds are the breed third most likely to attack a person in some Australian locales, though once their popularity is taken into account, the percentages of GSD attacks drops to 38th behind Bloodhounds (#23) and Pit Bull Terrier (#1).
The Rottweiler is a breed of domestic dog, regarded as medium-to-large or large.
They were known in German as Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning Rottweil butchers’ dogs, because one of their uses was to herd livestock and pull carts laden with butchered meat to market.
This continued until the mid-19th century when railways caused droving to be replaced with herding.
Rottweilers are now used as search and rescue dogs, as guide dogs for the blind, as guard dogs and police dogs.
According to the FCI Standard, the Rottweiler is good-natured, placid in basic disposition, very devoted, obedient, biddable and eager to work.
Their appearance is natural and rustic, their behaviour self-assured, steady and fearless.
They react to their surroundings with great alertness.
Rottweilers are a powerful breed with well-developed genetic herding and guarding instincts.
Potentially dangerous behaviour in Rottweilers usually results from irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialisation and training.
However, the exceptional strength of the Rottweiler is an additional risk factor not to be neglected.
It is for this reason that breed experts declare that formal training and extensive socialisation are essential for all Rottweilers.
- Pit Bull
Pit bull is the common name for a type of dog often considered in North America to be of the pit bull family, they include American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The American Bulldog is also sometimes included.
Many of these breeds were originally developed as fighting dogs from cross breeding bull-baiting dogs (used to hold the faces and heads of larger animals such as bulls) and terriers.
After the use of dogs in blood sports was banned, such dogs were used as catch dogs in the United States for semi-wild cattle and hogs, to hunt and drive livestock, and as family companions.
Despite dog fighting now being illegal in the United States, it still exists as an underground activity, and pit bulls are a common breed of choice.
There have been many cases of violent interactions between humans and these canines.
In a 2014 literature review of dog bite studies, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) states that this breed is a poor sole predictor of dog bites.
Controlled studies do not show pit bulls to be disproportionately dangerous. While pit bull-type dogs are more frequently identified with cases involving very severe injuries or fatalities than other breeds, the review suggests this may relate to the popularity of the breed, noting that sled dogs and Siberian Huskies compose a majority of fatal dog attacks in some areas.
Contrary to popular myth, pit bulls do not have “locking jaws”. There is no physiological “locking mechanism” in the jaw muscle and bone structure of pit bulls or other dogs.
Pit bull-type dogs, like other terriers, hunting and bull-baiting breeds, can exhibit a bite, hold, and shake behavior and at times refuse to release.
Pit bulls also have wide skulls, well-developed facial muscles, and strong jaws, and some research suggests that pit bull bites are particularly serious because they tend to bite deeply and grind their molars into tissue.