dog can be aggressive. Most probably, most dogs that bite were not properly socialized as puppies. Many purebred dogs such as Rotties,
German Shepherds, Pitbulls, were rescued as adults from unknown circumstances. Therefore their past isn't known. ANY dog whose past is unknown should
be assumed to be potentially
dangerous, especially to small children. That's not to say that they are, but it's a possibility and should be
treated as such.
Children can be strange and threatening creatures to dogs who haven't been properly socialized around them. If they've never seen a child before, a
dog can think its owner or himself is in danger from this 'creature'.
Dogs and children many times do not mix. Even if a dog is raised around certain
children, he can see other children as a threat.
Don't feel badly. Many people think along the same uneducated lines that you do. It's important that people like the other posters here do what we
can to educate the public about dog ownership.
Rottweilers are considered guard dogs, yes, but in that capacity, they guard what's theirs. Their home, their people. That's their job. That
doesn't mean they're aggressive. Aggression is another issue altogether.
In the story, the mother, holding a strange (to the dog) creature in her arms, bent over the dog! Wrong! Very wrong thing to do. I can't speak to the
other issue with the Maltese, but if that was the case, then they knew
this dog wasn't safe with small dogs (or other small creatures) and
should have treated it as such.
It's sad and terrible, and I feel for the family, but it happens so much that people should be getting a clue that dogs are bigger than babies and if
not properly socialized, can be frightened by children.
It's the people at fault, not the dog. They're just doing what they're bred to do. If people don't know how to care for dogs and want a teddy
bear, they should get a teddy bear.