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The Ethology and Epidemiology of Canine Aggression

Randall Lockwood, 1995

Why Canids Bite?

Biting is obviously a key component of predatory behavior in canids, However, most social canids show surprisingly low levels of intra-specific aggression. Despite the strong restraint on the use of aggression, biting can occur in many contexts including expressions of dominance, territorial defense, food-competition, protection of young or other pack members, pain-elicited aggression and fear-elicited aggression. Dog attacks can occur in any of these contexts and may also involve components of inter-specific predatory behavior.

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  1. Looking at death statistics there is a sharp rise in the 2000 with 2003 starting the steepest. Going from just 4-6 a year to over 20 in many cases.

    An essay titled, “Dangerous Dogs Status Symbol,” from the UK notes an 80% increase in dog bites and from watching videos here in the U.S. many of the want a dangerous, dog as a status symbol or “protection.” Especially those in gangs or gang areas.

    In many regards it has almost gotten to the point a person should be required to take a course before they can buy a dog to ensure they can handle it, and breeders should be interviewing potential buyers, if they actually care about the dogs more than the money.

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