Las Cruces has seen several pit bull attacks in the past few weeks, including one that resulted in the death of a baby girl.
One trainer who specializes in handling aggressive dogs told ABC-7 it's not the breed of the dog that matters, it's what they're taught by the owner.
April Oxford trains all breeds of dogs, and she said preventing dog attacks comes down to teaching the canines some manners.
Oxford spends most of her days training breeds like pit bulls, rottweilers and German shepherds how to behave.
She said many of these "bullying-type" dogs have the tendency to lash out when they're scared, but owners need to teach them not to.
"A lot of people that have aggressive dogs, they keep them home. They never take them anywhere. Then they never grow, and they never get better," Oxford said.
On Thursday, Oxford was training 21 dogs. She brought them all into a small fenced-in area and used different techniques to keep them under control.
Oxford uses air horns, squirt bottles and even a cattle prod, in extreme cases, to teach the dogs.
When it comes to preventing dog attacks, Oxford said a can of pepper spray may not be very effective since the attacking dog will probably have adrenaline coursing through its body and not feel the effects for a few minutes. She recommends that anyone taking a walk outside, whether it's alone or with a dog, carry an air horn with them for protection.
"Will it guarantee the dogs will leave you alone if they come after you? No, but you've got about a 90 percent chance they will back off. These are very loud," Oxford said.
She said the blame for dog attacks falls on the owners, not the dogs.
"It's absolutely ridiculous. It is the people. Your dogs are just like children. You have to teach them what's acceptable, what's not. If they can growl, if they can bark, if they can get along with kids," Oxford said.
Oxford said when people use the right tools, getting a dog to listen is simple.
"The hardest part is the people. Dogs are easy. They're really easy," Oxford said.
She offered a few tips for dog owners of all breeds. Teach dogs what's acceptable such as when to bark at strangers or if they can get on furniture in the house. Socialize dogs with people, children and other animals so they know how to react in different situations. Most importantly, show dogs who's in charge. Oxford said it's important owners do not let their dogs go out the door first. She also said owners should pick up their dogs' food bowls after 10 minutes.