Follow the link below to read an article about canine behavior myths. Be sure to watch the video at the end as well:
After watching the video, could you identify some of the signals the dog was giving that show he was not comfortable? Although the signals appear subtle, once you know what to look for, they become more obvious.
Notice that when the reporter starts petting the dog, his ears are back. Then almost immediately, he gives a lip lick. Note also the "whale eye". The dog looks away and gives another lip lick, then looks back with a very obvious whale eye.
At this point, and clearly ignoring the signals, the reporter grabs the dog by both sides of his face, stares directly in the dog's eyes, then begins to move closer to the dog while positioning himself over the top of dog. These are all threatening behaviors to a dog. The fact that the dog bit the reporter is really no great surprise. Note that after the bite, the dog gave another lip lick.
When dogs bite, it is very rare that they have not given some warning before that. The dog was already telling the reporter that he was uncomfortable with the interaction and wanted him to back off. Rather than picking up on the signals, the reporter continued to get in the dog's space, and the dog, feeling trapped, did what he felt he needed to do.
The handler's explanation that he is the pack leader and the dog is second in command has nothing to do with the bite, and is not what caused the dog to interpret someone towering over him as an aggressive act. Unfortunately, the handler should have picked up on the signs the dog was giving, and asked the reporter to back off for his own safety.
Go back and review the video if you think you missed some of the clues.