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      The best way to handle and prevent a dog's aggressive behavior

      The nature vs. nurture debate continues regarding aggressive behavior in canines. Certain dog breeds, like pit bulls, have grabbed headlines for acts of aggression.

      But animal behaviorist Susan Kapla says the truth is any breed can be aggressive.

      "There are certain breeds that tend to have a higher probability of aggression issues, but it can happen in any breed," said Kapla.

      Kapla says it's important for potential owners to do their homework.

      "When people are selecting dogs to bring into their homes, the best thing they can do is educate themselves on the breed itself so that they are picking dogs that match with the expectations that they have," Kapla said.

      Some pet owners argue an animal's behavior is more driven by nurture rather than nature.

      Tracee Horn has spent 16 years of her life training dogs, and she says it's important for new dog owners to get their pups socializing at a young age. Obedience classes may be necessary to set the tone.

      "At those young, juvenile ages when they're (puppies) testing the waters all the time, you really have to have lots of rules, you have to have boundaries," said Horn.

      If you ever find yourself in the presence of an aggressive dog, make sure you stand your ground.

      "You don't want to run away," Kapla said. "If you stand your ground, avoid eye contact and be still, that will probably be the best immediate strategy."