Why do dogs attack people

Aggressive dogs: three tips on how to behave properly

Dogs attacking people keep making headlines. But why does "man's best friend" suddenly attack? In an interview with t-online.de, animal psychologist Julia Blüher explains the behavior of aggressive dogs and gives tips on how to protect yourself from attacks.

Why do dogs attack people?

The worst scenario for every dog ​​owner: your own animal bites a person to death. But why do these incidents keep happening? "Dogs are hunting animals. The individual case should always be analyzed here and no general evaluation should take place," explains Blüher. "In most cases the dog wants to protect his pack - the family or the owner - or his territory. Or he defends himself in case of wrong treatment. If you fall on your back in an attack and show your unprotected throat, many dogs bite reflexively too, as it is part of their hunting behavior. Overall, dogs rarely kill people, and the reverse is far more common. "

Are there naturally aggressive dogs?

"Aggression is not always to be assessed as negative. In the animal kingdom it is also necessary in order to be able to resolve conflicts more clearly and quickly, for example," says the animal psychologist and points out: "There are dog breeds whose stimulus threshold for aggression is breed-related lower In principle, however, any dog ​​can become a weapon through human hands. It is also true that some dog breeds are more dangerous than others simply because of their bite force. "

This is how you should react to aggressive dogs

For example, if you come across a free-roaming, aggressive dog while taking a walk, you should pay attention to these three points according to the expert:

  1. Avoid eye contact.
  2. Do not make hasty movements.
  3. Do not irritate the animal.

If, on the other hand, your own dog shows aggressive behavior, you should seek professional help: "Immediately stop doing what provokes the dog. You shouldn't experiment for a long time and ask a good animal psychologist for help," recommends Blüher (www .tierpsychologin-sinzig.de).

When does it make sense to use a muzzle?

"A muzzle is always useful when the dog's environment or the dog itself has to be protected," says the animal psychologist. However, the dog owner has to consider a few things with this method. "Before putting on the muzzle, the dog should be trained, the animal shouldn't find wearing the muzzle uncomfortable or even a punishment."

As a general rule, try to stay calm when a dog approaches you. Fortunately, in many cases the following sentence actually applies: "He just wants to play."