Most of the dog bite stories that we post involve Pit bulls and Rottweilers. These dog breeds have a reputation for being aggressive. Yet, many owners claim that these breeds of dogs are simply misunderstood. British researchers tried to answer the question, “What role does breed play in dog attacks?”
Scientists at the University of Bristol’s School of Veterinary Sciences passed out 15,000 questionnaires to dog owners—4,000 were returned. The questionnaires asked about pet behavior and aggression toward people.
Owners were more likely to report dog aggression toward unfamiliar people than to familiar family members. In many cases, the dogs were showing territorial behavior. Seven percent of dog owners reported that their pet had barked, lunged, growled or bitten unfamiliar visitors to their home. In comparison, five percent reported these types of aggressive behaviors while the dog was being walked. Only three percent of owners reported dog aggression toward family members.
The scientists looked at the dog breed and other factors that might influence aggression. The results may surprise you.
The study was published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.
Owners are responsible for making sure that their dogs don’t harm others. If you are bitten by a dog in Georgia, you can hold the owner accountable. To learn more, we invite you to browse our selection of articles. We also welcome you to contact us with any additional questions—we’re standing by to help!