Bite risk does not depend on dog breed

These are the conclusions of an ANSES report that could call into question the measures for categorizing dogs by breed.

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An unjustified bad reputation

In France, pit bulls, rottweilers or tosa have the reputation of being particularly aggressive and biting dogs so that they fall under the law of so-called "dangerous" dogs.

This regulation, which categorizes dogs according to their breed, may soon no longer be necessary if the Ministry of Agriculture takes good account of the conclusions of the study which was commissioned from the 'ANSES, the National Food, Environment and Labor He alth Safety Agency.

The report issued by ANSES stipulates that "the risk of bite cannot be reliably based on the breed or racial type of the dog alone" , a finding that many canine educators, breeders and veterinarians have been sharing for a long time.

What does a dog's dangerousness depend on?

Based on its expertise, ANSES therefore emphasizes that a dog's breed alone does not predict a dog's aggressiveness.

Still according to ANSES, canine aggressiveness depends on many other factors among:

  • the sex, age and reproductive status of the animal,
  • the conditions of dog development and in particular too early weaning or too late socialization to humans,
  • the mental and physical he alth of the animal.

In its report, ANSES also reveals that the aggressive behavior of a dog can also be conditioned by the actions of human beings.

Thus, owners who do not offer living conditions that respect the needs of their dog can contribute to the emergence of aggressive behavior in the latter.Similarly, people who are unable to detect the dog's signals of discomfort that precede a bite are at greater risk of being bitten.

On the basis of these conclusions, ANSES therefore recommends that breeders and veterinarians make dog owners more aware of the risk factors for bites, to insist more on the importance of education of the animal and to be more attentive to consistency between the dog's needs and the living conditions offered to it. It also recommends strengthening the use of behavioral assessment of a dog by veterinarians and harmonizing practices.

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