Title: What We Can Learn About Dog Bite Prevention From Serious and Fatal Dog Attacks
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Each year in the United State year approximately 20 people are killed by dogs and an unknown number suffer serious injury. Many of these victims are children. Although the dogs involved in fatal cases are rarely seen by behaviorists or trainers prior to the attacks, there are lessons to be learned from them that can be applied to the aggression problems we do see.
We’ve served as expert witnesss in five fatal cases, (Suzanne in four and Dan in one) and even more cases involving serious injury. By working on these cases, we’ve learned a lot about the factors that led up to these tragic events. Those who work with aggression cases in any way must understand they assume the very real risk that they and the dog owners they work with can be the lead story on the evening news if they fail to realistically assess not only the dog’s potential but the overall risk for harm given the circumstances in which the dog lives.
We’ll examine the factors and warning signs that led up to these attacks, and look at the differences in the cases in which warning signs were present, compared to those when they were either ambiguous and sometimes non-existent.
While you are unlikely to work with a dog that will be involved in a fatal attack, you may see ones that could be prevented from hurting someone seriously. They’ll be plenty of
Speaker(s): Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., CAAB Daniel Q. Estep, Ph.D., CAAB