Dog Attacks – They are never out of the blue

Dog Attack Leaves man dead, woman seriously inured in Mill Park backyard in Melbourne’s north scream the headlines in yesterdays horrific attack.

The why cant be answered unless you were there and statements like ‘it came out of the blue’ are common simply because we view these situations like people. We dont view the world as a dog does.

Dogs have learnt to live with people over the years but people still are no clearer as to what their dogs are often relaying.

As behavioural qualified trainers we often hear things like ‘my dog just reacted out of the blue’, ‘I am afraid of my dog’ ‘he is protecting me’ ‘hes a good dog – he just doesn’t like people’.

Dogs dont do things out of the blue,there is always a reason for their behaviour. Aggressive and reactive behaviours are most commonly the result of triggers. There are triggers that occur alone and triggers that occur together. Trigger stacking is a term used by trainers where multiple stressor’s are combined.

An example of possible trigger stacking in this instance could be that the dog was nervous around men, unfamiliar with crutches or mobility appliances and scared of something else that occurred at that time.

People often mistake aggression with protection. Dogs that aggress are often nervous, fearful or have learnt to resource guard. If these behaviours are not recognised and modified immediately they lead to further problems.

It is important not to be complacent. Learn to read your dogs body language and identify possible triggers with our team of behavioural specialists. it may just save a life.

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