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Pit bull dogs are a focus of concern because of their reputation for aggression toward people and because they may be mistreated by owners who try to promote aggressive behaviour. This study followed 40 pit bulls and 42 similar-sized dogs of other breeds at an animal shelter. Three pit bulls and two dogs of other breeds were euthanised because of aggression toward people at the shelter, and the remaining 77 dogs were re-homed. Of these, one pit bull and ten dogs of other breeds were returned to the shelter because of alleged aggression. For the dogs that were retained for at least two months, owner reports of aggression in various situations (to strangers, to other dogs, etc) were similar for the two groups. Reported care of the two groups was also similar except that pit bulls were more likely to sleep on the owner's bed and more likely to cuddle with the owner. Pit bull adopters were more likely to be under the age of 30, to rent (rather than own) their home, and to be adopting their first dog, perhaps because of a bias against pit bulls among older adopters. The study provided no evidence of greater aggression or poorer care among adopted pit bulls compared to dogs of other breeds.
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... Pit bull-type breeds may also differ behaviorally from other breeds, although current data is mixed. Some research suggests pit bulls show higher levels of interdog aggression 46 , hyperactivity, impulsivity and compulsive behavior 47 while other studies have found the behavior of pit bulls was no worse than other breeds 48,49 . Although it is unclear whether the association between pit bull-type breeds and euthanasia post-return is attributable to the breed-specific characteristics of the dog or the perceptions of the dog based on breed label, future adoption counselling and post-adoption support services could target this group of at-risk dogs to potentially reduce returns and post-return euthanasia rates. ...
A considerable number of adopted animals are returned to animal shelters post-adoption which can be stressful for both the animal and the owner. In this retrospective analysis of 23,932 animal records from a US shelter, we identified animal characteristics associated with the likelihood of return, key return reasons, and outcomes post-return for dogs and cats. Binary logistic regression models were used to describe the likelihood of return, return reason and outcome based on intake age, intake type, sex, breed and return frequency. Behavioral issues and incompatibility with existing pets were the most common return reasons. Age and breed group (dogs only) predicted the likelihood of return, return reason and post-adoption return outcome. Adult dogs had the greatest odds of post-adoption return (OR 3.40, 95% CI 2.88–4.01) and post-return euthanasia (OR 3.94, 95% CI 2.04–7.59). Toy and terrier breeds were 65% and 35% less likely to be returned compared with herding breeds. Pit bull-type breeds were more likely to be returned multiple times ( X 2 = 18.11, p = 0.01) and euthanized post-return (OR 2.60, 95% CI 1.47–4.61). Our findings highlight the importance of animal behavior in the retention of newly adopted animals and provide useful direction for allocation of resources and future adoption counselling and post-adoption support services.
... De plus, la publication deMacNeil-Allcock et al. (2011) rapporte les résultats d'une étude longitudinale dont l'objet était de comparer et suivre l'évolution des comportements de différentes races de chiens.En complément de ces études scientifiques, les deux rapports de l'Anses sur l'analyse des données d'évaluations comportementales canines enregistrées en France en 2014 et 2015 apportent également un éclairage par l'analyse descriptive des données d'évaluations comportementales enregistrées sur I-CAD(Anses 2016(Anses , 2017b. ...
Advice of the French Food Safety Agency on the risk of dog bites and the relevance of breed specific laws made by a subgroup of the Animal Health and Welfare Committee. An evaluation of risk process : identification of the hazard, evaluation of risk i.e emission X expostion and consequences. Advice given on demand of Department of Agriculture related to Laws of 1999, 2007 and 2008 concerning dangerous dogs. Relevance of categorization of dog breeds is discussed as well as the methods of behavioural evaluation.
... However, based on the predicted probabilities calculated for each breed group, dogs classified as non-sporting were no more likely than the other breed groups to be responsible for any of the severity classifications of bites. Overall, this finding is supportive of the growing body of research that indicates that breed specific legislation is not a successful approach to dealing with dog aggression issues [45,46]. Dogs in all breed groups are capable of inflicting a bite, and the probability of a high severity bite was not significantly higher in any particular breed group. ...
Dog bites are a public health concern that also implicates animal welfare, with negative outcomes such as rehoming or euthanasia for the animals responsible. Previous research has shown that the severity of dog-bite injuries reflects multiple factors, including the degree of inhibition exhibited by dogs and how people behave towards dogs. This study utilizes an objective dog bite injury assessment tool: The Dunbar aggression scale. Trained officers employed by The City of Calgary systematically use the Dunbar scale whenever investigating dog-bite complaints. We analyzed The City of Calgary's administrative data on confirmed dog-bite injuries in people, 2012-2017, with a multivariable generalized ordered logistic regression model. Severe dog-bite injuries occurred more frequently in the family home than in any other setting. Young children, youths and older adults were at higher risk of more serious bites than adults. There has been a decreasing trend in the probability of a high or medium severity bite, and an increasing trend in the probability of a low severity bite since 2012. These results indicate that greater public awareness regarding dog-bite injuries is needed. Consideration should be given to campaigns targeted towards different demographics, including older adults, to provide an understanding of dog behaviour and to emphasize the need to supervise children closely in the presence of all dogs at all times, including family dogs in the home environment. Given that dog-bite injuries are not just a public health issue, but also an animal welfare issue, we endorse One Health responses in educational campaigns, policy development, and professional practice.
... BSL takes various forms, but always entails banning or imposing restrictions based on the ancestry or appearance of dogs (e.g., pitbulls). This type of policy has been evaluated in several places, with mixed results (Clarke and Fraser, 2013;Cornelissen and Hopster, 2010;MacNeil-Allcock et al., 2011;Ott et al., 2008;Raghavan, 2008;Súilleabháin, 2015). In light of this policy debate, we were interested in the journalistic treatment of breed in the coverage of dog-bite incidents. ...
Despite calls for the adoption of 'One-Health' approaches, dog-bite injuries remain neglected in healthcare and public health, and our study may help to understand why. Media coverage can influence policy directions, including policies that address dogs. We collected articles (n = 65) published in two local newspapers, 2012-2017, then carried out an ethnographically-informed discourse analysis of the dog-bite reports. The newspapers portrayed dog-bites mainly as matters of public disorder, as opposed to priorities for healthcare and public health. Even as our study took place in a city that has shown dog-bite reductions without recourse to 'breed bans' or restrictions (i.e., breed-specific legislation), journalists still tended to emphasize dog breed as a narrative element in explaining dog-bite incidents. Nonetheless, the news coverage did not reproduce a 'nature versus nurture' dichotomy. Rather, the journalists presented dog breed, and presumably associated aggressive behaviour, as entanglements with social, economic, and cultural contexts. Meanwhile, the news stories reduced contextual complexity to geographic locations, as codes for community reputation, in attributing causality and morality.
... Future research projects could include in-depth and spatial analyses of dog aggression along with socio-demographic characteristics of owners, complainants, and victims. Many jurisdictions have adopted policies intended to prevent dog aggression by banning certain breeds, but policies have not been shown to reduce the incidence of dog bites and, given similar care, dogs of commonly-banned breeds appear no more likely than dogs of a similar size to exhibit aggression (MacNeil-Allcock et al. 2011). Further research is warranted on policies to reduce the negative impact of ill-controlled dogs and of dog feces (Atenstaedta and Jones 2011, McCormack et al. 2010, Toohey and Rock 2011. ...
Drawing on the One Health concept, and integrating a dual focus on public policy and practices of caring from the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, we outline a conceptual framework to help guide the development and assessment of local governments' policies on pets. This framework emphasizes well-being in human populations, while recognizing that these outcomes relate to the well-being of non-human animals. Five intersecting spheres of activity, each associated with local governments' jurisdiction over pets, are presented: (i) preventing threats and nuisances from pets, (ii) meeting pets' emotional and physical needs, (iii) procuring pets ethically, (iv) providing pets with veterinary services and (v) licensing and identifying pets. This conceptual framework acknowledges the tenets of previous health promotion frameworks, including overlapping and intersecting influences. At the same time, this framework proposes to advance our understanding of health promotion and, more broadly, population health by underscoring interdependence between people and pets as well as the dynamism of urbanized ecologies.
... Similar negative conclusions have been reached in studies that used other means of assessing the effectiveness of BSL (16)(17)(18). Moreover, other Canadian studies suggest that breeds commonly banned in breed-specific legislation account for a relatively small fraction of dog bites (19) and fatalities (20), and that these breeds are not more likely to bite than a matched sample of other breeds (21). ...
Various measures, including ticketing, licensing, and breed-specific legislation, are used by municipalities to control dog bites, but their effectiveness is largely unknown. Thirty-six urban Canadian municipalities provided information about their animal control practices, resourcing, and (for 22 municipalities) rate of reported dog bites. Municipalities differed widely in rates of licensing (4% to 75%) and ticketing (0.1 to 83 per 10 000 people), even where staffing and budgets were similar. Reported frequency of dog bites ranged from 0 to 9.0 (median 1.9) per 10 000 people. Rates were generally higher in municipalities with higher ticketing, licensing, staffing, and budget levels. However, in municipalities with very active ticketing the reported bite rate was much lower than predicted by a linear regression on ticketing rate (quadratic regression, R (2) = 0.52), likely reflecting a reduction in actual bites with very active enforcement. Municipalities with and without breed-specific legislation did not differ in reported bite rate. Ticketing appeared most effective in reducing dog bites, although it may also lead to increased reporting.
Despite the popular idea that dog owners are often responsible in some way for their animals' behaviour problems, the scientific evidence is scarce and contradictory. Some studies have failed to detect any links between the quality of the owner-dog relationship and the occurrence of behaviour problems, while others suggest that some behaviour problems may be associated with certain aspects of owner personality, attitudes and/or behaviour.Using retrospective data from a sample of 737 dogs, the present study investigated the association between the prevalence of different behaviour problems and various aspects of either owner behaviour or owner-dog interactions. A number of statistically significant associations were detected: (a) between obedience training and reduced prevalence of competitive aggression (P < 0.02), separation-related problems (P < 0.001), and escaping and roaming (P < 0.05); (b) between the timing of the dogs' meal times and the occurrence of territorial-type aggression (P < 0.01); (c) between sleeping close to the owner and increased prevalence of competitive aggression (P < 0.01) and separation-related problems (P < 0.01); (d) between first-time ownership and the prevalence of dominance-type aggression (P < 0.001), separation-related problems (P < 0.05), fear of loud noises (P < 0.001), and various manifestations of overexcitability (P < 0.001); (e) between owners' initial reasons for acquiring a dog and the prevalence of dominance-type (P < 0.001), competitive (P < 0.01) and territorial aggression (P < 0.01). The possible practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Canine aggression poses serious public health and animal welfare concerns. Most of what is understood about breed differences in aggression comes from reports based on bite statistics, behavior clinic caseloads, and experts’ opinions. Information on breed-specific aggressiveness derived from such sources may be misleading due to biases attributable to a disproportionate risk of injury associated with larger and/or more physically powerful breeds and the existence of breed stereotypes. The present study surveyed the owners of more than 30 breeds of dogs using the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ), a validated and reliable instrument for assessing dogs’ typical and recent responses to a variety of common stimuli and situations. Two independent data samples (a random sample of breed club members and an online sample) yielded significant differences among breeds in aggression directed toward strangers, owners and dogs (Kruskal–Wallis tests, P
To summarize breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks during a 20-year period and to assess policy implications.
Dogs for which breed was reported involved in attacks on humans between 1979 and 1998 that resulted in human dog bite-related fatalities (DBRF).
Data for human DBRF identified previously for the period of 1979 through 1996 were combined with human DBRF newly identified for 1997 and 1998. Human DBRF were identified by searching news accounts and by use of The Humane Society of the United States' registry databank.
During 1997 and 1998, at least 27 people died of dog bite attacks (18 in 1997 and 9 in 1998). At least 25 breeds of dogs have been involved in 238 human DBRF during the past 20 years. Pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers were involved in more than half of these deaths. Of 227 reports with relevant data, 55 (24%) human deaths involved unrestrained dogs off their owners' property, 133 (58%) involved unrestrained dogs on their owners' property, 38 (17%) involved restrained dogs on their owners' property, and 1 (< 1%) involved a restrained dog off its owner's property.
Although fatal attacks on humans appear to be a breed-specific problem (pit bull-type dogs and Rottweilers), other breeds may bite and cause fatalities at higher rates. Because of difficulties inherent in determining a dog's breed with certainty, enforcement of breed-specific ordinances raises constitutional and practical issues. Fatal attacks represent a small proportion of dog bite injuries to humans and, therefore, should not be the primary factor driving public policy concerning dangerous dogs. Many practical alternatives to breed-specific ordinances exist and hold promise for prevention of dog bites.
Since the 1940s, perceived companion animal overpopulation in the United States has been an important issue to the animal welfare community (Moulton, Wright, & Rinky, 1991). This surplus of animals has resulted in millions of dogs and cats being euthanized annually in animal shelters across the country. The nature and scope of this problem have been notoriously difficult to characterize. The number of animal shelters in the United Stares, the demographics of the population of animals passing through them, and the characteristics of per owners relinquishing animals are poorly understood. What portion of these animals are adopted or euthanized, why they are relinquished, and their source of acquisition are all questions for which there have been little data. Consequently, we are no closer to answering the fundamental question of how and why many animals are destroyed each year in shelters (Arkow, 1994).
In Canada, public debates on dog attacks are dominated by studies from the United States. An electronic search of media reports in the Canadian Newsstand database, for the years 1990 to 2007, identified 28 fatalities from dog-bite injuries. Predominant factors in this case series were owned, known dogs; residential location; children's unsupervised access to area with dogs; and rural/remote areas, including aboriginal reserves in the prairies. A higher proportion of sled dogs and, possibly, mixed-breed dogs in Canada than in the United States caused fatalities, as did multiple dogs rather than single dogs. Free-roaming dog packs, reported only from rural communities, caused most on-reserve fatalities. Future studies are needed to assess if this rural/urban divide is observed in nonfatal attacks and if the breeds that bite in Canada are different from the breeds that killed. Breed representation in this paper and, perhaps, multiple-dog overrepresentation should be understood in the context of the overall Canadian dog population.
Cases of aggression between dogs (n = 99) treated at the Animal Behavior Clinic, Cornell University (1983–1993) were analyzed retrospectively. Data were obtained from case histories; follow-up information was collected by telephone interviews and mailed questionnaires. Aggression occurred in two contexts. The primary complaint was conflict between dogs in the household in 73 cases, and aggression directed at non-household dogs in 26 cases. Dogs that started fights were pure-bred in 70 cases (71%); German Shepherd Dogs were most numerous of 38 breeds represented. Compared with American Kennel Club registrations, household aggression was less frequent among toy and sporting breeds, and more numerous among herding and non-sporting breeds (P ≤ 0.054). Terrier breeds were more prevalent among cases of non-household aggression (P < 0.01). Overall, more females initiated household aggression, whereas more males attacked non-household dogs (P < 0.05). For household aggression, same-sex pairs, especially females, were far more numerous than opposite-sex pairs (P < 0.001). Of dogs that started household fights, 58% were younger and 59% arrived in the home more recently than the target dog. Household fights were more injurious than fights with outsiders (P < 0.001); fights between female housemates tended to be more severe than other gender combinations (P = 0.057). Excitement was the most frequent trigger of household fighting. Treatments most often recommended for household aggression were desensitization with counterconditioning and obedience training; neutering and a head halter were most often suggested for non-household aggression. In owners' opinions, treatment improved 59% of household cases and 52% of non-household cases. After treatment, 56% of dogs exhibiting household aggression could be together when supervised, whereas 76% of those exhibiting non-household aggression could be around outsiders under leash control. Cases of household aggression in which the attacking dog was younger than its target, a person had been bitten, or the owner could not predict aggressive episodes were less likely improved than cases in which these situations did not occur (P < 0.05). Manifestations of aggression between housemates and toward non-household dogs are similar to dominance conflicts and territorial defense, respectively, in wolves. Comparisons between dog and wolf behavior may lead to improved treatment and resolution of aggression between dogs.
This comparative prospective study of mammalian bites attending one urban Accident and Emergency department before the implementation of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and again 2 years later, was to see the effect of the Act on the pattern of injury. The study comprised a simple questionnaire detailing the injury, the implicated species, and the treatment or referral if applicable. In both groups studied (before and after implementation of the Act) 134 consecutive bites were recorded, contributing 1.2 per cent and 1.23 per cent of total attendances during these respective periods. Dogs were found to bite most commonly: in the pre-legislative group 73.9 per cent were due to dog bites and in the post-legislation group 73.1 per cent. In both groups studied, human bites occurred as the second most common mammalian bite; 17.9 per cent in the pre-legislation group and 12.7 per cent in the post-legislation group. Human bites were as common as those from the most implicated breed of dog. In general human bites were found to require more active treatment and specialist referral. The study demonstrates the vast majority of such injuries are treated within Emergency departments. This study also shows how dangerous breeds compare with others that bite, demonstrating that these breeds contribute to only a small proportion of these injuries. This comparative study clearly demonstrates little impact on rate of attendances for such injuries since the introduction of the 1991 Act. If legislation aims to reduce and prevent injury from animal bites, in its present form it does little to protect the public; this study suggests a wider control of the dog population may be required.
This study examined the prevalence of behaviour problems exhibited by dogs within 4 weeks of acquisition from a rescue shelter in Northern Ireland. One thousand five hundred and forty-seven people who had purchased a dog from a rescue shelter in Northern Ireland were sent a postal questionnaire designed to collect information on the behaviours exhibited by their dog within the first month of acquisition. Five hundred and fifty-six people responded to the survey, representing a response rate of 37%. The majority of respondents (68.3%) reported that their dog exhibited a behaviour problem, the most common being fearfulness. Most of those respondents (89.7%) who returned their dog to the shelter did so because the animal exhibited behaviour that they considered undesirable. Male dogs showed more unacceptable behaviours than females, specifically inter-male aggression, sexual problems and straying tendencies. More stray dogs displayed undesirable behaviour than unwanteds, specifically straying tendencies. Puppies were less likely to exhibit unacceptable behaviours than juveniles or adults, particularly fearfulness, sexual problems and straying tendencies. More juvenile dogs showed excessive activity and excessive barking than puppies or adults. More adult dogs displayed aggression towards other dogs than juveniles or puppies. Findings indicate that dogs purchased from rescue shelters do exhibit behaviour problems that may lead to their return. The number of dogs admitted or returned to rescue shelters with behaviour problems may be reduced by raising public awareness regarding the value of behaviour therapy and introducing behaviour therapy schemes to rescue shelters.
This study examined the association between ownership of high-risk ("vicious") dogs and the presence of deviant behaviors in the owners as indicated by court convictions. We also explored whether two characteristics of dog ownership (abiding licensing laws and choice of breed) could be useful areas of inquiry when assessing risk status in settings where children are present. Our matched sample consisted of 355 owners of either licensed or cited dogs that represented high or low-risk breeds. Categories of criminal convictions examined were aggressive crimes, drugs, alcohol, domestic violence, crimes involving children, firearm convictions, and major and minor traffic citations. Owners of cited high-risk ("vicious") dogs had significantly more criminal convictions than owners of licensed low-risk dogs. Findings suggest that the ownership of a high-risk ("vicious") dog can be a significant marker for general deviance and should be an element considered when assessing risk for child endangerment.