HAWS, the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County, addresses
common concerns about dog behavior to help pets and their people to have safe,
healthy relationships.


Many dog owners wonder how to know if their dog’s behavior
poses a risk, and how strongly does a dog’s breed factor into the potential for
aggressive behavior.  Human behaviors influence dogs – and dogs in turn give
indicators that intervention is necessary.  While any dog has the potential to
behave aggressively depending on the situation, help is available.  Education
and knowledge can help prevent aggressive incidents that may result in physical
and emotional injury.  It is important that all dogs receive training and
socialization, to minimize problems and create the best possible relationship
between pet and owner

  • A first sign of trouble may be a “gut” feeling:
    Anything about your dog’s behavior that makes you feel uncomfortable indicates a
    need for intervention.  Don’t ignore the first signs of trouble.
  • Observe your dog:  Dogs displaying non-social,
    “stand-offish” may bite if forced to interact.  Dogs that forcefully jump up or
    against you, attempt to mount, or are “mouthy” are showing their intentions are
    confrontational.  Dogs that stiffen momentarily in response to eye contact or
    touch, or when you are close to their food/toy/another person, do not welcome
    your interference and may bite if their signals are ignored.  Specifically watch
    for body language like direct and hard eye contact from your dog, the base of
    tail elevated above the level of the dog’s back, and hackles up.  A warning grow
    should never be ignored.  These are signs that additional training is

Behavior depends on individual genetics and the environment
in which the dog was raised.  Pit Bulls can be cream puffs and Golden Retrievers
can be Godzilla!  Puppies with no littermates or pups that are taken from their
mothers/litters before 7 weeks of age may not learn appropriate social skills –
increasing the possibility of biting.

If you notice any signs of unsocial or aggressive behavior, contact a qualified trainer, behaviorist, or veterinarian.  Being proactive, doing your research about where you obtain a dog and which
breed you choose, and seeking help at the first sign of trouble will increase
your chances of fixing a problem before serious harm is done.  HAWS’ Behavior Department is available to answer any questions
at 262-542-8851, x204, or email


HAWS, a non-profit organization established in 1965,
assists over 6,000 animals each year and welcomes more than 31,000 human
visitors to our shelter annually.  As an “open admissions” shelter HAWS assures
sanctuary for all animals in need, while offering educational programs and
services to promote responsible pet ownership and prevent animal abuse.  The
shelter is located at 701 Northview Road in Waukesha, Wisconsin. For more
information call (262) 542-8851 or log onto our website at Friend us on Facebook at
“HAWS Waukesha.”
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HAWS presents tips, resources for dog behavior issues

Battle Against Dogfighting’s Peace for Paws

Block Party Takes Place Tomorrow: Saturday, June 18 from 12-4pm

Contact: Jill Brown, BAD’s founder & Program
Director, 414-416-5975

Friday, June 10, 2011, Milwaukee police and MADACC
busted a dogfighting operation on the city’s north side, rescuing
six sick and injured pit bulls and arresting one man. According to MPD, the bust
was a result of a tip from a community member. Battle Against
Dogfighting (BAD), a
100% volunteer-organized program, knows that more busts are possible and
eliminating dogfighting in Milwaukee starts with community awareness, which is
why they are hosting their second annual
Peace for Paws block party at Calvary Baptist Church on
Milwaukee’s near north side this Saturday, June 18, from 12 to 4pm.

The goal is to unite as a c
ommunity to speak out against
such violence and animal cruelty, and ultimately have safer, more humane

Research shows several serial killers started their criminal paths
by abusing animals, and people who abuse animals are more likely to commit other
types of crimes.
BAD focuses on uniting the community and dog
owners with positive activities for pit bulls & all dogs so that those
considering getting involved in dogfighting will start to see their dog than
more than just a possession and more as a part of the family. This is a FREE
event and will include free dog training from top trainers, agility courses, and
weight pulling demonstrations, as well as a local music and a kid’s area. The
event will also include lots of educational resources where people can ask
questions, and participate in a “learn and earn” where they can earn free dog
care items like collars, toys, treats, dog beds, and more.

BAD’s founder, Jill Brown, is
excited to bring their efforts to neighborhoods with a heightened dogfighting
problem. “These youth are brought up seeing so much violence in their community,
that dogfighting is just another outlet for that. They see it often and are
somewhat desensitized to it. Most inner-city kids see their first dog fight by
age of 8 and often learn the behavior from older males in their families. We
want to break that cycle and show kids positive outlets to bond with their dog
and still show their dog’s ability and strength , such as agility and weight
pulling,” said Brown. “It’s not just about saving these pets – it’s about saving
the kids, reducing violence, and making safe neighborhoods.”

BAD’s efforts truly focus on
the welfare of the community, as well as pit bulls. BAD teams with MPD,
Milwaukee Dept. of Neighborhood Services, Dept. of City Development, and Safe
& Sound on a variety of outreach initiatives to get folks speaking out about
violence and dogfighting in their neighborhoods. Brown states, “The partnering
organizations are great because they realize this isn’t ‘just a dog issue’ –
it’s so intertwined with other negative activities, like gangs, drugs, weapons
trafficking, and even homicide.”

BAD is also excited to be
launching its “Pit Crew”, a positive training and agility class that teaches
inner-city youth to see their dogs as pets, not just objects to abuse. Pit Crew
participants often help by becoming ambassadors for the program by recruiting
and mentoring new participants, which helps them to not fall into animal neglect
and cruelty. BAD’s goal is to take kids (and their dogs) out of negative
environments and teach them more positive training techniques to use with their
dogs. Pit Crew classes will start a few weeks after this event & those
interested should attend Peace for Paws this Saturday to get signed

“Dogfighting is still
something that most people in Milwaukee don’t believe exists,” Brown explains.
“But the people in the neighborhoods know – the MPD officers we work with know.
That’s why we’re here. We won’t stop until everyone learns this illegal activity
cannot be tolerated. Last year, Milwaukee residents called in just about 1 tip a
week on dogfighting in the city — those tips are what can save these dogs from
this unspeakable abuse. The abuse these dog endure is horrific and
we won’t
stop until these victims are saved and dogfighting is a crime of the

more information on all the great community outreach and education efforts BAD
is working on, visit our Facebook page at

Voice your opinion on the KG Dogfighting Application

KG Dogfighting, an application in which players
prepare their virtual dogs to fight, is available through Google’s Android
Market. Through KG Dogfighting, players are encouraged to engage in gruesome
virtual practices to train and fight dogs. The Wisconsin Humane Society is
opposed to any promotion of dog fighting. We are especially concerned that
children will use this app and may become desensitized to violence against
animals. Additionally, widespread use might change societal attitudes about dog
fighting, making the practice socially acceptable. Go to for more information and to let
Android know that you oppose their offering KG Dogfighting.

Brew City Bombshells Burlesque – A Benefit for Battle Against Dogfighting

Saturday March 6 @ the Time Cinema (59th & Vliet) Join Brew City Bombshells Burlesque and the all-female band Crazy Rocket Fuel (rockabilly) for an evening of fun, music and retro-cool! Enjoy your favorite beer, wine or cocktail with the show, meet friendly dogs looking for a good home, shop the Tool Shed’s booth and have a blast! A $10 donation at the door will help prevent dogfighting in Milwaukee. Doors open at 7pm, show at 8pm.